I’ve been messing with Manga Studio for the last couple of hours. The biggest trick was getting the preview loaded and working, but after that it’s pretty straight forward and actually a really nice tool. I’m thinking I may have to make the investment leap here. It’s the first drawing program I’ve worked with that didn’t leave me sulking for my Staedtlers.

Up till now I’ve used Photoshop, Illustrator, ToonBoom, Storyboard Pro and Flash. I love Photoshop and the ToonBoom packages are fantastic for animation, but just not great for comics and don’t even get me started on Flash. ($#!%!!)

My big beef with other drawing programs up until now was that I couldn’t get the line variation I like as easily as I can from my pens. Manga Studio, (I just can’t bring myself to refer to it as “MS”) has a bunch of options for manipulating your virtual pens to get exactly the lines you want. Also, I’m in the habit of working on larger paper and scaling it down. Usually that means I noodle away on some detail that you can’t even see when the comic is posted. Frequently it’s the Baroness’s dog, which is a bummer because I think he’s really cute. When I get my first book done, I’m adding in a bunch of the pencil drawing of that little guy, just so they haven’t gone completely to waste. Back to my point, since this is a vector program, I can draw “real” size and zoom in and out as much as I want, so I’ll know up front if those details are even worth pursuing.

Just for fun, here are a couple of digital doodles from today and an old one from a sketchbook I was digging through. It was actually in the October 18th comic, but too tiny to really tell.