Tuesday, February 27, 2007

how to make comics


So I’ve been laboring over this for a while, wracking my brain as to how I should start out. Should I go full on Scott McCloud and start defining terms and building taxonomy, or maybe go for the freewheeling “this is just my personal process” sort of thing? The problem is that comics are a broad topic in art history and I’m not entirely qualified to cover every aspect of the form. I’ve got my personal tastes and method, I have a specific type of pen and ink I prefer and to be honest with everyone… I really don’t read a lot of comics nowadays anyway.

So why in god’s name do I feel qualified to impart my “wisdom” onto the masses? Why am I doing this? Why am I here? Lest I get bogged down in some existential funk and decide to just give up my answer to these questions is “well, I’m doing my best and hopefully it will do some good.”

In other words take all this with a grain of salt… a big grain, like that non-iodized sea salt, that should do you well. These are my opinions and I’m not writing a guide book to the ultimate successful comic strip. I’m jabbering away on a weblog and seeing what sticks. If you, the aspiring cartoonist, find my advice does not work for you or you have a different working method then by all means have at it. Do good work and let me know where I went wrong.

An aspiring cartoonist will notice the slew of action adventure “comic book” movies in theatres lately. You’ll notice the abundant collection of thick little Manga books in Borders. You’ll notice everywhere you turn someone is trying to convince you that comics are a viable and interesting art form. These are not reasons to become a cartoonist though, sorry. No one decides to become a painter because painting is considered “viable and interesting.” People make art because they enjoy it, they have a little encouragement along the way and they realized they can express themselves in unique ways. It’s my hope to impart what passes for wisdom in making comics and add a few inspirational tidbits along the way. Later in the week I’ll get into the meat of making a comic and examine the unique structural elements of comics. In the meantime here is a brief reading list for aspiring cartoonist and would-be ink pushers. This is just a beginning… I’ll have more books and resources for you later when we really start to get into it.

Comics and Sequential art by Will Eisner

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Making Comics by Scott McCloud

How to read nancy by Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden (pdf)

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

Story by Robert McKee

No comments: