So this weekend I went to the Norfolk Furmeet at Chapelfield Gardens. I had a great time and at one point had a good conversation with local photographer Foxypaws. It then made me realise we haven’t talked about the process of how an issue gets made. So here it is…Reynard City Chronicles from script to shop.
(Please note- this is going to be an overview so if there’s any specific questions please comment below or use the contact form! You can also get more advice in our Creative Tips Playlist)
Sal is on her own in a jail cell, in tears.
Caption: I deserve to be here. I betrayed my friends, nearly destroyed everything I love…
So this is the script for a page from issue 4 and this is the eventual result
For Reynard City Chronicles, the script is 40 pages long, as opposed to the previous webcomic page that was 22 pages. I chose to change this as it gave a bit more room in terms of the story, while producing one comic a year gives the artist more time as well.
One mistake people often make early on is going overboard on dialogue. My tutor gave me a great tip- imagine each word costs a pound!
With comics, the visuals are the main draw. That being said, caption boxes are great for providing narration (in this instance from Sal’s perspective).
Every artist is different, so you have to tailor the script to their needs. I recommend doing a first draft then getting some feedback from someone with a reasonable distance from your work (friends and family can help but there is the risk they either are too critical or not critical enough).
For artists, the script stage is when I recommend carefully reading it over, especially before you agree to take on the project. Can you fit it into your schedule? Is there anything you might think could do with some tweaking? Don’t be afraid to ask questions and if you need reference material this is the best time.
This is the stage where we see the art being put together. At this point this is where you have to check to see the artist knows what you’re doing as it’s easier to correct any mistakes here rather than later on. Some artists like to do the full lot in a block, others do a page or a few pages at a time. It’s like studying- there is no right or wrong technique, provided the job gets done!
Inking is the next stage, where additional lines and shading provide extra emphasis on parts of the image.
Colours and lettering
Some comics will be black and white, so this stage may not be applicable. Flat colouring is the first step, establishing the right colours to fit the mood. After this, more detail is added.
Finally lettering can also add to the scene (the most obvious example being the BIFF and BAM type sound effects people associate with comics).
Getting it to the shop
Finally we put this together- all the pages are put together in a PDF and then added to the website (Thanks Visualise!)
With the print version, we use local company Minuteman Press Norwich, who also do printed items like the Fox Box and other merchandise. After that, it’s off to shops like Canary Comics to get them up on the shelves.
When working with companies remember to look at the cost of what you are printing and then how much you charge (with a shop they will have a cut as well). You want to be able to keep this going!
Of course it doesn’t stop there- you have to keep pushing and promoting to remind people it’s out there (without spamming, it’s not always an easy balance).
A big thank you to Nicholas Webb, Strider Syd, Joe Draco Petterson, Saltheartfreak and Emily Bandicoot for their work on the first three issues and I can’t wait to share Saturn’s work on issue 4, not to mention all the creative talent who are a part of this group.
Please be fantastic and support us where you can- liking and sharing videos and posts, buying the comics and merchandise and backing us on crowdfunding all helps make this project bigger and most importantly support the people who make this happen!