The Making of “Wreck Tangled”

It has been a number of years since I have written an article here on the Bristol Board and Ink. I actually enjoy writing about the process of creating comics, but I manage to get busy and not allocate any time for this activity . I hope to rectify that in the near future. This then is a step in that direction. I want not only to be informative about the process we use, but also to expose some often hidden aspects of comic creation. In this article it is important to recognize that there is a process by which our comic is created and that process is step wise and developmental. Finished work does not magically appear in a single burst of elegance, rather it evolves step by step from a rough form to a finished form .

( Note: click on images to view them enlarged )


Sara and my approach to writing comics is situational. We have developed a cast of characters whose personalities have evolved over time and we just have fun placing them into situations and watching them react. In our current adventure, for example, Agile, the bug, has been cast in the role of a costumed crimefighter. Of course everyone who follows BugPudding knows that Agile, no matter how hard he tries, can never quite do anything without somehow fouling it up. As a crimefighter, he gets no respect and so situationally his logical response to that problem is to perform a costume makeover. As expected his attempts to redefine his persona can only generate a series of humorous failures.


This particular strip, titled Wreck Tangled, is the first in that series. Agile is a very physical bug, he always expresses himself thru a wide range of physical gestures. I must confess to enjoying being his model for this type of activity and then trying to capture that feeling into gestural poses. They are not meant to be anything more than shorthand scribbles to approximate his actions and emotions. The layout of the action is highly emotional and ideally when done well that emotion shows thru into the final art.


The next step in the drawing process is to convert those poses into more solid drawings of Agile. For this strip the goal is to have Agile, who is not anything like his name would suggest, get tangled up in his latest costume design. But as you can see from these process drawings, it is funnier and more physical to capture the slapstick by drawing him out of costume first and then layering on the costume over his form in a later stage.


Now that we have Agile in his not yet costumed form, we can better visualize how his costume will look in these poses, particularly the flowing and draping of his cape.


The dialogue comes in early in the process and evolves as the drawings evolve. Sara will eventually clean up the wording and insure that it flows, makes sense and is really funny. It is a collaboration that hopefully results in entertaining strips and ultimately an entertaining adventure.


We hope that you have enjoyed this look into the making of this BugPudding comic strip. We are always glad to try to answer your questions in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “The Making of “Wreck Tangled””

  1. When you say ” we just have fun placing them into situations and watching them react” I totally understand. These stories write themselves sometimes, that’s true! The personalities can be so strong, we just have to get out of the way and follow their lead. Fascinating article on your work process, J.P.! Hope we’ll see more!

  2. Thanks Mark,
    I really want to write and post more articles here and will try to do so with far greater regularity. With that in mind, I hope visitors who read these articles will follow your example and add their comments / opinions / questions. Nothing is more motivating than the interchange and interaction of comments. Otherwise the writer / poster ends up feeling like they are standing in a big empty room talking to themselves.

    As to the part about stories / strips writing themselves, that is an important topic that I hope to expand upon in a future article. It is part of addressing longevity and sustainability in the comic “self publishing” process. As we both know, we have been able to maintain a great deal of the joy and freshness in our creating because we picked paths that were capable of organic character and situational growth.

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