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Creating Comics! by Paul Gulacy, Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz

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Job:05-19413 Title:Creating Comics
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(Text)
Creative Process
I begin with very rough thumbnail sketches and written notes,
where I determine how much information I can squeeze into each
page. I transfer my written notes to an InDesign file, where I can
precisely plan the spacing of the captions and dialogue, as well
as the size of the panels. No pictures are drawn yet; the file con-
sists only of the final text and panel borders.
For the lettering, I sometimes design my own font (working with
someone who knows Fontographer), or find an appropriate com-
mercial comic book font (such as those available from Comicraft).
If all else fails, I’ll use Helvetica to lay out the type, and work out
the spacing in InDesign, and then trace the font by hand in a style
more appropriate for the strip. The sound effects and title lettering
are generally done by hand. I print out the InDesign file and begin
to sketch in the figures in the boxes at about printed size. At the
same time, I search through volumes of cartoon reference mate-
rial (books, clippings, JPEGs, etc.) for specific poses, characters,
and compositions to emulate. When parodying a particular car-
toonist or comic’s genre, I look for reference for as many details
as possible. Where necessary, I’ll also gather photo reference for
costumes, furniture, and other related elements.
I slowly revise the drawings by hand, and then scan them. In
Photoshop, I rescale figures and composite background elements.
Then I import the text and boxes from InDesign and put all the
pieces together. I might also do additional drafts of the drawings
to replicate the style I’m after.
When finally satisfied with the layouts, I’ll print out the pages
again, at about 150 percent of the printed size. Then I’ll trace them
in pencil onto Bristol board. Any hand-drawn sound effects and
lettering are added here.
Finally, I ink the boards with pens, brushes, and Rapidographs.
The inking hopefully adds a certain consistency and organic
quality to the piece. My goal is for the reader not to see all the
research and revisions, that the drawing looks “natural.”
The final art is then scanned and colored in Photoshop.
This was the cover for a special comics issue of LA Weekly. I
was asked by art director Bill Smith to parody the cover of Action
Comics #1, Superman’s first appearance, and include as many
famous characters as possible.
Sometimes magazines can be a little squeamish about publish-
ing parodies, but legal affairs had no problem with this strip. With
apologies to Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Reginald Rose, and the
U.S. Judicial System.
Title: 12 Super-Angry Men
Client: Legal Affairs magazine, 2002
Media: Ink on paper, Photoshop
Title: Comics Action! cover
Client: LA Weekly, 2002
Media: Ink on paper, Photoshop
© 2002, R. Sikoryak
R.
Sikoryak’s cartoon parodies and illustrations
have appeared in Nickelodeon Magazine,
the New Yorker, Fortune, Little Lit, and many
other publications; on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart;
and in the independent feature film The Bentfootes. He
has adapted the classics for comic anthologies such as
Drawn & Quarterly, Raw, and Hotwire. Drawn & Quarterly
published a collection of his stories in 2009.
Sikoryak is the coauthor, with Michael Smith, of The Se-
duction of Mike, published by Fantagraphics, a comic book
funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. He was
awarded Artists Fellowships from the New York Foundation
for the Arts and the American Antiquarian Society for his
comics’ adaptations. He teaches in the illustration depart-
ment at Parsons School of Design.
Since 1997 Sikoryak has presented his cartoon slideshow
series, Carousel, around the United States and Canada.
He lives in New York City with his wife, Kriota Willberg.
R. Sikoryak
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Job:05-19413 Title:Creating Comics
#175 P DTP:204 Page:132
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Job:05-19413 Title:Creating Comics
#175 P DTP:204 Page:133
(RAY)
120-176_19413.indd 133
5/26/10 8:58:55 AM
(Text)
R. Sikoryak
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R. Sikoryak
Job:05-19413 Title:Creating Comics
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Title: The Sunday Snow Globe
Drawn for the holiday issue of Nickelodeon.
Client: Nickelodeon Magazine, 2001
Media: Ink on paper, Photoshop
© 2001 R. Sikoryak
Title: The Fab Four
Client: Pulse! Magazine, 2001
Media: Ink on paper, Photoshop
© 2001 R. Sikoryak
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Creating Comics
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R. Sikoryak

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