Comic about making comics – Completed

Yesterday evening, I finally completed my short comic about making comics. I have named it ‘A mini Tour De Comics’.

I completed the whole 11 pages in 7 days, an achievement for my speed.

I have sent it to ComixIndia.com for publishing in their forthcoming booklet on the same topic. The booklet will contain entries from some more people on this subject, nearly 10 pages from each author.

Once they publish it on their website, I will keep one copy here for free download. Who knows, the current B&W comic may acquire some colors by then 🙂

Since a post about making comics is incomplete without some pictures, and I am not supposed to publish it here before the publisher does it, here are very small thumbnails of the comic. They are large enough to entice an interest, and small enough to be unreadable 😀

A Comic about Making Comics

These are 2 initial (unfinished) pages I did last week for my ‘Comic on Making Comics’

Few days back, ComixIndia.com asked for submissions. The topic? Short ‘comics’ about making comics. In essence, some form of graphic narrative which would be useful for any comics creator in making of comics.

I initially decided NOT to participate for 2 reasons:

1. I want to finish the current story I am working on as soon as possible (I am working on it since more than 5 months now)

2. I have already read ‘Making Comics’ by Scott McCloud and ‘Comics – the Sequencial Art’ by Will Eisner, and felt that there was nothing more to say about making comics. I also felt that I would not be able to avoid copying these masters if I did venture into this arena.

When my concious mind was made up not to participate, my subconcious mind started generating new ideas for this project. My resistance to these ideas lasted exactly 1 and a half days before I gave in and started sketching down the ideas on paper.

Last week I completed the 11 page draft of a preliminary guide for a comic to make comics. Then I finished rough sketching of all 11 pages and inking of 3 pages by last weekend. I am working on 8th page now, and intend to finish this by coming weekend.

To complete this project faster than my usual ones, I employed a more cartoony style of drawing, as opposed to the more realistic style I frequently use. The emphasis is on clean, sharp, continuous lines, and less shading. You may not find much of intricate shading here.  Someday soon, I am also planning to color it. When it’s done, I will release it as a free PDF download.

Keep watching this space for more.

‘Avatar’ and Dreams

Last weekend I watched one of the most anticipated movies till now – Avatar.

This post is not about Avatar!

This post is about the man behind Avatar, and the dream he lived, and what it signifies for me.

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Innumerable pages and bytes have been spent on writing about Avatar and its creator, James Cameron. Cameron, who has created such pathbreaking entertainers like Terminator 1 and 2 (and no, he did not have a hand in the godawful T3), The Abyss. Aliens, True Lies, Titanic and now, Avatar was a truck driver when he was 22!

Since the day he watched Star Wars in 1977, he had a dream – to make something even on a  grander scale. Finally he realized his vision with Avatar.

I will not talk about Avatar here, even though I thought the movie was fantastic. What I am more impressed about the passion with which JC persued his dream, how far he worked  (and made others work) till it was perfect to his ideas, and in the whole process, did not ever let any critic change his course.

I envy that guy not (just) because he is so wealthy, or successful, or famous; but because he is one of the rarest few who have the means to follow their lifelong dreams with full passion.

Someday I want to be in that position. My dream may not be to make something grander than Avatar (although that’s not a bad idea at all), but it will be as close to my heart as Avatar has been to JC’s.

COMIXINDIA.COM Volume 1 – Random Selection

An announcement for all budding and wannabe comics authors/artists.

Comixindia.com (a comics enthusiast site) and Pothi.com (A self publishing print-on-demand site) annonced at the end of Nov 2009 about a magazine, COMIX.INDIA VOLUME 1 – RANDOM SELECTION.

The magazine is introduced to publish an anthology of sorts of independent comics creators in India.

The following are guidelines for submission

1. A4 size, black and white, at least 20 pages, at most 40 pages each.

2. Scanned / created digitally at 300 DPI and above.

3. Any topic (that’s why it’s called Random Selection)

Due to the inherent nature of Print-on-demand, there’s no up-front monetory investment on the part of authors. The magazine copies will be printed physically only when somebody orders (and pays for) them.

The deadline for submissions is 31st Dec 09. So if you are interested to be in this project, you can check out the site comixindia.com.

I have already submitted my story ‘The Replacement’ for this issue.

The below picture is a sample cover for this anthology, and the actual cover page will greatly differ (actually, it will have no resemblance to this page whatsoever)

Dummy Cover for COMIX.INDIA Volume 1- Random Selection

Some text on making comics from my side

I recently (to be precise 3.5 hours ago) put the following text related to comics creation on the ComixIndia.com discussion board. Thought to share it here as well.

The admin had thrown up some questions related to comics creation, and I provided my thoughts on the same. Your comments welcome as always.

1. How does a newbie learn how to create comics?
Ans –
— Read read read, keep an open mind (most important).
— Keep in mind that comics are ’stories told in pictures’, not only ‘children’s superhero books’
— Put your ideas on paper / digital format, visualiza things, draw them.
— Keep high level of persistance and perseverence

2. Are there any books? Can anyone give tips?
Ans –
— The comics triology from Scott Mccloud
1. Understanding Comics
2. Reinventing comics
3. Making comics
I have read ‘Making Comics’, and found it to be the bible of comics making. I have ordered ‘Understanding Comics’. Will give feedback when I receive it.

