TGS updates every Monday! I usually take a brief hiatus (about two weeks) between chapters and occasionally during the holidays.
Q: What tools do you use to make The Glass Scientists?
I write my comic scripts in Google Docs, sketch rough thumbnails in Photoshop, create the panel layouts in Manga Studio, then export the layout back into Photoshop to do lettering, roughs, linework, and color. I work on a Cintiq.
Q: Who else helps create The Glass Scientists?
For Chapters 1-8, I had help from Tiina Purin, who handled character flat color and background color clean-up. For Chapters 8 on, my assistant has been Julia Elliot, who handles background ink as well as overall flat color and cell shading. From Chapter 9 on, my editor has been Atla Hrafney. My website template was coded by Hiveworks.
Q: Are you planning on printing/running a Kickstarter for TGS?
In theory, yes! In reality, various factors in my career and personal life over the years have pushed the TGS Kickstarter way back into the recesses of my to-do list. When I do finally get around to planning the Kickstarter, it probably look quite similar to my Bleeding Heart Kickstarter, save that this one will be in color and hopefully feature a bunch of fun new add-on features. Rest assured, I will make ample announcements in the comic blog and on social media
Q: How do you draw this comic?
After I finalize the script for a new chapter, I start thumbnailing out my layout drawings for each page.
I like to have all my thumbnails ready for the entire chapter before I start seriously drawing! These thumbnails are extremely quick and loose, focusing on staging, pacing, and visual storytelling. They are also basically incomprehensible to anyone but me.
Can you tell what’s going on? No? That’s fine! No one else sees this stage. I just need to be able to decipher the basic visual information in the panel–Hyde in the foreground, the Society in the background covered in smoke. (Uh, those are the squigglies on the right side of image.)
2. (Tight) Rough Drawing
Here’s where I make my scribble into a real drawing. It usually takes me at least two or three “passes” of a drawing to get it to this stage, gradually figuring out the poses and detail with each pass. I don’t usually indicate shading at this point, but in this image I’ve shown where fire damage will go on the final image.
From here I trace over the my rough image to produce the final lines. This is a pretty mindless, if time-consuming phase–although I do have to be thoughtful about line width. I tend to ink when I’m tired after work and can just put on a podcast or audiobook to listen to! This is also the time that I add in the panel borders (using Manga Studio) and text/speech (using Photoshop).
4) Color script
This is a two-part phase! First, I block off any recurring characters in grey and indicate character shadows (on a separate layer set to “Multiply”). Then I roughly paint in the background colors and effects (including the white streak over Hyde’s hair–that’s caused by a sheet of glass in the foreground).
5) Velo drops in the final base colors!
At this stage I hand off the page to Velo, my colorist! They clean up the background colors and drops in the base colors for each character (based on a color script I provide whenever a new character appears). Then they hand it back to me for . . .
6) Touch-up and Lighting Effects
For the characters, I adjust the colors of the shadow layer and add extra lighting layers (color washes and gradients set to “Hard Light” or “Overlay”). In this shot, I also tinted Hyde’s colors and faded his opacity at the edges to help him read as a “ghost image” reflected on glass. Finally, I tweak the background colors and add in any extra detail work. That’s all!
Q: Would you ever consider making The Glass Scientists into a TV show?
I would certainly love to adapt The Glass Scientists to TV! Given its niche genre, I'm not actively pitching it at the moment, but if you happen to know a development executive who's dying to greenlight a steampunk-adjacent queer historical science fantasy series, drop me a line!
Q: Can I make original characters (OCs) for the TGS universe?
Go right ahead and do it! A good bunch of people have already created their own characters to inhabit the TGS universe. You can post about your character in one of the roleplay forums, and if you post pictures of your character on Tumblr or Twitter, I would be happy to reblog them on my Twitter or the Glass Scientists tumblr.
Q: Can I use panels from your comic on my tumblr/twitter/personal website?
Yes! But please credit me and link back to the original comic website. Please note that for contract-related reasons, I can't allow people to repost entire pages on the comic on external websites. If you see anyone posting pages off of this website, please let me know!
Q: Where did you get your books printed?
I got my art books printed at Burbank Printing in Burbank and Bleeding Heart printed at Nonstop Printing in Hollywood. Both are local LA printers, so if you’re not in the area, you may have to look elsewhere. Sorry!!
Q: What did you use to make this website?
I originally built the website for TGS using Wordpress, but a couple years ago I switched to Comic Control, a streamlined Content Management System designed with webcomics in mind. You can learn about it here!