Detritus — What it is, and why you need it in your comic
Let’s talk about one of those savvy touches that can help take your art to the next level. And, ironically enough, it’s not all about creating a neater, more tidy image. It’s about adding detritus.
No, it’s not a city in Michigan. Detritus means “waste or debris.” It is literally dust and sand and dirt and leaves. And if your character is moving though space, there’s a good chance that they’re kicking up a fair amount of it. Especially if they’re moving quickly!
Check out the deftly detrit-ed panels to the right. Cartoonist Dave Kellett uses little specs and dots to give his characters an authentic walk through the grass.
Heck, even if your character is just standing there, a little detritus gives the image a more genuine look. For example, take another example from Dave Kellett.
This image above has a couple different types of detritus. The specs of dirt and gravel at the dog’s feet are definitely detritus. But I would argue that the background dots/crosshatching added by his colorist, Beth Reidmiller, counts as well.