Creating web comics

WhiteFire Comics at Hal-Con 2016 photos and review.


I had a big goal this last year to shrink my booth and make it portable and scale, I think the mission is accomplished, It was tight behind but I pulled it off!

After a few years of setting up shop at Ottawa Comic Con I had decided it was time to mix things up and try a new convention. My new challenge? Take on the biggest geek-fest in the Atlantic provinces Hal-Con, which just happens to be located in my home province of Nova Scotia, Canada. The “Hal” part of Hal-Con is a take on the the city I was born in “Halifax”. I planned for a year with the task shrinking my booth to not be as grand(but still cool) being critical, then invested a ton of time to get 3 of my comics published. After teaching a local print company about color calibration, I was armed with the “The Forsaken Future” number one and two and a flip comic of “Gabriel – Hand of God” and “Quint”, To get me to my promised land I rented a Grand Caravan as my trusted warhorse and loaded my gear, and hit the road. The sixteen hour drive from Ottawa, Ontario to Halifax, Nova Scotia went well as we broke the trip up with with what seems to be the most popular stop-over spot of Edmustron, New Brunswick.

I ended up with a great deal on a Hilton Suites & something in Halifax that was blocks away from the Scotiabank Centre, and after transporting my gear. Finally I got to setting up my booth with the help of my sister and nephew…then I noticed something was missing at my booth… The power outlets to plug in the 47 inch TV. I had just lugged cross country with a huge stand. It was the main reason I had drove(16 hours each way) over flying(1.5 hours each way). I had confirmed I as suppose to have power via email multiple times, so I continued to set-up with my side-kicks help(suspecting villainy). Then stalked Hal-con staff and tracked down someone in “charge” (power joke) not it was no it was not Electro!. The all powerful one told me I would have power by the morning and refuted if I will not have power “please let me know so I could remove the TV from being in the way”, as it was tight behind the booth(and I am a heavy weight not a lightweight), I then again was promised I would have it. The morning of the convention came and guess what, I had no power. This was very disappointing as I had put great effort to get the TV to the convention and significant effort in to creating a slide show(that nobody would see). I counted on the TV to create interest. Of course the Hal-con staff member explained they had unexpected issues and then added a Canadian “Sorry” multiple times. All good!   Continue reading

A cheap way to create your own card set using Vistaprint and a paper trimmer.

I am always looking for different ways to do things, this week I was exploring how I can reprint or create a new WhiteFire Comics card set. I ended up finding a cheap way to do this by using Vistaprint and a bit of elbow grease on a paper trimmer. In a nutshell, what a discovered was that Vistaprint has an oversized postcard that can be print on thicker stock and on these oversized postcards you can fit 4-up standard collector cards(2.5x 3.5 inches).


What the front page looked like in CorelDRAW X7 4-up. The lines through the middle are the cuts I had to do(they have arrowheads). The other cut-lines are done by Vistaprint.

Here is a breakdown of the process…

  1. Create your cards and art in a layout software, I use CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7. Keeping print bleed in mind. Link to what bleed is:
  2. Layout your cards to the Vistaprint oversized postcard size of Width 2135×1535 that includes the bleed. 4-up see the graphic. You will need a back and front graphic/page.
  3. Go through the Vistaprint process and make sure to upgrade to the paper stock.
  4. Once you receive the order you cut the postcards into four typical trade cards. In my case, I used a paper trimmer I bought at Staples years ago.
  5. BLAM! Now you can make your own card sets and print low numbers or high numbers of sets as long as you don’t mind doing some cuttings.

Continue reading

Oh my Papermate mechancial pencils RoCk!

papermate penels
I draw with mechanical pencils and over the past few years ended up using BIc’s .5 2H disposables, as it was what I saw at Staples. Even though with every minute of detailed work SNAP, a lead has broken it was tortured OI accepted from my love of drawing. Accepting the problem I would pound on its end advancing the lead and move on. It had become a way of life. UNTIL NOW! I ended up discovering Papermate mechanical pencils about a month ago and they still snap now and then but something about this pencil makes the lead way stronger. The lead strokes are as fine as needed. The one down fall is the eraser, like a person running its first marathon it wears out fast(though it works great). But HEY who really cares I got tons of erasers.


