Saturday, January 23, 2010

Phase One, in which Doris Gets Her Oats

I've scoured the internet in search of other folks who are making DIY comics, and there are some very inspiring blogs on the subject (I recommend reMIND, Near Death, and Wormworld, for starters). While there are quite a few examples of people doing things right, I've learned a lot (maybe even more) from people doing things wrong. In fact, if I'm looking for instructive screw-ups, I need look no further than my own portfolio. This isn't the first time I've quit my job to attempt the summit of Mount Comic. My first try was called Gordon and the Stareater.

By the summer of 2005, I had been working for a year and a half at an online game company in Seoul, Korea. It was a great setup -- I had gotten a promotion, I was living in a spiffy loft apartment in a swanky neighborhood, and I loved my coworkers. Still, my job didn't let me make art anymore and I felt a little out of place in the producer role. I did my best, but at some point it just didn't make much sense for me to stick around.

When I quit, my work visa had four months left on it and I had about three grand in my bank account. I ditched the loft and dragged my sofa over to my friend John Kim's apartment. I didn't really have much of a plan, but I knew one thing: I wanted to make a graphic novel.

Gordon and the Stareater had been kicking around in the back of my head since college. Attempts to work on it during my off-hours had never gotten much past the concept phase. This free stretch was a perfect opportunity to finally sink my teeth into my dream project.

I felt pretty guilty about couch-surfing through John's entire summer, so I made myself as scarce as possible. I spent a couple of weeks scouting good drawing spots -- I drew the first page in a coffee shop near COEX mall, then drew the next couple of pages in the Seocho public library. Right out of the gate, I had logistical problems -- Seoul in August is a sauna, and every library I visited was like a sweat lodge. I'd probably have set the thermostat at somewhere below the boiling point of water, but the librarians had other ideas. My pages became grey smudge-swamps. My sweat turned out to be a pretty decent fixative, making erasing a high-friction, high-risk endeavor.

About a month into things, I discovered that the International Studies library at Seoul National University didn't check student IDs. There was sweet, sweet air conditioning for us sissy foreigners, and the library windows looked out on a beautiful, cicada-filled forest. That month may turn out to have been the high point of my life -- the days were spent drawing spaceships and eating lunch among the evergreens, and in the evenings I studied Korean and went for long riverside walks with Jiyoung, my future wife.

Here are the first couple of pages (if you're a glutton for punishment, you can see the rest of them here):



I blogged about my comic then, too. I had maybe ten people following along, and that was enough for me to feel like a mini-celebrity. I remember watching the students at the library and thinking "these people have no idea that the great Nate Simpson is drawing his magnum opus right here in their midst!" Ha.

Well, my visa ran out, but not before I fell in love with Jiyoung. The only way I could stay in Korea was to get another job, and that meant teaching English. I chose a split shift, thinking that would make it easier for me to continue working on my comic. The idea was that I'd teach from 6:30AM to 11:00AM, then draw until 6PM, then work again until 9:00. My memories of that year are a sleep-deprived blur of Katamari Damacy, MST3K reruns, and napping. Gordon and the Stareater was dead.

Looking back, the book may have been doomed from the start. Part of the problem was that I had sat on the story for too long. Or more precisely, I had never come up with a story, but had instead accumulated a decade's worth of labyrinthine backstory. I still can't believe I drew ten pages without having any idea where the story was headed. Artists often think more in terms of scenes than stories, and we end up with these precious tableaux that absolutely must be included, regardless of their irrelevance to the storyline. For a good example of this tendency writ large, see the movie "9."

Stareater had a few other handicaps:
  • Revision-freak that I am, I had trouble finishing the drawings before erasing clean through the paper.
  • I only had a laptop for coloring (not to mention, I didn't really have any ideas about color to begin with).
  • The main character looked like me. I'm still immature and self-obsessed, but I've learned not to put myself in the stories anymore. Nor are Project Waldo's female characters perfect, untouchable ice-queens. These are both good reasons to jettison any characters you came up with before you finished puberty.
  • I didn't plan the dialogue before drawing the pages. I'd just draw a bunch of people standing around with their mouths open and then figure out what they were saying afterwards. And I used simple ovals for speech balloons, which drives me crazy now.
  • I didn't really have a publishing strategy -- I guess I thought Joe Quesada would just happen across my little website and immediately fly out to Korea, contract in hand.
  • I didn't have access to the feedback and tips that regularly appear in the comments section of this blog.
  • I didn't have Jiyoung around all the time to keep me chipper.
Most of these mistakes are so boneheaded that I doubt this list will be of any use to anybody but me. If nothing else, you can feel better about your own project because you're competing with people who blow whole decades drawing space operas in which they've cast themselves.

