I am finally working on the final draft of issue 1 of my artist comic. Before doing so, I figured out names for the characters and the comic and all of that. The main character was originally referred to as MG or “main girl”, which inspired me to name her Margo. The bird is named Raiiki, based in part by the Japanese words for red and yellow, akai and kiiroi respectively, his two main colors. Since the comic takes place in a black and white world, with the bright red and yellow of Raiiki being the only colors for a bit, I named the entire series “Red and Yellow, while issue 1 is named “Black and White”.
So anyway, after figuring out all the panels and drawing rough copies of them, I finally was able to begin my final draft. It’s taking a long time, but I’m still getting the hang of things. I’m doing it all on Photoshop, using a page of 11 inches by 17 inches, the standard Bristol board size (even though I’m not using Bristol board, of course, or else Photoshop would have felt jealous), and I’m coloring in CMYK rather than RGB. That’s apparently better for printing.
I still haven’t quite decided on what I’m going to do when the comic’s done. I might put it online. I might print it out and try handing out free copies at a comic convention to get interest. I might do both. I might also conquer the world and force everyone to buy it, which would be the easiest, but my army of hungry mongooses (or is it mongeese?) hasn’t been cooperative lately. Might have to switch to plan B and invade the world with an army of slightly irritated chinchillas instead. Well, either way, I hope my comics will have at least some success. If I ever even finish them.
A Duck That Will Someday Be a Rich and Famous Comic Artist Just as Soon as I Master Mind Control…Or That Thing Jedi Can Do
This is the original version of a character that’s in my June comic. She wasn’t originally made for it at all, though. The idea for Gretchen actually came from a dream I had of a dragon woman with short hair. She is a sweet girl that loves kittens and things that come from a can. She can be quite silly and a bit of a ditz. For her new version and a better description, see the Comic Characters page. Gretchen is my property, by the way, and one of my favorite original characters ever.
I am now done with my June comic! Hooray! It is nine issues, and after rearranging some scenes and revising a little bit, it is more or less fairly maybe pretty darn decent. And good. Some of the issues took five drafts and some took four, and it only took a week to go back through the whole thing and add the finishing touches.
It’s fun to think about how much it’s changed since the almost two years ago when I first started it. When I first began, I had two ideas that inspired me. One was a dream I had about two people and a strange man in a city and the thought that maybe if I wrote a silly book about all my weird dreams, someone might get a kick out of reading it. Then, it turned into this story about a young woman named June with strange powers she can’t control. She hates them, and then she meets a man called the Philosopher who says he can help her if she can help him save a world that’s lost. She thinks about it and agrees, and one thing leads to another, and she ends up in some strange world that is being attacked by someone who can make their dreams real.
When I first started writing the story, June’s adventure included her brother traveling with her, but he ended up being too boring and pointless. So now she travels alone, and there are more twists in the story. She meets people along the way, fights dreams, and makes decisions that affect the world for better or worse. The story is much different now than when I first started, but I think it’s much better.
I may not be getting back to it for a while, though. I am first going to do my Artist comic, which is easier and shorter. Then, I’ll finally get to this one. By then, I should actually have names for the characters and better designs.
I am done with the script of my Artist comic! It took three drafts. The last draft only took about a week. I’m going to work more on my June comic before I start the drawing, and in the meantime, I must work on designing a few things. I pretty much know what the two main characters look like, but I have designed little else. I also need names for the characters. I’ve been calling them MG (for main girl) and B (for bird) all this time. I think I may name MG Margo, but I still can’t think of a name for the bird.
Anyway, the comic is five issues, and it has a fairly simple plot, which made it easy to write. It is about Margo (age 15, I think) and a Muse (a colorful bird) that set out on a quest to bring the color back to their black and white world. I really like the two main characters. Margo is sweet and naive, and her bird companion is a bit cheeky. He was a lot of fun to write dialogue for, and I think the characters complement each other nicely.
It’s exciting to finally be completing one of my biggest projects ever. Well, part 1, at least. The drawing may take quite some time, but I plan on getting it done, even if it takes a while. I don’t know if I’ll try to publish it in the end or just put it on the blog or what. I guess I should find out within the next twenty years. But, hopefully a lot sooner.
Behold, the duck is done with draft 3 of my June comic. It took one month. The script originally started as separate issues in draft 1, then, somehow turned into this horrible mutated mess where I couldn’t tell one issue from another in draft 2. And it was no longer chronological! So for draft 3, I first got lots of little pieces of paper and put a scene title on each one. Then, I moved them around until they were in the order I wanted. Kind of weird, but I think it’s helpful to do it that way. Then, I broke it back up into 9 issues and started rewriting it all and adding in scenes that really needed to be there. I had the most trouble with issues 4 and 6-9, but I worked extra hard on them and made them much better. Now the whole story is pretty much there.
Now my script is nearly done. Some issues are pretty much done and some need extra help, but overall, I’m close. Issue 4 is kind of weird, though. I could almost cut it out, but there’s just enough good stuff that I need to keep it. And issue 8 is a bit of a mess, and issue 9 is too short. Hmm. Maybe I can squish it into 8 issues. But, I’ll save that for draft 4. I’m tired of this comic right now. I hope to be done by the end of draft 4 or 5.
Here’s an old little comic I did of Tutankoopa from “Paper Mario”. I noticed the last time I played that the chain chomp on his headdress sometimes moves its mouth like it’s barking, so I thought it would be funny if it barked over his dialogue with Mario and Goombario. Poor Tuatnkoopa. They’re not taking him seriously. I hope you can read the dialogue. If not, I’ll type it separately. Anyway, the characters and location are property of Nintendo and Intelligent Systems.
