Sunday, 28 March 2010

making of comic


documentation of making comic book, based on current object:
100 pages soft cover book: “Why he is singing so?” Estonian version.
Release date: 16 April 2010, Tallinn, Comic Biennial, Art Container.

Working process follows 8 steps:

1.creating concept, collecting influences, samples, material for plot.
3.putting script in form of layout
4.drawing layout in actual style on cleaning up drawings on digitalising: scanning, making print file
7.fight for the floor
8.printing, affirming project

Working process is brought in following order:

1. creating concept:

When ideas are more or less together, all of story lines, details are attached on the wall. There is unlimited amount of weird stuff. And languages are mixed up... there is stuff in English and stuff in Estonian....

"THE WALL OF IMAGES" stays up for a day or a week or a month. As far it is interesting. As far it evokes some conclusions, questions... ideas...


The main topic, I was interested in, is violence. But in my own specific, boring way.

Violence as a theme, not continuous action...
topic came up too often, not to raising question, why its raised.... Why in the safest and developed civilisation,
it is getting continuously raised. Why it lasts in so different forms. It is cultivated in media, social and institutional arrangements are based on that. Corporations are fighting for potential target groups and also criminality has its part. Fight goes for identity via migration, immigration. In personal level, in family life and career. Violence as tactic is so commonly used, that it starts changing people into fighters... It is always possible to refuse violence but it is also choice. That brings up a question, is there any possibility to avoid it at all...

Same time we have ability to change violence itself and what more interesting for storyteller, maybe is a fact that all characters, who could ever be, have completely different understanding of this term. The one of them is "SIMULANT", the main character of the first story ...

As a calm and chuffed guy, he simulates to be crazy, to sneak away from military service.
This blog is a slight documentation of working process of comic books. Photos and comments are based on
making of that story but could suit illustrating any working process, done in that field.

2. Work on scriptwriting:

Some freeware scriptwriting software's are handy to use. It saves up time and somehow gives freedom and distance of pre work.

I apologise in front of any writer... for me, the script is not about smooth expressions and good grammar. Rather it is a playground. The first draft is usually sudden, overfilled and full of mistakes. But these mistakes are rather advantages. The spots to work on. Not to get bored or tired, I used to translate the piece in other language, back and forth...The words are tools to work on story. In other hand, you recognise that story is getting ready when not much unnecessary words are left behind.

A little bit of celebrating and holidays.. and then the story is ready to get into the comic form. Lousy script
mostly consists of dialogue lines. No character descriptions, location descriptions are included.

3. Work on putting script in form of layout:

The structure of a script is more or less basis of final layout of the comic.First scheme of layout is also later big help on systematising pages, images, files. It is also good playground. The place where to point out, what is the keyword of the page, what is the most dominant image of that page. The first "structure of the story and layout" looks like something as this:

4. redrawing layout in actual style:

When script and some structure overview is ready, first "real " sketches are out.... All keywords, which were marked previously down on "structure page" are great help, not to get lost. And while sketching, no intention to draw details is needed.... danger to get lost in details just simply too big. And at least in this stage, I follow strictly the script. Just to see, is it really works :P Ideal case would be probably, when no changes would made
after script...anymore... In my case... since I am lazy to write location descriptions...this is left pretty open until the end, so some surprises would still remain to the future... up drawings:

Stage of "Cleaning up". The first draft sketch goes for redrawing, few times and details are added if needed.
In this "rounds of cleaning up" everything should fit on places and result should look like "final thing" .

6. fight for the floor:

Every story is around 20 pages long. It is a huge amount of paper. In other hand, it is great help to see the last stage of work "all together". But keeping 20- 40 pages around? All the time?

In last two years I have survived various ultimatums from various roommates:

"Hey, choose, me or these papers ..."
"... listen, I pay rent too... why you occupy all floor"

and I have found myself coming up with a weird statements......

"Hey, could you please not step on the floor, please?"
"don't come over with a friend, I need that floor for the papers..."

My advice: avoid conflicts with a homeys, work at night time...
In other had, anyone, who could donate a free working spot for comic artist... your offer is highly appreciated!

7. digitalising: scanning, making print file

I assume, every artist has its own understanding, when is right time to digitalise artwork. In my case all final layouts are completed on paper and scanning-retouching process is secondary.... The book is ready when it is ready, laying on the floor....

The structure, which was made in beginning is great help to place scanned files quickly in folders.
All this pack comes out of the printer... a little bit of scissors and tape..... and the first model of the book is ready.

8. printing, affirming project

And then "tadaa!" The first "DEMO" version of the book releases. The last step before the final print.
That includes only 2 stories... 50 pages, (thought its enough to judge...) The final lenght of "the real thing" is in finalisation process...

There was a story with that book... for fun, I printed it out in two sizes... 21x 21 cm and 16x16 cm. Both looks cute but no-one was able to say, which looks better. Is it any possibility to publish a book in two sizes? The real and a pocket version?