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David Marshall - Comic Book Art | Reach: A 24-Hour Comic

Soaked: A 24-Hour Comic

Unpublished. Story and art by David Marshall. My second entry to a local version of the 24 Hour Comics project. I'm currently working on a more fully-developed version for future publication. For behind-the-scenes details of this version, please refer to Drenched: a Journal of "Soaked: a 24-Hour Comic"

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Drenched: a Journal of “Soaked: a 24-Hour Comic”

Possibly Kenmore Square's most creative act since the days of The Rat. You think Michael Cerullo and Mr. Butch could've been the neighborhood's I-Spy?

David Marshall - Comic Book Artist + Writer: Sam Marshall, working the Wacom, taking over for Dad

Helping Dad during a baño break


Digital Prima-donna

I was the only one who worked digitally. The only electrical outlet was behind some heavy bookshelves, which were blocked off by more bookshelves. Since the folks at Gentle Giant don't work for free, it took Matt Lehman (Comicopia's owner) and I about 30 minutes to move everything around. Thanks to him, I was able to work!

Get Working!

There was some Geek Speak -- strong opinions about science fiction shows and comic books. Nothing surprising here ...

Old Man Out

I'm the oldest one here, but is that a newsflash? Who at my age is (a) willing to work 24 straight hours for an intangible gain and (b) would want to be away from social or family life that long? Then again, trying this on my own 3 years ago was a failure. I need to be in this group, and to remember that I'm the odd man out.

Story Thumbnails

I thumbnailed the first and last 4 pages, leaving the middle 16 for improvisation. The planned workflow was to pencil and ink each page as a went along. That structure interrupted me from the "stream of consciousness" I needed to plot the middle section. Therefore, I pencilled the rest of the book after page 5, then backtracked for inking. The final page was inked at 9:45 AM on Sunday. This left little more than 2 hours for production (see below).

Production Method

When working digitally, these are the steps to producing finished art. Instead of working on paper then scanning, I work directly with the Wacom drawing tablet.

David Marshall - Comic Book Artist + Writer: Info graphic of digital comics-making process

The process, from Photoshop to Acrobat in 5 life-draining steps.

Adobe Photoshop: Pencilling The selection, resizing, layers and "soft pencil" tools are the closest things to my traditional drawing methods (tracing paper, Xerox, scaled copies) I've found so far. Using paths to control perspective is an added bonus.

Corel Painter: Inking The anti-aliasing is "tighter" than Photoshop's, making a much cleaner ink stroke. Painter X, the latest version, has terrific brush and texture controls. The page rotation tool's a life-saver! Inking happens quickly, brushing way outside the planned borders.

Adobe Illustrator: Lettering + Bordering This is where all the vector stuff happens. The first step is importing the final inked Painter TIF in Illustrator, then sticking it in a compound path of the panels. I then letter with Blambot fonts (Letter-o-matic) in custom word balloons. Once everything's set, each page is saved as an individual EPS.

Adobe InDesign: Pagination A collection of the final EPS files. Page numbering and common elements are controlled in the Master pages. This file is used to generate the PDF.

Adobe Acrobat: Final Art Optimized for print, web and email.

David Marshall - Comic Book Artist + Writer: 23rd hour at Comicopia

The gang at work

Go Red Sox

Game 6 of the ALCS was at Fenway that night, approximately 8:00 PM. Until that point we were listening to music, but some of us wanted to hear the game. Things got heated enough for our host to take a vote. Surprisingly, the majority wanted to hear music. Without our support, Boston struggled for a slim 12-2 victory.

Tired Is As Tired Does (or Does Not)

I honestly thought I was well-prepared, but time's still running out. When I thought it was 5:00 PM, it was really 7:30 PM. My sense of time time was increasingly off as the night became day. Kenmore Square daylight gave me a vampire's jolt of fear.

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Media Coverage by The Boston Globe

Gathering Draws Group of 24-hour Comics People

"By 2 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21, they had been drawing for 14 hours straight. As the city darkened, the small group of local artists were visible in the window of a Kenmore Square comic book shop, hunched over tables. Most days, Comicopia closes at 7 p.m., but on Saturday, after the staff locked the door and left the register, the lights inside stayed on."

Click here for the entire article

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24 Hour Comics

An international challenge: independently create a 24-page comic book in 24 continuous hours. No preparation (sketches, designs, plot summaries, etc.) can precede the 24 hour period.

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Hosted this year's Boston event. We stock as wide a variety of material as possible, so whether you're into Acme Novelty Library or X-Men (or even both!), we should have something you'd enjoy.

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