Any advice would be great if you can, thank you so much.
Any advice would be great if you can, thank you so much.
it's all part of the plan
--the comic book business--
you mean people make money making comics? Will yes and no, yes there are the few lucky people who makes comics as there full time day job. Heck sometimes they get real lucky and make a tons of money with the comicbook creation, those teenage mutnat turtles guys and real lucky people like todd mcfarlane. But it your planning on going into comics for the money, itís a rare thing to make a living doing comics and if your planning getting rich, go buy some, lottery tickets youíll have better odds.
So why dod you spend all your free time working (and yeah itís work) on writing and making your comics, you might ask.. I do it because i canít think of anything else a rather be doing. When youíre a storyteller no matter what type country western song writer, novels about teenage werwolfs and vampires or fan faction of ďthe golden girls. You have to many storys in your head and you have put them down, if other peoples read and enjoy so much the better. And if people give you money to thatís just icing on the cake. In other words. You do this yourself, itís the first thing i think of when i get up in morring, the last thing of before falling a sleep, and when other people are talking to me i have a blank look my face, storytellers tell storys because there storytellers. So if donít love it and i mean love doing it find something else to do with your time, like get a life because if you do this itís a 24-7 thing. Itís the only thing want to do.
--okay, lets do this how do i get started--
now remember there is no one way to make comics this is how i do it, and more than likey you will. But think of this as a cook book and you can tweak the recipes to your taste.
what, where, when, why and how,
what and where do they come from. This the most question us creative people (like us) get asked the most. The short answer is ďi donít knowĒ they can come from anywhere at any time.. This is why a note pad and pen is your best friend. Carrier with at all times. You never know when you need it, while walking, waiting for a bus, in the middle of the night, but be warned everything sounds like a great idea or funny as 3:40am but when you re-reading after a full night sleep its so great then.
The long answer is you go looking for them, read, read and read some more and not just comics. Watch tv discovery and history channels are good place to get idea from.. Also never over looking stealing them, now i not staying go and 100% plagiarism some ones work, but rework it some new. Lets face it there nothing new under the sun and all storys have been told, hawkeye is green arrow and green arrow is robin hood.
If you read enough or watch enough this becomes second nature to you. ďhmmm how can i use that type of character or story.Ē
some people call it being ďinspiredĒ we know better.
A case in point where you never know when that big idea is going to come and change your life. Stan sakai tells the story where he came up with his character for his book usagi yojimbo which mean rabbit bodyguard.. Stan being a huge fan of miryamoto musashi was a japanese samurai than stan use here story about when he was kid. Anyway stan was playing around drawing when he drew a rabbit and then tied his ears as a samurai topknot, stan though oh how clever,.. Not knowing he would spend the next 25 year writing and drawing the storyís of the same said rabbit.
So you never know when an idea will comes out just be ready for when it does.
--you canít tell a story without characters, so you need come up with your own. What type depends on what type of story your telling but here are some ground rules on desighing some no matter if there for a soap opera. A westenern, big time big budget sci-fi. Thatís the cool thing about comics, you donít have worry about sfx or paying a huge cast. All you have to is draw it, so it cost the same no matter what.
--here are some rules to live by when creating your characters, first of all make them live. You have to think of them as real even though we know just figments of are over active imagination.
--what does the character want, superman want justice for all. Batman wants revennge. . Wile e. Coyote wants the roadrunner for dinner.
-- what and who does they love, capt. American is contry, spiderman action and making wise cracks, jughead loves hambugers.
--what are the afraid of, spiderman fears not being there for people when they need he the most, robin failing the batman, darkwing duck getting bad press.
--know the background of the character, even if never see the light of the day. More you of know of them the more can make seam alive and belivable. This makes them more ilive to you and the more you think as them as alive so will your reders.
--is the storyís the agent of the storyís resolution, he must act rather than be acted on and must be directly involved in the main plot he is the star after all.
--heroes also represent values the audience will find admirable.
-- realiize that cookie-cutter nobility is pretty boring. They can be cantankerous, quarrelsome, demanding, inserure and some times petty. Here the question you have answer does the negative qualities impart the hero, do his flaws add to distract from the story. Nothing should ever distract from the story.
