So, I've always been interested in making comics and I've finally been able to (nearly) finish a comic for the first time in my entire existence. The problem is I have to debut it at my first convention ever (comic con of all things) and I'm pretty freaked out. I wish I could've done smaller conventions first but time was an issue. And now I'm scared that I will not be able to even talk to people because of my crippling anxiety. Do you have any advice to get over that? I'm super nervous already.
The hardest thing about tabling your first convention will be realizing that 99% of people don’t even care. You will be sitting there watching them go by. Especially if you’re at a big convention like San Diego International(?).
Once in a while someone will stop and pick up your book and flip through it. Sometimes they flip through it without even looking at it. Sometimes they’re already looking on to see where they’re going next.
Sometimes they’ll stop and ask you questions: “did you write this? do you draw the pictures too? how long did it take you?”
Even people who act really interested probably won’t buy your book!!! Get used to people not buying your book. Be nice to everyone and be happy when someone randomly does buy your book. The whole thing makes no sense.
I think the most important thing you can do at your first convention as a wannabe creator is meet others who are like you. Walk around the indie area and give copies to people whose work you like, or whose work seems comparable to yours, or who seem like-minded, or who just seem nice. If you’re shy, let your work speak for you. Most comics people are really nice and they will be kind to you.
When you’re nobody (which we all are at first) it’s important to meet other nobodies. Random con-goers are looking for the Avengers, they’re not looking for your little indie comic. Other indie cartoonists are your first and best audience and maybe in ten years you guys will be running Hollywood, who knows.
Overall, I would say try to relax and not put too many expectations on the experience. Give yourself a break. We’re all gonna be proud of you just for getting the work done and showing up.
1. Get a ruler.
2. Get a triangle. A triangle is like a ruler, only it’s shaped like a triangle. It costs like a couple of dollars.
3. Draw straight lines for your panel borders. Use right angles for the corners. That’s what a ruler and triangle can do for you.
4. Measure a distance between your first two panels and then keep using the exact same distance between all your panels in that comic. Those spaces between panels are called gutters. Inconsistently sized gutters look bad and amateurish. Consistently sized gutters look better. It’s a super easy thing to make your comics look way cleaner and more professional. After you try it a few times you don’t have to measure anymore but you DO have to measure at first. So try it!!
EDIT TO ADD: straight lines and consistent gutters is like the comics layout equivalent of figure drawing / anatomy — get the basics down solid before you start getting crazy and stylized. Log some hours doing the most straightforward approach before you decide you’re a genius and can do whatever the hell you want.
What types of art supplies would you recommend to a person on a relatively low budget (few hundred dollars?). I'm just looking to ink a few comics and sketches in, but looking at your set-up, obviously I don't have the assets to purchase a large format printer, or to regularly use vellum finished paper. Any suggestions for good, yet relatively cheap supplies?
Use any paper. Use any pen. Cintiqs didn’t exist when I was young. Scanners didn’t even exist. Just draw. Use computer paper you borrowed from your school. Use a pencil you stole from a child. Just do it.
Hi Bryan! I was at your TCAF spotlight panel and I remember you recommended a manga where the main character wakes up with a lizard head - what's the title again? Thanks!
DOROHEDORO! By Q Hayashida. Published by Viz in English.
Which do you like better, Um Jammer Lammy, or Gitaroo Man?
i couldn’t even get past the first stage on gitaroo man
I saw the io9 article about unused happy endings, and I had no idea they shot an alternate end for SP. I'm not sure which one I like better- they're both good- but I was wondering what you thought about the one that doesn't match the comics?
There is an alternate ending (preserved on the DVD) where Scott ends up with Knives. Here is the story behind it:
(1) the movie was mostly written around the time of books 3-4.
(2) The movie has its own arc.
(3) I wasn’t sure how the books were going to end.
(4) They decided it made sense to have him end up with Knives.
(5) It kinda wasn’t working. They did test screenings and the audience was split 50/50 as to which girl they wanted him to end up with.
(6) My main problem with it was that it made Knives a weaker character.
(7) Edgar wanted to redo the ending after he saw my rough notes for volume 6. He and I and screenwriter Michael Bacall went back and forth via email and rewrote the ending.
(8) I wrote the line “I’m too cool for you anyway” for Knives at the end of the movie. I wanted her to move on from him, not just give up on him.
(9) people sometimes complain about Ramona being a colder character in the movie, and this is probably partly because the movie was shot with a Knives ending in mind.
(10) But the final ending is the final ending for a reason. It’s just what works for the characters and the story.
Andrew Hussie replied to a question once and mentioned that having to continuously work to produce content left him in a media consumption stasis of sorts; He just basically worked too much to catch up with the latest games, books, and shows. Would you say you experience the same thing? If so, where on the timeline does your media familiarity end? Any concerns about maintaining "pop-culture relevancy", or is that even a thing?
I will say this: I have way more pop culture awareness NOW than I did during the making of Scott Pilgrim, at which time I was kinda shut in my room and literally living in the wilderness for a few years. The mid-2000s are a blur for me.
I am way more aware of current nerd trends, movies, TV, comics, etc. Yes I am working on a new book, but one book isn’t as all-consuming as a massive series. I have time to pay attention.
Hussie is both mega-busy working on homestuck and also I daresay his fans are mainly JUST HOMESTUCKS. Whereas since Scott Pilgrim is dormant right now, I also get to see what new, non-SP things my fans are into, and that’s very instructive.
