I made a comic about how I can’t make comics.
Three years learning about comics and the industry and I still feel like this anytime I think, “hey maybe I’ll actually write a comic.”
REALTALK: from my personal experience this feeling hasn’t ever really gone away despite all the crap i’ve already put out. just a couple days ago i was getting the heebie-jeebies about building an online portfolio because i was afraid i’d end up making something shitty-looking that potential employers will laugh at before adding to their Do-Not-Hire-Ever blacklist. it’s sort of irrational when you think about it, but emotions like this rarely pass through Rationality on their way to the front of the brain
the best advice i can give towards preventing these bad vibes is to just create art that you would want to read yourself. even if everyone else hates it, you’ll at lest have one fan. that probably seems completely trite, but i’m just trying to puzzle through this as much as anyone else.
I think this hits harder if you’re at all a connoisseur of bad media — after all, all those people probably thought they were working on something good, too.
Ian’s advice is good, but I think maybe we all need an attitude adjustment toward failure, too. It’s okay to make something that isn’t so great. Everyone makes a million mediocre (or even downright bad things) before they start making good things. We hold a kind of honor for people who seem to have good filters and only publish their best work, but I’m starting to think that’s misplaced. I have to admire the cojones of people who put their work out there and get overwhelmingly negative feedback, but they keep making stuff anyway.
yeah I gotta say, I will always respect the bad artists who continue to work and put shit out there more than the chuckling morons who laugh at them any ol’ day.
That said, the secret to making comics is to, wait for it, MAKE COMICS.
Yeah, make some bad ones! Make a ton of bad ones! Learn something from it, eventually you’ll make good ones. You got a BIG FANTASY story that’s EPIC and IMPORTANT and absolutely scary to start on?
Yeah, so do I! Get your jitters out on a comic before you start it up. Start small, work on a short story. Adapt something that’s already written like a fairy tale or whatever. Or just start something goofy first. It’s easier to get a good start on something you are less emotionally invested in. You might find yourself becoming attached to that story or you might not. It’s okay to not finish a comic if something better comes along. Just keep making comics.
And read some dang comics, too, so you know what’s a good idea or bad idea. What works, what doesn’t. Really criticize comics you like so you can get at their delicious innards. You may end up appreciating them more, anyway.
And planning your story is good, but I think overplanning kinda kills it… Stories evolve as you tell them. Stay flexible. Also, if a story is important to you don’t tell anyone about it, because it will ruin your need to tell it in proper form.
anyway that’s just my advice, your mileage may vary obviously.
also yeah tell the story you want to hear, I think that’s pretty damned important. If you weren’t interested in it, why would anyone else be?