At night, when I close my eyes, I can hear my comic book collection growing. There is a paper trail as if small flocks of birds were posting, sliding next to each other on the shelves. The nails on the wall groan like bad actors in a Dickens play. The books disappear and reappear as if they were lending

This can not be just my imagination; there is physical evidence of its accumulation. In fact, it seems impossible that any human imagination could conceive wonders that fill these pages that now fill my home.

This must be the world of the supernatural. And like any good character in a Lovecraftian horror, I will painstakingly describe my journey in this crazy editorial. Especially all the indescribable pieces

Writing the tone

The first thing that surprised me to know was that comics are not, in fact, made exclusively by magicians and their homunculi. This is nothing more than a common misconception that applies only to small plots of land in England.

Instead, comics are made by people who work! Basically, humans are very strange to work in an office and are still required to adhere to office rituals like email, small talk and filling forms.

And it's the latter that starts all comics

Pitches are simple documents, usually just a single page, which quickly tells editors and publishers why this comic book would be one.) Exciting and b .) A great seller. They do this by carefully completing the text fields below four old titles.

Very few fields exist for known books, so let's reverse engineer Watchmen here to illustrate my arguments.

This has been one of the main pillars since at least Come In Alone by Warren Ellis. This short phrase or two runs like a slogan on a movie poster; is a provocation that tells you enough to want more

“What happened to the American dream?”


One to three paragraphs is all you can tell the story. And in the true mad science fashion: there's a formula: [196459002] “In a world full of X, there are / are heroes of type (s) Y, and they are hoping to do Z to avoid the end of the world. “(It must always close with the end of the world, even if its story is about a bowling sale.)

Tonight a Comedian died in New York. In New York against the eve of thermonuclear annihilation, five heroes – a god, the smartest man on earth, a psychopath, a beautiful woman, and an ordinary man – must resolve the death of his friend if they hope to keep up, and the rest of the world alive. [1945906] But when the mystery grows and Armageddon keeps coming, who will save their world? Set during an alternate universe where America is one minute from the Cold War people you want: superheroes. This series features characters such as Dr. Manhattan (a divine figure and expy for The Atom), Rorschach (a violent psychotic and expy for The Question) which shows us one side of capes we've never seen before – the depths Finally, the failing humans beneath them. Personal tragedy and international stakes lead to a fundamental question: can you really save the world?


It is not the story itself, but as this story is categorized or described ].

Is it a high fantasy adventure tale? A sci-fi detective story? Would it be described as funny or deadly serious? What is the key attraction, action, dialogue, art or something else? Watchmen is a “whodunnit” and tense police thriller, where all the characters are superheroes. It is a strict philosophical story that takes place in a world where America – with the help of its superheroes – has won the Vietnam War, establishing a Cold War confrontation even more paranoid than ours. The story enters the minds of readers with the help of a demanding work of art and a somber tone to match their cynical world. It is equal parts Apocalypse Now and in Cold Blood with just a little satirization for poor Frank Miller.

Concept Art

But the words are boring, so it is probably wise to include something beautiful to look at. Sometimes this thing is a new character. Other times it's Batman with a new hat. Anyway, it's probably better than a semicolon …

Dave Gibbon's original sketches for Dr. Manhattan

Final Thought: Execution> Ideas

Throw is not to show an idea, is to show the ability to think. Creators bring together these glorified powerpoints to show they can work from the bone to the business case. In addition, it's about proving they have the determination to go through the difficult and boring parts

For more information, check out excellent posts by Jim Zub in pitching

Writing Pre-production

19659011 ] The design only reaches the main “milestones” of a story. It is a map, while writing itself is “driving.” This is also a crucial step that some breeders seem to neglect, leading to huge problems.

Creators usually create two outlines. starting with “wide” contours when plotting a race and “detailed” contours before writing each issue.

Sketch broad:


  • The comedian is assassinated
  • Rorschach ] investigates; presents night owl, Ozymandias, Doctor Manhattan, and Silk Spectrum.


  • Spectrum of silk visits his mother; Rorschach The Owl of Night, Ozymandias, Doctor Manhattan, meets The Comedian Funeral



  1. Comedian is Rorschach confidence in Rorschach Rorschach investigates the scene of crime Owl Night that he believes there may be a plan to kill superheroes
  2. ]; speaks Registration Law
  3. Rorschach visits Dr. Manhattan and the Silk Specter; Silk Specter brings to light the sexual aggression of his mother's comedian [Foreshadowing]
  4. Silk Specter and Manhattan in an argument; Specter Exit for drinks with Night Owl [Foreshadowing]

Graphic or “Map” Outline:

This is a modern invention favored by authors who accompany the emotional state of the story (see below) or writing stories with more complex structures (think: Jonathan Hickman). Each artist has their own execution, which probably only makes sense to them, but if you want a convincing (and confusing) look in the process, check out Chris Oatley's post on the subject


Phase of research and inspiration

Modern comics may have a bit of a fetish for the research. Different creators manifest this in different ways – Ellis and Moore did a famous research on real world issues; Johns and Waid go deeper into the previous issues; Morrison kind of does it both ways.

Whoever the creator is, everything is searched twice: once per canon, once per fact.

