Making of “At the Factory Gates” comic book

To create these comic books, Jose took Nick’s original scripts for the movie series along with DVDs containing the films and set about breaking them down into manageable chunks that got to the core of the key messages. We had a limited space of 12-16 pages to accommodate each episode in comic format, so the scripts had to be cut down considerably.


The next step was producing sketches. Jose laid out all the pages of the comic and drew rough thumbnails to help the client get a clearer idea of what to expect and what they’d see in a speeded up storyline. We went through several revisions and made some adjustments until everyone was happy with it – creativity is a collaborative effort and we make sure to listen carefully to all our client’s suggestions.


Once sketches were approved by the client, Jose proceeded with the final artwork. Nowadays we work digitally from concept to final illustrations, although Jose will often still use traditional media for penciling and inking which is then digitally scanned. The completed shading and coloring is either Photo-shopped or processed with Corel Painter. To give you an idea, the tool Jose used for inking in this sample was a Pentel Brush Pen.


Working from the movies was a great help as most visual references Jose would need for the drawings were already there. The toughest task was to draw the main characters because they are based on real people who are actually very popular Cambodian actors. The challenge was to make sure the reader was able to recognize them in the comic without making them too comical – kind of counter-intuitive for a comic we hear you say but hey that’s life in Cambodia and no one wants to have too much fun poked at them! Here is a sample of the character “Sina”, her name in real life is Keo Pich Pisey and she’s a very popular actor and singer. We think she looks great in real life and the comic book version too!


There were still some final touches to make on the comic and then the last stage was to create the Khmer language version of the layout and prepare the master files for printing. Our preferred file format for printing documents is PDF – just make sure your images are in the right color mode and resolution and the document’s bleed is already set-up before creating the PDF. Here is the same sample page shown above in the sketches & inks – now completed and ready for printing. We hope you enjoy them and can see the craft and effort we put in to every commission we take on.


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