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Comic Creators Thread: Ways to Stay Motivated, Creative, and Productive?

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Posts

  • JyrenBJyrenB St. AugustineRegistered User regular
    The thing about artists learning to draw is that you don't need to learn to draw WELL or even do it that much. Drawing your scripts out, even just basic layouts, helps you to understand what is/isn't doable and how the visual aspects work in a way that just reading and writing comics doesn't necessarily do. I know a few writers that aren't artists at all and just do stick figure layouts and such that they never ever show to any artists. Just a way to help visualize a story as you work on it, since comics ARE so visual.

    Related to something else you mentioned, you might want to find a way to be less specific with every aspect of a comic and how it looks, with yourself as much as an artist. Some artists LOVE that level of detail (for one, my wife keeps telling me to put more into the scripts for Of Stars and Swords despite the fact that we talk it all through), but I know more than a few that feel like they can't be creative if the writer details every aspect of the story.

    Plus, the less specific you are, the more you leave yourself open to surprises. I tend to be pretty loose in the scripts I write for myself (I do full scripts for myself because I just think that way), but I also have very defined visuals for the overall flow of the story in my head as I go. I write my scripts to trigger the thoughts that keep me in the same headspace when I'm drawing, if that makes sense. But even then, by keeping to less detail, it's easier to change and let new things happen. And, really, that pretty much always leads to better results. Especially when it comes to, say, layouts of rooms and such with a lot of speaking characters at once. That gets kind of crazy with speaking order in panels and positioning and it's almost impossible to do that well just in text.

    So yeah, learn to draw...just a little bit. You don't have to become an artist, you just need to learn the mindset and process an artist has to go through. It'll make all your scripts better.

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  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    To be fair, I always did ask the artists I worked with first if my descriptions were too detailed/specific. They were fine with it and also encouraged it, so that's the approach I went with.

    Secondly, I'm of the opinion that a single image with no words can be as striking as a panel filled with sharply-written dialog. Take this famous example from Berserk.
    v3_ep3_p059.jpg

    That single shot follows several pages of the character being a complete asshole. It's how the issue ends, in fact. But that alone has you thinking about the character in a whole new way (or if you've been following his backstory up to that point, you know precisely what that look portends).

    As I said, when I'm planning a story in my head, I think less about word flow and more about how to convey that emotion though a good drawing.

    At the very least I want to stop shying away from it and at least give it a shot. Even if I do find another artist willing to co-create a story, having at least the ability to draw up a storyboard or character design, as you suggested, could prove very useful.

  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    Here's why I say not to bother learning how to draw, before you start writing: It's just one more thing that's going to be in your way.

    Do you want to be an artist? Are you ready to invest a ton of time into learning anatomy, perspective, how to use the tools, etc? From what I've gleaned from your posts, the answer is, "No." You want to write stories. So, write some stories.

    So many aspiring comic writers (and comic artists, and musicians, and playwrights, and screenwriters, and directors, and painters, and and and --) put blocks up in front of themselves.

    "I'm going to write some songs, and put out an album, once I get that new guitar and amp. That'll make all the difference."

    "I'm going to write this screenplay, as soon as I learn how to work a boom mic, and a camera. What's the point of writing something, if I don't know how to work the equipment?"

    "I'm going to draw this comic, as soon as I get that fancy pre-ruled Bristol. And as soon as I get that Pentel pocket brush. And once I've purchased an 11x17 scanner. And once I learn how to work Manga Studio. And once I'm better at all this shit."

    That last one was me. I sat around with a pile of ideas, and barely-started-and-then-aborted work, because I kept telling myself that once I had that next magical skill or piece of equipment, that everything would come together, and be perfect, and I could finally get to the difficult task of creating.

    I should have just shut up and done something.

    Write a script, find an artist to draw it, and make sure it gets done. If that means you can only find an artist that can do a five page thing, or a one page thing, then do that. Because once you have some finished work under your belt, at least you have something finished. There's something you can show to the next artist, and say, "This is what I'm bringing to the table."

    I used to have aspiring comic writers approach me to draw their scripts, on a fairly regular basis. And I'd always tell them the same thing -- send me something when it's done. Not when it's half done, or you have an outline, when it's done.

    Remarkably, no one ever sent me a script. There was always something in their way. They'd get bogged down in the minutiae of trying to plan an intricate battle scene, or trying to do research, or whatever.

    But, when someone finally did send me something? He got a comic out of it. Not a great comic, but it's something finished, mostly competently drawn, with his name on it. And all he had to do, was show me he could deliver something. And be a pleasant dude. That helped.

    I don't want to sound like a jerk, but seriously, if you want to be a comic writer? Write a comic. See it through, even if you have to go through ten artists, just to get a five-page story finished. Even if you have to save some cash, and pay someone, to make sure it's done.

    Linespider5AmigudoomybearAngel_of_BaconWorsel96
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    I'm tentatively plotting some stuff for a new project, while at the same time preparing to buckle down and finish my Penguin epic. As a bit of fun/challenge, I went and made a single frame superhero comic. I don't know if this will turn into a thing were I do a bunch of single frame adventures or not, I'm not sure, really, but I enjoyed making it and getting some decent dynamic stuff going on. It could be a challenge to keep coming out with guys doing stuff.

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    MunchGustavRonin356
  • JyrenBJyrenB St. AugustineRegistered User regular
    @Munch is totally right on with the idea of just going and DOING IT. That's the most common barrier, because everyone says they want to write a comic, but that does require doing it.

    So I agree, don't let a lack of art training or skills stop you from making comics. BUT, I still think every writer needs to draw at least a little bit. Again, stick figures are fine. The thing to understand is composition and flow on the page, not being good at art. Because comics is a visual medium. Words are a tiny, tiny piece of comics. The big, important decisions that REALLY make a comic come in the art. Even with simple stick figure drawn out pages, you can start to understand all of that much, much better than just writing.

