Monday, May 23, 2011

I Dare You - A Mini-Comic Process Post

Finishing up my submission for the Art & Story 2011 Mini-Comics Dump Truck I thought I would post a bit of the process behind how I create a mini-comic. 

I wrote the script for this more casually than I normally do write. That's the fun of a mini-comic...the story is shorter and in this case the dialogue minimal. All I required to direct the art was an outline of bullet-points which I jotted on a small scrap of paper...and I could begin penciling.

I knew my finished mini would be roughly 4.25" x 5.5". I used the proportion wheel (shown above) to dictate how big my penciled pages could be. I ended up penciling all my pages at 6" x 7.5" allowing 2 pages per 11" x 14" sheet of strathmore bristol.

After pencils and inks were done I scanned all my pages as 450dpi tiffs into Adobe Photoshop where I could clean-up the art and add shading. I print all my mini-comics out on a small, HP laser printer...printing pages on one side and then re-feeding the sheets so the other side can be printed with other pages. So, Photoshop is also where I layout my printing template so once pages are printed and assembled the story is properly collated.

Since I am very visual person the best way to properly layout my Photoshop template is to make small mock-up. This maquette is tiny! It shows page numbers (the T stands for Transparency...which a couple of pages in this mini are printed on vellum), what pages go together and the direction those pages should face on the template. 

Here's a sample of what my template looks like in Photoshop. The template is a 300dpi, 8.5" x 11" PSD file...allowing 2 comics from one printing.

Once my sheets were printed I was able to concentrate on my covers! For this mini I utilized two processes...I screen-printed the title and letterpressed a design.

Above shows the covers already screen-printed and trimmed for the letterpress. I have a small, table-top, clam press that makes small-run letterpressing a breeze! Here is my artwork transferred to a magnesium block (via services like Owosso Graphics), clamped into the 6" x 9" bed and ready for embossing.

Set up for assembly!

Edges trimmed to a clean 4" x 5" mini-comic with a heavy-duty, manual paper cutter.

And Voila! Copies of my newest mini-comic: I Dare You - 28 pages, Black & White

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The second book to my comic series The Ghosts of Pineville is now finished! FINISHED! If you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy…I have a bunch of Pre-Order Packs now available that come with all kinds of little extras! Thanks!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Preview video for The Ghosts of Pineville - Book 2

This is the preview for Book 2 of the series - Eye of the Death Mongrel - being published June 2011, Make Like A Tree Comics

Art and story by Sara L. Turner. ©2011
For more info please visit:

Music Credits-
"Tea Merchants"
from the album "systems/layers"
Copyright 2003 Quarterstick Records, BMI 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Share the Love

Hey! There's a SHARE THE LOVE contest at the Illustrated Section. If you like (or love ;) ) Ghosts of Pineville Book One...please mosey on over and let people know. You could win a super prize...and all the gratitude I have to offer!

Prepping the book for print.

Oh my gosh! I've finished Book 2! It is all penciled, inked, halftoned & lettered...even the fun, extra pages! All 86 pages. Now it is going through a second round of proofing. What I mean is after reading through for grammar and spelling mistakes I've handed it off to a trusted source for another couple reads. Believe me...IT IS SO EASY to miss those little things. When my first book went to print...I not only proofed it but gave the comic to 2 others. Still...after I had the tangible book in my hand...I found 2 more mistakes (which are now corrected). I'm trying to learn, be patient and diligent with the proofing stage. I'm just WAY excited to see the book in print!

This proofing process is working a little differently than in the past. Before I would print out each page to hand to whoever was helping me edit. It would take a lot of time...and a lot of paper. But now...we are truly living in the future! I laid out the book out in InDesign, created a PDF, (a process I would do anyway in this day of digital downloads) added the book to my iPad and gave that to my editors. Now, I highly trust the people who help me proof so I have no problem handing over my iPad for a few days. But you should always have trust in your proofers, right?

