nowhere girl - faq

nowhere girl > faq

How often are new chapters posted?

The comic is retired at this time.

Where did the idea for the story come from?

The story was fictional, though drew on reality in places as all stories do.

Is the story in print, or will it be?

No, it's not and was never in print, only online.

Can I take a piece of art from this site for personal, non-monetary use?

If you'd like to do that, the answer is "yes", I couldn't stop you. My only request is if you do, please link back to my site, or use the materials only for your own personal use (IE downloading the website and making a copy of it for yourself). Please don't sell sell the book, or dupe the website and host it somewhere else and say you made it, burn and sell it, etc.

Will you translate the comic into languages other than English?

There is no translation, no.

What is the process involved in making Nowhere Girl?

This question I received most in relation to drawing. If you're reading this then know that this information is decades out of date and there are better tools and ways of working.

The art began as 8 & 1/2 x 11 sheets, drawn in blueline, non-photo pencil. When I'm satisfied I drew the final pencils over the top of the bluelines.

There was at times need to re-use backgrounds, or the same shots of characters, over multiple panels. Rather than drawing these repeatedly in each panel, I used tracing paper with a lightbox underneath so the existing linework shone through the tracing paper, and then would do lots of little panels on separate sheets of tracing paper.

Everything was then scanned into Photoshop as 300 dpi black and white 50% threshold bitmaps (this ignored all blueline pencils). The tracing paper I had to put a plain white sheet of paper on top of when scanning to achieve the desired effect. Scanning as bitmap "inked" the artwork(there were inevitably small gaps left in some of the black linework requiring touch ups to ease selection for rendering later on).

The digitized panels were then cropped so that everything so each page was the same size. At this point, the images were still flat, non-layered bitmaps. The Mode of the image would then need to change to greyscale, then RGB.

I would keep my Layers palette open, and next double-clicked on the Background layer, making it Layer 1. I then created a new layer, and dragged it underneath layer 1 (renamed to "linework"). The new layer I named "colors". With the linework layer selected, I changed the mode in the Layers palette to "Multiply". This had the effect of keeping the black linework opaque, but making the white areas transparent. I then proceeded to use the Magic Wand to select areas of the Linework layer, then selected the Colors layer and filled those areas in with color. I generally tried to fill in all or most of the page with flat base colors this way, as quickly as possible, before going back and rendering the different areas. For some pages I found it advantageous to have several "Colors" layers. I found it useful sometimes to lay down all flat colors for one character on one layer to keep separate from the background so I could more easily come back and render the character later without messing up the background or having to do lots of tiny selections with the Magic Wand.

I treated the smaller images I scanned from the tracing paper the same way except I didn't need to crop these. I rendered them separately, then copied them into a new file, which I flattened, selected all on the canvas, then copied it to the clipboard. Then I moved back over to my main page artwork, selected the area I needed to paste into, and pasted into it via the edit menu.

When rendering a character or an object (chair, car, background, etc), I used a few techniques. I selected an area of flat color (like a shirt or someone's face and arms), and could then use a gradient (from opaque to transparent, generally) to add rendering, or could use the Lasso tool to de-select part of the selection, then changed the hue or brightness (etc) of the remaining selected areas, for instance I might dampen them down to create a shadow.

To do special effects like lighting that would paint over the black linework, I created new layers above the "Linework" layer, of appropriate opacity to the effect, and rendered the new light using Airbrush.

When this was done, I duplicated the file, flattened the layers in the duplicated file, and was ready to letter.

Before lettering, I created a layer above the finished artwork in the duplicated file. This served as a "mask" layer. I filled it entirely with white, then turned the opacity down (this helped me see better what I was doing, while at the same time it let me see the artwork so I could place the letters correctly). For the lettering, I used mostly a font called "Eraserdust". I generally copy/pasted the text directly out of the script, then formatted it (left-aligned for narration, center-aligned for speech).

When that was done, I created a layer underneath the text, as the balloon layer. I used the select tools to select either oval or rectangular shapes for the balloons themselves, using the lasso tool to add the portions of the balloons arrowing out to the character speaking. Then filled with white, then with the same selection still selected, used Stroke (from the Edit menu) for the outside of the balloons with 3 or so pixels of black.

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