Archive for January, 2011

Year in Review – Part Three: Plans for 2011

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011
In Part One of this series, I went over accomplishments I was proud of in 2010.  In Part Two, I covered the things that could use improvement.  In this part, I will go over my specific creative goals for 2010.

Introspective Comics

I want to make at least 104 pages of comics for the next Introspective Comics collection.  That means maintaining my current twice a week schedule.  As usual, the webcomic will have priority over all of my other projects.  If I don’t get anything else done this year, I would like to at least accomplish this.

Plunger-Man and the Super Plumbers

The second issue of Super Plumbers in nearly done.  I still need to make a cover and half-tone the pages, which I will try to get done this month.  I would also like to finish a third and fourth issue this year if possible.  I have plans for a big story arc that I want to finish by the end of 2012, and having three issues come out this year is the best way to get there.

Digital Mini-Comics

Not all the comics I make are suited for the web.  Either they are too personal for me to make freely available (even though I wouldn’t mind my friends seeing them), or they are so sporadically updated that they’d never gain the traction that makes webcomics successful.  Plus, I like the idea of having some of my comics be scarce, of not having everything available for free.  That’s why I sell these comics as mini-comics.

I’ll be honest here, selling mini-comics online is kind of a pain.  With all of the fees, postage, and time spent going to the post office, I sometimes wish there was a better way to get these mini-comics out there.  I’ve been toying with the idea of selling pdf versions of my mini-comics, but I haven’t worked out a good process for doing that.

One thing I want to investigate for 2011 is publishing comics for various mobile platforms.  With self-publishing tools like SmashWords, Digital Text Platform, and PubIt, it looks like I can now dip my toes into the waters without spending a ton of money on developing apps.  I just need to work out a better way to format my comics for these devices.

Newsletter

Setting up a newsletter has been a personal pipe dream for a long time.  Ideally, I’d like to use it to distribute exclusive comics not available on the web.  Sometimes I have comic ideas that I wouldn’t want to put up on the web, but I wouldn’t mind sharing them with my fans.  The newsletter would be perfect for that.  I just have to figure out how to put it together.  Managing a newsletter is a surprisingly tricky business.

Secret Projects

I have ideas for other projects, but I don’t want to talk about them just yet.  If I talk too much about them, I might not do them.

So those are my plans for 2011.  It should be a fun and busy year!

Progress Journal 01-09-11

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Ryan Dow's Progress Journal

I’m going to try something new here.  The reason I post comics on this website twice a week (as opposed to three times or more like most webcomics)  is to give myself space to work on other projects.  This means that Introspective Comics often collects dust while I’m busy working on other things.  To rectify this, I’m starting a series of blog posts documenting the progress on all my various side projects.

There’s a school of thought that says talking too much about your projects makes you less likely to complete them.  Talking about projects can be very gratifying, and that gratification can extinguish the fire that drive you to work on and finish a project.  For that reason I will be focusing on things I’ve already done and not things I plan to do.  This will be a progress report, not a to-do list.

This won’t be an advice column or how-to blog.  I’ll share things I’ve learned or strategies I’m working on, but the primary goal of this blog is not to teach.  Not that there’s anything wrong with teaching, I just haven’t learned much worth teaching.  I can teach you how to lose money making comics, and you don’t a blog to teach you that.  The real reason I’m posting this is I hate working in a vacuum, and there seems to be a genuine interest in what goes on in the creation process.

Plunger-Man and the Super Plumbers

For the past couple months I’ve been working hard on the second issue to Plunger-Man and the Super Plumbers (you can buy the first issue here).  I’ve finally finished the penciling, inking, and scanning phases and am now in the editing phase.  This means printing the comic out and marking errors with a highlighter.  I feel like I’m working on a puzzle for Highlights Magazine.  Find all the hidden mistakes in this image!  Unfortunately, there is no answer key.

I’m about halfway through the initial phase of editing.  I still have to make a cover, and my friend Danno is slowly convincing me that I should half-tone the story.  Either, way I should get it done in time for SPACE.

SPACE

Oh, that’s right.  I signed up for SPACE last week.  It may be the only out-of-state convention I go this year, but I think it will be worth it.  If nothing else, I’m hoping to pick up the latest copy of Dutchy Digest.  I’m going by myself this year, so if anybody wants to split hotel costs, my e-mail is ryandow [at] ryandow [dot] com.

Photoshop

Finally got around to installing my first real copy of Photoshop this weekend.  I’ve already recorded actions to format my comics for web and print.  I also ran my first batch job to format a mini-comic’s worth of pages.  It works great.  Be sure to add a close command at the end of the action you plan to use for batch processing.  Otherwise Photoshop will try to open 24 images at once.

Digital Mini-Comics

Not much progress into making Digital Mini-Comics.  I did start converting Super Plumbers #1 from GIMP format to Photoshop.  It’s a tedious but necessary step that will save me work in the future.  Once the files are formatted, I’ll work on creating actions to format the pages for various e-readers.

That’s all for now.

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