After a couple weeks of reading and re-reading the book I will be taking it to Ka-Blam to be printed. Ka-Blam is a Print On Demand service that allows us authors to print books without investing a ton of money in a ton of books. And they do a fabulous job! They've printed many jobs for me! The Ghosts of Pineville series is printed 6" x 9" and though this is considered a custom size for Ka-Blam...they have always printed perfectly.


So, while I patiently proof The Ghosts of Pineville - Book 2 I will start penciling pages on the mini comic I'm creating for the Art & Story Mini Comics Dump Truck! These will be my 2 major comics projects for 2011.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gah! Celebrate! I've finished inking all my pages... I have to halftone and letter this last batch of pages...and then proof the book...perhaps get a few friends to also proof the will be ready to print!!! 82 pages, yo!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Last minute revisions

I've managed to make excellent progress on the book. I now have up to page 79 penciled and inked. Now the story has always been 80 pages. The draft has told me this from the start. But as I crept closer and closer to the very last page it became clear it needed something....else.

It needed a better ending.

I've taken a few days to think about it. How could the story's theme and the character's growth be better summed up? Well, I think I've come up with it and I'm super pleased. It's such a perfect note (the one I've known, in the back of my mind, is the cornerstone of this entire series)...I can't believe I had to struggle so hard to see it clearly. But these are the things you learn along the way, i suppose.

The story for Book Two is now 2 pages longer than originally planned. 2 pages made the difference (to me). So, I'm excited to jump right in and start with what will be the last pages of the book! wow.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Front & Back Cover

Exciting, exciting! I only have 2 more pages to pencil before I'm finished with Book 2. I'll have to ink and halftone this last batch of 12 pages...but close to finishing this story. I was motivated by the taste of achievement and decided to go ahead and design the back cover!

I wanted to have a wrapped design just like the first book...but had already designed the front as a separate piece. So, I continued the illustration and connected the two in Photoshop. Pretty pleased with how the design turned out!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Snapshots of latest pencils...

Only 10 more pages to pencil before Book 2 is finished! Really enjoying how these last pages are coming out. They contain the climax of the story. I was nervous about the story...and the layouts I thumb-nailed...but jumping right in seems to be working!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ink Washes

-First Kisses-
A couple little images of the Ghosts of Pineville characters as I would have them paired :)

Ink-wash on watercolor paper using Winsor & Newton series 7 Brushes and Speedball Super Black Waterproof India Ink. 2.5” x 3.5”

Monday, March 7, 2011


Met another goal...was able to pencil and ink up to page 65 before mid March! After I halftone this small batch of pages...I only have 15 pages left!!! I plan on having the story complete for print for early May. Really enjoying how my inking is evolving.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Part II of Book II

Finished penciling part two (as the story was written in the classic 3 part structure)! Planning on inking and halftoning this batch of pages before moving on to part 3...which will be starting on page 56. Moving right along!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

200 Portraits Project!

The 200 Portraits Project is a personal attempt at creating 200 trading-card sized portraits by the end of the year. It will be an exploration of my own drawing & inking style while an exercise in capturing likenesses that I would normally never draw. I’m hoping the project will not only improve my illustrative capabilities but my productivity through the new year!

So look for portraits on Tumblr as I finish them! (As of today...already on #12) I will be drawing characters from all my favorite books, films and TV shows…along with my own characters. Feel free to suggest any. And wish me luck…

Mini-Comics Dump Truck

This year I'm participating in an Art & Story podcast's Mini Comics Dump Truck. It's a project where all participants are given 6 months to create their own mini-comic. It's also a club where once everyone is done we all swap our comics. 

It's perfect for me because I can work on my own, independent project while knowing others are working towards the same goal, in the same time-frame. Not only is it motivational to see a group's work come to life, but the same group can offer support, feedback and encouragement along the creative process. And it's great to see everyone get really excited about making comics!

So...I've started what will be my MCDT contribution! I have outlined and written the story and have thumb-nailed all my pages.

Funny Shaped Scars
20 pages
4.25" x 5.5"