I don't want to end on a sour note, so here are a couple more comics I drew in Korea. For those who think I draw too slowly, please note that I drew both of these comics inside of fifteen minutes on a pair of bar napkins. In case it isn't obvious, I was intoxicated.



I already know somebody's going to point out that these are better than anything I've done since. Duh.

45 comments:

  1. Holy crap. Your DIY dilemmas sound exactly like mine. Perhaps for that very reason, there's hope for us both! haha!

    I've got several stories that I initially conceived back in high school. They've diluted themselves quite a bit after years of mulling over them and thinking in terms of "scenes" rather than the overall story, as you said.

    Bonnie Lass is less than two years in the making, so I'm still on the ball with it (or so I tell myself), but I mourn for my other creations that haven't learned to fly yet...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Nate!

    It's these type of entries that inspire as much as your slick art. That honesty helps keep the rest of us going when we get too self absorbed and think that no one understands. It's this kind of post that also helps me put faith in your writing as well...your earnestnes shines through as well as your ability to tell a story.
    Cheers man and thanks for the lovely personal anecdote...I guess I'll read these even if there isn't art every time..heh..who woulda thought ;-)

    Kel

    ReplyDelete
  3. I mean..not that those "hilarious" shark cartoons wern't art.....er...heh...I meant..new art..yeah..heh*backpedals uncomfortably*
    And Stareater doesn't count as i peeked at those on your site before:-p

    K

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Nate,
    Great post, I find the list useful for my own comic, and yes the scenes vs story thing is strong between visual artists.
    recalling your reply at the previous post, i love the Guy Davis Art, I've only read BRPD, i want to check the Marquis, hope to find it someday in a comic shop at my country. the work of Greg Ruth and Jillian Tamaki they are influences in my drawing/inking. Talking about inking i brought some tools (a brushpen, pen nibs etc) so probably I'll go traditional with my comic, they fit well with my style of drawing.
    I'm still on "develop the story and check if is decent" phase, so still i don't have a blog for it.
    Keep the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Nate,
    your work is the best i've ever seen. I love the way of colouring..it's beautiful
    I wish i could draw like this, i'm 15 years old from greece and i like drawing very much

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ah, I’m still making those mistakes! Well, two of them—elliptical (not oval) bubbles, and no publishing strategy.

    I just thinks ellipses looks better. I letter with a font, too, usually Nimbus Sans L, a helvetica lookalike.

    ReplyDelete
  7. John Lennon Let It Be reference FTW!

    I think your story is something a lot of people have gone though, including myself. I also believe that there is a window of enthusiasm for a project and waiting too long will ensure that it never happens.

    ReplyDelete
  8. God, what a great post.

    I'm by no means an actual artist of any kind, but I have made the mistake of prioritizing scenes over stories. Damn it.

    And sat on this idea for far too long.

    Although I do have characters, their motivations and paths planned out fairly well.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Do you have someone doing your flatting now?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Many thanks for the link! And thumbs up for this retrospective. I think it can not be stressed enough that art for the most parts is a struggle. And it helps so much to know that one isn't alone with all the doubts and frustrations. Also I believe that it's not really possible to avoid these things. You won't realize your own mistakes if you aren't doing them.

    Your list nevertheless is helpful. I stumbled upon the dialog thing during the layout of my first chapter. I've been lucky enough that my mental image of the chapter was dense enough in order to get away with just experimenting with the dialog. But my experience now is that for longer scenes with dialog you should definitely write the dialog as a script first. That way you won't come up with precious panels which you have to kill once you find out that the dialog doesn't work out.

    And that thing about the publishing strategy. Your're probably right. It's just really not easy to make a decision right at the moment. Digital distribution knocks at the door and who knows how comics are published in a few years? On the other hand, I for myself have now chosen a vertical scolling format which is definitely impossible to publish on paper and I'm regularly pondering about if that was a good decision. I'm loving the possibilities of vertical scrolling and I really would not like to change over to page layout. But a lot of people do page layouts on the web and everyday I'm discovering more. I guess time will tell. Did I mention that art is a struggle for the most parts?

    However, you're doing fine! Can't wait for your stuff to reach the surface!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Loved seeing the older stuff , I could totally see that in a Heavy Metal or Epic Illustrated .

