Dec 24 2008

Inked Page of Our Comic

Published by at 3:13 pm under Art,Comic Books,Superhero Nation

This is the inked version of the second page of our comic. On page 1, we just establish that someone’s trying to kill the main character.

I like our artist a lot, but I’m a bit concerned that his depiction of the bystander might be a bit, umm, insensitive to black people.  Yeah.  We’re probably going to have to cut those lips by a third or so and shrink the nose a bit to make them look more realistic.  It would probably be best to clear up these cultural issues sooner rather than later.  Aside from that, I think it’s generally well-inked.  I especially appreciate some of the stylistic notes like the squirrel falling out of the tree in the bottom panel.

In the final version, the bystander will be thinking “Should have bought a Honda.”

If you have any tips or comments, I’d love to hear them.  What do you think?

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “Inked Page of Our Comic”

  1. Ragged Boyon 24 Dec 2008 at 6:04 pm

    I have big lips, but those thing are like sausages, and besides mine are cute so I pull them off.

    I like the artistry, it’s very relaxed and cartoony.

  2. B. Macon 24 Dec 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Yeah, I love the style. He also has a great eye for detail, I think. For example, did you notice the squirrel falling out of the tree, the mailbox getting snapped in two, and the swing going crazy in the final panel?

  3. Ragged Boyon 24 Dec 2008 at 7:10 pm

    That’s a cat falling out of the tree.

  4. Ragged Boyon 26 Dec 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I just read a very interesting article on interesting openings for comics. I don’t know if I’m allowed to steal quotes, but here goes.

    “I get lots of comics comped to me from companies I work for and even a few I don’t work for. As I leaf through then piles each month I find that only a few of them have openings interesting enough to make me want to read the rest of the issue. The books either begin with a bunch of people I don’t know talking about things I couldn’t care less about or the first few pages have a bunch of heroes I don’t know kicking the ass of a bunch of badguys I never heard of”

    The article goes on to this quote.

    “Then there’s the “Citizen Kane” opening that coaxes you into the story with images so compelling you’re riveted from the first panel. See almost any Spirit story by Eisner or Nick Fury Agent of S.H.E.I.L.D. #1 by Steranko or Watchman #1 by Moore and Gibbons.”

    I urge you to read the article here.

    Now: Question! Does my intro hook attention? Be brutal and detailed.

  5. Holliequon 26 Dec 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Well, I’m not one for detail, but I think it does hook attention. I enjoyed reading it, certainly, and that’s only the comic book script. I imagine that the finished product will have colour going for it, too.

  6. B. Macon 26 Dec 2008 at 10:41 pm

    As currently written, I’m not quite feeling page 1. Right now, I don’t feel like the aliens are the hook. However, I think the story kind-of-quickly rebounds. Adrian is likable, I feel. I suppose you could get rid of the page 1 alien introduction and establish early on that this is still a sci-fi story by working in alien recon vehicles (like mini spybots and stuff) and showing these mini spies snooping around the school. I think the main cost of that strategy would be that we lose the aliens. But right now, I don’t feel like the aliens contribute enough to warrant the first page. What do you think?

  7. B. Macon 26 Dec 2008 at 10:47 pm

    However, I am very optimistic that you will be able to sharpen your opening. For example, right now I’m very pleased with our page 2 (with the car bomb). But our original version of this page was considerably blander. We had Gary walking out like nothing special was happening. We decided to give Gary more personality and relatability with a minor tweak, making him run out like he was really late to work. Very few of our readers are accountants or IRS agents, but everyone can relate to being late to work or school.

  8. Ragged Boyon 26 Dec 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Hmm, that would possibly free up page for me. I guess that could work.

  9. Ragged Boyon 27 Dec 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I’m going to expand my alien section by a page, I will have the aliens talking (vaquely, but descriptive) about the contest. I may include a shot of a large fleet of ships flying to Earth, foreshadowing the secret invasion. I’m going to rework page one into the other pages.

    So, I’m imaging two relatively big shots for page one and two, the fleet and the shot of Earth through the window. Do you think the fleet coming to Earth will up the drama and interest factor?

    I think it will work, readers will go “Whoa, all those alien ships. Are the friendly? are they hostile? I must read on!

  10. Ragged Boyon 27 Dec 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Well? What does anybody think? I’m open to any comments.

  11. Holliequon 27 Dec 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Hmm. I think you should find someway to tie it directly to Adrian’s school, or city. Otherwise, I think people will be interested by the presence of aliens but then confused when we suddenly start hearing about this drama student. (Perhaps mentioning that there are some good candidates for the contest in his city/school? Wondering how humans would hold up in the contest?).

