Didnt see anything in catalog. Let's have a comic creator resource thread. Writers, artist, inker, letterer, colorist, or any questions pertaining to creating and publishing your work.
Marvel - https://www.marvel.com/help/category/17/topic/30 - does not accept portfolios anymore. You need to know someone to get hired now.
DC - https://www.dccomicstalentworkshop.com/artists-workshop/how-to-apply/ - they have a workshop set of courses every year (or have been lately) that you can submit work and portfolios towards admission. This can lead to work and showcases, like the New Talent Showcase 2018 issue ( https://www.dccomics.com/comics/new-talent-showcase-2016/new-talent-showcase-2018-1 ).
Image Comics - https://imagecomics.com/submissions - Accepts Artists: We accept inking, pencilling, lettering, or coloring samples. Writers: We accept proposals only. Clique group. Without a name, youll find trouble getting support from Image. Knowing someone is best way to get there and having previous work or status (novels, film, etc). Not the 'indy haven' it used to be.
https://jasonthibault.com/definitive-list-comic-publisher-submission-guidelines/ - this is a longer list of publisher and guidelines updated for 2018 standards.
Crowd funding is a great way to get funds, but also entirely name based and getting info out there. Need twitter and other media. Youtube channel is very good if artist for basic livestream drawing sessions or critiques, helping improve art of followers, etc. Jim Lee has a good channel for this. Ethan van Sciver used to do insider talks on his work with Marvel (New X-Men with Morrison, his Johns Rebirth stuff) and how to draw various characters. Mostly shittalks SJWs now though. Archives good source for building audience though. Can use the money in conjunction with some smaller publishers too.
I'll post some resources for general comic creation in follow up posts.
>Here's some placea to get hired
>But, you know, you won't get in unless you're already friends with someone on the inside
Gee, thanks. At least put up something like Alterna comics in that that will take submissions from anybody.
Writing Comics For Dummies
MS Word - standard for a long time and many still use it.
Scrivener - https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener/overview - amazing program. Cant say enough about it. You can get it for 'free' if you try hard enough. It's only $40 or so if you really want it. It supports all formats and can be used for manuscripts, novels, formatting for print and publishing or any kind of writing you want. For comics, you'll see in a moment where it really shines.
The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics by Denis O’Neil - insider tips on how to write comics. Full scripts vs plots first (marvel way or at least old marvel way with stan lee, etc) and other techniques.
Alan Moore’s Writing For Comics Volume 1 by Alan Moore - I didnt like it, but he's a legend in the field. You should be able to find it online, or at least the original piece he wrote in the 80s for a UK magazine.
How to Write Comics the Marvel Way by Stan Lee - I havent personally read this. Cant comment on it. The How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way is a literal bible on how to draw comics (or any art - its that damn good). Touch on it more in art post.
How to write Comic Scripts
Probably the single biggest mystery to fans and would be writers. I've collected some example scripts from writers and converted to PDF for references. They are attached to this post.
Fred Van Lente has some template scripts and how he formats his own for the artists with examples. This is where Scrivener comes back into play. FVL uses it exclusively now and, while posted some Word templates, the Scrivener templates he posted are what you want. Feels like fill in the blank comic book writing when not wrestling with the formatting. Links are on his page to free downloads.
This specifically lists indies and who to contact there. I just specifically pointed out you arent just submitting to Marvel or DC these days. They wont take you. DC has annual talent searches though. 2019 should be coming up for submissions in new year (march maybe?). Thanks for your input though. You could have posted Alterna submission page and guidelines yourself to contribute.
How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way -
http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php?md5=A8C06DD0C50BBF72E52513E86BAA2884 - This is THE best resource for comic book artists. Hell, for any artist. Perspective, composition, dynamic poses, comic proportions - it covers everything from beginning construction and gestures to adding detail and more. Read this book. Love this book. Everything else is just padding or fluff compared to this.
How to Draw: drawing and sketching objects and environments from your imagination by Scott Robertson - this is one of the best books for learning to draw. It's not comic oriented, but teaches you more on perspective, construction, basic shapes and comes with private youtube videos to walk you through perspective grids, construction, line weights, and every thing else. It takes the How to Draw Marvel Way and expands on it. Covers mostly same topics, but without a comic focus. Loomis board can help you 'find' this book. His How to Render follow-up book is an excellent resource for shading and lighting, too (its not a computer rendering/photoshop book - its just an art term in case you are confused).
DC 1980s style guide - https://www.facebook.com/pg/JoseLuisGarciaLopezFans/photos/?tab=album&album_id=207954002578217 - it's older and out of date, but has some interesting insights into how DC required certain aspects of characters to be consistent across the line, the colouring guides for older newsprint and was never for sale to general public. Good insider look for artists. They have similar guidelines today, of course, but those arent published either.
Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers by Marcos Mateu-Mestre - many recommend this for art in general, but it is mostly related to comic book inking. Personally, I didnt find this book very good at - its mostly a portfolio piece and some prose discussing topics. If you know how to ink, its useful, but I dont think its a good learning resource. Just my 2 cents, but youll find it listed in any general art learning books resources and especially for comics.
Attached images - template for 11 x 17" smooth bristol boards (standard comic book artist pages - you can print onto them with the template or use photoshop - its a jpg, but remove white and youll have the transparency for a 300dpi image - scales up easily to 600 dpi if you want to work at a higher resolution - i have it in a psd file, but cant post it here). Includes gutters and trim lines and credits at top.
Again, 11" x 17" is the standard for art boards. You can buy them at Michels or online. I buy mine with pre-ruled with the blue non-reproducable lines (they wont show up when scanned if you are new to art - its why many use blue pencil lead for rough sketches; when scanned it doesnt show up or can be filtered out easily if bad printer). You want heavy stock and that leads to bristol board and smooth is best for getting pencils and inks on.
Strathmore is a standard brand name for this. Image attached is roughly what they look like. Joe Kubert art store provides these boards already pre-ruled and in bulk if you can buy there. http://www.kubertartstore.com/ - they use Strathmore for their boards. There are several retailers that provide these and in bulk for savings (remember, 22 per book roughly - it adds up fast).
I'm all over this. I'll dump what I've got.
I also have a small library's worth of art, writing and cartooning guides I can upload to our Volafile page, if anyone wants.
But no Christopher Hart!
Here are two e-zines I know are looking for submissions.
More Art related resources
For other bristol board, you can cheap out and get something like Neenah Exact Vellum Bristol 250 sheets for dirt cheap. These are only 67 lb bristol. Very thin (relative to the more cardstock-like boards listed earlier). however, very, very cheap. Good for beginners that want a feel for drawing on them and for practice. They have more grip than the 'Smooth' bristol (vellum has 'tooth' to it - better for certain tools, worse for others, but still nice). If a true beginner, but have some talent already, I'd try these out if you want to play with medium similar ot professional level and get your feet wet. If submitting to anyone or self publishing, stick to the standard strathmore stuff.
Pencils - I use Staedtler 925 mechanical drafting pencils. I have a variety of sizes from 0.3 to 2mm lead holder/clutch pen. Each with different leads.
You technically could do everything with one or two pencils. I use my 2mm clutch pen with a blue Staedtler Mars Lumograph lead. It is for my construction and basic 'scribbling' of layouts. I can proceed to ink over this if I want and scan finished where it will be removed (dont have to erase at all) or I can scan it and do digital inking or manipulate it or start with it digitally and print it out to ink over. Lots of options. But this is a good to for me as starting pencil. Most new artists likely wont be used to the 2mm sized lead and clutch pens in general. Slight learning curve. So much easier than shaving off wood with an exacto knife to get access to the longer leads though. I absolutely swear by this.
My other mechanical pencils are drafting pencils, also Staedtler 925s, as stated. Other brands are Rotring (expensive, but the pinnacle for all drafting mechanical pencils, big in architecture, like $40 each I think), Pental, and Uni Kurotoga. Jetpens.com is a good site for details and reviews of all things pencil and pen if you want more. I bought mine all on Amazon. Staedtlers are metal body, good weight, stylish, nice grips and close to Rotring, but a fraction of cost at about $10 each.
Small note - these arent your 20 for $5 mechanical pencils in school. Mostly used in drafting/architecture, artists have made switches to them in recent years. You'll be hard pressed to break the leads (provided you buy the good leads, like Ain Stein and so on). They are not flimsy plastic and will last you a lifetime. Many people still use old Pentel Graphmaster 500s or Rotring 300s theyve had for decades - just buy new leads. And, again, the leads would require you to physically try to break them in 99% of cases. Dont be afraid of the constant clicking to get a lead to come out and have snap on first letter like in school. That's not how these work. Write and draw like smooth butter on paper.
