Friday, September 29, 2017

Days Gone 1 - Starting a "New" Comics Project, Part One

Whew! When I started my Noir Style Tutorial back in July, I had no idea just how long it would be. I'm pleased with it, don't get me wrong, very pleased that I actually took the time to document everything with an appropriate amount of detail. But that was writing, and I've really been getting the itch to actually make some comics, not write about making them.

So, I'm finally ready to sit down and practice what I preach, so to speak. It's time to start work on my next comic book story, using the style (or a variation of it) that I wrote about in the tutorial.

It's time to start work on: Days Gone #3

At this point, it would be fair for you to ask, "Where the heck are Days Gone #s 1 & 2?" And for that matter, "What the heck is 'Days Gone,' anyway?"

Fair questions.

Days Gone is my overall working title for a group of loosely connected stories about a guy (or guys) who get sucked into a fantasy world of myth and magic. Yeah, it's all Tor, John Carter, Almuric, and (heck) even Amethyst of Gem World, plus about a million other stories. So what? I'm not shooting for originality here; I've got stories and I want to tell them.

As for Days Gone #1 and #2, those are mini-comics that I published back in 1989 and 1990. Naturally, I drew these by hand and photocopied them for distribution. A mini-comic is made by taking a single sheet of copy paper, folding it twice, cutting it along the top, and then stapling the spine. This makes a small, 8-page comic.

Here's a few photos of how you make one.

Take a sheet of paper, fold it twice.

Mark it with the appropriate page numbers. Note how some
of them are upside down, and the pages are out of order.

When you fold it into book shape, the pages will fall into place.
When this is done, you staple on the spine and cut across the top.
This gives you an 8-page mini-comic.

These were some of the last comics I published, and even then I only distributed a handful of copies. Flash forward to March of this year, and I decided to scan these old comics and repackage them as part of my FANZINE FLASHBACK series. By "repackage," I mean reformat them into standard comic book pages. Which basically meant turning an 8-page mini-comic into a 4-page standard-size comic.

While I was working on cleaning those scans (I don't think I mentioned that the originals had been submerged in flood waters for about 8 hours in 2001 during Tropical Storm Allison – that certainly didn't make it any easier), I got the bug to write a new story. So, this past April (April 14-18, 2017, to be exact), I sipped a little Irish Whiskey over two evenings and whipped up a new 8-page "Days Gone" story.

Ad we'll talk more about this NEXT TIME.

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