Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to Frequently Asked Questions, where all your dreams come true. There's an empty promise if I ever heard one. ANYHOO, little ninja boy Ryu shall be you guide. Lets get on with it shall we?

Quick Jump:
How do you make your comics?
Can I use one of your comics for an Avatar, LJ Icon, Blog, etc?
How come you don't update often?
Could you link to my site?
I'm in school and need to write a paper, could you answer some questions?
When did you start the site?
Eeeew! Furry!
I want to make a comic, what do I do?
How do I promote my comic?

Q: How do you make your comics?


First you sketch the image. Simple pencil and paper will work but stay light on your lines. They'll have to be erased later.

After you're done with the pencils you ink over top of them.

Erase the pencils (or delete the layer if you're working on a tablet, the next few steps you can skip as well). Be sure to re ink parts that might get washed out.

Scan in the inks at a very high resolution. Usually 300dpi is good. Pull it into photoshop. You should have a black and white image at this point. Now we need a solid black and a solid white.

Go to the file menu...
Then select a good balance that preserves your image.

Now select the "Magic Wand Tool" from the left toolbar. Tolerance = 30, Anti-aliased = Off, Contiguous = Off, Use All Layers = off. Select an area that's black. Copy. Paste. You should now have a layer just for your inks.

Now that you have a separate layer for your inks. You can delete the other layers.

Make a new layer below your inks that's a solid colour. Doesn't matter what colour. Just so you can see the parts you're going to paint.

Now you should have two layers. Inks and a background.

Next make a new layer below your inks called "Colours". Select the "Paint Bucket Tool" from the left toolbar. Tolerance = 50, Anti-aliased = On, Contiguous = On, Use All Layers = On. Now just start filling in the parts on your "Colour" layer with the Bucket.
Merge your colour and ink layer when you're done colouring your figure. Rename the layer "Flats". Duplicate the layer and call it "Colourmat".

Now we're going to add shading and highlights.

Make a layer above "Colourmat" called "Highlights" and set it to overlay. Then make a layer below "Colourmat" called "Shade" and set it to multiply.

Take a brush go to "Window>Brushes>Brush Tip Shape>" Turn the hardness down to "0" and the brush size to... Very big. 500 at least.

Take the "Polygon Lasso Tool" and highlight areas shadow would fall. Select the "Shade" layer. Use a black brush on those areas you've selected.

Now do the same on the "Highlight" layer only this time with a white brush.

Merge the layers and you're all done. You can take the figure and put it into a comic. Ta-da.

Here are some PSDs to help you out.

leo_coloured.psd - Sketches, Inks, and Colours
leo_shaded.psd - Shading and Highlights added.
leo_finished.psd - Merged Layers in a "comic form"

The font in "Leo_finished" is Digital Strip.

You can also check out a video version of this tutorial over here.

If you're looking for more awesome comic fonts check out BlamBot.

Q: Can I use one of your comics for an Avatar, LJ Icon, Blog, etc?

A: Yes, by all means yes. I love when people do this. Nothin' makes me happier than to see one of the characters as an avatar when goin' through a forum. I made a few of them over here but, you are more than welcome to make some of your own.

Q: How come you don't update often?

A: Mainly it's the time required to make one. Drawing (3-9 hours) Computer work (another 3-9 hours). I'd like to update more oftenbut once a week is all I can do. Most sorry!

Q: Could you link to my site?

A: Sometimes I'll receive an e-mail along the lines of "I know it sucks but can you link it anyway". Well if you yourself don't like then it doesn't make much sense in linking to it does it? Anyway I do check most of the links sent to me but, there are a LOT of them. I really don't have the time to critique everything. So please don't ask me to.

If I like it I'll letcha know. If not? Well that's that I'm afraid.

Keep in mind I reject most sprite comics right off the bat. Although there are some that are just dear to my cold dead heart. Just put some effort into it, eh?

Q: I'm in school and need to write a paper, could you answer some questions?
A: Sorry, no. I'd love to be able to but I'm only one guy. I do get this question a lot and it's very time consuming to answer everything asked and well, do your homework. Instead you can read some of these:

Wikipedia, VGC Wiki
GameSpeak: VG Cats
4 Color Rebellion

Q: When did you start the site?
A: September 1st 2001.. Yes I know, best timing.. EVER!

Q: Eeeew! Furry!
A: Hey, that's not a question! I didn't know about anything Furry until after I started the comic. Though I know now the art style is regarded as such. Always been "cartoons" to me. I really don't care either way so long as it makes you laugh. : )

Q: I want to make a comic, what do I do?

A: Well you can start by asking yourself a few questions. What kind of comic do you want to create? What interests you? The best of comics are usually a very personal thing. Find something that works for you and go with it.

A few pitfalls to watch out for...
Best avoid sprites unless it's really, REALLY funny. Also inside jokes never work. It is personal but if no one gets it but you and those invloved, then no one is gonna stick around to read it.

As for hosting it you can do so for free over at Drunk Duck, Smack Jeeves, or pay to have it hosted. If you choose to spend some cash just give a look on Google.

Q: How do I promote my comic?

Well now for this you've got a lot of options at your disposal.

First however there are a few things you should have done first. One is a decent archive. Again at the very least you should have 10 in there. Second is site accessibility. You got somone on your site! Too bad the layout is so bad they don't know what's what. Items NEEDED: Easy comic navigation (back, forward, first latest), Archive (no one likes to browse through 50 comics just to find one), and a way to contact you! Remember, you can get all the hits in the world but if no one comes back, you're out of luck.

Now back to promotion, here are a few ways to go about it. Advertise! A lot of big comics out there offer adspace and it's ussualy well worth it. A few I'd recomend are Machall, CAD, 8-Bit, and Megatokyo.

Another way is joining top lists and directories. Two that you should check out are Buzz Comix Top 100, The Webcomic List and Online Comics. They also offer adspace, so keep that in mind.

Lastly forums are another great way of getting the word out. BUT! For the love of God check the rules of that forum about plugging sites. Some don't allow it entirely and you may get banned. Most of the time the best way is to attach a link to your site in your signature, ussually in communities you're already active in.

Well, that's all I can think of for now. Laters!