Setup (part2: software)

posted in: Art Making, odds and ends | 2

I typically draw most of my comics digitally. The practicality of being able to copy layers and save files before trying various techniques makes up for almost all the intimacy and pleasure of drawing traditionally. While I still try my best to sketch in my sketchbook every day (and it’s been two months since I’ve last opened the dang thing) I do almost all of my work on the computer.

Manga Studio

I started drawing out my webcomics in Photoshop, but switched up to using Manga Studio 4EX last year. Manga Studio is a complex enough program that I doubt I understand more than 10% of what it’s capable of. I have a bunch of files and templates I made, but in order to make them, I watched a good couple hours’ worth of youtube tutorials.

Any time I start a new project in Manga Studio I revisit these tutorials, and try to relearn just what the heck it is that I’m doing.

On a daily basis, I find myself adding pages to already created files and templates, penciling, and inking books. At some point I set up a bunch of text presets, and I use those to fill in the words for the comics. I am in constant fear I’ll use the wrong text preset for the wrong comic, and that it’ll… I don’t know… reveal to all and sundry that I have no idea what it is that I’m doing.

After I export my “final” image or page, I open it in photoshop.

Photoshop CS2

It’s an oldie but a goodie. These days, unless I’m coloring a cover, I only use photoshop to resize the page file to 760px wide (by whatever it is tall) and save “for web” as a jpg.

If I am coloring a cover then I use a bunch of brushes and layers and stuff, but that’s another post for another time.


This is going to also be a longer post of it’s own! I use a wordpress site, with a comicpress theme on it to help make my comics easier to read. It’s a bit difficult for non computer people to set up, but it’s the best (and easiest) set up out there. At least, that I know of.

2 Responses

  1. Great post Jenn, love to see the tools everyone else is using. Would you consider maybe doing a post on your process from script to pencils, inks, colors (shading) to finished, and posting the final page?

    Keep up the amazing work!!!

    • Absolutely Ben! I’m currently writing my epic masterpiece on how to install wordpress, but yeah, I totally intend to re-work a bunch of the tutorials I’ve previously posted, mostly since my techniques really have changed over the years!

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