11 April 2010

Get set... go!

I scripted and sequenced the first 4 pages of part 4 today and it feels great. I was really unsure where to take it for a while (I knew what needed to happen in it, but not how to tie them together in a plot), but now the thread has arrived, so it's just a matter of letting it unravel. Some of these scenes are more ambitious than usual and will be a nightmare to pencil, but if I can clear my work schedule so I don't feel rushed, I can enjoy them and they'll turn out the better for it. I was particularly worried about my "parallel narrative" that required some special research on its own, but now I decided to "just do it", things are falling in place easily. I'm going back to London next week and all I plan on doing by day is sit in one café after the other, writing and sequencing and designing my new characters.

The real difficult part of making a comic, in my experience, is precisely this: the writing and sequencing. It's a huge step from the events you loosely see in your head to their precipitation into something precise enough to be narrated visually. Really, it's like trying to grab smoke at times, at least for me. Only when enough elements have matured in the ether, is the whole thing dense enough to start falling into place. Yet one has to keep in mind the entire chapter at all times, so that in the end it works as a whole, not a succession of scenes. I keep a relatively simple narration, but I pull my hat at people capable of constructing highly complex interwoven narratives (I'm looking at you Alan Moore, David Mack, and co.) – I don't know how they manage to keep their thoughts and notes organized, in order to arrive at that product.
Anyway, once you have the sequenced pages (the storyboards), the rest –penciling, inking, coloring– is a cruise. It takes time and skill, but you just can't go wrong anymore.

I started a small tutorial on different methods of sequencing a page a while back. I hope I can complete it sometime soon, it would be really useful to people who have a hard time finding a work method that suits them.


Kirsty said...

Looking forward to the next installments!

How many books will there be in total? Or don't you know yet?

Joumana said...

I'm thinking 6 to 8 total, but I can't predict for sure :)