I heard of Comic Studio (the original Japanese version) back in 2004, and was bummed that there wasn't an English version. Fast forward to the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con, where I was introduced to the newly imported, translated, and renamed Manga Studio. Needless to say, I picked up a copy of the EX version right then and there and I've been using Manga Studio since about 2006. I'm currently using Version 4 EX.
I was blown away by Manga Studio. I had been digitally drawing and inking since about 2001, mostly in Photoshop. While it was cool to use that program, there were serious drawbacks notably that I couldn't work at high resolutions without seriously crippling my machine. And drawing any lines or shapes with any life to them was pretty much impossible. That I could work on 11" x 16" sheets of "paper" in Manga Studio at 600 or 1200 dpi, without my computer crying was great. And the rulers! The fact that I could lay down straight edges or circles and use/move them like I would the real thing was... well, you wonder why no one had created this type of tool before. In addition to that, you have perspective rulers (in the EX version)? That was probably worth the price, alone.
Manga Studio is my primary program for creating digital art. I also use Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2010 to do quick sketches, and import it into Manga Studio to add to a page I'm working on. Sometimes it's nice to change things up and work on a piece or panel separate from the others, and then work it into the finished product. All my inking and screentone work is done in Manga Studio. While I don't color my work all that often, I tend to use Photoshop (though it's nice that MS has a 32-bit Color layer to work with now).
Manga Studio for Dummies
I had kept in contact with the Manga Studio Project Manager, and I met up with the Manga Studio team at the 2007 New York Comic-Con. I was asked to help demonstrate the Manga Studio program and I was informed that Wiley Publishers was creating a Manga Studio for Dummies book. The PM wondered if I'd be interested in being a technical editor (the guy who goes over the manuscript and makes sure the things the author wrote about the program are accurate). One long and complicated story later, "Tech Editor" was changed into "Author" and I was off writing my first book.
Chibi Cheerleaders from Outer Space
My wife came up with this idea for a story as we were driving from Albany, NY (our old home) to her new teaching gig at Utah State University in Logan, UT. She wanted to create a light, fun story that would also be fun for us to work on together. She intended it to be like a bad B-Movie of sorts—come to think of it, I probably should've drawn in strings on the main ship to give that Plan 9 From Outer Space vibe. :)
Aside from the Daily Sketches I post on Twitter and Facebook, there are a few places people can follow me and see my art on the internet:
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