    Now, do you have to do this right away? Nah. If it's holding you back from even writing a script at all and getting a comic made, forget it for now and write. But, at some point at least, it will never hurt to try and you'll learn a lot of good things you can bring over to your writing.

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    XBL: JyrenB ; Steam: Jyren ; Twitter
    Linespider5Munch
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    @Munch you are very much hitting the nail on the head. I'm well aware that I keep creating obstacles for myself, as you said. The simple reason for that is I'm afraid of failure. But much more than that, I'm afraid of leaving an idea half-finished if I did start it.

    I'm really trying to mentally get myself over it and just give the script thing a shot already. I still do want to give drawing a try, because I am personally interested, but if I had to say which took priority it would definitely be the writing.

    I assume the most I have to accomplish right now is a first issue pilot idea, right?

  • GustavGustav Friend of Goats Somewhere in the OzarksRegistered User regular
    From a writing standpoint I would just write it first. Not really thinking the visuals out yet. Then maybe trying to lay it out via stick figures, slowly honing it from a script to a comic script. When I first started I'd get too hung up on trying to keep things in mind such as how many words could actually fit in a panel, to the amount of actions in a page and so forth. So I'd just write it and slowly whittle it down into an actual script. Basically I always think its helpful to go in as free and clear headed as possible just to get the words on the page. Editing can be for later.

    And oh man, I need to learn to script again. I don't think I've written a comic script in like three years? Maybe more. But I'm getting to that point where my ideas are starting to outnumber the amount of pages I can physically draw. And I'd like the ideas to at least exist in some tangible format.

    Also news in my continuing life of comics! I'll be teaching/mentoring kids on how to make comics for this program that basically posits itself as an alternative to things like sports and band. They do stuff like video game development, stand up comedy, movie making and the like. Each class has to have a tangible project by the end, and for my class I'm going to have the class actually make their comics into a print anthology. Which should be super fun and maybe and hopefully does a bit to demystify the process. Also we might have a webcomic component the updates as classes continue. But yeah super stoked about that.

    In any case comicers I was curious on what you wish you learned or had a better hand on earlier on in comics? Like say 9-14. Cus that's what I've been delving on quite a bit for this class.

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    Linespider5Ronin356
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    That brings up another thing that's been holding me back. I've had ideas I've wanted to flesh out into stories, but I constantly debate what format I should write them in. How do I determine if something I'm writing is best suited as a comic, or novel, or movie, or even a videogame? Is there some all-inclusive script format I could put the ideas in? What is usually the easiest format to use?

    I'm aware these are just more barriers I'm putting in front of myself, but I'd really like to read how other people overcame these hurdles. The more ideas I get, the better.

  • JyrenBJyrenB St. AugustineRegistered User regular
    Don't worry too much about format, as there is no standard comic scripting format. A lot of people use something similar to screenplay formats, but I've read more than a few scripts that are just "Page One:" and then a description in paragraph form and then the next page, even leaving the panel breakdown to the artist. It really depends.

    Best determining factor is going to be your artist. Ask them what they'd like. Usually you want to separate out things like dialogue, for obvious reasons, and make things like sound effects clear and obvious to see, but you can kind of go about it how you're comfortable.

    I use a pretty heavily adapted screenplay format for myself. Programs like Celtx(which was at one point free and still might be?) and Scrivener (which I use and love but is about $30) have some build in comic templates, but they're in no way standard. Hell, I think most writers Word and do things like this:

    Page One

    Panel 1
    Panel description

    Character 1: Talking!

    SFX:

    Character 2: MORE TALKING!

    Panel 2

    etc etc.

    That's really all you need, when it gets right down to it.

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  • GustavGustav Friend of Goats Somewhere in the OzarksRegistered User regular
    Enough of Celtx is free to be useful I think.

    But yeah. again I'd ignore anything concerning format if you're not even sure of the medium of interest just yet. Just write, even if it starts at solely outline. Stuff reveals itself through the process work. Start broad and zoom in basically.

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    JyrenBMunch
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    That brings up another thing that's been holding me back. I've had ideas I've wanted to flesh out into stories, but I constantly debate what format I should write them in. How do I determine if something I'm writing is best suited as a comic, or novel, or movie, or even a videogame? Is there some all-inclusive script format I could put the ideas in? What is usually the easiest format to use?

    I'm aware these are just more barriers I'm putting in front of myself, but I'd really like to read how other people overcame these hurdles. The more ideas I get, the better.

    When I write scripts, which is kind of rare nowadays, I basically just break it down into a few parts.

    1 - The idea. I try to come up with an idea that will sound interesting, even if I don't mention the superpowers or monsters or whatever. Like, the Atom fancomic I'm doing, I boiled down to, "A depressed guy's best friend gets him out of the house, to go have an adventure." It doesn't sound super interesting, but it's an emotional core, that has nothing to do with magic or super-technology.

    2 - I just start typing. I break down the pages in a rough way, with rough dialogue. Or even just a conversation, with some rough direction. An example would be:

    Page One. Ray's in his basement riding in his toy train. Carter's come over to rouse him with some tough love, and a mission for the DEO.

    "Come on, Ray. This is just sad."

    Page Two. More Ray and Carter patter. Ray refuses to get off the train. Says to call Ryan Choi. Carter tells him they did, and Ryan's gone missing. Ray begrudgingly agrees to come with Carter.

    3 - I go through and start beating the script into shape, with more concrete directions, and dialogue. I also throw in little notes and quips for myself, to remind myself of how I want the scene to feel.
    PAGE ONE

    Panel One: Tight shot of Ray Palmer, viewed from the outside of a train, through the window.

    CARTER HALL: Come now, Ray.

    Panel Two: Pull back, now we see more of the train, Ray barely visible through the window.

    CARTER HALL: It's been months since Jean left.

    Panel Three: Pull back and up, and now we can see a few cars of the train. The terrain around it is flat, and featureless.

    CARTER HALL: How long do you plan to stew like this?

