It's Time to Celebrate Inktober 2015!


Inktober is upon us, and I'm joining in again.

For those of you who don't know, Inktober is something Jake Parker (you may know him from "Rocket Racoon") started five years ago as a challenge to himself. To improve his inking skills, he did a finished inked drawing every day in the month of October, publishing them daily to keep himself honest.

Over the years, it's snowballed and now it's a hashtagged feature of the month. Check out Instagram or Tumblr and you'll see it everywhere. Skottie Young even joined the movement this year; he's doing Harry Potter character portraits.

I did my first Inktober last year. It was a lot of fun, though a bit challenging with the deadlines once or twice near the end. I learned a bunch. I wasn't so sure I'd have time for it this year and, honestly, my pens all dried up in the meantime. I've been inking digitally on a tablet lately.

At the last minute, though, I changed my mind. I made a trip to the craft store, picked up a new sketchbook with a thin pen, and loaded a new ink cartridge into my trusty brush pen.

This year, I want to keep a diary of the experience, and Pipeline seems like the right place to do it.


This is all I'm working with this year.


Day One


Making comics is hard. We over simplify it when we review them or just talk about them with friends or on-line. Every little step in the process is fraught with peril, done by people with years of experience who take a lot of time to get it right. Even when they fail, they're still leap years ahead of where we amateurs are.

I'm just penciling and inking little figures floating in mid-air, mostly in a sea of white nothingness. And I fret over things like anatomy, proportion, energy, foreshortening, proportion, originality, storytelling, proportion, line weight, negative space, filled-in areas, tooling, proportion, and more.

Wait -- why am I doing this again?

It's fun. Isn't that the craziest part of it all? It's hard, this stuff. But the act of creating something, of producing something, and of showing it off for all the world to see is intoxicating.

If, somewhere along the way, the work improves, all the better. If nothing else, finding all these pain points helps me to enjoy the comics I read today all the more, makes me a more empathetic reviewer, and gives me more things to write about after 17 years of doing it.

But 22 pages a month of this stuff? That's madness.


  • Last week, I did a bit with my recommendations for successful letterhacking twenty years ago. That was inspired by being interviewed by David Harper for an article he was writing for SKTCHD. That article is now live, looking at the recent history of the letters column and its place in this bold new world. I get quoted lots. Despite that, it's a good read.
  • A couple weeks back, one of the questions I had for Apple's iPad Pro was about palm rejection. Can you rest your hand on it while you draw without confusing the computer? Apple did a demo at Pixar the next week, and the word out of that campus was that the palm rejection was "perfect." That's awesome news... I went a step further and compiled screenshots from Apple's iPad Pro introductory videos that shows palms resting on screens.
  • Next week: I have something to review that should be of interest to all of you budding artist types. I think it's really cool...

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