Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Blue Delliquanti

Blue Delliquanti

Cartoonist (O Human Star)

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Blue Delliquanti, and I am a cartoonist/illustrator who has been writing and drawing comics professionally for over 5 years now. Aside from the pieces I've done for various publishers, I've also been successful at self-publishing my work using Kickstarter to crowdfund my printed collections. My longest running project is O Human Star, a Lambda-nominated sci fi graphic novel I've been serializing online since 2012.

What hardware do you use?

Most of my short-form stories these days are drawn on Strathmore bristol board, 11" x 14", vellum finish. Always vellum! If paper doesn't have that nice toothy texture or is too smooth, it makes my skin crawl. I start by pencilling in my rough lines, and for inks I use a combo of brush, nib pen, and fixed-width pen. I'm not picky when it comes to brushes - I use fine points for detail and thick ones for texture, dipped in Speedball ink. For my nib pen I use a G nib set in a wooden Tachikawa handle. I got both from JetPens, a Japanese online art supply store. My fixed-width pens of choice are Faber Castells.

I scan the pages in with a Canon Lide 100 scanner so I can color or edit them digitally. My main projects, including O Human Star, are digital from the pencil stage on, so I use a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet that registers pen strokes in my drawing program. My work computer is a 22" Mac desktop, a couple years old. When I sell my books at conventions I get a lot of extra sales just by having a Square reader to take card purchases through my phone, and an external USB battery to keep the phone juiced.

And what software?

With my digital-only projects, pages are drawn in Photoshop CS5. I also use the program SketchUp to construct 3D models of frequent settings in the story so I can plan out how characters are staged in a scene, or figure out difficult perspective problems. I also was able to download a user-created model of a car interior, for example, and that saved my bacon when I staged an argument taking place inside a car. (Thanks for writing that scene, past me!)

What would be your dream setup?

A lot of my colleagues have made the jump in tablets to a Cintiq, where you draw with your stylus directly on the screen. That's pretty tempting. But I'd love to marry the analog and digital drawing processes - draw my pencils digitally, and print them directly onto bristol board for the inking stage. That'd take a much bigger printer, and probably a bigger scanner, too. And as long as I'm dreaming, I'd love to have access to a Risograph printer so I can experiment with formatting comics and zines for the limited color palettes the Riso does so well. Not to mention, Riso ink smells amazing!