For my birthday this year, I went to the big art store here in Syracuse & bought myself some pencils & pens & paper. I decided I was going to try to make my own comic book.
Aside from a few high school art classes (the regular crop of studio classes & one focused on cartooning), I don’t have any real training in how to draw. Of course, once upon a time I didn’t have any training in how to write poems, or how to run a magazine or even a publishing company but that didn't stop me. So I wasn’t too worried about a lack of training. I was worried a bit about lack of talent, I guess, but I plunged in anyway.
I’ve been reading comics my whole life. And though I have favorite characters & series, favorite panels & creators, it’s probably fair to say that I love the FORM of comics much more than I love a specific iteration of that form. Meaning, maybe, I’m endlessly energized by what’s possible when you combine words & pictures, when you get to show something & say something & map it all out. It was only natural that eventually I'd want to try my hand at making my own.
I’m going to use this blog to document a bit of my process working on this comic (& hopefully others in the future!) – partly from a practical standpoint & partly in a more theoretical manner. But we’re still here at the beginning, so I don’t want to jump ahead too much.
Having only a vague sense of what tools I was going to need if I was really going to try to do this in a “professional” manner, I started scouring online sources. I found information all over – about what pens to use & where to buy the right paper. I’ll talk more about my own materials eventually, but really the biggest help to me initially were these two blog posts / by John Porcellino.
(John’s comics have been a big part of my life for a long time. I was lucky to get a chance to talk to him a few years ago about his Thoreau book. If you don’t know his King-Cat Comics, there are many entry points – you can start with one of the collections (like Perfect Example) or just order the newest issue.)
My first trip to the art store netted me a handful of Micron pens & some Prismacolor pencils (including John’s recommended non-photo blue). I didn’t buy an eraser, but it was my first trip, & I am new at this! I had to go back a few more times over the next few days…
But that’s for next time!