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unused_bagels's avatar

What are some things I need to consider when starting my own comic?

Asked by unused_bagels (1749points) June 17th, 2010
7 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

I have this urge to make my own comic book. In middle school, I made my own monthly comic for a while based on people I knew, but it was all in pencil and only 5 pages or so.

For my new project, I’m thinking something more along the lines of Danger Girl, you know, ridiculously sexy women, action, near-nipple slips, zombies, off-panel sex, superevil enemies (like nazis), and cameos from a cool guy who looks like, I dunno, Harrison Ford.

What do I need to take into account when I make this comic? I don’t want a webcomic, but I doubt I’ll have the means to publish it on paper. I need advice on plot, characters, publishing, collaborating with others, anything you’ve got, I’ll take it.

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Jeruba's avatar

Be sure to give your superhero/heroine a fatal flaw or weakness.

Think up some interesting villains with a touch of humanity about them.

(Yin/yang, you know?)

If you can’t print and don’t want to do webcomics, you could either do a paper original, scan it to PDF, and distribute as a PDF, or create it with software tools and PDF it. E-mail it to subscribers or post online.

Pandora's avatar

Make sure none of your characters can be seen as a copy of an already published character.

Andreas's avatar

@unused_bagels Don’t totally dismiss the idea of publishing on the web when you first start this project. The web is a great medium in and of itself. The fact that I am talking to you is proof of that. I would never have heard of you, otherwise!

There are lots of software programmes that can do various things to put your comics together.

But let’s start simple, shall we?

You could always use the same technique you used in school with the added part of scanning your drawings in to a computer, then arranging them into a word document, and then saving as a .PDF file. Distribute this through a blog (could be on—free to use, and owned by Google) with snippets of your comic on the blog (say one frame) and then link it back to your website. Don’t let this scare you as it’s not that hard to set up a website and there are plenty of cheap/free web hosts available.

The trick is to start.

Part of your promotion could be to tweet each time you have a new comic or installment on your blog (remember the one frame?) You could also use Facebook for a similar purpose and similar sites as well.

Use video capture software and make a video and upload to YouTube and other video sites. If enough people like your work, they will make it viral.

At this point a publisher may see your work and contact you. It does happen.

Now do see the power of the web?

But first get your comic started.

All the best.

unused_bagels's avatar

Instead of a .pdf, you guys gave me the idea of compiling them in a .cbr, so it can be read in comic readers.

I’m not afraid of publishing on the web, I’m just loathe to use the webcomic format of infinite canvas, a neverending list of episodic one-pagers.

Andreas's avatar

@unused_bagels Couldn’t you put them in .pdf (in an ebook-you control the length) and also .cbr? Why would you have to use webcomic format? With .pdf the comics could be as short or as long as you wish, and .pdf is universal for all computer systems. Think Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.

Just a thought.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Having traveled similar paths (though my comic aspiration were more toward daily strips like Hagar the Horrible, Rose is rose, Drabble etc) the stories and art is quite different. If you are leaning more toward the graphic novel thing I would say have good writing, a good story that you know where it is going with some unpredictable twist to keep the reader slightly off guard you don’t want to them to get too last. Remember good writing can help weak art but great art cannot overcome weak writing. However you publish it you will want to get an official copyright from the government.

I don’t know if you envision the heroine having abilities like those of the series “Heroes” or coming from technology like the latest “Ironman” or “Batman” movies. A good plot might be stopping scientists that seek to create genetically altered clones to peddle the science to the highest bidder. The secondary villains seeking to buy the science and or use it for whatever nefarious deed could be just about anyone, the possibilities there could be vast.

Seriously, I would use the Web, then you can have fans all over the world who can’t buy off the rack etc, and you don’t have to worry about boxing and shipping comic books anywhere.

DrBill's avatar

Practice being on a deadline, set up a schedule for yourself and see if you can produce on schedule, week after week.

This would also give you a collection to use if you do end up with writers block in the future.

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