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!!

Moving to the Dark Side !

I recently upgraded by pen tablet. Earlier I had the amature version called Bamboo Fun from Wacom. I bought it sometime in April 2009. That time I just wanted to try it out and find out whether I was comfortable using a tablet for digital art creation.

Since then, the tablet simply blew my mind and I became  convert. During this time, I created a lot of original digital art. It was a relelation for me that I could really create something so interesting and so original.

Slowly I began thinking about buying a pro version of the tablet. Incidently, a friend approached me to ask my advice about which tablet to buy. He agreed to buy my Bamboo Fun tablet.

I recently bought the latest model, Wacom Intuos 4 tablet. It does cost a lot, but is worth its money. It has 2048 pressure sensitivity levels as opposed to Bamboo Fun’s 512. It has a highly improved grip pen, and comes with 10 nibs. Many more (expensive) accessaries for Intuos 4 are available in market like Art pen, Airbrush pen etc. I hope to have at least some in my arsenal in a couple of years from now.

The Intuos 4 model is too beautiful to describe. See for yourself.

Now my next challenge is to bring the already created comics pages in line with the new pages, which will be created using the highly sesitive Intuos 4!!

The Bicycle Project

Riding a bicycle in the chaotic traffic of Pune is plain scary and unsafe. But some of us do buy bicycles for the sake of exercise. Of course, the enthusiasm quickly sags and the bicycle gathers dust.

If you are in such a situation (like I was, till a week ago), keep reading.

Some people from the Indian cities of Mumbai and Pune have come together to start an initiative called ‘The Bicycle Project’. They gather such dust-gathering bicycles from various households, repair them and distribute them to the unprivilaged poor children in the remote areas.

It’s a boon for the poor children who otherwise have to walk several miles every day just to reach their schools.

The Bicycle project aims to distribute 100,000 bicycles to the underprivilaged children in remote areas.

I donated my bicycle last week. If you wish to do the same, you can contact the Bicycle Project on the India numbers given below. Volenteers will come to your doorstep and collect the bicycles, repair them and distribute them.

Mumbai – Hemant Chhabra – 9820149022

Pune – Kiran Deolalkar – 9920769666

e-mail : thebicycleproject@gmail.com

Happy donating

Shirish

A Touching Poem

When we brought Mugdha home, SOFOSH presented us with a very beautiful, touching poem written by one of the previous parents. I do not know the name of the person who wrote it. All I could feel is how much heart and soul was poured into it.

Here it is. Read and tell me if you agree –

Once there were two women who never knew each other,

One you do not remember, the other you call Mother.

Two different lives shaped to make yours one,

One became your guiding star, the other one became your sun.

The first gave you life, the second taught you to live it,

The first gave you need for love, the second was there to give it.

One gives you nationality, the other gave you a name,

One gave you the seed of talent, the other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotion, the other calmed your fears,

One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.

One gave you up – it was all she could do,

The other prayed for a child and god led her straight to you.

And more you ask me through your tears,

The age old question throughout the years.

Heredity or environment, which are you the product of?

Neither my darling – neither. Just two different kinds of love!

A Little Fairy Arrives in our World!

Her name is ‘Mugdha’ (The giver of joy), and she has arrived in our home to touch our hearts and souls. She is only nearly two months old, but already has managed to fill our little world with her presence.

Mugdha is our little daughter. Me and Aparna adopted her from Shri Vatsa, the home of destitute children affiliated to Sassoon Hospital, Pune. She arrived in our home today, bringing with her immense joy and infinite dreams.

Let’s welcome her to our family, and hope she lives a much fulfilled life with us.

The Arrival

We first saw Mugdha on 2nd Oct 09 in the Shri Vatsa office, and there was instant bonding between her and her new parents.

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Saturday, 10th Oct 09. Me, Aparna and Aparna’s parents went to Shri Vatsa. Many children were playing in the court yard.

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We went into the office, where we were warmly welcomed. After some formalities were completed, Mugdha was handed over to us for familiarizing with her new family members. Dhruv was super-excited and wanted to play with his sister and hold her in his lap.

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Mugdha was absolutely an angel in her new mummy and daddy’s arms.

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The SOFOSH social workers had painted a Rangoli for giving a farewell to Mugdha (former name Shravani)

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Sharmila, the SOFOSH social worker, and Aparna’s mom performed certain rituals and presented Mugdha and Dhruv flower garlands.

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Then we arrived home to a enthusiastic welcome.

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Mugdha is now getting settled in her new family and surroundings. May her life be filled with great joy.

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The Art Maze to Get Lost Into!