Mike Dawson Comics

February 26, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mike @ 2:36 pm

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April 24, 2013

T.I.P.S! 161 Brainiacs, feat. Josh Flanagan

Filed under: The Ink Panthers Show — Mike @ 8:57 pm

iFanboy’s Josh Flanagan creeps back into The Lair to tell us his tips for home and car improvement. Alex updates us on an English couple who have given their children silly names, and then the three brainiacs prove themselves smarter than 93% of the population.

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This week’s illustration of Inky the Domesticated Panther supplied by The Lazy Hole. Thanks, Lazy!!

Submit yours to inkpanthers@gmail.com

April 16, 2013

T.I.P.S! 160 Frozen Deer Leg

Filed under: The Ink Panthers Show — Mike @ 1:14 pm

160TitleCard

How to handle a pleasure-eel, news about Cher’s untimely demise, This Is 40 ought to have been titled This Is Mike’s Least Favorite Movie of the Recent Past, vice-Mayoral antics, and those darn Dukes of Smyrna County are at it again!!

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This week’s illustration of Inky the Domesticated Panther supplied by returning champion Ian Andersen. Thanks Ian!!

Submit yours to ink panthers@gmail.com

April 9, 2013

T.I.P.S! 159 feat. Lisa Hanawalt

Filed under: The Ink Panthers Show — Mike @ 11:39 pm

Cartoonist and podcaster Lisa Hanawalt creeps into Panther’s Lair to check out some of our brand new show segments. There’s Alex Reads the News, and Mike Introduces Friends At A Party. Plus: A fascinating Wiki of The Week!

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This week’s illustration of Inky the Domesticated Panther supplied by Kevin Eckert. Thanks Kevin!!

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April 8, 2013

MoCCA Table Talk: Inspiration to Inking

Filed under: process — Mike @ 12:48 pm

I was at the MoCCA Arts Festival all day Saturday, and it was pretty great for a number of reasons. The Table Talk I participated in, along with Brendan Leach and Josh Bayer, was very well attended. We had a very in-depth discussion about our processes which went on for over an hour and fifteen minutes, and as far as I could tell, most of the audience stuck around, despite the fact that they were standing the whole time and we were talking about nibs and what kind of ink we like using.

I recorded the talk on my MP3 recorder, but haven’t had a chance to listen back and see if the audio is usable yet. If it is, I will post it later this week as an Ink Panthers Show PRO-T.I.P.S.

For the purposes of the talk, we each took photos of our work in various stages of completion and walked through how we make a comics page. My pics are below.

I started off explaining how I’m knee-deep in the middle of making a new graphic novel. I don’t write a script or thumbnail the book beforehand, though I do keep a rough outline of the general plot-points of the story, which I continually add to or delete from, as the thing evolves. I’ve actually found the best method for me to keep my thoughts in order is to maintain a couple of different Notes files on my iPhone.

When I reach a given scene in the story, I’ll think about it more deeply, and will write out some dialogue on scrap paper, like this:
MD001-script

The above dialogue happened to actually be before the page I took photos of, but it’s pretty much how my scripts look. Then I’ll do a rough pass on “pencils”:
MD002-pencils

My pencils are very, very loose, and highly subject to change as I work on a page. I realized during the course of the discussion that the reason for this might be just because I’m used to using blue-line pencils, and they pretty much suck for drawing detailed drawings anyway, so I just taught myself to do the majority of the rendering in ink out of necessity.

Here are the panels all drawn in:
MD003

Then I put in the word balloons:
MD004

And begin drawing. I start with the figures first. At some point I realize I’ve messed up with how I initially drew the word balloons:
MD005

So therefore:
MD006

I clean things up on the page. I talked about how my approach these days is to try and get the pages looking as close to finished as possible, using white-out or rubber-cementing new pictures over mistakes. I am trying to do use Photoshop as little as I can. We talked a lot about that, and I hope I made it clear that for me it’s just a personal preference. For me, a big part of making comics is just to satisfy my own needs to draw a certain amount at a certain standard on a weekly basis, and in the past when I was working with Photoshop more, I felt like I was taking more shortcuts. I’d spend less time on the drawing, knowing I could spruce it all up later digitally. One unfortunate thing about the MoCCA talk is that both Josh and Brendan don’t really use Photoshop a lot either, so there wasn’t anyone there really representing the digital approach to making comics, which of course is entirely valid.

