Thursday, September 15, 2011

what we talk about when we talk about comics (pt. 1)

to be continued...
A few notes:
I did this in a strange way - after I inked it, I went over the line drawings with a white crayon, then used an ink wash (or, in some cases, watercolor) over the whole panel. I was going for a weird effect, but in some places it was weirder than others (notably that fourth panel).

As mentioned in the 5th panel, I have a webcomic. It's about words. No really. It's called Babble, check it out.

Books mentioned in this article (so far):
Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Making Comics have been discussed on Guys Lit Wire before by Krostopher here. As a side note, the first blew my mind the first time I read it, and I've read it many, many times since. There's something inspirational about it. But that same heady, analytical process becomes a bit wonky when McCloud uses it to break down the act of making comics. It feels a bit like dissection, or whatever the opposite of inspiration is. Still, if you want to dig into the work of making comics, it's an invaluable resource. Buy them, along with other works by Scott McCloud, here. His website is pretty awesome too.

I have been working on this review strip in one form or another for awhile now, believe it or not. It was, in part, How to Make Webcomics that first inspired me to do so. If for no other reason, I'm glad because, had I finished the thing when I wanted to, the review wouldn't have been positive. As I say above, I was looking, I think, for something more about the creative side of making comics, and this is not a source for that (more on that bit in the second part). However, having now done a webcomic for over half a year, I can tell you this is some solid advice, even if you aren't looking to monetize your strip (which I'm not) and you don't have lots of technical resources at your disposal (which I don't). So, thank you, Scott Kurtz, Kris Straub, Dave Kellett, and Brad Guigar (whose name I misspelled in the strip above, sorry!). You can find the book through their websites, or, better, go to their webcomics and look around: PVP, StarslipSheldon, and Evil Inc.

There is a second half of this, where I discuss a few more titles. I hope to post that this weekend. See you then...


Montgomery said...

The connection to this comic strip is very eerily similar to what I'm doing. I'm a librarian in Miami and have been lucky enough to do several make your own comics events for teens. I have used the exact books that you've mentioned including the How to Make Webcomics. I made my own mini comic with a co-worker who drew the artwork which we used to instruct with from making actual physical books to publishing online. As of next month, I am possibly looking at a layoff since the county is facing a budget shortfall. I have decided, aside from looking for work, is to do an actual series as a creative way to deal with my stress. Hopefully, I will get this going before the year is out. Good luck with your strip.

david elzey said...

makes me wish there were more comics-as-reviews out in the world.

i'm not sure what it is you're looking for, or what you mean when you say you're looking for something that speaks more toward the creative side of making comics, but have you read alan moore's WRITING FOR COMICS? he takes a thematic approach and mostly to story, but worth a look if you haven't seen it (though i suspect you have...)

Justin Colussy-Estes said...

Thanks for the comments.
David: As I mention after the strip, there's a second half to this, in which I more directly address that question. But the format I'm working with (one-shot workshops and a summer camp for 5th-6th graders) can't really depend on outside reading, in part because I want to focus on the doing.
Montgomery: Two of the books I bring up in my follow-up strip are Lynda Barry's "What it Is" and "Picture This." You might find them useful. And good luck to you, as well!

Kelly Fineman said...

Man, do I adore this post. Cannot wait to see the rest of it. And I think you might have identified a gap in the market that perhaps you could fill!