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 Jason Shiga

Jason Shiga

Cartoonist (Meanwhile, Demon)

Posted in cartoonist

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Jason Shiga. I'm most well known for the children's book Meanwhile, an interactive comic where the readers make decisions that lead them through different story paths and endings. My newest comic is Demon, about an actuary who checks himself into a filthy motel room in Oakland to kill himself but then discovers that he cannot die. The first chapter is available on my website for free.

What hardware do you use?

I pencil with a Paper Mate ballpoint pen on normal letter size copy paper; I enlarge the "pencils" to ledger size on a photocopier and then ink over them on a lightbox using a Windsor Newton size 222. Again on copy paper. I letter by hand with an 08 Micron by lightboxing over computer lettering that I printed out ahead of time. I go through pens, brushes and paper like Kleenex so for me it's about using the cheapest crappiest materials and getting them to look as good as possible.

For printing, I use a RISO RP3700 Risograph Duplicator that I bought off Craigslist a few years ago. Getting that machine to work is like alchemy. There's always something misregistered, faded or some weird red stripe going down the middle of each page. But I guess that's the charm of it too.

And what software?

Photoshop for the coloring. These days I'm doing mostly 2 color coloring. I have a palette of all the different combinations of red, white and black. After everything's colored, I use the Pelt plugin to flatten my colors for printing. Then I separate them into a red layer and a black layer using a ridiculously long Photoshop action I set up long ago.

What would be your dream setup?

A drawing desk 3 feet deep that stretched 10 miles long and a pedal-powered chair that rolled along a track.