zackules:

HOW A GRAPHIC NOVEL IS ACTUALLY MADE
PART 3: OF SCRIPTS AND SKETCHES
Here are Part 1 and Part 2 of this ??? part series!
So, let’s get our bearings here. You’ve had your idea and you’ve foole- I mean GOTTEN- someone to agree to publish it. Now, it’s time to actually begin writing your grand masterpiece that will be held up as a shining zenith of art and storytelling for generations to come.
Making a comic is obviously a very personal experience and one in which there are a lot of mitigating factors. I can only speak to my own methods, so therefore the next few entries in this series shouldn’t be seen as “How to Make a Comic,” but as “How Zack Makes A Comic”.
And just oooone laaaast caveat before I start. There are many, many cases in which a comic is created by a separate writer and an artist. This relationship has its own unique perspective and challenges. While I have worked as both “artist” and as “writer/artist”, the bulk of my experience lies in the latter. So, finally and without further ado, this is how I make a comic! No more false starts, I promise!
Whether I’m doing an 8-page mini or a 240 page graphic novel, I have to have a roadmap. I sit down and think about my story and break it into chunks. For longer works, I generally think within the structure of a 3 act play. I just sort of keep dividing and dividing things into sequences and story beats. This is all done with a pencil or pen and written out on paper in chicken scratches to form an outline. 
Sometimes I get very mathematical about it. For “Shadows of Endor” (seen above), I knew that I had 72 pages; no more, no less. Having this kind of limitation will almost always work in your favor. Knowing that I had just 72 pages meant sitting down and literally dividing things into their importance to the story and slotting them an appropriate amount of pages. For example, if I have a sequence where Logray battles Charal and I know that it’s a scene that is both exciting and reveals information important to the plot, then I’ll say “Ok, you’ve got 10 pages to show this sequence”. The numbers are often arbitrary, and anything can change at any time. But for now, I have to start somewhere!
Once I have this rough outline, I’ll begin thumbnailing. Now, many people - including artists that are also writing - like to write a script, much like you’d see for a movie or a play. For me, this method is completely irrational and simply does not work. Comics are a visual artform, and it’s impossible (even for an artist) to truly think visually while writing. Many people THINK they’re writing in a visual way, but they are not. If you’re choreographing a dance, do you write it out beforehand? probably not. At any rate, I find it much easier and more fulfilling to thumbnail and script my dialogue both at the same time. If I write a script first, I tend to over write - something that plagues more comics than I care to mention. A picture is worth a thousand words, no?
I have a template on my computer that is two rectangles on an 8.5” x 11” piece of paper. I print up a buttload of these on regular cheapo printing paper. Each box represents an entire page. I have two on there so that I can work in spreads. So you see, the above thumbnail actually represents what it would be like to look at an open book. In the Western world, we read left to right. That means that all your odd numbered pages (starting with page 1) will be printed on the right hand side and all of the even numbered pages on the left. 
"WHO CARES? Why do I need to know that? I’ll just do whatever!"
Calm down. Knowing HOW your reader is going to read your comic is essential! You need to know how their eye will flow across the page and lead them from panel to panel. THIS is precisely something that is impossible to write out. Comic pages are like maps. I try to give each panel some thought and think about how it’s going to be viewed. I want the reader’s eye to go certain places at certain times, and not to others.
A good example is the cliffhanger/reveal. If I am in the middle of a scene or sequence, I try to have the bottom right-most panel have some sort of cliffhanger that then leads the reader to the top of the next page. This is particularly useful if I want to reveal something important. I’ll make sure that the last panel on the right-hand page has something like “What’s that?!”. Then, this will hopefully force the reader to turn the page and see what that thing is on the uppermost left hand page, spoiler-free. So remember:
Bottom Right = cliffhanger
Top left = reveal
I also use this physical page turn to start a new scene or to show the passage of time. See how useful it is, now, to plan out your comic by spreads?
My thumbnails can be pretty rough, but I do need to remember that in most cases, I’m not the only one looking at them. My editor will also need to decipher what I’m doing. This stage is intentionally rough, so often I’ll make little notations if I think something isn’t clear, or if I’m just using stick figures, or if I’m planning a palette or style change. 
I do write out much of my dialogue at this point since, as I said, I’m working up the script and thumbs at the same time. Occasionally though, I will have a word balloon that will say “Says stuff about the magic horn” or something. This is due to the limitations of already working very small and very rough.
I usually submit my thumbnails to my editor in batches. I’ll also type up a more formal-looking script to accompany the scrawlings so as to save my poor editor a headache. I think working in batches is best so as to be able to catch problems or story issues as they happen. No one wants to write out a 300 page story, only to find out that something important was missed in chapter two!
My editor and I will revise, if needed. We’ll identify things that aren’t working visually, or could be explained with less dialogue, etc. “Broxo” went through this process for almost exactly a year and 2.5 drafts before we were happy with the story. These things take time! Sometimes, you knock it out of the park on your first go, and sometimes a comic needs to be pounded and sculpted like clay. 
How’s that for mixing metaphors?
Once everyone involved is in agreement on the thumbnails and script, then it’s on to some very serious drawing!

zackules:

HOW A GRAPHIC NOVEL IS ACTUALLY MADE

PART 3: OF SCRIPTS AND SKETCHES

Here are Part 1 and Part 2 of this ??? part series!

