2: What should I draw with/on/etc?Hey: that's why I created Tool Talk! Check it out, take your time... it could answer a few of your questions. But c'mon back when you're done and we'll tackle some other ones here.
2.1: How big should my art be?
Depends on a lot of things. All that really matters is that a)
your original art should be bigger than printed size, because the reduction
makes your printed work look sharper, cleaner, and more like you know what
you're doing; b) your original art must be proportional
to the printed size [i.e., if your original is twice as wide as the printed
page, then it also has to be twice as high, not 1.5 times as high, etc.];
and c) it shouldn't be too big, or you'll have to reduce it
so much that your linework will shrink into spiderwebs or possibly vanish.
2.2: How big should my lettering be?
Same idea applies: Measure someone else's and divide it by your reduction. If you didn't already check out Tool Talk, I'll mention here that you cannot live without an Ames lettering guide, available at any art/stationery store. I use the Ames set to 4 for my lettering, but some people prefer larger or smaller. Trial and error with the Ames guide [checking your try-outs by making reduced photocopies of them, of course] is the best way to figure out what you want.
2.3: What's the story with computer comics lettering?
Well, uh... I realize that the
pros are using it more and more, and admittedly computer fonts have come a
long way since Shatter [Can any of you
remember back that far?]. They do look good, and if you
have the computer and budget to use them, they're certainly allowed. Me, I find computer comic fonts
a bit impersonal for the kind of very-personal, idiosyncratic work that
small press comics tend to be... but despite this, I recently broke down and
bought a computer comics-lettering font
[Don't ask, it's a long story...].
2.31: But gee, these comic lettering fonts cost hundreds of dollars! Isn't there anything a small presser can afford?!
2.4: What's the best tool to ink with?
Purely a matter of taste. I personally wouldn't give up my steel-nib dip pens for anything. Many many inkers swear by the brush [most often the Winsor & Newton Series 7 Number 2, for some reason], but brushes are probably the hardest inking tools to master. (But if you do, you can run rings 'round the other guys...) Some pros like Terry Austin use a selection of technical pens and get away with it. Others, as diverse as the immortal Alex Toth and Randy Glasbergen, use felt tip pens and markers. Someone out there is doing great work with an inking tool someone else told you never to use! There are no rules in small press! So the best advice is: if you really like it and the final printed work turns out okay, then use it. Brushes and dip pens are far and away the most common, and probably for good reason, but following the herd is not a requirement for membership. Feel free to experiment: no one else has to see it!
2.5: Do I hafta use bristol board to draw on?
Nope. Just like inking, it's a matter of taste: if it works and you like it, go ahead. Bristol is durable, cheap, and a good surface for brush or pen, so its overwhelming popularity makes sense. But there are artists who do their final art on tracing paper, typing paper [especially popular with financially-strapped small press artists], illustration boards, etc.
2.6: Will blue pencil or marker show up on a really good copier?
Non-repro blue pencils and markers were originally designed to take advantage of offset printing and crummy photocopiers, but a "good" one would still pick them up. Now it seems the opposite is true: I find that the better the machine I use, the more likely the blue pencil won't show up. There are always exceptions, of course, but bear in mind:
2.7: Can you recommend any books on drawing comics?
2.8: I want my comic colored. What should I do?
Ask someone who's done it before! Coloring is one section I have no experience with whatsoever. Sorry, dudes. (However, I was recently hipped to a computer-coloring studio with an online portfolio -- here -- if you wanna fork out for professional coloring...)