OK so I had a story, writing software, drawing equipment and lots of forthcoming train journeys to do my comic en route to gigs. But there was one small drawback. I’d never created a comic like this previously. But that sort of thing has never stopped me before. Never doing Lego animation didn’t stop me from doing the first three songs from The Wall by Pink Floyd. So I would go about this the way I do everything else, by improvising, wasting time on the internet and having an annoyingly smug way of getting things done when I put my mind to it.
To format the script I used a combination of a TV format and bit of my own making up. I looked at various examples of comic book scripting and pinched a few ideas from there too. So in about half an hour I’d rewritten the comic book template. Well it was just me illustrating it so as long as I understood what was going on that’s all that mattered. Here’s hoping that the same can’t be said for the story. I do worry that it only makes sense in my head.
When tacking new software I like to give myself a usable project. I can tell you the downfall of anyone starting to learn most things is, unless you actually have a goal, the learning process can seem pointless and easy to put off till another day. Having a project makes you find and solve problems. Basically unless I actually drew something that I assumed would be in the first issue I would never get around to learning the software. I find this is a brilliant way to work.
So I spent a few days playing about with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and really got the hang of it quickly. The pirate scene was looking good and I was having fun getting visual materials too. I needed a scene where the pirate gives the middle finger so I took a photo of myself doing the action. This was done after I’d got to a children’s show extra early and had done my setting up. I made sure I was well away from anyone when I did it of course.
I also needed a script and this I did most of this on my phone and was pleased I didn’t bother to go through my copious notes I’d done a few years ago (which I’d be lucky to find due to them being in a leaky garage when we moved from Peckham) because not only did I remember the plot anyway, I also thought of loads of ideas to make it work better as a comic. It was also not that funny originally and I wanted this to be humorous in a Mark Millar Kick Ass and Garth Ennis Preacher way.
I had plenty of time between my two kids shows and my comedy gig in the evening so I carried on having fun with my new toy. At the gig, I was doing some drawing in between compering and was asked by a lovely guy I’d never met before who was a friend of the rather awesome Keith Farnam what I was doing. After a bit of explaining he told me he was called Derek Ryan and we was an illustrator and a comedian. This gave us both a chance to be as geeky and techy as possible. Although we both agreed the pen I had at the time was crap, which lead me to go on Facebook and ask for recommendations. Gladly we have both gigged together and geek talked a few times since that first meeting. If I didn’t have Sophia and wasn’t heterosexual I’d marry the guy.
Within a few days the script and the drawing were coming along nicely. I just had to work out how to do the formatting of the pages.
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