The Work of Joe Gillespie

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Making Comics with Adobe InDesign

As a graphic designer, I have been using InDesign professionally for the past 5 years. I find it to be a great tool to flow text for advertisements, brochures, annual reports and various other publications. While I don’t recommend designing exclusively in the program, it is a great complementary tool for executing most of the workload in my day to day job.

InDesign is an Adobe product which they describe it as a “professional page layout software for print and digital publishing”. And that is exactly what I am using it for when I make my weekly comic, Night Ninja and the Thirty Feats of Fear.

When I first started researching how people were creating their own comics, I found that many people were using Adobe Photoshop for the lettering and outputting of their work. While Adobe Photoshop is a great option if that is the only software you have available, it wasn’t necessarily designed for that purpose. I know from experience that layers in Photoshop files can get out of hand very quickly, especially when you are coloring complex artwork. But adding in 15 more layers for word bubbles and another 15 for the dialogue can drive you crazy.

So for that fact alone, Photoshop wasn’t going to be an option for anything other than touching up and coloring my original art.

I also saw that some people were recommending Adobe Illustrator for placing the artwork and lettering on a separate layer. This works well because Illustrator is the perfect tool for vector-drawing. Vector drawings are able to scaled without any distortion. So you can create a word balloon and make it bigger or smaller for the amount of text needed without any of the blurry, pixel issues from Photoshop.

Using Illustrator is actually what I did for the first 5 weeks of Night Ninja, but after files and folders began to pile up  I thought about the end goal. What is it that I want to do with these pages in the long run?

Publish a comic or graphic novel.

If I am going to publish a comic after 20 pages or a graphic novel after 120, why would I want to work with 20 or 120 files? Why not work in a book format to begin with and use a tool that is designed specifically for flowing pages and making books?

Adobe InDesign is what I should have been using from the start. Over the next few articles I plan on highlighting some of the features I think people should be using for making comics. While I do not make comics professionally, I do think my points are valid and many people might find it useful.

Next Friday: Setting up your book and master pages

dynamocity:

Night Ninja and the Thirty Feats of Fear week 12.
You might think that two ninjas walking in a forest looking to face down 30 feats would take a look behind them every wince in a while. Maybe we should cut them some slack? They are pretty new at this…

New Night Ninja up at dynamocity  check it out today!

dynamocity:

Night Ninja and the Thirty Feats of Fear week 12.

You might think that two ninjas walking in a forest looking to face down 30 feats would take a look behind them every wince in a while. Maybe we should cut them some slack? They are pretty new at this…

New Night Ninja up at dynamocity check it out today!
Used a thicker brush this week for a bolder look. Hope you check it out tomorrow! #makecomics #inking

Used a thicker brush this week for a bolder look. Hope you check it out tomorrow! #makecomics #inking

Apr 3

maplekeycomics:

tigermountain:

Very excited to announce I have a new comic written by Pete Toms up on Study Group!

It’s about Branwell a recently orphaned girl who ends up working with Pops a tough child cop at an orphan police squad.

Read The Short Con

Aleks Sennwald and Pete Toms

Apr 3
comicbookcovers:

Captain America #286, October 1983, cover by Mike Zeck and John Beatty

Wait, what is Deathlock pointing at Captain America here? There is no barrel on the gun, right?

comicbookcovers:

Captain America #286, October 1983, cover by Mike Zeck and John Beatty

Wait, what is Deathlock pointing at Captain America here? There is no barrel on the gun, right?

Apr 3
dynamocity:

Night Ninja and the Thirty Feats of Fear week 10.

New Night Ninja from yesterday, hope you check it out!

dynamocity:

Night Ninja and the Thirty Feats of Fear week 10.

New Night Ninja from yesterday, hope you check it out!

dynamocity:

Night Ninja and the Thirty Feats of Fear, week 9.

New Night Ninja up now on DynamoCity.org. Check it out and feel free to share if you enjoy, thanks!

dynamocity:

Night Ninja and the Thirty Feats of Fear, week 9.

New Night Ninja up now on DynamoCity.org. Check it out and feel free to share if you enjoy, thanks!

Night Ninja week 9 drops tomorrow at dynamocity.org. Hope you check it out! 

Night Ninja week 9 drops tomorrow at dynamocity.org. Hope you check it out! 

inkpuddlesketches:

You know sometimes you make promises: promises to children, to loved ones, to back-alley prostitutes, and sometimes you make a promise to yourself.  For me, I made a promise to myself to complete a submission to Shaqzine. And here it is.

Hilarious!

inkpuddlesketches:

You know sometimes you make promises: promises to children, to loved ones, to back-alley prostitutes, and sometimes you make a promise to yourself.  For me, I made a promise to myself to complete a submission to Shaqzine. And here it is.

Hilarious!

New Night Ninja #webcomic is now up on Dynamo City. Check it out! #makecomics #comics #illustration

New Night Ninja #webcomic is now up on Dynamo City. Check it out! #makecomics #comics #illustration

New Night Ninja is now up at Dynamocity.org.

New Night Ninja is now up at Dynamocity.org.

runmonsterun:

Rooftop Baseball and the Gotham Selfie Olympics.

2 different versions of a print, haven’t decided which one I’ll be printing, though! May Touch up later.

Edit: I posted the wrong crop…..

Quite awesome. 

Been a crazy week but Night Ninja will be on time. Look for it tomorrow around 10:00 am. #nofilter #art #makecomics

Been a crazy week but Night Ninja will be on time. Look for it tomorrow around 10:00 am. #nofilter #art #makecomics

Have to get this week done today, big freelance job coming in tomorrow. #makecomics #illutration #pencils

Have to get this week done today, big freelance job coming in tomorrow. #makecomics #illutration #pencils

New physician announcement cards back from the printer. I like the short fold reveal. #design #directmailer

New physician announcement cards back from the printer. I like the short fold reveal. #design #directmailer