Inktober 2017: The making of a comic book

“Little the Cat” – Pages 1 – 3

Inktober is well underway. We’re now more than half-way through the month’s 31 day challenge and things are going well.

For those of you unfamiliar with Inktober, it’s a challenge dreamed up by artist Jake Parker to help him improve his art and build discipline. Inktober has grown each year to become an enormously popular challenge and hashtag on social networks where hundreds of thousands of artists commit to creating and submitting a new piece of art each day that was created using ink.

2016 was my first year participating. It was great fun and definitely lived up to the moniker of “challenge”. Jake produces a list of trigger words each year to help & challenge creators to stretch themselves and step out of their comfort zone. Last time I followed along with each day’s keyword and produced some art that I was very proud of — drawings that I didn’t think myself capable of. At the end of the month I managed to produce 29 new drawings (I missed 2 days) to help fill my first sketchbook.

“Little the Cat” – Penciling a panel

A year later, I was in the middle of writing a comic book script and playing with some character designs with the naive hope to have a full 30+ page comic book completed by the end of the year. As I learned more about writing, story telling, and the book making process I realized I had bitten off more than I could hope to complete in a few short months.

With a few weeks until Inktober 2017, I decided to put my “work in progress” on hold and try my hand at a short story comic that I could draw in a month and hopefully have printed or published on one of the various webcomic platforms. This would be an opportunity to learn about the comic book creation process with a “throw-away” story and a lot less pressure. Inktober would serve as a motivator and set my deadlines.

“Little the Cat” – Watercoloring a panel

Now that we are twenty-two days in to the challenge, I have five fully inked comic book pages completed with roughly five pages to go — I’m doing some late editing . It looks like I may run over the allotted 31 days but the bulk of the pages should be completed.

I’m planning to scan each of the inked pages then add captions, sound effects, and speech bubbles digitally. With the addition of a title page I’m planning to have a small print run made and be able to hold my very first comic book in hand by the end of the year.

If you want to follow along, I’m posting each day’s comic panel on my Instagram feed.

Inktober 2016: Catchup

As Inktober 2017 starts this year, I realized how behind I am on updating this site. Instead of tediously adding one post per remaining Inktober submission from last year, here is the final round up of the entire challenge.

I’ll post again soon to share what I’m working on for Inktober 2017 as well as what I worked on over the past year.

Inktober 2016

Toy Store

Inktober Day 5, "Sad"
Inktober Day 5, “Sad”
Oct 5, 2016

This one came out just as I had imagined it. I did find a few references for the store front, but ones that matched my original minds eye. Even the figures turned out okay — I’m still learning how to draw people and poses.

The mother figure was drawn from reference of a photo I took in France of my wife silhouetted in front of a merry-go-round. I imagined the bunny from the very start.

This is my first try mixing Copic markers and colored pencil. It worked pretty well for adding weathering to the scene. This is also my first try with a warm grey Copic marker which helped add an organic feel to the wood and concrete.

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned Cocktail

2 am last night. Indian Summer. Too hot, too sweaty. Too much coffee late at work. Tired, but my brain is much too awake to sleep.

Took this photo of an “Old Fashioned” cocktail at The Interval last Saturday. The beautiful color and lighting has beckoned to me ever since.

Sketched with a mechanical pencil, inked with a Pigma Micron and a Tomboy brush pen. Shading with warm and cool grey Faber Castle brush pens. I tried to add the white highlights using a white Gelly Roll pen, but it didn’t mix well with the Faber Castle ink and ended up blending instead of popping the whites.

Turned out okay, but wish I had the tools and talent to capture the caramel color of the whiskey and the brilliant highlights. Add these to the practice list.

Now, time to sleep.



I see this scene every time I leave my flat. Finally took a photo with my iPhone on the way out to get coffee this morning thinking it would make great source material to practice drawing perspective and shading.

Pulled out my trusty 2B pencil, my multi liners, and a couple of grey markers and quickly found myself overmatched.

But, I pushed through my mistakes and it turned out better than I expected. I definitely learned a few things, namely that I need to continuely challenge myself or I won’t improve.

Source Comparison