I’ve gotten a couple of questions about the how and why of the Dagon comic strip I am working on so I decided to write a blog post showing how I am doing it. I am hoping to eventually place Dagon with a publisher who prints in color, but it might also see final print in BW… so one of the challenges was trying to make it work in both. Here is page 5 as it looks now (I’m not certain this is complete… this is just how it looks now):
Dagon is a very early (1917) story by H.P. Lovecraft that concerns a man who finds himself aboard a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. While he sleeps, the lifeboat becomes mired in a muddy continent that rises up underneath the boat. He sets out to explore the land and discovers evidence of an earlier, non-human undersea civilization that drives him mad. He later wakes up in the hospital and is told that he was picked up in his lifeboat — no one believes him. The story ends with his mental and emotional collapse since he is convinced the creatures dwelling beneath the ocean are coming for him and/or humanity. I’m calling my version an ‘adaptation’ since I changed a few things.
I started by reading ‘Dagon’ a couple of times (link here) and writing out a ‘script’ describing what I wanted to have happen. I then used paper and pencil to rough out the comic book… it came out to 20 pages. Here is page 5 in the rough:
As you can see, I used the computer to add the quotes from Lovecraft I would use (replacing my chicken scratch handwriting) and used the computer to move the text around(that took a surprisingly long time). When I had it all laid out, I started on final art. Unusual for me, I did this one 100% digitally (aside from the layout rough). My program of choice was Manga Studio. I like Manga Studio’s G-Pen tool, but actually that’s about the only tool in it I use (other than eraser). It has all sorts of other features that I don’t really like or are too hard for an impatient person like me to figure out. That said, I like it’s drawing tool so much that I would pay a lot more that the ~$50.00 they charged me for it. After drawing the BW, page 5 looked like this:
Although I like drawing with Manga studio, I’m pretty sure it will not replace ink on paper for me. While I like the line quality of the G-pen tool, I also really like the marks I can get with my old fashioned quill pen and some of the digital stuff sometimes starts to look a little generic when I compare it to my pen and ink stuff. One of the things it is great for are drawings where one has to make a lot of changes and alterations.
In any case, I’m hoping that I will be able to finish this and place it with a publisher soon – AFAIK, no one else has done the ‘Dagon’ story and I am happy with my take on it.
Still at work on ‘Dagon’ and other projects. The people drawn in the foreground of this picture are a
direct swipe from tribute to an Al Feldstein comic (The Spawn of Venus).
A page from one of my works in progress, “Dagon” by Lovecraft.
Just got a handful of ‘proof’ versions of the Shaver comic in the mail from the printer… they look pretty good but there are a few pages I might have to redo. These will be shipped out to publishers who will hopefully respond with enthusiasm and big offer$ because comic books about dead artists who were conspiracy theorists are bigger than pokemon go.
Those lousy Krauts are gonna sink that ship!
This is page 16 with naked people being led off to a sorrowful existence underground. Hoping to be able to send this off to potential publishers in a week or three as a rough draft… then on to another project which has waited too long.
Another two page spread for the Shaver book.