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Showing posts from June, 2017

What comic script format should I choose for my comic? (Marvel vs. DC vs. movie style)

If you are working as a writer for a publisher, they probably have guidelines to follow, so you will want to match whatever they request. *cough* *cough* (They are paying you.) There is even a book on writing DC type scripts if you really want to master that format.

However, for creator owned comics, the choice is more personal. Write whatever format fits you best.

For me, I started off writing movie scripts in Final Draft after reading a ton of books on writing. My main goal was to improve my writing while getting some of the ideas in my head out on paper. After all, I needed to write 10 throwaway scripts before I tried to make something.

While I did this, I figured out the best movie style script format for me which was loosely based on William Goldman's style. I talk more about him in another post if you are interested.

By the time I was at about 10 scripts, I felt I had one that I could turn into a comic (halfwing). Now, mind you, the first major arc of halfwing was 280 pages …

How to pitch your comic book

How to pitch your comic I finally have my first issue in hand. Now what?

If you are going the traditional comic route, i.e., trying to get the comic picked up by a publisher, you pitch editors.

There are a lot of publishers out there, and it is hard to know which to choose (especially since not all will treat you or your work fairly).

Image gives the same deal to everyone (small or large) and has a good reputation, so I figured I would start there. I was also told it's better to target one or two publishers rather than shotgunning it.

By the way, make sure your comic fits the publishers, i.e., it is similar in style/stories to other comics they publish. Otherwise, you are wasting your time.

Before you start putting your pitch together, you should read through all of Jim Zub's pitch tutorials:
Here Comes The Pitch – Part OneHere Comes The Pitch – Part TwoHere Comes The Pitch – Part ThreeHere Comes The Pitch – Part FourHow Do I Break In? (more general) I also read a good post fro…

Hiring a letterer for your comic, manga, or graphic novel

Image
Hiring a Letterer I wrote a whole series on finding and hiring the right artist to ink and color my comic, so I thought it would make sense to cover how I hired a letterer.

Hiring an artist to do the inks/colors took much more time/effort than hiring a letterer.
What is a letterer? The artist responsible for drawing the comic book's text (word balloons and sound effects). The letterer's use of typefaces, calligraphy, letter size, and layout all contribute to the impact of the comic (wiki).
Why hire a letterer? If you talk to any great comic artist/writer, they all emphasize the importance of good lettering. The letterer will improve your comic by optimizing the flow of readers' eyes through the panes via placement of word balloons and sound effects.

In other words, it is more than just slapping the dialogue in a bubble and placing it over text. There is an art to it.

If you still want to do it yourself, make sure you read up on it. I recommend Jason Brubaker's letteri…

Make sure your comic is print ready from the start!

Make sure your comic is print ready from the start! It's important your art (whether you draw it or you hire an artist to do it) is ready to print from day one. That way you avoid having to redraw pages because the DPI is too low.

Below is the checklist I use for my artists.
ChecklistAll art is in 600 DPIFinal files are in CMYK.tiff format That's it! :)
Let's break that down (just a little). 600 DPI That's 600 dots per inch. The more dots you have in an inch, the more clear the art when you print. 
Marvel and DC expect their pages to be 600 DPI as Jason Brubaker calls out in his MakingComics post, 10 THINGS BEFORE YOU START A COMIC OR GRAPHIC NOVEL.
You will be safe at 600 DPI (less you may have to redraw, more doesn't really make a difference to the eye).  CMYK .tiff format
Most printers use the color model CMYK vs. RGB, so it's better to have your final files in that color model.

The .tiff file format is very common and allows layers.

If you want more informa…

How long should it take an artist to finish an issue of my comic?

Comic timelines Now that you have gone through the concept page, it's time to start making issues!

By the way, if you haven't gone through the concept phase with your artist, I strongly recommend it (more info).
Mainstream pay vs. indie pay
From doing research online, I figured out if you are paying mainstream rates, you should probably expect your artist to finish an issue a month (roughly 25 pages).

However, if you are like me, you most likely fall into the category where you are paying something around indie rates. In that case, you should expect an issue finished every two months (ink and color).

You can add another week or so for letters, but for the art, expect two months. (By the way, you should include that in your contract.)

For more details on pay rates, check out my post on the subject.
First issue vs. subsequent issues One caveat... the first issue will take much longer and that is ok.

When I first started out, I expected every issue would take two months. After all…