Creating a Comic 01 So why make your own comic book/graphic novel?

I’ve been a comic book fan since the day my dad came home with a big pile of comics. He got them from some bloke in the pub and they were The Dandy, Beezer and The Beano. I utterly adored them, read them over and over again and cherished them dearly until a few weeks later my parents treated them like newspapers and put them in the bin. I screamed the place down and even though my mum explained to me that “you can’t just keep comics otherwise your house would be full of them”, I knew as I lied by nodding in agreement that she was horribly horribly wrong. Flash forward ten years and I am the owner of 3000 comics. Flash forward more years and I discover girls and drinking so my comics collect dust. Flash forward many many years later and after one house move too many I donate my entire collection to friends and charities. That hurt I have to say, but to be honest it needed to be done. That isn’t to say I lost my love of reading comics. In fact far from it. I continued to read the many graphic novels that I was allowed to select in my job at the various libraries I worked in.

Fast forward to 2013. This where the story properly starts. My wife’s best friend started seeing a guy called Alex who I discovered was an even bigger comic book fan than I’d ever been and we hit it off pretty quickly. While the ladies talked about kittens and knitting we spoke about proper manly things, like who would win in a fight between Wolverine and The Hulk. One day I spoke to him about the idea I had for a novel. The trouble was it was incredibly convoluted, needed loads of research and even though I’d written thousands and thousands of words, I really couldn’t bring myself to transcribe the half filled notebook of handwritten scrawl that I produced on a very long, boring, windy boat trip when travelling around the Greek islands. However Alex liked the sound of it and said I should continue. But I knew that would be pie in the sky. I couldn’t face attempting to get through such a minefield and who would read it? Who would publish it? Even when publishing your own novel became more popular on Amazon I still thought who would read it?

Strangely enough the solution had been starring me in the face all along. Alex took me to a talk by Ed Brubaker (Captain America and Fatale) at Orbital Comics. He talked about writing and creating comics and thinking about frames and dialogue and that’s when it hit me. Do it as a comic book. I love comics books, I understand the genre probably better than I understand any other. I know how to draw using digital programs thanks to my Masters Degree in Animation (or cartoons as I like to call it). Also needed a new book reader as the one I was using and my phone weren’t adequate enough any more and I also wanted to be able to read comics too. So I did my research, used a £10 Argos voucher and bought myself an Acer Iconia B1-710 7 Inch Tabletwhich I have to say is absolutely brilliant. It took me a while to get the hang of drawing with it. I tried a few programs and found the one that suited me the best was Autodesk Sketchbook, so I bought the full version for £2. I wrote my scripts on my iphone and there I had it. A complete comic book studio for £92.

I had a pen but it was rubbish, I was better off using my finger. I went on Facebook and asked if anyone could recommend 

a decent pen and one person sent me a link to feather tablet pens which are cheap and incredibly brilliant. So with a slow start I began creating my very own graphic novel.


This was exciting, I used to draw comics many years ago and wanted to be a comic book artist, but as I mentioned earlier, girls, alcohol and the added attraction loud music drew me away from that burgeoning career, so it was brilliant to get started with something I have been passionate about doing for so long. So here goes, my big dirty sexy funny graphic novel will finally 

see the light of day soon. With the added attraction of lods of train journeys it also helpfully kills loads of time.

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About Mike Belgrave

I am Mike Belgrave, stand up comedian. animator, outsider music musicologist, shambolic ukulele player and music video director extraordinaire.
This entry was posted in comics, Jack the Ripper, Let's Kill Hitler, Love in London, small press, Steampunk Graphic Novel. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Creating a Comic 01 So why make your own comic book/graphic novel?

  1. emmarossruns says:

    Sounds amazing – great how life works put sometimes!

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