-- tear them down to build them up. All heroes need to go though a pitfalls to show they are not all powerfully. Sometimes itís of their own doing. Tony stark (ironman) drinking, or some else doing as in batman getting his back broke. Or even a total ramdom case. Like when the lone ranger was blinded because of a gun backfiring. You do this for a number of reasons, to show hey no matter how powerful they are they can and do make mistakes, get bested by someone even more powerful but yet they can bounce back and still fight the good fight, or just to show life isnít always we want it to be. You have to climb up a steep mountain to get to the summit.
--the badguyand or antagonist--
--now you might say hey why did he say and or arenít badguys and antagonist the same thing, nope! A badguy is just what he sound like someone who bad and donít care, trying to take over the world is a full time hobby or he just hates the hero so much that he canít stand the idea of breathing the same air as them.
A antagonist can be differrent, they could be someone who thinks he doing what he doing for the best, or could be a janitor who was cleaning the wrong lab at the time and after a experiment goes wrong. Making him into a energy eating beast made of ion who has no power over what he does.
Everthing thatís true about creating heros is equally true about creating bad guys.
And in some ways the bad guy is the most important character in the story, if your bad guy is just a cutout villain, with no real reason doing the things he does, or to easy beat but the hero bease he a wimp or is outwitted way easy evertime by the hero makes him broading and no one wants to read about a lame villain. So make the badguy a equal power level as the hero. Or better yet make him superior, this way your hero is the underdog of the match and we all love rooting for the undergog, where the villain laxs in is the morals. Him as much motivation as the hero just the worng motivaion, try to think of the opposite of the hero. Make him more visual. This is way the batman vs joker works so well both are highly resourceful, intelligence, but where the batman has high morals and donít seek out the limelight for ego, attention the joker love the attention the more the better, and does so just for ego boost. That and itís funny, and in batman world nothing funny.
--background characters, sidekicks, and friends--
of course there more people in your story than just the hero and villains, who they hangout with not saving the world, or tring to take it over,. Do they live with a retired once great superhero?, who do they date?, who would date a super villain?, what type of mimions to they have? Robots. Molemen, rent-a-henchmens?
Bob the brute,hecktor the henchman
THIS IS THE ART END OF CHARACTER DESIGN, WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE AND WHY. DOES HE HAVE CANNON FOR A ARM, IS HE NINJA, WHAT DOES HE LOOK LIKE WHEN HE NOT A WEREWOLF, WHAT DOES HE LOOKS LIKE WHEN IS ONE, WHAT DOES HE LOOK LIKE WHEN HE CHANGING INTO ONE.. WHAT TYPE OF BODY SHAPE WORKD BEST WITH YOUR CHARACTER.
--THE BIG 3 OF SHAPE DESIGN--
SHAPE, THIS IS THE MEAT OF DESIGN OF HE CHARCTER. THE OVER ALL SHAPE WILL SPEAK FOR THE PERSONALIY OF THEM. VERY IMPORTANT!!
SIZE: THE POTATOES OF DESIGN OF CHARACTERS, THE SIZE YOU CHOOSE WILL HELP DEFINE YOUR CHARACTER LOOK AND PERSONALITY.
VARIANCE: THIS WOULD BE THE VEGGIES THIS REFERS TO SPACING AND VARIETY OF SIZES IN YOUR SHAPES. USING VARIANCE IN YOUR DESIGH WILL GIVE IT VITALITY ANS A PUSH THAT MAKE A GOOD DESIGN GREAT.
CIRCLES, ARE TYPICALLY USED FOR CUTE CUDDLY, FRIENDLY TYPES.
SQUARES, ARE USEALLY USED FOR DEPENDABLE,SOILD, STRONG, SUPERHEROíS, STRONG, BRAWN. USED OR SUPERHEROS AND TOUGH BADGUYS AND HENCHMEN.
