The Journey Drafts

The Journey Drafts


There’s a sick comic by James Callahan in the September Thrasher that's in shops now. Even his sketches and drafts looked cool by themselves, so we thought we’d show them here. The whole thing started when James had a Canvas last year. He contacted us to say thanks, and mentioned that he’d be up for doing something else if we ever wanted. Well, we wanted, and this is what we came up with. James describes each step below. Click images to enlarge.

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“After kicking around some ideas together over email, mag-staff guy Adam Creagan sent this storyboard/doodle of what the spread might look like, including descriptions of each stage, and the magazine dimensions I had to work within. This was the map to start the project from.”

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“These are pencils sketches. This is the stage where the most problem-solving occurs. An image with this much going on requires planning so that it doesn’t turn into a pile of indecipherable garbage. I usually draw an image larger than it will be printed in order to give myself room for detail. In this case, the originals are nearly twice the size of what appeared in print.”

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“Now, the art gets put into ink. Most of the visual information should be figured out before this point, and from here it’s just going through the motions. For me, this is the funnest part of the process. It’s a chance to really solidify a style to represent the drawing and your work. It’s also the stage where all the small flourishes and details get to be inserted.”

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“Scanning and coloring comes next. With an original this big, multiple scans are pieced together. Coloring on the computer is less fun than doing it by hand, but easier to change if needed. It can be outright boring to color on the computer, actually. This is where it gets hard for me not to say 'To hell with it' and go skating. Instead, I put on my favorite records and zone out for three days.”

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“The end product. The text-box descriptions help push the story along and make sense of the madness. The Thrasher guys placed these on top of the final artwork in the application InDesign. This gives you room to nudge the boxes a bit here or there, instead of locking them into the artwork.”
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