I draw the webcomic Manly Guys Doing Manly Things and work on cartoons you might see on TV sometimes.

 

On the subject of Webcomic pacing, if you’ve never read Platinum Grit by Trudy Cooper (of Oglaf fame) and Danny Murphy, it’s a comic that really stuck with me over the years that basically shook up everything I thought I had cemented in my brain about webcomic publishing the first time I read it.
Some frame of reference so people know where I’m coming from with this, When I was a kid I didn’t get into comics via Marvel and DC style superhero stuff like most kids who grow up with comics do, my aunt was pretty active in the underground comics scene back in the day when xeroxed basement zines were filling the independent media role that blogs do today. She would send me all sorts of creator owned comics, better known ones like Bone and Usagi as well as more underground stuff like Muu Press’ Mad Raccoons and some totally off the radar collections of personal stories by local artists, that kind of thing. Platinum Grit was a product of this comics scene back in the early 90’s and survived long enough with its head above the water to make the transition online when independent comic creators started realizing the internet had the potential to to be a game changer in the world of self-publishing.
Platinum Grit made it’s transition online in a little more of a unique way than most other print comics, instead of being posted page at a time entire chapters were uploaded in a shockwave player that separated them panel by panel.
Another side note, something I’ve noticed about the vehicle of delivery for a story and how much control different mediums give you, unillustrated books give you as much room as you want to go on at whatever length you want about what is happening inside the heads of the characters and how everybody reacts emotionally to everything, but you have almost no control over what speed the reader will absorb your story at, how long they’ll spend on every moment, or how they imagine your world and the characters in it. You can describe settings and appearances at any length that pleases you and you are guaranteed the reader will not see the same face or room or whatever you’re picturing in your head. Conversely, a comic allows you to explicitly spell out “this is what the character looks like, this is what they wear, this is what the world looks like” you can adjust the mood and environment, in some cases even the colour to suit the atmosphere you want to convery, but that introspective character work often requires a more subtle hand than writing allows and your character’s inner workings might be more up for interpretation. You have limited control over the pace a reader might absorb your story with by working with panel size pacing to influence the gravity of different action. Finally a film generally gives you the least control over internal dialogue of these particular three examples of telling a story, but the most opportunity for visual and timing manipulation. You control every minute detail of the scene, the colour, the sound, the timing, assuming your audience is watching in a theatre you control exactly how long they absorb every moment of the story to the fraction of a second, but you generally only get one to three hours to say everything you need to and you need to cooperate with a huge team of people to effectively communicate your vision. I’ve told people in the past I feel like a book gives you a graphite pencil to draw as much as you want in as much detail as you want on as large a canvas as you can manage, a comic book gives you a set of coloured pencils to tell the same story on a ten foot canvas, and a film gives you any media of your choice to convey the same idea on an index card.
By setting up a comic in this sort of shockwave format it starts to fall into a middle zone between graphic novels and film, playing out similar to a storyboard. You force the reader to focus on one panel at a time, rather than allowing their eyes to dart around the page and possibly spoil set-ups for themselves. Platinum Grit is not the first comic to employ this sort of “flash comic” technique to presentation, and it was far from the last, but it’s the most effective I’ve seen in the sense that it’s still planned out in page format thanks to it’s underground print comic roots, makes the transition to print better than most other shockwave comics. I find a lot of these Flash comics feel as though they were only intended to be read as Flash comics, which is not wrong, just an editorial decision that creator made. Platinum Grit walks the line more effectively than I’ve seen other stories manage.
It’s a comic I found when I was getting near twenty years old that brought me back to what it felt like as a little kid reading those indie comics that my aunt used to send me in the early 90’s better than any other webcomic I’ve ever come across, and that’s something I really love about it.

On the subject of Webcomic pacing, if you’ve never read Platinum Grit by Trudy Cooper (of Oglaf fame) and Danny Murphy, it’s a comic that really stuck with me over the years that basically shook up everything I thought I had cemented in my brain about webcomic publishing the first time I read it.

Some frame of reference so people know where I’m coming from with this, When I was a kid I didn’t get into comics via Marvel and DC style superhero stuff like most kids who grow up with comics do, my aunt was pretty active in the underground comics scene back in the day when xeroxed basement zines were filling the independent media role that blogs do today. She would send me all sorts of creator owned comics, better known ones like Bone and Usagi as well as more underground stuff like Muu Press’ Mad Raccoons and some totally off the radar collections of personal stories by local artists, that kind of thing. Platinum Grit was a product of this comics scene back in the early 90’s and survived long enough with its head above the water to make the transition online when independent comic creators started realizing the internet had the potential to to be a game changer in the world of self-publishing.

