Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where am I? How do I know it? What should I do?

I want to start off by answering: "where am I now" in both the general and specific sense. In other words, a report from 30,000 feet and a report from street-level.

First, my long-term goal is to become a professional comic book author. That means, to me, that I should be able to live off my effort and earnings from writing and drawing comics full time.

My short term goals are to finish 65 pages of Comic A and a 10 page synopsis of Comic B before 2011.

So where am I now?

Comic A: The point of Comic A is to publish it online as an ongoing serial. It's not meant to be a tightly controlled story like Comic B, but more of a 'poem' and a way to build a readership and have meaningful, tangible progress on the way to my long-term goal.

The storyboard is finished. Although, due to the version of my comic program Mangastudio Debut 4 I can't do splash pages without some hassle (as far as I'm aware) so I need to redraw the intro splash page to be only 1 page rather than 2. That'll leave me with an extra page... I've also considered condensing the first chapter to 31 pages, but I'll talk about that elsewhere. The text has been entered and the panels have been cut. What remains is the final drawings, final text, and final balloon placement. I've been having some problems with the models, but maybe things have been sorted out. 43% complete.

Comic B: This is my tightly controlled work. Therefore, it's going to take longer before I see any actual results (drawn pages) because of all the planning involved. This is definitely a long-term project. Ideally, I want to be able to work on Comic A and B simultaneously since they can possibly compliment one another.

I'm still mostly in the Raw Materials stage. There doesn't seem to be an elegant way for me to transition from primordial goo (raw materials) into a skyscraper (finished plot). Actually, this blog may be what I'm looking for. Anyway, to the extent I have a plot, it's in a super rough state. I need to organize the data and begin to solidify a plot. Maybe 5% done?

So where am I now?

This is just a sense, but I'd say I'm about 20% toward finishing my long term goal and 38% toward my yearly goal. I'll explore these numbers later and see if I can't get more accurate.

Next: Some steps needed to move forward.

Some steps for Comic A: I'm going to go for a 'sweep' this time around rather than the '1 page per day' method. The first thing that needs to be done is to figure out whether I'm going to condense the comic into 31 pages or leave it as is. Frankly, I don't see why I should condense the comic, even if subsequent chapters are planned only to be 13 or so pages....

Is the comic a good introductory chapter? Does it introduce the setting and characters?

I think it does. I'm not working for anybody else, so I don't need to be too picky. I think it does it's job and does it pretty darn well. So now that I've decided on the length, my next step is to finish inking the characters. I'll write up the process in another post.

Some steps for Comic B: I think the best method for creating a plot from this point is to write. Start in a new document, and write a beginning, middle, and end in a few sentences.

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