Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Waiting part 2: patience and persistence

As predicted, waiting for my first comic story to come to life is very difficult for me. I knew it would be hard, but that doesn't make it any easier. But in my short journey, one thing I've learned is that patience and persistence are needed if one wants to make comics.

Making comics is a collaborative art form. Books are brought to life by a team of artisans: writer, penciller, inker, colorist, and letterer. You might work with someone who can double-up on duties, say an artist who inks their own stuff or a colorist who also letters, but unless you are a multi-talented writer/artist, you're probably working with at least three other people to make your comic book. And these people have lives (meaning: responsibilities) and quirks (meaning: differing personalities and ways of working) of their own. If you want to make comics, you need to figure out how to navigate and coordinate the work of all these people. You're going to have to fit your comic into their schedule. And then of course they need time to do their part on the project. By definition, this means you are going to do a lot of waiting. Get used to it. But if making comics is your goal, you need to persist.

I had some scheduling setbacks recently. I had hoped to be preview some story pages here in June. But just when he was about to start my story, my penciller received a bit of paying work and needed to focus on that. I understood completely--but, man, did it sting. After slaving over my story and working to find just the right collaborator, to be delayed right when we were on the cusp of certain greatness. ... Ugh. It really sucked.

But I wasn't going to be deterred. (Really, if you're going to give up after a delay, you might as well not start.) So if the scheduling of my story was out of my control, I would focus on something I could control. My other stories. I decided to keep working on my next couple of stories.

And, boy, have I. I worked out a nice quick-paced 5-pager and then I turned my eye to an original graphic novel I've been toying with on and off for a few years. While I was doing that, my artist finished his other gig and e-mailed me some character sketches and then some page layouts (which I will preview soon). And suddenly, the story was back on and I need to confirm the schedules of my letterer, etc.

So be patient and keep plugging away. And write, write, write.


Has it been a month since I last posted? Now that I have a few things percolating, I plan on posting more regularly. And stay tuned for that preview art.

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