Part of pulling my finger out and trying to do SOMETHING with my artwork has been to test my hand at doing a comic. I’ve had grand notions about keeping it all secret until I have a book to present, but it turns out, I have not that confidence.
So, I think for a while at least, I will be posting my efforts and, where I get the chance, wittering a few words at the keyboard about them. Importantly, though, I invite comment, criticism and contract offers.
I had…still have…no real idea of how one sets about creating a comic page. All I could find on the web amounted to “there’s no set standard”, so I just went with what seemed reasonable.
My first job was to decide what I was going to write. It’s always been in my mind that I would draw the Bear With No Name character and instead of writing something new, I though I’d adapt the BWNN posts that I’ve put up on this blog.
First off, I looked at the prose version and worked out a short paragraph that would work as a page, then cut the words down to be a little more manageable.
Then I sat with pencil and paper and tried to distribute the text around the page whilst leaving space for some illustration. With the pencil draft in hand, I moved to Illustrator to create a rough skeleton of the layout with text in place. I exported that page and set too, drafting and completing on my Note 10.1 tablet, before finally moving back into illustrator for a clean-up.
The clean up never finished, though, ‘cause I got bored and moved onto page 2. More on that in a later post.
Anyway; page one as it came off my tablet is below. I purposefully tried to keep the artwork simple without letting it become boring. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in the past few months is that it doesn’t matter that my artwork doesn’t look like anyone else’s work. Looking at the page and moaning about how it doesn’t evoke Sandman is pointless. This is my work in my style and I don’t necessarily have to change that to make it function as a graphical tale.
It’s far from perfect, the text seems jumbled and…huge. I don’t like the font, or the dropped caps…many things…
I do, however, suspect that it works ok. To some extent I was drawing the storyboard to the film that plays in my head when I think through the story. It’s a dark film, desaturated, with plenty of silent montage behind the narration and I hope the panels reflect that.
Anyway, here it is.
As I say, I really want comment and critique, from industry pros and consumers, viewers, friends and strangers.