Editing a Graphic Novel

All eleven regular readers will have noticed a long delay since my last update.  This is not because I haven’t been working, but rather because I’ve been editing, and it’s boring as hell.  It turns out that there’s a big difference between having drawn enough pages to fill a book and having completed a book.  There are three main steps to bridging this gap:

1. Un-fuck the pages that I already drew.  This mainly stems from the fact that I got much better at drawing over the past couple of years (100% due to practice and 0% due to natural talent) and so the later panels look better than the earlier ones.  I also didn’t draw model sheets when I began this project, which started off as something — anything — to fill the time while I sweated out the purgatory of living in Hawaii, and turned into a first novel once I realized how long it would be when it was done.  This means that some of the characters and objects change appearance incrementally but noticeably between the beginning and the end when I wasn’t paying attention, which won’t do.  Anyway, this means making a lot of little changes to details in the earlier pages, as below.  See if you can spot them!

Changes

2. Put all of the pages into a .pdf file, laid out for printing.  I use Adobe InDesign for this, and will format it for Amazon’s CreateSpace POD publishing business, although the same document will be for sale as a .pdf and will be sent to publishers to see if anyone’s interested.

3. Draw a cover.  This is the most fun part, but also the most challenging, since it’s a different sort of design challenge than drawing the interior pages.  I can pretty much visualize what’s happening in the story, sometimes all too vividly, and most of the time it’s not hard to just draw that.  Drawing a cover is different, because I have to accurately convey the artwork that’s inside without making it too complex to catch the eye.  I also have to write a synopsis for the back that’s meaningful but not pretentious, which may be the hardest part of the whole project.

I have a lot of downtime at work around Christmas, so that’ll probably be when most of this gets done.  I’m uploading the final pages on my Tumblr as I complete them, and I’ll put the whole thing up on this website in one long post once it’s finally done.  Stay tuned!

 


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