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The Man Who - A Violent, Silly, Action Comic

Comic Iclone Silly Violent Thebiz

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#1 thebiz

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 04:55 PM

"The Man Who" was an idea I tinkered about with in Iclone creating characters and sets for the first few scenes and then it just kind of sat there doing nothing.  Its a story that tries to combine the beginning beats of Terminator with the end beats of Roadhouse and features a mashup of characters from cute animals, playmobile (and possibly lego) characters, maybe a robot and a really fat guy who talks weird.  And Splendini (well, my vision of splendini as a motorcycle stuntman).  
 
Here's a FAQ to help me through the production (the frequently asked questions are all asked by me):
 
Why do it as a comic?
 
It originally seemed easier than animating but now Im not so sure.  Theres lots to learn and its hard to tell a story with static images.  Still I am interested in the medium and I am enjoying the layout and design side of things.
 
Where is production now?
 
This will likely be a three act play (with each act likely being released independently) and the first act was largely mocked up with the characters selected and sets created.  So when I sat down in earnest 5 days ago I was not starting from scratch.  Still I have no experience with this so I am trying to learn as I go about everything from word balloons and fonts and ways to make the reader follow the action through layout.  
 
Currently I have 4 pages plus a Cover/Title page.  I end up going back to change things a lot but these four pages are pretty solid (at least from what I know today).  I see this first act being between 7-12 pages.  If I stay busy the first part will likely be complete in September (as I'm on vacation for a while in August with no computer)
 
How do you release a comic?
 
A lot of webcomics will have a release schedule of a page every week or so.  This keeps interest high over a longer period of time which is nice instead of just one big release and then everyone moves on to newer things.  I like the idea of stringing it along but I think the reading experience will be best getting an entire storyline in one sitting.  And would it be better to release the document on the new movie page as a document or to put it in a thread as a bunch of images or...  Still not sure about this one.
 
How do you promote a comic
 
With a movie we release screenies but with a comic that feels kinda like giving away the cow for free if you catch my drift.  I can talk about the process and show examples from other comics I suppose.  Haven't really figured this one out either.
 
More as we progress...maybe.
 

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#2 Ken White

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 05:19 PM

As for promotion, maybe take a screenie of one page (assuming it has a few panels on it) and cropping out just part of it, to give people an idea of what it looks like, as well as maybe as a teaser if the panels you display has something that will tease the story.


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#3 Johnny Ex

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 01:37 PM

Love this idea.


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#4 thebiz

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 03:30 PM

Thanks Johnny!

 

Im working on page 7 right now and envisioning the total length of part 1 as 9 or 10 pages.  Therefore the end would be in sight but Im away on vacation for the next two weeks and dont have access to the programs on my computer (the drawback of the desktop).  Therefore I think I will be wrapping this first part up the first half of September.

 

On the release front I think I will use a thread in the Now Playing forum to release 2-3 pages at a time over the course of two weeks.  I think I'd like to lock the release thread until its all complete (is this something I/You/we/someone can do Ken?) using this production thread for discussion/critiques and whatnot.  Then once all the pages of part 1 have been released I can offer up a download link for the pdf from owncloud and upload the document on the new TMU site.

 

I might even try to whip up a teaser for the release if I have the time and/or inclination.  

 

Keep your eyes to the skies or something...

 

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#5 Ken White

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 04:09 PM

On the release front I think I will use a thread in the Now Playing forum to release 2-3 pages at a time over the course of two weeks.  I think I'd like to lock the release thread until its all complete (is this something I/You/we/someone can do Ken?)

It's something you can do with your vast Advisor powers....if you can't figure it out, just holla.


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#6 thebiz

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 05:42 PM

It's something you can do with your vast Advisor powers....if you can't figure it out, just holla.

 

Was more a question if this would be ethically ok. But ok.


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#7 Ken White

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 06:02 PM

Of course it's ethically okay - that's what Now Playing is for.


