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| 1988 | 1989 | 1991 | 1994 | 1998 | 2016 |

Richard Corben has been tried about everything you can imagine with coming from technique of making comics.

Here’s techniques he’s using with his own words:


To Spear a Fair Maiden [in Children of Fire #1 (1987)] might be a little dark but this is because of a special engraving technique used on it. I made a full color overlay for each page, shot transparencies of the overlay and the tonal art, sandwitched them together and sent them to be laser scanned. Necromancer in this issue also uses the same technique but I hope it comes out better.

Richard Corben, Children of Fire #2, Jan. 1988, pg 2

A tedious end to tedious coloring.

The coloring technique used on Children of Fire and virtually all the color comics I’ve done in the last fifteen years is one I developed myself and is extremely tedious. The purpose of this technique was to create brightly colored comics but with a full range of modeling effects. It had to be faster and less expensive than full color oil painting. It consits of a four layered overlay for each ink color that is photographed over a conitnuous tone original artwork. No regular photoengraver could cope with translating this massive stack of acetate into film separations, so I had to do this chore also, on the Corben copy camera. It worked well, but now I’ve come to a point where it’s outlived its usefulness. I’m tired of the long hours of making color overlays, of not being able to see if the color composition worked until after a proof is made, and of being the slowest of comic book artists. So, it’s time for a change. The next Corben comic will utilize a more standard and faster art and coloring style. I’m looking forward to it. I hope you like it.

Richard Corben, Children of Fire #3, March 1988, pg 2

The color in Den is changing. Den 1 used paper Xeroxes colored with markers and pencils. Den 2 was similar but added a few halftones and film retouching. Den 3 went to PMT positive s lightly sparyed with gesso and colored with dyes and pencils. Den 4 is colored with rotring colored inks and pencils. You can expect another advance when I learn to communicate with the scanner operator. Yes, the overlay system got good results. But I believe there’s a greater potential for the system we’re working with now.

Richard Corben, Den [III] #4, Dec. 1988, pg 35


All the type in Den comics, except for the main logo is done on our inexpensive IBM clone computer and a HP laser printer. This includes the comic lettering which I designed (dot by dot) in a program called Fontasy. The text is typed in Microsoft Word and then printed in a type style already downloaded into the printer. I’m really not a computer whiz. This system was set up for us by Dennis Rausch of YWD Enterprises in Wichita, Kansas. Dennis is well known in Wicita for the wonderful Encounter conventions he used to produce.

The computer comic lettering is printed in columns and I paste it down in position directly on the art. The editorial and letters pages are merely set into columns which I put on slightly oversized layouts. There are sophisticated (and expensive) programs like Pagemaker that could do this layout business. But that seems a bit extravagant for just two pages per issue.

Richard Corben, Den [III] #7, June 1989, pgs 2 and 35


Image Studio and Digital Darkroom to add some tones and modelling, Font Studio for the lettering, Photoshop for drawing and image processing, and Ready, Set, Go for page layout.

Richard Corben, Horror in the Dark #1, Feb. 1991, pg 35


From the Pit #1
Fantagor Press

A peaceful moment at Fantagor Press. That’s me at the computer while Beth is busy coloring. Normally, we’re fighting about something. Dona, behind the camera, is jet planning, spelling, why television sucks, who’s borrowing who’s clothes, why skating judges are morons; you name it, we’ll fight about it!

Richard Corben, From the Pit #1, 1994, pgs 2 and 35

In the beginning was the idea for the story which was wrestled into an outline, broken into pages and a thumbnail version was drawn.

My 10″ X 14 1/4″ comic pages, drawn in line (with markers and pen), was reduced to final size with a Xerox type copy machine.

I still do my drawing on paper and about half of the coloring at Fantagor Press also is done on real paper. But more and more operations are being taken over by the computer. Furthermore, my assistant and I are becoming more comfortable with the electronic tool and its virtual paper.

Beth either colored the pages with color inks and pencils, or colored the scanned files electronically in a program called Photoshop. I would then so over them adding modeling effects. While Beth was coloring, I wrote most of the text (on paper) which Dona typed in her computer. I brought her text files into my machine and in Freehand, a drawing program, words and pictures were combined. The completed files were taken to a service bureau where they were printed onto film, proofed and stripped into position for the printer.

Richard Corben, From the Pit #1, 1994, pgs 2 and 35


HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS: I have over thirty years professional experience in many art fields. I have produced artwork in various media including line drawing, acrylic, oil and digital painting. I am proficient in many software packages on the Macintosh, Photoshop, Painter, Freehand, Movieflo, Extreme 3-d, Ray Dream Studio, and Amapi. Most of my 3d projects utilize 3-D MAX on the PC.

Richard Corben, website, dated Nov. 10, 1998


When I write for myself, I usually have a brief concept, which I then develop into a page by page synopsis. A sketched set of thumbnails follows. The form is pretty malleable and I might emphasize different elements than I had first planned. Then I begin the finished art. The characters are not fully developed until I start drawing them. My goal is to have the story work on a visual level first. The final text is usually the last thing to be added.

Richard Corben,, dated Nov. 29, 2016, Now only on Muutanet

Copyright © 2016 Heart-Attack-Series, Ink!
Created: December 27, 2016. Last updated: June 29, 2022 at 10:07 am

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