Category: Writing

100 Days of Making Comics Challenge #1

Today marks, what I am considering, my first official day of the 100 Days of Making Comics challenge. First order of business- clean up my studio. I haven’t been in here much in the last few months. Mostly I have been working at the computer downstairs. Art supplies get tracked up and down. Usually instead of being put away they get piled on the lightbox or in my chair. My kids love to ransack this room for my pens and paint brushes. There is a fine layer of dust on everything.  And most of all,  I noticed the windows are absolutely filthy. 

After an hour of organizing and dusting I finally managed to get to work on the actual comic.  I know I said a few posts back I was done with the script and the thumbnailing, but I decided I wanted to flesh out the story more. Ghastly McNasty’s comment on my Halloween comic, “Java Dreams”, was streaming through my head, “Girl walks into restaurant, girl dies. But it’s weird enough to work.” This is a Southern Gothic tale. It needs some atmosphere and a bit of back story. 

Sometimes I write my script on my computer. Especially if it’s going to be long. I usually write them out in three acts, like a movie script, and plan my plot points and action accordingly. For short stories I work a little differently. Usually I do the script and thumbnails at the same time.

This sketchbook is my travel doodles book. I carry it around with me. The paper is thin and crappy and the cover is Pepto pink.  I am not precious about the stuff that goes in this book. I scribble story ideas and super rough sketches in it. When I get an idea of where I am going I switch to (I wrote typing lol – old af!)  copy paper.  Then I start fiddling with page layout, turns and script changes.

Now I am setting up my drawing board with some of the sketches I worked on previously. I want to work on my character designs some more. Do some turn arounds. Plan the look of the farm. I have created a mood board on Pinterest and have started stashing some reference pictures. 

My kids just went to bed (hallelujah). Without interruptions every five minutes maybe I can actually get into the zone and work some more on the thumbnails before I go to bed. I just wanted to get this blog post done so I don’t break the challenge rules on day 1. So far today my total time invested working just on the comic is about an hour.

100 Days of Making Comics

 I was perusing YouTube today and came across this awesome video by illustrator/ comic artist, Kevin Cross. He is the creator of 100 Days of Making Comics challengeA comics creation challenge you say? Where do I sign up? Facebook, actually – but there are rules. 

 – Challenge Requirements –

1. Comic Project that you haven’t been making enough time for.

2. At least 30-minutes of work towards the comic each day.

3. Everyday for 100 Consecutive Days. (100 days in a row).

4. Make a daily video/blog to hold yourself accountable.

5. Post it in the group.

You can see the full write up for the challenge on their Facebook page in the “About This Group” section.

I have several projects hanging around here collecting dust. My biggest problem is that I put way too much pressure on myself to deliver the exact perfect artwork, perfect page layout and perfect story. The inner critic takes over and pretty soon I am paralyzed with questions and doubt:

Is my story too much like someone else’s?

Does this artwork suck?

Is this the right style for the project?

Are my page layouts boring?

Are my character poses and scenes boring/ predictable?  

Ok, enough of this shit. Get a grip, already! It probably does suck and it’s not going to get better without practice. That’s what this site is all about- accountability, daily practice, reaching goals. My ultimate goal: create comics.  So what’s the problem? No excuses. I’m doing this!

This is a character sketch for the comic I want to start working on. I mentioned it in my last blog post, but then inner critic. I have the story complete, sans script changes. I have made a few revisions already and fleshed the story out a little more. I still haven’t come up with a title. It is a short horror story, taking place on a farm in rural Arkansas 1917. 

As a last thought, I still have the monthly prompt coming up on June 1st. The post is already written. For those of you not interested in doing comic art, fear not! I will keep up with the art prompt lists as I work on the 100 Days of Making Comics challenge. 

The Pines: Reboot

    Now that I have my script for Colony: Origins completed, and have been hard at work improving my drawing and painting skills, I have come to the conclusion I need to work on comic creation and hone my skills. 

    I have been trying to come up with some story ideas. One of them was Java Dreams, the other is reworking a story I wrote several years ago called The Pines.  The Pines is a Southern Gothic horror story. I’m still hammering out details. I am making a lot of changes to the story. I liked the basic plot of the story but there was something really wrong with it.

    After going over all the notes I can find (my original complete script is lost so I only have first attempt artwork and 25 pages of thumbnails with dialogue to work from) I came to the conclusion that the pacing is really manic. It almost goes Once upon a time – the end. What was I thinking?  Most of the time you have to cut parts of a story to make it more coherent, I actually have to add more story to my story.

    

Original Artwork

    The next thing to tackle is the artwork. With the original comic I spent very little time in character design and really rushed my page output. The result was really terrible artwork. 

    This time I am spending more time developing the look of the characters. Overall, fairly similar in general appearance, but more cleaned up, and tighter drawing. The original scratchy pencils weren’t doing it for me. I think I was trying to go for a grunge look.

    Another thing I’ve discovered is that, after years of avoiding trying it, I love inking with a brush. I think initially the notion that I wouldn’t be able to make fine lines or that I wouldn’t have as much control kept me from giving it a go. Now i’m wishing I would have tried it years ago. My new best friends are Chinese calligraphy brushes.  

    

       Recently I joined the Comic Fury community. I’ve been picking up quite a bit of info on comic creation from those guys. One of the most important topics touched on was output. The standard output for an online comic seems to be about a page a week. I was rushing doing the penciling trying to put out at least three pages a day.

    Now that I feel like I can slow it down and do it right. I am more likely to publish my comic in coherent chunks. I don’t want to publish something in mid thought. That’s not my idea of a cliffhanger. My aim is to update weekly, but if it takes longer that’s ok. I really am more interested in doing as good a job as I can rather than having a huge output of rubbish.  

    So script writing is where I am right now. Once I have the script completed I will begin updating the comic once every week or so until the story is complete. Stay tuned. 

New Look