There are some parts of the drawing process that feel close to rituals for me.

Cleaning out a pen for drawing borders is one I actually miss – declogging a rotring isograph’s inner workings to let the black gold flow in perfect 1.4mm width had to be done every weeks, in order to lay out panel borders.

Clip Studio paint and it’s always perfectly crisp lines have replaced it totally, which is a pity really because you feel sometimes that you miss that moment of comtemplation that is both required for drawing but not part of drawing.

Rubbing the pencils of a page out, after inking. That’s gone too, for me. Though I admit, I miss this a lot less – the danger that you top right of the page will suddenly crumple in as you work the eraser over the page was always very real. I print in blue lines and ink over them, no more rubbing. No more collected smotes of eraser rubber needing brushed off before a scan.

Actually I’m glad I don’t have to do that stuff anymore.

Cleaning down the studio after completing a book. That’s a good one, My favourite, in fact. Clear the desks, clean the drawing table (scrapping off encrusted ink that’s built up over the month you’ve been inking). Putting pages and pages of a book away in as drawer. Knowing it’s all scanned in hi res and the originals will probably never be seen again (why not just burn then? That would have a cathartic resonance, surely?)

Tearing the plastic wrap off a new clean block of A3 bristol board, tearing off its cover and marking the margins for the first time. I like that.

Anyway, M is now finished. On to the next thing (TV stuff and TANKS!)


Author: PJ

Belfast based Comic Artist who won’t shut up on twitter.