Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

well i am kind of stuck
sliverdragon20xx at 2:18PM, Jan. 14, 2008
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After 17 tires and montians of paper ref, i still can't start my manga right. It all has to do with my panels, I get stuck on trying to show one my charaters falling to the ground due to a trip on a rock, can some one help me on panel making so i can get off this bump in the road.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:48PM
CharleyHorse at 3:42PM, Jan. 14, 2008
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I can suggest something. You can show your protagonist walking in a full body side shot with the camera slightly behind him and to one side so that we can see the treacherous stone or rock in his path. Next you can have him saying or thinking something that will seem very ironic when he does trip over the stone. After that you probably have a great deal of panel options.

In the next panel I MIGHT show the toe of his shoe or boot striking the stone. The next panel would be a tight close up of his surprised face. The next panel would just be special effect lines and the THUD! word placed in the midst of them. The last panel might just show the back of the protagonist and a thought bubble filled with something appropriately ironic. You see, you do not have to show him actually falling.

On the other hand if you want to go with something other than humor you have to take a slightly different approach.

I will say this, you can drive yourself crazy trying to find the absolute perfect way to illustrate an opening page. Sometimes you just have to get it about eighty percent the way that you want it to be and then shrug and upload the result.

This is true especially if this is your first web comic effort. This is a long learning process and much of it is, by necessity, learned AFTER you have finished working on something, uploaded it, and then had some leisure to think about ways that you might have done it better.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
SomaX at 4:38AM, Jan. 15, 2008
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Once again, CharleyHorse, I am awed by your great knowledge.

It's true though. Honestly, dragon, if everyone else on this website worried about getting each page exactly perfect, I doubt there'd be nearly as many comics here. Trust me, once you get the story started, it gets easier. Just practice, get better, and forget about how bad it looks; at least until your first comment. Then, you'll feel so good about your work, you'll just want to throw up a bunch of pencil sketches (for future refference: don't do that). Sooner or later, you'll have a good comic on your hands and mad drawing skills. But till then, good luck. ^_^
~*~
#253 in Comic Book/Story #344 Overall ~*~ #383 in Comic Book/Story #517 Overall
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
CharleyHorse at 6:15AM, Jan. 15, 2008
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Thanks SomaX. My own cartoon is an excellent example of just saying ‘to heck with perfection’ and tossing something to the readers that is only about eighty percent where I'd like it to be as far as art work and good storytelling is concerned. I just don't have it in me to wait until I have everything just so. I just want to get on with getting on.

Mine isn't the perfect way to do things – well obviously – but then again I've got pages up, something up, that otherwise would never have seen the light of day while I was otherwise concentrating on making everything perfect.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
SomaX at 8:16PM, Jan. 15, 2008
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I just thought of another tip to get you started, dragon. Don't redraw everything once it's done. I absolutely hate half of my comic because, compared to my current work, it sucks @$$. But, rather than redoing every last pencil line, I leave it alone, and just keep moving; kind of like what CharleyHorse was saying. If you got pages up, that's what matters. Especially because it means you have the cahonees to throw yourself to the wolves. I look at it one of 2 ways: A) when I finally post that final page of my comic, I can look back and see just how far I've come or B ) When people page through the crap that is my archives, they'll have an incentive to keep going, because they know it gets better.

EDIT: I'm also going to add you both as friends. ^_^ Dragon, so I can keep tabs on you. And, CharleyHorse, because of your divine wisdom.
~*~
#253 in Comic Book/Story #344 Overall ~*~ #383 in Comic Book/Story #517 Overall
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
CharleyHorse at 4:53AM, Jan. 16, 2008
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Thanks Somax, and I would be happy to have you as a DD friend. As for wisdom, I just try to keep on learning and to remember that I can always be wrong about anything. This helps to keep me more humble than I might otherwise have become. It helps to continually run into much younger people on DD that possess an awesome amount of knowledge and skill.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
Glarg at 4:26PM, Jan. 16, 2008
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Do what I do when I'm in this kind of predicament, stare at the clouds and image your characters. As you look, attempt to play a storyline based on the alignments and shapes of the clouds. Say a cloud look like two people fighting each other with swords, or one cloud moves faster than another. Just play these parts in your head and sooner or later you'll have a storyline. This will also put you in a calm state of mind…that's when the brain starts coming up with REALLY interesting things.

Also if you see wooden benches and such look at the patterns in the wood, the rings, the shapes those brown lines make. Maybe even floor tile indentations will help (I know it's good for coming up with character designs too).
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:37PM
acadia at 10:09PM, Jan. 16, 2008
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Glarg
Do what I do when I'm in this kind of predicament, stare at the clouds and image your characters. As you look, attempt to play a storyline based on the alignments and shapes of the clouds. Say a cloud look like two people fighting each other with swords, or one cloud moves faster than another. Just play these parts in your head and sooner or later you'll have a storyline. This will also put you in a calm state of mind…that's when the brain starts coming up with REALLY interesting things.

Also if you see wooden benches and such look at the patterns in the wood, the rings, the shapes those brown lines make. Maybe even floor tile indentations will help (I know it's good for coming up with character designs too).

Trippin' on acid much?

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:45AM
Lokidoll at 9:45PM, Jan. 22, 2008
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^^; I can't say I have anything for you for that specially, but what I CAN suggest is that you try and relax and just take one panel at a time. Remember that you can be spacious with your panels and that everything doesn't need to be jammed on one page.
I suggest flipping through some comics for inspiration ( either on DD or the ones in your own personal collection ) and do some rough sketches on several sheets of lined paper and then finalize it with the one that you like the best.
And like I believe, "SomaX" said: once you get the story started, it gets easier. Just practice, get better, and forget about how bad it looks; at least until your first comment.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
Skullbie at 7:16PM, Jan. 24, 2008
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If you are having trouble with the actual panel design, here is what to do;
Use professional manga as a reference.

Look at how they line the panels, slant them, and put it all together.
Any time i'm in a block I flip open a random manga and there's 200+
pages of panel reference and creative ideas.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:44PM

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