Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The cover creative process

Sometimes ideas pop into your head at 4 in the morning and you think “I need to put this down on paper or risk losing it”. Its the classic conundrum where you weigh up sleep versus creativity.
This happened to me recently and is the story of how we got our mock up cover. On our last monthly meet up I was talking with Emma, Ryan and Robert about the fact that we needed a mock up cover. This could be our final cover or serve as a placeholder until we had one that was suitable.

I started thinking about it and there were a few things that I wanted to highlight:
* That comic creation is a collaborative process
* That we have more women attending the meet ups than men.
* I wanted it to be catchy

I started racking my brain about what to do and that evening spurned on by the2 pints I had had at the Wig and Pen I started to draw and....nothing. Well nothing I liked.
So off to bed no good would come of sitting in the loungeroom past mid night ferociously sketching. Then at 4am it happened. I had the idea of what to do.
I got up, my girlfriend thinking it was because I needed to go to the bathroom, and sketched out the idea on a page.

After a long day of work, I should point out I did not return to bed after I was done, I then played around with drawing it in Black and White- I was not happy with the results.

The sketch had a fluidity that was missing from this piece. So I decided to add colour.

I essentially tried adding colour to the piece as it was. I began to look at it and I HATED IT! It wasn’t what I wanted. Sometimes this happens.
I said to myself how do you want this to look on the page?

And how do you want it to look on the stands? This was a more important question as a cover need to be striking.

I decided that I’d take a stab at painting it with a brush. No pencil lines. No Safety net. What I was wanting to do was to get a sketchy feel to it, buuuuut mostly I was wanting to warm up to tackle to final piece.

What I ended up with was the final piece. I was happy with it- to the most part and hit send to my fellow contributors.
Sometimes you get an idea at 4am and sometimes you just have to let go and just have fun with it.

Sunday, 27 November 2011


Need a new avatar for facebook or twitter?
Want a thumbnail of your RPG character or fursona for a forum user pic?
Want to see how you'd look as a superhero - or villain?

Want us to draw it for you?
Go here to contribute and order!
(And don't forget to send us an email with the details of what you want your pic to look like.)

You'll be helping to support the production of Beginnings: A Comic Anthology.

Incentives - the Professional Development Skype session - Kelly Sue DeConnick

Kelly Sue is an inspiration to us all, and I don't say this lightly. She's the kind of person that deep down, we wish we could be like.

Not only is she a phenomenal writing talent (with credits at Marvel, IDW, Image, DC, Tokyopop and more), she’s also a mother of two kids and is married to a Marvel architect... AND she manages to fit everything into her schedule. She’s a professional who knows how to prioritise her time and she understands very well how the industry works.

For a contribution of $120, you could have a full 45 minutes to pick her brain and ask her all sorts of questions about the way comics are made - from managing time writing multiple projects to assembling creative teams to being awesome to almost anything else you can think of to help your career (including her recipe for banoffi pie!).

Having such a great creator on the line for 45 minutes has got to pretty enticing idea if you're just not sure how to take the next step in your comics writing career. It's a chance to have so much information at your fingertips (and also a chance to network and get your name out there a little bit!).

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Incentives - Script Analysis - Justin Jordan

As we said last time - writers can produce a so much work but we it's sometimes difficult share it with others - especially others who have the experience that we would like to have ourselves!

We hear, time and again, that the writers willing to share, willing to listen, and willing to learn are the ones who succeed. They are brave enough to show their work to others and learn from considered feedback.

If you’ve been squirreling away and have a 22-page script that is ready for some feedback - and your dad has already given you his best advice - you could get some professional help from Justin Jordan!

This opportunity is very similar to the critique from Kurtis Wiebe - but this time it’s a full script, 22 pages, which means you’ll get feedback on how your whole script ties together from start to finish - and you’ll also be networking with a very cool and smart writer.

Justin Jordan has shot to fame with his knockout hit from Image Comics, The Strange Talent of Luther Strode. If you haven’t picked up the book then you should (Not just because it is fantastically awesome, but it will also give you an idea about what a great writer Justin is and how his critique will help your own writing).

And remember! For $150 you are not only getting a 22 page script review and a great networking contact - you're helping to fund Beginnings: A Comics Anthology!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Incentive - Lettering - Ed Brisson

Good lettering can enhance the storytelling experience.
Bad lettering can ruin a whole comic.

If you have worked hard on the writing, penciling, inking, and colouring your comic, why not trust the lettering to a professional?

