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  • Justin Beiber

Revising Artwork For Comic Books

Those of you subscribed (enter your email address on any page at will get an extra special announcement in your inbox. Before we begin, let me just say "Thank You! to everyone who is following along on this journey with us. Thanks for your support, feedback, curiousity and excitement. We can't wait to deliver the coolest non-superhero graphic novel of the decade.

So, how to revise artwork for your designers. This might be the first real meaty post. I swear I intend for these blogs to be educational but a professional's got to have a few secrets right? Not today though. Okay, let's get dirty.

Shake The Lake is the work of many people. I creative direct, Machi (El3vated Clothing Company) gut checks all my crazy ideas with the reality of the sport and it's equipment, athletes and whatever else, our illustrators draw off our reference materials and the script of course and from there on we have a long back and forth process of redlining errors, omissions, additions (addiitons are sometimes scope creep and I pay extra for those) and changes. When I get an initial piece of art it is usually a full script page like this.

I'll review and make sure that the main points from our script are present.

Note: We'll have already outlined the frames on the page. In fact, before we started drawing, we'd outlined every frame in the graphic novel and added speach bubbles. This was a very rough way to see how many pages we would end up with and how fast the story would flow.

If anything major is missing (which is pretty rare) we'll have to do some shuffling around which usually costs extra. Time is money and work is money so it pays to be planned and organized.

I'll take my red marker and outline parts of the page and then put a text description with instructions like, "More Beer Cans", or "Let's show more cleavage here". I've found that it's easy to miss small details in this stage and there's an exponential rate that these pages spring to life when you start to add color and detail. For instance, I didn't catch that our wakeboarder pull rope wasn't attached to the boat's tower in one frame. I didn't realize the error until the page was fully colored and ready for approval. It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of new pages that you rush the approval process. Pause here, go over the art with a magnifying glass. Re-read your script. Is everything accounted for? and is everything coming across accurately and in an enjoyable way for an audience? Make your red marks. The pen is your friend at this stage.

Notes on this page were: 1. Make the beerymid smaller per the outline and have cans shooting off in all directions. 2. Have beer spilling out of the snorkles onto the guy's heads. 3. Add cracks to the wall where Cal's body comes into contact, head, shoulder and knee.

Depending on your setup and proximity to your illustrators, this process could change. My illustrators work remotely so my first glimpse at the art is a rough page and our communication goes through email. Taking a proactive approach and sketching complicated frames out beforehand has saved us a lot of work. Even with my terrible art skills the points can get across. If you're able to draw stick figures and label them, there's no excuse for a miscommunication.

Thanks for reading. Shake The Lake is the story of a group of friends, chasing the endless summer who find themselves in a new laketown attempting to save a bullied marina from snobby yacht club encroachment by staging a mammoth end-of-summer wakeboarding festival.

Please Subscribe to our mailing list for tips and How-To knowledge on creating comic books. Keep up to date on our blog and get release info on the Shake The Lake Graphic Novel. You can order volume 1 now on the website. Please support the project.

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