Caleb Orecchio here, sharing my current production process and other news.


Hey Folks, Caleb here. Last week I talked a bit about coloring and practicing color. Today I want to give you a bit of insight into my own color and production process. No, this isn’t a “my way or the highway” type of thing, true believer–rather, think of it as a mini workshop.  I want to exhibit what I do so you, possibly a fellow cartoonist, can (not necessarily use this process, but) take into account the many ways to make comics in this day and age and hopefully maximize your time and energy.

Before I get into it, a quick word about the comic being made in this post. It is the 170th installment of Joanie and Jordie, a strip that runs daily (in theory) at the bottom of each Daily News post. This comic will appear at the bottom of this very Daily News post, True Believer! This was a tough one. I am currently trying to execute a a certain style and I feel that I’m struggling with. Not in a bad way, but it’s a challenge. I’m trying to keep all characters involved in the scene visible in each panel. Also I’m trying to keep the current storyline at a brisk pace and feeling free to follow my bliss. After I drew this very strip dear readers and my only friends, I realized I need to color less “literally.” I’ve been very hung up about drawing literally, but this exercise showed me that I need to stretch out my wings and loosen up.

Anyway, below is  my template for my strip.

I cut out and draw on 4.5″ x 6″ sized panels (more or less classic daily strip panel size and proportional to the current smaller standard of 13″ x 4″ sized strip) individually and make my manuscripts by pasting these panels onto a separate sheet of paper over my template.

View with lightbox on.

Lately, I’ve been inking more traditionally. Some of you may think that is weird to mention. Anyway, I just feel that inking the way I am now is the way to go. Still feeling it out. Really I treat my strip in a way I feel the Noel Sickles treated his run on Scorchy Smith. He, as you may or may not know, constantly experimented and played with the look of the strip until he handed it over to the next guy. What I’m trying to say is that the look of Joanie and Jordie never stays consistent for too long. I “ink” with one Pentel Rolling Writer pen and one ebony pencil.

Note possible dialog in margins.

Next up is color. In the past, color has come before inking, but right now this order of operations is what I feel comfortable with. I use three Prismacolor markers on three seperate layers of tracing paper to color: canary yellow, scarlet lake, and copenhagen blue. I apply them on tracing paper because this helps me see the colors and their mixtures as I go.

Okay, not too bad I suppose. I’m getting a bit stiff which means I need to change something up here soon. Anyway, next is lettering. Notice in the corner of each of these layers that I label each part of the process. This is merely for my biographer and/or The Billy Ireland Museum for when I’m dead and the eventual disintegration of my organization skills takes its toll. Is my ego out of control or what? haha But who else is going to do it if I don’t do it myself.

My two “black” layers.

My three color layers.

Now to scan. I scan these at 600dpi because that’s as high as my scanner will go. Also, I’m afraid to go any higher in resolution because I don’t want to overload my aging laptop.

Okay, so here is where the REAL inside baseball stuff comes in. This is Photoshop. I’m just going to run through this quickly because life is too short to give a detailed tutorial in Photoshop.

First I bring in the ink, or “K” layer.

I then select a patch of white and go to SELECT, then click “Similar” in the dropdown menu.

This then selects everything that is white within the layer. We are going to delete all the white and leave just the black so we don’t get any pesky paper tones. I do this on every layer.

Also don’t forget to get your color mode correct.

Line up each color layer and layer them appropriately. I like to put them in the order they would be applied in process printing: Yellow first, then red, blue and black. Watch my layers in the bottom, right-hand corner and see what I mean.

You have to “Multiply” each layer so the colors can blend appropriately.

Okay so the last layer, the text is tricky because you have to delete parts of the inks and colors–see below. But fear not true believers. Just make copies of each layer so you have them on hand in case you mess up.

Take note of color layer order, “Layer 1” being the ink or “K” layer.

And there she is, a brand new comic strip!

Thanks for watching! Come back next week where I will be shot out of a canon from the bottom of the ocean. Bye now!



if you don’t know, now you know


Suzy and Cecil – 10-23-2017 – by Gabriella Tito


Joanie and Jordie – 10-23-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio


Cozytown – 10-23-2017 – by Juan Fernandez

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