    Panel Four: Mini-splash. We see that the train is a toy train, sitting in Ray Palmer's basement, atop an old card table. The table itself sits in Ray's basement, a plain, unremarkable space, with the typical basement clutter. Carter Hall, in full Hawkman costume, helmet hanging in his hand, looks pityingly down at the tiny Professor Palmer.

    CARTER HALL: I mean, this is just sad.

    (He's right. This is sad.)

    PAGE TWO

    Panel One: Ray closes the window to his train car, while stretching out on the bench. He's ready for his second nap of the day. Wearing shorts, a stained t-shirt, and with wild, mussy hair, he looks like he's been subsisting on a diet of chips for about a month, but that's only because he has.

    RAY PALMER: Sorry to depress you, but no one asked you to come here, Carter.

    Panel Two: Carter looks down at the train, one hand resting on the handle of his mace.

    CARTER HALL: Well, that's where you're wrong. The DEO actually sent me here. Thought I could rouse you from-- whatever this is.

    Panel Three: Ray closes his eyes, trying to ignore the immortal barbarian in his basement.

    RAY PALMER: Bones' spook show? You know he fired me?

    CARTER HALL (off panel): That's usually what happens when you stop showing up for work.

    RAY PALMER: Maybe I was just too small to notice. How would he know?

    Panel Four: Carter squats down by the edge of the table, at eye level with the train.

    CARTER HALL: Seriously Ray, he needs you for this.

    RAY PALMER (off panel): If he needs a shrinky-dink superhero, just call Ryan.

    Panel Five: Ray's on his side now, facing the back of the bench, tucked into a sleepy little ball of scientist. The train, and Ray with it, begins to rumble a bit.

    RAY PALMER: That's why I gave him my belt. He actually likes this stuff.

    Panel Six: Carter holds the train aloft, looking at it very purposefully.

    CARTER HALL: Bones did call Ryan. That's what I've been trying to tell you, Ray. He's missing.

    Panel Seven: Ray, shoulders slumped. This fucking day.

    RAY PALMER: ...

    RAY PALMER: Alright, let me get my stuff.

    4 - Since I'm drawing it, I do some ugly thumbnails. I usually do them in marker, so I'm not tempted to erase, and I can only do broad gestures and shapes. Note that after a few pages, I just give up and write stuff instead of doing thumbnails, since I know I'll end up changing crap while I'm drawing the pages.

    RnwFq5Z.jpg
    Gustav wrote: »
    Also news in my continuing life of comics! I'll be teaching/mentoring kids on how to make comics for this program that basically posits itself as an alternative to things like sports and band. They do stuff like video game development, stand up comedy, movie making and the like. Each class has to have a tangible project by the end, and for my class I'm going to have the class actually make their comics into a print anthology. Which should be super fun and maybe and hopefully does a bit to demystify the process. Also we might have a webcomic component the updates as classes continue. But yeah super stoked about that.

    In any case comicers I was curious on what you wish you learned or had a better hand on earlier on in comics? Like say 9-14. Cus that's what I've been delving on quite a bit for this class.

    Nice, nice. I'm currently planning to do a comics class at the library I work at, next summer.

    I think one of the big things I wish I'd learned earlier, was how to use the tools to make a finished comic. Drawing skill will come with time, but it took me so long to figure out how to do brush inking, what size the art would need to be to fit within standard comic dimensions, how to scan clean linework, etc.

    Also, this perspective tricks. Jesus Christ, why didn't anyone show me this sooner?

    emErcUO.jpg

    It could have saved me so much time.

    doomybearRonin356
  • GustavGustav Friend of Goats Somewhere in the OzarksRegistered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Munch wrote: »
    emErcUO.jpg

    God damnit.

    EDIT- To get past the fact I never have seen that trick, that is the first print out I hand every person who walks through the door. Child, parent, coworkers, you name it.

    But more on topic, Yeah! I think that's gunna be one of the good parts of actually working all the way into print with these kids. I'll probably doing the brunt of the actual work composing the book, buuut I'll be walking them through it step by step.

    But yeah I remember it took me almost until I was finishing high school before I even considered artists worked on pages that were substantially larger than the finished printed page. So that would be a stellar step for them to catch onto earlier I wager.

    And also I'm keeping it pretty open medium wise. I'm not strictly speaking allowed to write a curriculum. And my supplies are limited, but yeah they are allowed to bring laptops and the like. And if they say have photoshop or manga studio I might grab a used wacom or something to help them there. Though I'm starting strictly traditional media I think. Just because I think it helps loads to not have to learn how to get used to a tablet while also learning to draw.

    Gustav on
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    GethLinespider5
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    I always think I'm going to reorder how I do things. I've begun to suspect that, maybe I should work the outlines possibly as the very last thing I do, because of how my emphasis tends to lend on some kind of painterly side of things-if not color, at least, texture and tone and thickness.

    Maybe this isn't necessarily true, but...I feel like the whole 'drawing with economy' thing at some point should become a relevant pillar of anyone's method. Inasmuch I mean the idea of figuring out the best way to do what you do well, in the most efficient manner. Mostly.

  • GustavGustav Friend of Goats Somewhere in the OzarksRegistered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Oh hey oh hey!
    unnamed-1024x760.jpg

    Gustav on
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    Linespider5JyrenBMunchdoomybeartapeslingerRonin356
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    Just got a new page done last night. S'weird, because...I just really like getting these pages done, in the way I think they oughta be done. It's a moving target, sure, but...ultimately I like taking my time on this, like I'm some lazy, self indulgent woodworker or something.

    But I think I got this one down good. Damn good.
    vx4dz5nqnacv.png

  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    I like the direction your art's moving. I feel like there's a much more solid structure to this page, and your coloring's got a lot more contrast to it, than your older stuff. It makes it read much better.

    Nice stuff.

  • AmiguAmigu Registered User regular
    Munch wrote: »
    Here's why I say not to bother learning how to draw, before you start writing: It's just one more thing that's going to be in your way.

