By Keith Foster and Scott Lost
Making ComicsDec 04, 2023
Episode 159: Writer's Block
This week, we discuss font size and the right amount of dialogue to put on pages and panels (7:25), understanding the genre and potential audience of your story (23:20), checking in on a comic script (30:45), making a first-draft outline of a new comic (32:10), and the middle of a kickstater (44:00) before this week's main topic: writer's block (49:15).
Episode 158: Making your art Cinematic
This week, we talk about incorporating new pages into a novel (6:00),working your way through a Kickstarter (10:45), writing a page outline for a single issue (17:30), lettering in a similar, but slightly different way (26:05), and a dose of inspiration that inspired a high-level project outline (38:15) before this week's topic: making your art cinematic (49:45).
Episode 157: Death and Taxes and Comics
This week, we talk about the pre-work for Kickstarters (4:00), editing your way through a late draft of a book (13:30), creating a new logo (19:10), working out the high-level structure of a new ending (26:35), receiving original cover art (34:00) and a note on clear communication with artists (39:10) before we read a letter (42:50) and get to the inevitable topic you've all been waiting for: incorporation and taxes (51:15)!
Episode 156: The Speed vs Quality Dilemma
This week, we discuss an in-store appearance (3:15), finishing inks for a comic and moving on the flatting and notes for the colorist (11:20), revisiting a project once thought complete (19:00) and hitting on a surprise revelation, thinking through a crowdfunding schedule and prepping a Kickstarter, and prepping variant covers and commisions (32:30) before this week's episode: the speed/quality dilemma when it comes to your work (43:00).
Episode 155: Knowing When you're Done
This week, we review feedback on a comic script (2:30), working your way through a Kickstarter and making choices on promotion (9:00), staying on your page goals (16:45), and a Metal Swap Meet recap (27:00) before we get to this week's topic: knowing when you're finished with a project (33:45).
Episode 154: Taking your story where you want it to go
This week, we talk about preparing for and launching a Kickstarter (11:50), approaching the end of a comic and larger arc continuity (18:00), taking chances on format (31:00), sending your story off to readers (36:50), getting a cover back from an artist (42:00), pondering a potential future project (46:20), and being a creator and not your creations (61:45).
Episode 153: Pitching to Publishers
This week, we discuss maintaining your page goals (4:10), ensuring the individual story scripts of a larger arc mesh well (9:55), soliciting opinions from your trusted creator network (17:40), preparing to write the final issue of a comic series (27:30), and revisiting a previously "finished" work (39:00) before we get to this week's topic: pitching your book to publishers (50:20).
Episode 152: Planning for Your Story's Success
This week we discuss finishing a comic script in non-traditional work spaces (3:45), maintaining the three pages per week pace (12:20), setting up your Kickstarter for success (16:50), finishing a parody cover (21:00), and revisiting a story that's been on the shelf for a year and making delicate edits (29:20) before this week's topic: planning for your story's success (40:20).
Episode 151: Bringing your Story Forward
This week, we talk about sustaining your higher level of productivity (4:40), working on a comic script in whatever way you can (12:30), bringing the best part of your story forward (19:10), choosing the right page layout (31:00), and shelving your daily writing goals to relax and allow ideas to come to you (35:10).
Episode 150: Creating Complex Characters
This week, Scott and Keith recap tabling at a horror convention (5:15) and discuss finding your pitch (10:00), sticking to your production goals for art (26:10), incorporating notes into your work and story pacing (33:00), and drawing pencil pages (41:00) before this week's main topic: creating complex characters (48:00).
Episode 149: Story time versus Elapsed time
This week, Scott and Keith discuss what might be a higher permanent level of productivity (3:50), how your past scrapped ideas can become your next good idea (14:00), how AI is now your competition and how knowing what it can do can create a baseline for your own work (22:00), fine-tuning your pages with your colorist (29:30), and figuring out your product mix for a show (34:10) before we get to this week's topic: story time versus elapsed time (45:30).
Episode 148: How to Approach Action in Your Comics
This week, Scott and Keith discuss pruning your activities when necessary (4:30), hitting a higher level of productivity with your art (11:15), getting a calibration on submissions (24:30), working withyour arists / colorists on changes and feedback to artists (35:45), and working on the story skeleton for a new comic (43:40) before the main topic: how to approach action in your comics (47:30).
