Posts Tagged: first steps

Training Your Way Towards Your Goals

This was written as a response to one of my students in the “How To Make A Comic MOOC”  within our new “MakingComics.com” Slack online community.

The Question:

I know that the challenge is to write within 16 panels for the course assignment. I also know its good for me to write within that constraint. But, I have a much longer comic in mind. Why is it so hard to write within a 16 panel constraint? (paraphrased question).

My Answer:

Concision is key! I’m also a person who likes longer form better as well. However, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to hone in on that feeling of “done-ness”. Without crafting a feeling of completion you can run into the bigger roadblock in the creation process – not knowing how to finish. Small projects are really key.

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Comic Road 2: Scripting Time!

I’m not going to lie. Scripting is my jam. I’m a writing kinda guy, so excuse me if I get a little resource happy here. But there’s so much stuff to learn about scripts that just giving you guys only a couple of resources might break my heart. So we’ll start at square one.

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MakingComics.com Gutter Talk 97: Comic Fuel Episode 3

There is not a place we can turn where current events are not effecting our every day lives. I feel incredibly honored to unveil the first episode of comic fuel to feature Ulises Fariñas and Lucy Bellwood as cohosts. Ulises and I jump right into the questions and geek out on what is important to think about when inking – both digital and traditional. We then go into great depth discussing “style” and how it is actually an incidental occurrence in your art as opposed to a measured goal. Lucy hops in during question three to talk about how to think about drawing background art in your panels.

Ulises and I cap the entire episode off with a very important discussion regarding how race and equity is reflected in the comic industry. In fact, in writing the show notes for that segment, I was delighted to find several amazing articles that dealt specifically with how the comic industry is connecting to these important topics.

This episode also includes some amazing borrow audio clips from Jason Brubaker, Ven. Robina Courtin, and art educator John Spencer. Such an amazing third episode. Easily the hardest I’ve worked on yet. Hopefully I can keep it up!

Jump times to go to different parts of the podcast:

  • (00:00) Show Opener
  • (00:43) Introduction to Show
  • (10:10) #ComicFuel Break #1: Not A Delicious Chocolate Cake” by Ven. Robina Courtin
  • (12:40) Question 1: Inking
  • (24:40) #ComicFuel Break #2: “Growing A Tree” by Jason Brubaker
  • (28:17) Question 2 & 3 Style
  • (51:46) Patreon Ad
  • (52:12) Questions 4: Backgrounds
  • (54:58) #ComicFuel Break #3: “Can’t Live Without Art” by John Spencer
  • (1:00:00) Show Closing – Race & Equity in the Comics Industry
  • (01:23:00) How can you, yes you, contribute to the comic fuel cause?
  • (01:26:00) Show Outro

Questions answered in this episode

(jump-to specific question times listed below)

  • Josh: What are some good resources to improve your digital inking? I feel like I know the basics, so beginner books aren’t really teaching me anything new. I’m completely self taught, and would love to learn some subtly with my inks.
  • Maya: How do comic artists deal with improvements in their style while making a comic book? Should a comic artist keep a consistent style? If so, how much should one practice style before starting to make comics?
  • Michael, Poland: What are the elements of style of particular artists if I want to use their style in my own work? I usually think of such elements as: the coloring method used (with computer or water colors), shading, …. but what is it that distinguishes the one from the other? There are general groups of artists (e.g. European, Asian, …) who have similar style – how come they can be grouped – what is the key?
  • Jasmine: How often would you focus on comic backgrounds? Are details like that important?

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Comic Road 1: Starting Your Comic

So you want to make a comic? That’s great! In fact, that’s exactly what a class full of students down at Chula Vista High Tech High wanted to do. And after designing an extensive curriculum, Making Comics Worldwide CEO Patrick Yurick, and incredibly handsome Editor-In-Chief Kevin Cullen, decided to bring all of you burgeoning comic creators into the mixture by giving you the opportunity to follow along with the Graphic Novel Project (GNP) students step by step through this blog! (more…)

Unnatural Talent: Growing A Tree

tree1

Way to go! You’ve answered “yes” to the questions: Do you love comics? Do you love to draw? Do you love to tell stories? And do you love/really like/tolerate publishing? That’s a good first step, and you’ve convinced me of your passion to create a graphic novel. Now I’d like to talk to you about growing trees.

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10 Things Before You Start A Comic Or Graphic Novel!

Do you have a long form project in mind? Are you ready to pull the trigger and start the journey? Well, believe it or not, there are some really important things to know and do before you start. But don’t just take my word for it either, sometimes you need to work for 20 years in an uphill battle before you can get something important through your thick skull. I know, because that is how it was for me.

So, here is my simple list of things to consider before starting your comic project. (more…)

Artist X Artist: Jason Brubaker and Daniel Lieske discuss Kickstarter, storytelling, and life


When great minds collide, they tend to create something rather wonderful. Yesterday, Jason Brubaker (reMind, Sithrah) sat down with Daniel Lieske (The Wormworld Saga) to field questions from fans of each other’s respective series as well as how they go about working on such excellent titles. Since both of them have Kickstarter campaigns exploding, they felt that a little Q&A with backers of their projects would be a great treat for everyone. (more…)

Panel Descriptions In The Digital Age – Part 3

We’ve been talking at length about panel descriptions. Hopefully you’ve got a friend friend willing to collaborate, or found a forum somewhere that encourages people to post panel descriptions so that other people can try to draw them. Practice makes perfect! Aside from that, here are a few more tips that will save you time and money in the long run. I’ve already stressed the importance of establishing expectations with your art team well before sending them a script. In this section I’ll be discussing word balloons in panels, letterer notes, and the benefits to the revision process made possible by email. (more…)

Writing Tropes: Copy-Paste Plot

Tropes are storytelling devices. Used well, they enrich a story; used badly, they result in the dreaded cliché. This series of articles takes a closer look at some major tropes relevant to comics and the pitfalls they may present. (more…)