    Do you want to be an artist? Are you ready to invest a ton of time into learning anatomy, perspective, how to use the tools, etc? From what I've gleaned from your posts, the answer is, "No." You want to write stories. So, write some stories.

    So many aspiring comic writers (and comic artists, and musicians, and playwrights, and screenwriters, and directors, and painters, and and and --) put blocks up in front of themselves.

    "I'm going to write some songs, and put out an album, once I get that new guitar and amp. That'll make all the difference."

    "I'm going to write this screenplay, as soon as I learn how to work a boom mic, and a camera. What's the point of writing something, if I don't know how to work the equipment?"

    "I'm going to draw this comic, as soon as I get that fancy pre-ruled Bristol. And as soon as I get that Pentel pocket brush. And once I've purchased an 11x17 scanner. And once I learn how to work Manga Studio. And once I'm better at all this shit."

    That last one was me. I sat around with a pile of ideas, and barely-started-and-then-aborted work, because I kept telling myself that once I had that next magical skill or piece of equipment, that everything would come together, and be perfect, and I could finally get to the difficult task of creating.

    I should have just shut up and done something.

    Write a script, find an artist to draw it, and make sure it gets done. If that means you can only find an artist that can do a five page thing, or a one page thing, then do that. Because once you have some finished work under your belt, at least you have something finished. There's something you can show to the next artist, and say, "This is what I'm bringing to the table."

    I used to have aspiring comic writers approach me to draw their scripts, on a fairly regular basis. And I'd always tell them the same thing -- send me something when it's done. Not when it's half done, or you have an outline, when it's done.

    Remarkably, no one ever sent me a script. There was always something in their way. They'd get bogged down in the minutiae of trying to plan an intricate battle scene, or trying to do research, or whatever.

    But, when someone finally did send me something? He got a comic out of it. Not a great comic, but it's something finished, mostly competently drawn, with his name on it. And all he had to do, was show me he could deliver something. And be a pleasant dude. That helped.

    I don't want to sound like a jerk, but seriously, if you want to be a comic writer? Write a comic. See it through, even if you have to go through ten artists, just to get a five-page story finished. Even if you have to save some cash, and pay someone, to make sure it's done.

    This is such money advice. Not just for comic writing, but for any creative endeavor!

    BitD PbP Character Volstrom
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    doomybearLinespider5
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    Amigu wrote: »
    This is such money advice. Not just for comic writing, but for any creative endeavor!
    Thanks, doood. Adam Warrock's DIY is pretty much my creative mantra.

    Also, I'm doing that Inktober challenge, where you do one inked drawing a day. I've gotten really reliant on doing a shitty inked drawing, and then cleaning it up digitally, so I'm doing all of them without any kind of digital chicanery. Kind of a back-to-basics approach.

    w6f9tK6.jpg

    I also did one of those all-lady JLAs, that are floating around Tumblr.

    nJvLQlQ.jpg

    DouglasDangerRonin356
  • MidnightJesterMidnightJester Jester Extraordinaire Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    Earlier this year I decided to take a kind of dive-in-head-first approach to a comic idea I had. I started writing scripts, and ultimately decided to start learning how to draw so I could do it all myself. I'm not going to lie, I know that my artwork is terrible compared to real artists, but it's come a long way since my starting point. I've begun looking at making the comic as an exercise in improving my artwork. I wanted to see if anyone else in this thread has ever kind of started from scratch like this and kept it going? What kind of update schedule do you have? Are you proud of your artwork, and if so how long did it take to feel that? I guess the long and short of it is that it is often very hard to stay motivated to keep putting in so many hours of work when I'm still at the stage of having only a few friends that even bother to read the comic. I guess I'm looking for a success story.

  • GustavGustav Friend of Goats Somewhere in the OzarksRegistered User regular
    Earlier this year I decided to take a kind of dive-in-head-first approach to a comic idea I had. I started writing scripts, and ultimately decided to start learning how to draw so I could do it all myself. I'm not going to lie, I know that my artwork is terrible compared to real artists, but it's come a long way since my starting point. I've begun looking at making the comic as an exercise in improving my artwork. I wanted to see if anyone else in this thread has ever kind of started from scratch like this and kept it going? What kind of update schedule do you have? Are you proud of your artwork, and if so how long did it take to feel that? I guess the long and short of it is that it is often very hard to stay motivated to keep putting in so many hours of work when I'm still at the stage of having only a few friends that even bother to read the comic. I guess I'm looking for a success story.

    That was pretty much how I rolled with Backwood Folk when I was still updating it! Somewhere in college I just said screw it, and started a webcomic. For something like two or three years it was a Tuesday/Thursday update schedule. While I'm not particularly proud of how it looks (I can't actually even look at it now in the earliest stuff) I will say it became a sort of bootcamp on drawing and learning the mechanics of comics. And I'm certainly more confident with my art now, but I don't think I'm always particularly happy with it. But I don't know if that's what I'm chasing when I work.

    As for viewership. Honestly it took me years before I even broke a hundred views. Honestly I think it's a momentum thing.

    ----

    So I'm edging closer to finishing Screaming Canyons. What was initially supposed to be something like 24-36 pages it is looking like it might end up being closer to 48-52 pages. Some are just to include flourishes like a splash page and double page spread. But I keep wanting to flesh out my antagonists. So there'll be a history lesson on the Shepherds as well as actually exploring the ~AiRheads view. Basically I was having problems with it reading too fast. That thing where it's just plot beats with no breather.

    But yeah dunno if I'm gunna have it done in time for a print run for Christmas season, which is a bummer. Buuut I'm definitely doing this in an oversized album format. I'm pretty sure I'm gunna go for a model of jumping between giant oversized adventures and then the Travelogue collections of small comics.

    Just so I feel can get small stories done and out there while being able to over-indulge myself on pages like this!

    alone.jpg

    Also I'm pretty sure I'm gunna do my first hardcover with Screaming Canyons, and went nuts on a wraparound cover as I am wont to do.

