Hey welcome to page 9, Sebastian is writing the blog post for page 9, where he takes a reader’s question about inking.  Take it away Seb.


hey!  I’m Sebastian, line artist for Digitopia.


So, Farhan requested people on Reddit to ask us questions, here’s one in my area of expertise:


from liminalsoup via /r/ComicBookCollabs 

I’d like to learn more about inking. That special stage between penciling and colours can have a huge effect on the mood and feel of the comic. What are the different styles of inking? Hows does inking for B&W differ from inking for a book that is going to be coloured? What about Greyscaling? etc

Lets see, first of all I work digitally, and I’m not the most methodic guy in the business so my process is more like ‘sketching-inking’.

I don’t really make tight pencils that someone else could ink.  This is to save time, all the construction that one would do at the pencils stage is done at the inks.


When you have Ctrl Z you instantly lose the reason you need pencils before inks – mistakes are free.

Dont misunderstand me, I’d love to work traditionally, to pencil and even ink my own work and as artist I seriously admire the people that work that way and I love the feel that transmits you to a page done traditionally. 

For me digital works perfect. Thing is, to be a good inker you have to be sharp, precise and very organised…  I’m none of those.

Okay, so, back to my process, I work with an Intuos medium and Clip studio paint*. 

The “inks” engine of the clip studio is the best by far to me, and the soft has tons of tools specifically thought to make comic pages – works like a charm.


I have a set of brushes that I downloaded, some for free, some bought but all of them fine tuned to have them the way I like em.  

I think I use 3 or 4 brushes 90% of the time.

The other 10% its tubes and zippers and stuff that saves you a lot of time.

Yes, it feels like cheating, but in a good way.

There’s one aspect of comics that you have to learn to deal when this is actually your job. 


Time management.

You need to deliver those pages in time and it’s way more efficient to make make a zipper brush once than drawing those zippers every single time

There’s only one rule for me, I have to avoid making it distracting for the reader.  

If you read the comic and you notice something wrong on the page because I used a tube brush that has a lot more of detail than the character, or stuff like that, I did it wrong.  

Happens a lot, I’m constantly trying to avoid it  .

I’m used to working everything I can in the inks when I’m not colouring.  

We have some helpful Skype sessions with Farhan and Simon where we talk about every single page, but that’s not the case for every work (almost never actually) and I’ve learnt that you can’t leave stuff for the colourist.

You just can’t rely on the message getting to the colourist or the person actually understanding what I needed to be done. 

So I draw pages that should be perfect to publish in Black and white if needed.


When I do the colours it varies on the colouring style, but again, time saving is always in the head so you leave stuff to do later.


I use grey-scaling very irregularly.  

In some pages I use it to set a mood, in others to give more information to the colorist without having to send a message, or just separate the character from the backgrounds.

I’ve been using it lately for special effects, like smoke or water.

As long as you send it in separated layers it’s great, but don’t send it all in a flat file because your colourist won’t be happy.  

I also send coloured layers. here’s a page with a laser sight and blood.  

I didn’t expect Simon to follow the exact colours but its way better to have a laser sight or blood drops without contour lines.

The thing with working on a computer is that you just have to treat the computer like any other tool.

The computer is an awesome tool, but you have to learn how to use it at the service of the page.

As an artist, you have to use the tools you like most or find more adequate to the way you work.

Don’t listen to anyone praising digital inks or anyone hating them.  Do your homework and find what works best for you.

Thanks for reading!


Thanks Seb, that was great.  As always I try to put the original blocking, inks and script in so you can see how the page evolved while we all worked together.


Original Blocking


Original Inks

Original Script

PAGE EIGHT (six panels)

Panel 1.
Below them on a stage we see the final touches being put to a
presidential podium with a giant red white and blue flag.
Lots of CREW and ADVISERS prepare the PRESIDENT.
51. SILAS:
If he knew how close I really was.
52. YALE:
The appointed time is coming. Soon everything you stand for
will be recognised.

53. SILAS:
Your plan isn’t working Yale!
54. YALE:
How so dear chap?

Panel 2.
Silas collapses back into a director chair looking into a
mirror and we can see Yale standing behind him (this panel
could use the Raging Bull mirror image that Farhan has put
into the Reference channel in Slack on 14-05- 17). We see a big
bowl of doughnuts on the dresser in front of him.
55. SILAS:
Your people are getting richer and richer, my people are
drowning outside. Now we're all portrayed as terrorists!  How
is this part of the plan we agreed?!?!?

Panel 3.
Silas picks up a big iced donut from the dresser in front of
him and opens his mouth ready to gobble it down.
56. YALE:
You disappoint me Silas –
— You fail to see the bigger picture —
Panel 4.
Yale’s cane pierces the dougnut from Silas' hand with jam
bleeding from its centre like blood dripping.
Panel 5.
Silas contemplates, he looks across to the door, clearly
labelled ‘EXIT’

57. YALE:
And cutback on these, for a supposed terrorist in hiding your
selfish indulgences are getting harder & harder to conceal.

Panel 6. Silas shakes his heads and giving Yale an evil look
he licks the splattered jam from his hand.
58. YALE (OP – stepping away):
You do trust me don’t you, dear chap?
Panel 7.
A be-speckled SPEECH WRITER pushes bound pieces of paper under
Silas’ nose.
Silas leafs through the pages.
59. SILAS:
So I've killed a top ranking civil servant?
60. YALE:
Not you, one of your operatives.

Panel 6.
Silas sinks into his seat shaking his head, this isn’t the
deal he got himself into.
Yale leaves, giving a reassuring pat on Silas’ shoulder.
61. YALE (O.S.):
All part of the plan, dear chap.
SFX: A BUZZER SOUND goes off as the studio below goes into
recording mode.

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You’ll notice of course that we’re one page out from the script to the final comic book page – to find out how that happen read the blog post on page 7.

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