So, let’s get our bearings here. You’ve had your idea and you’ve foole- I mean GOTTEN- someone to agree to publish it. Now, it’s time to actually begin writing your grand masterpiece that will be held up as a shining zenith of art and storytelling for generations to come.

Making a comic is obviously a very personal experience and one in which there are a lot of mitigating factors. I can only speak to my own methods, so therefore the next few entries in this series shouldn’t be seen as “How to Make a Comic,” but as “How Zack Makes A Comic”.

And just oooone laaaast caveat before I start. There are many, many cases in which a comic is created by a separate writer and an artist. This relationship has its own unique perspective and challenges. While I have worked as both “artist” and as “writer/artist”, the bulk of my experience lies in the latter. So, finally and without further ado, this is how I make a comic! No more false starts, I promise!

Whether I’m doing an 8-page mini or a 240 page graphic novel, I have to have a roadmap. I sit down and think about my story and break it into chunks. For longer works, I generally think within the structure of a 3 act play. I just sort of keep dividing and dividing things into sequences and story beats. This is all done with a pencil or pen and written out on paper in chicken scratches to form an outline. 

Sometimes I get very mathematical about it. For “Shadows of Endor” (seen above), I knew that I had 72 pages; no more, no less. Having this kind of limitation will almost always work in your favor. Knowing that I had just 72 pages meant sitting down and literally dividing things into their importance to the story and slotting them an appropriate amount of pages. For example, if I have a sequence where Logray battles Charal and I know that it’s a scene that is both exciting and reveals information important to the plot, then I’ll say “Ok, you’ve got 10 pages to show this sequence”. The numbers are often arbitrary, and anything can change at any time. But for now, I have to start somewhere!

Once I have this rough outline, I’ll begin thumbnailing. Now, many people - including artists that are also writing - like to write a script, much like you’d see for a movie or a play. For me, this method is completely irrational and simply does not work. Comics are a visual artform, and it’s impossible (even for an artist) to truly think visually while writing. Many people THINK they’re writing in a visual way, but they are not. If you’re choreographing a dance, do you write it out beforehand? probably not. At any rate, I find it much easier and more fulfilling to thumbnail and script my dialogue both at the same time. If I write a script first, I tend to over write - something that plagues more comics than I care to mention. A picture is worth a thousand words, no?

I have a template on my computer that is two rectangles on an 8.5” x 11” piece of paper. I print up a buttload of these on regular cheapo printing paper. Each box represents an entire page. I have two on there so that I can work in spreads. So you see, the above thumbnail actually represents what it would be like to look at an open book. In the Western world, we read left to right. That means that all your odd numbered pages (starting with page 1) will be printed on the right hand side and all of the even numbered pages on the left. 

"WHO CARES? Why do I need to know that? I’ll just do whatever!"

Calm down. Knowing HOW your reader is going to read your comic is essential! You need to know how their eye will flow across the page and lead them from panel to panel. THIS is precisely something that is impossible to write out. Comic pages are like maps. I try to give each panel some thought and think about how it’s going to be viewed. I want the reader’s eye to go certain places at certain times, and not to others.

A good example is the cliffhanger/reveal. If I am in the middle of a scene or sequence, I try to have the bottom right-most panel have some sort of cliffhanger that then leads the reader to the top of the next page. This is particularly useful if I want to reveal something important. I’ll make sure that the last panel on the right-hand page has something like “What’s that?!”. Then, this will hopefully force the reader to turn the page and see what that thing is on the uppermost left hand page, spoiler-free. So remember:

Bottom Right = cliffhanger

Top left = reveal

I also use this physical page turn to start a new scene or to show the passage of time. See how useful it is, now, to plan out your comic by spreads?

My thumbnails can be pretty rough, but I do need to remember that in most cases, I’m not the only one looking at them. My editor will also need to decipher what I’m doing. This stage is intentionally rough, so often I’ll make little notations if I think something isn’t clear, or if I’m just using stick figures, or if I’m planning a palette or style change. 

I do write out much of my dialogue at this point since, as I said, I’m working up the script and thumbs at the same time. Occasionally though, I will have a word balloon that will say “Says stuff about the magic horn” or something. This is due to the limitations of already working very small and very rough.

