Wednesday Support – Catch up!

Good evening,

I thought I would just do a quick we post on all the different topic I’ve covered so far.

Wednesday Support – Lettering

Wednesday Support – Lettering and colouring resources

Wednesday Support – Anthologies

Wednesday Support – Comic Balloons and clarity

More updates will be coming but please do check the above links out and develop your own craft.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Friday Comic – Home (Comic)

Good morning everyone,

I am very pleased and proud to release my first finished comic to the world. Home was part of a biweekly comic circle I currently take part in were the writers are given a theme and have to write a four panel one page script in one week. The following week, a random artist will be picked and draw said scripts again within a week.

In this case the theme was ‘space’ and I saw an opportunity to take a previous short story and make it into a comic book. This was also my first attempt at lettering a piece of comic work and I’m fairly pleased with the outcomes.

You can download the comic in higher definition here or read continue to read below.

Home

As part of this project I also ended up lettering another artists/writers work which you can see below or again download from here.

Onwards

If you are interested in joining the group please contact me at admin@nspaul.co.uk.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Lettering

Good morning everyone,

This weeks resources is more a question and answer FAQ regarding common lettering issues from Comicraft, one of the big names of the lettering world.

Click the picture below to be taken to FAQ part of Comicraft’s site.screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-19-25-12

Regards,

N. S. Paul

Tuesday Kickstarter -Twisted Pulp & Under the Streetlight

Morning all,

These one off Tuesday posts are really all about Kickstarter campaigns I think you should check out or consider investing in. This Tuesday is about is double anthology entitled ‘Twisted Pulp & Under the Streetlight‘.

b5ee337ca67c3e320371829cd8406865_originalThe campaign has already passed its $1,111 goal and it still has 26 days to go. At $11 for this 200 page digital anthology its a steal.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Monday Review – Rick and Morty #1 – #12

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Synopsis

Rick and Morty carries on from the popular animated television show of the same name were the deranged scientist grandad Rick takes his oft reluctant grandson Morty, on all sorts of hijinks across spacetime. Written prodomently by Zac Gorman, with pencils again mostly by CJ Cannon and lettering by Crank!, Rick and Morty first foray into the comic world is actually a good read. Published by Oni Press.

Story

If you are like me and are always late to the next big thing of television, film or other media then I can not stress how much you should watch the first two seasons of the show Rick and Morty. Leave this blog and watch them now. This blog will still be here.

The story of a young boy trying to come of age, his alcohol fuelled abusive genius grandfather and the assorted family members that make up the house in which they all live is cleverly written, funny and imaginative.

The comic takes place at the end of season 2 of the TV show and finds our hapless duo in the middle of universal stock market manipulation that leads quickly to their trial.

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-08-18-29This sums up the humour in the book and the dynamic that Rick and Morty have. It is very much a story of family and how people cope with the quirks everyone has. True, those quirks can cause the death of parallel dimensions but still, just quirks.

The first 12 issues have two or three story arcs which is nice to see continuity within the comic rather than an episodic approach to the series. Most of the stories have back up stories at the end which further develop secondary characters or explore absurdity of the world in which these characters inhabit.

Whilst Gorman has not been involved with the series whilst it was on TV, he has really captured the eccentricities, dialogue and pace of the show even down to the belching of Rick and the stuttering of Morty. It even has self referencing, pop cultures idioms and even breaks the forth wall for situational gags.

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The series ends on a rather bleak note and whilst I don’t want to spoil it for the reader, I would encourage you to pick the series up just so you can get to the end and see the cliff hanger yourself.

Art

The art feels like it’s straight out of the TV series and CJ Cannon has done a good job at maintaining the style established. There are times were the art seems to come second to the dialogue but I suppose that’s part of the problem of taking a moving visual medium and translating it into fixed points within panels.

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-09-20-16 Fair play to Cannon because he does manage to consider the limitations he has with the art and unlike other big name writers like Brian Michael Bendis who can have too many panels (see this post), Gorman has given the story space to breath and this lets the art pop out more to the reader.

Lettering

I’ve never heard of Crank! before I read this series but a quick google search helped me learn more about this talented letter. As mentioned in last weeks Monday Review post, the more I’ve started lettering my own work the more I’m aware of how good, average and bad lettering can effect the story and whilst I am by no means an expert on the topic I know enough to say this.

Crank! had his work cut for him with this project and he ran with it successfully!

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A big feature of Rick and Morty as a TV show was the meandering lunacy that would often comes from Rick’s mouth and the stuttering pleads from Morty’s. With limited space due to art, Crank! often pushes the dialogue right against the panel walls but you would need to in such tight spaces.

A successfully letterer will make it seems like your not even aware of how important their job is and in this respect, Crank! did an amazing job.

Conclusion

I loved this translation to comics and found it a breeze to read all 12 issues in a couple of days. There was time’s were it dragged for me, specially issue #6. I won’t spoil it for you but unless you’ve watched the TV series you’ll feel short changed by that issue.

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Overall it’s a great series and I recommend you pick it up though if you wait till December there is a hardcover edition coming out with a sound chip in it which looks annoying but wonderful at the same time (click here to see what I mean). Though there was a big downside for me with this series in that it has made me really impatient for the follow up volume or a new TV series to be out already!