You've seen Ed Brisson's work in books published by Image, Shadowline, Oni, and Random House (and there are more samples on his deviantArt page).

Why not take this opportunity to help us fund the Anthology AND help yourself make your comic all it can be!

For a contribution of $80, Ed Brisson will letter your six page comic.

Incentives - Script Analysis - Kurtis J. Wiebe

Script Critique by Kurtis Wiebe

Writers produce a lot of work but we so rarely share it with others. However, those writers willing to share, willing to listen, and willing to learn are the ones who prosper. They don’t work in a vacuum and they generally keep themselves grounded.

If you’ve been squirreling away at a stack of scripts and you just aren’t sure if they are ready for an artist, or a pitch, or safe daylight consumption, then chances are some outside feedback will help you. If you pledge $100 to the Beginnings Anthology fundraising then you’ll not only get outside feedback but you’ll get it from Kurtis Wiebe.

Kurtis writes the critically acclaimed Green Wake from Image, and has also published The Intrepids, Snow Angel, and Beautiful Creatures. He’s just had his first novel published, a short story for Marvel about Wolverine hit digital and print later this year, and next year sees him launch two new series from Image – Peter Panzerfaust and Grim Leaper.

The Perk
Kurtis will go through 10 pages of your script work and break it down to give you feedback. He’ll discuss formatting, subject, tone, clarity, storytelling, theme, and anything else you want to know about your script writing. He’ll be there to celebrate what you do right and give tips on what you can improve.

Having a major writer from Image Comics look over your pages cannot be a bad thing in the slightest. It’s a great skill building exercise and also an opportunity to network. For only $100 it's a steal - and you are supporting an indie comic in the process.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Incentives - Art Critique - Steven Sanders

Art Critique by Steven Sanders

Steven Sanders' artwork speaks for itself! His run on Marvel’s S.W.O.R.D. was gorgeous and his recent one-shot, Our Love Is Real, was insanely successful for a self-published comic, selling out and getting picked up by Image for a reprint.

Steven is generously offering an art portfolio critique if you pledge $100 to the Beginnings Anthology Indiegogo campaign.

So, what is an art portfolio critique?

If you are a comics artist, and you have a stack of pin ups, covers, sketches, and sequential pages, then it is usually best to get others to look it all over and provide you with feedback. We are so rarely able to be objective about our art because we are too close to it. Friends and family don’t want to upset – or just don’t have enough knowledge – and so a professional can offer you the wisdom and honestly we all so sorely need, and honestly desire.

Steven Sanders will look through samples of your artwork and deliver feedback in regards to your style, your proficiency, the things you could work on to improve, and the things you are currently doing really well. This is the sort of thing most artists wait in line for hours at cons or pay or big money for... And this time it’s delivered by a guy who has been in the industry a while: he's had experience in self-publishing and working for a major publisher. He’s worked on big projects, and he knows what he’s talking about.

If you’ve got some art and the desire to improve then you need to get the Steven Sanders Art Critique – just $100 and you help yourself and you help the Beginnings Anthology get fully funded.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A Short Update...

Plans are afoot, my friends!

Now that we have the contributions to the Anthology simmering along nicely, we are starting to look at the more practical side of things - funding.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are using IndieGoGo to crowdsource the funding for this project. Our funding campaign starts on Thursday - less than 48 hours away! - and I'm getting really nervous and excited at the thought of putting it out there!

I don't think anyone will mind me giving you a sneak peak at some of the excellent perks that have been donated from industry professionals who are helping us to get this book funded. For example - the four perks that we are kicking our campaign off with are:

A 9 x 12 commission sketch by Justin Greenwood, artist on Oni's Resurrection and Wasteland!

An art portfolio critique by Steven Sanders, artist for Marvel's S.W.O.R.D., Generation Hope, and Image's Five Fists of Science!

A 10-page comic script analysis by Kurtis Wiebe, the writer of Green Wake and The Intrepids for Image Comics! and

A 22-page comic script analysis Justin Jordan - the writer of The Strange Talent of Luther Strode from Image Comics!

...and these, my friends, are just the beginnings - we'll have more for you as these ones get snapped up!

The perks will also include a limited number of pre-ordered copies of the book, as well as prints of artwork created for this anthology.

Our IndieGoGo page is: http://www.indiegogo.com/In-the-Beginnings-A-comic-anthology  - check back on Thursday morning (Sydney time) if it isn't coming up for you yet!

Social Media
We are now all connected up on Facebook and Twitter, and we'll be broadcasting updates via social media before it gets to the blog... so come join us!