My own fanbase is my biggest window into nerd culture.
Hussie’s fanbase is like a giant, huge, massive, enormous, freaky circus mirror that reflects only homestuck back at him (sick burn on hussie no disrespect to homestuck fans of which I am one)
TCAF is this weekend in Toronto (May 11-12 2013). I’m all over the place, so pay careful attention and take notes!! I have four official signings and a bunch of other events. NOTE: if I get a bunch of questions & confusion about this schedule, I will try to address them in the body of this post, so check it again later.
TCAF Book Debut: Scott Pilgrim Volume 3: Evil Edition & Collector’s Edition available exclusively at ONI PRESS table #136! People have already been asking if we’ll have books left on Sunday. We try to bring enough for the whole weekend, but it’s impossible to predict how things will go on Saturday, so all I can say is “hopefully we will have plenty of books left on Sunday.”
Saturday, 9am: Come to the Oni Press table (#136) to get tickets for Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Sunday 11am signing at The Marriott Bloor Yorkville (SIGNING #3). Limited to the first 75 people.
Attention: yes, you can get SUNDAY MORNING signing tickets on SATURDAY morning.
Saturday, 10:00am-11:00am - SIGNING #1
Bryan Lee O’Malley book debut signing at Oni Press, Table #136
Located at Toronto Reference Library, First Floor
I want to mention again that if you plan to be there both days, you can get tickets for SUNDAY’s signing first thing on Saturday and come back the next day then with a guaranteed spot. Saturday’s signing is at the Oni Press booth; Sunday’s signing is at the Marriott next door.
PANEL: Comics vs Games: Narrative Intersections
Featuring Scott C., Bryan Lee O’Malley, Ben Rivers, Jim Zub, Moderator Miguel Sternberg
@ Bit Bazaar, Bento Miso, 862 Richmond Street West (Queen & Strachan), FREE
*** NOTE THAT THIS EVENT IS LOCATED OFF-SITE, NOT AT THE REFERENCE LIBRARY ***
A huge component of TCAF 2013 is our one-day, off-site BIT BAZAAR! An exhibition of more than 20 indie game developers and studios, with games, art, and crafts that mix comics, games, and narrative. At the center of the event is this special presentation featuring some of the greatest names in the comics & games crossover! Scott C. (Doublefine, The Art of Brutal Legend), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), Benjamin Rivers (Snow, Home), Jim Zub (Skullkickers, Street Fighter HD Remix), and Moderator Miguel Sternberg (They Bleed Pixels) will discuss the intersection between comics and games, how comics and games borrow from each other to tell stories. The participants will talk about their relationships with games, how they borrow and adapt ideas from games and comics into the other.
(SIGNING #2) A strictly time-limited, one-hour signing will follow the end of this panel, from approximately 2:30pm-3:30pm at Bento Miso.
Saturday, 4:00 - 5:00pm Panel: Fashion!
Located at Marriott Bloor Yorkville 200, High Park Ballroom, 90 Bloor Street East
Fashion in Comics! This program opens up a conversation about the importance of fashion in comics. What are fashion’s influences on a creator’s work, and conversely, comics’ influence on fans and real life fashion? What approaches and research does one go through to depict specific fashions? Is comic book fashion good? Join moderator Krystle Tabujara in a spirited discussion with Fashion Journalist Nathalie Atkinson (The National Post), Willow Dawson (No Girls Allowed), Kagan McLeod (Fashion Illustrator, Infinite Kung Fu), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), Ramon Perez (Wolverine & The X-Men), and Maurice Vellekoop (fashion illustrator, TCAF Featured Guest).
SUNDAY, Show Open at 11am: Come to the Oni Press table (#136) to get tickets for Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Sunday 4pm signing at The Toronto Marriot Bloor Yorkville. Limited to the first 75 people.
Sunday, 11:00am-12:00pm: SIGNING #3
Bryan Lee O’Malley Signing
Located at Marriott Bloor Yorkville, Signing Area, 90 Bloor Street East
This is the signing that was ticketed Saturday morning (see above). A small rush line will be admitted, but no more than 15 people, and the rush line will not be guaranteed a spot.
Sunday, 2:45 - 3:45pm
PANEL: Spotlight: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Located at Marriott Bloor Yorkville 400, Forest Hill Ballroom, 90 Bloor Street East
Bryan Lee O’Malley is the creator of SCOTT PILGRIM, the smash-hit multi-volume comic book series which inspired the fan-favourite film and video game. TCAF 2013 will see the release of Scott Pilgrim Color Edition Volume 3, the midpoint of the re-release of the series in its fantastic new format. Join O’Malley and Benign Kingdom’s George Rohac as they plumb the depths of the series, ask the unanswered questions, and dig deep into the process of editing and revising a modern classic.
Sunday, 4:00pm-5:00pm: SIGNING #4
Bryan Lee O’Malley Signing
Located at Marriott Bloor Yorkville, Signing Area, 90 Bloor Street East
This signing is strictly limited to 75 tickets. Get tickets starting Sunday at 11am at ONI PRESS, located at Table 136 at Toronto Reference Library. A small rush line-up of 15 people without tickets may line-up as well, but, no guarantees!
Do you know there's a band called The Ramona Flowers? Do they need your permission to use that name?
no, they don’t
me and Edgar actually talked about them the other night… the general consensus was “cool, i guess?”