Every page starts with a rough script. While I know the ending of LeyLines and the key points, I haven’t written a script for the full story. In fact, I only write one scene at a time. For me, I find this method keeps me excited, because it leaves room for the characters to evolve and surprise me. I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody, though! What I WOULD recommend for everyone is finding a trusted Sounding Board to run your work by. Khan, my partner in crime and Editor, is always willing to help me take a machete to overburdened dialog and unnecessary scenes.
Once I’ve scripted a scene, I sketch it out in my Dummy book. This lets me get an idea of (1) how the page will be laid out and (2) how the page will appear in the printed books. A lot of my editing occurs here, as I can see what sections might have too much dialog or unclear actions. It also helps me maintain consistent character positioning.
Then I sketch everything out on prepared cardstock, which has lines for live, margin, trim, and bleed areas. This helps ensure that dialog and important images won’t get cropped out when the book is published! I use cheap grocery-store mechanical pencils. Since my pencil work is so messy, I re-scan them once I’m done and convert the lines to a pale blue. The blue-lines, as I call them, are printed out and that is what I ink, using Micron pens. When I scan the result in Black & White, the blue isn’t picked up by the scanner!
Finally, the page is colored in Photoshop. While I used to color with a WACOM tablet, I’ve since upgraded to a Cintiq to increase my speed.