Similarly, there is inspirational material – old movies, music, television, plays, anything – like fodder for work. Authors and artists often share material from side to side by creating a book. Creators like Rick Remender go so far as to create playlists for individual subjects, essentially marking their comics to help their artists get out.

Writing Production

The Story

This is where the scheme becomes real. The writer will work with his editors (and possibly his artists) to turn the initial ideas into a complete story. The trick is to create one that can not only be read, but can also be illustrated and produced. There are several stylistic schools for the writing of a script, but most successful ones follow a simple decree:

Give the artist sufficient guidance for do a good job, but not so much direction that you choke them. (Unless, of course, you are Alan Moore, whose scripts were essentially long letters to his artists, in which the bearded magician bewitched and harassed them to produce exactly what he wanted. This is not recommended for anyone (19459002) This means that the Story Document may seem surprisingly inconsistent with the final book, with some pages taking more than one page to describe, while others may be reduced to “A character enters into a fight with character B [3 pages]”

For some real-world examples, check out Experience Comics Script Archive. If you want to learn how to do it yourself, here are five recommendations for you to get started

could be considered “the outline of the art world”, because they occur before the obvious stages, solve many initial problems and because I'm looking for a metaphor.

Layouts determine much more than just the readability of a page. Layouts are what makes comics as well … comics

How many panels there are on a page, their size, format and positioning determine how information is processed by the reader and at what pace . Signing great action sequences and great emotional rewards depends on both the layout and the anatomy, perspective or any other discipline. For example: Watchmen is famous for using the first panel of the comic as cover, consistent layouts of 9 panels and symmetry between the pages.

to maintain tone and flow. All of this required incredibly careful planning between Moore and Gibbons, which had to be discussed in the layout. (Many comics will be rewritten in the layout phase to get those effects.)

Unfortunately, just like the outlines, this is a often neglected discipline and can cause huge problems in the end.

Anyone interested in the importance of layouts should definitely start with Steranko's Nick Fury Agent of Shield and then work for the work of David Aja in Hawkeye. and Russell Dautermann and Matt Wilson in War of the Realms .

Artwork Production

Cover (s)

Covers are really their own and deserve a second article. But the short version is that the covers have their own production schedule, their own creative requirements and, to a large extent, their own staff. Down to have your own review framework at times!

For now, just know that the covers are made to help sell the book, not so much the work inside. If I say more, Dave Johnson can kill me


With the concept of approved art on the field and the layouts approved by the author and publisher, it's time to commit. Pencils are the first step in the work of art and are fundamental to establishing everything. And who better to show it than Jim Lee?


Ink does more than solidify the work of art with deeper contrast and shade. It is also where pencils are corrected for anatomy errors, perspective, lighting, facial expression and more. See how Jason Conrad adjusts Batman's expression on the first panel.


Before color is applied, colorists put flat colored fields or work with a “plan” to do it for them. Flats are for more than locking suits and skins; they create the contrast that makes different objects distinct from each other. It is also where the “mood” of the book takes shape. It is also where the paints can be cleaned a bit as needed.


This is the final step in the illustrative ending of art, adding shading and finalizing light sources, and making everything more alive.


The Script (or dialogue)

The writer takes one last look at the completed artwork and adjusts the dialogue as necessary, based on what is visually described (and how much space remains for the balloon of words).

Putting it so late means that everything is being handled correctly … and that the author took the time to create a concise line. Lettering

The author of the letter chooses some appropriate text styles for narration, dialogue, special forms of speech (such as telepathy, etc.) and any other form of communication that requires written description. If you are a rockstar like Janice Chiang it could mean creating much more like the flaming bubbles she invented for the Ghost Rider (and have been identified with the character ever since).

The huge text effects that happen when guns fire, monsters roar, things explode, etc. Nowadays, this can happen during the ink phase, staining phase, or right here at the end.


A reviewer reviews everything in the book for errors (spelling, grammar, or others). Small corrections go to the teller; the main ones, for the writer or editor

A special note on continuity

Comic books can get complicated. To create a book for the big two, you need to know not only what your characters will do in your book, not just what they have done in the last few decades, but what they will do in everyone else's books. for the foreseeable future

Is there an event book? Will your character probably join a team (or will you leave one of them?) Has your powers changed recently? Your fantasy? Your friendships or romantic relationships? Do they have a peanut allergy?

That's why big titles have their own dedicated editors who watch the line.

There are also many unofficial channels through e-mail chains and more for writers and artists to talk to each other.

Regardless, suppose every time a creator touches Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, or Captain America, there are hundreds of other steps added to this list as checks for continuity.

In Closing

There is no real mystery to comics. They are a business that follows a replicable formula that, if respected, keeps things organized enough for everyone to be paid. And yet, there is something miraculous in the way that something so regimented can still produce such fantastic results that we are constantly surprised. Or how this formula is available to anyone who wants to try.

This is how the mundane becomes miraculous.

It's also what's driving my collection to grow out of control, the very fabric of reality. Pages of newspapers printed like a million dry tongues whispering the name of some invisible destination that exists beyond our spectrum of colors. Even now I can hear it coming up the stairs …

The post How are comics superheroes made? appeared first in Comic Book Herald

. [196459013] The post How did superhero comics get made? appeared first in TV World ].

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