Page 210 – We Have To Plan Revenge

Merrrrrry Christmas, y’all! I wish I had more of a “very special Christmassy episode” to share with you today, but today’s page is all about the plan.

I thought I’d talk a little, today, about the art process. Unless you like art-talk, the following chunk of text will be terribly boring to you so skip to the end for your Kids’ Quotes and you’re free to leave. For everyone else, let’s go.

I work entirely digitally these days- everything from sketch to finished happens in the computer. I understand Ethan works the same way. The difference between us is that now and then, I think he still likes to draw on paper in the real world. Me, I couldn’t be happier to be done with paper, art supplies and scanning. I don’t have to go to the art store anymore at all, now, and I love it. It’s kinda like when you discovered Netflix and began dancing merrily on the grave of Blockbuster Video.

I’ve tried going wholly digital in the past with Painter and Photoshop. Painter had a completely baffling interface that I couldn’t figure out and Photoshop’s brushes were nnnnot good for inking. I felt trapped in the world of drawing on paper. Then- and here’s where what I’m saying is going to start sounding like a paid endorsement- I tried Manga Studio in March of last year. A colleague had used it and recommended it, and it was only $80. I gave it a try and was impressed- it did almost everything Photoshop did (at least for art production), the interface mimics Photoshop so it was easy to pick up how things worked, and the inking handled like a dream.

Ethan uses it too, but he’s much less… I dunno… evangelical about it. I use it for almost everything and I sing its praises all the time. These days I only open Illustrator and Photoshop to do lettering and photo manipulation, respectively. I’m churning out pages in a quarter of the time and at twice the quality, and I do it going from sketch straight to inks. I never fully pencil anything out anymore. I’ve pioneered a technique- or at least I think I came up with it- that maximizes speed and efficiency in digital inking. It involves using two layers. If anyone’s interested in the full inking process, sound off in the comments and I’ll detail it fully.

Here’s a video I made doing the art for my pin-up in the new Axe Cop print volume.


We’re playing superheroes one day.
Me: “I’m Superman. I can fly and I’m strong. What can you do?”
Charlotte: “I”m Spider-Man. I can play on my ropes, jump,
stick, and make everybody pay attention to me.”
                                        -Charlotte, 2 years old

On the phone with mommy, who’s at work:
“When you come home, can I have you?”
                                        -Amelia, 2 years old

If you’re looking for a nice present to get me, I could really use one of these. Don’t look at the price, just get it for me… we’ll both be happier that way. Merry Christmas everyone.

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16 thoughts on “Page 210 – We Have To Plan Revenge

  1. Army Chihuahua doesn’t doodle, he writes a full page report. But I didn’t know the perfect revenge included a pie chart and line graph.

      • say tom, how long does it usually take for the Nicole Brothers to respond to an Ask AxeCop question? my Ask AxeCop question was about Video Game Consoles turning 10 years old, and things like why game makers put down 10 year old game consoles for new ones, because turning down a game console is like putting a 10 year old dog out of its own misery with a shotgun, y’know what I’m talkin’ about? cause Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming out on a PS4 and an XboxOne console instead of either an Xbox360 or a PS3 console ( I’m a PlayStation fan, by the way), so how long did it take for them to respond to your guest episode to be made?

  2. I love Charlotte’s explanation of Spider Man’s abilities. Of all the super heroes, he is the strongest at making people pay attention to him.

  3. Charlotte and Amelia just watched your speed video. Comments included “I bet he puts a shadow on that axe” and “Uncle Tommy is the best artist.” Amelia would like me to tell you “THAT IS AWESOME!” and Charlotte says “IT WAS SO COOL!” We want to know how long in real time this took.

  4. Rainbows are evil, and I can prove it.
    Your proof:
    In the Rainbow Factory,
    Where dreams and horrors come true.
    In the Rainbow Factory,
    Where not a single soul gets through.

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