Monday, March 1, 2010

Technique Files: Creating a comic/webcomic

Part 4: What kind of story do you want to tell?

Many webcomics are not based around story so much as episodes or single page incidents. On the web these “ultra-short” stories or incidents work really well because they make it easy for you to read quickly and not invest too much time.

If you want to tell a longer story you really need to think about it carefully before you start drawing. Why? Because, and trust me on this, it’s really easy for a comic story to get out of hand. A written story is very different from a heavily illustrated one. A graphic novel or webcomic takes longer to tell. It must because it’s telling a story with many, many pictures. As a webcomic artist (and previously a children’s book illustrator) I love telling stories with lots of pictures. But, if you write a novel and then want to turn it into a graphic story or comic, things are going to get ugly really fast. Where do you put all of those words, eh? If you have a long story it’s going to take a really long time to tell when you add all those really great pictures. In fact, it might take several issues (or volumes in manga) to tell it. Do you have the patience and fortitude for that? Think about it carefully before getting in too deep. A shorter, simpler story WILL be easier to tell in a comic format, especially for a novice. I know what I’m talking about here folks.

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