Dagon “How To”

I’ve gotten a couple of questions about the how and why of the Dagon comic strip I am working on so I decided to write a blog post showing how I am doing it. I am hoping to eventually place Dagon with a publisher who prints in color, but it might also see final print in BW… so one of the challenges was trying to make it work in both. Here is page 5 as it looks now (I’m not certain this is complete… this is just how it looks now):

Dagon p5 72

Dagon is a very early (1917) story by H.P. Lovecraft that concerns a man who finds himself aboard a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. While he sleeps, the lifeboat becomes mired in a muddy continent that rises up underneath the boat. He sets out to explore the land and discovers evidence of an earlier, non-human undersea civilization that drives him mad. He later wakes up in the hospital and is told that he was picked up in his lifeboat — no one believes him. The story ends with his mental and emotional collapse since he is convinced the creatures dwelling beneath the ocean are coming for him and/or humanity. I’m calling my version an ‘adaptation’ since I changed a few things.

I started by reading ‘Dagon’ a couple of times (link here) and writing out a ‘script’ describing what I wanted to have happen. I then used paper and pencil to rough out the comic book… it came out to 20 pages. Here is page 5 in the rough:

dagon p5 rough 72dpi

As you can see, I used the computer to add the quotes from Lovecraft I would use (replacing my chicken scratch handwriting) and used the computer to move the text around(that took a surprisingly long time). When I had it all laid out, I started on final art. Unusual for me, I did this one 100% digitally (aside from the layout rough). My program of choice was Manga Studio. I like Manga Studio’s G-Pen tool, but actually that’s about the only tool in it I use (other than eraser). It has all sorts of other features that I don’t really like or are too hard for an impatient person like me to figure out. That said, I like it’s drawing tool so much that I would pay a lot more that the ~$50.00 they charged me for it. After drawing the BW, page 5 looked like this:

Dagon p5 72 dpi

Although I like drawing with Manga studio, I’m pretty sure it will not replace ink on paper for me. While I like the line quality of the G-pen tool, I also really like the marks I can get with my old fashioned quill pen and some of the digital stuff sometimes starts to look a little generic when I compare it to my pen and ink stuff. One of the things it is great for are drawings where one has to make a lot of changes and alterations.

In any case, I’m hoping that I will be able to finish this and place it with a publisher soon – AFAIK, no one else has done the ‘Dagon’ story and I am happy with my take on it.

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