Fresh off a battle with germs, Colleen AF Venable joins the final Gutter Talk interview podcast of 2014 with a proud declaration of “Snot free and full of tea.” Oh, the irony, when Adam falls ill the following week. Fortunately the conversation was had right in the sweet spot, perfectly timed between illnesses, when both voices were healthy. Listen in as Colleen and Adam talk popularity of made up holidays, the joy of working with others, and working with and for people who appreciate not just the art but the artists, too.
Carbon Dating has been online for almost a year. It is featured in two national magazines and in the past few months it’s readership jumped from 8k to 25k unique visitors per month. This big jump in readership was not the result of links or interviews, it was the result of a targeted campaign that cost about $200 dollars in total.
I see this all the time, there is some stigma or pride in the webcomic community:
“If you make great art, people will notice.”
“Draw hard for two years, then you’ll start to gain an audience.”
“Word of mouth is how comics get popular.”
Photoshop’s actions allow you to string together a bunch of repetitive steps to save time and sanity. They can be tricky to learn. But, once you’ve got the basics down actions could become an essential part of your comic workflow.
TIP: If you’re already familiar with actions, skip down to the Advanced section, below. There may be something new to try.
What can you do with Actions?
The Gutter Talk podcast hits the golden anniversary with its 50th episode and we’re extremely excited to have Meg Gandy, a fantastic artist and successful Kickstarter. Adam sits down with Meg to discuss high school manga club, her comic-book store owning husband, and how her webcomic was a boon to her Kickstarter success. However, before that conversation begins, Adam gets serious and opens up.
A great question by Ryan Kroboth (@Darkhalf5) was shot our way the other week:
How does one determine page rates when first starting out as a comic book artist?
Michael Yakutis popped into the office and sang out a wonderful answer:
How does one determine page rates when first starting out as a comic book artist? (Ryan Kroboth, @Darkhalf5)
When you’re first starting out as a freelance artist, be prepared to work for less than industry rates. Most freelancers start out by working for indie clients or small press publishers.
Do you ever draw to the point where your hand feels like it wants to completely fall off? Till your wrist is nearly broken, or your knuckles are about to bleed? I think pretty much everyone who draws daily is destined for this kind privileged pain. For me, I get this strange shooting pain that starts at the tip of my thumb and goes halfway up my arm. It’s like a jolt of lightning.
As we enter December, the last month of Year One of not just the Gutter Talk podcast but the site as a whole, we pause a little to reflect on just how much we’ve accomplished in that time. But not for too long. Not only are we still not done, we’ve just barely scratched the surface. That trend continues with the first podcast of December, yet another amazing artist we can add to our guest list, Eric Shanower. Join Adam and Eric as they meet at an amazing San Diego restaurant, Alchemy, to discuss mostly comics but even a little personal history similarities.
So what exactly are fair rates? This is the million dollar question. It’s very difficult to get a straight answer, and everyone will give you a different one. Here are page rates as determined by the Graphic Artists Guild from a few years back:
What separates a good story from a great one? In many ways, less than what separates a great story from a terrible one. The greatest stories I’ve ever read, watched, or played in any mediums were the ones that took risks, that took their characters to new and dangerous places from where they couldn’t easily return. These were the stories that made me excited to follow the characters, because I couldn’t guess what would happen next, but the intensity of what the heroes endured made me eager to tune in. Even when I didn’t think the direction the story was going in was a good idea, or when I found faults with the writing, I was still interested because the story was so unique and compelling. And I learned this from Chris Claremont, the man who made the X-Men great.
Another great re-issue this week with Jason Brubaker and his guests Jeremy Barlow and Travis Hanson. If you aren’t familiar with their work, on your next break from finishing that panel you’ve been avoiding, get familiar with it. Listen to this podcast, the first half of this conversation, while you’re researching and working.
Before the conversation begins, Adam is joined by co-host Michael Yakutis to discuss the NaNoWriMo challenge Adam is finishing up, a very cool Secret Santa event with Webcomic Underdogs, and some of the finer points of the podcast you’re about to listen to.