Behind The Scenes

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Hello everybody, I’m Ody.  I’m one of the prisoner cats here in ES’s home, and it’s possible you may have seen a few pictures of me before on this blog in between the ten billion images of those stupid tree rats in the backyard and that fourth grade art ES likes to post here.  Here I am lounging around on MY computer desk.  Yes, ES likes to think it belongs to him, but I have found out when you are as cute as I am you can generally get things your way… well sometimes.  Unfortunately, I am not allowed on the desk when ES is creating… which is entirely too often.  Since I have a little computer time now while he’s away, I thought I’d give all of you readers out there a cat’s eye view of the process that goes into making an ES comic strip.  I promise you it will be much more fascinating than showing you pictures of Biskit hiding under the bed from everyone at Christmas….

First of all, ES needs to think of an idea he can turn into a comic strip.  Usually, they come to him while he’s away at night earning money to barely feed me.  However, sometimes he has to rack the brain at the last minute, and that usually involves a lot of pacing and listening to dreadful music on YouTube…

Just shoot me already.  I'm pretty sure there's a PETA violation somewhere here...

Just shoot me already. I’m pretty sure there’s a PETA violation somewhere here…

When an idea finally does come to him, it’s out with one of the ten hundred notepads ES stole from hotels to jot down an outline…

He's not a real artist, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

He’s not a real artist, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Of course, in this case, he had to resort to stealing an idea from poor Ms. Weinstein.  Maybe in exchange, you could take me and my stupid brother in?  I’ll bet we’d get fed on time every day!

Once the idea is jotted down, it’s time to actually sketch it out on paper.  ES, being the hack he is, creates his artwork on the kitchen table.  Something tells me Walt Disney didn’t get started this way…

Mmmmm, Sharpie!

Mmmmm, Sharpie!

Above you see the tools of the trade: one sheet of copy paper, cheap plastic back to school ruler for making the panel lines, dual point Sharpie marker, pencil, big fat eraser to throw at me when I get in the way, crappy Mecca pencil sharpener that doesn’t work, and of course the 44 ounce soda from Church’s Chicken.  No, I have no idea why ES is on blood pressure medication now…

ES starts by creating the comic grid, carefully dividing the paper into 6 equal sized sections.

Pretty soon me and Biskit will be able to play tic tac toe on the kitchen table.

Pretty soon me and Biskit will be able to play tic tac toe on the kitchen table.

Then comes the pencil sketch of the action.  Sometimes Biskit likes to jump up on the table at this time and rub up against ES while he’s drawing… it makes me laugh until I get plunked in the head with an eraser…

I can draw better than that with cat poop...

I can draw better than that with cat poop…

Now it’s time to go over the pencil sketch with the fine point of the Sharpie marker…

This is dreadful!  I think someone's been huffing the back end of the marker...

This is dreadful! I think someone’s been huffing the back end of the marker…

After allowing the Sharpie to dry for a bit, next ES retrieves the eraser from where he threw it at me and goes over the entire drawing to get rid of the pencil lines.  And the result…..

You've got to be kidding me.  That doesn't even belong on a mother's refrigerator.

You’ve got to be kidding me. That doesn’t even belong on a mother’s refrigerator.

Now it’s time to scan the comic sketch to the computer, first removing the copy of PlaySquirrel ES had in there…

You shoulda seen the time Spilly scanned his butt to the computer and put it on Facebook.

You shoulda seen the time Spilly scanned his butt to the computer and put it on Facebook.

Once the sketch has been turned into a ginormous image on ES’s computer, now it’s time to go in and edit out all of the sloppiness in the drawing.  This usually takes a few days since ES draws like a squirrel with no hands in an earthquake.

Welcome to MS Paint, the graphics software that gave us The Oregon Trail.

Welcome to MS Paint, the graphics software that gave us The Oregon Trail.

It also means that I am now barred from interrupting ES until he is done, so I lose all access to my computer desk.  Hmph!  I’ll just claw the crap out of your living room chair some more so you can throw some more duct tape upholstery on it.

Once all the rough edges have been hammered out, now it’s time to take the comic to Photoshop.  This is where the magic really happens…

Nice carpeting you have in that tree, ladies.

Nice carpeting you have in that tree, ladies.

ES starts by coloring the backgrounds of each panel, always going out of his way to be all fancy schmancy.  I’m glad he didn’t get to choose what color I was, or else I’d probably have a gradient as well and look like Nyan Cat.

ES has managed to learn to use Photoshop for doing a lot of the things he used to only be able to do in Paint.  In the below picture of the finished first panel, you can see he added the mouse-drawn text to MBRS’s bags and Angel’s book (as well as the acorns), and even managed to pull of the nice effect of having Angel blush at reading “Fifty Shades of Grey Squirrel”

Biological fact: Squirrels don't really blush, even the so-called innocent ones.

Biological fact: Squirrels don’t really blush, even the so-called innocent ones.

Once the coloring is done, now it’s time to add any special effects if called for.  And coming from the demented mind of ES, naturally they were indeed called for…

I don't know who gives me nightmares more, Max Headroom or Buster.

I don’t know who gives me nightmares more, Max Headroom or Buster.

Add the hideous dialogue and that stupid little squirrel logo, and voila!  A finished comic strip guaranteed to get as many laughs as back to back funerals.

Please laugh at ES's work, or he'll probably take it out on me and I won't get fed for a month!

Please laugh at ES’s work, or he’ll probably take it out on me and I won’t get fed for a month!

And of course, the final step is to post it on his blog for the whole world to shake their head at….

That spike in visitors a few hours ago must have been caused by a break at the Spongebob convention.

That spike in visitors a few hours ago must have been caused by a break at the Spongebob convention.

Whew!  Now that all of that’s over, I can FINALLY reclaim my proper place on the desk.  One of these days, I’ll learn to draw on my own, and you’ll really be impressed by what you see on this blog!  But until then…… Puuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Belly scritches...... now, please.

Belly scritches…… now, please.

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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23 Responses to Behind The Scenes

  1. fransiweinstein says:

    I think your cats are related to mine. Except they’re never banished from anywhere because they just don’t pay attention to poor Ms Weinstein :). So scritch him already.

  2. quick! i can save you! you must flee! FLEE!!!! or, at the very least, eat him already. jeeze.

  3. Gotta love being owned by a cat. 🙂

    Thank you also for sharing your process 😉

  4. Lynda says:

    Well, that was fun! Gotta love that kitteh! 😉

  5. Queen Fantine says:

    Very interesting. Thanks for the peek behind the curtain, Ody!

  6. pishnguyen says:

    Love the peek into the creative process. And Ody is super handsome!

  7. dogfordavid says:

    This was really cool 🙂 Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes 🙂 And Ody is cute. : )

  8. psquirrel says:

    I loved seeing the way your pencil drawn comics are created! What an artistic process! =)

  9. jarnon says:

    Could ES’s Nest use a white Brazilian jailbreaking cat?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20920848#TWEET501580

  10. Pingback: Make It! Challenge #7: Rainbow Donkey | Squirrel Picnic

  11. Wow. That’s a LOT of work. And what would we do without Photoshop? We all depend on it for so many things. Yikes.

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