TRIANGLES, ARE USED FOR THE THINKER TYPES. BRAINS NOT BRAWN, THE MAN WITH THE PLAN, ALSO USED FOR THE SINISTER, SUSPICIOUS TYPES
--MODEL SHEETS ARE DRAWING OF YOUR CHARACTER IN EVERY POSE YOU OUT HIM TO WITH NOTES POINTING OUT PART OF BODY SHAPE OR OUTFITS THAT MAKES THEM STICK OUT, THIS WAY WHEN YOUR DRAWING YOUR CHARACTER FLYING, JUMPING, RUNNING AND JUST STANDING. THAT WAY WHEN YOU DRAW THEM FOR THE STORY THEY LOOK THE SAME EVERYTIME. ALSO MAKE THEM LOOK DIFFERENT ALL YOUR OTHER CHARACTERS.
A GOOD TEST OF THIS PUT THEM IN SILHOUETTE CAN YOU AND YOUR READERS TELL WHO, WHO YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO PICK THEM OUT IN FRACTURE OF A SECOND. THE MORE YOU MAKE YOUR CHARACTERS STANDOUT FROM EACH OTHER, THE MORE WILL GENUINE AND ALIVE. AND ALL THE MORE BELIEVABLE TO YOUR READER.
--BODY STANCE, EACH CHARACTER SHOULD HAVE THERE OWN STYLE. LIKE DIALOUGE.
WHAT ARE THEY THINKING WITHOUT USING WORDS. THAT WAY WHEN YOU ADD THE WORDS THEY LOOK THEY MATCH.
--FACIAL EXPRESSION. THIS IS BEST WAY TO GET ACROSS WHAT YOUR CHARACTERS THINKING AND FEELING. DIVIDE A PAGE INTO 6,8,10 PANELS AND DRAW EACH OF THESE FACIAL EXPRESSIONS MAD,HAPPY, PLEASED,CONFUSED,SHOCKED, TIRED,IRRITEDED, TRIUMPH, FEAR, SERIOUS, SILLY, CONFIDENT, REALLY TICKED, DISGUSTED. THESE ARE JUST FIRST ONES I THOUGHT OF IF YOU CAN THINK OF MORE ALL THE BETTER, AND YOU MIGHT SEE THIS LIST AND SAY HEY ISNíT TRIUPH AND CONFIDENT THE SAMETHING. WELL YEAH BUT THERE ARE SMALL LITTLE MEAGER DIFFERENCES AND THATíS YOU NEED TO GET ACROSS.
--THE SETTINGS OR THE LAYOUT OF THE LAND--
OKAY YOU HAVE THE WHO, KNOW YOU HAVE A THE SETTING, IS THIS THE NEAR FUTURE WHERE ALIENS AND HUMANS AT WAR. IF WHAT WOULD THE EARTH LOOK LIKE. IS THIS SET UP IN A HIGHSCHOOL WHERE SOME OF THE STUDENTS ARE MUTANTS, IF SO WHAT SCHOOL CAMPUS AND THEIRíRE AFTER SCHOOL HANG OUTS LOOK LIKE. IS THIS A LOST LAND WHERE WARRIORíS HUMANS, ELFS, DWARFS FIGHT TOGETHER AGAIN DINOSAURS RIDERING CAVEMAN WHO WORK FOR A EVIL WIZARD, IF SO IS THIS A JUNGLE, OLD TREE FOREST, IF SO WHAT DOES THE TOWNS AND VILLAGES LOOK LIKE WHERE ARE THEY AT, ARE ONE OF THEM SET IN THE TREES LIKE A BUNCH OF TREEHOUSES HOOKED TOGETHER. WHAT ARE THERE NAMES, WHAT TYPE PEOPLE LIVE THERE. THE MORE YOU DETAILS YOU CAN DREAM UP THE MORE THE REAL YOUR WORLD BELIEVED YOUR READER.
IS A BLUEPRINT OR GAME PLANOF THE STORY, IT DONíT HAVE ALL THE DETAILS YET BUT IT GIVE YOU IDEA OF WHERE YOU ARE GOING, WHERE YOU BEEN, AND WHAT ITS GOING TO LOOK LIKE WHEN DONE. WITH A WRITTEN WITH DESCRIPTIONS OF ACTION, CHARACTERS AND THEY PLACTEMENT, PLACEMENT OF SETTINGS QUICK NOTES ON DIALOGUE AND FIGURING OUT HOW TO PLACE THE STORY TO FIT IN A 20-22-24 OR EVEN PAGES.
