Monday, June 08, 2009

To GN or not to GN, that is the question.

GN = graphic novel.

I talked with an old friend from my Art Institute days, who's starting up his own comic production company. He's gathered together a team of artists whose job it will be to produce their own 48-54 page comic work, to be marketed and promoted by said company, and my friend wants me to be involved. There really isn't much to lose because the artist retains personal copyright of the work in question and if the work isn't finished in time, neither the company nor the artist loses anything.

So, naturally, I'm considering it. But whether or not I get involved with the actual group, the concept got me thinking about whether or not I should be considering drawing my own comics. I have written novels and it has been suggested numerous times that I transform my novels into graphic novels. My reasoning for not doing so has always been twofold:

1. Because my stories are so long, it would take me a ludicrous amount of time to tell the entire story in graphic form.

2. Due to my lack of comic drawing skills, I'm convinced that it's not really worth the effort. I'd spend years drawing a comic that has little chance of selling due to a lack of quality.

To reinforce both beliefs, I have not finished a comic book effort since 1996, and the comics I have uploaded to DeviantART have never gotten more than a few comments and favorites.

Team that with the simple fact that I have enough trouble debating which of my many concepts to focus on without considering which concept would be easiest and most enjoyable to transform into a comic, and one can see why I'm so filled with doubt over the endeavor. It's one thing to casually draw comics for fun and possibly get a few low-end sales on a site like Lulu or Cafepress, but my "serious" art is always pin-up work and writing.

I can question why I should do this and that into oblivion. But until I see undeniable proof that I have what it takes to publish my own comic work, to the point where the art is on equal footing with the story, I will never have that confidence.

So, to kind of test the waters, I'm determined to finish a simpler comic, a battle between two different characters with very little surrounding context, just to see how it turns out when I put a week's worth of effort into each page. I uploaded the first page last weekend, so I want to have the next one finished by next Saturday night. I'm already halfway through the inking. I can finish that up and have flats done by tonight. With that, all that would remain is the lettering and highlight/shading, and those parts will come easy; it's the flats that end up being the most difficult and tedious.

I hope it turns out well. It may very well be just the confidence booster--or killer--that will help me make future plans.

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