Comic Progress: Day 230
After going back through my old posts and having a hell of a lot of fun this summer I realized I started working on my comic in February and I haven’t touched it since then! So this is a post to get me back on track. I honestly have not done any work on it for months but with New York Comic Con coming up in October I want to get some sort of pitch together to harass editors with. I’m not sure what that’s going to be because I don’t want to stress my artist out with too much last minute drawing but I’m hoping to have a couple of finished pages as well as a synopsis, character bios, a couple pages of script and whatever else I can get together to make it look like a real thing. I think I have a really good idea for a story and hopefully I can convey that to someone else at the con.
Also, comic con is coming up guys! Get excited!
Next up: Um, everything?
Comic Progress: Day 4 Update
I forgot to mention that I already wrote 2 pages when I was doing my day 4 round-up. I just got the sketches back today and they’re amazing. I have yet to FINISH THE OUTLINE but I sent out the first two pages for some tests. It’s looking like this thing is going to be around 110 pgs when it’s all done and I want to have at least the first 22 in writing for a pitch. But I have to FINISH THE OUTLINE before I can write anymore so I don’t lose track of what I’m doing. I’m going to do that today. I swear.
Up next: FINISH THE OUTLINE
Comic Progress: Day 4
I haven’t been home much the past couple days so I haven’t had a chance to get any real work done on the comic. I’m making it a point to write everyday though so I’ve been focusing on other projects. Things that I can sit and complete in less time and dedicate less thought to. But a funny thing happened today when I was sitting down to work on a side project. I suddenly had an amazing idea for a story telling device in the comic. I love how the brain works. Focusing on other things frees your mind to be creative on things you’re stuck on. I also hate how the mind works. When you try to force something to happen it won’t come. I’m trying to work on a sketch show at the same time as this comic and it just isn’t happening. I’m totally stuck for ideas. I’ll dedicate time specifically to work it out and nothing will happen. Hopefully, when I switch back to the comic the same thing that happened today will happen for the sketch. That’s another reason I’m trying to write everyday. So it becomes a habit and my mind gets used to having to think in that fashion. So I’m not so frustrated when I sit down to write.
Next up: Time to actually make some comic progress
Comic Progress: Day 3
Today I had to finish up my character ideas so I could send them over to the artist for some rough sketches. It’s nice working with someone you know because you can use shorthand to describe people i.e. “You know, he’s like that dude you worked with. The creepy one.” Which makes it a lot easier than having to describe a character in detail. The other thing to remember is that the artist should, hopefully, be good at what they do so you don’t need to go overboard in description anyway.
“I want him to be wearing a green jacket with exactly 8 buttons and the buttons should be marbled and possibly plastic if you can make them come across that way. If not, we should talk.”
…is not the way I should be describing someone.
“He’s a dude, maybe 30.”
Neither is this. So finding the right balance is key. And all of that is much easier when you’re working with someone you know and trust.
I can’t wait to see the sketches. I have an idea of the characters in my head but seeing them on paper (or in this case on a computer screen) will make them much more exciting to write for.
Next up: It’s time to get serious about that outline.
Comic Progress: Day 2
The holes in my outline are still giving me trouble so I decided to take a break and work on my character backgrounds. It’s sill but the hardest part of writing for me is choosing the names. Most times when I’m writing sketches I won’t even give my characters names which looks like I’m being disrespectful to the actors (your part is so unimportant it doesn’t even have a title) but really it’s because I had a panic attack trying to think of a good one and just decided to give up before I quit the sketch entirely. My thought process is always the same. I can’t use Sarah or John or Jen or Matt, etc. Those are all too common. I can’t use ________. I know a __________ and she’ll think it’s about her. That goes double for names or ex-boyfriends. Okay, what about Margaret? Nope, that starts with the first three letters of my name and then people will realize that the character is loosely based on me because I have no imagination. They’ll have no idea otherwise that the girl in her late 20s with blonde hair who has the same interests and thoughts as me isn’t in fact me if the name doesn’t sound the same. Yea, that’s it. What about something weird like Violet? Violet, the girl from Incredibles or Violet like your friend’s baby? Come on, you can do better. Fine, I’ll go to the baby names site again. Damn it, I know all these names too and I’m never naming anything Madison ever. Okay how about Hannah? Alright, I could go for Hannah. Well, there was just that movie. Shhh, we’re going with Hannah.
So 1 hour later I have a name. Now, what does this person do? Well, they can’t work in an office, that’s so boring. Maybe they’re a cashier? No, I used to be a cashier and I hated it…
Next up: I remember I have more than one character
Comic Progress: Day 1
I’m starting work on my second comic. The first one was a short story for the horror anthology Don’t Look. Here’s me signing a copy which so far has been the greatest achievement of my life next to being born and creating Doritos nachos.*
I’m not sure how much I want to discuss the details of what I’m writing because A) I’m a paranoid person and B) I’m a slow worker and I don’t want anyone else scooping it up because I’ve had a chance to finish it. Nobody will, but see A). So I’ll mainly be posting about the progress and in general holding myself accountable. If anyone else who wants to write a comic finds this helpful, well that’d be cool too. Let me stress that this is just about the writing process. I won’t be drawing it. Because I can’t. So there won’t be any awesome sketches until after I pass it off to someone who can. This is going to be very boring. About as boring as writing actually is. But after it’s finished, maybe looking back on these posts will make it all worthwhile.
Today wasn’t actually day 1. It’s just the first day I’ve decided to start keeping track. I’ve had this idea for a while, at least a year, and I’ve just been sitting on it. Letting it stew. In January, I was going over my list of goals and I decided I wanted to have something published. Legitimately. Self-publishing felt great but I’ve been really impressed with my friend Mike Lapinski and his book Feeding Ground. He’s a talented guy who put together something really impressive. But more importantly he gets to sign at cons and now that I’m too poor to afford San Diego Comic Con on my own, I want to go as a guest.
I started by making an outline. I’ve never been very good at putting one together. I know people make full, elaborate ones with almost everything they need to start writing but I’ve never been able to do that. Mine consists of 21 lines, some of which have extra bullet points. I may be shooting myself in the foot when I got to start writing but for me, if I stress too much about the outline and working everything out ahead of time I will never actually get around to writing it because I will get stuck. And even if I do finish I will lose steam from the work it took just to do an outline and not want to write the thing anyway. At least if I get stuck while I’m writing I will have already come far enough that I’ll have to keep going. At least, I hope. This might not always be true once I’m a more mature writer but right now I want a short outline that will keep me on track but that I can also be excited about.
After I wrote it out I showed it to a friend who suggested I tell the story out of sequence. And they’re absolutely right. So today I went back in and shuffled the order of the outline. I found a pretty neat device to keep the story moving along that I think will work really well visually. It’s the kind of thing that could only work in comic form and it makes me love the medium even more.
Next up: Filling in some of the holes in the outline that are currently just labeled “And then some action happens.”
* That’s nachos made with Doritos
Last night was so official. Don’t Look! had our comic book release party and I was so pumped to see how many people came out. Special shout out to Winona Nelson and Tony Palumbo who came all the way from Philly for the party. Nonie’s story for the book is amazing and I’m glad she was able to participate in the festivities.
I got to live my dream of signing copies of my own book.
Now I’m drunk with power. So if you missed out last night, it’ll cost you $20 in the future. I’m almost John Cassaday on a yacht level famous now. Okay, I’m kidding about all of that. But it will happen soon.