On free comic book day (May 7th 2016), I was interviewed for the that fantastic VHi Gaming & Anime
podcast. I had a really good time. As you can hear here 🙂
and part 2 here
. I was asked some fun and thought provoking questions.
A thought came to my mind on my way home that night, “How can someone with lots of creativity, but no money, make comics AND make them accessible for people all over the world?”
HOW IT BEGAN!
When I first started trying to do this, there was no art classes in my dear old SFHS (Santa Fe High School…out of towners…remember, it may be Santa Fe, NM, but in the good old 38482 area, it’s pronounced Santa FEE….). Our librarian, Mrs. Gardner would help me look for books on art. If something new or interesting came in, she’d stop me in the hall. In study hall, I read the Columbia Daily Herald’s comic section. Popeye, Dick Tracy, and Alley Oop were my favorites. I traded comics with buddy Chris Bucy and read them over and over again. Our school had an animator come by, I think his name was Steve Hunt, and work with us for a few weeks. My principal, Kenneth Jackson, had me and pal, John Mercer, do a design for our school and it’s partners. I drew comics for our school paper. I even did illustrations for our 12th grade year annual. This was my education in art in HS. I had to work for it. I had to learn things on my own.
When I first tried to “break into” comics, I had no idea about paper size, equipment to use, or even how to submit to publishers. I received so many reject letters because of this.
To prevent further embarrassment, I got a library card for the Maury County Library and researched, researched, and researched.
FOOT IN THE DOOR?
Around this time I found out about Wizard magazine and Comic Buyers Guide. These both had wonderful articles about the business. CBG had job postings. That’s where I got my first professional comic job. I was drawing Destiny Vampire Mermaid for Scary Monster Magazine
. Working with the late great Ronn Foss, the gaps were filled in. I learned so much.
After he passed, I started talking to Monster & Heroes publisher, Larry Ivie, who said a study of anatomy will make my art all the more professional. He compared my work to a famous artist, who, at this time, I’d rather not say, but I’d love to reach his level of skills.
Sadly, CBG is gone. Wizard is gone. What about the internet? The internet is like trying to find your car at in Wal-Mart parking lot on a Friday night. It’s nearly impossible to find fact among opinions.
So, starting here, I’m going to show each one of you reading this, how YOU can make YOUR own comics,….physical and or digital.
SO, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO…
Go to the Dollar Tree, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, and buy 1 pack of mechanical pens or pencils, 1 composition notebook, and 1 drawing tablet. You have spent a little over three bucks. Find a quiet room, open your pens or pencils, grab either the notebook or drawing tablet and start jotting or doodling. Usually, if you have the desire to do comics, you already have some ideas in your old noggin. Now, start fleshing out rough versions of your ideas. I have boxes of these notebooks and sketchbooks where I would spend weeks, months, even years fleshing out ideas.
Once you get a basic idea of what this comic will be about, start working on character sketches. If you cannot draw, get a friend who CAN draw. If you are completely broke, see if they will trade goods for their services. Old video games, comics, or clothes in exchange for the artwork (or, if you can draw, and are broke, then trade for writing skills.)
I’ll be back next week with part two.
Check out one of my comics here.
Check out my drawing videos at youtube.com/user/astrofist
Please support my my work by visiting and sharing vancecapleyart.com on social media.
The Grizzly Bear Man was the first comic book character I created when I was around 10 years old! I still enjoy writing and drawing adventures of my first superhero. You can read some of his exciting, and yes, sometimes funny, adventures by clicking this comic cover!