How do we bring the Adventure Time comic to horrifying life? Let’s take a horrifying look!
Step 1: Based on Ryan’s script, we do a pencil sketch. By doing this on a computer rather than on paper, we can move things around, resize them, and generally make things easier to read. We also sketch in the word balloons, roughly as big as they’ll need to be, depending on the amount of text, to make sure everything fits in the panel. Why is it blue? SECRETS.
Step 2: We do inks on the computer as well. We generally do two layers: characters and other foreground elements, and the background. That way we can isolate the background lines and change their colors. How do we change those line colors? SECRETS.
Step 3: Colors are also done in layers. Excluding the two ink layers, there can be four or more layers of color on any given page. Backgrounds, foregrounds, drop shadows, shadows on the characters, lighting effects, and so on. How many layers made up this page? Four. I mean, SECRETS.
The finished digital image is flattened, compressed, and applied to the comic page through a process called “fossilization.” But that’s a topic for another day.