Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Cutting Room Floor

Here are some thumbs I did for the first chapter of the graphic novel. In many ways it is a direct translation of the text. I've interpreted where I quickly could, otherwise, it is quite literal from the script. Once I have gathered all the ideas for the visuals here like I did in the previous post on the Prologue, I begin to edit it down to the essentials that are either truly needed to carry the story or are needed to provide visual interest. I think it is alot of fun to strike a balance between the written word and the visual image. Sometimes they can compliment each other so well, other times, you really want one or the other to dominate. You get a gold star if you any sense of a story from this without knowing the script. heheheh! My intention here is not to reveal the story, but to show my process for making a graphic novel...graphic.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dogs like to Pee on Trees.

After taking all the thumbnails from the previous step we land here: The rough layout for one of the pages in the Prolugue. It isn't final and I think will be revisted much like the rest of the prologue. Doing the pagination layout for the visual story and script is an interesting challenge and completely different than anything I have done before. I can see I need to move the dog and tree in the first panel closer to center toward the boy. I'm not quite satisfied with the center section since it isn't reading too clear. I like the dog. There is something there I don't want to lose in the final. I may put up some more layouts from the prologue but not till I get them to at least this stage. In the meantime I have thumbnailed all of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 which I will be posting in the future. I may also be posting some of the intial design concepts for the different settings, characters, and props. That might be a nice change up now and then. If you have read this far, thanks for your interest and please leave any constructive comments you can think of.

And now it begins...

This is the prologue of a graphic novel I'm now producing. These are very first initial thumbnail sketches to get the idea of the story across very VERY rapidly...drawings are less than a minute each...some just a few seconds or so. The thing that takes longer to do is read the script and come up with what you see in your head in the first place. This has been a great loosing up exercise for me and has got me to really see the value of using thumbnails as placeholders for bigger ideas. This also allows me the chance to search at this early stage for visual moments that can work for the given dialogue and narration that I get from the script. I haven't included that here because...well...that's the secret we won't be letting out until the book is done. Also it let's me create independently of both text and format. These are just visual ideas. There are some interesting victories and some humbling defeats but all in all, this is the very first attempt to put pen to paper and let er rip. The focus is to create the icons that will drive the visuals for the layouts and not to create the final comps themselves. I find this method to be useful because it gives the writer the flexibility to revise the story as we progress and also gives me, the artist, the flexibility to plug in new material without affecting the page layouts whatsoever. This is hardly a typical approach to comic creation, but then again, we aren't typical comic creators. In essence this is a huge mess of visual brainstorming, but don't worry, we'll sort it out in the next post.