Process – Action League Poster


This is more of a “layer by layer” rather than a “step by step”. The final file was printed at 12″ x 18″. The initial layout was inspired by the classic JLA #1 cover by Kevin Maguire. I wasn’t brave enough to pull off the white background, however.

I sketched in red pencil on tracing paper and initially inked with Micron pens. Ultimately, I decided to scan and re-ink in Manga Studio 4 Debut, mostly as an exercise to get more familiar with the program. I am not happy with my digital inking overtures, but happy with the program itself (see Jonathan Rector’s generous videos for more tips on digital inking in Manga Studio).

Coloring and effects were added in Photoshop. I had an archived tutorial from some design magazine on creating halftone effects. While incorporating that effect with the characters, I stumbled across the “Circle” Halftone pattern (Filter –> Sketch –> Halftone Pattern) which I used to help separate the figures from the background and direct the viewer to the “Action League” Logo which (along with the individual hero logos) was created in Illustrator.

To give the image the “aged comic” look I followed the excellent tutorial by the fine folks at Comicraft.



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