    Looks like you didn't shy away from drawing details back then either ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Do yo think I shred? HA

    That one frame made me laugh out loud. Or as the young hipsters say, LOL. I loved reading this post. It's always so fun to hear old stories from artists you admire. And as for that list, I still do lame oval word balloons. I need to learn the ways of Waldo and step up my ballooning skills. I can fully relate to most of these points, except for making the main character look like myself. He'd have to be an ugly main character.

    Thanks also for the big old link. Though I'm sure folks will be let down with my stuff after viewing your amazing detailed pages and well thought out posts. It's hard to impress anyone after visiting your blog. Once again, very inspiring stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This kind of project is a state of mind. My brother, who is far wiser than I in matters of the arts, once told me that work is what you do for other people, and art is what you do for yourself. I'm certainly not naive enough to believe that I don't, at the bottom of my soul, crave fame and fortune from my work, but I certainly don't expect it.

    So you had a few false starts. God knows, I've had tons of them myself. Granted, your false starts are well beyond what most people produce at their peak. But there's something to be said for letting something take shape just for its own sake, and in that sense I don't think your earlier attempt was in any way wasted effort, nor would I see it as a "failure." No doubt you've mined it out for ideas and techniques many times over since you drew it. In that sense I'd call it a job well done. If you wait around for something to appear fully-formed, or if you allow yourself to be paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy, you'll never even reach step one.

    Sorry to rant like that, but as the post is about "right" and "wrong" ways to make artwork, well... let's just say that I have a rather loose process myself, and in spite of myself, I get touchy when people talk about right and wrong in artistic endeavors.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Michael - Dude, every page of Bonnie Lass has been so good. Everybody, go here: (http://maniac086.deviantart.com/gallery/#Bonnie-Lass-Ch-1) I'm impressed by everything -- the drawing, the coloring, the dialogue. Maybe the most impressive thing is your consistency. It turns out lots of people can turn in five really gorgeous pages. But the best artists (i.e. you) are like Lance Armstrong -- able to keep up the intensity all the way to the end. Have you got a blog somewhere where you talk about the process of making this? Give us it.

    Kelly - Thanks! I was a little concerned that this entry was a little heavy on the storytelling tangents, so I'm relieved that you liked it. When are we going to see some new stuff in your DeviantART gallery? I still really like the stuff you've got up there now.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Diantres - Hey, Rodrigo. I'm all for traditional media, especially since they've been getting you such brilliant results so far. I wish I had the chops to work that way. My first line is almost never the right one, and working digitally has only exacerbated that hesitancy. Thanks for turning me on to Greg Ruth and Gillian Tamaki -- they're both great!

    GeMis - Thanks for the huge compliment, GeMis. Your art blog is great! You're doing everything right -- practicing, drawing cool stuff, and looking at great artists (Enki Bilal is spectacular, isn't he?). Keep up the awesome work!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sandra - Sometimes I wonder whether that bubble controversy is a generational thing -- I think the younger people who've grown up with digitally-produced comics seem much more comfortable with stuff that looks machine-made. If it works for you, I'm all for it! Where can we see some of your comics?

    Tang - Yeah, you're right -- and it's hard to keep your enthusiasm going once you've started, too. I think the thing that separates the pros from everybody else is work ethic. I was listening to Bryan Lee O'Malley on a recent podcast and got the sense that he felt as disillusioned about his own work as the rest of us feel about ours. He talked about how lonely and agonizing the process was, and how he just had to concentrate on making it to the next page, slow and steady. It was very heartening to hear: basically, everyone hits that wall where they forget why they were doing a comic in the first place, they hate the pages they've done so far, they need to become better artists before they can continue, and there's a billion other things they could do that would be more fun. The pros put all that anxiety in their back pockets, hunker down, and get back to work. It's Jedi shit, is what it is. A great way to cultivate mental discipline. We can do it, Tang! Your stuff is awesome -- you've got the skill, you've got the will. Just put one foot in front of the other one and you'll get there! I'll see you at the top of the mountain.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I enjoy reading your blog. So many nice points, and very thought provoking.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Eagle - Are you sure you're not an artist? I always kinda thought that flatting might be one of those feeder-professions, kind of like being apprenticed to a Florentine painter. Those guys had to mix paint and prep canvas all day, but it wasn't uncommon for them to become great painters just by osmosis. And I can't think of a more in-depth exposure to a broader range of artists than the one you receive every day. I bet you're pretty rad, actually. Are you ever going to show off any of your stuff around here? Ah, in answer to your second question: no, I don't have anybody doing my flatting right now. Is that an offer?