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#8 Johnny Ex

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 09:00 PM

 

 

How do you promote a comic

I for one would like, no love, to see how you put this thing together 'technically'.

I dont mean that you need to show us the actual characters/props/locations, but rather, say the comic book panel set up, the things you use to enhance those things, all the little nuances, right down to the price tag on the cover. maybe a "Approved by the TMU Comics Division, yada yada.

Ben and I have kicked around this idea for years, even Kate did some stuff last year on a group at FB.

Years ago The Great K4 did this exact thing at the TMO. 

Fake sea monkey ads, x-ray goggle promos, all that shit.

Best wishes on this project, I'm off to figure out how to subscribe to this thread.


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#9 thebiz

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 02:03 PM

Hey Johnny, thanks for the reply.  Technically I'm pretty much winging it.  I know there are programs for this kind of thing but I wanted to experiment a bit with the form based upon various things I've read and seen.  Yes, I should probably get the basics down first but its my show so I'll do it how I want.  Unfortunately just talking about the technical side reminds me Ive screwed up some basic things but alas live and learn.  

 

For instance, right off the bat I decided on a 8.5x11 inch page size.  That seemed a nice standard size.  However, a standard comic is 6.5x10 or dimension wise thats an 11"x17" page.  While its too late to change on this issue, theres two more to go so I might consider changing it for the next one.  Im also roughly winging the gutter sizes which ends up being inconsistent in the end so I should probably do more setup planning before I start the second issue.

 

Anywho, my basic process is to white board the page a few times till I get the basic idea of the layout, go into Iclone and set up the scene, export from iclone and try to fit it onto my page in Gimp.  If it doesn't work I go back to Iclone to rework the shot.  Once I have the page set up I use a pair of filters in Gimp to get the look I like.  There's a cartoon filter and a oilpaint filter.  Combined these are working better than any filters I tried in photoshop and since I only have access to Gimp at home this works out well for me.

 

Fake Sea Monkeys?  Probably not but I was imagining a letter to the editors page and I might try to work up an X-Ray specs Advert to put on there...

 

I did a fair amount of work last night and then ran into a problem.  Remember the 180 degree camera rule in film?  Well it applies to most visual medium including comics and I broke that rule last night.  In one scene my car chase is headed left, in the next its headed right.  No good.  But never fear I can just flip the images and set them headed in the right direction.  Yay!  But alas, the driver of the car switches sides in the shots so unless hes from America in one shot and from England in the next that's not going to work.  Unfortunately this affects a lot of shots which will have to be recreated.  The good news is I worked out the setup and I'm about 90% certain of how to wrap this issue up.  The endgame (of issue #1) is in sight.  

 

Time to start thinking about the release.  10 pages over 10 days sounds good to me and leaves me some time to complete everything while the pages are being released.  Starting Monday?  Yea that sounds good I think.  More soon.


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#10 timothy_richmond_3

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 04:26 PM

A wise man once told me to vigorously study every comic strip I read as a potential storyboard, for they contain the building blocks to what makes a movie tick in terms of framing and movement. Surprisingly helpful to this day and age. I think what you're doing is going to turn out freaking great, as usual. :)



#11 thebiz

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 12:20 PM

A wise man once told me to vigorously study every comic strip I read as a potential storyboard, for they contain the building blocks to what makes a movie tick in terms of framing and movement. Surprisingly helpful to this day and age. 

 

It certainly provides an interesting place to start.  I think it would be easier to shoot now as an animation. Thanks for the kind words.

 

Anywho today I have started to post the pages.  

 

Here is the release page.  It is currently locked.  Once Im done releasing all the pages (hopefully 1 a day for 10 days) I will upload a high resolution pdf of of the complete story if anyone wants to check it out that way and I will unlock the thread.  Feel free to leave critiques over here and Id be happy to respond.

 

Today is a bonus as you get the cover page plus page 1.


