80/20 Writing/Drawing

So the whole process for my graphic novel is kind of upside down from my usual process. I love comics as a medium – and in another life before freelance art, I spent an enormous time writing.

I used to be a student journalist – spent the last years of my college life writing and editing the campus newspaper. It was my most important training for self publishing because I basically did most of it myself.

I took my own pictures, wrote most of the stories, wrote the editorials, and even drew the editorial cartoons. As an interesting side, I even managed the campus radio station. But that was more because I loved getting new music for free than any desire to become a professional radio professional.

My usual process is to block out pages in basic text, then go straight to thumbnails, writing actual dialogue is something I usually do last and only because it’s the easiest thing to change at the last minute.

But I have been super critical of many writers in my space – that somehow, I don’t feel like they have spent anywhere near enough time crafting something that is suitable to the medium of comics. If the saying is true, that to a hammer everything looks like a nail, then I felt most writers viewed everything as text.

They may have imagined something, thinking it through in their mind’s eye like some movie playing back in their heads. But most of the time, it is some replay of a popular movie, or even another comic, that they have internalized and wanted to make their own.

I think exposure to too much media makes a person far less creative than they could be. I don’t like to work with writers who’s only comparisons come from popular culture. I know it’s inspirational for some writers to look at the latest Netflix hit and declare “that’s what I want to do!”

I fall victim to the same tendencies, after all I basically rip off Blade Runner in everything I’ve ever made. Hypocritical, I know. I’m working on it.

I’m ranting again – I have never spent this much time trying to write something as if someone else were going to draw it.