We still have some room left for short comics - so if you have been planning to get something in, let us know! The deadline for completed pieces is 1 February.

We also have a couple of longer scripts requiring artists; and two artists who are looking to work with writers on shorter scripts. Contact us if you're interested and would like to know more!

The (Fresh) Prints

One of our perks is a combo deal.

In this, you will receive both a pre-ordered copy of the book AND an art print, created by one of the anthology's artists for this book.

Print by Ele Jenkins

You can either choose one of the prints here*, or let us decide for you.

*We will update this page with more prints as they become available (the ink is still drying on some of them!)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Endings can sometimes lead to beginnings

My name is Sam Cavanagh and I have a problem.

I need to draw and sketch and when one page, one project or sketchbook finishes I must find another and quickly.

Recently I just finished my last project, namely the sketchbook project.

My sketchbook was a set of ink drawings in a sketchbook based upon the theme “I remember you”.

This was a lot of fun. I did a lot of research on Jazz artist who have sung or recorded that song from the 40’s until now.

I urge anyone to try to do this as it is a really good excersize in getting information onto a page professionally.

Now that this is finished I’m ready to draw a few pages for the Beginnings anthology I’ve also been working behind the scenes on a few things for the site. You’re going to see a lot of my process work.

When I say process work I mean:

  • Lay out sketches
  • Character designs
  • Interior design work
  • Waxing lyrical about sequential art

So as I said before I have a problem. I need to sketch and draw and work on comic art (almost wrote sequential art there) but its a problem well worth having.

Friday, 11 November 2011

The Beginnings of Beginnings

Hey folks! It's your old pal Rob here to drop some history on you.

The idea of an anthology had been in my mind since I first took over the Canberra meet ups (a long time ago), however it was often met with lethargy and apathy whenever brought up... UNTIL!

At a meet up 2 months ago, I produced a copy of 21 Journeys from Cloudscape Comic Society. I'm not sure what happened but the air was suddenly electric, pulses were racing, and enthusiasm was so high a barometer in the background literally burst*. There's a good crew at these meet ups; fresh faces, regulars to be depended upon, and most importantly talent. With the amount of pencil flair, word verbosity, and sheer awesome around the table every month, we knew we could put something like this together. It just took seeing others doing what we should have done to make us launch a call to arms.

It started around the table. Each man and woman was keen, then we took it digital. Email and Twitter provided us with roundtable discussions of what we would do, how we would do it, what we would be wearing while we would do what we were doing.

The foundations were laid. We knew what we wanted to create (a kick arse comic anthology) and we knew how we wanted to do it (???secrets???).

Don't forget, if you want to be a part of this, don't hesitate to check out the submissions post and join in the fun!

*not literally

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

In which pages are received and Indies are almost A-GoGo!

Progress Report

Can I just say that again?


(Turns out, yes I can.)

This week Mr Shane W Smith broke the sound barrier, or the space-time continuum, or at least some kind of federal law to get his 9-page submission in. Fully inked, coloured and lettered. And it looks **good**. The man's a genius.

The pagecount for "official" EOIs is up past 50, now...
There are a number of people who have been dreaming aloud, talking about their ideas or plans for a comic - even going so far as to discuss page breakdowns! - but I haven't counted their pages unless something has arrived in the Beginnings.Anthology@gmail.com inbox!

Of course, as I've said before, you don't need to send an EOI in, but it really helps our editorial process if you do; and it would be really appreciated.
But enough on that!

Riddle me this...
We've been looking into lots of different ways to get this book funded.
Apparently, Kickstarter (our initial idea) is out, because you need to have both an US bank account AND US address (something to do with Amazon's payment system).

So it looks like IndieGoGo will be our crowdfunding platform of choice!

Now, we're trying to make our book stand out from the crowd (of other projects that are trying to stand out). This is where you can help, by answering these questions three:
Think back to the last time you dropped some money on a kickstarter/indiegogo campaign:
  • How did you hear about the project?
  • What made you decide to support the project - did they say or do anything to catch your attention?
  • What incentives would you expect or like to see for supporters of a project like ours?

If you have an answer for any or all of these questions, leave us a comment below, send us an email, tweet at us with the #BeginningsAnthology hashtag, or comment on the facebook page.

And if you're local (or passing through), we have a meetup at the Wig & Pen at 2pm on this coming Sunday, and every Monday at Max Brenner Belconnen from 6.30pm - come along and say hi!