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Living with mistakes

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Dec. 4, 2020
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We create two comics.

One story has been methodically planned out, step by step. There’s a master plan. The chapters are written in their entirety over 40 pages. They are sketched, edited, inked and coloured all at once. When the chapter is over, we review the plan, make adjustments, rinse and repeat.

The other comic is created week-to-week. The rough outline is there but adjustments are made on the fly. The characters do what they want, say what they want, and at times, the episodes are cut and edited to meet a tight deadline, other times the episodes seem to last forever!

With each of these approaches, we make mistakes. We draw things in a weird way, the colours aren’t as bright, the panels are not dynamic enough and every now and then a plot hole begins to appear as if a small hole in a tooth. If we’re quick enough, we can fill it as a dentist fills a cavity. Others are gaping and in need of a serious root canal only there are fewer resources to fix it.

We sit there, saying, “This is the week we'll fix it,”

We grumbled, “Once we have a big enough buffer we’ll plug it,”

They’ve sat there for some time now.

Oftentimes, comic creators live with their mistakes in spite of the efforts they have gone to prevent them. Sometimes it’s the art, other times it’s the story, or a plot point that seems no longer relevant. We have made plenty of mistakes.

However, we live with our mistakes and learn from them. We endeavour to write better, draw better, learn quicker. And every time we do, we improve. Fix what you can, but let some mistakes go, if only to stand as testament to how far you’ve come.

Have you ever made a mistake in your comic you’d like to fix? Have you ever retconned it? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!

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comment

anonymous?

bravo1102 at 2:16AM, Dec. 6, 2020

Constantly tweaking. Once posted though I won't go back, but until it is, constant tweaks. I'll often step away for awhile so I can come back to look at it all with a fresh eye. Take off the creator hat and put on the editor hat. Sometimes I have to settle for "the best that could be achieved under the circumstances " as opposed to far ranging magnificent victory. Re evaluate the objectives based on the experience and realize my original concept was unrealistic and a flight of fancy based on the resources at hand. Or proper planning prevents pass poor performance.

cdmalcolm1 at 5:13PM, Dec. 5, 2020

All I can tell you, it is very hard doing it by yourself. The creative side and your structured side. Sometimes I can be so submerged in the creative side that while I’m editing, I don’t see all the mistakes. I’m not the best writer or artist, nor a good editor, but I have to wear all hats like many of you. Like what Fallopiancrusader said, doing digital makes it easier than traditional. As we move forward towards the digital age in comics, more of us are leaning towards the benefits of digital editing on digital published works. It can be fixed. I started doing digital since 2010 and have not looked back since. I did that because I didn’t have any room left to put my work. I like the digital realm because it’s just easier for me to wear all those hats.

Teh Andeh at 4:13PM, Dec. 5, 2020

with the exception of fixing dialogue layers i forgot to unhide, i almost never fix anything hahaa i'm more of dont look back if you don't gotta 😆

Banes at 9:20AM, Dec. 4, 2020

For some reason I never go back to fix, like, bad art (too much to fix!). Like a hand that looks weird or a bajillion other screwups or just...badness. I had a crowd scene where one fist was raised up but with the completely wrong orientation to which way the crowd was going. That might've been worth fixing but I didn't bother, haha. In the same story, a side character was wearing a military-type uniform that kept changing page to page. xD

Banes at 9:17AM, Dec. 4, 2020

With art, I've gone in and fixed/reuploaded any mistakes I spot (somehow they become visible when the page is uploaded). I fix typos, strange compositing issues where layers are in the wrong order or a couple characters are slightly transparent. Only once did I reach back in time to erase a character out of a crowd shot, then add him back in, then erase him again. He was old Berg, who possibly died offscreen or possibly didn't. He's not reappeared since then, so his fate is still unclear. That's my only "retcon", I think.

Banes at 9:14AM, Dec. 4, 2020

I do some script revising before i start posting a story - until I know my ending and any other big story turns. Wanna make sure at least the ending is in place before I start uploading the starting pages.

Jason Moon at 8:08AM, Dec. 4, 2020

When I started drawing my story a couple years ago it was like a way to get lost from the world and my depression. I had lost a second job where I had lots of friends, wrecked my mustang, and a girl really hurt me. So besides work I would stay in my art room and would draw all day for months. Drawing up to 5 pages a day not thinking about a story per say but drawing off of emotions and that is how Craters Edge was created. I don't mind all the mistakes and poorer artwork in earlier chapters because it's fun to see the growth.

fallopiancrusader at 6:48AM, Dec. 4, 2020

One of the great things that helps me a lot with webcomics is what is effectively a crowd-sourced group of editors. In the past, all sorts of inconsistencies in art and plot have been pointed out to me by readers, and I could fix them on the fly. Since it's a digital only medium, I can go back and tweak things in my master page, then make the changes to the live comic within seconds. I revise my webcomics a lot because they're digital. Revising printed comics is a very expensive proposition, since you need to re-print the whole run from scratch. (I am embarrassed to admit that I have had to do this in the past, because some gross errors had been overlooked by my woefully inadequate editing skills)

usedbooks at 5:39AM, Dec. 4, 2020

My stories are heavily revised and rewritten a dozen times before they are drawn. They are still not perfect in the end, but it's hardly on-the-fly. Art mistakes are constant, however. If they are fixable, I usually try to fix them as soon as I notice or whenever a reader draws attention to it. Typos are inexcusable to me and must be corrected immediately.

KAM at 5:31AM, Dec. 4, 2020

What about those of us who do a one-shot cartoon, then think up a follow-up, and that leads to more cartoons, and the whole story grows like topsy?

bravo1102 at 12:37AM, Dec. 4, 2020

Proper planning prevents poor performance.


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