The bridge from reader to creator: Starting your own comic

How does a comic get started? What kind of idea is so powerful that it springs forth and pushes forward to a full story that’s inherently different from other mediums? After all, both visual and literary elements have to come together in a comic to make a singular work. Webcomic authors and illustrators were able to talk about the different ways that a comic gets off the ground.

cultivating Inspiration

Photos by Michelle Zaludek.

Photos by Michelle Zaludek.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, whether it’s mythical lore or real-world situations.

“My biggest inspirations for projects stem from mythology, folk lore and history, though photography also plays a big part — I’m a huge fan of Jimmy Nelson’s work,” Sara Duvall, creator of Oyku, said.

“Man Band was originally conceived as an animated show. I first got the idea for it while I was animating an art education video series …” Jim McNeil, creator of Man Band, said. Additionally, inspiration can be born simply from wanting to improve.

“I really wanted to start drawing more — it had been a few years,” Lutz A.D., creator of The Dead Have Issues, said.

“With a webcomic, I have a weekly deadline that helps keep me motivated.” It doesn’t hurt to have a laundry list of other works that inspire you either. “I’m a big fan of Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether, The Abominable Charles Christopher and Tiny Kitten Teeth … and loved Sin Titulo,” McNeil said. “It didn’t take long reading them before I realized that making a webcomic out of the Man Band idea made a lot of sense.”

Getting started

“Jump in! That applies to both readers and creators. Readers are living in a kind of golden age, at least as far as availability is concerned …” McNeil said.

“It’s not the end of the world to start one up, decide you didn’t like it, and then simply move on to another one,” Duvall said.

LittleDude 2

Photos by Michelle Zaludek

“… don’t get discouraged. Creating a comic might seem like it’s easy, but there is a lot of work that goes into it,” A.D. said. “But, it’s also a lot of fun! You might question your drawing ability or story telling, but just keep moving forward — you will get better!”

“I think that if a creator is enjoying the work, it’ll always show through in the final product,” said Jonathan Gelatt, writer of Outrunners. “So usually, I’ll start small, with a basic story or idea, then start building out an outline, followed by a character guide. Try and think about what happens in your first, second, and third stories.”

“Then make sure you are visible on a few social networks, start following people who might be into your work on there,” Gelatt said.

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5 thoughts on “The bridge from reader to creator: Starting your own comic

  1. Pingback: Page 57 – At The Gates | the dead have issues

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