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"Practice Comics"

 
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KLeslie



Joined: 29 Jan 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:05 am    Post subject: "Practice Comics" Reply with quote

So I have this idea. This really, really great idea. It's a high fantasy with a plot and lots of potential for sequels and spinoffs and collaborations and more. I've never done a webcomic. Heck, I haven't finished a story in the past five years despite having started on three.

So I'm wondering if I should start with a "practice comic" just to see if I can do the whole webcomic thing in a professional, responsible kind of way (sticking to a schedule, keeping the drama down, et cetera). Sound like a good idea or should I just go for the story I'm already writing and passionate about? Has anyone done this before? How did it go? Was it worth it?
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halflight



Joined: 19 Oct 2010
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I had a similar conundrum and I decided to just go with what I was passionate about and learn along the way. It's worked out pretty well for me so far, and because I care about my story, I have the motivation to keep going.
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cjjoughin



Joined: 14 Jul 2011
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before starting my comic I did a test chapter for my grad school pre-thesis. I picked a point in the story later on that I felt would be interesting and challenging to draw and would help me understand how I wanted my comic to look and gave me a chance to get feedback from my classmates.

I was pretty sure I was going to go ahead anyway and I'm glad I did the test chapter. I'll be redrawing it later on and expanding upon it as my fourth chapter so it doesn't feel like wasted time at all and my art improved a lot just from that chapter. My comic is a fairly elaborate scifi story that will probably take about 7-10 years to finish so yeah, never a bad idea to give it a test.
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4LS



Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Posts: 666
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you think you can come up with a short test idea that you'll be interested in enough to work through, then I'd definitely recommend doing that first. Personally, I jumped straight in with my epic, and if I had the time (and inclination) I'd go back now and redraw the first 30 pages.
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cjjoughin



Joined: 14 Jul 2011
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

4LS wrote:
If you think you can come up with a short test idea that you'll be interested in enough to work through, then I'd definitely recommend doing that first. Personally, I jumped straight in with my epic, and if I had the time (and inclination) I'd go back now and redraw the first 30 pages.


Even though I did do a test I still feel this way. I've told myself that when I'm ready to compile the first book, which is about the first four chapters, then I'll allow myself to go back and make edits because hopefully at that point I'll feel like my art is solidified enough.

Still, so glad I did a test chapter. It gave me A LOT to think about and figure before I actually began.
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Fyrebrand



Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 16
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm hardly an expert, but here are some of my thoughts:

If you haven't even started it yet, I don't know how concerned you need to be with sequels and spin-offs. It's great if you've got enough ideas that the potential is there, but any comic (let alone a fantasy epic), is going to be a ton of work just to get the main story done. I mean, can you ballpark how many pages or chapters you want your fantasy story to have by the end of it? And how many pages can you complete per day? You may very well have years to go before the first story is completed.

In a sense, every comic is a "practice" comic, because you'll always get better than you were when you started it. You may very well complete your first chapter, then read over it afterward and wish you'd done things differently. I did that with mine. Heck, I did it like eight times or more. It may feel like a frustrating waste at times, but it will be good for the end product, because it will let you see how things flow, what ideas worked and what didn't, you'll get practice drawing the characters/settings, and overall just more practice, period.

I say just go ahead with what you're passionate about, rather than make something you don't really care for. If you are happy with it, sick with it. If you're not, re-work it until you are. Making a comic can require a lot of re-working and editing. No one ever gets it right the first time. You chip away at it, take things out and add things in, change characters' motivations and actions, develop your tone and your world, and in the end you just understand your own story better.
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4LS



Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Posts: 666
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fyrebrand wrote:
In a sense, every comic is a "practice" comic, because you'll always get better than you were when you started it. You may very well complete your first chapter, then read over it afterward and wish you'd done things differently.

This is very true. Whatever you do, when you pass a certain point you'll wish you'd done it better.
On the other hand, I do think that there's a certain basic level of competence it's useful to achieve if it's going to be the first chapter of something epic - as new readers will always have to start with that chapter. This is less of a prob with gag-a-day comics, where people can leap into the good stuff in the middle without having to read the whole archive.
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Fat Bunny



Joined: 12 May 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like my comic is kind of a practice comic. Started out that way anyway. I had a lot of other ideas for comics that I'd done the conceptual art for -- WAY more complicated art, human characters, etc. And then one day sort of with no forethought whatsoever I started drawing this one (originally as a Mother's Day present to my mom) and decided to see how long I could keep it going. So far it's been five months.


---------------
Love,
http://www.thefatbunny.com
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uncaringmachine



Joined: 09 Jul 2005
Posts: 617

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you could just complete a certain number of pages before putting the comic up? Maybe fifteen or twenty pages of buffer? That way you're already ahead of the game.
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