Structuring and designing my graphic novel.

Now my primary and secondary research into dyslexia friendly comics is underway I realized I need to understand structuring a comic book properly and instead of assuming I know everything ive decided to look as if a beginner and start from there, in my search I found a very useful web page which the link for is at the bottom of this post. Its titled 10 things before you start a comic or graphic novel! It was put together by Jason Brubaker.

 

I’m going to go through the list from 1-10 and just discus what I’ m reading.

 

  • His first recommendation is to look at some books by Scott McCloud which are titled; Understanding comics and Making comics. Having already got understanding comics I think this is the best place for me to start.
  • The second suggestion he makes is to make a sheet or turnaround or even to make a 3D model either digitally or with clay so that you can look at your character from all angles and be able to draw the character better and more consistently.
  • Going down the list his third suggestion is to start with a story which you believe in and actually want to share it with other people, making something that you are actively involved in and enjoying will show in the pages!
  • Probably the most important thing in my opinion is to write the story before trying to draw it, so instead of drawing charcaters and writing a story around what they look like let the script dictate how the character will look.
  • Have your own style which you are comfortable drawing in and one which wont take you forever to draw, you don’t want to be stuck on one page for along time because time is money and if your comic is successful you will need to have quick turn arounds.
  • Focus on your strengths if you struggle with anatomy it will probably be best to stay away from a realistic character. (below are some recommendations he has made for anatomy books)
    Drawing the Head and Figureby Jack Hamm (anatomy)
  • Figure Drawing for all it’s Worthby Andrew Loomis (anatomy)
  • Figure Drawing: Design and Inventionby Michael Hampton (anatomy)
  • Constructive Anatomyby George B. Bridgman (anatomy)
  • Framed Inkby Marcos Mateu-Mestre (composition)
  • Successful Drawingby Andrew Loomis (perspective) <–download link
  • make rules for yourself to follow throughout your comic so you don’t start with something and by the end its like reading a completely different comic. Here are some of his rules for one of his comics:
    I only use the paint textures that I made.
  • Only 4 panels per page unless it’s a sequence of frames where the camera doesn’t move.
  • I draw everything on paper and scan it. No digital lines except for subtle changes.
  • All my pages are planned out as double page spreads so I can control the mood and story better.

“Those were my rules for reMIND. My next book will have completely different rules because I’ll be inspired by something new at that time.”

  • He suggest to work in RGB but to print in CMYK mode. “Simply flatten your page and convert it when you’re finished but always save your master RGB file with layers if you need to change it. All printers print in CMYK. Everyone has their own opinion about this so study it up for yourself before you start. All I know is that this is the way I finally chose to do it and the colors in my printed book look perfect on paper. It also helped to have a good designer involved as well as a good printer.”
  • Work in at least 300 dpi, if you want to make posters of your pages then work at 600 dpi.

 

See Jason’s graphic novel here: www.reMINDblog.com and his newest webcomic www.Sithrah.com

Website link: http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/09/24/10-things-start-comic-graphic-novel/

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