I DO THIS THE SAME TIME IíM DOING THE THUMBNAIL ART OF THE STORY.
--WHAT IS THUMBNAILS, THIS IS SORT LIKE BRAINSTORMING BUT WITH DRAWING. THIS IS WHERE YOU LET YOUR MIND GO WILD, TRY ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO TELL YOU STORY. WHAT IF I DO THIS WAY? OR MAYBE HAVE A SUPER-CLOSE UP ON THIS PANEL. HEY IF I MAKE HIM BREAK THE PANEL HERE I CAN MAKE THE READERS EYE GO HERE WHERE THE ACTION IS TAKING PLACE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE. MAKING SURE YOU LEAVING A ENOUGH ROOM FOR THE WORDS BALLONS AND HOW TO PLACE MAKE THEM READABLE AND EASY TO FOLLOW WORDS BALLON GOES HERE THE NUMBER TWO GOES THERE..
DONíT OVER DO IT ON YOUR THUMBNAIL, KEEP IT SIMPLE, FRESH THAT WAY WHEN DOING THE LAYOUT LATTER YOU CAN STILL UP WITH NEW IDEAS AND CAN TRANSLATE YOUR ENERGY TO THE FINAL PAGE.
--THIS ALSO A GOOD TIME TO THE RESEACH, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE VALUE OF DOING RESEACH TO HELP AUTHENTICATE THE STORY, JUST BECAUSE ITS MAKE-BELIEVE DONíT MEAN YOU CANíT MAKE AS BELIEABLE AS YOU CAN. THE MORE YOU BELIEVE THE MORE YOUR READER WILL BELIEVE. YOUíLL HAVE KEEP IN MIND NOT TO OVER DO IT ALSO REMEMBER KEEP THE STORY MOVING. AT ALL TIMES.
--WHERE TO FIND THE RESEACH, WELL THE LIBRARY IS YOUR BEST FRIEND, YEAH YOU CAN THE FIRST PART OF THE RESEACH ON THE INTERNET BUT TO GET THE NUTS AND BOLTS FEEL OF IT NOTHING CAN REPLACE BOOKS IN HAND. MAKING YOUR OWN NOTES.
--THOUGHTS ON SCRIPING AND DIALOGUE
--COMMUNICATE LOTS OF INFORMATION SMOOTHLY WITH DIALOGUE
--KEEP IT SHORT
--FILL IN SPACE GIVEN YOU.
--GIVE EACH CHARACTER A DISTINCTIVE SPEECH PATTEREN.
--WATCH OUT FOR REPETITION
--MAKE SURE THE CHARACTERS ARE REACTING TO EACH OTHER.
--WRITE DIALOGUE SO YOU CAN EDIT SO IF YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT FIT IN THE SPACE YOU HAVE.
--EQUIPMENT FOR THUMBNAILS: YOUR FAVORITE PENCIL, CHEAP PAPER, AND A STRAIGHT EDGE,
ACT I: THE HOOK:
OPEN WITH ACTION, CHARACTERS DOING SOMETHING BIG AND DRAMATIC,
HAVE A CHARACTER REACTING TO SOMETHING THE READER
OPEN WITH A QUESTION.
DANGER THE CHARACTER CANíT SEE BUT THE READER CAN..
ITíS JOB GET THE STORY GOING.. GET THE GUY WHO JUST THUMBING THOUGH THE BOOK WANTING TO KNOW WHAT GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT.. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE OR TWO PAGES TO THIS.. SO IT IMPORTANT THAT YOU SET THE HOOK AS FAST AS YOU CAN. YOU CAN DO THIS WiTH A SHOUT OR A WHISPER
ACT II: NEW DIRECTION: THE RACE TO THE FINISHED, YOUR HEROE(S) SOLVES THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS. IF NOT ALL THE PROBLEMS , VANQUISHES THE THREAT AND EVILS AND RESTORES PEACE AND TRAQUILITY
SOMETHING NEW HAPPENS.
PUT YOUR HEROES IN A NO WIN SITUATION
OR THING GET EVEN MORE COMPLICATED
IN OTHER WORDS PUT YOUR HERO ON A LIMB AND START SAWING.
