As you can see I have a finished plot! What a nightmare that was. This damn plot caused me to quit this comic last year and caused me to freeze up and stall and drag my feet this year but it's done. Here's what I learned.
DO NOT START DRAWING UNTIL YOU FINISH YOUR SCRIPT! This seems like a no-brainer but if you're like me you are excited to draw so you just dive in. My comic from 1996 was made up as went and it shows. I was going off that old script to make my 2015 version and I was kidding myself into thinking it was better than it was.
To make matters worse I got halfway through drawing it then had to marry up the drawing with a plot that makes sense. I didn't realize it but I kept fixating on the old bad script and trying to make it work. It wasn't until this week that I decided to throw it aside and rewrite the last half...pretending as if I didn't know what I'd written before. Near impossible but I think I did it. I may actually insert a few more pages before I'm through. If it ends up helping the story I think it will be better than sticking to an arbitrary 24 pages. Right now it's 24 and works as a plot. I'll decide as I go if I need more room to tell it but for now it works.
What I Should Have Done
Now that I've made every mistake in the book I can correct some mistakes going forward. I still like the Marvel method so I don't think I will write a full script on issue two. I WILL have a completed outline though.
I'm going to treat it like drawing: block it out in shapes and then refine those shapes into a finished rendering. I'm going to write a summary of what happens in the issue. That gives me the beginning, the middle and the end. My next step is going to be to number a page 1-24. Each number represents one page and I write a sentence as to the main thrust of each page. That gives me the rough framework of the story. From there I can detail the actions on each page. Since I'm both drawing and writing this I don't have to give a lot of detail but I do break each page down into chunks or snapshots that then become the panels. Once I have that I do the thumbnails as you see them above. Sometimes I change the arrangement or number of panels at this point. Then I start penciling and things may change again there. I may even go so far as to add whole pages. Since I'm indie have that luxury so I may as well take advantage. Once the pencils, inks and colors are finalized I'll go in and write the dialog.
If I had money I'd actually prefer to pay a writer! I make comics because I enjoy drawing them and coming up with goofball ideas but writing is pretty difficult for me. A pro writer would make for a better end product. But if I want to draw I have to write so I'll just do the best I can.
While struggling through the script I made a few Post-It note sketches of characters from Rick and Morty. I love this format for quick fun drawings to help burn off some stress.
This week I'll be doing some pencils! Hooray!!