Writing a comic is great, but as we all know, it’s the art that turns a script into a graphic novel. I’m fortunate to be working with some great artists on this project and I’m more than happy to show you what the initial character design process looked like for me.
To make life a little bit easier, I designed the characters in the script but also made a cheat sheet for my artists when they went to do the character designs. You can see that here. The example I’m using for this is Braxton Kain, but all characters had their own.
Braxton’s design was also unique, because I changed a lot at the last second before I sent it to Charles. This also gave him more room to run with the design. Depending on what you want, you might give very specific details or an overall idea for your artist to understand.
Once you’ve given your artist the initial character description, the next thing that results should be the pencils. For me, this is where I first get to see everything come together, especially with all of the extra details that Charles would add. I also might give some adjustments, but in this case, I didn’t have any. Note the things like piercings that he added to bring more detail to the character.
After the initial pencils comes the inks. This is when an artist goes over the pencils to make prominent black lines and makes any changes needed. You can see some of the fine tuning here. Note the detail of the braids is really seen here in the inks.
The last thing that happens for a character design is the coloring. In this case, my colorist Ramon added the colors based on the initial guide I gave him. The colors should be added to match the tone your book is setting, whether dull and dark or vibrant and colorful. Note the decision to match the lipstick to the hair happened at this point.
Hopefully this gave you a nice taste as to how this process works. I hope to share even more of the process in the book itself once it’s complete!