    Wraparound-Cover-small.jpg

    And finally, I'm doing my first convention this November in Central Arkansas. ComicCon-Way to be exact. My friend, Kodysandwich and I will be sharing a table sellin' our wares. And I couldn't be more stoked.

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    JyrenBLinespider5Ronin356
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    I don't know how many of you guys might iPad your art, but I tried a new stylus by Cregle, and...it's pretty damn great. Whereas a traditional iPad stylus uses that capacitive rubber bubble as the contact point, this uses a finer hardened tip and a rechargeable battery that provides the electrical charge to communicate with the tablet screen.

    Mind you, you can probably buy three or four of the traditional styluses for the cost of one of these hardpoints, but it's a wonderful, wonderful thing, and if you've destroyed a few of those bubble tipped styluses, it's something to consider.

    I seem to be getting into a troubling habit of only drawing on the bus, now....something about the motion and the path. I am actually making a superhero comic...which I hope to be able to share sooner rather than later.

    Linespider5 on
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    I don't know how many of you guys might iPad your art, but I tried a new stylus by Cregle, and...it's pretty damn great. Whereas a traditional iPad stylus uses that capacitive rubber bubble as the contact point, this uses a finer hardened tip and a rechargeable battery that provides the electrical charge to communicate with the tablet screen.

    That looks pretty cool. My Android tablet died recently, and if I can't get it fixed, I was considering upgrading to an iPad.

    In other news, I went to a convention this weekend. I did this comic, to summarize the experience.

    B2nfl4XIcAAkY3t.jpg

    I've now tabled at two small, local conventions, and it was an interesting learning experience. I'd hoped that the first show would help me know what to expect for the second, but nnnnope.

    The first show was a horror convention. I went in with zero expectations to sell anything. It wasn't really my kind of show, it was a tiny venue, and I had very little prep time. So, I had a few crummy signs, a pile of mini-comics, and my sketch supplies.

    But, it turned out to be an awesome show, for me. I did some commissions, including one for a teenage girl, who was so genuinely overcome with emotion, that she gave me a hug. I sold some mini-comics to people that seemed enthused by the subject matter. I didn't make a ton of money, but I left feeling awesome about the day. And more importantly, I felt like I had a better expectation of what the local crowd was into, and where my weaknesses were.

    So, for Con #2, I had nicer signs that clearly communicated who I was and what I was doing, some tiered stands to prop my minis up into people's line of sight, and some low-priced meltybead knick-knacks, that I hoped would draw in kids and parents looking to buy neat stuff, for $2 a piece.

    B2aaX1PCYAA8m3M.jpg

    I split the cost of a table with my younger brother. I took half to to sell comics and sketches, he took half to sell toys, games, and other collectibles. This had proven a good combination at the previous show; people stop to browse toys, giving me time to pitch them on my stuff.

    So, with much more preparation and enthusiasm, I went into Con #2 feeling like I was going to do really well.

    I sold one comic.

    I should have tempered my expectations immediately, when I saw that the crowd waiting at the door was looking a little thin. But, I heard a musician once remark that it doesn't matter if you're playing to ten people, or ten thousand -- you still play your heart out. So, seated opposite the Power Rangers' Bulk and Skull, as well as the original Blue, Black, and Red Rangers, and with my table butted up against a three-table assortment of toys from the nineties, I played my heart out. I spent the day making small talk with folks in the crowd, pointing them towards other exhibitors I felt they should check out, and shoving my stuff into their hands whenever I could.

    Here's what I most commonly heard:

    On the $2 Meltybead superheroes:
    -"Oh, don't buy that, you can just make it at home."
    -"My friend makes these. She sells them for a quarter/a dime/fifty cents a piece."
    -"How can you tell which character these are supposed to be?"

    On my comics:
    -"You should do one with Deadpool, or like, zombies."
    -"I don't read comics."
    -"I already spent $25 to get in here, and $30 for a picture with the Red Ranger, so I don't really have any more money."

    And I was bombarded with question from people looking at the adjoining booth's toys, asking me questions about price, or just dropping the usual toy browser quips: "Aw man, I had that toy. If I'd have kept it, I'd be rich," and so on and so forth.

    I also got to watch my brother's girlfriend, who was cosplaying as Wonder Woman, get creeped on by every guy with a camera. One guy asked for a hug, and tried to plant a kiss on her, when she obliged.

    So, having failed hard on day one, filled with hate for a largely gross and apathetic crowd, and with a paying inking job looming over me with a deadline of the 18th, I decided that I'd bail, if I wasn't doing better on day two.

    Day two came around, and sure enough, it was the same crap as day one. Additionally, I was still feeling exhausted from the previous day, I'd come down with a sore throat, and the crowd was filled with even more people who'd paid $25, just to eyeball the Dork Zoo. Realizing that my irritation and exhaustion was reaching a peak, I decided to bail.

    So I packed my stuff, ceded my half of the table to my brother, and went home to work on the inking job. All in all, it was a pretty shitty weekend, redeemed only by the fact I got to hang out with my brother all day, and talk with Kyle Starks and Rusty Shackles for a bit. Two of the nicest dudes around, by the way. If you see them at a show, go say hello, and buy their stuff.

    This morning, while browsing Twitter, I found fellow con exhibitor Tressa Bowling, discussing one of her pet peeves - exhibitors leaving a con early.

    As one of those people who paid for their table, only to flee in the early hours of day two, I have conflicted feelings about it. I mean, nobody was there to see me anyway, so at least nobody left disappointed due to my actions.

    But, I still can't blame the guys who paid $200 for a giant booth, on top of travel and hotel costs, for bailing on that crowd. I felt dejected and miserable after spending just $50 on my table.

    Here's what I had to miss, to do the show:
    -My nephew's birthday party.
    -Time working on my own comic, as well as paying art jobs.
    -A late night out with my girlfriend, as well as most of Sunday, the only day off we both share.
    -Time spent repairing my garage roof, or doing a thousand other little home improvement projects.

