About a year ago, I saw my cartoonist pal pick up one of these giant (11x17ish) moleskine sketchbooks, and was very jealous. I got one for myself, and have been working on and off in it since then, including my two latest Disgusting Duck/Dumbass Dog comics, Gym Dandy and Dozens of Cousins.
Some experiments with grids, little one-off comics.
Finished comics pages, largely as they appear in final product.
PROS: I love having my finished stories fit easily on a shelf in book format, rather than a stack of bristol, and it’s nice to be able to flip through in order. It’s roughly 11×17″, so it’s perfect for drawing comics that shrink down to digest-size at 50%.
CONS: Somewhat difficult to scan large pages on standard-size scanner, though I’ve got it down at this point. Paper is tough enough for a fair amount of pencilling/inking with Rapidographs and Pentel brush pen, but it gets torn up pretty easily when erasing, and the ink fades when erasing pencils. I usually just go back over it, and wait until erasing is done for spot blacks. It’s hard to use a light table with pages in a sketchbook, and sometimes it would be more helpful to hold up loose pages side-by-side than flipping through a book. The intimidation factor of not wanting to mess up pages was huge at first, but once I figured out the dense pages, I got past it.
BOTTOM LINE: I still really like using these sketchbooks for stories, particularly these dense, dialogue-heavy, sparsely drawn Dog & Duck stories. I could see switching back to bristol for something with more difficult drawings that would require a lot of reworking/use of light table/nib drawings.
Maybe this was interesting to you, if you work at Moleskine, feel free to send me a couple free ones for the good press (I like the Folio series drawing type). 48 pages (96 if you’ve got a light enough hand to use both sides of every page), they run about $40, and I’ve found them at Blick and like stores, or from Amazon.