First I scribble out a doodly layout. I scribble this out directly on my Cintiq. Layouts on this comic have been a breeze, probably because my writer used to support himself as an artist. Eagle-eyed readers will note that when I first drew Corey, the blonde guy in panel 5, I was working off my memory of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jack Lambert.


Then I turn it blue in Photoshop and add lettering- some digital and some by hand. The digital font I’m using in Underground was designed by the great Tom Orzechowski, based on hand-lettering I did in Whiteout.


I print the lettered blueline out onto bristol board and ink it with traditional tools: Winsor Newton brush and India ink. I might be a dinosaur, but I still love dipping a brush into a bottle of fresh ink.


Then a miracle happens. Actually, it’s Ron Chan, who does beautiful things with color in Photoshop.


10 Responses to “How we make a page of Underground.”
  1. Jeff, Steve, are either of you gonna be at Heroes?

    Y’know, I grew up about a half hour from mammoth cave, and near a bunch of others. Glad to see my ol’ kentucky home getting so much comics play.

  2. admin says:

    No Heroes for either of us, I’m afraid. Next show for me is San Diego. For Parker, it’s Baltimore, I think.


  3. Adam says:

    Are the word balloons hand drawn as well or done digitally with the lettering? Just curious.

  4. admin says:

    The word balloons are drawn on the the boards, usually with help from an ellipse template or a small french curve.

  5. […] it even more exciting, they’re pulling back the curtain a bit to talk about how the comic was made (a.k.a., being good mentors). I highly recommend you check it […]

  6. Jim Pinard says:

    Hey Steve,

    The “How We Make…” article is much appreciated. Fascinating to see you guys at work and what goes into the art of the process. I am a writer and am in the process of working with an artist in creating a comic. I will definately keep up with “Underground.” I am also going to the San Diego Comicon. I’ll look out for you there.

  7. Movin Were says:

    Hi Guys, am a cartoonist in Kenya and also working on my own comic book.I got great insight from your process.

  8. nick says:

    Steve, are you saying you don’t pencil, at all? You just go straight to inking over the blued-out roughs?

  9. admin says:

    It varies, depending on how much I worked out in the thumbnails and blue-line phases. Sometimes I have enough information down at that stage that I can go straight to inks. Other times I need to break out the graphite.

  10. […] Its a very informative piece on how pages are created and transformed as they go through various stages. For more information check out the process at […]