shoveling away

All my favorite pages of HABIBI are too spoiler-ish to share,
so instead here’s a fairly innocuous/boring page that can be broken down into various stages of development.
It’s outright shameful the lapse of time from the first draft free-form journaled in my sketchbook in October 2004 and the final inks
laid down a couple of days ago. But here you go — 1) sketchbook rough in ballpoint pen… 2) composed into pages in the thumbnail draft…

… 3) the earliest stage of penciling … 4) note how I flipped the first two panels to flow better …

5) final inks. This is page 298. And today I finished page 302. Thank you for waiting!

PS — for those of you interested in production details, check my old tool talk posting.

23 thoughts on “shoveling away

  1. hello craig

    I’m a young french drawer and i wanted to say you that Blankets change my vision of drawing.
    And more than the draws, the way you tell us this part of your life touch me very profundly.
    Blankets is maybe my best comic book.
    Hope one day we could met each other for talking about drawing =)

    (sorry for my english)

    A bientot!

  2. I see your final pencils are really a tight approximation to the final artwork (in other samples you have posted here before even more clearly.) You make most decisions, then, in the final pencil stage.

  3. It’s always rad to see how artists go about their production process. I’m working on my own book right now and it’s a lot of fun to see how everyone else tries to do it.

    I’m on the thumbnail stages of my work currently.

  4. Oops, sorry for the short “hello” comment, I have butterfingers. Just wanted to say how amazing Habibi is looking. I love your work, keep it up! 🙂

  5. hello craig, greetings from Italy! i’m studying illustration and Blankets changed my life! you are a costant ispiration for me so thank you. Habibi will be amazing. i can truly say that you’re my hero.
    P.S. would you post a photo of the real Raina? i’m so curious to see her!!
    CIAO E GRAZIE!!!!!

  6. Dude… I bought your book “Blankets” by Amazon. It took like 1,5 months to arrive home. I’m from Argentina…

    I ate it. I read it in just one day. It’s awesome. Keep on truckin’, man.

    I would appreciate if you can take a look at my blog. I’m just starting with this comic stuff. Here’s my flickr with some comics translated:

    Thanks for sharing your gift with us.

  7. I do get that alot of people love seeing spoilers of habibi, but i want my eyes to be non tainted with assumptions about what the book will be like before it is actually out there in full. is there any possibility that you could say that it is habibi spoiler in the title? i have an rss feed on your blog and i love reading all you other stuff, i wouldn’t miss out on any of that.

  8. Wow!

    Thanks A LOT for this post Craig. It is really inspiring to see how you go through your steps from the very beginning untill it ends up turned into gorgeous pieces of work. I´m working on two graphic novels at the moment, simultaneously, and I´m learning a lot from the process, and for that being possible, your blog is a place to go to find answers and best of all, to find inspiration, wich is what I find the most here.

    All the best and keep up the wonderful work!


  9. hi Craig – thanks for posting those wonderful drawings. I always wondered how you manage to create such gorgeous comic book panels. Mind boggling!
    Have just read Carnet de Voyage and enjoyed it as much, if not more than Blankets. Your work is truly special – I would be happy to one day have even half your talent!

    Good luck with the new book!

  10. Simply sublime and inspiring work Craig. So masterfully done. I can’t wait to read it when it’s finished.

    Best wishes,

  11. Craig,
    Your work has been a complete inspiration to me as an artist, and if Habibi is anything like Blankets, and Good Bye Chunky rice, take the time you need to make it everything you’d like it to be! I appreciate that you have a blog, and dig being able to check out what you’ve been working on. And thanks for laboring to make such fantastic and inpiring work! Makes me sad I moved to Portland after Stumptown.

  12. Craig,

    I loved Blankets, Carnet, and really dug the Comics Journal interview- seeing your process and hearing you talk about constructing a long-form narrative was really rewarding for me. You’ve inspired me to try to refine by brush skills after several years of nib-only inking. Anyway, thanks for the amazing work and all the inspiration. Any consideration of putting out a pretty girls/tree sketchbook? 🙂

    Sean Robinson

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