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  • Shalvey Thumbnails for Thunderbolts 172

    While we’re looking at process stuff, I thought you’d like to see how Declan Shalvey lays out a comic book. He always figures the whole thing out in two batches of thumbnails and it lets me read a tiny, rough version of the whole book. This is why his compositions are so strong- when you can figure out all that action and discern those characters in thumbnails, it’s going to have a lot of presence and clarity drawn big. It also serves him for pacing the book, giving scenes their own style of layout without repeating approaches. Maybe he’ll pop into the comments here and say more!


    Comment from Declan Shalvey
    Time: April 6, 2012, 11:14 am

    Hey Parkerfans!

    Jeff; I’m glad you think the layouts help make the composition of the final pages stronger. I found that working out my pages that size helped me solve all the storytelling problems, decide a lot of my blackspotting, etc. Also I found it helped me inject some small, spontaneous gestural drawings into the pages that otherwise might get placed awkwardly, or even get overworked.

    Solving problems in that smaller size saves me a lot of time when it comes to drawing the final pages, even though it takes me a couple of days to put these together.


    Comment from Jason Welborn
    Time: April 6, 2012, 12:26 pm

    Declan has quickly become one of my favorite artists in the industry and its easy to see why! I’m also curious just how small are these thumbnails? Also what do the letters at the bottom of pg 11 mean? Does it have something to do with polar bears or hatches?

    Comment from Parker
    Time: April 6, 2012, 12:44 pm

    It’s a code you have to break!

    Comment from Declan Shalvey
    Time: April 6, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Ah thanks Jason!

    I have a sketchbook for my layouts where I make 50x75mm boxes. I’ll scan tham, blow them up on photoshop and lightbox them off the computer screen.

    The letters on the bottom of page 11 actually signify the Underbolt characters (B for Boomerang, etc) There were a lot of characters in this arc and I had to be sure where they all were going to be placed in that panel as it would affect later panels. It also helped to make sure I had all of the characters in there.


    Comment from Jason Welborn
    Time: April 10, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Bummer! I was hoping those letters might lead to some pirate treasure that I could hunt for with my eccentric buddies. (This has nothing to do with me watching Goonies recently by the way.)

    Those are great layouts! I was wondering about the size because I’ve been trying to work on my own comic book and I didn’t know if I was spending to much time on the thumbnail layouts or if they were too big. I hadn’t thought about using the computer screen as a light box. I will have to try that.

    It does make sense to solve most problems on the small scale, but just don’t get carried away with the rendering. That is what I will take away from this, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Quick gestural drawings were always my favorite figure drawing anyways!

    Thanks guys!