Hello!

Hi Folks! My name is Mike and I have been drawing the Corydon Café web comic since 2009. I work on a street called Corydon Avenue, up here in Winnipeg. Corydon Avenue here is a lively street on summer evenings, full of small cafés and weird people. Hence the name for my web comic. The nice thing about "Corydon" is that you can find a Corydon Street, Avenue, Town, or City all over Canada, the USA, and the UK. So my Corydon is also your Corydon, where ever you might be browsing from!

Simple Comics for Smart Phones Browsing sure has changed since 2013! Now about a full thirty percent of my visitors come from mobile devices, which is why I have opted for a vertical easy to scroll format for my comics. My online comics are hand-drawn (because I turn into a spaz when I try to draw anything on my tablet). Here are my weapons of mass creation:


My collection of pencils and pens for drawing my comic.

The super soft 2B mechanical pencil is for when I'm doodling in search of ideas, and for initial drafts of what I would like to draw. Once I'm ready to commit, then I do light foundation sketching with a light 4H pencil, which is easy to erase after the ink has hit the pavement. However, that was BEFORE I got my Huion L4S LED tracing pad. This means I can now scribble as much as I want on my draft, then trace with ink to a clean sheet of paper, thereby eliminating the problem of erasing my pencil lines. The tracing pad has adjustable brightness, and since it is a full panel of LEDs instead of an incandescent light bulb, the light is even, cool, and easy on the eyes. I got mine from Amazon for a really good price. In the description they say the "active light" area is 310 mm by 210 mm, but in reality it is a bit larger and is more than big enough for the printer "letter" sized paper I always use (because that is a large as my scanner can go). The Huion L4S comes with a USB connector so you can power it from your laptop, or from a 5 volt power adapter. The tracing pad is only 6 mm thick, so you can use it on your lap or on a table top with complete comfort. It is also bright enough to trace through 5 sheets of standard weight printer paper. I wish I had this years ago, as it makes producing my online comic so much faster and easier.

For my ink work, I like to use either a 0.7mm/1.0mm gel pen or a Medium Paper Mate Flair pen for finer line work. Thicker lines are done with a "B" Pitt Brush Pen from Faber-Castell. Then I do some shadowing with a light gray Prismatic or Copic brush pen. I like the line-work you get from a brush pen, but I'm still working on getting the hang of it, since I like to press down on the paper with about 10,000 PSI of pressure! Once in a blue moon I might work with water colors.

Once my originals are ready, I scan them in using a basic printer/scanner, which works fine since I do all my work on letter sized paper. I scan everything as either "color" or "gray scale" at 200 dpi (I find that 300 actually erodes the lines edges). I scan the images as a PNG type, and keep the original drawing files as PNG, but resize the images to 500 pixels wide and save a JPG since a JPG has a much smaller file size than a PNG file. The nice thing about resizing down a PNG original into a small JPG is the quality seems to be better. In the past I used to work with a JPG original, but resizing it down seemed to create background noise on the smaller JPG (Or maybe it's just me, but this method seems to work nicely.)

After scanning, I cobble the various comic panels into a single strip using Corel Paint Shop Pro (paid for, not pirated), and add the panel boxes. Here my tablet comes in handy for moving stuff around, and making small corrections to the images. I use the "Brightness and Contrast -> Levels" to darken up the line work, then use "Soften" to smooth the line work (sometimes doing the "soften" before the "levels" seems to clean up the lines better). Finally, I resize shrink the comic for my web site.

All of my html and php is hand-balmed old-school style, without any "comics blog software", and hosted on linux with apache.

Thank you for reading my online comic! Cheers!

mike@corydoncafe.com

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