Around the corner from us there used to be this really sketchy little bar, the type of place where the windows were really dark so you couldn’t really see in, and I always figured if I opened the door that the music would stop playing and a whole bunch of big scary guys in wife beaters would stop talking and turn and look menacingly at me. (I have a very active imagination.) It was not a welcoming place. They went out of business, and the doors were padlocked for a long time.

Several months ago, the place was papered up again and under construction, and I was overjoyed when I got my Dish newsletter and it announced it would be a yakitori place! Well, yakitori doesn’t really describe it. Yusho calls itself “yakitori inspired”; it’s Asian/fusion small plates, I guess, but what you need to know is it’s DELICIOUS. I coudln’t even fit everything we had on the page. The unagi/hominy brandade was probably my favorite, and the twice-fried chicken was perfectly crispy, perfectly juicy. The duck takoyaki (duckoyaki?) was a tasty little ball of comfort food, and the pickled garlic that accompanied some of the dishes was a bright, crisp taste that really woke up my taste buds. Their cocktails were delicious too, and they have a “shochu soda” that’s out of this world, a real spritzy citrus flavor that really delighted me.

It’s small plates, so it’s a bit pricy, especially if you’re hungry. But the staff were incredibly friendly, the atmosphere was a happy, laid-back hip, and the food was delicious. We’ll definitely be back.

Ok! on to process shots number two! (for notes on my blue lines and inking, see the previous comic) I was going to give you guys the whole scan/color/upload rundown, but it ended up being too long. So today’s just going to be cleaning up the lines. I scan my page at 300 dpi (print resolution) in grayscale. Here’s what my page usually looks like when I scan it (this is partly because my scanner is old and crappy, and partly just how this works):

What I do next is a mix of things. The goal here is to get the darkest, smoothest black lines possible, and the whitest whites. I’ll usually hit brightness/contrast a few times (you’ll find this under image > adjustments in Photoshop):

and then I’ll run a quick median filter (filter > noise > median)to smooth the lines a bit. You can adjust the amount depending on your art, but I don’t usually do a median above 2:

And then just to clean up the last of it, I’ll do a bunch of dodging and burning. Your dodge and burn are in the tools palette, just below blur/smudge. I usually dodge the highlights at about 10-15%, and burn the shadows at the same rate, just hitting what needs to be hit. It’s a pretty unscientific process. And then we have a nice, clean comic to start coloring!

It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not so bad. I do these so often that I have the keyboard shortcuts ingrained in my fingers’ muscle memory; this is actually the fastest part of the whole process for me. Next comic we’ll talk about colors!