Back to drawing more AER HEAD! I've been sketching thumbnail tests of the cover for awhile, and decided on the layout. I wanted the cover to have lots of important points that occur in the graphic novel. Aeryan is dreaming of the future up in the left corner, and his dream merges with the waves (so the rest of the cover is his dream). He's surfing in the middle, but with a look of determination because near the end of the novel he has to warn people of the solar flare (giant sun on the right). You know how some covers just have a big picture of the main character looking cool, but not really doing anything? I want all my covers to have a definite purpose. Also, all the artwork will look the same INSIDE as it does on the cover! My biggest disappointment in picking up a cool looking comic is that it has an awesome cover, but the inside looks nothing like the cover and is black & white with a crappier art style. Aer Head will NOT be like that!
A new addition to mindy indy is a new page just for the finished pages of AER HEAD! There's a link that says "AER HEAD" on the upper right corner of this webpage. Click it and you'll see all the pages in order, instead of having to skim through old posts backwards. Yeah... I know it's still the same 5 pages. But know that I'm making progress! In other news, the New York Comic Con is coming up in 2 weeks! I'll be there trying to get more coloring work and learning more about self publishing. I think I need to self publish AER HEAD first, then once people see it, other publishers may want to pick it up. I need to keep my rights though. That's super important, because too many artists sell out their dreams to big companies and the artist gets nothing in the end. My boss (Kyle Baker) keeps mentioning the Super Man creators. Near the end of their lives, they were homeless while Super Man was known as the most popular comic character, making movies and lots of money for other people. I've learned so much, not only by being his assistant, but just by being around Kyle because he tells me lots of history about the comic business and about his own experiences.
In other OTHER news, I started taking a "Figure Drawing for Graphic Novelists" class at the School of Visual Arts. It's taught by Tom Motley, and I'm learning so much! At first I was apprehensive about taking this class in the middle of drawing AER HEAD, because I didn't want to feel compelled to redraw the whole thing again after I got better and realized all the old drawings sucked. But I brought some of my comic pages to class and Tom recommended some tweaks, but I wouldn't have to change the whole positions of characters (so far).
So lots going on over here! Stay tuned.
I've finally moved beyond the storyboarding part of the comic this past week! I filled in all the gaps of the first episode and made sure everything flowed well and made sense. Onto the next stage: page layouts!
A layout is a general page composition. I use circles and boxes to fill where characters and speech bubbles should be. Layouts are important before doing detailed drawings so I don't have to erase them later if the composition isn't working. Sometimes if I have a really clear layout, I get carried away at this stage and start to draw details, like below:
This is Pipsy remembering Aeryan growing up. And yeah I can't deny that that page looks like anime :P
Sometimes I daydream about how great it will be when my AER HEAD graphic novel will be complete, but then I remember that the fun is in the journey and process of making the comic. I'll continue to work at a steady pace, but I don't want to rush AER HEAD because I keep thinking of more cool ideas to help its story grow. Rome wasn't built in a day.
So far mindyindy.com has focused on AER HEAD, the graphic novel I'm (slowly) working on. My freelance work has been picking up, though, and I want to share some other comic work I've done recently - a custom comic!
A custom comic is a comic specifically made about someone, usually as a gift. In this case, the client wanted one about her boyfriend for his birthday. The client told me many details about her boyfriend's personality and life, and sent pictures for reference. We discussed the format of the comic (3 panel strip vs full page, color vs black and white), I drew it, and voila: the perfect birthday gift! Both the client and her boyfriend love it and intend to hang it in their new apartment. There was even talk of being Action Alex for Halloween! This was super fun and I want to do more of these projects!
I put a new Custom Comics page in this blog's upper right corner, listing my rates and more details. If you would like me to create a custom comic for you, just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 734-776-6477 so we can discuss details.
The new year is a great chance to get a fresh start on many things. In the past I made long lists of resolutions and didn't get to half of them. This year, though, I will only officially make one I think I can keep: My goal for 2011 is to finish and publish the first comic of AERHEAD!
I've also decided to return to my original method of making comics, which is to draw multiple pages first, then ink them, then color them. I'll do this in batches - I've divided the story into three parts, and I think the first segment should amount to one comic of the series.
When I started this blog, I altered the process of making my new comic to match up with posting each week. Creating a new page every other week from start to finish was a good way to make quantifiable progress. However, it's not the most efficient way to do a long graphic novel. A friend I met at MoCCA said I was "starting and stopping" all the time and couldn't seem to get into a good work flow, and I realized he was right! For example, when I was drawing page 5, I really wanted to draw page 6, but had to hold back because if I did I wouldn't have time to finish the current page in time to post. Doing many pages at once will also keep my style, story, and details more consistent.
So you've gotten a taste of what the finished AERHEAD comic will look like from the first 5 pages. I know you are hungry for more AERHEAD! I'll keep you updated on my progress, but my only fear is that I'll lose readers if I don't post finished pages in awhile. Any thoughts?