Platinum Grit made it’s transition online in a little more of a unique way than most other print comics, instead of being posted page at a time entire chapters were uploaded in a shockwave player that separated them panel by panel.

Another side note, something I’ve noticed about the vehicle of delivery for a story and how much control different mediums give you, unillustrated books give you as much room as you want to go on at whatever length you want about what is happening inside the heads of the characters and how everybody reacts emotionally to everything, but you have almost no control over what speed the reader will absorb your story at, how long they’ll spend on every moment, or how they imagine your world and the characters in it. You can describe settings and appearances at any length that pleases you and you are guaranteed the reader will not see the same face or room or whatever you’re picturing in your head. Conversely, a comic allows you to explicitly spell out “this is what the character looks like, this is what they wear, this is what the world looks like” you can adjust the mood and environment, in some cases even the colour to suit the atmosphere you want to convery, but that introspective character work often requires a more subtle hand than writing allows and your character’s inner workings might be more up for interpretation. You have limited control over the pace a reader might absorb your story with by working with panel size pacing to influence the gravity of different action. Finally a film generally gives you the least control over internal dialogue of these particular three examples of telling a story, but the most opportunity for visual and timing manipulation. You control every minute detail of the scene, the colour, the sound, the timing, assuming your audience is watching in a theatre you control exactly how long they absorb every moment of the story to the fraction of a second, but you generally only get one to three hours to say everything you need to and you need to cooperate with a huge team of people to effectively communicate your vision. I’ve told people in the past I feel like a book gives you a graphite pencil to draw as much as you want in as much detail as you want on as large a canvas as you can manage, a comic book gives you a set of coloured pencils to tell the same story on a ten foot canvas, and a film gives you any media of your choice to convey the same idea on an index card.

By setting up a comic in this sort of shockwave format it starts to fall into a middle zone between graphic novels and film, playing out similar to a storyboard. You force the reader to focus on one panel at a time, rather than allowing their eyes to dart around the page and possibly spoil set-ups for themselves. Platinum Grit is not the first comic to employ this sort of “flash comic” technique to presentation, and it was far from the last, but it’s the most effective I’ve seen in the sense that it’s still planned out in page format thanks to it’s underground print comic roots, makes the transition to print better than most other shockwave comics. I find a lot of these Flash comics feel as though they were only intended to be read as Flash comics, which is not wrong, just an editorial decision that creator made. Platinum Grit walks the line more effectively than I’ve seen other stories manage.

It’s a comic I found when I was getting near twenty years old that brought me back to what it felt like as a little kid reading those indie comics that my aunt used to send me in the early 90’s better than any other webcomic I’ve ever come across, and that’s something I really love about it.

I’m not sure if it’s just a by-product of 5+ years of planning comics for web-format, but I find when I try to script by playing around with thumbnails and visualizing panels I fall into the habit of fitting a complete idea into every page, which makes a satisfying update for readers following new content as it’s posted but creates a very sort of STARTstopSTARTstopSTARTstop rhythm when you read through it in one go as though it were a graphic novel. Almost like the comic book equivalent to taking a big obnoxious breath between sentences. In my experience the only way I can break this habit is by writing scripts out in television format and then going back to break them up later. Of course, I can’t attest to how well that would work for writing chapters intended to be a specific number of pages without losing track of how many pages you have left to work with, other than in my experience it works out to a little more than a page of comic to each page of script.
Of course, pacing can be hugely subjective no matter what you’re working on. A comic read one page a week over the course of two years will feel much more slow moving and grandiose than a 100 page story read in an afternoon, so a story perfectly suited to once a week updates might feel rushed and hasty in an archive binge. Conversely a story intended for graphic novel pacing with plenty of breathing room to let everything sink in can feel insufferably slow in page-at-a-time updates. A story paced to release a chapter every month may feel absurdly rushed when read in Trade paperback, like a series written with for the marathon-it-on-DVD audience may feel slow and uneventful when it plays week-to-week on TV. There’s really no “correct” way to pace your story, as you can’t control how your audience will read it, but it’s worth keeping in mind when you’re writing so you can be prepared for how your audience will receive it through the different methods you plan to distribute it. Also worth keeping in mind when criticizing other stories, remember that reading stories a little at a time over a long period versus all at once can completely change their tone.

