Wednesday, September 3, 2008

American, Eh? The Comic

So I'm slowly, but steadily, working on my first real comic book.

This has been a dream of mine for ages. On the list has always been: do my own comic or graphic novel.

I've been putting it off for years. I never thought my art was good enough - for years, it was all about writing and poetry and school, with art as a reluctant side project. I did some painting and sketching mostly - it was only until recently that I realized my true love: black and white ink- brush drawings.

Now when I say "first comic book" that's not entirely true. About five years ago, I did make an honest attempt at a graphic novel. It was called Mobius Loop, and was a science-fiction story about what would happen if, in the future, the human race realized it only had one year left to live, due to an incoming meteorite, and how that year-long wait would drive people crazy, would heighten religious fever, and other questions like: what happens if you get pregnant during that year?

(Actually, in recounting this, it's a pretty interesting idea.)

Anyways, back then I diligently worked on pages and pages of this, without any real research into how to do it: how to arrange panels, different points of view, shadows, etc. I probably did about 60 pages of it with black pens and an old ruler. I even submitted the first part of it for a Xeric grant, which is money for new comic artists to publish their work. I did not win, of course, and eventually it all wound down and I put it away. The thing is, it was the output of that graphic novel that hindered me from doing it again. Because my art wasn't good. It really wasn't, in looking back. And there were a lot of mistakes. It was blocky and stilted and really had no depth.

In the past six months or so, I've really been back into art, into drawing, and recently into black and white ink drawing. I've been practicing with both pens and brush, and brush is hard, but produces such character in every stroke it's worth the pain. I started out just doing still lifes, a picture of my Mom in Japan.

And now I'm on page 5 of a 13 page story, with the namesake of this blog. I'm going slowly, and I really don't know if I can get it done in time to print it and bring it to the Small Press Expo, a big convention for indie comic artists at the start of October. But I think some of the art is actually pretty decent. The story is kinda cute, though kind of pathetic at the same time (if you read it, you'll get why I say that). If I could post the cover I would, but my scanner is too small; still, it's something I like alot.

This, hopefully, will be the first comic that I've actually *finished.* 13 pages mean a lot, and will even more so when I round it out to 16 (with title page, etc), and get it printed, and hold it in my hand. Crappy or not, it's a dream.


ZB said...

I think it's awesome. I hope I can read it sometime...if G thinks I'm "ready," that is. LOL

Mark said...

Can't wait to see it!
Good Luck.