My leads are Ain Steins. I have 8B, 6B, 4B, 2B, HB, 2H and 4H. Covers everything I could need. Tombow Eraser Pen with a 2.3 mm head, Eraser shield, standard 3 French curves, a drafting board with parallel bar (you can use a T-square for same effect), adjustable triangle, electric eraser, and variety of ellipse guides for just about every size and degree.
Standard pencils can be used, of course, and I still recommend Staedtler. The Mars Lumographs come ina tin with every lead type. Usually $10-15 for pack of 8B to 4B or some such. Better deals online. These pencils dont break like your old school pencils. You wont find many where you sharpen it and lead keeps falling out and you lose quarter of the pencil sharpening.
Copic multiliners. Perfect in every way. Many do their inks digital, but they are sterile looking to me. Perfect lines and perfect hatches and always looks the same. Few greats do it right digitally. Most grab inking brush packs and auto generate Kirby Krackle, cross hatching, etc.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AazUa6XjL8 - this is what I'm talking about for digital inking. I like Robert Marzullo, but this type of brush pack is a cancer on comics just like google sketchup. People arent learning how to ink - they are learning to pick a brush and keep trying/ctrl+z until it "looks right". Effects and inks all look the same every time now. It's like an uncanny valley feeling looking at some images. Colourists ruin everything, too. But thats a different topic.
Back to inks.
You dont need copics, as they are expensive. For many years, Micron Pigmas were used almost exclusively. They are still quite good and much cheaper. You can get a simple 8 pack with variety of sizes and usually a brush pen for like $10-15 I think.
Faber Castell Pitt Pen for filling in your major blacks/shadows is another go to. Dont want to be 'scribbling' with a multiliner to fill in a cape or swaths of hair that are all black.
Money in Comics
For major publishers and general rates:
Pencils - $150-300 per page
Inker - $100-150 per page
Can get up to $450 per page if you pen and ink yourself. Sign exclusive with higher page rate for pro-rated money. Skies limit at this point. Well higher than $450 per page freelancing and pencilling and inking own work. 6 figures easily if you are consistent and in demand or work up to major characters or events.
Original art returns are supplementary, to which you can sell for more money. Average page can sell for $300 (much more for splashpages, less for copy paste panels) for the average Marvel/DC artist. Jim Lees and others selling splashpages obviously can make 4 figures on a page.
Can get percentages/royalities if you are breaking 40,000 sales levels and more. Digital royalities also apply (can be quite low unless being bought, $0.05 per digital is a rough estimate). TPB can be gravy with everything being collected today (Marvel used to never collect anything, was quite brutal in 70s and 80s). About a $1 per 6 issue trade comes back to artist/inker.
Equity for creating characters, especially if they show up in toys or movies or games. Twice a year and can be quite substantial pay if you have multiple characters, even minor side characters or villains. DC best for this because of animation - all those animated Flashpoints, First Flight, million Batman movies, etc can come back to you if they use even one character you helped design or a story you were part of. Random Green Lanter Corp members, for isntance, there to fill space are royalties.
Krita - free photoshop alternative. Quite robust. Was using it recently and surprised how far its come over the years. You can find or make your own brushes and it works well with several pen displays I've tried/have access to.
Clip Paint Studio - cheap, but extremely powerful toolset. I recommend it and use it myself, but goddamn is it also a cancer on comics. So many use the 3d models and convert to lineart options and basically trace or photobash with this suite. I love the features I get with this program though. Panels and speech bubbles, in particular, are very easy to do yourself. Perspective lines and speed lines are so easy (guilty of abusing it at times - contributes to 'perfect' and sterile looking art I mentioned in previous posts, lacks the life of free hand line works, but goddamn is fast on a deadline). Might do more on this or provide tips. Try to limit brush packs to g-pens and finerliners and so on. Once you start using "brushes" for kirby dots, bat silhouettes, leaves, trees, grass, rocks, etc, the crutch becomes too much. You'll never draw minor things again and let the program do the work. Lot of manga does this too, but most dont notice it. Comics are abusing it all the time now.
Photoshop - obviously still good. I dont think its required for comics. I use it for painting or some manipulation, but its not my primary source for comic creation.
Illustrator - letterers use it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uE276JftSw - 2014 SDCC letterers panel goes over a lot. You can get by with just manga studio/cps if you want. SFX in modern Marvel comics are from literal free packs of sounds or couple dollar packs. Its sad seeing them and comparing to even 5 years ago. I prefer to warp panels into sfx or hand draw them. Feel more impactful. Open up couple Marvel comics and look at the cheap looking sfx across books. its painful. Good if you are under deadline I guess. Chepa and easy. CPS is easy speech bubbles. I dont think you need a new tool beyond that. Illustrator better for manipulation, like warping text around curved surfaces (say on side of plane or on cars).
SKetchup - I HATE this program. I dont even want to talk about it really. If you want to trace backgrounds, go nuts. Download it, spin the camera and take snapshots and print into your background panels. Id rather a couple ruled lines or smokey empty backgrounds than see these diarrhea on pages. photobashing a picture into the background is just as bad. (ex - that car monster is all 3d models pasted together, probably over a 3d wireframe body blown up - no actual drawing or the 2 artists that traced artwork and called it their drawings).
That's not to say never trace or reference. Just…actually know what you are doing first. Many have perspectives off. Everything is perfect. But the foreground/characters have different lighting and shadows and dont fit the size/perspective chosen. Use dynamic angles instead of flat angle shots. They all make these tv thumbnail layouts - like taking screenshots of big bang theory every 5 seconds - every angle is flat straight on or flipped to look the opposite set of chairs. Thats not comics. Tracing/sketchup almost always leads to this because they dont know composition, foreshortening or dynamics of comic shots. Perfect proportions arent interesting either unless EVERYTHING is perfect (Bryan Hitch heavily references, but is a good way to look at how to do it right).
I dont really use much else. I have images and reference sheets and numerous character folders and what not scattered about, digital and pinned on walls. Toys are good at times, too. You can pose them, see from all angles, etc. Makes a solid reference to get a shot the way you want (3d models can do this, but the toys have 'comic proportions' and easier for dynamic and quick looks, etc).
PS4 has been fun for me lately, too. That Spiderman game has a Vintage costume from Romita Sr days. It looks amazing. Photo mode and the different poses it gives have been huge source of references for me. I wish they had done the entire game in this style.
I prefer the 60-80s art style and fell in love with this. The colours and "ink lines" were perfect, too, but also feel modern. Thinking of copying the effect for other work. Good reference body and poses for Spider-Man, Daredevil, Batman (aside from extreme bending poses), or any street level hero.
Some artists dont know how much to draw before having it inked. You can discuss with an inker, obviously, but even when working with yourself, you dont have ot draw everything - the inker can fill in most things.
Attached is a cover of Amazing Spider-Man in pencil and ink stage wiht the Vulture. Note how little is actually drawn, detailwise, and what the inking stage does. There's virtually no reason to draw all that. Wasting your time filling in shadows and adding tiny webbing when the inker can handle the same thing without you spending an hour on it is a good way to fall behind.
John Romita Sr art is also shown. You can see how he scribbles most of the original art and just marks out the areas that will be ink washed and lets the inker fill out the thicker or thinner outline lines. You dont *have* to draw everything perfect. Comics are a team game. Let the inker do his job. Focus on yours. He's not just a tracer like most assume. Its one of the most important jobs in comics and many artists are ruined by inkers and some are made into legends by them.
I'm going to take a break after this post. I'll let others contribute if they wish and come back for comments if needed. Will have some composition and background related images and discussion compiled. Motion of characters in panels, making them 'pop' and shortcuts.
For this last one, I just wanted to touch on Scrivener/writing aspect again. I attached Roger Sterns original script for Kid Who Collects Spider-Man, too.
The scrivener image is not mine. Just a random example image. The other is Fred Van Lente's template in action from earlier posts (linked to his page).
You can work in split screen vertical or horizontal mode. The column on the far left can be expanded to show everything you've added and can quickly swap between all files related to the comic. Different subsections can be made or rename the ones there. This is just default listings.
I generally keep character lists, character profiles (all current information like eye color, height, weight, aliases, romance, images of costumes and casual clothes, groups they were in, dead/alive, jail/MIA/where abouts and list of comic appearances, among other details http://www.spiderfan.org/article/characters/index.html - click any of the characters and its somethign like that, just for whatever project Im working on). I do the same for settings (Metropolis, Superman apartment, Daily Planet, JLA satellite, Kansas farm, STAR labs, Luthor's tower - whatever is related, I have detailed notes on what it looks like, reference photos, general location in the city/earth/etc).