I usually submit my thumbnails to my editor in batches. I’ll also type up a more formal-looking script to accompany the scrawlings so as to save my poor editor a headache. I think working in batches is best so as to be able to catch problems or story issues as they happen. No one wants to write out a 300 page story, only to find out that something important was missed in chapter two!

My editor and I will revise, if needed. We’ll identify things that aren’t working visually, or could be explained with less dialogue, etc. “Broxo” went through this process for almost exactly a year and 2.5 drafts before we were happy with the story. These things take time! Sometimes, you knock it out of the park on your first go, and sometimes a comic needs to be pounded and sculpted like clay. 

How’s that for mixing metaphors?

Once everyone involved is in agreement on the thumbnails and script, then it’s on to some very serious drawing!

chocolatesingularity:

Some QUALITY anime and manga pictures I have saved, just thought I’d share them with you all.

theflightofthephoenix:

justinaireland:

rosalarian:

When I say people want to see more diversity in stories, no, I really don’t mean different stories about straight white dudes. I really, really don’t mean that at all. This isn’t about types of stories being told. This is specifically about people. I’m not letting you make this about something else. You are not hijacking this message to make sure we’re still talking about straight white dudes.

You, sirs, are part of the problem. *stink eye*

LOVE THIS!

theatlantic:

This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth’s First-Cousin

Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there’s a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright as the golden hour before sunset back home. 
NASA scientists are calling the planet Kepler-186f, and it’s unlike anything they’ve found. The big news: Kepler-186f is the closest relative to the Earth that researchers have discovered. 
It’s the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star—the sweet spot between too-hot Mercury-like planets and too-cold Neptunes— and it is likely to give scientists their first real opportunity to seek life elsewhere in the universe. “It’s no longer in the realm of science fiction,” said Elisa Quintana, a researcher at the SETI Institute. 
But if there is indeed life on Kepler-186f, it may not look like what we have here. Given the redder wavelengths of light on the planet, vegetation there would sprout in hues of yellow and orange instead of green.
Read more. [Image: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech]

theatlantic:

This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth’s First-Cousin

Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there’s a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright as the golden hour before sunset back home. 

NASA scientists are calling the planet Kepler-186f, and it’s unlike anything they’ve found. The big news: Kepler-186f is the closest relative to the Earth that researchers have discovered. 

It’s the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star—the sweet spot between too-hot Mercury-like planets and too-cold Neptunes— and it is likely to give scientists their first real opportunity to seek life elsewhere in the universe. “It’s no longer in the realm of science fiction,” said Elisa Quintana, a researcher at the SETI Institute. 

But if there is indeed life on Kepler-186f, it may not look like what we have here. Given the redder wavelengths of light on the planet, vegetation there would sprout in hues of yellow and orange instead of green.

Read more. [Image: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech]

Feeling Fine

There are a few of you who follow me as greighish, but also follow some of my other blogs. I just want to say thanx!

That you are following me (because greighish is about 80-90% of my personality, the relatively SFW edition) is really awesome. For whatever reason you have, you’re interested in enough of the same things or have enough of an interest in me that you allow me to take up space on your dash. I’m honored. And then when I think of the fact that there’s something about me that you’re alright with that you said to yourself, “sure, I’ll follow her other whatever,” I’m just blown away.

You’re getting to see all of me. It’s a scary thought, but it’s comforting as well. You guys probably know more about me, the current me, than my BFF does and certainly more than many of my other friends.

The more I think about it, the more it overwhelms me with feelings of gratitude and contentment. Being accepted for who you are is a great feeling. It sucks that not everyone knows this feeling. I’m really happy about all of this, but that thought alone brings tears to my eyes.

Oh, I’m not saying that if you only follow me here, that I think any less of you or that you don’t accept me, because my other interests are not everyone’s taste, so I understand. Preference has nothing to do with dismissing the other parts of a person. So, just know it’s not about that. I was simply taken aback by the thought that people were interested in more than one facet of me.

Many thanx to all of you!

Manga Publishers on Fan Interest in Manga Online

mangabookshelf:

Manga Publishers on Fan Interest in Manga Online

Welp, thanks Google! Credit to AnimeKon for that.

Um, I guess this is the best image I could find? Credit to AnimeKon.

It started this week, when Ash had posted a link to Kodansha’s Tumblr that weighed in on piracy. Interested in reading what they said, I checked it out, and after sitting on this idea for a day, I decided to get in contact with all the manga publishers in the US and basically asked them for a response to that query. So a…

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lindsay-bionic:

reginasworld:

Mirrors and Windows is a portrait series by Italian photographers Gabriele Galimberti and Edoardo Dilelle that draws insight into the lives of women across the world based on their intimate living spaces.  See if you can guess the country and click the link to find out.

love this