Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of 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!