One of the most frustrating things about comics is the incredible slowness with which they are produced, as compared to the swiftness with which they are read. So for quite a while, Matt and I have been admiring (and envious) of those who can draw comics quickly directly in ink, skipping the laborious penciling process, and in some cases even skipping thumbnailing! Johanna Rojola had been telling us about a way to learn this technique for a while, and I had barely landed in Finland last month when she started talking to me about this great young cartoonist who’s done the Finnish Making Comics, which includes instructions on how to learn direct drawing. We were disappointed to learn that it involves more serious hard work. (Kidding. Sort of.)
Mari Ahokoivu is the young cartoonist (and comics teacher) in question. It was a great pleasure to meet her; she was one of the most engaged participants in the International Comics Seminar, asking and answering tons of questions. (I didn’t get a good picture of her, though, so I borrowed this one from Top Shelf…thanks, guys!). Our hope is that sometime soon, she’ll be a guest poster here with more of her teaching and cartooning ideas.
Mari’s book is called Sarjakuvantekïjan Opas, which means something like Making Comics. Naturally I’m dying to read the whole thing, but since Matt had a student doing his Five Obstructions project who was required to draw directly in ink, Mari kindly knocked out a translation of this one activity practically overnight, relettered it, and sent it to us. I guess she’s been taking her own lessons! (In fact, I think the book is indeed done in direct ink drawing.)