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…
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…
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…
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.
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…
Now it’s time to go over the pencil sketch with the fine point of the Sharpie 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…..
Now it’s time to scan the comic sketch to the computer, first removing the copy of PlaySquirrel ES had in there…
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.
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…
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”
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…
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.
And of course, the final step is to post it on his blog for the whole world to shake their head at….
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
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.
Well, if I don’t scritch him he’ll never get down… and I’ll have to shut down this blog for lack of computer access….
quick! i can save you! you must flee! FLEE!!!! or, at the very least, eat him already. jeeze.
He isn’t going anywhere… unless he wants to go out in the snow. Then all the wild squirrels will laugh at him as well…
Gotta love being owned by a cat. 🙂
Thank you also for sharing your process 😉
Now everyone out there can create their own comics to entertain me! If I can do it, anybody can!
But that is what I have you for 🙂
Well, that was fun! Gotta love that kitteh! 😉
Very interesting. Thanks for the peek behind the curtain, Ody!
Poopyhead says you’re welcome!
Love the peek into the creative process. And Ody is super handsome!
This was really cool 🙂 Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes 🙂 And Ody is cute. : )
All these comments…. Ody is going to have an even bigger head for me to deal with! LOL!
Oh the fluffy,wuffy cute sweetum!
I loved seeing the way your pencil drawn comics are created! What an artistic process! =)
Yes it is! That should bash the myth that I used an assembly line of cheap squirrel labor to create them…..
One thousand squirrels at one thousand typewriters couldn’t come up with the brilliance that is Evil Squirrel’s Nest! =)
Could ES’s Nest use a white Brazilian jailbreaking cat?
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Wow. That’s a LOT of work. And what would we do without Photoshop? We all depend on it for so many things. Yikes.
I used to be afraid of Photoshop! It looked so daunting. I can’t imagine making art without it anymore, though…
It’s the heart of my photo process too!
Creative minds always seem to work better with fur-inspiration.