Saturday, November 26, 2011

Choosing a Comic Project


So you have a bunch of ideas for a comic but don’t know which one to start? You’re not the only one. Below are a few considerations to help you choose which project to start.

The list below is a few items that should be fleshed out before making a choice. If any of your list of stories don’t have any of these done, DO NOT START IT. You will just cause yourself to redo the earlier pages because you didn’t establish the “best” time period or character designs. At the very least, it’s best to have these items completed and established before you start your comic project.

Pre-Plan
  1. A Story Plot: To qualify for consideration your comic story needs to have at least a beginning, middle, and end. No random ideas, it needs to be at least partially fleshed out or you will be stuck.
  2. Character designs: Who is your protagonist? Antagonist? Sidekick? Love interest? You should start designing the characters and get to know them before you start. Remember, the best stories have realistic characters. Rather than have many superficial characters, have a handful of well-designed complex characters.
  3. The World: Do you know what type of world your characters will live in? What about the time period? Knowing these ahead of time will help make your story realistic and help immerse readers into your story.
  4. Format: Is it going to be a long epic story? A one-shot? A strip? Color or black and white? Know the type of format you will write and draw your comic and keep it consistent!


Once you decide which comic projects qualify, optimistically you’ll notice that the list has shrunk. If not, just keep fleshing it out until you get to know your story better. Below is a list of advice to contemplate before choosing your final project or projects.
  • A Script: Having a script already completed, edited, and revised will make your story much easier to map out. Some creators do this, others don’t. It depends on your process and comic format. I know most professional comic creators do this but many other successful independent artists do not. Experiment with this, not everyone likes to follow a script word-by-word. You can always work on this after you decide on which project you would like to start.
  • Your Excitement: Do you have burning desire that you need to work on one specific comic project? Well, by all means, go for it! Pick a story that will excite you, if it’s boring either scrap it or choose another. A comic project is meant to be fun, so choose one that excites you!
  • More than One Project: If you’re the type that can’t sit still working on just one project at a time, then work on another at the same time. You can do this by alternating your time working on them. It’s probably not a good idea but it certainly isn’t against the law. You definitely won’t get it done as fast but at least you won’t be bored.
  • A Schedule: Whether we want to admit it or not, life gets in the way. Making comics is a commitment so to make sure you reach your comic project goal you need to make time! Making a schedule will help dictate what you can achieve while living a fulfilling life. The key is staying on task.
  • Ask a friend/family member: Preferably one that gives honest answers. If you’re still stuck between stories try to explain it to them and ask them which one they like the most. Majority rules, right?
  • Completeness: Is one story more completed than any of the other stories? You might want to consider finishing up that one since you’re farthest along in that story. You’re already part of the way there, might as well follow through!
  • Ease: If you know that a story is extremely short like a one-shot then you might want to consider getting that done first. This is good for a beginner so that you can explore and make your mistakes on that first story instead of a story you have your heart set on. This will also allow you to explore your process and whether or not you have the determination to finish a comic. Your first story WILL NOT BE PERFECT so have fun and learn from that experience. You will only improve from there on up.
  • The Ultimate Choice: You make the ultimate choice. It’s your story/life so make it worth something. If you were to get sick and die tomorrow (which I hope none of you are), which story would you pick? Would you regret not being able to tell that story in your lifetime?


Do you guys have any other ideas to help you choose a comic project? Feel free to post your ideas! These are just a few things I learned as I was trying to choose my comic projects to start.

Ideally, I would hope that one of your stories struck a chord with you as you considered the information. I hope that you were able to narrow down your list based on the advice above, at the very least. Projects are hardly easy but with dedication I’m sure you will be able to complete your comic projects, one or two at a time. When that happens be sure to upload your story and link the finished comic to the public to share it with the world!


Aisazia is a notebook/sketchbook/comic/manga lover. A Swimmer, a Dreamer, and a story enthusiast with the dream of telling and sharing stories through art. Find more about Aisazia: http://about.me/aisazia, http://etherealvoices.blogspot.com, or http://drgnspirit.deviantart.com/
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