    I'm sure other people were missing out on stuff they'd rather be doing. So, while I'm sympathetic to Tressa Bowling's viewpoint in theory, in practice, it's really, really hard to stay positive, and make a show fun for people, when you're getting no enthusiasm back.

    As someone who tries to present an entertaining front as a comic creator, and be upbeat and professional, I absolutely agree, you shouldn't leave a show early. But as a person with neuroses and a life to live, I think it's perfectly fine to say, "Hey, this isn't making me happy, so I'm leaving."

    I'm curious to hear from anyone else who's done a show, or thinking about doing so. Any particular horror stories or general weirdness? Things that have worked for you, or haven't?

    I know @Gustav‌ just did one - how'd that go?

  • GustavGustav Friend of Goats Somewhere in the OzarksRegistered User regular
    Honestly yeah. Not very different at all.

    I shared a table with kodysandwich (which was more or less the first time we actually met) and his wife joined us part way through the show. We both were able to pay for the table from sales, but not a whole lot more than that. I think I sold two copies each of Tourist, Eve, and Blue Anniversary?

    But it was a very weird experience for me. I've done a few local author/ library events, and I sell pretty damn well at them. And these are absolutely not comics crowds. So I was kind of expecting to do decently. If I can sell to literary crowds, then I can certainly get comic crowds right?

    On one side was another comic artist who moved away from Arkansas. I don't think he did much better sales wise, but he did get more traffic. He also had prints of superheroes, Doctor Who, and a way more elaborate booth. But like us I don't think there was much interest in his actual comics. Which I think there was only three or for actual indie comic artists there. It mostly was competing local comic stores and their back issues. Which maybe that's normal. But there was an undercurrent of why would I buy your indie books when I can get like 20 back issues of Spawn for the same price. Which I kind of get, but it's pretty impossible to combat.

    We were adjacent to the featured guest section, and even they didn't really get much traffic either. But apparently this year they didn't do panels at all and apparently just had them sitting and signing all day instead. It was kind of boggling.

    But yeah, there was a pretty strong feeling of these don't have characters I know, so I don't care. I'd actually say there was a pretty negative atmosphere the whole way through. There were a few specific instances that were particularly nightmarish, buuut I probably would get a little too nasty describing them.

    I will say there were stiff drinks when I finally got home.

    On the plus side, I got to learn some pretty basic con stuff at a pretty low stakes con. Also it was the first time I got to hangout with kodysandwich and we were able to make the event somewhat enjoyable I'd say. Him and his wife were able to keep the morale up. Especially when I was at my grumpiest. I think we plan on doing more in the near future despite it all. Little Rock has a con that's apparently pretty neat. And my region has a lot of local art and literary events. So yeah. Better luck next time I suppose.

    aGPmIBD.jpg
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    I don't know if I'd ever have the guts to do a table thing at a con.

  • GustavGustav Friend of Goats Somewhere in the OzarksRegistered User regular
    I was certainly nervous for the first few people that walked by. I don't know how to put it though, it became quite the opposite real quick. And I'm pretty awful about being anywhere that's outside my room.

    Like it became more tedious than scary I guess.

    aGPmIBD.jpg
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    Yeah, I've always been bad with crowds, and filled with general anxiety. But, that stuff falls away when I'm behind a table. I put on my public face, and try to be as energetic as I can. Which is why this most recent con left me so drained. When I'm doing that, and getting enthusiasm back, it fuels me. When I'm not, it leaves me a miserable, exhausted husk.

    It helps to have something to keep you occupied. I'll usually sit there and work in my sketchbook, until people walk by.

  • JyrenBJyrenB St. AugustineRegistered User regular
    Honestly, you both described why we don't do smaller local cons. I know there are some people that swear by them, but I just don't have the time/money/patience for this kind of thing. Everything we've done has been either very comic focused or just comic focused enough that even our indie stuff has an audience just fine. I mean, you'll ALWAYS run into the dude's just making tons of money on fanart and the people that want that, but there are absolutely environments that are much friendlier to people doing their own thing, no matter how weird it might be.

    I'd have more coherent thoughts on all of this but I'm sick and my brain is all bleh right now.

    osasbutton.png
    XBL: JyrenB ; Steam: Jyren ; Twitter
  • liquiddarkliquiddark Odd magpie St. John's, NLRegistered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Re: stylus/iPad, I've got the 2013 Jot Touch and I can't really recommend it enough. They've got a newer version now that's fancier, but this one keeps going. The pressure levels are great. I keep meaning to buy a touchscreen monitor so I can try to build my own driver for it, but life keeps getting in the way.

    Also, hi folks. Sounds like everyone is doing well, which is good!

    Re: small cons, I booked a table at a local con next summer just to give myself an extra kick. I've also been doing goal plans, which have helped in several different ways, mostly by demonstrating what a "realistic" goal looks like. I had to cut back my ambitions a lot before I started hitting the target.

    liquiddark on
    Current project: Contension, a realtime tactics game for mobile
    @oldmanhero .programming .web comic .everything
  • Ronin356Ronin356 Nowhere MORegistered User regular
    I'm still going to get my Last Words comic done even though the Kickstarter failed.

    Should be done by next summer.

    Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time.
    Georgia O'Keeffe
    Be sure to like my Comic Book "Last Words" on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Last-Words-The-Comic-Book/458405034287767
    and Magenta the Witchgirl!: http://www.drunkduck.com/Magenta_the_Witchgirl/



  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2015
    Hi guys. I haven't posted here yet, but I have a thread in the art forum that I'm going to try and keep up to date with what I'm working on, but there isn't any sequential art posted.

    I've been working on story ideas for books (that started out as joke pitches for movies on another forum) that I'm working on. I haven't gotten any of them scripted yet, but I have basic outlines for them.

