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Hey Everyone,

This is an article on color I did for ComicsComics#2 from 2007(!) which is often used as a teaching tool. I’m posting it here because my friends keep telling me they haven’t read it. Check out the old archived site HERE. Maybe they’ll read it now. Thanks.–FS (images by Kevin Nowlan)

Make It Loud: Comics Color, Kevin Nowlan, and Cosmic Depth

by Frank Santoro

Until the early 1990s, most color comics were produced in the same way they’ve been made for nearly one hundred years. The artist drew the comic in black-and-white and then, for the most part, provided the printer with a guide of some sort to color the comic by. These guides would have been anything from simple color sketches to hand-colored photostats or Xeroxes of the black-and-white line art. Engraving plates would be created by the printer for four different colors: red, blue, yellow, and black. In combination, and with the help of screens, these would produce a limited but comprehensive palette. There was no guarantee, however, that the vision of the artist and the reality of what came off the press would match. Photoshop did not yet exist. There was no way to preview the results.

Keep reading



Sneak peek from comic I’ll be performing live this Wed, 2 Mar at Fête de la Bande Dessinée – Comic Book Festival in Mart Firestation Rathmines.

I’ll be in good company with Fintan Taite, Alan Dunne, Chris Judge, Debbie Jenkinson, Maura McHugh and loads, loads more!

Entry FREE! Check out the programme here:

indie comics festival – French | Irish – I’m organising.  If you’re in Dublin, check it out 🙂



You can read the rest of it here:!saucepan/lj43l

New blog for comics of Sarah Bowie



Delighted to be involved in organising this French | Irish indie comics festival in Dublin.  

Join the event here:

Full programme details here:


Man Smoking a Cigar



Been talking a lot these days about first take drawing. No underdrawing, no fuss, no “detailing”, no shitting – just deliberate marks on paper, then arranged into meaningful layout/narrative spreads.

I recently finished a 10 page story for the CW mag (B/W above) – made in exactly this way. I wanted to show a lot of wide natural vistas so, for ease, i used a grid of identically sized panels. This allowed me to put any drawing anywhere it needed to be for visual flow or narrative reasons. Each drawing was done with a story card construction mentality – to show what’s important in as much clarity and detail as was necessary, then move on to the next.

I also just self-published a 32 page comic, Hermit Crab Real Estate (Black/Orange above). In its original form, it suffered from a bunch of bad, literal, linearity problems during serialization, so i snatched it back and hacked the shit out of it. Every bit of new content added was a first take drawing. A deliberate, necessary image to move the story forward, or none at all. Less than half of the original content survived the editing process.

I’ve always had a tendency to overwork every single drawing, and have been consistently disappointed with the results. For me, the polish, and the mentality of polishing, were killing the work. This also led to overthinking elements of stylization to the point where they’d become barriers to reading narrative imagery clearly – style overshadowing the intent of the initial drawing.

Something to think about. Something I’ve been thinking a lot about, anyway.


More crazy Connacht comics – Issue 3 of Argh! to download from here from the group of Galway based artists.



Edvard Munch
The death of Marat
1906.- 1907



Dark Matter by Paddy Lynch.

A comic for the day that’s in it. 

A deep well of creativity returned to the universe. A challenge and opportunity to all. 


Pappy New Year. Old Man Time marches on, regardless.