Weekend Coffee Share – Birthday Edition

Birthday Coffee

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it’s my birthday!

As has been my birthday tradition, today I get to write about whatever I want. In many respects, this differs in no way from any other day on the blog, but whatever.

So I would probably tell you about my plans going forward. Life plans. Dream-accomplishing plans. Read on for those – I’d love some input!

I would tell you that I have a non-fiction book mapped out based on some of our content here on Comparative Geeks. More on that at a later date. And I have no idea how I would publish it – e-book publish it and go? Find a local, in-state publisher? See if a bigger press has any interest? We shall see.

I would tell you that, of course I have something like that in mind. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. I was writing books in Kindergarten. I still have plans to write a story based on characters I started developing at age 10.

And this blog is in many ways a response to me wanting to be a writer. Because fast forward to college, and when I told people – like adult people – that I wanted to write, they would always ask if I had a blog. Well, blog achieved! And it’s gotten and kept us writing for almost three years now!

But one thing to come to terms with, for me, is the fact that because I’ve been planning all this so long, dreaming and thinking about it, the doing of it seems to get harder over time. On the one hand, the feeling that it’s “too late,” and on the other the realization that actually, I’m not particularly old at all. No matter how old the Geek Baby makes me feel…

Something that the blogging has made me realize is that maybe my initial thoughts – a novel – are not what I would write. Maybe it’s comics. Probably it’s comics. Of course it’s comics.

I’ve asked some artistic friends, and have not yet found anyone who feels as strongly as I do about creating a comic. I’ve decided not to be daunted. I’ve decided that I can do art, right? So I’ve been experimenting with that. You can see the results over on our Instagram, if you’re interested – I’ve been sharing a sketch a day in October.

Shading is tough with just a pen… #sketch plus #filter helps! 4/31

A post shared by @comparative_geeks on

In fact, I would like you to be interested. Because what I want to do next with my sketches is work on some character design. I am resigned to the fact that I am going to be drawing in a cartoon style. But I’ve now readΒ Understanding Comics – so that means I’m actually kind of happy with a cartoon style.

What I need is repeatability – the ability to have a character, and be able to draw them again and again. In different poses, different angles, doing different things. So at first here I’ve been playing around with different ways to draw: sketching on paper, sketching on a tablet, and even – disastrously – combining the two.

I’ve liked some of what I have done on the tablet – particularly background scenes and such. Some of my sketches of just our living room and such I’ve really liked as a style. But if you know me or the blog very much… it’s Science Fiction and Fantasy I’ll be doing. My quiet living room scenes – do they have much to do, visually, with those genre?

What I haven’t liked on the tablet is drawing people. And I feel in particular that I have terrible repeatability on the tablet. But figuring out how to solidly combine the two could take a ton of learning with the technology – is that the best use of my time? Or another delay?

Because with the new year, I would like to have a webcomic going.

That’s where I’m going with all of this, for now. I’m torn on whether to do short stories, or a long one – please tell me which you think would be better in the comments below. I’m also planning on a comics-related NaNoWriMo – if a picture is worth 1000 words, then I’m thinking 50 comics panels should do the trick.

So yeah. If we were having coffee, I would be telling you that I’m going to be starting a webcomic soon. And wanting to have your input. So take a sip, think it over, and let me know!

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30 responses to “Weekend Coffee Share – Birthday Edition

  1. I think using NaNo as a motivator to jumpstart your comic project is a great idea. And Happy Birthday! I hope you have something fun planned and you enjoy your special day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. About your technical issues, I’d find some webcomics done in a style you enjoy and try to contact the artist or read their related blog entries, often they talk about their technical process there. I think the webcomic community would at least be willing to share some technical tips about software/hardware that works for them.

    And your living room art question, well it depends who’s in your living room, a lot of webcomics that deal with scifi fantasy interject the characters into real life situations or feature geeks talking about things in a living room setting so it could be a useful backdrop at least sometimes depending on your intended content.

    Long story vs short stories; I think it’s sometimes easier to gel people started with some shorter story elements, it lets a casual reader get a feel for your art/writing style before they commit to a continuing story that could last months. It also lets you try out different characters and see who you enjoy drawing/writing for and who the audience likes/dislikes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Lots of good thoughts here πŸ™‚ A lot of my thoughts so far have been from things I learned from hearing graphic novelist Kazu Kibuishi on his process. So somewhat, I’m trying to duplicate what he does… but without the years of practice with Photoshop!

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  3. Even if I have an idea for a “long” arc, it helps to break the thing down into shorter stories. Think of Star Wars. A New Hope tells a complete, satisfying story by itself–so if Lucas had never gotten to make the others, it stood alone. That’s what I do. Conceive of a long story and find a way to start with a shorter one, then add more short ones to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • See yeah I’m thinking totally unrelated short story – but you’re totally right on breaking it down into arcs. That’s definitely how other webcomics have done it too – and how comics do it. And, well, writers. It’s a good plan! But yeah, the longer story does make more sense…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sure you can write a “short” enclosed webcomic that isn’t part of a larger story, but you have to think about a publishing strategy. What goal does publishing that short piece serve?

        I know people who say they write short stories as “practice” for their longer ones, and I’m like, “…why would I want to read an unknown writer’s practice exercise?”

        If you want to build interest or a fan following–which seems necessary with web-based narrative– then you want people invested in your characters and coming back for more. Does a shorter story accomplish that?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy Birthday! I love comics and would love to see you develop your comic style! Best wishes πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy birthday!!

    I think the idea of starting a comic during NaNoWriMo is a good one—and I’m interested in seeing what you come up with. For me, whether I prefer long-form or short-form with comics varies with the storyline, but I do find myself reading more long-form.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Birthday!! The web comic is a wonder full idea. I am looking forward to seeing your ideas. There is a bit of a learning curve with the drawing. I am trying to digitize some of my own stuff and haven’t really found the right way to do it yet. There are so many options. I think I’m going to get a wacom tablet to draw with. My husband has one and does pretty well with it. Please share your method when you figure out what works for you. It would be great to know!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Birthday to you, and best of luck with the web comic plans. I think web comics work best in short-ish story arcs, enough scope to have development and depth but each arc short enough that newcomers can find an obvious starting place without too much difficulty.Which isn’t to say each arc can’t feed into the next in more subtle ways but it’s nice if they stand alone too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope you’re having an amazing weekend and sounds like you’ve got some great plans for the future. XXX

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy birthday!
    Sorry for the delay πŸ™‚
    I think the comic idea is great.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would sing you a birthday song, but I would scare everyone, including the dogs, so you will have to settle for a virtual hug. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ahhhh it would be great to see you launch that comic you wanted to do for so long!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share – Time Runs Out Edition | Comparative Geeks

  13. Pingback: The Astral Chronicles – an Introduction – Comparative Geeks

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