Making a Webcomic - Part 5 - The Next Chapter Begins / by J. Logan Carey

Welcome back to my continuing series on creating a digital comic book!

For a brief recap, earlier this month I finished the first chapter of my comic book; Zodiac. Chapter one, Gemini, was uploaded to Gumroad as a free or pay-what-you-want download. From beginning to end, it was a huge learning process and I’m anxious to get bring that to the next chapter...Cancer! 

Alright, I know that doesn’t sound quite right, but we’re talking about the constellation here. Stay with me. 

So right off the bat, as I was creating Gemini I realized I skipped a vital step: creating page layout thumbnails!

I just winged it as I went through and as a result I feel like I lost a cohesive panel flow and wasn’t really sure about the general look of things. But as I’ve said before, this is a learning experience and I want to be honest about all the shortfalls and speed bumps along the way.

After creating the comic script for the next chapter, I came to a page count of eleven and sketched out some roughs... 

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Coming up with different panel layouts for every page is clearly another whole skill set And not one that was natural to me. If you get stuck like I get stuck, it’s a great time to pull some inspiration for other comics you enjoy. People much cleverer than myself have already come up with great solutions to this question.

Another good piece of advice I was given by Kevin Mellon , storyboard artist on Archer and generally awesome dude...

If you plan on printing it, try doing your thumbs so that the even pages always fall on the left of odd (mimicking a spread) so you can make sure the layouts work next to each other. 

Excellent advice and something to seriously consider in the future for possible to-be-printed comics.

The pages above represent my basic ideas for what I want each page to look like. If it looks all a bit “sci-fi”, that’s because the Cancer chapter takes us a long way from the ancient deserts of Gemini, into the far reaches of the unknown universe!

Now that I’ve got a basic idea of what I need to fill each page with as far as imagery, I need to sketch some concepts for my subjects. A lot of concepts. ALL THE CONCEPTS. Planets, stars, spaceships, supercomputers, oh my! Here’s where the fun really begins. I’m going to play around and let my imagination go nuts.

To see what happens, follow me on Instagram or Twitter