ACT III: THE RACE TO THE FINISHED
THIS WHERE YOU NEED TO TIE EVERTHING IN A NEAT BOW. YOUR HEROES SLOVES THE BIGGEST PROBLEM (NOT ALL) VANQUISHES THREATS AND EVILS, AND RESTORES PEACE AND TRANQUILITY.
something new happens.
Put your heroes in a no win situation
or thing get even more complicated
in other words put your hero on a limb and start sawing.
Act iii: The race to the finished
this where you need to tie everthing in a neat bow. Your heroes sloves the biggest problem (not all) vanquishes threats and evils, and restores peace and tranquility.
Just like it sounds itís a introction to your story, what going and why. Why is the evil scientist robbing the bank using spider shape tank to do so. (luckly bad guys talk a lot)
--initial incident: Reaction to the introuction action, first attack, police try to stop him and getting there butts kicked. People run away screaming. Dogs bark.
--rising action: Okay now we know what are heroes are up against, and they start planing and or get to the action of stopping him. Not all things go all there way, but they stand and fight
--climax: All heck breaks lose, but in the end the heroes are the ones that are still standing, but the bad guy puts out ace and they most stop him and it..
--falling action: But the bad guy puts out ace and they most stop him and it..
--conclusion: All is well as ends well.. The heroes stand triumph as the bad guy is haul away and or grumbs in the conner saying wait until next..
Now all storys and plots follow this stucture in one way or the other maybe skipping or reranging them n some why or other. It donít matter if itís a comicbook, a shakespear play, a novel or a scooby-doo cartoon.. Just the story style changes
homework: Come back tommorrow with a plot broken down using these rules. From a comicbook show me..
Okay now once you have idea of what and where your story is going the next thing is
--penciling the page--
--staging a page
--long shot: This shot is used most to establishing the scene of the page. So it almost always the top pannel. Use this used show where and what going on, put the most backgrounds here and as the page goes on you can use less and less backgrounds.
--med shot: Is used to show exchange of dialogue and or action between characters show i lttle less background on this pannel
--bird veiw: This is show drama with the angle with skew, slant
--worm veiw: This the other end of the bird veiw used in the same way but show how big something is. Or add drama to the page
--close up: Is used to emphasize the expression or speesh or thoughts of the character even less background just shadows and such..
--extreme close up: Just part of a face or characters no backgrounds
--extreme action shot: Is best using little or no background or other things that would take away from the action taking place. Someone throwing a punch..falling down jumping up to take flight or whatever. Keep in mind each page needs to follow the 3 act story stucture, each page needs to have a begain, middle and end, also you want leave the reading on a small cliffhange you want him turning to the next page anying to see what going to happen next.
remember we here in american read left to right top to bottom, so try make the comic page read that way. In a big z sort of zig-zag pattern, also use pacement of characters, and action to direct the readers eye where you want it to go to show the most important action of the next panel or page. Remember to place the words ballons and narration boxes in the path of the readers eye. One of the trick on doing this is called panel break, use a barrel of a gun an outstrech arm or even a full figured. Once again end all pages with a hook.
An list of doís and doníts:
Do: Make it clear and pleasing composition.
Donít: Crop important storytelling elements.
Do: Draw a frame around importand action.
Donít: Use bad and lazy stagig.
Do: Design a composition with definding background and floor, so it wonít look like the elements of design wandering and or floating away.
Things to ask of your page composition,
--is the layout clear and easy for reader to follow
--can you look the page and can tell what going on in seconds even if donít read the words ballons.
--can you push the design more? More contrast in shape and size relationships?
--are your gestures of the characters clear? Do they show what they want, what they saying and feelings.
--did you explore more than one possiblity to stove the design problem? Did you try another angle or compostition?
--are you using the background and blacks to make the characters stick out better.
--tricks of making things look two-dimensional in a one-dimensional world
--first thing think of is depth to the human eye the smaller things look the further look.
--overlapping, overlapping tell us what in front of something else is closer than the thing behind it.
--using all 3 axes, or putting things in a box. You must show subjectís length, width and height.
--3 layers of the panel.
Front ground: People and small city scape and or things like rocks, small trees.
