The making of page 144
The first step was of course writing the script, which was completed before any actual artwork began. At this stage, we still hadn’t worked out the pagination and there was no panel-by-panel breakdown of the scene. The actions described and the dialog in the excerpt below would become, when the storyboard was complete, page 144 of the book.
Once the script was finished, the storyboard for the book was gradually drawn out in a little notebook like this.
In this image, you can see the breakdown of the excerpt of the script.
As you can see in this sketch of page 144, the drawings are extremely simple: little "potato men" with speech bubbles.
The aim of this was to focus purely on the storytelling and avoid going into detail in the drawing at all costs in order to preserve as much freshness and energy as possible when creating the final version.
Once we had worked out the sequence of panels in the storyboard, the pages were drawn out before moving on to the next storyboard.
This is what happened to the sketch once it had been penciled and inked.
The page was then scanned and the coloring could begin in Photoshop.
The first step was to rearrange the panels, add the white margins, and transform all the black and white lines into color lines.
These color lines were often very light and placed against a very dark background, which helped create an image somewhat reminiscent of medieval tapestries, a result that is much harder to achieve when adding the colors to the original pages directly.
Here is an overview of the gradual coloring process all the way up to the final version where the bubbles and text were added.