Wednesday Support – Lettering resources, anthologies, Kickstarter and new work

Now that I am back in full swing at my day job it is harder to do as many updates as I would like but I have managed to come across some excellent resources in my limited downtime.

Resources

The first comes from letterer Jim Campbell (@CampbellLetters & clickflicklettering) who has worked with publishing companies such as 2000AD, BOOM! Studios, Image Comics, Titan Comics, Heavy Metal and Dark Horse to name a few. I came across his guides on the 2000AD forums and I have massive respect for his teaching ethic. Since I found his resources, Jim has been kind enough to point me in the direction to more resources for lettering on his blog through Twitter. I’ve always had a massive amount of respect and gratitude to working professionals who are willing to spend a little time helping amateurs develop their skills to join the industry. So Jim Campbell, thank you! (FYI – you should check out his blog already).

Anthologies

There’s a been several new anthologies and submissions that I’ve come across in the last few weeks. Hopefully you can get to submitting to these soon!

Kickstarters

So let’s talk new comics! I’ve been scouring Kickstarter for new potential material to read and some have caught my eye that I thought I would share. I am no way affiliated with these comic creators. I actually came across their work because of Twitter and I ended following a couple of additional Kickstarters through their social media.

The first is “Ness #2” written by Chris Welsh and art by Robert Carey. I wish I could tell you more about it but I was totally sold on H. P. Lovecraft, Hellboy and Scottish mix. I’m now just waiting for Issue 1 and Issue 2 to be delivered when the Kickstarter finishes. FYI, this Kickstarter has already succeeded but you can still get involved and support the creators.

crbi5f7xeaamur6-jpg-large

The second Kickstarter is Deer Editor: Hack.

deer-editor-vol-3-hack-1

Written by Ryan K Lindsay and art by Sami Kivelä Again if I’m honest, I’m supporting this Kickstarter mostly because of the artwork and the title of the work. And considering the entry point of supporting this comic and the fact that it had already met it’s financial target I had nothing to loose supporting it. Again I am not affiliated with the two Kickstarters above but they just look so damn cool, so check them out and pledge!

New material

Your still here? Fantastic! I’ve recently put my most recent drafts of original scripts on the website. You can check them out at the comics page. I’d recommend “Home” and “My Hero” for short starting points. Please keep in mind these are working drafts and will be updated.

In the interim, have a good Friday.

N. S. Paul

You can’t have more than six panels on a page!

Or so the old adage goes. Since I have gotten back into writing comics I’ve fallen into the trap of writing too many panels in my comics. This has resulted in feedback from other writers stating that artists will see the job as tedious or worse yet, me being naive about not giving enough breathing room for the art to take centre stage.

I went back to my recent draft of Resurrection Men #1 and looked at my pages with my analytical hat. Was I showing my inexperience or could a writer really be successful with more than a certain number of panels per page?

3589583-ultimate+spider-man+43-07So I picked up my most recent read, Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis and I noticed that he often writes for nine or ten panels per page. This is one of the most successful writers currently at Marvel so by this logic surely there doesn’t need to be a hard limit on how many panels you need for a page. The page to the left really was a great example of how a large number of panels can quickly tell a story without the need of excess dialogue.

 

avengers-finaleThis page from the “Avengers Disassembled” storyline was in fact very powerful because it showcased the emotional wellbeing of all the characters whilst simultaneously giving each character a line of dialogue that expressed their feelings towards the end of an era. However, I’m not trying to dismiss the logic between limited panels. In fact it really helps as a writer to look at a page with many different panels and see what really is important and condense the essence of the story into as few as panels as possible.

The example below comes from between two drafts of Resurrection Men #1.

12

In the first example you can see there was a lot of dialogue and going back and forth between Camael and James. When I added it up it came up to 10 panels in total! So I thought to myself, how can I keep the jist of this story and scene but cut the panels. This was my solution below.

1 Redone2 redone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suddenly a lot smoother and heck of lot more interesting visually. I 02_cemanaged to keep the feel of story but also gave room for the art to be the certain of attention.

So I guess this one golden rule can be broken, if it is broken for the right reason. I’ll leave you with a poor example of panels from Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics”, a great read you should pick up.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Comic balloons & clarity

Evening all,

My journey to developing as a comic writer and letterer led me to do a lot of research on how to develop different skills. I thought I would start sharing those online posts that have helped me in the interests that it might help others with their own work.

This tutorial has great information about placement of word balloons within your comic. This particular article comes from IDW published writer and artist Lora Innes. You can check out her online comic, The Dreamer here,  buy it here and her twitter here.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Comic Layout Tutorial: Comic Balloons & Clarity