I recently finished draft 2 of the script for that artist-y, black and white comic I was working on. It was pretty easy. I pretty much rewrote it issue by issue and didn’t really need to add extra scenes. Wherever things were boring, I found ways to make it much more interesting. I also made changes to make things seem a lot more urgent. In much of my stories, there doesn’t seem to be any real need to hurry. Now there kind of is. Now it is more possible for the main characters to fail. I also tried to make sure things made more sense.
I am much happier with my story now. Issue 2 is pretty good, issue 3 and 4 are all right. Issue 5 is better, and I fixed the ending a little. Issue 1 still needs extra work. But, we’re getting there. With a bit more changes, it’ll be on the same level as the other issues. This comic is going to be much easier than my June comic. The story is much simpler.
So anyway, this draft took me 28 days, from 1/3/12 to 1/30/12. (Draft 1 took 84 days. I was pretty fast this time.) I’m going to get to draft 3 no earlier than 3/12/12. When I get to draft 3, I need to redo parts that are still boring. Issue 1 must have a lot of changes. Other than that, it might be nearly perfect by the end of draft 3. I may even finish this one before my June comic, even though I started it later. I look forward to this one very much. I think it will be a pretty good comic after all.
I was really lazy with my June comic for a while. I got really distracted by “Final Fantasy VII” and stuff, plus I was running out of ideas, but now I’ve suddenly come up with new ideas and am making major changes to my comic. After a lot of work, I’m finally done with draft 2. Huzzah! This is now the farthest I’ve ever gotten in any story ever. (I usually quit once draft 1 is done.)
So when it comes to the changes, one thing I did was I really changed the role of June’s brother. He was lame. He’s taking the place of another character now. He’s still her brother, but he just has a much different part. Also, I’m trying to make June less obnoxious and less passive. She was lame, too. Not as lame as her sibling, but still lame. I’ve also…added the tiniest, teeniest, most infinitesimally small love story. I’m usually not a fan of such things, but I think it helps with the story. It’s so very tiny, though.
I also gave the characters better reasons for doing things, and I also worked on streamlining things a bit. No more needless traveling because I can’t think of something plot-related. I did more with the characters so they aren’t so pointless, and now there should be more plot and actual things happening. I tried harder to fill in the gaps with interesting things and expanded more on certain things. The story now makes more sense and what the characters do is more believable.
So I’m really excited about the new changes. I think the comic is way better now, but there are still parts I’m having trouble with. But, we’re getting there. Draft 2 took me from 7/28/11 to 12/30/11, 156 days. Draft 1 took a little over 9 months. I was faster this time! I’ll get to Draft 3 no earlier than 2/10/12. Since my comic was written in chunks, not in order, when I get to draft 3, I’m going to put the pieces together in order, then fix them up, fill in the gaps, and fix any plot holes. I’ll be getting pretty close to having the script done by the end of draft 3, I think. Aren’t you excited? I am.
This is a little comic I made for a game called “Animal Crossing”. And to let you understand this comic, here’s a little scenario that I suspect is a common problem among Animal Crossers (that is a phrase I just invented). Imagine that you’re going to the store, let’s say. But, then there’s a weed, and you just must pick it. It’s ruining your lovely town. You can’t just pass it. No, there’s an unstoppable urge to grab it. You can’t resist. But, you wanna go to the store. Too bad! So you give in, and you pick that weed. Now that’s done, so we can now…No. Another weed. So you must pick that one, too. But, it’s not enough! There’s another weed! You just keep finding more and more until you’re led all around town like a cat following a trail of cheese! What, of course cats like cheese! And you are so behind schedule, it’s not even fun anymore, but this driving force inside you will not let you walk by without picking that weed! This has happened to me many a time. And it could happen to you, too, if you aren’t careful. And obsessive. (The character and the plant designs and stuff are based off of “Animal Crossing” and so are property of Nintendo.)
I have already fixed up issue 1 and 2 of my June comic, and I am quite proud of myself. Usually in large projects such as this, I give up before draft 1 is done, or if I finish writing the first draft, I never put much effort into fixing it. Unfortunately, now things are becoming more difficult. I made some huge changes to the story, and I find them rather okay, but now I need to fit them into the story.
Issue 1 was easy. It’s the beginning. I think I have a pretty decent issue there. It needs fixing, but it’s there, at least. Next, issue 2 needed help. I made some changes. It’s okay, though. The beginning of issue 3 might be okay, but after that, I don’t have a clear picture of where the story goes. There’s a lot of pointless action I put in there, pretty much as a placeholder, that adds nothing to the story. It will either need major changes or to be cut from the story completely.
So with my new ideas, I must figure out how to actually write my improved plot. For now, I’ll skip ahead to the most important scenes and write them first. I know certain things need to happen, but not what leads up to them. I can put in the rest later, I guess. I have a lot more conflict in June, I’m making the Philosopher more important (as he was meant to be all along), I’m revealing an important character later on instead of in issue 2, and there will be more of Flynn and Gretchen and the Scientists because they seem interesting. I changed the timeline a bit so that the conflict escalates throughout the story, rather than staying flat throughout much of it. Maybe this will end up being the story I dreamed it would be. Wouldn’t that be spiffy?
By the way, I very much appreciate the help of my awesome commenters a couple posts ago. I’ll be sure to make use of your advice.