Dear comic/manga artists, you don’t have to give up Photoshop

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

Giving up Photoshop is never a good idea since I still have my copy of Photoshop CS6 (Windows, RIP) when I first installed it on my old Windows 7 laptop (RIP). Then I got my copy of Manga Studio (now known as Clip Studio Paint EX), which I still use today for manga and illustrations for the internet.

Photoshop is what we used to draw things in the past, including PaintTool SAI and openCanvas (though I never owned SAI or openCanvas myself), and also used to make Winamp skins and blog banners. “Why did you start investing in commercial fonts from the MyFonts and Blambot websites,” you ask? Well, I have shifted away from free font sites (though I still visit 1001Fonts occasionally) since I got an iMac and Windows 7 is all kinds of dead! You can’t own anything nowadays since everything is now subscription-based (except for Clip Studio Paint EX, which is still a one-time purchase).

Me and Kaila in MySims form, drawn with an old Wacom Intuos Medium and used Clip Studio Paint and Photoshop, 2017

Even though no plans for Illustrator will be made, you can still use Photoshop for logo designs and covers for your webcomics and fictional annual event posters (such as those modeled after E3, Tokyo Game Show, and 1990s/Y2K rave posters), and the assets for your Patreon/Ko-fi, but not for drawing. You better use a monthly subscription if you are going to avoid any cancellation fees. Commerical fonts that still use OpenType features will still work on Clip Studio Paint EX, but you will have to use the “Private Use Area” in the Text tool. There are also no plans for Affinity Designer or Affinity Photo.

In the end, just don’t give up Photoshop. This is the final Medium post for 2021, and I hope you enjoy your last-minute Christmas gifts and a Happy New Year.

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Cory Roberts

Cory Roberts

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American freelance illustrator and manga artist, working on Radical Flannel. Previously ran Shinkansen Retrogaming. (He/him)