Every webcomic has it’s own unique way of being produced. Many follow very similar routes from empty page (or screen) to finished product, and some come into being through more convoluted means. I’m not here to say which way works best, or which way is counter productive. This is not intended to be a webcomic tutorial about how to draw webcomics by any means. I’m just here to maybe answer the odd question of how School Spirit goes from vague idea in the back of our heads to colourful pictures of big-eared kids and spirits that hopefully tell a little, fun story at the end of it. I have no doubt there would be a quicker way make School Spirit, but the processes described here in this series of posts worked since late 2003, and it’s the way every single strip has come into being, only evolving in a few ways in the time since.

To begin this series, we’re going right back to the very earliest strips. Below is the very original School Spirit comic.

School Spirit original webcomic strip, number one

This piece was drawn straight onto a piece of A4 sized paper, spread in a landscape fashion, at approximately 30cm across and 21cm down. This strip was even smaller, drawn across the top half, leaving room for a second strip beneath it. The paper was ordinary printer paper, and the pen was probably whatever fineliner was laying about at the time. Even now, well over 900 strips later, the paper used is of only a slightly better quality, and the pen is still only a fineliner.

This strip itself was drawn straight to the page with no sketching first, but as it was only a quick piece to see how it went and pre-inking pencil work wasn’t necessary. As you can see, the strip itself is fairly simple. It wasn’t until we had sketched out the first five School Spirit strips that these were put to the side and the original strip attempted a second time, which became the first School Spirit strip shown in the official archive. These were prepared for publication with a much more precise procedure, which we will feature in the near future.

The next Behind The Scenes post will look at the rest of the five original strips against how the eventually looked when going online.