The first time I was given a computer to play with was in third grade. I have no idea what model it was, but I remember that it was running a program called Turtle Logo. The program waited for user input, then interpreted a basic set of instructions and rendered a drawing on the screen. It was, essentially the first vector graphics program I ever played with.

Fast forward to 2007, back when I was still drawing comics on art boards, sitting at my drawing table. Like most comic book artists back then, I had to scan my artwork, clean up the files, apply colors in Photoshop (or Gimp, when I made the move to free software) and letter the comics in Adobe Illustrator (or Inkscape). I wanted to have a smart workflow, that could improve over time, while keeping the comics I produced, feeling original to the reader.

Enter SVG

I was trying out different graphics software on Linux when I discovered Inkscape. I played with the application, went through their tutorials in the help menu (The tutorials are themselves actual SVG files) and I started learning more about this peculiar file format. Having done a little programming when I was younger, I could see the value of being able to create (and therefore edit) your images with code. It opens up a lot of possibilities, both in drawing applications and on the web.

The scalability of SVG makes it easy to reuse images. The maleability of the shapes means that you can reuse them, all while making simple changes that to keep the drawings feeling unique and relevant each time.

SVG was the best format I could find to build a collection of images that I could use and reuse to create comics. Without missing a beat, I immediately started building my own collection of characters, props and backgrounds.