    Daniel - As far as page layout goes, you're definitely making the smart bet. The vertical format is probably the most adaptable, anyway (you can always print later in an unusual size, as paper can be cut to any dimensions. Computer screens? Not so much). If I were starting over right now, I'd probably think very hard about doing it the way you're doing it -- or perhaps in the squat, screen-ready format they use over at Zuda. You're positioning yourself perfectly for the coming iTablet boom that everybody's anticipating. Sneaky!

    Dominic - It would be rad to appear in Heavy Metal, wouldn't it? I don't think I've even seen a physical copy of that magazine since I was twelve, but it still has so much cachet from the old days... I remember how dangerous it looked up on the stands. So ADULT. In my mind, sneaking a peak at that book would be up there with stealing cigarettes.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jason - No problem, dude. You're doing great work, and we gotta get more eyeballs on it (though I don't exactly have big-time traffic coming through here, so you probably shouldn't expect much of a bump. But these are QUALITY people, yes?). And it sounds like many folks are into the elliptical word balloons, so maybe I'm being obtuse (but think of all the space you'll save by bringing in those sides!). Keep up the great work, man. I can't believe you're doing so well and holding down a day job at the same time. I assume you don't sleep a whole lot.

    Mathieu - Your comment reminds me of something Kurt Vonnegut wrote in Bluebeard -- that you could put any of the best abstract expressionist painters in a space capsule and fire them into the void and they'd be happy as clams as long as you packed a lifetime's worth of paint and canvas with them. I definitely agree that an artist has to enjoy the process or nothing will ever get finished -- it's just too much of a slog to make it through otherwise. That said, I don't personally know any comic people who don't also care very much about how their work is perceived/received. I wonder if there may be a fine line between making art for yourself and becoming solipsistic. DeviantART could probably do with a little less self-indulgence, for example. As for my feeling like Stareater was a wasted effort -- I absolutely think it was worthwhile (the only truly wasted hours of my life were spent playing video games). But much of the worth in this case comes from recognizing mistakes and learning from them. Project Waldo is better that the stuff I did before, and hopefully whatever I do next will be better than this. As long as there's progress, I'm happy! Thanks for the great comment, by the way. We need more rabble-rousers in here (I can't believe I just said that on the internet).

    ReplyDelete
  20. Mike - Thanks, man! Your blog blew my face off and shouted down my skull-hole with tidings of comfort and radness. I'm now an avid follower. You work at Rockstar New England, right? Does that mean you get to hang out with Shawn Elliott? I love that guy. He makes the internet worth having. ANYWAY. I look forward to seeing new stuff from you. Just spectacular.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow, Gordon and the Stareater looks way better than anything I've done. Thus, I'm obligated to hate you now. -_-"

    Actually, some of the best advice I've ever run across about making comics had nothing to do with drawing, and everything to do with writing - ideas like "Don't draw a single line until the story is finished," and articles like "Is your character a Mary Sue?" have helped me immensely. Men with Pens is a personal favorite for writing advice.

    I guess I don't have to feel so bad now about only having 50 of 100 pages written and I'm already considering a rewrite. It's been 5 years since I started writing it. So I guess I've got 5 years to go. ;-)

    Your blog is an inspiration. Thanks for sharing this journey!

    ReplyDelete
  22. What I meant was I don't -feel- like an "artist". I haven't really achieved anything of proper note. In my opinion. But then, thanks to my mother's critical training, I'm the hardest person for me to please.

    John Rauch has taught me tons about rendering colour picking and shared his most vital brushes.

    Here's my devART anyhow: http://sqarr.deviantart.com/

    I do need to redo Spidey v Hulk page 1 to match pages 2 and 3 for the sake of possibly having in a portfolio, but I'll still keep the version I have up now also because I'm just chuffed about it. Except for all the excess green in the last panel and the excess white on him in the second.

    Yes, I'd be happy if you considered it an offer. It occurred to me that I'm altogether too interested in your work to let such a chance pass me by.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ha! You've got some of the same things in your favourites as me. Sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for the shout out, Nate!
    I've got a blog where I'm uploading the chapter one pages, but I'm not delving into the process with them.

