So, right now I should be drawing pages for Grimm Fairy Tales: Hunters #5. I’m just taking a short break from that very advantageous job that I got as a result of going out to San Diego Comic-Con a few weeks back.
But taking breaks isn’t the secret of output (defined as doing a lot of pages in a short period of time). There are probably a lot of secrets–years ago I heard that John Buscema told the Marvel Bullpen, “First you learn how to draw, and then you do it fast.”
Okay, so I’m of the opinion that I can actually draw pretty well (and tell a story with my drawings, which is definitely important when drawing comics). But the wear and tear on the body is a problem–particularly the fingers.
So, here’s the secret. Go get some latex gloves (or nitrile, I’ve used both). Cut the fingers off of them and keep these glove fingers handy. Before you start drawing on a tough deadline, put two layers of these latex fingerlets on your thumb and two on your middle finger.
I’ve been working on this deadline for a week and I’m not showing nearly as much finger fatigue as I have on previous jobs where I waited until I was already hurting and blistered before applying the latex fingerlets to my hands (or didn’t use them at all).
Still hoping to finish up the 11 pages I’ve been assigned before the week is out. But I’ll have to get back to work to do so.
Taking short breaks is also key. Long breaks eat into your deadline.