Making a Web Comic pt. 1

For a long time, probably since I was a preteen learning how to draw, I’ve always wanted to work in comics. Things, like life, got in the way. Now, I have the chance to try it out. I tried a few years ago (some of you might remember Drifter), but I started that without having a fully fleshed out story. I just had an idea for a character and a villain, but no real story that revolved around them. So I really just floundered with it.

About six months ago, I had another story idea. I knew that I didn’t want to repeat my same mistake, so I sat on it. I let it stew. I reread the book “Hero With A Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell again. This got me started with a few story points to aim towards. I came up with the first few steps. The departure section of my story is formed. Now, I need to start on character designs.

The story has two main characters. I spent about a month sketching and studying various sources until I came up with the two characters. It took roughly six weeks, until I was happy with some designs. Now it was time to get some pages going. This is where I hit a huge roadblock.

I bought some comic pages to use and started penciling away. And penciling. And penciling. I couldn’t get a result I was happy with. The blue outlines of the page made me feel trapped. I don’t know what it is about those lines, but I felt extremely confined and claustrophobic. So I decided to try digitally. I hit another roadblock. I was using a template that represented the comic pages I was using. Even digitally, I still felt trapped by those little blue line.

So I put my idea on hold. A few weeks ago, I was researching web comic designs. I found something called infinite canvas. Essentially, it’s a string of images that come together to make the comic. There are a few great examples out there like Wormworld. As you scroll through the comic, it scrolls along with the story. That can be a straight, long picture that you scroll down, or it can follow action. Like as a superhero flies left to right, the story goes left to right as you scroll. I found my calling.

I have a friend learning web design, so I hopped on Skype and had a great conversation about how possible this is. (I know nothing of web design.) This is possible, it’s just something that my friend would need to learn of before being able to put into effect. Great. Now this week, I’ll start working on images for the first chapter.

I’ll be making a blog every week about progress and where to go once things start getting posted. So stay tuned.

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