Comics for Grownups


Making Comics, Part One
Making Comics, Part Two
Making Comics, Part Three
Making Comics, Part Four
Making Comics, Part Five

Time to start making my own comics, by my self. Everything you see on these pages is an original work, copyright me, Sam Battin.

A pressing question for me right now is how to raise awareness for my works? My goal is to live by making comics and this will be a work of years. One method of raising awareness is to create content that is sharable and which is also interesting; a motion comic can be both of these.

Elsewhere on this site I've mentioned Goony the Rather Foolish Bird. This is a character I created back in the 90s when I was twenty and the world lay at my feet. Also I had facial hair back then. I've since shaved it off.

Some inspiration from this comic came from Tony Millionaire's comic about pirates, specifically the attitude, but most of it came from the reaction I had to the people I met in college who couldn't wait to tell me how to live, what to like, and what to hate. I grew to dislike them a great deal; who set them up as arbiters? Not me, certainly. Also there was some stuff with my family going on at the time; this comic was my way of coping with it.

Below is a taste of Goony and Phil in their native static habitat of sequential panels.

Goony the Rather Foolish Bird

Goony and Phil

Click to enlarge

I made a thirty page book out of these two characters and I would like for people to read it. So a motion comic seemed to be the way to do it. There are no set theories now about how to make motion comics. The goal is to transmit something of the comic experience into a video. However, as we all know, taking a comic and putting it into a video means that the pacing is no longer under the reader's control. THe director of the video decides how long the viewer will see each panel, and he'd better guess right or else he's going to lose viewers and their comprehension, making it less likely for them to come back.

Since I've got other projects I'm working on, my time is at a premium. For this reason, it's important to me that I don't want for there to be a lot of labor in the video. (Maybe I shouldn't say that, but it's too late now) There's an aesthetic element as well, though. I don't want to make an animated cartoon; I'm making a motion comic and there's a difference. Within this parameter of saving time, and making a motion comic. I must admit I am very interested in the expressive qualities of using video to mimic the path of the user's eye across the page. Below is my first attempt at it:

One of the interesting things you can do with video is add music; it's important to give people's ears something to do, and music has a profound effect on how a video is perceived. Music imparts a very specific emotional quality. Music is also often copyrighted, so I can either play my own or use DRM-free content.

Things that are important; promotional stuff like this should really be under two minutes. If you're showing your stuff to someone who has no idea who you are, then their hearts will sink if they look at the "time remaining" portion of the screen and see that you're expecting them to invest fifteen minutes. This is why a lot of videos don't get watched, in my opinion. Keeping the video below two minutes should, theoretically, improve viewability since the visitors know beforehand that I'm not asking for a lot of time.

This was a super-simple technique I used, though, to make the video. The character Bif Pinhead was invented in the 1980s when I was in high school and was really, really easy to draw. Doesn't have a lot of expressions, though. Anyway so I was excited enough about this to try making some more... I will attempt to submit the Goony and Phil comic to comixology and see what they do with it.

NEXT: Go back and read Making Comic Books Part Four or see our Comics for Sale!