    I’m no expert on comic books, though, so you should probably take what I say with a pinch of salt.

  12. Ragged Boyon 27 Dec 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Well, out of millions of people I don’t think they’d be very preoccupied with a couple hundred of them in particular. The tie comes a little later when Adrian glimpses an alien outside of the school window early on.

    Chuck Dixon (A Batman writer) said that comics are allowed to have a crazy event in the beginning and then explain it in the rest of the comic, unlike novels where that is mostly a no-no, I guess.

  13. B. Macon 27 Dec 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I’m not sure if expanding it is worthwhile. If you do expand the part about the aliens, I’d try to bring in humans as quickly as possible. For example, you might have the aliens staring at a set of monitors that show shots of a human city. Interrupting the screen, I’d have a few popups, like profiles of a few of the humans they’re interested in.

    You could do either a biographic shot some of the information they find relevant (like what you might find on a US license, maybe). Or you could just do spy-cam closeups on the candidates in action. That could help you work in an interesting visual. Maybe one of the candidates is at a park, and another’s at a sporting arena, or a casino or something. Since this is page 1-2, these visuals kind of have to be kickass. You might be tempted to bring in Adrian at this point, but I don’t recommend it. I think it would be more dramatic for him to prove himself, rather than interest them right off the bat.

    I’d recommend against a visual of a fleet landing in Earth. I think it sends the wrong message; this comic isn’t about an alien invasion, right? I suspect that it will miscue the readers to think that this story will be similar to War of the Worlds.

  14. Ragged Boyon 27 Dec 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I think I’ll do that, I really want to introduce the aliens first. If not I don’t know if I have a hook. Unless Adrian’s intro counts. Oh gosh, now I’m getting confused haha.

    I like the images idea. Maybe different shots of people in action for page one with dialogue from the aliens, and then the last panel would be a shot of some aliens (An OH, so that’s who was talking moment) and then Earth. What do you think of that?

    If the aliens just won’t work, I’ll just cut them until later.

  15. Cadet Davison 27 Dec 2008 at 7:10 pm

    I’m not sure exactly what the aliens are looking for, but given that this is a superhero story I imagine it has something to do with violence. (Almost every superhero is a master of violence, so the best candidates for the aliens would probably be someone that knew something about violence beforehand, right?) So I’d recommend giving him some screens that show people in violent situations. Maybe on one screen, a shot of a war-zone, another screen has a cops-and-robbers shootout, a drug deal gone bad, a playground fight, an assassination, gang fight, domestic abuse, etc.

    You could play that a few ways. One, it could establish that Adrian will be competing against some hardcore mofos. Two, more likely, the aliens look at these candidates and find them lacking. Something about the human practice of violence leaves them disappointed. For example, humans usually logical when it comes to violence, only likely to initiate violence when they have the advantage. The aliens may find that cowardly or otherwise unattractive because they want someone who’s willing to fight even against crazy odds. This might lead them to Adrian because he’s a dreamer that doesn’t care too much about long odds. Anyone who was driven by odds calculations wouldn’t dream about Hollywood, for example.

  16. Ragged Boyon 27 Dec 2008 at 7:52 pm

    The aliens are looking for humans to recruit in a training program/contest. The contest is partially for alien science, humans have DNA that is most susceptible to change, and partially to raise a small army against cosmic super-baddies. Although My aliens aren’t as relentless violent as, say, the Skrull. For the most part they are friendly. But, of course there are the evil ones, I wouldn’t have villians without them. I’m going for a less hostile more Ben-10 feel for the aliens. Some are good, some are bad.

    I like the idea of some characters performing violent acts, I’ll probably include a shot, but the aliens are pretty smart and sensible, they understand the concept of tactic and logic in battle, so they’d be looking for some brainies too. I was thinking of a shot of a scientist working on something.

  17. B. Macon 27 Dec 2008 at 8:38 pm

    OK, but can you make a visual of a scientist gripping?

  18. Bretton 27 Dec 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Usually, gripping scientist scenes feature ridiculously complicated yet cool-looking sci-fi never-gonna-be-real scientist equipment. You might want to look into something like that. Just tossing it out there. A great reference would be Stark’s house lab from Iron Man, but since you’re featuring aliens, I’d suggest something a bit more over-the-top.

  19. Jacobon 27 Dec 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I suppose you could do a Eureka moment where the scientist has just happened upon some epic discovery. That doesn’t happen in real life, but I think it would look pretty good in a comic.

  20. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 28 Dec 2008 at 4:21 am

    I’ve put my second chapter on my review forum. Could someone please take a quick looksee? I feel like there’s something wrong with it, but I can’t see what. It’s really bugging me. Thanks!

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