X

'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.

SETH_ROSENBLATT-1396.jpg
SETH_ROSENBLATT-1396.jpg

Seth Rosenblatt

See full bio
IMG_4811_-_Edited.jpg
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.
IMG_4814_-_Edited.jpg
2 of 7 Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Gagging by hand

Wheeler starts off the old-fashioned way -- with paper, pen, and a single-panel gag.
IMG_4817_-_Edited.jpg
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.
IMG_4819_-_Edited.jpg
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.
IMG_4826_-_Edited.jpg
5 of 7 Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Extreme close-up

Here, Salazar zooms in for some additional image cleanup.
IMG_4830_-_Edited.jpg
6 of 7 Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

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.
IMG_4832_-_Edited.jpg
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.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

84 Photos
24 things you should never, ever google

More Galleries

24 things you should never, ever google

25 Photos
The Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

36 Photos
Trackside With the 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06

More Galleries

Trackside With the 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06

47 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

More Galleries

DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

10 Photos