I enjoy making comics, it’s my passion, my side hustle, but some times it can feel like work. And that is when I have to bring my skills from the old day job in to making comics. As the writer, I often feel like the project manager. It starts with me. I come up with the idea, draft a script, edit it, then put together a team to work on it.
I am very lucky I have a group of artist that I work well with, but it was learning experience from the start.
On my first comic “Digital Forever”
I was really starting from scratch. It was an idea, that I wrote out. I pitched it and it was not accepted so I turned to kickstarter. I had to find an artist, so I posted in a facebook group to find and artist and I found Wilson Gandolpho.
So a challenge, Wilson is from Brazil, and English is not his first language, so I learn I had to explain myself very clearly (no slang, or shortcuts). The art came in at each stage and I would review. Most of the time we had it, but sometimes we had to redo it. I hadn’t written it out well enough or it was misunderstood.
But we got there. I learned a lot about communication on this project.
My next big project was Multi-Larceny. I expanded on a single page idea about bank robbery, where you could travel time and space. Again we went to kickstarter, I found Bora Orcal for this project.
So on this we colored the comic. I also want to try to improve one step in the comics making process, so coloring it was the clear choice. Bora brought Ertan Ceyhen to the project to color it.
When we got to the coloring stage I got a message from Ertan that he was having a problem, because Bora has a style of drawing where he hints at the shapes, and the might not be completely finished. I love this style, but as a colorist, it made Ertan’s job a little harder, the fill tool, will not work if the shape isn’t closed in.
I needed this project to move along I was behind schedule. So project management time, I told Ertan to his best, and if he had to fill in the shapes (and thankfully Ertan is a talented artist in his own right.)
Another problem I had to manage was file sizes. I thought we had it all set. We looked at the guidelines from the printer and set our files to that size. All set right? Nope, I got proofs and we had text that would have been cut off in the printing. We reset our file size. I think I looked at maybe six proofs but we finally got it. I traded a lot of messages with Wilson and showed in often with pictures (again to be clear with images and arrows pointing to our problems) we would have to resize to not lose text, and thus make the story unreadable, confusing and unprofessional looking.
We got it done and I am proud of this comics, it looks amazing.
I often make schedules for the project. One schedule was for my first ever accepted story in and anthology “Why Faith?”. I was very excited and didn’t want to miss this chance. So I built our schedule. Again I was working with Wilson, and lesson learned Wilson is juggling many art projects, and often some of those that pay better than mine, so often I have go lower in his project list. So want did I do – I built a buffer in. We got it down, I think we might have been one of the first stories done.
Make comics is fun, but it can also feel like work. You have to deal with the hurdles and problems that may arise. Having a plan, and being flexible, with the goal in mind is a great way to go about this.
Thanks for checking out the blog, I will be back next week with my challenges in creating/or drawing a piece of art every day of the this year.