What Goes Into Comic Art?


By: Michael Nunneley

    Have you ever wondered what all goes into the production of a comic book? I have. So I looked into it. There are several steps involved.


    The writer tells the artist what to draw in a visionary fashion. But it is the penciler that works like a director on a film. He/she puts in background and foreground images to create depth and the sense of a greater world. The penciler chooses the angles of the shots and the lighting angles. But more than the director, the penciler is also the actors as he/she must create the action, express the emotion and do it all consistently throughout the book. That means the heroes, villains, places and vehicles looks the same on the first panel as they do on the third and fourth panels.


Once the panels are drawn by the penciler they are given over to the inker. Now the penciler you could say puts down the foundation of the house, but it is the inker that puts up all framework, electrical and plumbing. The Inker goes over what the penciler draws but he adds shading and dimension to the images. They take the two-dimensional foundation and make them three-dimensional panels.


Sticking with the house analogy, the pencils lay down the foundation, the inkers build the framework, but it is the colorist who finishes the house. This not only brings vividness to the images it often adds another layer of dimension to the panels through color variations. While the pencils and inks set the image it doesn’t come to life until the colorist gets a hold of it.

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