A Look Into the Process of Making Lost Ship

Trying a new step where I make a med-fi pencil mock-up after doing thumbnails

I’ve been working on a new 28-page comic called Lost Ship over the last two months, and it’s been enjoyable to work on a project that’s pretty small in scope. It’s about a small crew that explores space to try to discover new things.

I tried something new with Lost Ship where I made a medium-fidelity pencil version of the entire comic after I finished the thumbnails. I drew this version at the size I intend to print the comic at so that I could get a fell of how it read. It’s super cool to be able to page through it before the actual comic is done. This makes the process look like:

  1. Create low-fidelity thumbnails to figure out the panel layouts and who is in each panel. The art is very blobby and rough at this stage.
  2. Create a medium-fidelity mock-up of the comic. The art is still rough, but I try to make it somewhat clear what the camera angle, dialog, and other stuff in the panel will be.
  3. Pencil and ink the full-size pages and then eventually clean them up.

So Step 2 is new for me, and it’s been a huge help with Step 3 because when I go to layout the page and draw each panel it’s a lot less of a mystery.

Here are some photos of the med-fi mock-up:

As you can see, the art is pretty rough. But that’s okay since it’s just for me (and you too now I guess 🤓). Here’s a mostly finished page for comparison:

Lost Ship_006 - WIP
Lost Ship Page 04 WIP

I think I’ll continue with Step 2 as part of my process for future projects. It takes a bit of extra time, but it’s been worth it so far. I’m going to share more pre-production designs and sketches from Lost Ship soon. I’m aiming to publish the comic this December.