A friend mentioned to me that her son was interested in being a comic book artist and she asked what sort of tools I use, because it seemed sort of expensive. I’ve had this asked of me and my friends several times lately, usually by younger kids at the Krypton Artist Jams. When I was younger, I thought there was supposed to be the right pencils and the right books and the right pens you were supposed to use. The thought being that if you had the right stuff, you would be successful.
I had all the books, a ton of pencils, special pens, a drafting table – the whole nine. What do I use today? A 4H pencil, a sketchbook, a scanner, and a set of cheap brush pens for when I do inked sketches. That is it. One of my pro friends uses a little clipboard and a mechanical pencil. The point here is that eventually you figure out what tools work for you and then you learn those.
And with comics? All you need is a No. 2 pencil and typing paper, which is also what I ended up using over all those other tools when I was a kid anyway. Comics are great in the sense that anyone can do it, you just need a pencil and paper. Those are the only tools you need and they are readily accessible to anyone. Sure, I do most of my work digitally today, but there are legions of professionals who work for the “Big 2” who only have a table and a couple of pens/brushes or pencils to mark up their bristol board. Don’t let the tools get in the way. Find what works for you and stick with it.
You can also browse through the Parlor archives.
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