    I'd like to convert it to a production blog once I finish uploading chapter one, to give actual, in-the-now insight on the current workload and thought process.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh, the pathos! Really cute slice of life blog post, Nate. You have a way with words as well as the pencil. (Excepting the egregious use of the anachronism "Rad", of course). The long walks along the river, and cicada filled evergreens had me swooning!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great post Nate! I love this story and I think you have put your finger on a lot of what faces an inspired artist when he or she actually starts following his/her muse.

    BTW, my brother lived in Seoul for 17 years and I visited him there once (about 25 years ago). It was an amazing trip and a fantastic place. I probably wouldn't recognize Seoul now, but even then it was starting to get built up.

    Hope to see you this Tuesday at TAG.

    ReplyDelete
  27. kingworks - If I understand your blog correctly, you have a non-comics day job, you have a family at home, and you have multiple, unrelated projects. And yet you've somehow gotten through 50 pages already? And here's the kicker: you're REALLY GOOD at drawing. Well, my hat's off to you. You're a shining example of the triumph of persistence -- right up there with Andy from The Shawshank Redemption. I enjoyed your blog, and Men with Pens looks like a great resource. Thanks for sticking your head above ground here!

    Eagle - I knew it! I knew you'd be awesome. Those colors are great! I guess I'm not leveled-up enough to perceive the too-muchness of either the green or the white. I think they're tops. And as for flatting -- I'm going through pretty heavy page revisions right now, and I want to finish the linework for the whole issue before diving into color again. But you're the first guy I'll call when I'm done (and with any luck, you'll have an opening!). Thanks, man.

    Michael - I'm looking forward to reading about your process. I see lots of mysteriously cool stuff happening, and I don't have any idea how you did most of it. Is this book out on the stands yet, by the way?

    Jessica - Anachronism? Jeez, now you're making me feel old. All my favorite people (Brandon Graham, Moritat... me) use the word "rad" liberally. I'll stop using it when there's a new word that has the same conciseness, punch, and radness. Thanks for the kind words, though. When are you going to set up a blog for your comic, by the way? The path to radness is paved with public proclamations of intent. Once you've told the internet you're going to do something, it's very hard to back down!

    Rickart - Thanks, man. I'll bet Seoul looks like a different planet from what you saw a quarter of a century ago. I know the high-tech area where I lived (Gangnam) was just farms back then. Why did your brother live there for so long? Military? I'll see you next Tuesday (and this time I promise I'll talk less and draw more!).

    ReplyDelete
  28. Aw, you flatter. :x

    The green is too much in that the light reflecting off Hulk shouldn't be affecting the entirety of Spidey. Light coming from in front of him shouldn't be hued by it. And the white is too much in that it would take quite a bright sun to turn his blue into solid white.

    That certainly sounds like a decent idea. I can't wait. Bring it on!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Eagle - Flatter! Ha! I get it! Keep up the great work, man.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The seaman's sense of humour seems to be pretty well in line with my own.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love the sloth Steven brought aboard in HMS Surprise.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hey Nate, have you ever heard of the book How To Make Webcomics? It's by a group of guys who call themselves HalfPixel. I highly recommend it to you, particularly if you want your comic to be more popular through the internet.

    HalfPixel also has a podcast called "Webcomics Weekly" I suggest you check out too.

    Keep on postin'!

    ReplyDelete
  33. He's not making a webcomic. Print comics have very different requirements.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Eagle - I also love Stephen's Sloth. And I also love how the audiobook narrator pronounces "sloth." I fully agree that it should rhyme with "both."

    Kevin - I haven't heard of the book -- and while I haven't yet tried my hand at webcomics, I'm keenly interested in learning more about that process. After all, it's only a matter of time before all comics are digital, right? Thanks for the lead. I'll check it out!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm not sure that the danger of having set pieces that don't add to the overall story is really an "artist" thing; it's something all writers face. (Writers even have an expression for it, "killing your darlings").

    I listened to that same interview with Bryan Lee O'Malley. And I've been trying to be in that mindset; I have good days, I have bad days, but good or bad day pages get drawn. (Today I inked the 100th page of my upcoming graphic novel).

    Recently, I've been trying to motivate myself by thinking of it as a sport. If I don't do ink at least a page a day, then I've lost that day. If I can do a page and a half or more, then I won the day. Inbetween, and the day's a draw. Of course, you have to set a goal that's reasonably possible (albeit difficult) for the speed you draw at; I stole this approach from Dave Sim, who considers it a win if he draws two pages in a day. I can't even imagine completing two pages, from start to finish, in one day.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Barry - When people ink the hundredth pages of their graphic novel, there should be a parade with bagpipes. Especially when they're as good as yours! Congratulations! I don't think there are many people on Earth who can understand what an achievement that is. Your blog looks really good, too -- I'm going to try out the podcasts that you mentioned in your recent post.

