Wednesday, April 07, 2010

More Parker Progress

I thought I'd share some more of my working process on Judge parker for some of the dailies that are out this week. Above is my pencils for the Monday and Tuesday strips running this week which features the return of Neddy and the introduction of her French boyfriend, Jules. This was a big weeks as Neddy has been off in Europe and out of the strip for a while. So I get to basically re-establish her in the strip, which is nice.

You can see where I hand write in the script to place the word balloons, which at this point I was still doing by hand, I have now moved to doing them in photoshop, which makes it easier. I would prefer the whole thing done by hand, but I don't have a letterer on staff and it saves a lot of time to do them in photoshop--and time is of the essence as I am still close to King's deadlines on the strip. With my busy schedule now, school, etc., plus the strip--every hour counts--I might even get to use it to sleep. Woody Wilson, the writer wanted Neddy dressed in a sexy little black number, to show she's grown up a bit since she 'went away".

Here are the two dailies inked up and I added some zip as well. Upon seeing the strips printed I am not sure if I'll keep adding zip as the strip is now often printed so small I don't know if it really looks good. every week I feel I get a little looser and the strip is a little more my own take, I "Feel" the characters more, they become actors in my mind, not just drawings or symbols.

I wish the strips were run bigger and I wish I could work bigger as well, but I need to keep things able to fit on my scanner and with the size of the strips being run today drawing more into them would make it much harder to read and reproduce well. Luckily all my years in storyboards helped me work smaller.


Unknown said...

Great work, Mike!

Unknown said...

Looking good, Mike! I was wondering when your photoshopped lettering will start? Also, I always thought comic strip artists drew their strips bigger, like 4x6 or 5x7 for each strip? What is the size you draw them? Are there specifications for the size to make the three boxes or the width/height of the strip? Are you thinking of varying up the panels, like Barreto did? Sometimes he didn't stick to just a three panel set up. Also, how does the writer set up the story and do you have the freedom to improvise? Thanks, very interested in this process!

Mike Manley said...

Richard, I draw two up on an 11 x 17 sheet. The specs are 13.5 at 600DPI for reproduction.

As far as playing with layout--I'll see as I go, I think it depends on the script and if it lends itself to that.

Mike Hawthorne said...

thanks for sharing the process, Mike! Looks great!


Silvio Spotti said...

Looks great with the zip.
Keep the strips coming. Beacause here in Brazil I only will be able to see it in here.
Or there is a link to the News paper?
I think that if the news papers don´t want the strips to be printed bigger, they should post it on line. Some people, do buy the news papers also because of the strips. I do.

Jamar said...

Love the behind the scenes, Mike! This looks great.

CC said...


You can read Judge Parker daily at the Seattle newspaper, the Post-Intelligencer:

Mike, you should tell KFS that you are now drawing it. Since they still list Eduardo Barreto on the byline and bio.

Steve said...


Looks like you are winning over the sex starved critics/cynics over at the Comics Curmudgeon. A recent sample of some comments, FWIW:

commodorejohn (4/8): JP – Interesting. Seems like with Neddy’s introduction, we’re also witnessing the introduction of Manley’s own take on Judge Parker; it looks less imitative of Baretto and more like someone else’s work. Panel three Neddy is the most obvious example, but Sam in panel two looks rather different as well. Hmm.

John C Fremont: JP – Wow, Manley can really draw hot babes. I’m really liking this one, especially in the second panel.

KarMann: JP: Did Manley borrow that crack-in-a-dress look from Barreto?

commodorejohn: JP – Hmm, looks like Manley pays as much attention to the back forty as he does to the front acreage. Interesting.

Little Guy: JP: MikeM is showing great promise, but more butt-cling, please. You’re the artist. You’re allowed to “paint on the clothes”.

John C Fremont: (to KarMann's post) I know. That was just my not-very-awake-yet brain’s way of saying that I find Mr. Manley’s Neddy renderings to be very hot – but I still do not accept this girl as Neddy. This is my own problem, and I am working on it. In my heart, however, this will always be the Neddy that I love;

(Excuse my lazy link – I’m supposed to be working.)

Aviatrix: JP: I’m creeped out by Neddy’s big anime eyes.

Mike Manley said...

CC, Kind will be updating their site this week with my Bio, etc.

SLyon, well I know many long time readers will just not dig what I do because it's different, Not Barreto and some people, like you will really enjoy it. The thing is you can't listen to too many voices as an artist on either side, your ego will grow to big and ruin you--or you will be afraid to see the villagers with the torches outside the window.

I've been in this game a long time now so I have to work for myself and trust my tastes as thats the only sane way an artist can work.

What always amazes me is what people read into a drawing and what the artist must have been thinking or trying to do when they are as far off base as can be. Nobody is right in their comments about my intent or craft and i also have learned that so often on the web those who post are the most extreme of the readers. Most people don't write letters and sometimes there is a certain snarky quality to things that would never happen in person. There were so many snarky comments at my buddy Heebinks run that were just uncalled for and off base.

I respect Eduardo's run, but have no intention on being a clone of anyone. ;-)