Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Mighty Enlil went to Beja ...

… thanks to fine folks at the organization of the Prémios Profissionais de Banda Desenhada 2013.

André Oliveira asked me to supply a couple of pages from The Mighty Enlil for the PPBD2013  expo  at the 9th Festival Internacionalde Banda Desenhada  de Beja. The event took place between  the 1st and 16th of June and I managed to make a brief visit to the expo on its final weekend.

Here’s a few photos . Guess who's posing between those pages?

The Mighty Enlil page 13

The Mighty Enlil in Beja

The Mighty Enlil page 22


Saturday, July 20, 2013

The making of The Mighty Enlil

At the request of a few readers, here’s a brief, succinct glimpse as to how I made The Mighty Enlil.

Step 0 - The story.

The Mighty Enlil evolved as I created it. I didn't have a complete story in my head that I put down to paper on a script to follow as I drew. I've tried that in the past with other comics but I lose interest in stories that I already know. In this case, the story developed as I wrote and drew the comic, sometimes rewriting or casting aside entire pages or whole sequences. On the left is an example of a panel from an unused page. 

Step 1 - The thumbnails

I jotted down whatever ideas I had on an A5 moleskine sketchbook that I carry with me at all times - ideas can come anywhere at any time. These could be little images, whole sequences, plain dialogue or some combination of all the previous. This was probably the most creative and time consuming step as I tried to make sense of everything and make the pages as clear as possible. To me this was mostly an intuitive step, following my visual storytelling instincts. Sometimes I drew preliminary miniature pages as the ones seen on the left...

Step 2 - The pencils

I created one page at a time, from beginning to end. The drawing started in rough, simple shapes, without details, just the basic shapes.This was mostly done using non-photo blue pencils or markers on plain photocopy A4 paper. I feel very comfortable drawing comic pages with set panel grids (be it three, four, six, eight or nine). I find that it adds to the effect of simplicity and narrative that I'm aiming for with my comics, so I opted to have a set six-panel grid on this comic.

Step 3 - The inks

For the most part, I inked all the outlines using Faber-Castell Pitt black pens size S or XS. I tried to make this and the previous steps as spontaneous as possible because I tend to lose motivation if I spend too much time on a single page.

Step 4 - The colors

 I colored everything on my computer. I think this was the second most time consuming step, leaving an important part of the storytelling to the colors. I tried to use colors in a symbolic way, sometimes also trying to evoke different moods or environments according to the needs of the story.

Step 5 - Lettering and balloons

 I lettered everything using digital fonts. After having placed the text where I wanted I drew the speech balloons, always trying to create a visual flow that would help direct the eyes of the reader zigzagging across the page, from left to right and up to bottom. Sometimes there was no text as in the last panel of the page on the left. I find silent panels very important as they help create a beat or a pause in the rhythm of the narrative. Sometimes less is more.

And that was it. After each page was done I'd post it on my blog and email it to Brant Fowler at, who graciously formatted everything in order to be viewed through their website.
Hope this helps those of you who make or want to make comics too.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Mighty Enlil - afterword

After over a year, we've finally reached the end of this particular adventure with our mighty anunnaki friend. I'd like to thank you, dear reader, for taking the time to follow this comic and hope you've had at least as much fun reading it as I had creating it.

No work is ever created on a vacuum. I'd like to make some special extra thanks to :
  • Ron Fortier for being Enlil's #1 fan;
  • Brant Fowler, the team of Zone 4 and everyone at comicrelated for their incredible support and for having included Enlil on their evergrowing site;
  • Geraldes Lino for enthusiastically spotlighting my work on his blog;
  • André Oliveira and everyone at the Prémios Profissionais de Banda Desenhada 2013 for Enlil's nomination for best national webcomic and also for taking the time and care to include Enlil pages at the PPBD2013 expo on the 9th Festival Internacional de Banda Desenhada de Beja;
  • Pepedelrey for some harsh but helpful critics on my previous comics;
  • Finally, last but not least, to my family and close friends. You know who you are and without your love and support none of this would make sense.
The Mighty Enlil comic is ended - at least on this web format - but on the following weeks I intend to spotlight some behind the scenes and extras. Then, hopefully, in a few months, we'll return with another new ongoing comic. In the meantime, keep on checking this blog at the same day, same hour!