Just like last week it’s time to answer some questions!!!

If you have questions you want to ask me about comics, art materials, or just art in general, leave a comment here OR send me an email to shadows@shawnmccauley.com.  So lets not waste any time!

Q: What Tools do you use in Manga Studio to ink? 

A: I’m only using Manga Studio EX4 right now.  I’ll tell you what tools I’m using in that, but I can’t say if they have the same brushes and settings in the new EX5.  I use the Pen Tool set to the Maru brush.  I also have the stroke in and stroke out options checked.  I’ve checked the option for “Stroke in and out according to speed” as well.  This lets me have a little more control over the look I want.  But it might not work for your style so experiment and play around with the options!


Q:  If you were to do speed paints or drawings what are the materials you need for this?

A: It depends on the media.  If you’re drawing or painting traditionally, all you need is your traditional media and a camera to record it. If you’re going to post it on the internet, you will also need a way to get it from your camera to youtube (or wherever you’re posting it.)  If you are digitally drawing or Painting, you need software to draw or paint in, like sketchbook, manga studio, corel, sai, etc. and then screen capture software to record it.  Mac users can just use quicktime for that.  There are other software out there you’ll just have to google search for it.


Q: How is writing a comic different from writing a novel?

A: I never wrote a novel so I can’t say for sure.  The writing process I imagine is much the same.  Write the story, then rewrite, and rewrite until you iron out the plot and characters. Your mindset might have to be a bit different though.  Where novels you can’t show what’s happening, you have to tell it.  Comics can do both.  (though some would validly argue it should all show, no telling.  But i feel thats a waste of the unique media that is comics.)  The major difference you’re going to run into is the fact that a comic is a collaboration.  You might write a story, but the way the artist interprets the words and creates it will not be at all what you imagined.  You have to be okay with that.  You have to be willing to let go and just trust in the artist you’ve chosen and be okay with this being the artists’ baby just as much as yours.


Q: How do I get into animation? What materials would i need to animate?

A:  I’m not an animator so I don’t know. I recently just bought Motion Artist and thats going to let me do some cool animations with my comic.  But I don’t know what industry standards are, or how to get a gig animation. (though I imagine it’s like comics, where you submit your work, and get rejected a painful amount of times until you eventually get your first shot.)


Q: How should you plan out a comic’s story?

A:  Pacing is everything.  I always think of a comic as a song.  Each panel is a part of the rhythm.  But like any good song the rhythm doesn’t stay the same the whole time.  There are times where it gets fast and intense, other times it’ll slow down and be more calm. (even if the music isn’t slow and calm.) Comics should be planned out the same way.  Some parts should have fast rhythm of Panels, other parts should have a slow calm rhythm, even if the events in the panels aren’t slow and calm.


Q: What are the story elements a good story should have.

A: A good story should make the reader want to know what happens next.  There are a ton of ways to do this.  It can be through suspenseful events, nail biting action, compelling character interactions, riveting emotional exploration, the list goes on and on.  But even more important than that, is make the characters feel like real people.  Give them real emotions and reactions and motivations. If they feel like real human beings to the reader, the reader will care about them.  If they care about them they’ll want to read to see what happens next, and you got yourself a good comic story.


I think that does it for today.  Tomorrow is a tutorial tuesday..I hope… (life is getting crazy for this next month)

but in the mean time check me out around the web:


And remember, Make Comics! No Excuses!!