Friday, August 9, 2013

The Making of A Comic

I just started reformatting an entire script. It sounds as difficult as one can imagine. Sixty pages... it makes me cringe whenever I think about it.

These are sundry things though. Writers in comparison to the artists and their work being put into the comic often get a bad rap. It's true that to draw one needs a certain level of dedication and focus to get through the day, that goes without saying. I think what needs to be clarified however is what writers actually do. In order to write a comic a writer needs to create a conceptual universe to work in, effectively relate that to the artist, and then come up with motivations. While creating a universe, a couple characters, an interesting concept is relatively easy, it's the glue of storytelling that holds it all together. I don't think one can lean that skill, I think that on a deeper level, there an innate talent for story telling that will either make or break an author.

Sometime I get cynical when I see books like Harry Potter and think to myself, "God, this is all bullshit! Who writes this stuff? Why do people actually buy it?" I have to hold myself back though and think about this. J.K. Rowling started out actually writing a story. She created a conceptual universe that someone could live in and populated it with characters that were consistent with that place. Even though the characters were overtly archetypal, and the main character was a block of wood with eyes painted on it, the story still worked. Writers are responsible for much more than you'd imagine. Though, an artist gets some benefit of the doubt because the painting will always have the lasting impact over the written word.

In other news,

In developing my yet to be named web comic, the artists that I've come into partnership with are both phenomenal. I think each of them has particular strengths and weaknesses. My friend Phil is not as good as the other artist that I've begun courting, but conceptually, Phil has a talent for really creative ideas that I think are unique. The other artist's name is Jean-Carlo Triado, and I feel rather blessed to have met him. The guy's portfolio is incredible, and he's willing to stick it out to try and make this project a winner. If our relationship pans out then this project would be in a really good position. The process of integrating both a life long friend and newcomer was a daunting prospect, given that I want to hold onto both, but there are so many nuances to making a comic that I think we'll all be in good shape. As far as the roles in comics there's the person who pencils the art, or does the line work (whatever you want to call it), and then there's the inker and colorist. I still don't know what the difference is, so shame on me. Afterwards the letterer creates the presentation. So all that considered if you have only one artist working on the project it becomes a massive workload that just destroys a person. Most artists, especially pencilers get burned out after five or six issues just because it is so difficult to keep up. Hopefully I can keep it going myself. People don't seem to understand how emotionally exhausting writing is...

I had a weird dream though that I was in a proto-Lord of the Rings movie last night. We were walking through the forest, which was a composite of my memory of Norway and a jungle, beside a contingent of disgraced soldiers repurposed into making trees walk through an intricate arrangements of pulleys (like puppets). We climbed up this steep cavern and found a large mausoleum-like room. In that room was a story that could be told by peeling away layers of drop down panels and images all talking about Odin and the last king of Gondor. I tried to remember some of the script but I lost it. That's the last time I drink Belgian beer before going to bed I guess.


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