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Tag: jewish kid's comics

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Anatomy of a Comic

We recently completed our 20th comic for Tzivos Hashem's Kid's Zone, a magazine for Jewish kids, so we can finally show off the previous one since it's now seen print. Aquatic Adventures starts off with a SPLASH! as Joey and his pals are pulled into the river while fishing off a dock...

...where they come face-to-face with a huge talking fish! It was fun to have room to blow out this panel to a sizable semi-splash at the bottom of the first page. Now underwater, little bubbles/circles begin to appear, which I used throughout the three pages as a design element, in the panels and gutters, leading the reader's eye. We carried this through to the word balloons of the fish, which we also gave a different font, more open and round than the comics font we usually use (one based on my own hand-lettering). Mary approached coloring the fish differently than I probably would've, weaving warm and cool colors together, and shading various blues and greens. A nice touch, adding depth and color to the fish, helping to pop the Big Guy from the watery backgrounds.

On page one (below, left), I established the scene, the boys fishing off the dock on the river, the city in the distance. We used cool and warm colors to distinguish one panel from another, and to break things up. I prepared a diagram (below, right)  to show shapes and flow of the page. The orange line shows a couple main shapes. The blue line tracks the flow of the text/word balloons and sound effects. The red line shows further the composition of the page, how I used the fishing poles and line to direct the reader's eye so the action flows naturally from panel to panel.

I wish I had even more room one page 2 to show the magical underwater world in which the crew finds themselves, but somehow was able to pack a lot of stuff into this panel (shown larger here than in the printed comic). For all the underwater scenes we considered and could have cast everything in darker hues, but decided to bring it to life, keeping things colorful and magical.

Pages 2 & 3 (below) appear in the mag side-by-side, bleeding together a bit. The red line I drew for page 2 shows the general flow for the page and panels. We kept the background for the masthead white to pop the title, utilizing the bubbles as I mentioned earlier. On panel 2 I used a series of arcs (as suggested by the sunken ship), carrying them through the whole panel and to direct the eye to the proper following panel. I bled out all the background for page 3 to establish an underwater backdrop for the talking fish and Joey, using panel borders for cutaway shots and an inset. Because this page is therefore more free-flowing and open, I overlapped word balloons over panels to make sure the reader followed along in the right order.

Here's a close-up which shows how we bounce and balanced warm against cool colors. Notice again the difference between the fish font and boy's speech.

I've written and posted more about how we've created this comics series, which we've now been doing for five years. Read all the comics at Google+,  or Facebook. It's already been a good run...with more to come!

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Comics for Jewish Kids: Process

Work in progress for the latest strip for Kid's Zone, the magazine for Jewish kids worldwide!

Pencils in Photoshop...

...converted to blue line and printed on 11 x 17 smooth card stock...

...then inked traditionally with a brush, some markers.

We scan, LiveTrace in Adobe Illustrator - this page is all lettered and colored in that program. I'll post the story when it sees print.

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Jewish Comics: Pizza, Dreidel-Face, Jesters, Talking Sun & Giraffes

I just posted a slew of new comics for Jewish kids, from a series for Kid's Zone magazine we've now been doing for nearly five years. They feature: a pizza-eating contest... ...a super-sized, spinning, anthropomorphic dreidel... ...a mysterious, riddling jester... ...a spacey talking sun... ...a trip to the zoo, and giraffes that speak! View and read all the comics at Google+, Facebook or in our Prime Projects section of this site. Background details, info and insight into the creative process have been featured here on this blog previously. My wife, Mary and I just finished another which features Big Talking Fish! So I'll post that as soon as it drops.

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Underwater

A frame from the three-page comic I'm finishing today... I like this panel - turned almost exactly as I'd planned, which doesn't always happen... From a series I draw of comics for Jewish kids.  

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Comics Panel: Ink to Color

Sometimes the look of a comics panel can change between the inking and coloring phase to aid and enhance clarity, mood, tone, character and storytelling. Many times it's planned, but in other cases as you go.In the case of this frame, I plotted out the color treatment from the get-go, which was indicated in my roughs. But there's no need, and in the digital age a waste of time to include all elements in the line art. In this panel, these four kids are making a transition from something of another world or reality back to their home turf and original state. I had limited space to make that transformation happen in a clear way. This story has to do with giraffes, so I used the spots pattern as a background element to convey movement and flow. On the left, the spots and background yellow are darker and saturated, both fading towards the right. The coloring on the kids is also then treated more surreal fashion on the left (as a darker violet knock-out) becoming more natural and representational as we flow to the right. The kids are topsy-turvy and in close up at first, then shown in full figure moving across, as they become less disoriented, two of the boys grounded to their surroundings with simple shadows. A small portion of a  fence (established earlier in the story) is shown in the lower right to indicate place. Yep, all that thought and planning for but one simple cartooned comics panel. Whoa! From a series I draw of comics for Jewish kids.

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Jewish Robot Comics

The title of this post may seem an unlikely combination of words, but what's even more improbable is that in my work I've had cause to string them together more than once! The latest three-page comic strip for Tzivos Hashem's Kid's Zone magazine gave me a chance to design and draw a crazy robot to help our pal, Joey learn about Passover. It all starts when he's gotten a late start on his science project:

Next thing you know he's whipping up a super-robot in his garage who might be able to compete on Iron Chef:

Read the rest of the story, and Joey's other comics at our Prime Projects section of this site.

And click the link to see another image from our Gallery you might find in a google search for "Jewish Robot Comics."