Wednesday, July 25

The October Comic : July 24

Despite the blog's header image, sometimes I can't work at my drawing table. I relocate to the kitchen counter or smaller dinner table (seen here). This is my script, the sketchbook with page thumbnails, and the page I'm currently working on (page 4 of 18).

You might notice the artboard is plain white. I draw on the back of my Blue Line boards to get the maximum drawing space. The front looks like this:

That's a 11 x 17 boards with a 10 x 15 drawing space. By flipping the page and making my own borders, I give myself a 10.5 x 16.5 drawing space. For me, drawing bigger is better.

I draw first thing in the morning and while The Missus does her nighttime rituals. If I considered my work on a page-by-page basis, it would be too daunting. I tackle it panel by panel. If I can knock out a panel each time I sit down, the comic magically gets done. Sometimes that's not practical. But it's a good goal.

Wednesday, July 18

Starting the October Comic

I had heard that a new comic convention was in the works for Asheville. The town had a great show called Fanaticon that sadly folded after two years. Quickly, two groups scrambled to fill the void.

One group tossed together a show called GeekOut that ran in May, approximately when Fanaticon would have opened. They seemed to offer a wide variety of panels, but the publicity was lacking. If not for indirect posts on Facebook, I wouldn't have known about it. By the time I did catch wind of it, I had already gone all in on HeroesCon. I heard about the other show, Asheville Comic Expo, months back, but the plans were tentative. It recently became a real thing, scheduled for Oct. 13, and I was determined to offer something in addition to my HeroesCon comics (which you can buy right here).

Originally, I wanted to try a tiny, tiny minicomic. I saw one of these in Charlotte, a freebie 16-pager that was maybe 4 x 2.5, and I played with short story plots. However, the plot that hopped in front of the line demanded a larger size, something closer to the eMMA comic dimensions of 5.5 x 8.5. I mean, I was gonna draw anywhere from 16-20 pages anyway, and those small comics looked easily lost and misplaced.

This story was based on a character I had buzzing around in my head for a while -- a rollergirl. I fell for the Blue Ridge Rollergirls a while back. Their whole atmosphere is addictive. I submitted the winning artwork for the B-team logo contest a few years ago, and it's no small thrill to see it (altered slightly in the final form) about town and on the official jerseys. I contributed to something I enjoy a lot, mixing my love of design with roller derby. Not long after, I wondered how I could reverse that, mixing derby into my artwork, specifically comics.

These are the original submitted logos. The final version has some alterations.
A roller derby superhero was a simple enough idea. We've seen rollerskating comic characters for years.

But I didn't have a hook for the character. I let it tumble in me brains for a bit, and inspiration struck at a recent derby double-header. I scribbled my brainstorming notes in the evening's program, even sketching out logos for the team my roller heroine would join.

Once I decided the comic dimensions, I made a thumbnail template at half that size and made myself blank comic "pages" in my 11 x 14 sketchbook.

One benefit of this would be to sketch out only a certain number of blank pages beforehand, forcing me to stay within that page count. My last comic was a monster -- 40 pages -- and I couldn't repeat that product scale in this span of time.

I drafted a script pretty quickly, including vague panel/page breakdowns. It wasn't until I sketched out the pages in the templates that I confirmed the comic length. The whole thing, including covers, would be 20 pages.

 I've Googled my initial derby name ideas, and no matches came up. Looks like I'm good to go.

Now to make the pages ...