The 29 day comic project

It’s all about making comics

For those who haven’t been following along, I spent the 29 days in February working on a comic project (hence the name!) where I started the month with nothing more than a loose idea of a story and had to write and draw a page each day. All of this has resulted in a final 28 pages plus a cover.

To add to the challenge, I needed to have a complete comic at the end. So that meant scanning in all the artwork and cleaning it up in Photoshop. doing any and all lettering as well as all the edits and revisions. Then to make it all a little bit more difficult for myself (because I’m prone to do that), I decided about a week and a half ago to colour all the pages by adding in textures, paint and ink washes so that the finished work fit more with the art style that I’ve used for my work that has already been posted.

Why the challenge?
I realize that most professional comic artists are out there working away every day and a lot of them are turning out at least one page per day. I respect them for that because some days it can really be a slog. But I work as a graphic designer, so committing to do one page per day (let alone all the other work that the project required) was a huge commitment of time and energy on top of my normal day.

So why do it? Well, a couple of reasons:

1. It’s taken me forever to get work out and this was really starting to bug me. My process has involved quite a bit of reworking and second guessing (which I hate) so forcing myself to work in a condensed timeframe meant I didn’t have time think like that. Plus I really liked the idea of having more of an archive of work for people to dig through.
2. This kind of ties into the point above, but I think the only way to get better is to actually do it. That means make comics. Draw. Quit making excuses. At the end of the day, the only way to get better is to just sit down and make a comic and then get up the next day and do it all over again. I mentioned several times over the course of working on this project that I’ve got a lot of different ideas about stories, art, storytelling, typography and virtually every other part of the comic making process. A project like this gave me the chance to explore some of those and I hope that leads to a cool story.
3. I’ve tried a couple of different ways to post pages and I really liked the idea of testing a daily post schedule and see what that does. Do people tune in more or not? We’ll see.

Then to keep me honest and for anyone who was interested in following along, I tweeted pictures and updates each day for the whole month as well as posted weekly updates here on the blog. If you want to catch up on the project as I was working on it, check out the blog updates here and take a look at the constant tweets here.

Posting the project online
Now that February is over the plan is to post the project daily starting today and then continuing for the next 28 days after that. Then to finish up and fill March full of content, I’ll post some behind the scenes stuff for the last two days of the month.

So without further ado, here is the 29 Day Comic Project which I’ve titled On the Verge: GONE. Click the image below to get a larger view.

For the course of the story, new pages will be posted daily at 8 AM!

The cover design
If you saw my tweets from the past month, you’ll know that I was really struggling with what I wanted to put on the cover. In the end, after showing my concept sketches to several people I decide to go with the cover above which I’ll call Cover A. But I had two other covers that I thought might work so here are Covers B and C (beside Cover A for comparison).

      

The main reason why cover A won out is because it really kind of reflects the story in two distinct ways. I’m not going to explain how just now and ruin the story, so more on this later. I also really like that it’s more atmospheric while the other two are very specific. For cover B, I wasn’t sold, on putting someone who isn’t one of the main On the Verge characters on the cover. And while this guy is the focus of the story I wasn’t sold on him getting featured like that. Still, I like the art on Cover B. Cover C works (and is definitely more of a “book cover” style image which is different for comics). I like that it poses an interesting mystery to the reader: what crime happened here? But I think that its both too specific and maybe too generic at the same time if that makes sense.

In the end, cover A just fit and I guess I threw in a couple of extra drawings for the month as well. You can’t argue with “it just worked.”

Help me spread the word
The final thing I’ll ask all of you is to help me spread he word about On the Verge. You guys are the best kind of advertising that I can have at this point. If you’re enjoying On the Verge then please tell people about it. The next month is the perfect opportunity to jump in and start reading if you haven’t had the chance since there will be constant updates and new pages every day. So if you can take a moment to talk, phone, email, blog, like, tweet or whatever you can to help get the word out then I will be beyond grateful. And thanks for taking a bit of time out of your day and reading along. It means a lot.

Ok, last bit… THE JUMPER
Whether you’re a new reader or have been following along for awhile, you’ll notice that we’re in the middle of a story already. THE JUMPER is 22 posts in and we’re getting towards the end of the story. I don’t want to put that on hold while GONE is being published for the next month so I’ll be sticking with the current schedule – posting a new entry every Tuesday. The only change is they’ll be posted in the afternoon instead the morning so that it doesn’t go up at the same time as GONE. So if a page a day for 29 straight days isn’t enough for you, how about the bonus of continued entries in THE JUMPER story every Tuesday too?

About jason

Illustrator and graphic designer. When not working full time as a Senior Graphic Designer, I am usually working on the graphic novel On the Verge: the Arrow of Time. Artist on Andrew Jackson in Space and The Sisters.

3 Responses to The 29 day comic project

  1. Pingback: A look back at 2012 (and a look forwards at 2013) | on the verge

  2. Pingback: On the Verge – Book 1 – Page 9 | on the verge

  3. Pingback: On the Verge: the Arrow of Time, two | on the verge

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