    But the page-a-day thing still blows my mind. I consider it a win if I can bang out a page in three days. Except that such pages are often my worst ones. So I suppose there are different kinds of winning.

    Damn you, Dave Sim!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dang it, I knew it was spelled Stephen...

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great post! It's rare to find such insightful self-assessment.

    >>"Part of the problem was that I had sat on the story for too long. Or more precisely, I had never come up with a story, but had instead accumulated a decade's worth of labyrinthine backstory."<<

    This perfectly describes the problem of many of the most talented artists I know, but it's something they have to waste many years figuring out themselves because it's too close to their heart to see objectively. And you can't tell them.

    Other major "doomed" approaches I see time and again include:

    1. Probably the biggest error I see made by new artists is that desire to create "universes" and huge, sprawling epics; these almost always fail for many reasons, not the least of which is that it's inherently nearly impossible to finish something of that magnitude on one's own (sans paying publisher), let alone even muster the will to begin. It inevitably becomes easier to keep thinking about the details and drawing character portraits than actually telling the story. This illusion of progress prevents any real advancement.

    2. Another common pitfall is the inability to let go of ideas and characters created in childhood that, out of the personal context of childhood, aren't original or interesting enough to ever be successful to a wider audience who've seen it all before. Generally, anyone who (for some reason) proudly states their work is based on childhood creations makes me shake my head and say "ah, that explains it."

    3. New artists are constantly getting better (at least they should be). Starting small with short works would help avoid the endless loop I commonly see of an artist looking back at pages that are a year old and deciding they must be redrawn to match the quality of the newest. This leads to a comic never getting very far before being restarted, again and again. If such artists had started with shorter works, they could keep moving forward, but 1 & 2 above tend to keep them chained to the past and they never get anywhere, leading to discouragement, stagnation, or surrender.

    Again, thanks for the great post.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Rigel - Thanks for the meaty comment. I agree one hundred percent with everything you've said here. Sometimes I think Miyazaki is a bit of a curse -- each of his works is such a triumph of world-building, and he's so clearly the inspiration for our entire generation of creators. We all want to do that, you know? So I wouldn't discourage people from dreaming big, but it might also be nice to have some other smaller projects on the side so that some evolution can happen.

    Of course, this is horribly hypocritical, because I'm definitely a big-project sort of guy. But I SHOULD have some small things on the side.

    Thanks again for writing!

    ReplyDelete
  40. "Looking back, the book may have been doomed from the start. Part of the problem was that I had sat on the story for too long. Or more precisely, I had never come up with a story, but had instead accumulated a decade's worth of labyrinthine backstory. I still can't believe I drew ten pages without having any idea where the story was headed."
    This sounds a bit like what the writer Alan Moore said when he started out.
    Basically setting yourself up to fail.
    Listen here:
    http://www.stewartlee.co.uk/downloads/chainreaction-slee-alanmoore.mp3

    ReplyDelete
  41. after that i started to scale down any ideas i had into doable more realistic ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  42. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Rigel's point 3) above is a very good one, about self-doubt and the desire to "bring things up to standard." I go through that a lot myself. But whether big or small the important thing is that the project be one you're willing to work at consistently for a long period of time. Everyone has a "first project." Committing yourself to it is the key - editing can come later, or be held off by force of will. I remember in particular some early comics drawn by Jill Thompson that I thought were dreadful, but as she developed I began to dig her style - even within the same story arc!

    --M

    ReplyDelete
  44. Great work! I liked it very much! In that work, there's a look, that reminds me some works of Moebius (Am I wrong?). And once more, your colours are just great. I've become a huge fan of your page! Continue showing us your inspirational drawings. And as a drawer myself, I understand you: a great job needs hard work. It's not a question of been slowly. Hurry is enemy of perfection.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Mathieu - That's right! Commitment is the hardest and most important ingredient. It's a word that sounds very inspirational on paper, but in practice, it's a bitch. You have to get really fanatical about it -- at some point, you won't be able to justify what you're doing, but you'll still have to keep going. Your friends may begin to think you're crazy. Just got to shrug it off and keep pulling on that rope.

    João - Thanks, man! Yeah, I love Moebius. I think there are a lot of artists of my generation who worship the guy. He sure keeps you humble!

    ReplyDelete