Penny & Aggie, by T Campbell and Gisèle Lagacé
Excellent writing. Beautiful art. Those are precisely the words to describe Penny & Aggie, the latest creation to come from the web comic masterminds of Gisèle Lagacé and T Campbell. This wonderful strip received the 2004 Tasty, Tasty Down To Earth Shortbread from Eric Burns of Websnark fame. The strip follows the adventures of Penny, the Barbie doll popular girl in school, and Aggie, the rebellious "artsy" girl. Let's put it this way; if this were The Facts of Life, Penny is Blair and Aggie is Jo. Salt and pepper. Black and white. But though they both may seem like total opposites, like yin and yang they find balance in each other. Though neither may admit it, life's struggles, trials, and tribulations are somehow at least a little easier when they have each other. This strip is ripe for syndication, so show your support here!
Gisèle has a very unique way of creating her strips. Here's her method, in her own words:
"The way I do my strips is as follows:
1. T sends me a Word doc with the text. In the text, he gives me a rough idea of how many panels and stuff - he doesn't lay it out for me though (like on the sheet you got).
2. I import the text in Adobe Illustrator and lay it out in my panels. This helps me know how much space I have to draw. I leave T's original text on the same page as this helps me know what he had in mind...since I delete lot of the text when I put it in the panels.
3. I print out this sheet and sketch on it.
4. I scan this small sheet and paste each individual strip in the back of my original layed out panels. I fade the art so it's barely visible behind the panels. I blow each one up by 200% and print them out on legal size paper
5. I then do final pencils on those legal size sheet. The faded art guides me... so it goes fast.
6. I tape a sheet of tracing paper on top and do my inks.
7. I remove the inked sheet, scan it and replace the faded art behind my original layed-out strip/panels with this new inked one. I export the strip to Photoshop to do my graytoning and then resize for the web. I always keep high res versions just in case. I know it may sound like a lot of work but it's not as bad as it sounds. It's actually a pretty good system. CoolCatStudio was worse as I was drawing each panel individually. I'd do it like PNA now if I'd have to redo it."
Check out some beautiful examples of each of Gisèle's steps below!
Handwritten signed letter from Gisèle.
Signed Penny & Aggie print by Gisèle Lagacé, May 17, 2004. This is the first Penny & Aggie strip.
Example of Penny & Aggie rough sketch by Gisèle Lagacé, November 1 and 15, 2004. This page encompasses steps 1 through 3 as outlined above. This is also the page used to do step 4 (scanning of the rough sketch at 200 dpi).
Example of Penny & Aggie fine-tuned final pencils by Gisèle Lagacé, November 15, 2004. The printout from step 4 (the enlarged sketch on legal paper) is used to create step 5, the fine-tuned final pencils for the daily.
Example of Penny & Aggie final inks by Gisèle Lagacé, November 15, 2004. This is from step 6 in Gisèle's process. This page is then scanned back into her computer to create the final strip in Photoshop.
Example of Penny & Aggie large sketch from small sketch by Gisèle Lagacé, December 3, 2004. For this particular strip, this large rough sketch was used to create the final pencils.
Example of Penny & Aggie fine-tuned final pencils by Gisèle Lagacé, December 3, 2004. A fine example of step 5 from Gisèle's creative process; the inks were created from this step.
An absolutely beautiful specialty piece of Penny and Aggie done for me and signed by Gisèle.
Also, check out the gallery page for Gisèle's previous strip, Cool Cat Studio.
Check out Penny & Aggie for yourself by clicking on the link below. It's beautifully written and drawn, and you'll enjoy the visit!
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