To clarify once more what I'm doing here -- I'm independently working on a graphic novel from start to finish. This blog is intended to document what I'm learning along the way; I hope it can be of use to artists who are new to this field (as I recently have been myself).
Here's a list of tools you may want to use to get started in this field:
Hardware -- It's good to have a dedicated graphics card on your PC. Also, extra memory can't hurt :). One thing I hope buy (but haven't tested) is a screen color calibrator -- this is important because no two monitors show the same colors and it can be painful to print an image only to find things you didn't know were there! I've heard that the Spyder Calibrator brand is a good option, however, I know little more than this.
Software -- I'm sure most artists are familiar with this software, but I'll list what I've used: I do my digital drawings on Corel Painter (specifically designed for artists, and renders almost any medium from watercolor to ink to pencil -- to an amazing standard), then do technical editing (image size, filters, piecing things together, etc) on Adobe Photoshop, and finally typography and final layouts on Adobe InDesign. I've not used much else, however there's a wealth of impressive software around for almost any type of creative project, especially in the Adobe Creative Suite.
Scanning and Printing -- I've found 3000dpi (dots per inch) to be fine for scanning purposes, but I wouldn't recommend using a scanner that does less -- here's a quick link that explains why much better than I can:
Generally, it can be a pain when it comes to cropping or taking segments from an image and enlarging them only to find the image quality is poor. On the other hand, scanning at too high a resolution can be ineffective as it takes up more space on your hard drive and isn't always necessary.
As for printers, Canon is a great brand for this type of work from what I've experienced, and they've usually got excellent built in scanners. Using generic inks with printing can get messy and time consuming, however it can save you a considerable amount on printing (if you're brave enough to try!)