    I actually threw together a quick page of pencils for a scene I want from one book/story idea. This one has a working title of "Tiger of Heinan" and is set at the beginning of the Qin dynasty in ancient China.

    The initial joke pitch I wrote up:
    It is the dawn of the Qin dynasty, directly following the period of the seven warring states of China.

    A man finds himself on a journey to avenge the death of his father, murdered at the hands of six corrupt tax collectors
    and bureaucrats employed by the empire he sacrificed his body for.

    This is the revenge of the One Armed Boxer.

    The quick pencils page I put together (I'm still learning how to use digital programs like Manga Studio, so forgive the terrible quality of the image and distortion of the pencils as I stretched them to fit the panels):
    10861058_10155110622775008_481050247698389061_o.jpg
    I'm working on inking digitally, but I'm afraid that will take longer than I would like to be proficient enough to ink this myself.


    I have fleshed out and basically outlined the story in my sketchbook, but I haven't scanned them in to post here. The premise of the story is a Qin veteran returns home, his father is murdered, and he finds himself in internal conflict between mourning and anger on his path to avenge his fathers death. I want to tie it into Water Margin by using the two Stars of Destiny, the Crying Star and the Fierce Star as the possessing "spirits" that are influencing the MCs actions. In the scenes in which he does take his revenge it is under the guise of a crying demon. I also want to break it down into six "chapters", one for each official he wants to take vengeance upon.

    I also want to have a government investigator that shows up after the first revenge killing, who either knows or knows of the main character, and have a conflict in the story in which the investigator is searching for the killer but is unaware of the murder of the main characters father. The conflict between the main character and the investigator is the main character attempting to evade discovery, with an eventual realization by the investigator that the MC is the killer.

    I have other pitch ideas that started out as joke pitches, but they don't have as much work put into them at this point.

    NSDFRand on
    GethLinespider5
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    I really like your initial stuff here. The linework is very elegant and uncluttered.

    Geth
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    Thanks. I am working on some stuff and will posting more art here.

  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    I want to talk about some stuff in this thread. I, for one, think it's a pretty good spot up to have in the Graphic Violence forum. But I also feel like this thread has gotten woefully under-used, and I'd like to try to do something about it.

    Over the summer I ended up moving, and experienced a number of life events that have prevented me doing the comic work I aspire to getting at in the quiet hours of my days. I've also had greater challenges remaining connected with the people I've known who do this sort of thing, the sequential art discipline stuff that is the veritable undercurrent of the life blood of dreams where most comics begin their existence.

    I'd like to make an effort with this thread to restore some kind presence where people can gather to talk shop and discuss their projects, and help one another stay involved in the pursuits and challenges that are always part of the process of making comics.

    So. How is everybody? What have you guys been up to? Let's have a talk about this thing we do.

  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    I feel kind of bad about stepping back from the forums. It's not really intentional, just a side effect of trying to spend less time dicking about on the internet.

    I just wrapped up the second chapter of Wizard Killer. I'm doing the last chapter in full color, because I wasn't taking long enough already.
    KfBl1jf.jpg

    Buuuut, fourteen more pages and it'll be all done, coming it at just under 60 pages. Assuming I don't expand it at the last minute. Once it's complete, I'll be selling the standard .CBR/.CBZ package through my Gumroad store. It'll feature the full story, with touched up art not seen at my website, an audio commentary track where I read through it with a guest, a collection of sketches, and The Savage Sword of the Atom, my Ray Palmer/Ryan Choi fancomic. I'll probably price it around $4 or $5.

    I'm currently looking at RA Comics Direct to print it, as they seem like one of the cheaper options, and @JyrenB had his book printed through them, and mentioned they made a quality product. I'm going to see if I can scare up some publicity for it, and if I can get a few more eyes on it, I might try a Kickstarter campaign in a year or so. In the meantime, Wizard Killer's set to return on April 1st, with weekly updates.

    Aside from that, I'll be releasing two Christmas comics this year (hopefully). The first is with AJ Apelian/The Lovely Bastard, and is still a bit too early to talk about. But I want to get to work on it no later than September, and have it out in time for Christmas.

    The second is a short superhero comic that I'm doing with Brent Cosman. It's just a little six-pager, and I've got 3 pages mostly done. Unfortunately, the whole thing's like, one giant crowd scene. Which is a royal pain in the ass.
    OJiM1oC.jpg

    After I wrap that up, I'm doing a short comic with Graham Johnson/JyrenB. It's a sci-fi thing, which isn't a genre I've done. I've decided to channel all the old sci-fi manga/anime stuff I was into as a teenager, directly into it. I might try working in a slightly different style. Maybe something a bit less clean than my usual stuff. Graham's finished the script, and I've started working on character designs and thumbnails.
    B-KU6d5IcAAoGP7.jpg:large

    Also on the itinerary for 2015:

    -I've got a horror comic I want to try to squeeze in, for Halloween.

    -Rachel Stevens/Antimatter and I have been kicking around the idea of working on something together.

    -I'm supposed to work on another superhero thing, with Jon Quixote and Cameron Morris. No idea where this is falling in my schedule. I actually need to email those dudes.

    -I'm going to do a little workshop on how to make comics, at my local library. That'll be harrowing. It's going to be a hands-on demonstration of tools and such, to feel out the possibility of doing a more in-depth program.

    -I'm going to be at Cincinnati Comic Con and Heroes Con this year. Not selling stuff, just hanging out.

    -I've been playing around with Twine and RPG Maker. That may become a thing.

    -Last year I got paid for an inking job, on something that nobody will probably ever see. That was cool, and mostly covered the cost of my dog's ear surgery. I'd like to keep converting art into money, this year.
    This cost $300.
    B4hz0AgCQAASJTZ.jpg

    -I designed a little logo/patch thing for my brother's motorcycle jacket. That was a fun little thing, that let me work in a new style.
    B41DyU8IgAEgGxU.jpg

    Basically, if I can figure out how to stop sleeping, I'll be all set.

