A Simple Word #2

Hey everyone,

Since our last update my ability to convince my first born a to sleep for more than 90 minutes has diminished dramatically! But that’s neither here nor there! You’re more interested in comic stuff so lets get onto that. Parents in the crowd, if you have any suggestions on how to get a two year old to go to sleep by themselves again let me know. Never had any problems until recently so any advice will be welcome.

Current Progress
We have now got 11 pages of pencils created for issue 2 of Resurrection Men and it is coming on nicely. I got a page today and my response was just, “damn, Camael is a dick!”. Check it out!

I started this email about my own sleepless nights being a father but in truth Resurrection Men is a story of father and sons. After I had written my first draft of issue #1 I was asked by Dan Hill, the awesome editor of this little story, “what is this story all about?” I replied, “it’s a supernatural horror story about a guy who can bring the dead back to life.” “OK, but what is the actual story?”.

I hadn’t thought about it this before being my first comic and I quickly saw that through the story there was a theme about the relationships both positive and negative fathers and sons can have both by bloodline and by circumstance. James and Jude, Schrödinger and Erwin (you’ll meet his this issue) and Camael and his ‘children’, The Leftovers (again you’ll see them this second issue). I quickly realised how much this theme of children and parents resonates with my life.

Last year, in my job as a music teacher I was fortunate to be part of a school production of Miss Saigon. There was one song, Bui Doi, that remains in my soul and heart since that February last year when over twenty 15 to 18 year old boys sang with passion and spirit such a powerful rendition of this song which tells the story of the lost children of the Vietnam war conceived by American GI’s and the local population. You can check out the song here.

So talking about father and sons lets get back to Resurrection Men #2. Check out page one art that Rory has inked since our last update! Even just as a black and white piece of art, this is is great storytelling from Rory full stops. It sets the mood up perfectly for the remaining scene. As we progress I’ll be sharing pages with you all before we launch the second issue Kickstarter later on in the year.

 

In Other News…

Last newsletter I talked about some other projects I have been working on and one of them, Necronaut, is currently in development. The pitch is in its first draft and I’m hoping to submit it to the Creators for Creators grant. If you are fellow comic creator you should totally check out this opportunity to gain $30,000 and be supported by some of the biggest names in comics including Robert Kirkman and Brian K Vaughn. You can check out the website here and get your submission in before March 31st! Regardless of how this pans out this is my next comic I want to work on. That being said, I thought I would share with you the working pitch and how it came about.

Necronaut

500 years into the future, The Tribe are the last people alive onboard a massive multigenerational colony spaceship that they have no control over. Technologically backwards, they have descended into a society of mysticism that rely on one piece of working technology that can send only those of a certain bloodline into the Dead Planes, a spirit world occupied by those who used to live in the ship many hundreds of years ago. The Tribe seek information on how to rekindle their former glory before the Black Event devolved their civilisation. Only Mira is left of the bloodline. She is the Necronaut, the traveler of the Dead Planes. Though something is wrong. Every time she returns from the Dead Planes members of the Tribe go missing. With time running out, Mira only has a limited number of journeys before there will no Tribe left to save.

I have been wanting to write a science fictions story for ages as it is one of my favourite genres but I struggled to find something passionate that I would want to tell a story about. Then came about my first piece of inspiration for this story, Dr Who.

As a fan of Dr Who I thought to myself what were the episodes I found myself thoroughly enjoying and I summed them up in the following formula;

  • A character finds themselves in an inexplicable place
  • There is a mystery to solve
  • There is a great sense of horror and doom that forebodes all actions
  • The answer was obvious when the breadcrumbs of the story were seen in hindsight.
So with that in mind I decided that a supernatural, science fiction, ghost ship story was what I wanted to write about. The pitch took a few drafts but so far I’m quite happy with it. Still to be developed but hopefully this process of breaking down your passions and seeing why you love something helps you construct your own creative endeavours.

Things to Check Out

Last week I talked about my buddy running his successful second Kickstarter, Grimwood Crossing, a supernatural Western horror with some awesome artwork by Atagun Ilhan.  They have already met their funding goal and their not even half way yet so you should check it out!

But there are few other Kickstarter you may want to checkout including;

Thats all for today folks, join me at twitter.com/nspauluk and get involved with the discussion of all things comics, music and teaching!

All the best,

N.S. Paul

A Simple Word #1

Hey everyone,

Since our last update I thought it was time to rebrand this newsletter/blog to cover not only Resurrection Men but also cover my other comic works as well as some other creative projects I am involved in. So without further ado, let me just say thank you for your continued support.

Some rules moving forward for this newsletter.
1. Keep it under 500 words
2. Share what I am doing
3. Share some useful links for other creators
4. Share with you other creators work that either inspire me or I think you should check out.