Middle ground: The big city scape buildings, water fountains, side of hills bigger trees.
Back ground : The far city scape, mountains the skyline.
--the horizon line: The line runs across the page at eye level. Where the sky meets the ground
--the vaning point: Is near the center of the horizon line,
foreshortening refers to the visual effect or optical illustion that an object or distance appears shorter than it actually is because it is angled toward the viewer.
--one point perspctive, using a single vaning point, draw lines out vaning point \. Use to show foreshorth the figureds. Also used for roads hallways and building on each sides.
Two-perspctice, using two vaning points draw lines coming from both points. Use to show . Two-point perspective can be used to draw the same objects as one-point perspective, rotated: Looking at the corner of a house, or looking at two forked roads shrink into the distance, for example. One point represents one set of parallel lines, the other point represents the other. Looking at a house from the corner, one wall would recede towards one vanishing point, the other wall would recede towards the opposite vanishing point.
Three-point perspctive, three-point perspective is usually used for buildings seen from above (or below). In addition to the two vanishing points from before, one for each wall, there is now one for how those walls recede into the ground. This third vanishing point will be below the ground. Looking up at a tall building is another common example of the third vanishing point. This time the third vanishing point is high in space.
--movemnet and or motion,
--subjective motion, the veiwer is moving with the subject that moving. While the background is blured as know as speed lines. Used to show impact. Like someone throwing a punch and where the fist meets the face is called the impact point.
Objective motion we see the moving object move through the panel. The veiwer feel like theyíre in the driver seat.
-- never get board of a page if getting board from the page more than likely so will you reader and you never want to that, keep things fresh and new from panel tp panel to page tp page
--equipment: Your favorite type of pencil,bristiol art board (11x17), ruler and or straight edge, lap board or art table.
--inking the page--
is the art of going over a penciled drawing with ink before it heads over to a colorist or sees print. It would be easy to call inking tracing; however inking is lot more involved than that. An inker's job is to add texture and form. I think banky edwards, of kevin smith's chasing amy, defined it well when he said, "it's not tracing, alright. I add depth and shading to give the image more definition; only then does the drawing truly take shape." another job of the inker is to give the penciled drawing clarity.
Emphasize the importance of line weight.
Characters and objects intended to stand out are inked with heavier or thicker lines; those intended to recede into the background or that are not as important to the immediate action of the story are drawn with lighter, thinner lines. In the creation of many commercial comics, the inking process is the middle stage in the assembly-line process of drawing, which often proceeds as penciling, inking and coloring. "never depend on colors to save your artwork."
when inking over a pencil drawing, it is important to go neatly over the graphite image, but some degree of interpretation may be necessary. The pencil figures may be drawn loosely; it is the inker's job to clean them up and portray contrast. Attention to line work is important when inking man objects like buildings, cars and other vehicles use stright edges and templates, this way they look less like living orgaism objects.
--equipment: Black ink your favorite type, acrylic white ink, brush, technical pen, or as cheap as you want i myself just use sharpie markers. T-square, straight edge, french curvers, templates. But you can use all or none.
--lettering and coloringingthe old school way--
lettering: This is done before the inking stage, using the ames lettering guide draw the guide lines and the ellipse,circle templates. Draw the size of ellipse yoy need then draw the lettering lines in the elliplse, then pencil in the words making sure they fit then ink the word balloon with the lettering making sure you donít smug the inks.
--equipment: Ames lettering guide, t-square or straight edge, fine pencil and a fin pen, the ellipse,circle templates
coloring use colored markers or inks coloring the inked pages adding highlights and shading. And if your good you can use set mood.
--lettering and coloring with computers--
now coloring with photo shop and lettering on illustrator would take way to much time to go any detail i could stand here for days and still wouldnít touch half the stuff you can do. So your best bet it but some good books, one of the best books i found that talks about both is ďdc comics guild to lettering and coloring comicsĒ
--book on drawing comics
drawing cartoons and comics for dummies by brian fairrington
how to draw comics the marvel way by stan lee
the dc comics guide to writing comics by dennis oíneil
the dc comics guide to penciling comics by klaus janson
the dc comics guide to inking comics by klaus janson
graphic storytelling and visual narrtive by will eisner