Episode 147: Where Research Ends and Story Begins
This week, Scott and Keith talk about thumbnail pre-work for a month-long panel gauntlet and good goals versus bad goals (7:05), working on a side gig that relates to your creative work (15:15), finding the inspiration for potential work (24:15), sharpening the look of a future cover (27:50), getting the coloring right on your comic (34:30), fitting your productivity schedule to your life and not the other way around (40:30), and finding a rhythm in new panels (44:30) before this week's main topic: where research ends and your story begins (49:15).
Episode 146: Pop Culture References in your book
This week, we talk about capturing the essence of your story with your cover (4:10), asking your colorist for corrections where needed (11:20), getting the first wave of cover ideas back on your book and realizing what's good within those ideas (18:30), doing advance work on a comic and adjusting to somehing unexpected (33:40), and receiving a test page for your comic and discussing fit for the story (42:35) before we get to this week's topic: your book's conversation with pop culture (52:30).
Episode 145: New characters and Script notes
This week, Scott and Keith talk about receiving the original art for a commissioned comic cover (4:20), using a place with less distractions to your advantage (11:50), hacking out the details and your choices in naming a new character (22:40), finishing the script on a comic (32:20), getting notes back on your comic (40:45), evaluating a story to see if it should be a comic or prose (48:40), and getting the first sketch of a future cover (57:35).
Episode 144: Chimpanzee Science Fiction at the Carnival
This week, we talk about switching up the way you work and violating a 'rule' with intention (7:30), finishing a comic (13:40), thinking through the future of selling your comics and trade paperbacks (18:45), and using a future opportunity to finish your work faster (35:45) before this week's topic: those times when a dual-prong strategy makes sense for your projects (39:50), when to publish books, future release schedules, and more.
Episode 143: Handling Rejection
This week, Scott and Keith talk about getting close to the end of a comic (3:30), trying out a tip to work through creative block (11:20), getting original art back from one of your covers (17:45), taking a break in your story to map out the story's direction (22:30), improving your skills with gesture drawings and head sketches (30:25), and getting inspiration from positive feedback (34:00) before this week's topic: handling rejection (47:20).
Episode 142: San Diego Comic Con recap
This week, we sit down post- San Diego Comic Con to discuss re-dedication to your daily / monthly word count (5:00), channeling productive energy from working the table at SDCC (10:30), how the warmup sentence exercise has morphed into something more useful (15:20), tallying up the sales from SDCC (22:30) and ordering stock of your stuff (26:50) before this week's topic (36:00): a vendor (Scott's) and fan (Keith's) recap of San Diego Comic Con.
Episode 141: Re-evaluating your Creative Goals
This week, we sit down on the verge of SDCC and talk about adjusting your productivity goals around your schedule (3:55), selling at an in-store event (6:00), staying warm with sketches and commissions (14:40) and writing warm-ups (18:50), and doing the large-thinking character work before commencing work on a comic (27:15) before we get to this week's main topic: re-evaluating your creative goals and changing them if you need to (41:00).
Episode 140: Removing (Creative) limitations
This week, we talk about completing a comic script (5:00), hitting your daily drawing goal (9:10), getting interior art back from a new artist (14:45) and a cover artist (17:10), getting fan feedback on a comic (20:40), doing commission work for SDCC (23:10), and riding the momentum on a project (28:20) before this week's main topic: removing limitations (39:20).
Episode 139: Copyright
This week, we talk about doing work (but not finishing) panels so they can be finished later (5:30), writing with the energy of a new project (9:00), working on pre-show commissions for SDCC (14:00), doing big thinking past the current issue of the comic you're working on (19:15), and flatting colors for a page (30:40) before this week's topic: copyrights (38:30).
Episode 138: Indie Comics Workshop
This episode, we recap our in-store at Comic Book Hideout in Fullerton CA (4:00), then discuss how details are their own easter egg (17:10), jumping straight from your basic skeleton to writing a comic script (24:50), and shipping out Kickstarter packages (33:20) before we give our feedback (42:05) on some comics we've received from listeners and offer tips that apply to all creators.
Episode 137: Extending a story
This week, Scott and Keith discuss making changes with your artist (4:25), the right way visually start a story (12:10), understanding change deadlines (21:45), getting product reinforcements in for Kickstarters and upcoming shows (25:40), and doing deep story-within-a-story work (29:30) before we tackle this week's topic: extending a story (37:00).
Episode 136: Advancing your Craft (with Dave Law)
This episode, we welcome artist Dave Law (Space Odditorium, Wolf Punks) and discuss bringing real-life elements into your comic for authenticity (6:00), attacking different scenes in different ways in a comic script (11:05), ensuring dialogue corresponds to panel size and how learning from the greats can backfire (16:10), juggling multiple projects as an artist (21:20), digital versus traditional pencils (29:00), working off your digital thumbnails (36:20), working with limitations (43:50), and turning things you don't like working on into things you do (56:00).
