End of year lists

I don’t usually bother with end of year lists or top tens but I enjoy seeing other peoples books and pull lists so what the hell, why not? Not a comprehensive list of everything I read in 2022, just a few personal faves.

First up, Short and Curious by PJ Holden available on gumroad.

I know, I know… I’ve posted about this before but I bloody love it! I also wanted to show off the lil A5 copy I printed on the big old duplex copier at work… even dusted off my long arm stapler too.

The Essential Guide to Comic Book Lettering by Nate Piekos. While the book primarily focuses on using Adobe Illustrator there’s lot’s of useful guides and info. I’m really gonna have to make time to try out the stuff here and see if I can adapt the workflows in Affinity Designer.

Cyberpunk 2077: Blackout by Bartosz Sztybor and Roberto Ricci was a must-buy for me after seeing Roberto’s process posts on twitter.

The Dragon Path by Ethan Young was an absolute delight from start to finish. Some fanart is well overdue for this fantastic book.

Dream Fossil: The Complete Stories of Satoshi Kon. I’ve had this on my bed side table for the past year and have read it now at least ten times. The stories collected are simply phenomenal, from the eeriness of ‘Guests’ to the sheer joy of ‘Beyond the sun’.

Kroma by Lorenzo De Felici. One of my favourite books on the stands at the moment, Lorenzo is producing something incredible with Kroma.

SKYBOUND X has been on my pull list since it started and issue 25 was excellent. Battle Beast, Kirkman, Ottley, need I say more?

Ok, that’s enough of that, happy new year dweebs!

Colour it in

I coloured day 2 of PJ Holden’s brilliant holiday comics for the craic:

I flatted the page pretty quickly earlier in the week before adding rendering over the last few days at work. I had about 10 to 30 minutes during my breaks and lunches giving me approximately 10 minutes per panel.

Kinda like PJ’s genius pomodoro technique (which breaks single tasks into 25 minute chunks) 10 minutes is a pretty perfect time limitation to set for a single panel, really keeps you focused.

PJ has collected his holiday comics along with a bunch of other strips on gumroad (it’s pay what you like) and I really enjoyed it!

I’ve uploaded my flats here if you wanna colour the page too.

One Love

PJ Holden kindly offered up some more inks for colouring on his blog and I couldn’t resist. Give it a go too why don’t cha, I’d love to see some more approaches to this sublime wee one pager.

Is it Alien day yet?

PJ Holden posted an awesome Alien on Friday and kindly offered up the inks for colouring.

Would’ve been just swell if he also offered up the flats too (just kidding PJ). I really enjoyed this, it’s prob the first time I’ve tried colouring someone else’s work and I spent just under 30 mins on it altogether. I produced the flats in CSP using the workflow from PJ’s Imagine FX tutorial and briefly considered exporting the file for use in Procreate to just go crazy with texture and brushes. I quickly changed my mind though and imported an overlay texture layer after I worked out my palette and added shading, etc.


I followed some clip studio paint tutorials by PJ Holden earlier today:

I picked this up on a weekend break to Cork in 2015 for the Cork Comic Expo (still has the Eason price tag). The tutorials by PJ provide a fundamental breakdown of the techniques required to get started with comics in MS5 and there’s also a longer article later in the mag on How to create your own comic.

Here’s my notes from pages 20-23:

Despite my terrible lettering this has been a really useful exercise, I’ve got a much better understanding of how to colour in clip studio and I just love the simplicity of using less layers and following naming conventions.

If you’re not aware, PJ also has a plethora of fantastic advice and tips on his blog and twitter and I have every intention of trying each one.

In the meantime, I’m gonna go re-read Dept of Monsterology and then drool over PJ’s bits and bobs… er… I mean PJ’s Cork Expo sketchbook.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!