kevin mellon


Page Process - Suicide Sisters #1 page 5

Since I'm low on shit to post these days (too much work I can't show), so I'm running through shit and seeing what process stuff I can throw on here.

I wrote the script for Suicide Sisters very loosely from what you'd normally read for a comic script. It was very much a mix of stage play and Marvel style script. I focused on beats and action and intentions rather than describing things in a verbose manner. I don't like reading verbose scripts with too much direction, so I don't write them that way either. Any description I do put in is more for the benefit of anyone reading it than for myself.

Suicide Sisters Script excerpt

Those are the page plots for pages 5-7, what I'm going to show you here is page 5.

Since I wrote the whole story out and am doing all of the art and writing myself, I also broke down the whole story into very basic thumbnails in order to know how things would play and to have the ability to edit where I needed. It's a lot easier for me to see what needs to be moved around or excised when you're looking at thumbnails than it is for me to read a script.

(I've since slightly changed how I script, I tend to further break down the pages into simple panel beats. Which really means I just take what you see in the above paragraphs and make each sentence/or action a panel or two. Since I know I'll be drawing it, they're kind of arbitrary, but it does allow me latitude to sort of "visualize" how the page will break up before the thumbnailing stage. Also, since most of what I'm writing won't get drawn for 6-12 months, it's a good way to remind myself what I was thinking. I use Celt.x to script with now, also. It's ease of use has forced me into the good habit of outlining).

This page, all the work was done in the thumbnail stage, so there wasn't much to dick around with, just nailing the action beats that I had in my head. You can also see that I had initially intended for Dora to be the one doing the majority of the action on this page. I switched it to Cora when I realized that Dora did the majority of the talking over the next few pages after this and wanted Cora to have a moment to herself. Also, with them tossing the gun back and forth to each other, it made more sense for it to start with Dora tossing it to Cora that way the gun would end up back in Dora's hands for the start of the talking scene on pages 7 and 8.


Next I did a tighter comp to clean up story-telling and block everything in so that the page reads correctly and I have a solid foundation from which to do my "tight" pencils and inks. Here is where I also digitally dropped in some perspective lines to help me out in the penciling and inking stage. (This was before I moved all of my thumbnailing/rough pencil process to being completely digital)(I kind of miss this way of working and am thinking of going back to it).

You can also see this is where I flipped the action of the gun being tossed to read from right to left so that on the bottom tier of panels, she catches it and it reads "correctly" from left to right. You'll also notice that the bottom tier is one panel with 2 actions. I was worried about it all reading correctly, but this seems to be the page that grabs people the most when "reading." If you pull something like this off, it should be unnoticeable that you even caused a difference in the flow of reading the page.


I then scan in that layout and blow it up to fit an 11x17 piece of bristol and print it out in either a light cyan or a light grey. Never more than 10%, no matter which color you choose.

After printing it out, I 'tight' pencil, fixing anatomy, facial structure and putting in all the guidelines that I'll need to draw over in ink.


Then I go on to the inks. Suicide Sisters is inked using a Hunt 107 nib for 95% of the line-work. I use a Windsor & Newton Series 7 #'s 000, 001 and 002 for doing some of the larger faces and for Dora's dark flowing hair. And for filling in blacks, obvs.


And then on to color. I scan in at 600 dpi, send it to a flatter to block in the color and when I get it back from them I change the colors that I need to to fit my palette for the book and go to town. The flats and final color are done in CMYK at 400 dpi. I'm way too slow at coloring, but am working to get faster. This page will likely undergo some revisions before seeing print, but you get the basic idea.


Hope you enjoyed the sneak-peek.