Episode 135: Leaning into Conflict
This episode, we begin with a convention recap (5:00), bouncing a story off your editor in the formative stage (30:45), ordering product for a convention (35:05), working your way to your story's ending (47:45), and finishing a splash page (52:35) before this week's main topic: leaning into conflict (58:10).
Episode 134: The completed comic (with Gary Hodges)
This episode, we sit down with Gary Hodges (creator of D vs M) and discuss, among other things, balancing your writing projects when you're eager to work on all of them (5:20), getting product ready for a show (12:20), pitching your book (28:30), making comics from a place of cinema fandom (39:15), the ambitious work you sign up for in making comics (47:00), how all the time you spend creating matters (53:50), the feeling once your book is released (66:40) and turning that into the next project (69:00),
Episode 133: Making Edits Seamless
This week, we discuss troubleshooting at the printer (3:40), a kaiju in-store event (10:10), working under a tight deadline to make new prints for a show (14:40), the top outline and page outline process for a comic (23:25), keeping a 'cut not add' mindset in editing your story (32:50), cranking out even more prints for a show (37:00), and turning a strange idea into a story (40:45) before we talk about this week's topic: making edits seamless (49:40).
Episode 132: The Character Work
This week, we review a productive panel week and the power of small increments (5:45), then we have a lengthy discussion on stopping your progress to do necessary character work (16:15), touching on character sheets (22:40), knowing when to go heavy on research (29:30), and how doing that research makes writing your story easier in the future (32:15), then discuss character studies and working with vendors (36:00).
Episode 131: Choosing Simplicity
This week, we recap Free Comic Book Day (4:15), the discuss getting back into drawing after running a Kickstarter (18:30), final edits of comics in the PDF stage (30:00), and designing a trading card (41:00), before we get to this week's topic: choosing simplicity (49:00).
Episode 130: Trusting your Vision
This week, we discuss art for a trading card (4:50), interviews and the daily work behind running a Kickstarter (9:00), hiring an artist for a future variant cover (13:00), trusting the vision for your story - but not too much (17:20), and some answers to listener questions on comic book agents (26:10) and when writer/artists should stick to writing (41:30).
Episode 129: Finding the Right Story to Tell
This week, we recap the first two days of Amazing Las Vegas (4:00), then talk about writing a short story over a weekend (14:05), working on backgrounds (17:00), forcing yourself to shutoff creative work so you can focus on Kickstarter work (19:30), and a fun two-page spread (26:00) before we get to this week's main topic: finding the right story to tell (29:30).
Episode 128: Making the wrong ideas right
This week, we discuss the home stretch of Kickstarters (8:10), those unexpected moments when characters change the story (14:00), update frequency for Kickstarters (25:30), getting pages back and seeing your script changes (30:20) before this week's topic: making the wrong ideas right (38:40).
Episode 127: Process and Influences with Andy Belanger
This episode, we welcome veteran comic creator Andy Belanger to the podcast to talk all things process! We discuss the benefits of working on your own stories (8:15), getting deeper into the craft of writing (15:30), how varying your influences helps (27:00), the state of sales in the industry (36:45), Kickstarter (40:00), and the current state of the industry (51:00).
Episode 126: No Small Characters
This week, we discuss the time that goes into launching a Kickstarter (3:15), reviewing a story with fresh eyes (14:30), your name in the back of Kickstarters and how to fill extra pages in your comic (18:45), some editor notes that might apply to your stories (29:30) before we get to this week's main topic (36:30) - no small characters.
Episode 125: Avoiding Lazy Storytelling
This week, we share a few thoughts on WonderCon, including the art of staying patient (13:10), 'I'll be back' (22:05), and the value of a well-rounded product portfolio (28:20), then talk about a nice writing milestone (37:20) before this week's episode: avoiding lazy storytelling (47:00).
Episode 124: Self-Publish or Work with a Publisher?
This week, we give our thoughts on Day One of WonderCon (4:20) before we discuss getting back to your work after stepping away (9:55), recording guitars for a comic soundtrack (12:50), putting the finishing touches on a comic for a Kickstarter (14:45), and creating what you want without thinking of how it fits in your portfolio (18:00) before we get to this week's topic: self-publishing versus working through a publisher (29:00).
