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December 12, 2012
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how do you go about preparing for your comic strips/pages?

:iconorangeboombox:
i'm new to creating any sort of comic strips or pages, and i have a problem with struggling in spending too much time before actually starting on the pages themselves.
i'm wondering if there are some extra steps i should be taking or ones i should be tacking off of the list, maybe?

first i brainstorm the overall plot, flesh out the characters (what they look like, personalities, backgrounds and create character sheets) and the surroundings of the world that they're in.
second i thumbnail the whole comic (a much smaller, less-detailed rough draft of the comic so i can know what the overall structure will look like) and add dialogue for the characters/text boxes.
then i'm ready to move on and actually start with the final pages.

also, do any of you know any good walkthroughs/guides for comic structure or general comic book-related tips? thanks a bunch!
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:iconaspacecowboy:
I suggest scripting it out somewhere before you really start drawing. Then get an editor and proof reader involved. I spelled Panel with two 'n's a few hundred times the first time through, and no the spell checker didn't catch it because of the all caps font I was using.
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:iconweremole:
weremole Dec 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Depends on the lenght and complexity of it. If its bigger than eight pages, involved and with a lot of dialogue I write a script so I can figure it all out before I add the visual component.

I tend to break everything down on story beats across the pages regardless of how I work though. A bulletpoint list over what happens on what page basically. Bit of direction and clarity so I don't draw it on the cuff and wound up with something unexciting.
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:iconwrale:
Wrale Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmm... that is a tough one.

I'm in about the same boat as you. But so many of those aspects you mentioned are useful! Character sheets help you remain consistent in art and design, thumbnails ensure varied panels and coherent layouts.

Honestly I think you're doing fine. I know some artists, like Brandon Graham of King City, don't do any plans AT ALL and just jump right in. I know Natalie Norigat sets an hour timer and makes sure she finishes a page or a task in that time frame. Personally, I use a blue, non-repo pencil so I don't have to deal with erasing, a brush pen so I can vary my line work without having to constantly re-dip or go over the lines, and I have a lot of actions pre-set with the f1-f6 keys to speed up my photoshop skills. Reading Matteo Scalera's tutorial helped with that.

But all in all, comics take work. Take a look at mine to see how I do it, and you should link yours! My comic.
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:iconytcyberpunk:
YTcyberpunk Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconwtfbirdplz: For the most part, I DIDN'T prepare for my comic. And I am now suffering the consequences.

I have a (way too long) comic up on DA, that I started just as a ::iconguineapigplz: , you know, to see how it would go. [link] Not well, it turned out. Here's the process I used when working on the comic:
- Mapped out the basic story plot, with crude stick-figure story-boards on scrap paper
- Whipped up designs for major characters (a sketch each)
- Started drawing the comic in pencil, in my sketch book, with no thought of how it should be broken up into "pages" or "chapters." Just drew whatever fit onto a big page, and then moved to the next sheet of paper.
- Outlined it in pen ink, and colored/shaded it in.
- Scanned it onto the computer
- Re-did the dialogue on a pain program, in typing (using the worst font imaginable--Comic Sans.)
- Posted it to DA

What I SHOULD HAVE done, and will do for the sequel (if I don't die of old age first):
- Stick-person story boards
- GET A SPECIAL SKETCHBOOK, with pages that are the right size for the scanner, for the comic
- DRAW SMALL. That way it will be shorter, and be finished quicker.
And be lazy when penciling in the dialogue, as it will be typed up anyway.
- Ink over--had have a style of inking *prepared,* that will.
- Scan into the computer
- Type in the dialogue, with a legible but COMPACT font
- Post to DA


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