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#12 thebiz

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 03:55 PM

I uploaded page two this morning.  You can see it here.  I might increase the pages uploaded per day if I can finish the final page and get all my issues ironed out.  I also think I will unlock the page since all my updates are happening to post 1 any comments or further posts will not affect this.  Stay tuned.

 

Regarding the Cover and first two pages I liked the transition of the first three frames as it closes in on the wolf staring up at the house at the end of the pier.  Then in page 2 it was the placement of the HOWL that made me think this might work out ok (favorite frame on the page).  After finishing page 2 I started thinking about the cover and realized that the somewhat random focus on the little girl from that first frame might just work.  In the end I think it works really well and further's the transition on page 1 from a closeup on the girl, down the boardwalk, to the wolf and finally to the object of his attention - the house.  

 

Im not real happy about the aliasing issues happening with the big text (the title and the HOWL) but I can hopefully get that sorted before I PDF the final product.

 

Whats up next?  Page 3 and a flurry of strange folks...


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#13 andy

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 11:45 PM

Looks cool so far Biz!



#14 thebiz

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 12:27 PM

Thanks Andy!

 

Page 3 is up.  Its got some new colors, namely pink and green.  I think there will be a lot more green in the next issue as I think we'll be in the jungle baby...your gunna dieeeee.  Oh sorry.  Anywho, here is my first untraditional frame as the photo breaks out of the page.  Looking at this with fresh eyes I dont think the framing of the landlady in the door window works very well (I don't think folks will catch that it is the door window) but I do love her 70s outfit and if you look at the art on her wall there's a nice playmobile masterwork.  We also get pig and bunny in that shot hinting of at a dark and silly past.

 

Thats all for now.  Page 4 is coming (and so is Splendini!).  


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#15 thebiz

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 02:11 PM

Page 4 is out the door.  The focus on this page is strictly Splendini, from the tiny dot in the background to the increasing closeup in the decreasing boxes to finally the silhouetted breakout in the bottom.  I like the geometry of this page as it forms an upside down triangle.  Also like the cartooniness of the wolf's gun which took me quite a while to model in sketchup.  What dont I like?  The name of our protaganist, Mr. Bonaventure.  Not really sure why I went with this but had intended at one point to scratch it out with a little "redacted" sign over the name.  A man with the intestinal fortitude of our hero (more on this much later) needs a better name.  Ergg.  

 

Up next: Death from Above!


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#16 thebiz

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 12:38 PM

Page 5 is live.    Again I like the composition of the page with the extreme long shot bordering the top and the full page shot of Splendini flying through the sky guns ablazing.  Also different for the thick black border that goes three quarters around the page.  I thought it helped set the three shots apart.  Works ok for me.

 

Tomorrow: Tieem to Gaugh!


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#17 Ken White

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 02:15 PM

I am really digging it, Biz. 


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#18 Johnny Ex

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 04:48 PM

I am really digging it, Biz. 

Yeah.


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#19 Benjamin Tuttle

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 05:51 PM

Definitely good work there, personally I would rather do a comic rather than a full video production in iClone. Just pose, set the right facial animation and render in TGA.  I usually edit in Photoshop and AE... lot of planning though, but less of a hassle than fully animating it. 

 

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Skygirl was supposed to be in comic book format, but I changed it to video... 

 

I took a comic book course in college to fill credits... I think I still have my textbook laying around. It's called Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud. You got the right idea when it comes to proper framing. Think Kuleshov effect if you're stuck with the next frame and it's all good to go. :)


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#20 thebiz

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 02:24 PM

Thanks for the reply folks.  Yea, Ive got Scott's Understanding Comics as well as Reinventing Comics.  Also got a good how to book from Will Eisner.  Informative stuff.  Perhaps you should get a comic out as well Ben.  Would be good to have some company...

 

Page Six is full of pics.  And the death of the landlady.  Poor gal.


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