FALLEN IDOLS “CONCEPTION”
So I’m making another blog post, almost less than a day after the first one I posted but I thought I’d strike while the iron is hot since I’m new here.
Thought I’d talk about a few things here today:
- my work in progress
- and STEP 1 of making a comic book “conception”.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
So as you may know, I’m working on a Comic book, specifically the second issue to the one I just published on etsy.com. Currently I’m working on page 3
keep in mind the first panel is no where near what I’d call complete, but this gives the opportunity to talk about how I do things. Since I’m using Inkscape which is a free version of Illustrator, when I’ll draw something, anything really, I’ll then save it into a archive library. This library contains ever pose of all characters, backgrounds, animals, plants, furniture, tools, random special effects, the list goes on; nothing goes to waste.
This means I can take a background I’ve drawn and re-use it which im sure you’ll know would save alot of time not having to redraw it. So in this scene i’ll be reusing this background for the two to have their conversation. In essence, the more I draw, the quicker making the comic will be later on. That said, it’s important to have something different in each frame so I try to draw ‘Something’ new in each frame even if it’s relatively minor so the readers have something new to look at.
Ideally I’d like to have this page done within a week… realistically it may end up being 2 weeks.
STEP 1 OF MAKING A COMICBOOK “conception”:
This is going to be a segment I’ll try out in my blog posts as I thought I’d take people through the process I went through of making a comic book and everything that’s involved with it.
Making a comic book from scratch is a big project… it took me 2 years to finish issue 1. and it’s already been 3 months of working on issue 2. They are time consuming things.
because of this, this segment will be almost episodic with many multiple parts… don’t ask me how many, I have no clue.
Now I in no way can claim I’m a successful comic book writer/artist… but if i can help one person out there then I’m happy to help. If you don’t agree with my process, feel free to comment below and tell us what works for you.
So conception: figuring out what you want your comic book is going to be about.
Now people who want to make a comic book probably already have this figured out. That’s cool… but have you considered everything that’s involved?
The choices you make here effect how many poeple will read your book.
For instance, think of the world audience like pizza. every time you make a decision about what your comic is going to be… you may loose slices of pizza.
Some poeple will tell you to write what you love and screw the audience. While this has merit behind it I think it’s a little niave if your hoping for a good result with the audience.
I’m going to walk you through the step I went through when I conceived my comic book “fallen idols.”
I originally had this idea of a series which was polar opposite to my current published comic book. Firstly it was a novel, it was Sci fi, it had dinosaurs, aliens, dinosaur aliens, super powered dinosaur aliens. Something I created from a very young age and added to over time but as I grew up I felt less and less like i wouldn’t be able to sell something like that.
So I shelved the idea and decided to try something completely fresh, something I could easily market.
So when i had alot of spare time, i would plot my comic book.
There were factors i considered… “copy write” “writing/art direction” “audience demographic”
The first biggest issue was copywrite.
There was no point in making a comic book if you were just going to end up sued or told to stop making it… so i considered my options.
Superheroes, in my opinion would be a nightmare to create something which either didn’t already exist… while I’d have loved to make a superhero comic, character design would be a huge issue to navigate legally. I tip my hat at anyone brave enough to make a superhero comic, I envy you but at the moment I just dont think i could have done it myself.
I considered Science fiction. that would have been easier to handle legally because it’s a bit more mainstream in it’s concepts so long as it wasn’t a blatant rip off you should be relatively okay. I did however not to go with science fiction for other reasons, see below.
I finally considered fantasy… its probably the older genre there is, and if you compare a lot of books, they share alot of reoccurring elements and themes, most of them even share the same species like elves and so on. In terms of legal issues, its probably one of the more safest bets to make your work wont find any infringement problems.
Another factor was “writing/art direction.”
If your going to work on a genre, you need to make sure your going to be comfortable working in that enviroment… for instance let’s take a look at scifi:
probbably the only genre that will feature space, space ships and aliens. For me that meant having alot of asymetrical backgrounds with straight lines and I’d have to draw that from multiple angles too. Also I thought it would be a bit too confining as well… as for writing science fiction, something I respect but I know there are way to many fans out there which will rip apart the science of why ships can move faster than light or anything else… another reason I went fantasy because “magic”.
Again I love science fiction, Im a huge Trekkie… but I’m in no way a scientist to be able to make my work believable. Again I tip my hat to anyone writing science fiction.
So for me Fantasy seemed like a easy option… but I wasn’t finished, I had one more thing to consider “audience demographic”.
This is something I had to think the longest about… I’d like to say I wanted to make this comic book because it’s something I always wanted to do. which is partly true… but the primary reason I went about it was primarily because I found a way to sell it and it was to help make money.
So if I was going to take this seriously, I’d need as bigger audience demographic as i could manage.
One of the questions you have to ask yourself is: what age will it be for?
First and biggest decision I had made was I went with age 13+.
My comic has some violence in it, but it’s relatively small and not in your face but this meant no nudity, sex or extreme violence, which are all huge sellers for 18+.
This is possibly the biggest decisions I made which might be looked upon as a mistake… and I’ll admit I’ve taken a gamble. My reasoning at the time was that meant I could sell comics for those who read comics 5 years younger and starting to be able to buy their own comics.
My other reason for this is more of a personal one as I’m a little tired how sad it is at just how well sex sells, often there will be a comic book cover with a scantily dressed girl and a story tacked on behind it as a bonus.
I decided to do the opposite and focus more on the story inside of the book.
For those who are working on such comics with a pretty girl on the cover wearing next to nothing. I’m not going to say you shouldn’t. I’m not going to endorse it ether but be aware of the competition because there are a lot out there. I’m probably alone here on this topic, I don’t know.
Where was I… demographic audience.
So while I had chosen Fantasy. It didn’t mean I had to stick to it. I let a small amount of science fiction into my universe. Because the more themes you have, the more people who have a interest in those themes are likely to take a interest in your book.
I also did the same for superheroes but in a fantasy Adventurer sort of way.
Now I had my Genre figured out… I need to tackle the biggest issue and figuring out the idea… what story did I have to tell people?
This is probably the hardest bit for me to write about, because my comic book is only just starting to foreshadow that in my series and I don’t want to give spoilers, so i’ll try give details without ruining the series for anyone planing to read it.
As a fellow nerd or geek, I have a lot of influences in my life. I play video games, I play Magic the gathering, board games but the most influential game in my life is probably Dungeons and dragons… the only game you can unleash the full mighty power of your imagination, something video games have still yet to fully master.
My idea for my series was originally taken from a idea I had for a D&D campaign I was toying about running, and trust me… I come up with crazy ideas.
My idea was this: what if each member of the party had one of their stats was infinite… it would mean the player with infinite strength would always hit and kill in melee. Ihe infinite Dexitery player would never bit hit but always hit with ranged. The player with infinite intelligence would have every skill maxed out.
I decided to burrow from that idea but I felt like the comic was lacking something… it needed an equally powerful enemy. Then I found the solution.
And fromm that idea, I formulated the comic book series.
Tune in next time as I’ll be discussing Story planning and hopefully my work in progress regarding page 4.
Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think:
also for those interested in seeing more of my first published book please go HERE to my store page on etsy.