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“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” – Alan Watts
As we walk out into the world we are entering a story. This story defines us and the way that we interact with our beliefs, actions, society, etc. As much as we are always entering into the story that others have defined for us, we are also given the gift of writing our own story in every action we take. This month I sat down with Rachel Beck, founder of Storyforge Productions, and we discussed the nuances of story telling. We looked at our society and how we are working to rectify our long history with marginalizing females – specifically in the comic industry. We also looked at the basic construction of worlds and characters and how those construction create compelling reasons that keep us reading.
Reflecting on the talk I am reminded that complications are what keep us interested in the world around us. As comic artists we create fiction where our character confront and battle those contradictions. Theoretically that gives us the inspiration to fight our own demons. That’s what the #ComicFuel show is all about right? For us to join together to turn away from just consuming art and to bring us into the battle – the battle to create art.
So get out your pens and papers. Sit down. Join us as Rachel and I provide the fuel you are going to need for the coming battle.
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“…it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
Rocky Balboa’s inspirational speech to his son in the 2006 installment into the Rocky franchise is definitely the inspiration for this show. There’re a lot of projects I work on right. Art, design, and educational experiences I am currently slaving away over. I spend a lot of time, and incur a good deal of mental anguish, trying to figure out what the “right” thing to do is as a day job. When Rocky talks about taking hits, in my context that is all about my own personal demons regarding my design process. My own shadow/devil on my shoulder telling me I’m wasting my time.
Last month, I’ll be honest, I almost considered #ComicFuel a waste of my time. Three episodes in and I was ready to give up.
I almost didn’t finish episode 3. Even during the process of doing it, I didn’t want to finish it. I did finish, barely, and then I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to do another episode the same way again (if I did another episode). So I called Adam and asked him to record a quick episode where we powered through a ton of questions. It turned into a longer episode.
As I sat down with Adam Greenfield this week to record the fourth episode of #ComicFuel I was reminded why I do this. Sure, this episode is WAY too long ( cough-2hoursand14minutes-cough ), but who cares? I got to sit down with my friend and answer some student questions and talk about how to practice art. In my ideal retirement scenario I would spend every day doing this.
I was reminded that MakingComics.com is the purely “good” thing that I have in my life. For me this is the one sacred space in this whole universe where everything we do is just good. We aren’t always active, or on time with our products, and they aren’t always produced with the kind of quality I’d like – but at their core they are good. We’ve made decision after decision to not turn this into a project that will go anywhere (i.e we are staying here for good). It isn’t a startup business – it is a public service. That is what makes it “good”. It hasn’t been tainted by the threats of being economically unviable – because it isn’t.
I thought I was done after my 2 hour session with Adam. Then…
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…)
You’ve worked out your tone, the character design sketches, and are ready to write those panels, right? Great! The format of your pages is entirely up to you, your artist, and your editor. Heck, you could text message or tweet a description of each panel if you wanted to! But the main point is to get on the same page, and this is done by finding a common language before you begin. (more…)
We ended the last post with WordPress and ComicPress installed and our child theme created. We’re now ready to start customizing our site so that it looks like we want it to. This post is still what I’d classify as a beginner level and we’re going to be customizing the layout, type and colors. Let’s get started.
The idea with this series of posts about building and designing your own webcomic site is to really take things from a beginner stage through to something much more advanced and customized. For now, we’re at the beginner level and this post starts us at the basics. If you haven’t read part 1 about using WordPress and ComicPress and haven’t got everything installed yet, go back and we’ll wait… (more…)
Excitement would understate how I felt when I read Frank Santoro’s articles on the first appearance of the Golden Ratio in Hergé’s TIntin comic pages. Santoro used grid overlays to explain comic composition with geometric shapes in a way that could be easily understood by a graphic designer, like myself. (more…)
Hi everyone! For my first articles I’ll be sharing my comic review checklist. It has three parts: everything that relates to the “flow” of the pages, everything that relates to the words on the pages, and then everything else. This is part one! (more…)
Gutters and Borders: Where The Action Really Happens
So, here it is, the second installment in my series on ‘The Flow Of A Page.’ Last time we broke it down with panel layouts, both grid and free-form, and talked about ‘The Big Z,’ that is, bouncing the reader’s eye exactly where you want it to go across the page. This is a medium that should strive for, above all other things, clarity. You as the artist/writer/creator are trying to convey a message (story) that should be able to be digested by the reader without confusion or chaos. That’s not to say confusion and chaos can’t be used as effective elements as well, but that’s for another post. You’ve already learned some rudiments on panel layout, so now we will move on to the construction of panels, and that all-important space in between them, the gutter.