• Callum

Writing Comics: You're a Team, Harold (pt1)

I sit here stunned and in awe at people who can write, draw, colour and then letter their own comics. Bastards, you very talented bastards. It's a rare skill, honed through years of practice that I wish I had time to try myself. At least, that's what I tell myself so I have at least *some* free time to have hobbies.


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For the vast majority of comic creatives the path is clear - you reach out to someone to work on your idea and pay them. Yes, you pay them the page rate they want. If you cannot afford it then you can counter-offer, but prepare for less quality or an out right refusal. The same goes if you're approached to script an idea. Give your page rate and then it's up to them to match it or counter-offer. Only accept if you are happy to. Do not work for exposure.


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Now you've got an artist (I'll write about how to vet and approach one in another blog post), what do? In short, talk to them. Hopefully you've mentioned the style you expect (within reason - a scratchy inker will not give you minimalist lines, yes?) and the "feel" you want to the comic. Sounds a bit wishy washy, but you do want to set a tone. As with everything in comics, there are exceptions to the rule - satire, subverting expectations by e.g. making a horror comic in the style of a children's comic.


Clear as mud, right?

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Tone? Set. Artist? Happy. Contracts? Exchanged. Your script? Done and edited before you sent it to the artist, yes? Well, it'll likely change again after you get the art back and then go through it with your letterer.

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Sorry, but a plan never survives contact. Some times it'll go off without a hitch, other times it'll roll-up its Sunday Paper, bash you on the nose and proceed take your lunch money.


What I've been haphazardly trying to get across is that writing comics is, like economics, not a science. There is no one way to do them or navigate its murky waters, simply try your best to enjoy the ride and talk to your peers.


I'll do some write-ups on crowdfunding, scripting, print prepping etc. etc. at a later date.


Hwyl fawr/goodbye,

-C




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