You can have notes for random ideas, subplots, basic plot(s) and so on. These are usually in multiple Word documents, but can be split screened in Scrivener and opened/accessed instantly at any point or always there for you to use. I use the research as general part of my templates for whatever I'm working on (ie I dont have to copy all that Superman data into a new Scrivener file if I start a different project or redo/copy paste New York references, etc - they are all still there if I make a new file for a new book).
It doesnt sound like some huge achievement, but anyone thats worked with word or constantly tabbing or switching to new windows for online resources will know how annoying it can get. It has do not disturb/full screen modes so it stops you from tabbing to social media or get distracted and other simple features, too. I really love this program for both novels and comic writing. By far the best thign to happen to me when I found it. It can open any standard text files (doc, docx, pdf, etc) and save to them as well. Keeps me organized and any idea can be thrown into random research or scraps folder to be expanded on later while not disrupting work flow or having some infinite long word doc or 9 different word windows to tab through to find what you were looking for.
Again, this is personal preference and experience. LOTS still use Word exclusively. Some have templates for it, but LOTS still just type with no major formatting other than line breaks and all caps words. It's personal preference in the end. Some work more closely wiht the artist and dont need to detail it too much. Some do Marvel way. Some have mountains of details and overwhelming text walls. Whatever works to get it on the page I suppose. Just providing my own 2 cents on what I use and find works best for me.
Reminder that >>>/art/ and >>>/loomis/ exist for art critique. Also, I found this interesting repository of articles pertaining to comic book writing:
That's incredible. The cell shading looks so well done.
This is a wonderful thread. Thanks OP.
I didn't know we could post pdfs.
Is there anywhere I can see the size limits and what formats are supported? I couldn't see anything on the FAQ.
I've heard that Scott McCloud's books are the Extra Credits of comic books, but I keep seeing pages posted here. How accurate is that description?
Reinventing Comics was tosh, but Understanding Comics is one of the greatest books about comics, and one of the greatest comics, by one of the masters of the form.
Anyone bitching about Scott McCloud is a basic bitch who can't do what he does.
/pol/ posted pdfs and led me to /pdfs/. I'm not sure the exact size limit or if its board specific. I think it shares same upload sizes for webms/mp4s.
I've never read McCloud's - only saw random panels. I dont think the little I've seen is a good teaching aid. The panel above has some good tips, but the comic book format he's explaining it in and cutesy character simplify things too much.
Here's an example page with Batman and Jason. It's basically everything listed in the McCloud page, but doesnt clutter it with the explanation and put your focus on McClouds persona. This isnt the best art for a Batman comic, but the composition is amazing. Each character looks in the direction the reader will follow. The arrows drawn on show this path. They also point you to the first speech bubble and where to go next.
The general rule of speech bubbles/text is that the reader's eye will move towards the next closest text box regardless of what panel it is in or if the current panel has more text.
Batman's cape and body combined with the balloon break this rule in panel 4 and point you to the far left bubble instead of the 'any fool' bubble that is a little too close.
This one page shows everything McCloud is doing in that double spread, is less cluttered and is a practical application of everythign he tries to say.
Is McCloud's book good? I cant say without reading it. The information in it is sound based on the few pages posted Ive seen over time. It feels like a book that is written for people that already know the topics he's discussing rather than for actually learning from based on the samples Ive seen.
Continuing with some composition discussion for panels. I'll be using Walt Simonson's Thor run for majority of examples.
The first images will follow the 'lead the reader's eye' disucssion above. Note the first image's vertical composition. This is the first introduction to Surtur's DOOM hammering. The first thing is the vertical panels. Note that it is not 4 equal panels. The 4th is significantly larger than previous 3. This is intentional. Not just a 'oh, I have more space to fill, just extend this panel to the edge' decision.
The next major theme is contrast. There is a lot of bright light from the explosions. Modern colorists would wash this out in a muddy mess of digital 'fire'. Theyd blend all the colours to look 'realistic'. The coloring and actual drawing of the explosion is deliberate and allows for the limited color pallets of the timer to make every part distinct and 'pop' at the reader. You arent lost in the explosion or coloring. The third panel's blackness in space is another deliberate choice. It provides the dividing contrast and some scale (planetoid in lower part). Without any text, we know something cosmic exploded and left behind some object and its massive and powerful and still radiating in space. This leads to the climaxing panel of somethign taking it. They are using blacksmith tools and picking it up, fully identifying this as an ingot. Not one word is required to understand this. Being a Thor comic, you may know about his magic uru hammer and forged by dwarves and what not. This scene shows a weapon maybe even more powerful being built by some shadowy figure. This is just one page and no mention of dialogue in the composition.
For text, its narration only to open this comic and scene. I dont know if Simonson was first to use this, but I love his gutters and how he uses them - the narration box pushes itself into the first panel from the edges. This box being at the top of the panel is something mentioned in that McCloud comic and a standard for comics. A vertical panel, even if action at the very bottom, should have text at the top as we read from top to bottom, left to right. If it was at the bottom, text in the second panel might draw the eye first, despite the first panel havign action at the bottom if you put text down there. http://eddiecampbell.blogspot.com/2007/02/last-word-in-speech-balloons_25.html is a good little resource on this lettering aspect of comics.
Next, is the twisting of his narration box when the action - and panel itself - EXPLODE. The box breaks into the 2nd and gets thrown off angle to match the explosions. Simple but effective. You turn your head slightly to read and the explosion across panels is instantly visible and you feel it.
The third text panel brings you back into the third panel. After the explosion, you are seeking the next thing to find. You hit the gutter between the 2nd and 3rd panel. You trace it with your eye along the blackness of space until the gutter extends into the panel, instantly bringing you into the space.
The final panel is instantly locked onto the ingot and you trace the billy single tongs back their source. The final text box again bleeds into the gutter and leads you to the next page at the same time as there is no border on it to stop you from turning the page.
To me, this page is the definition of perfection. The stylish introduction title at the top, the composition, the coloring, the unique panels and epic scale of what is occurring - everything combines into something you NEED to keep reading. You dont know whats happening,b ut you know its huge. You dont know who it is, but you know Thor is going to be in trouble. You NEED to keep reading. This is page 1 of Simonson's run (the 5 at the bottom is from the trade collection). Page 1.
Page 2 is the same figure wielding the ingot and tongs. It is a 2 panel page cut in half horizontally. Space is provided to show the size and scale of the actions taking place. It's a simple composition and basic, but what happens inside these panels is the magic and how the 2 page spread leads to the next splashpage.
Contrast - again, we have the vast blackness of space, the shadowed figure and the pure brightness of the star infused ingot. We lock onto the bright line of motion and trace it back as it loops to over the figures shoulder. We can feel the motion as we do this. The planetoids provide the massive scale of the situation. The same applies to the bottom panel. We see and feel the motion. We are drawn to the motion line and compelled to follow it across the panel to the final text box, again bleeding into the gutter and sending us to the next page.
This page also features a unique theme in coloring for text boxes with the blue 'Listen'. White is the default for everyone. You read it normally. Blue is typically a cool, calming tonal color. It immediately stands out and you are drawn to it instinctively after the first text. It repeats the word 'Listen'. it feels like a whisper repeating 'listen' as you can only sit quietly and follow the power and motion of this figure.
The dialogue continues in the second panel and its placing is deliberate - you read it and immediately pursue the arc of the tongs, again, ending in the final text bleeding into the gutter, compelling you to turn the page.
All motion is conveyed. All scale and power is felt. The text and use of color has silenced you, leaving you only to look and wonder at what is happening. And then…
DOOM! on page three as the ingot is slammed onto the cosmic anvil by the massive, shadowy figure. You feel the vibrations that reverberated out to a billion worlds. Your eyes followed the tongs and slamming of the ingot onto the anvil. Youve been compelled for 3 pages to trace this motion and have been unable to do anything but Simonson wanted you to do. The 4-2-1 panel build up across 3 pages is another composition technique. Superman's death did it across entire issues. Jurgens would have 4 panel pages, then 3 panel, then 2, and the death ends in nothing but 22 splash pages. It was the same technique across books and brought home Superman's death that much more.
