The Debaser

Comic Book, 10 1/8" x 6 5/8"
Ink, Adobe Photoshop
This comic book is based on a story I wrote entitled "The Debaser." The story follows a teenager named Bentley who, having grown up in an abusive household, learns to hide his emotions and turn to his fists. He repeatedly gets into fights, not because he seeks trouble, but because his quick temper ignites when he sees others being bullied. This fighting ultimately comes back to haunt Bentley when some of his adversaries' older brothers gang up on him. The panels from the comic that I've illustrated show Bentley being beaten by his attackers and capture the physical and emotional intensity of this climactic moment in the story.

 

process

I started this comic by creating thumbnails of each panel. I need to decide which actions were necessary to convey the story, and how the sequence of events played out from panel to panel. After creating these sketches, it seemed that I needed to zoom out more to show the characters' position in space in relation to each other. I also need to work on condensing some of the action and eliminating unneccessary panels.

 

After creating the thumbnail sketches, I created a booklet to work on the page design. Through this dummy book, I realized the need to use a consistent grid.

 

Once I began work on the final art, I used photo references to get the postures right and create a believable perspective. I then tried coloring the drawing with Photoshop and a Cintiq tablet; however, I found that this process took too long and it made figuring out the value hierarchy more difficult.

Scan 75.jpeg
 

For the final drawings, I focused on making sure that the drawings worked in black and white first, and that the positive and negative space felt balanced. Once I finished the key drawings, I added color more sparingly. I used a limited palette with two hues (yellow and purple), and I kept the value of the color light in order to prevent the color from taking away from the line drawing. I did feel that the color was too flat, so I added a faint halftone pattern over the color to add more texture.