Evolution of a pannel!

I thought it might be cool to show you a bit of my process, and how the work changes as it evolves. Check it:

1. Idea ~ The first stage in my comic process; I am struck with an idea, yet I somehow  resist the ever present urge to kill.

2. Writing ~ My “writing” process happens on ordinary, cheap, spiral notebooks, which can be had for like, a dollar. In this stage, the art is super slap dash, often only a few lines. It’s ordinarily just enough for me to look at it and know what I’m going to be drawing later, but other people can’t often make out what they’re looking at. Even so, sometimes I like these original, more gestural drawings better. Also, there is text included at this stage, though it often changes before the final product is finished. Here is a panel from issue five in this stage:


3- Drawing (stage 1) ~ 18 X 24 drawing pads are used for the pencil stage, usually Strathmore, but I’m not too picky on that. I mark out the dimensions of my page and each of the panels, and then I draw each of the illustrations in a sloppy fashion using a softer pencil, at least a 2B.
24- Drawing (Stage 2) ~ Harder pencils are used to retrace my drawings, correct mistakes and add detais, and darker, sloppier lines are erased. I use hard leads, at least a 4H, because it closely replicates the experience of using a pen. At this stage no values are included, and things are reduced to stark contrasts and positive and negative spaces.

35- Ink! ~ I staple a large bristol sheet over the drawing page and then trace my original drawing over using ink pens and a light board. I prefer to use fine pens for 95% of the line work, .05 or .03s, often Copic Multiliners or LePens. For the fill, obviously, I will use thicker points, sometimes a .1, a .3, or a .5, but anything thicker is relatively worthless to me. I burn through these pens pretty fast.

6- Color~ I hand color each page using art markers. At this point my marker use is at about 60% Prismacolors and 40% Copic Sketch markers. I use the brush ended Prismacolors, and mostly use the brush ends of any marker that I use. I color pretty fast, so it ends up being a little sloppy. At this point I will start to layer and use some minor blending with the markers to add value, but I still think the end result looks a little more stylized and flat, which is my preference.


From here, the pages are scanned, cleaned up (Notice all the splotches in the gutters around each panel- that has got to go!) and then the lettering stage begins, which is my least favorite part. Yeah… Some changes are going to be made regarding my lettering process. So…. Anyway. I hope you enjoyed this little look into how I make my comics. Party on, everybody.


How (and why) to say “Architeuthis Joe”

So, the character of Architeuthis Joe is much, much older than fantasticcrapcomics.com. I’ve been making crude, pen on paper comics called Fantastic Crap since around 1998, and the character of Architeuthis Joe was introduced as a minor character, a sort of foil for an un-named pirate captain to hunt, in a short one page comic. I came up with the name ‘Architeuthis Joe’ Due to a misunderstanding of how to pronounce ‘Architeuthis Dux’, the Latin name for a species of giant squid (I’ve always been very interested in cryptozoology and monsters.) Thinking that ‘Dux’ was ‘Deux,’ the French word for ‘two’, I mispronounced it as “Dough,” which, of course, rhymes with “Joe.” Therefore, here we are years and years later, with a character founded on ignorance. How appropriate.

In related news, I just now, about ten minutes ago, realized I may have been saying “Architeuthis” wrong all these years also, which is significantly more upsetting. According to the internet, you don’t pronounce the ‘TH’ noise, substituting that with an ordinary ‘T’ sound. So…. I guess you say it “ARK-KAY-TOO-TIS.” Sounds stupid to me. I’ve BEEN saying it “ARK-I-TOO-THUS”, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s how Joe says it, too. So, chalk it up to regional dialect or something, according to me, and him, it is pronounced “ARK-I-TOO-THUS,” and that’s just the end of it.

Also, I’m really, really excited to spring new issues on you guys. I hope people enjoy what I’ve got cookin’. Issue 3 is already finished, issue 4 is nearly done, and I have issues 5,6, and part of 7 written, sketched and ready to rock when the time comes.

Comic Rocket! 2,000 likes!

Hello, everybody.

We’ve cruised by a new milestone on our Facebook page recently; at this time Fantastic Crap Comics has well over 2,000 likes on Facebook, which is truly wonderful. In addition, we will soon be joining the Comic Rocket family, and will be featured in their web comic database, so with any luck that will bring us more traffic and more readers, something I am again very pleased about.

We’re also about halfway through issue 2 right now, so I thought I’d give you a peek at the cover for issue 3 (It may undergo a few revisions before it goes up for real.)


I’d like to again say thanks to all the people and automated spam robots who frequent the crap out of this site. Thanks!

Work keeps on being worked.

Alright, time for an update!

Production continues on issue number four; which I hope goes over well when it is eventually published on here. It’s going to be twice the length of a normal issue, which doesn’t really mean anything when issues are released page by page, but still. Meanwhile, issue 5 is written, and issue six is being written as I work on issue 4.

One thing worth mentioning is that I have a lot of references and homages in issue 2, being posted currently. Every issue actually has tons of that, but issue 2 more so than any other so far. If any stalwart young nerds out there think they can spot all my parodies, drop me a line and give it a try! Perhaps some kind of prize can be issued, if someone can actually find them all.