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There and Back Again

The road between analog and digital is a two-way street for a lot of cartoonists these days.

Bringing it home this week: A shop talk video featuring Doug TenNapel (via a tweet by Kazu) and an email from artist Nate Simpson about his use of the Cintiq.

TenNapel’s video covers many of the same techniques my generation was using 20 years ago—right down to the Windsor-Newton finest sable #3—but with a difference. Mr. T. is perfectly comfortable using digital tools (has in the past, might in the future) he just prefers the traditional ones right now, and his affection for them shows in the video.

Meanwhile, Simpson has fallen head-over-heels in love with his tablet monitor and has been producing some amazing art and discussing process over at his blog for a while. 100% digital and happy as a clam.

Both are talented artists. Both have set foot on both analog and digital soil. Now they’re settling on whichever patch of land is making them happy. And if they ever want to pull up stakes and go back, they know the way.

I remember when that two-way street was a dirt path.

Guarded by Trolls.


Discussion (6)¬

  1. Mike L says:

    I still prefer a combination of the two. For me, it’s simply faster to ink with a brush. Line laid, decision made, boom. But composition, coloring are all done digitally as the ease of manipulation is just too useful.

  2. larrymarder says:

    I just got review an advance copy of Beanworld Book Three and it is the first black and white work that I did completely on the Cintiq in Photoshop. Until I had a printed book in my hand, I really didn’t know for sure that all the nifty tricksI tried would actually show up on the page as intended.

    They did.

    All the years of frustration that the traditional art supplies I’d relied on for decades had become shoddy and discontinued are now gone.

    No going back for me now

    On the other hand, I enjoy sketching at cons more now than I ever did before. There I’m using pens, colored markers and pencils, and doing it all the old fashioned way on paper.

    (The only drawback is when I need to fill in a big patch of color, I get a weird twinge of laziness that I have to actually fill this in myself and my hand has to pinch hit for the fill command. )

    • Scott says:

      Can’t wait to see Book 3 when we see you in a few weeks!

      And of course, you know whenever this topic comes up, I think of your quest to replace your beloved #00 technical pen, and the reaction of the young clerk to the never-opened case.

  3. Reggaenights says:

    Since I never properly learned how to ink with tangible media, the “digital canvas” fits me just fine. In fact it’s the only way I’ve been able to do my comic work on my blog and any professional work in storyboarding. Yet, at home, due to financial limitations, I still use a tablet, which is obviously not as good as a Cintiq monitor, but one gets used to it when necessity demands it so. Also, it’s much easier to organize files in folders digitally – I know I am running out of space with just folders of pieces and sketchbooks everywhere in my small apartment – so it’s tough for me to imagine relying on pen and paper solely. But I do applaud those that are able to though…

  4. I like using the wacom tablet..

    But to be honest, “zoom out” and “lean back” are in no way comparable so I’m currently preferring to create on paper and just using the tablet to do lettering and clean up.

  5. [...] checks in on his blog (and in yesterday’s comments) to report that he’s received advance copies Beanworld Book 3, with the all new stories [...]