There’s also one book from Will Isner called ‘Comics – The Sequential Art’ which is worth reading.

Quick Tips – If you want to make comics digitally, visit my site
http://www.huesandtones.net
Go to section Comics -> Tutorials. It describes the drawing, inking and lettering process for digital comics

3. Does one have to be a great artist to draw comics?
Ans –
Nope, you have to be good at visualizing and entertainment, not necessarily drawing.
http://www.xkcd.com is one of the most popular comic website, and the guy draws ball and stick figures for humans!

4. Are basic drawing skills enough to create comics?
Ans – No. Comics are not for diaplying the drawing skills, they are for TELLING STORIES in pictures. So along with basic drawing skills, you will need story telling skills (and many more)

5. Can one person create a 30 page comic in one month?
Ans – A person can create a 30 page comic in one day !! There’s an event in US every year called 24 hour comic, in which various people create a 24 page comic (each) from scratch, in 24 hours!
On the other hand, I take nearly 10-12 hours to finish drawing a page (in B&W). For coloring I take another 12-15 hours/page.

It really depends on how much detail you want to show, how many panels are in a page, and many more factors.

Hope this helps current and potential comics creators

iToontastics – Part 2

Here’s another feather in the iToontastics. Read and enjoy!

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Every software professional has heard of this one! Certifications, and their merits. While it’s not correct to discard every certification as rubbish, it’s not right to gauge the caliber of each person on the amount of marks he scores in certification tests. This post is meant to take a dig at this particular mentality.

Movies Inspired from Books? Which is Better?

Recently I happened to watch two movies inspired from books I read. One was released a while ago (V for Vandetta – 2005) and one was more recent (Twilight – 2008).  Both these movies had much of an anticipation value for me. V for Vandetta, coming from the creators of the Matrix series held my interest, while I recently had finished reading ‘Twilight’. Though these books and movies had nothing in common, one feeling was common for me while watching these films.

Watching the books unfold on screen was a disappointing experience, yet again!

My advice to all book fans (which I myself never seem to obey) – Watch the movie first, read the book later.

When I saw V for Vandetta, it instantly struck me (which will not be visible to anyone who has not read the book) why its author Alan Moore refused to have anything to do with the movie (Alan Moore’s name does not appear in the credits, as mandated by him). Alan Moore is a staunch advocate of Anarchism. Alan Moore’s vision of Anarchy should not be confused with the lack of order. Rather, it’s a socity where the ordinary people are more important than their leaders, contarary to what’s happening everywhere around us.

V for Vandetta (the movie) does not even mention the word Anarchy, even once.

The movie omits many important threads in the book. It seems like the Wachowaskies borrowed the mask of the protagonist in the book, and re-wrote the whole story.

Twilight (and the Harry Potter series) seems like a very fast forwarded shoot of the respective books, with no thought of treating them differently in the movie medium.

One notable exception I found for this rule was the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) triology. Now, before I get flamed by the devout LOTR fans, let me explain.

First of all, let me confess that I watched the first two LOTR movies before I read the books. After I read the books, however, I thought the scriptwriters of the LOTR triology did a pretty decent job of trimming the story to make it interesting for the current generation (LOTR books are from the 50’s), and at the same time keeping the essence of the originals intact.

The LOTR scriptwriters completely did away with a few characters from the original, which provided enough room for the main characters to develop. They also made the story fast paced, against the very leisurely pace of the original. LOTR books have set a bar of fantasy for all fantasy fans, but the books are very hard to read. The movies have made them real accessible to everyone.

Banquets and Brickbats welcome. What do you think? Like to share your thoughts on this subject? Please comment.

Mugdha Celebrates her 3rd ‘Birthday’

Mugdha completed 3 months of her life on 13th Nov ’09. Dhruv’s creche had organized a bash to welcome her to our family, and celebrate her 3rd ‘birthday’.

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Kids were in full enthusiasm, wearing hand made masks.

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Mugdha cut a big cake, the first one of her life. Look how she adores her big bro so much!!

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iToontastics – The Great Indian IT toons

Some years ago, India was known to the western world as a land of snake charmers and Taj Mahal. Today, thanks to the proliferation of Information Technology in western countries and India’s ability to supply skilled workforce at cheap rates has changed this view considerably.

Today, as hundreds of thousands of men and women toil in their air conditioned offices day and night for their western clients, it’s a great mash up of various Indian and world cultures, invariably culminating in funny situations.

Being a part of this IT culture since more than a decade, and keenly observing some of these situations, I could not help but put them on (digital) paper. These toons are meant to tickle the funny bones in every individual, IT or non-IT. Though the cartoons heavily focus on IT, everyone will find similarities to these situations around them.

This is the first cartoon in a series of iToontastics. I hope to bring many more of these in the near future. Keep enjoying and let me know your comments on this.

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For those unaware of the great ‘Normalization’ process, here’s a lowdown

Every year during yearly appraisals, every IT employee is put into a certain category depending on his/her performance relative to his/her group. Obviously, if everyone in the group is brilliant, even the best employees lose out on credit. On the other hand, if the group consists of complete dorks, even the worst ones get ahead.

Depending on the ‘band’ the company decides whether you are their next ‘blue eyed boy/girl’ or the recipient on next pink slip!!

The Art Maze to Get Lost Into!