Sometimes a conversation takes on a life of its own, and unexpected tangents are guaranteed. In that respect, this podcast did not disappoint! What began as a thumbnail discussion with Jason Brubaker (creator of reMIND and Sithrah) quickly morphed into a fantastic conversation about his unique comic-creation process. Oh darn. Take a listen and enjoy for yourself!
One of the biggest benefits of being Making Comics (dotCom)’s “Inner-Circle Noob” is that I get to go backstage and learn from experienced artists — not only how to create comics but all of the various ways that I can hone my craft. The intention was to sit down with Jason Brubaker, the (unnatural) talent behind reMIND and Sithrah, and discuss his thumbnail process — a crucial early stage of comic creation. By looking at few pages worth of thumbnail sketches from reMIND, it’s clear that the objective is to simply get the idea out. After that, the art happens.
But conversations sometimes have the tendency to stray. The discussion focused more broadly on Jason’s unique process and philosophy, which was an unexpected and welcome development. Perhaps the biggest lesson I took away from all of this was “…[you] have to love your craft or you’ll never survive the valleys.”
We solicited questions during the live Google Hangout but were unable to get to them during the recording. The following day, I reached out to Jason for answers to three of them:
Q: How do you maintain your high level of creative output?
JB: I just don’t like releasing stuff that is really rushed. I think in the digital age we live in, it’s really easy to generate art really quickly and post it really quickly. I try to slow down and only release stuff that I feel is my best work. Plus, I have the advantage of not being under the pressure to deliver something before I feel like it’s finished. It’s another advantage of not having a release schedule and being self-published.
Q: Does having kids affect the kinds of stories you tell? Especially with Sithrah?
JB: Not so much. I’ve always preferred all-age stories better than anything. I wrote Sithrah before having kids but I will say that having kids really makes me think harder about what I’m trying to say because I can see first hand how kids absorb things they like.
Q: Do you find it difficult to adjust to dialogue balloon placement since you do so much storyboarding?
JB: I don’t really do much storyboarding anymore. But when I did try to convert something from storyboards to comics, it did cause some problems when trying to add in words. I think of word balloons now as part of the composition. If I know I have lots of words then I build the scenes with lots of open space.
reMIND thumbnail sketches:
Jason’s colorist for Sithrah: Josh Ulrich
Tweets from the live event:
Intro & Outro Song:
“RetroFuture Clean” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Outro Song Behind Vocals:
“Backed Vibes (clean)” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
InceptionBrassHitMedium.wav: Herbert Boland / www.freesound.org
Old Fashion Radio Jingle 2.wav: club sound / www.freesound.orgmakingcomics.com