Piarelle – how I worked on Story of Lee

The artist on volume 3 of The Story of Lee, Piarelle, tells us a little about how she works (p1 of 3):

“Before working on the Story of Lee volume 3, I needed to get a sense of the story and the characters, so I decided to read the first two volumes. The first two volumes were worked on by two different artists, so the visual styles were quite distinctive from one other. To me, the story itself made me think of ‘josei’ manga as it had a mature, realistic feel to it so I thought to take that approach on the third volume.

There is a process I went through in creating each page for the Story of Lee, volume 3.

First I’d start with thumbnailing the page layouts. Sean pretty much wrote on the script what he’d like in each panel, so I worked with that. I’d read the script, get a sense of the atmosphere in the scene and compose little page layouts on scrap paper. I like to plan pages in a way that enhances the story’s flow, so I usually plan where the speech bubbles should go at the same time I plan from what viewpoint to draw the images. I try to make both the words and pictures work in harmony together.”

01_thumbnail layouts example

Check the book on more on the publishers page HERE

Or Sean’s  WEBSITE


Author: Sean Michael Wilson

Sean Michael Wilson is a comic book writer from Scotland. He has had more than 40 books published with a variety of US, UK and Japanese publishers, including: a comic book version of A Christmas Carol ('Best of 2008’, Sunday Times), AX:alternative manga ( 'Best ten books of 2010’, Publishers Weekly), Parecomic (with an introduction by Noam Chomsky, his first contribution to a book in graphic form), and recent upcoming book ’The Many Not the Few’ has an introduction by the leader of the Labour Party and was launched at a special event in the House of Commons. He is currently writing books for big Japanese publisher Kodansha, being the only British writer to do so. In fact, he is the only pro manga writer from Britain who lives in Japan. He is also the editor of the critically acclaimed collection 'AX:alternative manga' (one of Publishers Weekly's 'Best ten books of 2010' and nominated for a Harvey award). Working with Shambhala Publications in the US he has written a unique line of Japanese history/martial arts/Samurai books, including The Book of Five Rings, The 47 Ronin, and Cold Mountain Poems (winner of China Comic and Animation Competition 2015 ‘Best Overseas Comic’ award). In 2016 his book The Faceless Ghost was nominated for the prestigious Eisner Book Awards, and received a medal in the 2016 'Independent Publisher Book Awards'. In 2017 his book Secrets of the Ninja won an International Manga Award from the Japanese government - he is the first British person to receive this award. In 2020 he received the ‘Scottish Samurai Award’ from an association celebrating links between Japan and Scotland. He often gives lectures and talks about comics in schools and colleges, and writes articles for such places as The Japan Times, New Internationalist, Asia-Pacific Journal and The Herald Scotland. http://seanmichaelwilson.weebly.com

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