Tag Archives: comics

A Change of Duck Plans Concerning My Path to Fame and Fortune

Ahem.  You remember all those posts I wrote about creating my own comics and doing more art?  Well…that’s being put on hold for a while.  I would love to get good at drawing.  I would love to complete comics.  Yet, I don’t have the motivation for it lately.  I know I must practice drawing to get good at it, and I would love to be as good as other artists I’ve seen, yet I suppose I’m not currently willing to do what it takes to get to their level.  I also don’t seem to have the motivation to continue my comics.  Perhaps I will return to these things someday.  I really should.  But, for now, the Duck must take a break from them.

            You see, my original love was writing.  I always wanted to be an author, not an artist.  If someone could snap their fingers and make me an artist, I’d do it.  Yes, please!  I love beautiful art and wish I could make it and probably could if I kept trying.  Nevertheless, right now, I have returned to writing, and it feels like less of a chore.  I know people shouldn’t give up on things, but at the same time, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, should you keep doing it?  Perhaps not.  Lately, I have not enjoyed drawing or working on my comic (even if the end result is something I would really like, if only the process to get there wasn’t so tedious), but now that I have returned to writing, I have enjoyed doing it so much more than my other projects.  And so it may be time to focus on writing again.

            I have so much more of a knack for writing than drawing, it seems.  It comes much more naturally and easily, especially after I began writing fan fiction again several months ago.  Drawing is hard.  Drawing is really hard.  And I work and work at it, and it never turns out that good, and I don’t have fun doing it because it’s so difficult.  It’ll only get easier the more I do it, but until then, it’s more a pain than anything, and that’s not how you should feel about your passions.  For me, writing is easy, which makes it more fun, and I have been improving much more quickly in it than I have been in my art.  Just over the last few months, I have noticed huge improvements.  I write a chapter in my notebook, then, when I get around to typing it, I can think of so many new ways to make it better.  It’s such a satisfying process watching the pages fill up with words, then fixing it up paragraph by paragraph until it’s so much better.  I have fun doing it, and I have fun looking at what resulted from my work.

            And so, to make a long story a bit shorter, I have decided I would really like to pursue my writing seriously this time.  I have given half-hearted attempts to write and get something published in the past, but starting fan fiction again has reminded me how badly I wanted to be an author and how much I used to love to write.  In fact, not long ago, I had this dream that inspired a story.  Currently, I am not disclosing the details of this story, but it is honestly one of the best original story ideas I have ever come up with.  Not to be unrealistic and in fantasyland, but I really believe that this story stands the greatest chance of being published of any other idea I’ve had so far.

            Seriously.  I really think it can make it, but it all depends on if I can pull it off.  I don’t know.  Maybe I can.  Maybe it will fail and will sit in a drawer for years until I can take it out and make it better, until it’s good enough for a publisher to take it.  But, I really think I can do it, even if I can’t do it right now, but someday.  But, I can’t give up like I did on my art.  It is hard to succeed in everything, and if I am to get anywhere with my dreams, I really must narrow them down to a select few.  I have chosen writing.  Art can come later if I so choose, but I want to be a writer again.  I want to go after my goal full-steam this time.  I don’t expect to get rich.  Or famous.  Or publish a whole lot.  But I want to publish at least this one thing.  And maybe I’ll turn my two comic stories into novels, as well.  Maybe I can’t turn them into comics, but perhaps I can make them into something I’m better suited for.

            So I’m doing it again.  I never tried very hard to be published before, but I really want it, more than ever this time.  I just have to go for it.  It’s impossible if I try so half-heartedly as I have been.  But, it’s quite possible if I really try with all my might and do whatever it takes.  Wish me luck.

            Okay, and if you’d like some hints about my story (unsure if it will be a short story or a novel), it’s a horror story.  That’s right, horror.  Normally, I do fantasy or science fiction, but this time, it’s horror, but not about monsters.  It’s about the human mind.  And the monsters in our own head.  Then again, is it about monsters?  You’d just have to read it to find out….

Duck, Extra Determined Version

Artist Comic Issue 1 Final Draft Commenced

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

My June Comic Script is Complete

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.

The Duck is Four and Fives Times Drafty

Draft 2 of My Artist Comic is Done

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.

The Duck is Double Drafty

Draft 2 of My June Comic is Done

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.

A Drafty Duck

Draft 2 Gets a Little Tricky

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.

The Duck with a Mission

The First Draft of My Second Comic is Done

I recently finished the first draft of my second comic script.  You know, the one that starts out black and white, with the artist girl and the bird.  It took from 5/1/11 to 7/23/11 to write, and I will start the second draft no earlier than 9/3/11.  It is 5 issues long, each about 20 pages or so.  It took up a good chunk of my “Nightmare Before Christmas” notebook.  Gosh, I’m gonna need a new one soon!

            This comic was a lot of fun to write and easier than the last one, probably since so far, it has a simpler plot.  I still don’t have names for anyone yet, though.  The main character got MG (main girl) to show when it’s her dialogue.  The bird got B.  I need to give them names!  I will be at least drawing the two main characters sometime soon-ish.  I need to design the rest sometime, too.

