Road to a [Horror] Comic: Week 4-5

Comic book art

Another week into this challenge I’ve set myself, and time for a recap I think.

I started off with the most amazing art in my mind. This comic would be something to rival the finest that Marvel has ever produced. It would be lovingly hand drawn and in full colour.

Now, at week 5, I’m thinking that I may have been a little off the mark; my ambition and imagination may have gotten the better of me.

That’s not to say that this is going to be rubbish, not by a long shot. I am still fully committed to making this the best that it can be. It will definitely be lovingly hand drawn, but it likely won’t be full coloured and Marvel is safe for another day.

But like any creative exercise, or any exercise, come to think of it, learning a new skill can be hard, and expecting to be Michelangelo after five weeks may be a bit ambitious. As with anything, it is practice that makes perfect. There may be some people that are born with an innate talent for something; I’m thinking here about people like the Christiano Ronaldos and the Lionel Messi of the world. Both men are world-class footballers, arguably two of the best that have ever lived. Both men seemed destined for greatness from an early age, but both men are fanatics when it comes to practice. First on the training field and last off every day. Practice, practice, practice is what has pushed them to be where they are today.

The authors I look up to and aspire to be like learned their craft also. They wrote and wrote, learning a little more with each story, how to craft some of the amazing works of fiction that we see today. Practice.

In my writing, that’s where I think I am. I’m always going to be learning, I think, and as I progress towards my first novel, I am fully cognisant of my position in the evolution of my writing, well, my novel writing at least. I’m at the beginning. Everything from this point forward will be a step in the right direction, taking me beyond my starting point.

To the Comic…

That’s where I am with my drawing. When I started out, I was (despite what I said at the start) under no illusions about my own abilities in this regard. All I knew was that i was prepared to practice and learn then practice some more.

This week I have been flitting around with my practice. I’ve drawn some profile sketches, some 3/4 heads, some figures and even a couple of portraits. Some i’ve been happy with, some not so much, but I feel that I am consciously incompetent – I know where my limitations are and where I need to improve.

Saying that, I’m chomping at the bit to get started on the comic! I’m really enjoying the practicing and fully intend to keep drawing after the completion of this first effort. I might looking at adapting some of my other stories to comics, but that’s down the road. Concentrate on where I am now.

This Week’s results

Horror comic profile sketch

I’m currently trying to come up with the look of the main characters in the story. If you haven’t been able to tell, all the main characters are older men. All the characters live in a retirement village, so I envisage them all being in their seventies. There are two main characters and two others with significant roles to play, with perhaps another couple of bit-part players.

hat I want to be able to do, is create a character with a look that is easy to reproduce and that will be recognisable from panel to panel and page to page, otherwise, how will you be able to follow the story?

So what you see in this first picture, is me trying to create the same character from more than one perspective. Not bad, but like with anything, more practice is needed.

horror comic profile sketch

This is my attempt to put to different characters together in one image. I think I’ve decided that one of the characters will have glasses and at least one of them will be wearing a shirt and tie. My grandfather, when he was alive, always wore a shirt, and more often than not, a tie as well, even when he was digging in his garden, so I thought at leat one character should do the same.

My other favourite character that I’ve written, TED HARRIS from Die, Blossom, Bloom wears a shirt and tie, even when he is…well, when he’s doing what he does in the story (read it, it’s free).

horror comic

I’m working on more dynamic perspectives for my characters, in that I don’t want them all in profile, or straight on. Not sure why, but when this man appeared on the page, I had the urge to add the Three Lions on his shirt. All of you that know what the three lions means I hope won’t be offended by the quality of the picture!

horror comic

This one, quite by accident, looks a bit like me, except maybe a bit better looking than me.

horror comic dead man

A totally different perspective. This bloke is laying on his back, and this is the sort of image I want to include in the story, as there will be people laying on their backs. It’s horror, did I mention that?

That’s it for this week. I think moving forward, I’m going to continue practicing what I’ve already done, and try to come up with characters that I like for the protagonists. Practice.

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