Join me next Monday for our next comic review.

Regards,

N. S. Paul

Friday Comic – Bottom (Script)

Morning all,

Welcome to this week’s submission for the one comic every two week challenge. “Bottom” follows the theme of the day everything changed, and Bottom is a dark one page take on that theme.

You can access the file here.

Regards,

N. S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Lettering and colouring resources

Good morning,

This week I’ve got two resources that I have really found useful in developing not only my lettering skills but also my colouring skills.

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The first comes from Comicraft and is all about lettering. I’ve found this guide really helpful due to the references to Adobe Illustrator and the different approaches to not only speech bubbles but to SFX and additional tips and tricks for lettering. You can pick up your copy from most retailers.

finished_hunter_preview

The second is a free resource for colouring. I found this really clear and easy to follow and I’m looking forward to exploring this technique with black and white art. You can check out the resource here.

See you next Wednesday.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Monday Review – Deer Editor

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Synopsis

Deer Editor is a modern whodunit written by Ryan K Lindsay, art by Sami Kivelä and lettering by Nic J. Shaw. Bucky, our fearless anthropomorphic journalist deer, stumbles upon a murder in this noir inspired digital only series.

Story

*Minor spoiler ahead*.

Coming across a John Doe at the local morgue, Bucky a writer at ‘The Truth’ newspaper, discovers a cover up involving upper echelons of City Hall. On his journey to unearth the gritty story for his paper, he’ll come across a bartender with an amoral compass, a sleazy Hugh Hefner type character and several corpses.

Bucky will have to use not only his investigative journalism skills but also his additional animal senses of smell, antlers, thick hide and speed to get to the bottom of this life and death story.

I came across Deer Editor through a recent Deer Hacker campaign that Ryan K Lindsay was running for his third volume of this series on Twitter. I hadn’t read any of the previous work nor had I come across Lindsay’s work in the past so I picked up all three digital volumes at the end of the campaign.

I really enjoyed this first volume and I found the story engaging. It has been some time since I sat down and read a whodunit and I was thoroughly entertained by the twists and turns of this noir inspired story. I was wondering how surreal this story was going to be having a deer as the protagonist but surprisingly, it works quite well. I really enjoyed how Lindsay used the animal side of Bucky in further certain panels within the story to further develop story.

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The story had a good sense of pace and I quickly read all three chapters of the first volume in a about ten minutes because it constantly engaged me to swipe to the next page. The fact that it ends on a cliff hanger only make you want to pick up the second volume and start reading.

The decision for the story to only be released digitally and to be specially designed for tablet devices worked in the stories favour. It’s the first digital comic I’ve read in this format and it was nice not to have to zoom in on certain panels on my iPad.

The writing was tight and the use of Bucky being the narrator helps to drag you as a reader into this noir story. This is reminiscent of similar style stories in different mediums such as the film Double Indemnity.

Art

The black and white art works very well with this story. One of the concerns I have with B&W art generally is that sometimes you can’t discern features, mood or times of day if the artist does not communicate this correctly. Thankfully this was not the case with Deer Editor. Sami Kivelä really delivers with the art here and again compliments the noir style writing by using great examples of silhouettes and shadows.

When you humanise animals there is always a trade off of how much of the animal you keep against the human superimposition. With style, Kivelä adds a very believable human deer to the unknown corrupt city where the story takes place.

deer-editor-vol-3-exampleI also appreciated the use of panels in delivering pace to bring into focus certain objects in the scene that the reader should be focusing on.

deer-editor-vol-1-example

Lettering

As I’m trying to become a letterer myself I thought I would spend some time with this oft look part of the comic creation. Nic J. Shaw created a rather reserved approach to the sound effects of this issue. In fact, in most major cape comics you would expect to see SFX when for example a door is kicked open. Shaw goes the other way and leaves a lot of SFX for the readers imagination which in this story is actually a benefit and lets Kivelä’s art shine.

I also enjoyed the deer head silhouette that would signal the start of a Bucky’s narration. Whilst this was most likely a created by the artist, the placement of it I would assume was the Shaw.

deer-editor-vol-2-example

The placement of the dialogue is sound sand doesn’t distract from the art and story. So basically does exactly what a good letterer is supposed to.

Conclusion

I really enjoyed this story and I can’t wait to finish this review and read the next two instalments. You can still get your own grubby mits on them if you visit the Deer Editor website. The fact the stories can be picked up for a dollar also means your not breaking the bank to read a new piece of work that is really engaging. If you wish to follow Lindsay, Kivelä or Shaw you can find them on Twitter.

Join me next Monday for our next comic review.

Regards,

N. S. Paul

Friday Comic – My Teeth! (Script)

Morning all,

Please find my submission for the one comic every two week challenge. “My Teeth” follows Toothy, a small child T-Rex as he tries to get his food off a small rodent.

You can access the file here.

Regards,

N. S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Anthologies

Good morning,

Now that I’m back in the swing of things I can share with you Support Wednesday, a weekly blog about resources that can help support your comic writing lives.

This week comes from anthologies;

http://sol-comics.com/anthology-submissions/

http://openroadanthology.tumblr.com/anthology-submissions

http://www.lezhin.com/en/page/contest

All the best,

N. S. Paul