Panels dictate time. Add more panels and time slows down. Reduce your panels and time speeds up. The last page shows this in action. Its from a random tutorial or artist page. I forget exactly where, but it compared it to the movie Pyscho where they had like 90 cuts (where the camera changes to a different angle of the scene, like one face to another close up and so on) in a minute of time. He showed the same effect in comic panels with a 16 page spread of opening a door. You just want the door open by the end of it. This can be used in any comic when you want that effect. Simonson's 4-2-1 in these 3 pages speeds up time and builds momentum to the splashpage. It's deliberate. It evokes emotion and sense of time. It's something lost in many comics today.
It is not nearly as bad as Extra Credits. Unlike that show, Understanding Comics and Making Comics do not have mostly false information and are decent sources on how medium works. Reinventing Comics is just conjecture, speculation, and wishful thinking. There is little value in reading it.
For me, the biggest problem with McCloud's book is how repetitive they can get at times, and some of the explanations in them are a bit too short, while others drag for longer than they should. Keep in mind that if you have read European comics, manga, and older American comics, you might have already be aware of many things McCloud talks about in his books. However, they are still worth a read to make you realize something new or to make you think more about certain thinks. For me it was the use of gutters.
To contrast those pages, here's three from Mighty Thor with Jane Foster. It's page 1 to 3, opening the comic, similar to the above Simonson pages.
Page 1 - The page is all darkness. A giant cloud. Oh, there's some lightning near the bottom that draws the eye to it. So you want to skip the entire page and go down there on first viewing. You have to force yourself to the top left. This is terrible contrast and composition to begin with.
Lets look at the 'art'. It's a cloud. The image is one big cloud. It's not multiple clouds for each panel drawn by the artist. This is a real life photo colored over and used as a wallpaper for the entire page. They then added some lines that were given the standard blue lightning effect. The sound effects are tiny. Some you can barely read as they overlap the oversaturated blue lightning. Is this a loud effect? Is something big happening? It feels tiny, inconsequential. Its relegated to the bottom right and near hte light.
Panels are a joke. This could be done in MS paint with a rectangle tool. It doesnt break up the image or guide action. It does slow down time a bit by having panels, but the page is extremely boring and dull to begin with. Someone was paid to go to a stock photo of a thunderstorm and paste it on a board and draw some rectangle boxes on it. There's nothing guiding your eye from text box to text box. It's an endless free fall of walls of text. I dont want to read any of it. Chain lightning should lead you from text box to text box if you are doing such a lazy intro scene. These comics also have those full page walls of text with recaps in them. No information was given to us in this page. We dont knwo whats causing this, why that history of the realms matters and it builds to nothing because…
Page 2 is a giant double page splash of War Thor and Girl Thor doing something. I dont know what. Someone has to explain it to me. Composition - we have two people on two pages. They are both in profile and both roughly the same size. If you extend girl Thor's legs out at the current size, she is roughly as tall as this War thor. There is nothing dynamic about these poses. One should be higher than the other. We should have an angle spread from corner to corner. There should be some dynamism or symbolism (higher is superior/lookign down, good guy rising up from lower panel, think goku vs vegeta fight where vegeta always has high ground in saiyan arc when they face each other).
Our eye was drawn to the very center of this page by the bright blue light. I dont know where to look next. I feel like I'm bouncing back and forth. There's no line of motion to follow. I have to figure out what happened myself. Oh, there's a tiny text box at the top, lets move there. Ok, that didnt tell me anything. Follow down War Thor below it. If they are fighting, he is chest bumping like a football player after a touchdown? He has a giant axe hammer. It is not a follow through swing. He is in this pose deliberately. Oh, there's blood. He got hit I guess. Let's look at other person.
Did she break her hips? Her torso is twisted so far its facing away from War Thor. But her legs are on sideways if that happened. Bad anatomy. Lets figure out what she did. Oh, shes cocking hte hammer back to swing at him. Getting ready for a big swing. But he's bleeding. Its our first introduction to anyone and this fight in this issue. They wasted 2 pages on this double splash. Something happened. Is she going to back hand him with the hammer? Again, hes bleeding, so this is somehow her followthrough swing? Where'd she hit him? The weird soundeffect that takes up the entire gutter of the splash and is barely visible non-digitally is following War Thor's lightning arc back to his war axe. Did he make the hit? Is that his SFX? Is he bleeding from another issue? She couldnt have swung. Shes practically doing a 360 followthrough if thats the case. War Thor didnt swing. Hes chestbumping. No leverage or motion for it.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS DOUBLE PAGE SPLASH? Why was so much uninformative text on page one and this so bare? What has happened in THREE full pages?
Understanding Comics is one of the Big Three that everyone in the industry was expected to have read, back when we had standards:
Understanding Comics, How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way, and Will Eisner's Comics And Sequential Art.
There's a 4th page attached, too (technically 3 'pages' since I count the double splash as a single 'page' for comparison). This follows that splash. Did War Thor hit Girl Thor? Did she hit him? Was she swinging? Note the splash - Girl Thor had her hammer in her right hand and is her dominant hand. If she hit him or not is irrelevant. War Thor immediately cold cocks her in the face and her right hand is missing the hammer. Her body was all twisted to the left in the splash. The hammer by her waist. War Thor comes up and to her right with his fist, completely turning her body around nearly 300 degrees from her last position. And her hammer disappears. Did she drop it?
Oh wait, lets see the next panel. She was just punched. Her hand didnt have the hammer. Now she is no where near War Thor (where was the panel showing her being sent flying by that punch? Where did War Thor go after the punch? No follow up? Stopped moving? What is happening in this fight?). SHE THROWS THE HAMMER WITH HER RIGHT HAND. Whered the hammer go? When did she get it back? When did she get distance to throw it? To recover?
Third panel War Thor is back to wielding his war axe. He baseball swings the hammer, driving it sideways perpendicular to his stance and into the panel's background from our viewing point. He's basically deflected it and Girl Thor is deprived her weapon for a moment. He should be going in for more damage. There's a lot of power to this scene, though art gets deprived any real effect by the coloring and lightning effect.
The hammer was sent back at her? He clearly hit it sideways. It was coming straight at him, so the hammer should clearly be no where near either. Where she's standing, how did she throw this? They are like 5 ft away at most. She wound up, threw it and he batter stanced it away when they are that close and he *just* punched her in the face? I thought she was sent flying and threw the hammer from a distance? I thought War Thor batted it to the side away from both of them. By scale, the hammer is in orbit now?
There are major issues in storytelling in this comic. One is the lack of panels. The first page slaps white gutters randomly on a single image that encompasses the page (a real world cloud painted over basically). There is no other art on that page.The panels make no sense. They add nothing and tell nothing. Pages 2-3 are a giant splash page of nothing. Theres no action, no dialogue, no context and the composition makes no sense and conveys nothing to the reader. The final page of this modern Thor is complete nonsense. They are fighting. Make them throw hammers and stuff must hvae been the directions given to him. There's no thought to the fight. The actions make no sense and flow is wrong. Hammers appear and disappear as needed. Previous action is ignored and consequences never shown - she got hit but is now on offensives, she threw a hammer she didnt have in that hand, the man didnt followup his viscious punch, he batted away a hammer thrown from 5ft away, the hammer went in the opposite direction it was shown to be batted towards - its nonsensical.
Finally, backgrounds - they are nonexistent. They asked the digital colorist to saturate everything with blue chain lightning and the same cloud from page one is visible as the default background in the splash and far background on edges of final page. The panel gutters dont really divide the final page. Compare this to the explosion of Surtur's ingot and anvil smash - everything popped. You could see the action and follow it. Panels progressed time towards final action. Narration provided context but the art conveyed the entire story, too. It made use of all the aspects of comics medium. In modern Thor, they are fighting over something. The fight is a jarring mishmash of attacks that make no sense. We had some clouds to start and some Norse creation history. What hell did I just read? Thats 20% of the comic. There's no craft here. Text boxes are placed randomly. Panels arent used. Gutters are ignored. Sound effects are these tiny things on page one and some weird rolling text through the literal staple gutter of 2 pages in the splashpage. There are no SFX on the page where they literally fight. They dont use the comic medium and conventions in any way. They arent telling a story. They arent conveying scope, time, emotion or anything else. The colorist should be fired on the spot and never allowed to work again. He's destroyed whatever art was there with the lightning and mess of colors.
To get back to composition and storytelling, here's some Loki establishing shots from Simonson. Note that these are the first appearances of Loki in his run and in different issues. We have not seen him from Simonson's run and he hasnt been mentioned. What does he do? He tells us who he is! Shocking, I know, but some people might not know or recognize him, especially with his horns off.
