This last week I ordered a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel and I just finished the first 4 chapters.  Hmmm.  I’m not sure what I think about it just yet but I am definitely going to write a review about it once I’m finished.  My first thoughts?  It’s very long winded and not enough pictures.  Especially since it’s about making graphic novels.

[EDIT: 8-25-2011] I finished reading it finally and I have to admit that there is some great information in there especially with the technical stuff towards the end. The information on distribution, ISBN’s, barcodes and all that fun (non artistic) stuff was the most helpful but there was a lot that I felt didn’t apply to me because I wasn’t trying to make a normal comic. Most of the artistic advice was good for complete beginners  (or complete idiot’s as the title says) and maybe people who want to publish traditional American style comics but I don’t feel like it applies to graphic novels as much. So, buy it if you are looking for some good technical information but I’d still suggest getting Making Comics by Scott McCloud over this any day.

The only thing that really bothered me about it was the constant joke telling. About 50% of the text was a joke. I felt like I had to speed read it to get the good information which became increasingly frustrating as I was trying to figure out when to take it seriously and when it was comedy filler. I admit that it was good humor but, for me, a how-to book needs to have solid information so I can reference it later when needed.

So my final decision is to get it in addition to other How-to books on the subject but not as a stand alone.

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Now back to my graphic novel…

The pages below are finally starting to get into the story of reMIND.  The first batch of pages were all designed to give a mood and feeling associated with this story as well as introduce things.  To be a Hayao Miyazaki intro so to speak.  Miyazaki has been a huge influence in my vision for the last 10 years or so.  I am not saying that I understand what he does or that I’m even close but if I can achieve just a fraction of his mood setting genius then I will be satisfied.

If you haven’t seen any of Miyazaki’s films then for the love of everything holy, please do.  My favorite so far is Spirited Away. Here is a link of you want to buy any of them from Amazon.
Miyazaki Films on Amazon.

Sonja (the girl) has always been a huge struggle for me because I never really made a model sheet for her and never really knew what I wanted her to look like.  In fact she was a guy at one point.  Some shots my wife had to pose and some (like these) I was able to pull it out of my head.  I always worry that the continuity will be off but at the same time I love animations and graphic novels/comics that don’t care to much about it so I guess I should stop freaking out.  It is what it is.

Anyway, Here is a progression from my newest page of reMIND.

Line art then a gray tone pass attempted when I thought reMIND was just going to be black and white.  Haha, the days of simplicity are long gone. Then the finished painted art.