Anatta Creators' Blog

Anatta Commentary: So You Want to Make a Webcomic?
anise shaw at 5:20PM, Jan. 14, 2009
posts: 50
joined: 10-28-2007
So here's the big thing, I'm pretty much done with my bachelor's degree and faced with the looming years of the rest of my life. I'm not the only one in my house in this boat, my partner is also facing the same existential conflict and to an almost greater degree. Wei has a degree in Business Administration specializing in Marketing, but he really doesn't want to work in business. He's an artist at heart, but was too turned off of the poor life to get the BFA.

So, he wants to draw and I want to put my education in Visual Arts to good use at something that I enjoy doing. Seeing that it's so much easier to tackle big problems in numbers, Wei and I put our head together to decide what we were going to do.

We have been doing comics for a long time. Wei has made several short stories and is incredibly dedicated to getting projects done. I was part of the major wave of webcomics between 1999-2003 with a stupid little ditty I made while I was in highschool, but I have a problem with procrastination. I, however, do have more experience with narrative and the technicalities of making a webcomic. Wei looked at me one day and said, “Let's make a comic together” and I replied almost immediately, “We should make a webcomic.”

The world of comic book publishing is an annoyingly closed one, even with the popularity of comics rising so quickly. It may be a few years before publishing companies have enough confidence and monetary reserve to take bigger risks on new comic artists, and unfortunately Wei and I don't really want to wait that long.

So, we decided to make a webcomic with a story we had been discussing for about 8 months. I initially wanted to write it, but I'm a procrasinator, so Wei did all the initial writing and I polished it for him. He finished the first page in November and I got started with colouring.

We were initially hoping to have 10 pages up on January 1, plus 2-4 in reserve. We over estimated our ability greatly, especially our ability to work together. It took us almost a month to fully iron out the kinks of working together, what my job is and what Wei's job is and how we can both do them as to not hinder each other.

I remember when Wei finished the first page. He had spent several days trying to ink it just right, and then he went over his lineart with grayscale markers. He was so proud of it, and he held it up with with such joy to show me the beginning of our greatest project yet.

“What the hell is that?” I asked immediately.
“What is what?” He replied, with an almost innocent disappointment in his voice.
“That marker? Do you want this coloured or not?”
Wei looked down, puzzled, “What's wrong with the marker?”

It took me almost an hour to explain that greying in the lineart was pointless, because he was trying to define form that was really the job of the colour. I also tried to explain that grey desaturates all colours and that it will take me hours to get the colour laid in properly.

So, we began going back and forth, me trying to find a colouring technique that both fit the story and Wei's style of drawing. Wei has had a difficult time getting used to making simple, flat lineart, especially after years of trying to define form with greyscale and crosshatching.

On January 1, we launched with 6 pages and 6 in reserve, uncoloured. I look forward to working on this project, I really think that most of the difficult snags of working together have been solved.

Until next time, Anise is out!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM

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