I’m not sure if it’s just a by-product of 5+ years of planning comics for web-format, but I find when I try to script by playing around with thumbnails and visualizing panels I fall into the habit of fitting a complete idea into every page, which makes a satisfying update for readers following new content as it’s posted but creates a very sort of STARTstopSTARTstopSTARTstop rhythm when you read through it in one go as though it were a graphic novel. Almost like the comic book equivalent to taking a big obnoxious breath between sentences. In my experience the only way I can break this habit is by writing scripts out in television format and then going back to break them up later. Of course, I can’t attest to how well that would work for writing chapters intended to be a specific number of pages without losing track of how many pages you have left to work with, other than in my experience it works out to a little more than a page of comic to each page of script.

Of course, pacing can be hugely subjective no matter what you’re working on. A comic read one page a week over the course of two years will feel much more slow moving and grandiose than a 100 page story read in an afternoon, so a story perfectly suited to once a week updates might feel rushed and hasty in an archive binge. Conversely a story intended for graphic novel pacing with plenty of breathing room to let everything sink in can feel insufferably slow in page-at-a-time updates. A story paced to release a chapter every month may feel absurdly rushed when read in Trade paperback, like a series written with for the marathon-it-on-DVD audience may feel slow and uneventful when it plays week-to-week on TV. There’s really no “correct” way to pace your story, as you can’t control how your audience will read it, but it’s worth keeping in mind when you’re writing so you can be prepared for how your audience will receive it through the different methods you plan to distribute it. Also worth keeping in mind when criticizing other stories, remember that reading stories a little at a time over a long period versus all at once can completely change their tone.

Look at this here quality-ass comic I received in exchange for sending Ian Jay twenty five of my monies. That is an investment I can get behind. And recommend to other folks as well, because selling these is helping him put safe tires on his car and gas in his tank and food in his belly for the cross-country trek with his boyfriend to their new homestead in Seattle.

thedudevondoom:

New GRG is up!
I heard you like chimps who look like pimps so here’s a reminder that Julius is not to be liked.
Reblogs are always appreciated!

thedudevondoom:

New GRG is up!

I heard you like chimps who look like pimps so here’s a reminder that Julius is not to be liked.

Reblogs are always appreciated!

AAAAAAND to close out the night, Jibbah’s charity request, Commander arm wrestling Equius.
Guaranteed crowd pleaser.
THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT! It was super successful and a lot of fun! I can’t thank you all enough!

AAAAAAND to close out the night, Jibbah’s charity request, Commander arm wrestling Equius.

Guaranteed crowd pleaser.

THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT! It was super successful and a lot of fun! I can’t thank you all enough!

This is the best spam comment I’ve ever received.

This is the best spam comment I’ve ever received.

misfortunehigh:

Misfortune High’s big sister comic, Valkyrie Squadron has updated with a new page. If you’re a fan of my art, go check it out!

misfortunehigh:

Misfortune High’s big sister comic, Valkyrie Squadron has updated with a new page. If you’re a fan of my art, go check it out!

loserlilly replied to your post: My creative process, apparently

I was actually going to ask you how concrete your scripts usually are, but this seems to have answered that.

If it’s something quick and self-contained like MGDMT, I plot out the panels and text at the same time, so my “scripts” just look like this;

If it’s a short story or something like that, I draw thumbs with story beat notes beside them to kind of remind me of what’s going on in different panels or dialogue or whatever.

If it’s long-form stuff I brainstorm really loosely, write down plot points on things like post-it notes I can scoot around as need be, write chapters in point form if I still need to better solidify how I want them to go, and then do really detailed screenplay-style scripts that I use for making my thumbnails.

(That screenplay software is Celtx, by the way, it’s lovely for scripting)

I never feel like the first pass at dialogue sounds natural enough, because at the time you write it down  you’ve just been stewing over it in your head. Even if it’s the first thing you think of, you’ve had more time to consider about it than a person would reasonably have in conversation. People need to breathe and people need to think, and usually the pacing on either of those things doesn’t seem right unless you’ve had a chance to write it down, clear your head, and then read it again at normal speed. Once I have my “final” draft of a script, I’ll start reading it from the beginning. Any time I stop myself to correct something or revise a line, I’ll start from the beginning again, just to make sure I know what the story flows like in “real time”