The first one had an establishing shot of the scene change. It shows Loki's castle and tells you this is Loki's castle and he is a prince of Asgard. 1) we know who he is. 2) we know he's a prince of Asgard - really important person. 3) he has his own castle. This is a simple text box and told us lots of info. The text box is at the top of a vertical panel that uses a bugs eye 3 pt perspective to show this castle looming into the sky. Simple panel, but absolutely perfect in every way.
The very next panel, Loki tells us he is Thor's brother. he doesnt have to monologue or do this. It's not completely blatant either. "Ah, my brother Thor…". He tells the reader he is Thor's brother. He shows in a single line he does not like him and insults his ponytail. It told us so much about Loki in one sentence and works in character to inform new and old readers alike who he is and what his relationship with Thor is. This is how you catch readers up. Not some splashpage with war and peace written on it 4 pages in like they do now.
Final thing for this page I want to highlight is for artists. Watch the panels of Loki as he throws his cup.We have the crimson background face. he pours his wine, the same color, but now a blue background. He drinks with a yellow background and then smashes it with a white background. Each movement is accented by the colors. The main thing I want you to notice is the subtle turning of Loki in every panel. He is facing us straight on and gradually turns to the right in every panel until he throws the glass horizontally to the right, which also leads you to the end of the page to turn and move on. This is so subtle, yet absolutely masterful in everyway. The text wraps around each image. we zig and zag down the panels as this motion takes place before our eyes. The colors make it pop. There's no background, but it tells more than any pasted set of clouds or traced background ever could. All while capturing the essence of Loki, his frustrations and relationship with Thor. This is the first time he is ever in a Simonson issue and everyone reading this page knows who Loki is, his motivations, his hatred of Thor and his villainous intentions and rage/jealousy.
The next page is from another issue early in his run. I forget the number. It's the first time Loki appears in the issue and I believe since the previous page I discussed. Note another establishing shot of his castle, but slightly different. He didnt cut and paste or retrace it or use a sketchup render. The second panel has Loki introduce himself! Ive read comics today where characters arent named for entire issues. Simonson went out of his way to inform new and old readers picking up this issue that this guy is Loki. His dialogue all tells you his character in 2 panels. He didnt use Loki facing forward talking to the reader with cut and paste panels and Seinfeld/Big Bang dialogue. Its natural. Its in character. This is what you should strive to do when writing characters and introducing new or old ones.
http://www.blambot.com/ - free comic book fonts for indies and non-commercial use
http://new.comicraft.com/ - industry standard
http://www.ninjalettering.com/ - lots of information and videos with how-tos and ins and outs of lettering.
Formatting Text for Digital Letterering:
The Crossbar - This is the line that bounds a capital I or the line across the top of a J in most fonts. In comics, the standard is basically all CAPS for letters. You want to the lowercase i and j for digital lettering in most cases. Pronouns get the crossbar version. Image has an example of text that is formatted for comics showing when crossbar versions are used vs the lowercase version.
Typically, a script will come in MS Word with various style and typing problems. Tabs, double spaces after periods, standard capital and lowercase text, autocorrect hyphens by MS Word into double-ems, ellipses turned into the smaller … and so on. You need to fix all that before you can just drop it into illustrator or what not. It's annoying. You'll hate it. There are easy ways to fix it fast with Find and Replace tools or if you know/can find python scripts or other programs to do this for you. Otherwise go through it all and fix it before you start laying down text.
Adobe Illustrator is industry standard. Vector text that is easily manipulated and designed specifically for this type of work.
Inkscape is a free program, but not very robust in comparison. Something to get started with if you are interested in lettering though. https://inkscape.org/ I havent used it in a decade, so I dont know if it progressed to the point its a good alternative now or not. Every letterer I know uses Illustrator and odd indy uses CPS.
Clip Paint Studio - cheap program. Good for comics and manga. I'm not an expert on lettering, but it seems to cover all the basic options you'll need. It's a good all-in-one program for comics and manga.
http://www.balloontales.com/the-comicraft-glossary-of-lettering-terms/ - glossary of letterer terms.
I've also attached an older lettering guide from Jim Campbell. It's a little out of date, but the information is still sound. Techniques to do it digitally are likely easier or better/quicker tools.
How do I filter out only the free stuff? Every font I try downloading is paid.
Thanks for the resources op but we can do without the essays.
>we can do without the essays.
You can do without a brain you TL;DR reddit faggot.
The ones that have an F in a speech bubble are free. The ones with a P you have to pay for. There are other…alternative… ways to find the fonts, too.
You're only exposing yourself.
You can ignore the text if you want. Posting a random picture like this Golden Ratio layout doesnt tell you what it is or how it works. Even posting the page with some art doesnt really tell you much or what it accomplishes. I'm not sure why posting random images like this would be what you would want. An explanation and how to apply it or what storytelling opportunities it provides seems like what you would want to know about it.
Something like this architecture building of a drawing stands on its own. I wouldnt fill a page explaining it. I was hoping more would join it or express interest in the topics. There's not much traffic on this board as it is and you want me to not post information in a thread about comic creation I made to share information or people's own struggles with comics. Some might not know 11x17" is the standard page size or about blue pencil pre-ruled boards. They might not know what pencils to use or how inking works. The whole point was to tell them that and share knowledge for any looking to start.
It's hard to explain storytelling methods and how to layout panels or scripts (not just the script, but when you come up with ideas, how many pages it should take, figuring out how to fit it into 22 pages before youe ven write a single page of your script) without writing some text. The problem is people think a simple infograph is all that is needed and thats why comics are tumblr tier now. No one has any knowledge of how to make comics. They failed in novels, tv, movies, etc and just want comics to get a name or to get their real work picked up. They dont know how to use the medium. And no one is teaching or cares. They now dominate editorial and hiring and PR.
If reading a 3 paragraph "essay" is too much work, you probably arent going to be making any comics in the first place.
Nevermind our local retard, art anon, just ignore him completely.
I personally appreciate your explanations a lot, especially given how you put so much thought and research into them. Most anons on the board probably don't make comics or draw in the first place but information like this is quite interesting to know and may just be the motivation they need to actually start doing anything.
Thanks OP. That's a lot of good information.
I would also add Araki's Manga in Theory and Practice to the list. To my knowledge, it is the only 'How to make comics' book that goes outside of the box and discusses things like importance of a target audience, title, making an appealing cover, naming characters and so on. Araki does not spoonfeed you the answers - instead he just brings topics up, provides some examples and guidelines, and usually leaves it to the reader to think and find what works best through experimentation. That might be a con for some people.
Here's a mega link, since pdf did not want to upload with the post for some reason: https://mega.nz/#!TdIy1SxY!IZ1UUpAe4riL_QPq2Cq-0W2aX7eGuzeePvevzUQbPpQ
By the way, how do you go about finding original images and models for tracers and sketchup faggots?
https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/ has some. Clip Studio Paint has their own store - just search by free and download whatever you want. 3D model is there by default for male and female that lets you pose any way you wish and you can increase sizes of every body part independently (so you can make broader chests, giant manga heads, giant hands like how they trace for Ms Marvel all the time, etc while keeping rest of body the same shape). Poses are on the store if you are too lazy to dick around with the base 3d model yourself.
It also has a convert to line art function, so you can just take a random image and it will spit out a line art version of it for you. Something like this radio basically. Or you can find the objects on the store. There are other resource pages for the non-free versions of things.
Looks like shit
Just draw the goddamn radio yourself, even if you're shit it'll look better
It was an example showing it step by step. Everything in these images is traced. Even the giant is a 3d model traced over with proportions stretched. You're also looking at that radio in an extreme closeup. It's one panel on a page at 600dpi. When its reduced to 300dpi and not zoomed in, it looks like every other object in manga. You can look at american comics and see the tumblr artists with digital colorists and inkers covering over the blatant 3d models if you want more examples.
All that looks like ass. Hand drawn always looks better.
Getting advice from Adam Warren on facial design and expressions is like getting cooking advice from Jeffrey Dahmer.
True. However, I would kill Warren's advice on how to draw clothes and textures. This is something that gets overlooked way too often, and there is little information on it compared to things like anatomy or perspective. And Warren is among the best artists when it comes to drawing both of those. You can immediately tell leather and spandex or wool and denim apart in his art.
too bad he couldn't draw her as well as he could trace everyone else. With a neck like that she stands above the crowd!
For fucks sake, now i can't unsee how long Sachi's neck is
Yes. It looks bad.
jokes aside, I don't think it looks bad necessarily. but I don't have any respect for Asano as an artist, You can't even say it was traced because it's photobashing with minor touch ups. It begs some serious questions I think- where do you draw the line between what is acceptable and unacceptable? Is it only unacceptable if it looks bad? Can I trace stockphotos or plagiarize work if the end justifies the means?
