Taking a stab at comic art

And cheating at it along the way.

I drew all throughout my childhood, a sheet of not-to-be-blank-for-long paper perpetually in front of me and a pencil feverishly scritching away drawing maps, wars, and terrible comics. It probably wasn’t until the eighth grade and Jason Dixon, talented sonofabitch that he was, that I realized I couldn’t actually draw.

Didn’t stop me from doing loads of really awful comics in high school, though. A few friends would make up our own goofy superhero comics and pass them out to one another. Mine tended to be tongue-in-cheek “homages” to popular characters, such as Clawman, who broke the fourth wall and acknowledged he was a Wolverine ripoff, or Buttman and Rectum, who … well, the less said about them, the better. Good, geeky fun, it was.

Since then I gave up on drawing. It’s just not a part of me the way writing and music are.

Recently, however, I jumped back into making comics — only this time I left the images up to people who could actually draw.

Thing is, I’ve had a story kicking around for a few years. A story I wanted to tell with characters I wanted to write. It’s not a complex story and the characters aren’t particularly deep, but there is something about it that makes me want to see it through. Not sure what, not sure I even want to discover why I’m drawn to it, but it’s a story I want to get out of my system. Never found the right artist for the first anthology, however, and didn’t find the right connection for the upcoming anthology, either. Not because people were incapable — did you see the amazing work everyone did? — but because I try to match style to story and approach whenever I can, and no one felt quite right for this story.

So I decided to say, “Screw it, I’ll try this myself.”

But I’m cheating. The story already exists in a badly drawn, borderline thumbnailed form, but I’m using that as a storyboard. Instead, I’m shooting photos and screwing with them in Photoshop to get them somewhat comic-like. My first experience working with a tablet, too (I bought an entry level Bamboo), trying to sketch them up a bit, make them look at least somewhat comic booky.

I’m not good at it. I have a lot to learn. I don’t know that this will even appear in Pitched 2, as we’re already behind schedule and this work won’t go fast and there remains so much more to do on the whole project. Still, I’m trying. This in-progress image is how my first experiment looks so far:

I dunno that I’m in love with it, but it should work for the story I’m telling. Maybe. We’ll see.

But even if it’s a failure, the creative experience will be worthwhile and enjoyable.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Say goodbye to the hitchhiker – the driver has monster claws! 😉

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