Thursday, May 13, 2010

Things I've Learned About Producing a Graphic Novel

So this will be the production diary entry part 1, for Kevin and Light of Destiny book 1. Seeing as how The Unknowns isn't moving forward and the story I've decided to focus my attention on is Kevin's adventure, I thought people might find it interesting to learn more about what I've learned already in my one month of production book 1.

1) Production schedule is everything.

Making a graphic novel is basically like making a film on paper. All of the same things apply. You have to begin with a good idea and script and then there's loads of development that goes into executing the story. I kind of did minimal planning on book 1 of Kevin, other than have all of my story beats laid out and a few drawings of my characters. What I failed to consider is just how much design work would need to be done to successfully execute the look and feel of the book. I found myself recently struggling long and hard to get through the coloring process on a page that really was pretty simple, just because I hadn't really thought out all of the design issues with the school yard and people in the background. In the end I felt that page was effective, the story made sense and worked. But it's not the standard I really want in this book. I don't want this thing to feel slapped together. I want it to feel like it makes sense as a book... as a whole complete thought.

That lead me to the conclusion that I need to segment my production process a bit more. Last summer I spent all summer just drawing the rest of FDTN book 1 and did nothing as far as the computer work is concerned. What this allowed me to do was focus on each part of the storytelling independent of the others. I really feel like in general it's lead to a better execution of the end of book 1 because of this. So I've decided I need to stop my weekly updates for now, in favor of completing one process thought at a time.

The first act of Kevin is essentially the big set up. All of our worlds are presented and the baisc design work of those characters and settings need to feel set in stone. Tangible. Real. I hope this will help me do that.

Stay tuned for part 2:

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