1. Get a ruler.
2. Get a triangle. A triangle is like a ruler, only it’s shaped like a triangle. It costs like a couple of dollars.
3. Draw straight lines for your panel borders. Use right angles for the corners. That’s what a ruler and triangle can do for you.
4. Measure a distance between your first two panels and then keep using the exact same distance between all your panels in that comic. Those spaces between panels are called gutters. Inconsistently sized gutters look bad and amateurish. Consistently sized gutters look better. It’s a super easy thing to make your comics look way cleaner and more professional. After you try it a few times you don’t have to measure anymore but you DO have to measure at first. So try it!!
EDIT TO ADD: straight lines and consistent gutters is like the comics layout equivalent of figure drawing / anatomy — get the basics down solid before you start getting crazy and stylized. Log some hours doing the most straightforward approach before you decide you’re a genius and can do whatever the hell you want.
Hey! Huge fan of your stuff, I'm very new to the whole comic book process. I was wondering if you rough an entire book before you start your inking, or do a set of pages at a time? And when it comes time for ink do you often find yourself altering your roughs or do you get them pretty set in stone beforehand? Thanks!
For Seconds, I’m roughing the entire book before inking anything. I’m not finished yet so it’s an intimidating process. I hope it works out.
For Scott Pilgrim, I switched off thumbnails, penciling and inking as I went. I would do like 8-12 pages of thumbnails at a time and then maybe pencil 5-6 pages then ink most of them then go back and pencil more, and so on. Later in the series, maybe around volume 4, I started penciling a whole chapter (like 30 pages usually) and then inking the whole chapter before moving to the next one. This gave me more of a feeling that I was making concrete progress.