thank you and thank you! :D i apologize- because i do work in art all day every day working for a game company and freelance clients and being told what and how to draw for a price- i really need to use this space as my own personal drawing time without my name/reputation attached to it to feel comfortable to experiment, challenge myself, unwind, and keep myself sane. thank you for being interested tho, i’m honored and flattered. :D
i use a 24hd cintiq. (if i had to buy this again i’d probably get the 21 or 22 instead- 24 is a bit too large and heavy- but it was available and on sale when i got it so i went for it) it costs alot of money- but if you’re doing this as a business and you have to draw everyday and time is money- the time and effort you save on hand-eye-screen coordination makes this worth it and you don’t go back.
if you’re doing it casually, i would recommend a cheaper alternative: either a small or medium sized intuos (pro) pad depending on what you feel more comfortable spending or if you have longer strokes- definitely go for the medium. (no point in getting a large- they’re rather unwieldy) which is only about $250-$350 (rather than a few thousand dollars) DON’T BE A CHEAPWAD AND GET A BAMBOO.
manga pro 5 is very good- the ex honestly feels a bit gimmick-y to me- but i can see it being useful if you need to make a print comic with pages, etc. but if it’s just for the art- go for the 5. you can find the differences listed on their site.
I use photoshop. It’s very useful, but it’s really a glorified stamp program and photo editor with flashy tricks and things.If you’re really into comics and tight linework I have found manga studio to be great. If you’re looking for a more painterly program, I hear good things about sai. If you’re planning to animate- drawing in flash may be the best option for you. If you need things to scale beautifully you’ll have to learn to vector and illustrator would be your best bet for a program.
PS- photoshop (and flash) are pretty standard for game industry used programs- if you’re not working for yourself, it may be best to try to learn one of those 2.
http://www.cockos.com/licecap/ for windows+mac