[As promised, here’s a peek at the what went into making the Spera short, “Steamed Horror”, with some notes for whoever’s interested in that sort of thing.]
1: Josh’s script for the page, with some notes on it. When first talking about doing a short together, I think my only suggestion for the story was something along the lines of “make it steampunk!”, which Josh totally pulled off effortlessly.
2: Thumbnail chicken scratching. This is the least-effort kind of thumbnail, just making sure everything will fit on the page and the character placements aren’t totally messing things up.
3: Pencils. Most of the time I’ll pencil 3 or 4 pages at a time and then turn to inking those. Since this story was shorter, I was able to pencil the whole thing before going to inks, which was interesting. There was a bit of adjusting and tightening up happening as I went back to the earlier pages, which I think helped solidify the thing.
4: Inks, my favorite part. Also, at this point I’ll usually do letters to see how the thing is coming together. For those interested, the font used is Blambot’s ZapRaygun-somethingsomething.
5: We wanted to do something different for this short’s coloring, and we settled on these gray textures that, hopefully, make this steampunk city look gritty and grimy. In this step, I’ve just laid down the base texture, which I think is a scan of some wrapping paper. It’s become my habit to scan anything that’ll fit into my scanner. After this, shading and lighting was done on a separate layer on top of this texture.
To see what the final page came out looking like, go read the entire story on the Spera website. We hope you dig this story as much as we do.
Added bonus: The first (and only) sketch I did when we settled on steampunk being the theme for this short — also just an excuse to give Pira a new jacket.