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'Live-tooning' Grumpy Cat at SXSW

Bloggers "live-blog" events as they happen, but what's an editorial cartoonist to do? Shannon Wheeler describes his step-by-step process for "live-tooning" the most popular cat in Austin this past weekend.

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Seth Rosenblatt
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1 of 7 Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

How one cartoonist 'live-toons' Grumpy Cat

Editorial cartoonist Shannon Wheeler couldn't get in to the Mashable tent to see Grumpy Cat in person, but he drew a comic about his experience anyway. Here's his process for cartooning on the fly at SXSW Interactive for VentureBeat.
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2 of 7 Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Gagging by hand

Wheeler starts off the old-fashioned way -- with paper, pen, and a single-panel gag.
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3 of 7 Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Digital cameras are the new scanners

Next up, Comixology events coordinator Ivan Salazar takes a photo of the comic and uploads it to his Mac. Wheeler has been working with digital comics marketplace Comixology to get his wry take on the SXSW antics online.
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4 of 7 Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

PhotoShop FTW at SXSW

Salazar changes the off-white background of Wheeler's drawing paper to white and then begins to color in the comic. Wheeler's wry observer, Too Much Coffee Man, gets colored red. The background turns blue.
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Extreme close-up

Here, Salazar zooms in for some additional image cleanup.
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Last-minute corrections

After saving (always, always save your work) but before uploading to VentureBeat's servers, Wheeler takes a final look at the comic. In this case, he found the blue background to be too dark. Some quick PhotoShop magic and Salazar has lightened the background to Wheeler's taste.
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7 of 7 Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

From idea to Web in 30 minutes or less

With the comic's logo in place, Salazar attaches the cartoon in an e-mail and fires it off. All told, the process took less than 30 minutes.

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