I've been dabbling in comic books since my days in kindergarten and the '60's Fantastic Four cartoon show. I quickly discovered these characters in comic books ("Sonny, in MY day we didn't have no high-falootin' Graphic Novels!") and quickly became a reader of the FF, original X-Men, Iron Man, Green Lantern, and the Legion of Super Heroes, amongst others. I just had to see if I could do those drawings, too. Yes, it's a history shared by many comic fans, and here I am today, still dabbling in the art form.
The original inception of Starlion was in the early '90's when a small group of friends formed a partnership called Storm Productions and began publishing a couple comic book titles written by Tony and Kristi Bruno. Dave Jorgenson handled the art work on the Starlion title and I tackled my "super-hero mag" Vanguard One. Well, needless to say, we didn't send Marvel or DC running for cover, but we had a lot of late nights, struggles with distribution, and a good deal of fun. After a couple years, we said goodbye to the publishing world, but not to the hope that someday we could find a suitable forum in which to publish the stories we had begun.
Welcome to Starlion on the 'Net in 1998.
Ok, so some may ask, how do you go about putting this stuff up into the Ether? Pretty much the same way we did for Storm Productions in 1991: via computer. We're still producing these pages in a semi-traditional manner, i.e. I still haven't got the guts to do it all on a digitizer pad. Here's what the process looks like:
I get the story line and hash it around with Tony, then I layout the thumbnails for the book on bond paper with a pencil or felt-tip pen. This is usually a set of four-on-one pages, decipherable only by me (grin), and goes pretty quickly. When Tony and I are satisfied with the look of the thumbnails, I lay down the pencil roughs for a series pages on Bristol board. (I don't do non-photo blue pencil . . . blechh!) Next, the finished pencils are completed on the first of these pages. The page would be lettered at this point in traditional publishing, but since we rely on the computer for lettering and coloring, I now proceed to inking the page. This is probably my least favorite part of the process, next to erasing the pencils afterward. ("Dammit, Jim! I'm a penciler, not an inker!") I will bounce forth and back between doing a couple rough pencil pages, final pencils, and then more inking to break up the work and keep fresh.
Next, the finished page is delivered to the Computer Graphics Guru, Victoria, my lovely wife. She uses the same machine (with the exception of a few RAM and hard drive upgrades) we used when we first started publishing in the print medium six years ago: a Gateway2000 4DX2-66V named "Clyde" with 64Mb of RAM and CorelDRAW 7. We use an HP 6100 color scanner to bring the pages into the machine. Victoria then works her magic . . . She uses Photo-Paint to clean and color the scanned image, then imports the raster image to Draw to add the text, captions and other text-based effects. Once this is complete, the page is exported as a JPEG for posting on the 'Net. Did I mention she also codes the pages and maintains the web site?
Hope you enjoy the story.
- Scott and Victoria Nemmers
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