I've seen other people justify it because they think it looks good. But now I wonder what people think is right to do since they will blindly excuse the ethical boundaries because of quality.
I think it genuinely looks bad because it clashes way too much with everything that's actually hand drawn. The trees in the third one especially outright hurt my eyes to look at. I just keep imagining panels from Uzumaki or Berserk that are similar to grandoise or scale and it just looks better because it doesn't clash so much with everything in the foreground. It's also just messy. I didn't notice the weird guy in the first or second image and I didn't even notice the guy by the bridge in the third pic. People's eyes are drawn to all the wrong things.
Normally artists use level of detail to call objects out to the person looking. If everything has the same level of detail it doesn't stand out. In fact since the background has more detail than his own art the background stands out more than the characters do.
Berserk heavily takes from art when it comes to monster design and any complex environments - early on, its mostly straight edge/tsquare castles and simple backgrounds, but it becomes obvious where most of his ideas are inspired and directly taken from as time goes on. some he doesnt even try to blend them in. just straight up light box trace them.
I think this looks bad next to arguably more primitive photocopied photo backgrounds, like John Byrne and Ren Hayes use, because they deliberately keep it all in the background, this guy is generating his backgrounds and figures and not doing much more than slapping a filter over it, so it lacks the definition of fine linework and shading that other artists use to make the foregrounds and figures pop out of the background.
YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.
Then get your eyes checked.
It's not like he only does the backgrounds and that's it, i mean, what's your point?
It looks highly detailed and realistic without taking forever and adds a rather unique aesthetic style, why would anyone find that unacceptable?
>Can I trace stockphotos or plagiarize work if the end justifies the means?
I'd argue yes, if you can make something better than the original i as a third party would benefit, but i don't see how that is in any way similar to Asano's work.
>I think it genuinely looks bad because it clashes way too much with everything that's actually hand drawn.
You may not like the "clash", but don't forget opinions!=facts. funny thing i don't think they clash at all, they go pretty well together
>in fact since the background has more detail than his own art the background stands out more than the characters do.
Maybe that's the point of some of those panels.
I meant it looked good in the same way a photograph looks good, which is all it technically is. Compositionally it might not be very skilled which is saying something.
>It's not like he only does the backgrounds and that's it, i mean, what's your point?
Everyone and everything with the exception of a face being drawn over a body was not something he took time to construct and draw himself. As in, even with people, he takes a photo of a human being and traces over it, slaps a head on it, done.
>I'd argue yes, if you can make something better than the original i as a third party would benefit, but i don't see how that is in any way similar to Asano's work.
Because it's writing excuses for wannabe artists who can't draw, and in the long run leading to lower quality work. There are plenty of examples of artists using the same techniques with a low quality outcome, like the Gantz author. When you trace someone else's work we call that stealing, it doesn't matter what you as a third party think.
It's questionable how unique it is at this point, due to the fact that there are more lazy artists using photobashing and tracing as their means to an end. My problem is that there is no double standard- tracing, regardless of how good it looks, is not acceptable, Or it is, and awful art is justified and okay, so no one has any right to complain when they see shit like this.
Inio Asano is a fraud.
I don't like it, despite it being from photographs it just feels off. Maybe detailed backgrounds like that could work better in animated and colored form.
It objectively looks like trash.
>Maybe that's the point of some of those panels.
>The point of the panels is to not draw attention to the one unique element in the entire thing.
That's not how it works.
Look at all the shit you have to learn, but it's worth nothing if your comic sucks.
So what's more important? I think it's the story.
Will you fagots ever stop arguing about what shoe is the most important ? you need both
Sequential art is a combination of two elements of storytelling, writing and art, usually presumed equal. In my opinion I don't think your art needs to be top of the line for your comic to be good so long as one balances out the other. I have seen comics where the art was cute or pretty enough to blind people from it's dogshit storytelling (or even how the art itself sucks)- But I think in all cases where one outpaces the other eventually the readers will take notice and become bored with it.
Scott's book is great for a beginner looking to start. It's not the end all be all, but it gives you some basic tools and knowledge to construct them. Unfortunately in the end, and especially with a lack of experienced people to share information on comic making in general your own experience, failures, and successes have to be your teacher. But overall good comics need people who are serious about drawing comics- not hobbiests.
Hope you're not trying to make a point with that pic, because that'd be a retarded comparison.
>Everyone and everything with the exception of a face being drawn over a body was not something he took time to construct and draw himself.
I'm not a marxist, so i don't pay that much attention to the amount of work done to something when i consume it, i don't think something taking more time and effort is inherently more valuable, want to argue that doing it all by hand takes more work? then you'd be right, but that's a non sequitor.
>Because it's writing excuses for wannabe artists who can't draw, and in the long run leading to lower quality work. There are plenty of examples of artists using the same techniques with a low quality outcome
Just as there's tons of examples of people drawing it all by hand and failing, what's your point?
>When you trace someone else's work we call that stealing, it doesn't matter what you as a third party think.
Didn't say it wouldn't be stealing not quite imo, but as i said, it would benefit me so from my position so i would welcome it.
>It's questionable how unique it is at this point, due to the fact that there are more lazy artists using photobashing and tracing as their means to an end
>Or it is, and awful art is justified and okay, so no one has any right to complain when they see shit like this.
Of course you can complain, you're free to not like it, but what you're doing is taking a bad example and concluding that the entire technique is irredeemable, i could as easily make a collage with a bunch of ugly hand drawn pictures and conclude that hand drawing is trash.
>Inio Asano is a fraud.
And you're retarded.
>That's not how it works.
But it can be, what if i want to picture how small and insignificant a character is in comparison with the rest of the setting, or make the character blend in with the background to show how he is just another person or how lost he is etc, of course you can have panels where the point is to NOT draw attention to the one unique thing, go check BLAME! and then come back.
Do you enjoy storytelling delivered in an sequentially-illustrated format? Congratulations. You understand comics.
Some Jim Lee art tutorials (about 10 mins each)
On line weights and shading
Inks a subscribers Psylocke - shows a lot of inking techniques, including how to use tissue for energy effects, and just how big a difference an inker can make on average art. Watch if interested in inking.
Shadows on faces and general shadows
How to draw capes - very simple and cool way to understand fabric/capes and how wind/physics affect it.
His channel is filled with these, but most are hidden in hour+ long twitch streams. He does a great one that explains the major muscle groups of back and armpit and how they are Y shaped and easy tricks for ears. I think it was random spots in a 6 hour long cover stream for action 1000 or some such.
Also, some random pages of art with composition I like. Jupiter's Legacy fading out into the storyboards is one of the cooler effects for psychic powers I've seen. Cooke's use of lighting for the zippo. SOme Joe Mad Juggernaut - simple page, but loved how strong it makes juggs look. the bursting out of the water and couple panel stomping of Bishop and Gambit and joke about new xmen all worked perfectly for me. And the fourth is how you do a recap page - not these one page, no art walls of text like today. The use of the newspapers to tell the gangwar story was a nice touch.
I think it's easy to miss the point of why most working comic artists trace and photobash so much: it isn't always practical to draw everything on every page by hand when your livelihood is dependent on how fast you can shit out a bunch of pages at any given moment. To them, anything that can speed up their output can only help, not hinder. And artists have been tracing and swiping long before Photoshop, Poser, and SketchUp. Sure, the results are often obvious when rushed, but there is a legitimate reason for why artist abuse it.
Enjoying comics doesn't necessarily translate to understanding how they work. That train of thought is why we have a generation of faggots that barely know how to compose a page, let alone draw.
>Dave Stewart's lighting for the zippo
Seriously though, simple coloring is underrated.
The sad thing about this post is, the guy probably honestly thinks he dropped some truth bombs, but instead, he just made himself look like a twat.
Understanding Comics is like Smoke On The Water, everyone pays it out because in hindsight it all seems so obvious, and anyone could have done it, but who did?
Sunshine Of Your Love, Louie Louie, Head On, Satisfaction, Back In Black, sure, anyone could have come up with those riffs. But who did?
And anyone could have made a huge comic about comics, it seems like an obvious idea now, and there are guys in the industry who do things better than McCloud, before and after him. But who did?
>it isn't always practical to draw everything on every page by hand when your livelihood is dependent on how fast you can shit out a bunch of pages at any given moment
You have no idea how true that is. The old pros want you to think that they were true craftsmen, but those old pros used to scam the system in ways you can't imagine.