Finally Wacom did it! They are relasing a Cintiq Companion which is a tablet!

Wacom announced it release of a portable Cinitq called the Cintiq Companion(released in October 2013). They really left me puzzled when I saw a windows 8 version and android, but hey it was a real happy puzzled state! Both are 13.3 inch screens and have a express keys built in which is pretty damn cool, I love these keys and used them on my Cintiq and traditional Intous 4 tablet. It also has duel USB ports, it has all the bells and whistles for an artist. But is this bad timing? They seem really late?

I waited for years for this device to come into existence before giving up and buying a Samung Galaxy Note tablet and have been very happy with it, Yes it android but the pen is a Wacom stylus and there are uTubes on configuring its pen pressure, this device combined with a bunch of note taking apps and the Autodesk Sketchbook app have left me quite happy at a third to a quarter of the price of Wacom’s Cintiq Companion. This makes me think the strength of the Cintiq Companion will be focused around Windows 8 users who want full blown applications like Corel Painter or Adobe Photoshop. A good note here would be that Windows 8 tablets without a Wacom pen(Like the Windows Surface) have no pen pressure support in Windows art Applications (like Adobe Photoshop) due to Adobe not supporting the OS drivers for pen pressure(they relied on Wacom devices in the PC market).

It is a great time for artists looking for tablets!

Some of my favorite drawing videos from YouTube.

The below uTube is a playlist of the sketching/art videos I have favorited. To select which one plays in the video section pick the playlist button and then you can choose. The video are….

– Dynamic Figure Drawing.
– How to Draw Interesting poses.
– Placing characters into Perspective.
– How to draw relaxed hands.
– How to Create a successful comic using Manga Studio.
– Explosions.
– How to shade drawing 3 different ways.
– How to apply textures.
– How to render concept art – adding color.

Hope they save you some time and helps you out ;-)!

Game changer for ARTISTS the Asus the Eee 470UM tablet! (Windows 7 Wacom touch screen).

Umm.. WOW funny how technology changes! I did a previous post on my selection to buy a Wacom Large Intous 4 tablet (link to previous post). It a very solid/awesome pen tablet. But another dog has joined the fight over what was discussed in the previous post. ASUS and they have 10162673created a tablet. Check out these specs..

  • 12 inch screen
  • Windows 7
  • Touch screen
  • Stylus Pen
  • Wacom pressure sensitive screen
  • USB ports
  • Bluetooth separate keyboard
  • Built in Wi-fi
  • Card reader fro SD MMC etc.
  • i5 processor
  • 1280 x 800 screen resolution.
  • 2 gigs of ram


  • Tiny hard drive 32 and 64 gigs(about where all the other new wave ipad and android tablets are). But a larger OS. You can plug in USB hard drives and it has a memory card reader.
  • Battery life up to 3 hours. Where ipads and Android tablets will get you around 10 hours.
  • Windows 7 not the best touch screen experience.

This computer offers you what I was hoping for ages ago a 12 inch pressure sensitive screen like the Wacom Cintq and a computer in 1 device. With a reasonable price for the times. Wacom charges a fortune for an now outdated technology they need to wake up $900-2400’ish and its just a pressure sensitive screen, come on!  Artist for $1000 to $1200 get the ASUS Eee 470UM

Can I have a Amen!

I have a solution that would rock the computer world. Someone make a dual boot tablet between Android and Windows. Use Android out and about and Windows when you got serious stuff to do!@ Just a matter of time till we have it all!



Its sold out a Best buy so far ;-/.


