Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Hope Larson

Hope Larson

Cartoonist, writer, director

Posted in cartoonist, director, film, mac, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a cartoonist, writer and director. I've have six published graphic novels under my belt, including an adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. My next comics work, in collaboration with illustrator Rebecca Mock, is a two-part comic series in the vein of Kidnapped and Treasure Island. The first book should be out in 2015 through Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

I've also written and directed a short film called Bitter Orange that stars Brie Larson, Brendan Hines and James Urbaniak, and a music video for Dan the Automator and Mary Elizabeth Winstead's band, Got A Girl. You can see Bitter Orange on my website, and the music video will hopefully be online soon. I'm hard at work on a couple more projects in this vein, but I can't talk about them yet.

What hardware do you use?

For drawing and inking comics I keep it old-school with a twist. I draw roughs of my comic pages on printer paper, scan them into my gigantic 27" iMac, blow them up, and then print them off as bluelines onto smooth 11" x 14" Bristol board using my large-format HP Officejet printer. I then tighten up my rough sketch with orange Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils and ink them with Pelikan Tusche A drawing ink and a Rapaƫl Kolinsky 8404 sable watercolor brush, size 2 or 3. I scan my pages back in on an Epson 11000XL scanner.

I draw on a drafting table and do graphics work at a standing desk.

For writing, my hardware is a 13" MacBook Pro from 2010. I sprung for a solid-state model after my previous laptop was stolen, and this one still runs like a new machine! I also use a 5" x 8.25" ruled Moleskine notebook and whatever pen is lying around, preferably a Pilot Precise V7 in an interesting color.

And what software?

For comics I use Adobe Photoshop to prep art for print, Adobe Illustrator to letter and Adobe InDesign to put everything together.

For comics scripts and screenplays I use Final Draft. I created a custom template for my comics scripts; officially there's no set format for these, but publishers tend not to like it if you submit comics scripts that look like screenplays (or are screenplays).

What would be your dream setup?

For the most part I have my dream setup already. I spent ten years working out my tools and setup, and very little of what I do is dependent on technology or gear. However, I just moved to a new neighborhood and I'm still searching for my new writing coffee shop yet. The ideal is a place that makes a great "dainty" (heavy on the milk) iced latte and keeps a basket of slightly underripe bananas on the counter.