> just straight up light box trace them.
None of those are traced though. It looks more like he used them as reference and drew them in his own way, because NONE of the details line up in either of those image sets. Using an image and drawing it drom eye/memory is a completely different process.
>But it can be, what if i want to picture how small and insignificant a character is in comparison with the rest of the setting
There is a multitude of ways of doing that without making ugly art. Most commonly it requires a multi panel setup. You don't want to make these grandiose panels where something is clearly meant to stand out but it doesn't because you just grayscaled a fucking photograph and traced over the faces. Then you develop a disrepency when you skip to the comic refers to something the reader has not noticed.
The art up there is fucking trash.
>or make the character blend in with the background to show how he is just another person or how lost he is etc, of course you can have panels where the point is to NOT draw attention to the one unique thing, go check BLAME! and then come back.
The problem is the character in those panels posted are CLEARLY meant to stand out. Mr Weird Head is in the foreground and he's the only character that has a different design in that entire panel. Hell, in one image he has a mild fade effect around his head to make him stand out more. Yet he's the last thing I looked at when I enlarged the image, because the panel is bad, the art is bad, the shitty backgrounds detract way too much from the actual art.
>The sad thing about this post is, the guy probably honestly thinks he dropped some truth bombs, but instead, he just made himself look like a twat.
This coming from someone so pretentious that they have to play up my self-evident, simple statement as some grandiose "truth bomb".
>and there are guys in the industry who do things better than McCloud, before and after him. But who did?
Wood did. See the OP. He and the rest of the gang of idiots at MAD frequently broke down and demonstrated the mechanics of comics for humorous effect back in the early days when that publication was a comic itself. They did in a single page what it took McCloud an entire pretentious book to explain. And speaking of Wood, who was a master of the form if there ever was one, he would probably laugh right in McCloud's face after blowing his cigarette smoke in it.
I frequently point to Kirby's Silver Age run of Galactus and Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four and how fun it is to read and look at. Makes you wonder how Kirby managed to achieve all of this before McCloud came along with a big damn book to explain it like it's fucking rocket science and not the funny papers.
>Enjoying comics doesn't necessarily translate to understanding how they work. That train of thought is why we have a generation of faggots that barely know how to compose a page, let alone draw.
You mean like Fletcher Hanks?
And yet Wood, for all his genius, didn't make Understanding Comics. But who did?
Nice tutorials. One kind of inspired me so I've been working a bit on an animated comic. I've been waiting till I got gud to make something, but I think if I keep waiting to git gud nothing will get done. Figure I'll just do something for fun and if people like it then cool.
Alright, I'm going to give you my collection of Graphic-Sha's How to Draw Manga books
<hurr durr but that's weeb crap
Shut it. This the good shit and cover a lot that western books about comics leave out, like in-depth descriptions of tools, techniques that'll make your life easier, how to cheat with backgrounds, what panel lay-out works best for what and why, an explanation of the importance of line variation when inking, what to do when you fuck up, and a lot more. Lessons that don't just apply to manga but comics in general.
These books will give you some practical structure to build from when you make your own comics.
You motherfucker, I've been looking for these for a while now. Thanks for the dump.
You know, at times like this I really wish Alex Toth was still alive. That cantankerous fuck knew the shit out of comics. He ripped everyone apart with his critiques, from Bruce Timm to Steve Rude the latter of which became the stuff of legends https://archive.fo/RlKSB. He'd even accept amateur submissions mailed to his home and tear them a new bleeding asshole as too as was the case with Paul Pope http://paulpope.com/transmissions-1/. He would just stomp all over people's work, burning bridges and hurting feelings, but everything he said about them was absolutely right. Toth was a true master of the medium.
We'll never see his like again, I'm afraid.
Nice. Hey, you wouldn't happen to have the Antarctic Press How To Draw Manga series, would you? The one with all the articles by Ben Dunn, Adam Warren, Fred Perry, Rod Espinosa and Joseph Wight? I can't find it anywhere online.
Can you imagine if someone had sat down and got Toth to write his How To Draw Comics? Even those few pages where he tears into Rude are so good. Are there any more surviving examples of his critiques?
>There is a multitude of ways of doing that without making ugly art.
Such as Asano's work :^)
>The problem is the character in those panels posted are CLEARLY meant to stand out.
He's not supposed to be invisible either
I went through the first one in the 42 pack. It takes a long time to get to the actual point while trying to be funny with the comic part. It's about in line with draw comics the Marvel way, but just takes forever to get to its points. One thing I was hoping for was info on toner and it basically said 'they use toner, put it on and cut it out and you have tones!" and never really went into detail in this first book. I'll see if there's any changes in later issues. Liked the section on different head shapes (eyes, mouths, etc) for heroes, villains, cool, wild, etc personalities. Thanks for the upload.
Alterna has new printing program for people to piggy back on their print runs. Basically, if you are looking for a small print run of a comic (under 5000 roughly), they are now offering to help print yours for much cheaper by combining with their orders. It will NOT be an Alterna branded comic. It is YOUR comic and YOU are the publisher and distributer. They arent advertising or putting this through Diamond or anything else - just helping you print for a lot less than normal if you are an indie printing few hundred or even thousand copies of a book. They get printed with the big bulk of Alterna's using same format and paper and you avoid the heavy fees that are associated with changing out print presses, paper, etc this way.
book details and page specs:
*Must match the following. No exceptions.*
Saddle-stitched (stapled spine)
Cover stock: 60# gloss
Interior stock: 32# newsprint hibrite
Trim-size: 6.625" x 10.2"
Full bleed: 7.125" x 10.7" (quarter inch bleed on all sides)
Interior page counts need to be divisible by 8.
Your comic can be as short as 8 pages or as long as 80 pages (8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 72, 80)
Cover includes cover, back cover, inside front cover, and inside back cover – cover files do not count towards the interior page count
The link has more details on the program. They are only taking a handful of books in the first three months so as to not overwhelm themselves (they still have to format your book and make sure its laid out correctly for the printer, etc) or the printer. It will expand after the initial three month period.
If you were looking for options for printing a small 500-1000 print run of your book, this is a good place to start looking for pricing, etc.
Again, this is YOUR comic. Alterna does not own it nor sell it nor list it or distribute it. It's just a way for indie creators to get printing cheaper and easier - YOU are responsible for distribution and selling of the book after it is printed.
Case in point: Merryweather's webcomics are terrible, or at least used to be terrible, from a writing perspective. I know he used to visit 8/co/ long ago, so I am not sure if he is currently reading this (if you are, I am sorry for being so harsh; just being sincere, nothing personal), but I remember back in the day I analysed in depth every single one of his Aria and the Crawling city stories so far, and concluded that the stories had a lack of structure that allowed for a punchline, which made the strips fairly insipid were it not for the illustrator being very good at conveying visual jokes, or the "subtle irony" of the situation. All in all, it was a comic that didn't seem to know what it wanted to be, and while some hooks and hints at more serious plotlines were constantly dropped, they were soon forgotten, for some reason.
Point is, I don't know if it improved because, while I fucking loved Paroro's drawings (I swer on me mum South American weebs know how to draw cute girls. The non-French masters of hips), I couldn't get through Meryweather's writing. Mind you, his comics have a large fanbase, so I am going to assume some people do like it, or are at least able to look past that, but not in my case. That said, I am more of a story guy, since I actually enjoyed It Hurts!! very much despite having MS Paint tier drawings, or binge-read Fourteen in a single night despite having quite the grotesque and somewhat unconsistent artstyle the writing was also as bizarre as it gets. Can't say I actually liked it, but I enjoyed it. But then again, I have weird tastes. I know friends who read cute-girls-doing-cute-things type mangas with cute artstyles but zero substance (mind you, I am not implying writing == substance in comics, since you can add a lot of substance via artstyles, but it certainly plays an important role in comic depth), so I am fairly certain there is people at the other side of the spectre and even then, they couldn't get past Merryweather's writing.
>Such as Asano's work :^)
From those examples? It looks like he's just a shitty, lazy artist.
>He's not supposed to be invisible either
That was my point.
>le hero's journey diagram
I really hate it, I've always hated it. Feels utterly cold and callous, the quantification of storytelling art.
This but I'd rather a good story.
It depends on who is making that comparison. Does the person like EC or is that person aware of EC's pretentiousness?
