Strip News – Tips Edition 2-23-9

star-wars-mangaAs promised, the Tips posts will focus on how-to discussions, videos and other tips of the comic and artistic trade.

  • Let’s start off with a Photoshop trick for creating video scan lines. I happen to use the Gimp and I wasn’t happy with the results from their video filter. I now have a couple of different kinds of video scanlines for different uses.
  • I’m always on the lookout for how other artists create their work and their experiences. In this unlikely source, we get a first hand account of how to webcomic. Here’s another process that is a little rougher around the edges but gets straight to the point, so make sure you see the rest in part two. Then you can always watch this 46 minute video featuring some prominent webcartoonists dispensing advice and insights in answer to audience questions. (To be honest, it took about two hours to hear the whole thing but I don’t know if that’s Vimeo, my connection or my old computer’s fault.)
  • In a related note, I appreciate manga works for the sharp contrasts in emotional impact, pacing and presentation that exist as compared to the comics I grew up reading. Imagine what a Star Wars manga would look like … I can imagine that some of the scenes shown may have required some extra panels due to translation but I think the manga is a much more interesting version of events than the regular comic. That doesn’t mean you can’t do something eye catching in American comics, like creating covers that sell you from across the room or delaying the establishing shot.
  • Fluffy has a good way to protect your comic against hotlinkers without punishing your regular readers. I can’t help but consider having the image to show ‘hotlinked from’ or something more obvious.
  • I think most of us have trouble deciding what to title our individual comic updates, among other things. We all want to headline with something attention grabbing and reader motivating.
  • How about some good tips on creating, monetizing and popularizing digital characters? Or perhaps a primer on entertaining writing?
  • This isn’t technically a tip or a how-to, but we could always ask ourselves what is a webcomic? Do they fall into the same categories as print comics? This article is a year old but it’s still worth reading. Another year old post gives us some webcomic realities, the good and the disappointing both.

Another thing this method of posting will do is let me share the obscene amount of tutes I’ve collected. Up to this point, I’ve only been able to include a handful in any news post. Feel free to suggest any you’ve found useful in the comments.


  1. The Star Wars Manga was boss. The fight between Obi Wan and Darth Vader actually surpassed the one in the movie.

    It’s a shame that they didn’t do a proper Star Wars manga trilogy for Episodes I-III. They did an Episode I, but it followed everything strictly by the book, was shorter, and didn’t really take advantage of the Manga format. It might as well be the “official movie adaptation.” Mr. George Lucas, please unleash some manga artists on that thing and make the Annakin Trilogy tolerable, please.

  2. @ El Santo – That is a shame that they handled the prequel mangas that way. The Darth Maul and Obi/Anakin fights would have been awesome and I bet the internal dramas would have been clearer than the movies, too.

    @ fluffy – lol – That’s true, but I suspect movies will continue to use the effect to stand for screen/communication. All is not lost!

  3. @ JM: like how comic strip characters still wear barrels when they’re broke, even though barrels are way more expensive than clothing nowadays.

    I’d also say “or like how cartoons slip on banana peels” but the other day a friend of mine discovered that banana peels actually are slippery.

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