Anonymous because I'm a coward: your beauty and the beast story has really inspired me to start one. I have the whole script/scenes already made, just not drawn out. I was thinking of doing it in a similar black and white (it's not for commercial since it was your story that really inspired this). Do you have any tips that you've learned along the way from making your lovely comic, like about set design or comic strip making or even comic font choosing? Any advice at all would be wonderful!
High five, fellow coward! Live that scared life!
I’ve learned so much doing this comic for the last six (I think it’s six?) years, it’s impossible to boil it down to any single quip or bit of advice. I guess the most valuable thing anyone ever told me was “Done is better than perfect”. This is incredibly true. You can draw gorgeous concept art ‘till the cows come home, but it won’t ever be as satisfying as the scrappy, but complete, comic someone else actually sits down and DOES.
Other stuff I’ve learned…
-Great art can’t save mediocre storytelling, but great storytelling won’t be hindered by mediocre art.
– Think like a camera. Comics have more in common with cinema than anything else. Don’t be afraid to be cinematic in your shot choices and staging. Dissect films that achieve the emotional tone you want and see what they’ve done with their camera work to evoke those feelings.
– Save hi-res backups of EVERYTHING. Save them in multiple places.
– Figure out where you’re gonna put the speech bubbles during the thumbnail stage. I’m bad at this. Very bad. I’m still learning.
– If you can make your project smaller, do it. Starting with a giant epic story is why so many cartoonists burn out quickly. The satisfaction you get from completing a small thing will encourage you to do more small things, and learn more as you go. it also shows people you can complete projects.
-Listen to this, coming from me, whose “starter comic” is over 700 pages in length…
-Learn from my foolishness.
-Heed my warning and learrrrrn….
-Nah, just kidding. Go for it!