It's a generalization. To tell an effective story, you need conflict. The hero cant just be perfect and win every fight with ease and have everyone agree with everything he says and does. It just outlines progression and growth of a hero based on classic stories from antiquity. You arent supposed to take it as a quantification of storytelling art. It's based on things like Homer's Odyssey and the Illiad. Even stories about Hercules' labors follow a hero's journey. The thing is, none of them fit perfectly into the hero's journey diagram, but you can map the progression of their stories to the hero's journey framework and see how they classify as hero's journeys. That's the point of the diagram and learning about the hero's journey in storytelling.
The diagram is indicative of every hack that decides they are going to subvert expectations, to deconstruct myths, to completely destroy concepts like heroism and beauty.
You have no idea how much I miss authors openly admitting to aping Beowulf or the Odyssey. Because right now, they are more likely to see where they can fuck with the diagram, and miss out on what captivated the imagination, or inspiration.
Then read a book nigger
>you need conflict
Ever see a life of slice anime?
How would you define a story then? Would it be stuff happens?
He did say "to tell an effective story", and I wouldn't call a conflictless story effective, because they don't need to be and that's not their purpose anyway.
There's conflict in slice of life stories. Relationships, day to day struggles, education/work, etc.They arent about the hero's journey either. It's not the only story telling method or template and I apologize if it was implied otherwise. There are lots of stories that do not follow a heros journey, especially short stories or parables and other moralistic tales. I imagine he posted the hero's journey because we are discussing comic books, which are typically super hero based and even non-super hero comics are visual and dynamic in this medium and usually tell hero's journey style stories.
I have a script, but it was meant for a TV cartoon and if I make a comic it might look more like a storyboard than a comic because it has many movement scenes. Also memory baby cries tormenting a character.
I don't think you understood my point.:
It doesn't matter. Such a diagram shouldn't exist. It is an insult to the artform, much like trying to analyze humor. It dampens the feeling of creating. There is a logic to creation.
Why not ? Your average novel is more interesting than your average comic book especially if you care none bout the art
You're pretentious and you're saging an interesting thread. Perhaps you'd fit in better elsewhere.
What's the deal with bold words in American comics? It's as if writers or letteres bold words at random for no apparent reason. Were there ever any rules or conventions on what should be in bold?
There's no real set rule to it. They serve as ways to emphasize words, obviously, and also act as eye catchers for people that get wrapped up in the art - word balloons can blend together and be ignored. A bold word can break up the monotonous look of the word balloons.
Modern writers just bold random words with no rhyme or reason. They typically try to be ironic shitposters that emphasize words like someone on twitter. It all really boils down to Seinfeld and Friends era TV these writers grew up with and dominated early internet culture. "Could you BE any more annoying?" where they think they are being funny emphasizing the BE like a Chandler or Ross type character. They apply this to Peter Parker and so on. Bendis-speak is basically Seinfeld dialogue where they repeat each other over and over and he just bolds words over and over again. That's not how it was typically used in comics, but is how it is used now.
I've been trying to find a proper comic font for ages. All the free ones I found look either too haphazard or too stylized for normal dialogue font. The ones that look good are near a hundred dollars. There's no way to test these fonts out, and I'd rather not steal them because I figure it would bite me later. So do any of you know some good font suggestions? Or some of your favorite paid fonts that I can zero in on?
A font that looks like this is perfect. It's readable with only a slight human element to it. I wonder if this specific font's around, but I certainly can't find it.
Back Issues, Badaboom, Adam Warren Pro Font Family, Komika Font Family, VTC Letterer Pro, Zitz (more a webcomic/newspaper comic font), and Kalam (hand writing style font) should cover all lettering needs for independent/amateur work for free. You can also learn to letter by hand. It's fairly easy if you are an artist. Get a lightpad or lightbox. Write out your word balloons and text. Check for spelling mistakes. Then put the art over it and turn on the light and place it where you want it on the page. An Alvin lettering guide is used in architecture for any text on blueprints or other prints (well, lot is just CAD or Revit fonts now, but some still use hand written and penmenship is still a requirement for the field). Pick one up and youll have a much easier time hand lettering.
Yes. Stuff happens. "Effective" is subjective imo; I just read 'The Bus'. So I'm in a surrealist frame of mind. Haha.
Glad you can see my point of view. I been reading a lot non-cape stuff like Bone, MetaBaron and Modesty Blaise. So right now, I'm lamenting capes being so entrenched in US comics that there's no room for anything else.
effective, as in a story with detailed setting and characters with complex motivations and relationships. Not all stories require it nor do they need it.
Little off topic, but creator related. What do people think about text messages and cell phones in comics, particularly hero comics? I dont think I like them similar to how I dislike them in movies or other visual mediums. I want to see the character doing things, not reading their phone or having them monologue the text messages.
Here's an example from Spider-Man PS4 game. Imagine this is a over the shoulder panel of Spidey reacting to a text from MJ. Should comics have stationary characters with text boxes for text messages and little icons? Do you want him talking to himself asking if she'll respond or 'please say no, please say no' while waiting for a response?
This doesnt just apply to SPider-Man, obviously. A lot of books are using them these days and I've yet to see it implemented in a way that is pleasing for this medium. It breaks up panels, covers art, they try to capture texting broken english and emojis, and feels like a chore to read. But its also modern and youd expect them to have phones (well, maybe a hero like Spidey would have some industrial phone, like the explosion proof ones that can drop 40 ft and still work they use in oil and gas industry and others - something non-smart/touch screen that he can just call on and not worry about being destroyed when he's thrown through a wall). They should be texting people or risk being outdated and anachronistic.
It looks weird at times, though. Like Superman spying on Lois's texts with his powers and the odd way they have to show her holding the phone to convey the message/make readable.
Thoughts? I honestly dislike its use in anything but for gags, like a Teenage Negasonic Warhead type millennial texting before fight. It's visual medium. Old phone calls of Spider-man calling Aunt May showed both people, the setting of each and their emotions. We dont even know if the texts received are from who they say they are, if they were captured, what emotion they are conveying, etc. It's our hero reacting to text and usually have to overact to get the point across that its a dire message or girlfriend breaking up with him or whatever.
Curious how others approach texting and other modern tech (discords, social media posting, etc) in comics.
I don't hate text messages in comics, but most of the time they are used poorly. Looking over character's shoulder is acceptable maybe for one panel per chapter. It is far better to have text messages in their own narration boxes, and show character's face emoting while looking at the phone or doing something else, like walking somewhere. That way you can use both text and artwork to tell a story. With phone screen on the panel, art tends to basically be a frame for the text.
I've been trying to come up with some other ways to handle texting for my own comics, but I could not think of anything better than messages in narration boxes. You can always put some twist on them to keep things interesting. Best thing I came up with is to have texting boxes become the background when character gets engrossed in the conversation. Having one panel for each person texting with messages in between them could work too if not overused.
Broken texting-English should be kept to minimum or out if done only to be ‘authentic.’ Yeah, people do it in real world, but they also stutter, stall, and repeat themselves in conversations. Just because it is realistic, it does not make it enjoyable to read. Bendis can go fuck himself.
Only time I can think of it actually being useful, is to show contrast between older and younger characters - like parent communicating with a teen or an adult annoyed by kids who can't shut up. However, that would probably work best in stories focusing on adult point of view.
I would love to start up my own local comic magazine (akin to Tintin or Spirou magazine) for my country though I don't know how to solve issues like:
>Somehow convince and paying local comic creators to make content (assuming it's good) alongside my own
>How to print locally (B&W but with a colour cover to keep it cheap)
>Distribution (and selling) to comic stores after printing
>How the fuck to do this all with anonymity just so I could have the freedom to create
Good to know that this exists but there is one problem though.
>who is this program not for?
>*Projects that are shipping overseas outside of the US (due to shipping costs and other logistical hurdles, this program is not being offered to creators outside of the US or Canada).
print ninja is your option. alterna's would be cheaper if you were in US (maybe Canada). print ninja is china and prints and ships for next to nothing.
And you can publish under your name and run things and submit under a pseudonym. Lots of comic creators use fake names. Frank Quitely (Vincent Deighan) is a take on Quite Frankly. Christopher Priest's real name is James Owsley. This goes back as far as Stan Lee (Stanley Martin Lieber) and Jack Kirby (Jacob Kurtzberg).
You can go webcomic if your main priority is anonymity and control your own creative vision.
Whatever you do, don't have characters staring at their phones the entire time.
Are there any guides on adapting books to comics? I've been working on adapting a memoir of a WWII pilot who became a mercenary and an adventurer after the war, just so I have something to practice my comic book creating skills on without having to come up with the story myself. Translating prose to a comic is far more difficult than expected. Especially if you want to do it without relying on narration boxes frequently.