    Linespider5GustavDouglasDanger
  • GustavGustav Friend of Goats Somewhere in the OzarksRegistered User regular
    Dude yeah Munch! I freaking love those sci-fi designs. Also the six pager is looking really nice.

    Also I can second RA Comics. It's who I do my print stuff through, and they are great.

    But yeah I'm in weird spots lately. It's been already not a great year on the comic end, however everything else has been absolutely fantastic.

    Two or three weeks ago I upgraded my dropbox to a terabyte so that my backups for my comic stuff wouldn't be completely hardware and physical based. And then I started organizing everything on my external hard drive since it was big enough to have everything. You know wanted to know what would was really needed on dropbox and so forth. What I should have done was move everything over that moment, but I got some lunch and came back to do it later. When I came back I plugged in my external hard drive and it had died. Would. not. connect.

    Luckily I have all of Eve and Backwood backed up on my old desktop. But right now all but 9 pages of Screaming Canyons are in limbo. Along with countless other half finished stories. Pretty much halted all progress on Tourist Unknown completely. So yeah I aged 30 years in one afternoon.

    That said from all the things we've done to figure out the issue it appears to be just be a connection/power issue. And the actual data should be fine. Which unfortunately it doesn't have a SATA plug in so it requires an exceedingly clever person to connect to a computer motherboard. Luckily I might have actually found someone in town who is that clever. Otherwise it's an 800-2000 dollar data recovery effort. Which I mean I'll do, but I will not be a happy camper.

    Which outside of that things are going exceedingly well. The comics classes I teach are apparently one of the most popular courses at our establishment. And they've been an absolute blast through and through.

    -Our town's pretty established art gallery wants to do an exhibition of my stuff. Initially they wanted my poster work, but now we are talking about trying to turn the entire gallery into a comic of sorts. I dunno I'm trying to figure that jazz out. Something weird.

    -@JyrenB just sent me a script for a one page comic for OSAS. And I think he's gunna be guest scripting a Tourist short.

    -I'm working with a guy in town to make a sort of zine formatted lo-fi comic about the Ozarks punk scene.
    tumblr_nhxmsrpd0l1rshctco1_1280.jpg

    -Also been doing all of the art for this band out of Little Rock. Got to do cassette art, 7" vinyl art, and now almost finished with a full vinyl release with double gatefolds. Which I'm stoked about. I keep seeing pictures of the 7" in stores around their tour sites across the country. Which is super neat.
    tumblr_ni55wsMhhC1r9xgzqo1_1280.jpg

    tumblr_njm1jvJWsZ1tu9ollo1_1280.jpg

    -And I'm just getting spoiled on poster work.
    10931539_944515445559186_6063330603031009790_n.jpg?oh=361467c6eb83119dd856eb3b1bfd69d4&oe=558585C7&__gda__=1431209755_27c27ea9188243766daebec85f724c72

    10378252_920055241368580_702468359525900715_n.jpg?oh=ecd14343a9216171910f79243246601b&oe=55538FA0&__gda__=1431380690_1b882a80d3c4156ec1a39a9e216e73a7

    -Also a local sci-fi hip hop group are kinda discussing a neat project right now. They basically want giant fold out comics with their various releases. So we're toying with making what looks like an old Sunday comics Flash Gordon page by way of newer art style. Which is just gunna be super neat.

    -And finally somehow I might have become a co-host on a local radio program in town. Last night was my first go, and it might be a semi-permanent deal. Bas

    aGPmIBD.jpg
    MunchLinespider5
  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    My goal has been to complete the Penguin of Tuscany, because in truth, for what I have, the arc I am going for is near-completed. Less than twenty pages easily. Having very good excuses that keep me from the project has been a minor consolation. Also, it's been brutally cold out. Like, windchill that makes me feel the way a Mike Mignola skeleton mummy usually looks.
    rqpggxuzlapp.jpg
    Yeah, like that. But freeze-dried.

    But I will be very glad to have it done, and once that is possible, move onto something...smaller. I've got a character, and a little story that examines the sort of way a C-List superhero might be considered an embarrassment in the Halls of Justice, but on his own turf, an honored guardian of the people he protects. The will also be a fair amount of humor in it, once there is the mental space to afford it the attention it deserves.

    Aside from sleep deprivation, are there any personal methods people might be able to share that they have found to be good at for getting in the mode that gets things done?

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    yo dudes, since I'm not sure many of you pay attention to the AC: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/196619/comic-resources-masterpost#latest

    If you have any resources to add to that thread, please do. I geared it towards the drawing side of the equation, since its the AC, but If you want to give some scripting advice in there, thats cool too.

    Advice about printing is something I'm especially in the dark on since I haven't done it yet, and links/tips for that process would be great.

    Linespider5
  • MunchMunch Registered User regular
    Recently redrew a drawing from 2012-ish, using the original's pencil art.

    k2Zn0MR.jpg
    2zSB4E5.jpg

    I copped out on the background for the new one, since it wasn't anything I wanted to spend too much time on.

    And here's more character design stuff. Spoiler'd because there's NSFWbuttsNSFW.
    B_YuXBFWcAAN59U.jpg:large
    B_iECOxWAAEunvM.jpg:large

    I never really do character design sheets or anything, which can tend to screw me up, and make things really inconsistent from page to page. Trying to rectify that, from now on.

    Linespider5
  • DMACDMAC Come at me, bro! Moderator mod
    A Hulk from last week and a Hornhead from tonight:

    5wju9iaoeiph.jpg
    6f1zey8zyswb.jpg

    Professor Snugglesworth
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    It's a bit embarrasing that my last posts are still totp.

    Anyway, this week I'm going to kick my insecurities repeatedly in the ass and finally get to work on making a pilot script. I've had an idea kicking around and I think it's high time I attempted to put it into a (hopefully) coherent work.

    If I could get a couple of examples of a comic script that I can use, that would be great. Just a template that I can follow, and hopefully share here for feedback when I'm done.

    Linespider5
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