Perspective Basics

I never invested a ton of time into perspective. But I am know learning it to an acceptable level. 1 point, 2 point, 3 point , it can get a bit overwhelming to navigate though. Especially when you see someone working with it. Here are the results of my research…

I recently bought the book “Perspective for Comic Book Artists” after seeing some solid reviews on it. The reason I bought this book over other perspective books was one of the reviews was from a art major who said he learned more from the book then in his art classes.  It is a excellent book so far. I would recommend it. Also Drawing Dynamic Comics covers off this topic as well. It truly is the best all around book out there on drawing comics.


This utube from Drawing Tutorials Online is a great starting point video. You can also find a ton of good pod casts by this art teacher on his site or on utube. 

A great video displaying how everything is just a series of basic geometric shapes.

Freddie E. Williams II is all over the map with helping out Digital comic artists. This video is insane and very advanced. He has a free grid to help in Photoshop etc…



Hope this helps someone out there!


Awesome art books by Jim Lee, Joe Quesada & Marc Silvestri for comic book reference art or the comic book fan!

Hey Hey all!

I wanted to make you all aware of the following art books. If your a comic book style artist looking for a bad-ass reference book or a comic book art fan. The below three books are for you:


Icons(art by Jim Lee)

When I opened the box from amazon I immediately was impressed. It’s a large sized hardcover full of amazing art by Jim Lee. Full of art covering his career outside of marvel. This has amazing art reference stuff on Batman, Superman, Wonder woman, WILD C.A.T.S & more. It show lots of pencils inks and full color pages. As an artist of sorts, I was instantly humbled after flipping though the pages.

What I found great about this book past its quality and price is all the part of drawing I started to notice I could reference. Since getting the book if I open it, 15 minutes plus of my life is gone, basking in its greatness.


This is a must have…

wP-rating 5of5


The Marvel art of Joe Quesada

This poor book had the privilege of sitting in the box while I drooled over Icons by Jim Lee. Once pulled out I flipped though it quickly and went back to Icons. Later feeling I had disrespected Joe Quesada I returned to it. This is an hardcover book as well with great references in perspective and some great art. But in the end Joe and Jim are two totally different artist. The problem I had with Joes book was I was never a huge Daredevil or Avengers fan. I was quickly realizing I was a fan of his Ghost Rider and Azrael/Batman work.


Solid book but if I could only buy one I would by Icons better book better price…wP-rating 3of5


Art of Marc Silvestri

This is a soft cover with more amazing art. Marc seemed to be some sort of artist and ambassador. He has the only art book with Image, DC and Marvel art. From Spawn, Batman, Superman to Wolverine and the Fantastic Four. Oh.. and of course his Image titles Cyber Force and Darkness. Very good book and a great price!


Such a gooood deal BUY IT!

wP-rating 4of5

A good point on placing a subject in a frame/panel of a comic book page.

I thought I would share this as its pretty key. I was having trouble placing the comic bubbles on my pages. I quickly learned…

One third of a panel should be dead space for bubbles. What is suggested in the below referanced book is that each panel be divided in to 3 by 3 squares. Then place your subject(it was also suggested the subject should never be centered to the frame/panel). This can avoid a ton of pain down the road. With my web comic I want to make the text bigger and on average have less frames per page. I want to do this to prevent the reader from having to overly zoom and pan. Taming space for the comic bubbles can be a pain….

Drawing Dynamic Comics by Andy Smith
ISBN-10: 0823003124
ISBN-13: 978-0823003129

I use the “Zap Pack” for a comic book fonts(wild and crazy), bubbles and speciality text.

Link to my webcomic

Link to my webcomic

It just hit me today this might be of interest to people creating a web comic/comic book. I use the Zap Pack here is the site you can buy it at:

The Zap Pack includes the Standard look comicbook font, a font with for sounds in your comic like KA-BoooOOM! and pre-made comic bubbles.

I also love this free font site 1001 fonts:

Just a heads-up!