Current Progress
Last newsletter I talked about what I had wished I had known prior to my first Kickstarter. If you missed it you can it out here. Since then, I have moving along with finishing the beats for the third and final issue of Resurrection Men. I also find this part of the comic writing experience quite enjoyable as it gives me an opportunity to think big picture and make me think how I am going to work how to get to the end of the story and what scenes are vital and which are fluff. I will say, if you liked the dark ending of the first issue, you will love issue 2 and 3 where it just gets a little bit crazy!

Rory Donald, the actually art genius whose work you should check out here, is currently going through the pencil stage of issue 2 and he is really bring the comic to life. That being said I though I would share with you another wee snippet of the next issue. This is the first page of Issue 2. I don’t want to give away too much but without dialogue, a picture can say so much and I can’t till its time to share it with you all for the next Kickstarter.

I am also currently working on a pitch for another one shot story, Necronauts (working title) which is nearly completed. It’s a supernatural, science fiction ghost ship story I hope to start that after Resurrection Men completes but between that and Binary, a science fiction exploration of what gender means, I’ll be packed. Did I mention I had to small children who are taking up (and rightly so) all my time! It’s currently way past my safe bet bedtime and I am now guaranteed to be woken up in 4 to 6 hours by my children who think 4am is a good thing!

In Other News…
A buddy of mine, Conner Bartel is running a Kickstarter right now for his second volume of Grimwood Crossing, a supernatural Western horror with some awesome artwork by Atagun Ilhan. This is their second volume collecting the final three issues of this six issue series. Their first Kickstarter was a huge success last year and some of you may have already read the first issue of GWC if you backed my first Kickstarter, so you already know what there is too see. If you do get a chance, do check it out!

Thats all for today folks, broke one rule with it being just over 500 words hey twas worth it! Join me at twitter.com/nspauluk and get involved with the discussion of all things comics.

All the best,

N.S. Paul

Three months later…a cautionary tale for Kickstarter Campaigns

What I had known about my Kickstarter campaign before it began three months later!

Hi all,

I never thought running a Kickstarter would be easy but I thought I had covered my bases. I’m now almost three months post Resurrection Men #1 and I’ve still not managed for fulfil all my backer commitments. So with tonight’s post I thought I would share with you my experiences of running my first Kickstarter.

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1. Finish your product before you go live!

Now I know this might sound counterintuitive. You go to Kickstarter to find projects that have yet to be made, right? Wrong! Or at least for comics it is. If you have a finished product excellent, you are in such a better position than anyone else who hasn’t.

When I ran Rez Men I knew I had already got all the art drawn up by Rory and finished the majority of my lettering. If I did have to wait on art to be completed, my real life commitments would have made that challenging but by having the comic ready to go I could share it with it with world once the fees had cleared which I did!

Pro tip – Have the comic finished or as close as!

2. Speak to printers months before you plan to go live to work out your costs!

I was chatting with CPUK for almost a year before my Kickstarter went live and I’m so glad I did. I went through so many variations of what the final product could be that if I had left it longer I would be unsure of the product I would be giving to my backers. I was lucky to get recommend to Rick from CPUK as he humoured me to know end and helped me work out what I needed.

Pro tip – Find your printer early and chat often!

3. Get seen!

Jeez was I naive with this one! I thought, “I’ve spoke to people on social media and I’ve built up some social links of potential backers. That will more than cover any coverage I need for my Kickstarter!” Oh Nicholas, you silly boy!

Get your comic out to everyone that reviews comics. Tailor your targeting of people that like your type of comics. Build up a social media presence. Get involved with other creators in the community. At the end of day, you all tend to support each other anyway when it comes to crowd funding.

Pro tip – Create a press kit. Get your comic seen. Get yourself be seen. Share your love for comics. Be that person everyone likes cause your just so damn nice and no one can say no to!

4. Postage!

Postage is the devil! It is a money sink hole! Thankfully I was recommended by other creators to make sure I checked my fees before I launched the campaign and I would recommend you do this also! Do your research and always make sure you have all costings squared away! I still struggled with postage even with my prep!

Pro tip – Speak to your local post office and get your costings worked out and make sure to add the costs onto your rewards!

5. Don’t offer things you have little experience with!

So most of the stuff I offered for rewards I could create or had access too. As a result I have managed to complete most of my Kickstarter backers orders. However, one of the add ons was an audio commentary of the first issue. Now, I thought I could create that easily but I am three months down the line its still on my todo list.

Pro tip – Make sure all your digital materials are in place before you launch!

6. Stay strong when it fails!

As a teacher, one of my roles is to help instil a sense of resilience. We all fail. All the god damn time but it’s how we pick ourselves up and proceed that defines us. I know, it’s a cliche but it is cliche for a reason. There are nuggets of truth out there and this is one of them. I almost failed this Kickstarter. I was £500 short with less than a day to go but someone backed in at the last minute and saved the day. I was lucky. I hadn’t followed my other rules. I was cocky thinking I could raise £2000 easily. Don’t be me.

Pro tip – Be resilient.