Here is the page “cleaned up”
MD007

And here it is with the top two panels looking a lot closer to being finished:
MD009

I hang my pages on the wall next to my drawing table as I work, so I am able to see how it builds. I can see the page spreads, and it’s easy to find earlier pages for reference. I can’t fit the whole book on the wall, so I just keep up the sections that I’m currently putting together.
MD010-wall

And here’s the stack, so far:
MD011-stack

Another exciting thing that came out of MoCCA, was that I had a chance to talk with Secret Acres about when this book might be published. We’re looking at it coming out roughly a year from now, which means I actually have deadlines and due-dates to start thinking about, which should be excellent motivation to push me through the home stretch on this thing.

April 5, 2013

This weekend: MoCCA Arts Fest

Filed under: conventions,process — Mike @ 9:03 am

This weekend (well, tomorrow), I’ll be at the MoCCA Arts Festival in New York City. I only have plans to be there on Saturday, though late-breaking enthusiasm for the revamped show has me wondering if I can somehow show my face on Sunday as well.

I will be participating in this year’s programming.

TABLE TALKS – located in the Moving Image Lounge off the Main Floor

11:30 Comics Process: Inspiration to Inking
Join Brendan Leach, Mike Dawson and Josh Bayer as they discuss the process behind writing a comic beginning with research and inspiration, to inking and finishing a comic.

Josh Bayer traveled to the future and drew the above charming (but accurate) illustration of how our talk went.

I’m very much looking forward to this talk. I took some photos of my process as I put a page together, which was a fun thing to do. A sneak-peek image is below.

Hope to see you there!

April 3, 2013

T.I.P.S! 158 Free Samples, feat. Tony Consiglio

Filed under: The Ink Panthers Show — Mike @ 12:03 am

The Desert Panther creeps into The Panther’s Lair to discuss a Fleshlight update, an altercation at the Free Samples booth at Costco, and Prom Night. Oh What a Night!

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This week’s illustration of Inky the Domesticated Panther supplied by Caitlin Skaalrud. Thanks Caitlin!!

Submit yours to ink panthers@gmail.com

March 26, 2013

T.I.P.S! 157 – Subliminal Messages

Filed under: The Ink Panthers Show — Mike @ 12:14 am

TIPS157-title

Mike and Alex are in the Ink Panthers Lair, discussing The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, the History of Film, All the Greatest Classic Rock Hits of Your Youth, Sports Contracts, and the Lucky Charms dust you find at the bottom of your box of cereal.

Comments welcome!

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This week’s illustration of Inky the Domesticated Panther supplied by Chrissy Velveteen. Thanks Chrissy!!

Submit yours to ink panthers@gmail.com

March 21, 2013

Upcoming: Asbury Park Comic Con and MoCCA Festival

Filed under: appearances,conventions — Mike @ 10:32 am

I am rarely seen in the wild these days, but I have two, count them, TWO upcoming public appearances.

First up, on Saturday March 30 it’s the Asbury Park Comic Con, held at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ. This is about 10 miles away from my house, so to say that I am excited that they’ve been building up this show so close to home is an understatement. I believe this is the third or fourth time they’ve held the convention, and it looks like they’ve got some pretty great guests lined up, like Al Jaffee, Dean Haspiel, Evan Dorkin, and me! I’ll have all of my books, possibly some original art, as well as some choice selections from the Secret Acres catalogue. If you are in New Jersey, please come out to this show, and help it thrive.

Then, the following weekend, it’s the eleventh annual MoCCA Arts Festival. It’s being held on Saturday and Sunday, but I will only be there Saturday, I think. I’m part of the programming – I’m going to be participating in a Table Talk during the day.

Comics Process: Inspiration to Inking: Join Brendan Leach, Mike Dawson and Josh Bayer as they discuss the process behind writing a comic beginning with research and inspiration, to inking and finishing a comic.

Come on out, won’t you?

March 19, 2013

T.I.P.S! 156 feat. David Dedrick

Filed under: The Ink Panthers Show — Mike @ 10:02 am

TIPS156

David Dedrick, co-host of The Sneaky Dragon Podcast, creeps down from Dragon’s Mountain to join us in Panther’s Lair. Despite the combative nature of this week’s title card (also provided by David), it’s a very pleasant chat! Learn about Canadian and American history, and hear about St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans.

Comments welcome!

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