            There are some parts I don’t like so much, such as the beginning and end, but I think I have more going on in the middle than the last comic.  It’s like a plump sandwich with yummy innards, but bad bread.  Some details must still be sorted out, such as what the main character is able to do with her magic art skills, plus plot holes must be filled in.  They’re a danger to all.

            I’ve also started the second draft of my first comic.  I’m going to figure out what is going to happen in each issue and try to fix any plot holes.  I’ll summarize one issue at a time, then, add in some other bits and pieces.  I’m going to make some changes to make the story more interesting.  Once I have a good summary of the whole thing, I’ll start rewriting it one issue at a time.  By the time I’m done, I hope to at least have the whole story there and all the action, and maybe draft three will finish it up.

            So far, I’ve figured out a whole bunch of general info.  What the characters are doing and why and all that.  Then, I summarized a few issues so far.  It’s been fun.  I look forward to seeing what this story is going to end up like.  I think if I do it right, it could be a good story.

MD, Main Duck

My Second Comic Idea

I recently started my next comic, but I’ve been pretty lazy on it and only did the first page or so.  Bah!  I’ll get back to it soon.  Now’s a good time to tell you guys what it’s about, though.

            When I wrote my post “A Quest for a Pen”, I suddenly got an idea, as if slapped by a Muse.  A metaphorical journey to become an artist, learning new skills, practicing those skills, and also finding the perfect tools.  It gave me the idea of a world drained of color and happiness, and a young girl finds a beautiful, colorful bird that remembers what it used to be like when the whole world had color.  So she and the bird go on a quest to restore color and happiness to everyone.  Along the way, she’ll find weapons to use against evil, such as a magical eraser for destroying evil Smudges.  She’ll also get other tools, including an inking pen and such.  I haven’t decided on all of it yet.

            Also, the comic is going to start off in black and white except for the bird.  Artsy and inexpensive!  As it goes on, I will add colors and such, perhaps up until the main characters defeat the main evil creature/person/whatever.  I am quite excited about this project, despite the fact that I’m slacking on it.  I should get back to writing the script and designing the characters soon, I hope.

An Artsy Duck

Comic Draft 1 Done and Other Things

I finally finished my comic script.  It took from 7/13/10 to 4/23/11, with a lot of breaks in between.  It is 9 issues, each around 20 pages or so, and it filled up my Gir notebook and went into the beginning of my “Nightmare Before Christmas” notebook.  It needs a lot of fixing, but I’ll wait six weeks or so, and then get started on draft 2.  I still don’t have a title for it or any of the issues.  I think it started out pretty okay and ended okay, too.  The middle needs lots of help.  It still has more potential than the novel, at least.

            And since I’m on this subject, I’ll tell you where I am in my other projects:

            I barely started draft 2 of the Fiddle novel a while ago and now gave up.  I don’t think it stands much of a chance, but maybe I can use bits of it.  At least, some of the characters are good.

            The Kura novel is just sitting there.  I don’t know what’s going to happen there.  If I work on it again, I may plan it all out over again so I have some clue where I’m actually going with it.

            I wrote a short story I’m not sure about the other day, and I started another one a while ago that I don’t know if I’ll get back to.  I have another short story I actually like that I’m almost done with.  Maybe I’ll send it to publishers.  Maybe.

            My three poems have still not been published.  I don’t know if I’ll try sending them out to more places or revise them or just leave them be for now.

            I have a new idea for a novel that sounds interesting, plus another comic series.  Both sound fun, but I think I’ll start the comic soon.  Or at least, start planning it out.

            I’m currently finishing up a picture of Xigbar from Kingdom Hearts, and soon I plan to draw an octopus and practice textures.

            I’m currently on sketch pad #15.

            I am also near the end of “Donkey Kong Country Returns”.  Just the final boss is left, I think.  Then, next up, the Playstation 2 games I got recently.  Yay!

A Duck with Many Projects

Bringing the Confusion to a Whole New Level

You know that comic I mentioned a while ago?  I’m still going to do it.  Yeah, it’s going to take forever.  And the script has been moving along at the pace of a turtle with a ball and chain attached to it.  And I’m still not good at drawing yet.  But, I still plan on doing it.  And to aid in this difficult project, I read “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel” by Nat Gertler and Steve Lieber because I am, indeed, a complete idiot.  And gosh, I didn’t think making a comic (excuse me, graphic novel) would be easy, but wow.  If you self-publish, you must pay for barcodes?!  What the quack!

            Making comics is such a confusing and difficult process, and there are so many things to consider.  For example, there are different types of files you need for different projects and you sometimes need to color using RGB and sometimes CMYK. I also learned about letting art “bleed” (which sounds morbid, but isn’t) and whatever trapping is.  And to complicate things further, I don’t even know exactly what I’m doing yet.  They want CMYK coloring for printing, but I thought they want RGB for web stuff, so which do I do if I want perhaps both?

            There is so much more I have to learn.  I wish I knew more about what I was going to do.  I don’t know if my comic will ever get published, or if I’ll not even try to publish it and just put it on the web.  Or if both is an option.  How do I color it, what files do I save it as, who should I go for printing if it doesn’t go on the web?  I’m glad I got the book, but I’ve gotten myself rather confused.  There are so many options.  But, I’ll work my way through it.  It was a very helpful book….it just made me even more confused than I already was.

A Confused Duck