7. Never forgot the kindness of strangers!

I think if there is one I can take away from this whole endeavour is that people that I have never met, backed big bucks to make my dream come true. Not all are stranger, danger! There are those that genuinely want to see your succeed!

Pro tip – There are awesome people in world. Be one of them!

Thats it for today. Hope someone finds this useful! Enjoy,

N.S. Paul

Resurrection Men #2 Teaser – How to Write Comics, the Indie Way!

The thing about writing comics and the reason I love it is that there are no set rules!

Sure there are guides, suggestions and best practices but comic writing at its heart is a no hold bars cage match of literature!

You don’t have to be an expert in a field to write comics. In fact, when I started Resurrection Men I was naive to believe that I could write a four issue series easily. Why not, right? Wrong. You may not need to be an expert but you need to able to create a plot, characters and drama.

When I write Resurrection Men I think of a scene. The scene often comes from some form of media I’ve seen or heard along the way. In the following examples taking from the upcoming issue 2 of Resurrection Men I’ll break down what I do and why. Let’s go write ahead.

So first things first, write Page 1 on the top of each page where you are writing for page 1. For example, this page stretches over a couple of pages in the script. When I hand this over to Rory it needs to be clear what page I am referring to.

Above extract from Y – The Last Man #18 by Brian K. Vaughan.

Next Panel 1. A panel is the place where the art the reader will see is placed. Pro tip; don’t hide details from artists. Jeez did I learn that quickly. Sure hide it from the reader if you need to but don’t hide stuff from the artist ever!

Above extract from The Killing Joke by Alan Moore – not my cup of tea but check out that description to the artist!

If you have references of what you mean fire that over to the artist. They are not a mind reader! Also when you introduce characters for the first time in your script, capitalise their names. It helps the reader who is really the artist know if someone is important.

On that note lets just highlight one of those pro tips again. I once read that your script is only actually for one person, the artist. Write it with them in mind. What do they need to know to make their job smoother. I can’t remember who wrote that piece of advice but follow it!

Above extract from Powers #1 by Brian Michael Bendis.

Right, the numbers before the dialogue. This is something for not only the artist but more importantly the humble and overlooked letterer. By having these numbers, first the artist can leave enough dead space for the dialogue to be placed but also lets the letterer know the order of the dialogue. Now if you are your own letterer, artist, writer and editor you can ignore this advice but if not please use this number system.

Lastly for today, keep your dialogue tight and not overly verbose. The old adage of show, not tell is paramount here. Think of all the comics you love and the ones you get bored with and you’ll probably see sharp dialogue. Also, want to stress something? Make it bold.

*Update*

Check the art by Rory Donald below based on that first panel.

Panel 1, Page 1

I hope you enjoyed this break down of the writing game and this wee teaser of Resurrection Men Issue 2.

See you soon,

N.S. Paul

Where in the world did the Resurrection Men supporters come from?

Hi guys, One of the more humbling factors of the success of the Resurrection Men issue 1 Kickstarter was the fact that so many different backers came from so many different places. As an indie comic book creator I thought it would be interesting to share with you where our 125 backers came from. I still can’t believe we sent a copy of the comic to Alaska, Argentina and Australia of all places! Enjoy, N.S. Paul

Where in the World?




 
 

Repost – The 6 Best Comics of 2017, According to 6 Comic Book Writers

Hi guys,

Great little article I found regarding what established comic creators see as the best comics for 2017. Surprisingly interesting. Did not see the Flintstones being in there!

https://www.inverse.com/article/39420-best-comics-2017-writers-ninjak-batgirl-kaijumax-flintstones

The Oral History of Image Comics

Hi all,

Just wanted to share this awesome short documrty on the history of Image Comics. If you have been living in a cave the last 25 plus years, Image Comics are probably most well know for the franchises they have created such as The Walking Dead, Saga and Spawn to name a fraction. Click the picture below to watch the documentary now!

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I really enjoyed this documentary and it inspired to get writing and making comics now more than ever.

Enjoy,

N.S. Paul

Resurrection Men #1 Kickstarter is now live!

Hi everyone,

Long time no post but what a post! I have finally finished Resurrection Men #1 and am currently running my first Kickstarter to raise funds to create a small print run.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the Kickstarter here. And check out these pages from the start of the comic.

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Why are you still here? Off you go and check out the Kickstarter here.

Sunday Movie Flasback – Hot Fuzz

Another Sunday, another film. Hot Fuzz is a cop based murder mystery black comedy. The second of Edger Wright and Simon Pegg “Conerto Triology” and my joint favourite with Shaun of the Dead (no one talk about The Worlds End – that was disappointing). If you are looking for an entertaining Sunday night movie, pick it up.

N.S. Paul

The art is done!

Morning all,

I’m proud to say issue one of Resurrection Men has all the art completed! Everything is now ready to be lettered and onwards to the journey of Kickstarter. 

Whooo hooo!

More information to follow in the next week!

N.S. Paul