First off thank you to everyone who has been following along.  Ultimately I do this because I love to draw and tell stories but at the end of the day I also love that someone actually takes the time to read it.  So thank you!  I’ve been wanting to make my own comic for years and I finally pulled it off.  This first story is a lot more action and set up than it is anything else.  In fact, the story was written self contained with some vague hints at a larger world in case I actually pulled it off (and enjoyed the process).  I’ve started plenty of comics and stories that have been forgotten or abandoned over the years, but last summer I decided I needed to do this and see it to completion.  At some point I realized that I needed to start small, grow my characters, and nurture the relationships and the world they lived in and that gave me the mindset and discipline to oversee this project.  By making the end product achievable yet open to series potential, it became something a bit more manageable.

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I actually thumb nailed the story about 5 or 6 years ago.  I began sketching out the first couple of pages and then like most of endeavors it was shelved or forgotten.  Last summer I found myself in desperate need of creating a comic.  I just needed to know if I could do it.  Its one thing to jot down story notes, outline and even thumbnail a comic but its another to actually take those pieces and agonize over then execute on them.  So I just jumped in.  I have been a big fan of Kazu Kibuishi and Jake Parker over the years and both of the extremely gifted and generous artists have done a lot to demystify production of sequential story telling.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Jason Brubaker – I only recently discovered his reMIND Webcomic and Blog.  Another amazing source of information straight from a creator.  I relied heavily on what I’ve learned from their willingness to post about their processes.  I will do the same but most of what I do is a straight regurgitation of what these gentleman have already put out in the world.  I’ll just tack on my experience.

I find it very important to understand how a reader actually reads a story.  While I beat myself over the head with panel structure and points-of-view, the first aspect I had to keep front and center was page sequence.  I know this is a webcomic but it was designed out the gate for print – as will be most of my projects.  So it was important for me to understand page 1 was a single page and page 2 and 3 were a spread – and so on.  Why is this important?  I like to hide the climax of a sequence on the back of the unturned page.  That is to say if I have a great chase going on page 1 (turn the page) and it continues on page 2 and 3, I’ll end it on page 4 instead of the bottom of page 3 so that there is a bit of reveal.  The last thing I want is for the reader to turn the page and have the moment spoiled by glancing at the first page he sees which is not the first page he reads.  Unfortunately, you have to make compromises for space and pacing but this was a ground rule I started with.  Hopefully that makes sense.  With webcomic it might not be quite as important as you can control viewing a bit different but for this first story I held to the structure throughout.  There were other “rules” that will come to light in future posts.

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It took me about a week to create large thumbnail sketches of each page.  And a month and a half to draw and ink the 30 pages.  And a little over a month to color everything.  For me coloring was the most daunting as I really don’t have much experience at it and I figured it would be where I fell short.  There are things I would like to have executed better but I had to let it go and just let it be a statement of where I am currently in my artist journey.

That’s a start for now.  Each week I’ll post a little bit more about my thoughts and processes.  As well as, where I am in the process of the next story – Its currently in the scripting/thumb-nailing stage.  Hopefully to go under the knife of my fellow story teller and editor (Oh and wife), Bridget, in the next week.  Cheers!