Episode 123: Creating What you Want
This week, we talk about the dramatic changes that happen from beginning to end when you make small changes along the way (5:45), getting colors back for a piece (15:00), reviewing interior pages for a backup story (22:30), Kickstarter thumbnails (26:10), comfort in creating whatever you want (41:15), and returning to your art after some time away (55:40).
Episode 122: What makes a cover a cover
This week, we discuss adjusting the colors on full-color pages to fit the story and the problem-solving that comes with cell phone exchanges (6:20), those times when you need to sit down to write (14:15) those times when you need to get away from your project for a day or two (26:00), writing where the heat is (32:20), working with public domain (and not so public domain) characters (37:10), cutting pages and cutting dialogue in the interest of the story and why lettering your own writing is so helpful (42:20) before we get to this week's main topic: what makes a cover a cover (48:00).
Episode 121: Working with Editor notes
This week, we talk about selling yourself on submissions(3:00), visiting your story location for extra authenticity (20:30), changing up the way your work as a way to keep things fresh (29:15), and working with your editor's notes as our main topic (34:40), as well as special logos for alternate covers (53:40) and toy designs (58:30).
Episode 120: Creative Retreat and Accountability check-in
This week, we discuss our creator retreat and the work we did there - thumbnail work (8:00), line-editing your writing (9:15), using the SLAC method to turn thumbnails into panels (26:15), writing the first draft of a comic script (28:30), patchwork comic covers (36:20), and making sure your dialogue matches the size of the panel it sits in (40:00) before we share the goals of fellow creators (44:10).
Episode 119: Overshowing and Overtelling
This, we talk about revising unused / mothballed stories and making them new (3:55), setting up a story around dialogue (10:15), negotiating with artists (15:00), designing a logo for your comic (23:50), and writing a comic's scene skeleton and page outline (29:00) before this week's topic: overshowing and overtelling (35:50).
Episode 118: Endings (and Getting them Right)
This week, we talk about comic lettering and changing dialogue (5:10), ensuring the characters are doing the work of the story (12:15), reviewing the almost-final version of your comic for consistency (21:40), having a plan for the middle of a Kickstarter (28:20) before this week's topic: finding the right way to end a story (41:00).
Episode 117: Letting Your Work Air Out
This week, we talk about the differences in writing long and short stories (6:10), designing characters for a story arc and getting the essence of your source material (18:25), turning an unused remnant of a large story into a story of its own (24:55), and absorbing material to improve your stories (31:25) before this week's main topic: letting your work air out (44:15).
Episode 116: Variation and Sound Effects
This week, we discuss celebrating the work you complete (5:00), starting and completing work different than the type of work you've done before (13:40), the line between doing work yourself and outsourcing (22:05), working with the next generation of creators (30:40), lettering your own sound effects (38:00), and a Scott and Keith collaboration cover (45:40).
Episode 115: Setting Your 2023 Goals
This week, we talk about moving on from a project (10:00), finding the right angle for a background panel (21:50), starting and finishing a cover (29:40), starting the flats for your comic (32:30), and changing the seas of pop culture intake (34:40) before this week's topic: setting your 2023 goals (54:00).
Episode 114: Remembering the money part of comics
This week, we talk about choosing the proper angles for your panels (8:30), reconciling creative mode and business mode (19:00), investing in the fun details of your comic (22:15), and asking yourself questions on whether or not you're writing the right thing (34:00) before this week's main topic: remembering the money angle of making comics (41:15).
Episode 113: Choosing the Right Parts of the Story
This week, we discuss printing out your script to enable a revision (4:00), using, but not overusing, artistic tools so your own creativity shines (11:30), cutting the unnecessary parts from a scene (28:00), and staying patient wiht your clients (33:00) before this week's topic: choosing the right parts of the story (34:40).
Episode 112: Tackling Your Workload and Naming
This week, we discuss finishing the first draft of a comic script (6:30), the value you should put on names in your story (10:45), that magic point on a project when you can plan for the end date (25:20), another method of tackling the work on a comic (29:10), the value of ramping down (41:15), and confirming story solutions wiht your editor (53:45).
Episode 111: Magic Systems
This week we discuss finishing a page that contains a ton of detail (6:25), loose scheduling for upcoming projects (16:00), working with clients (20:00), getting your first blast of feedback and rethinking the broad strokes on a new project (28:00), and getting product back after a long design process (40:45) before this week's main topic: rules around magic systems (45:00).
Episode 110: Favorites of 2022
Continuing the year-end Making Comics tradition, it's part two of our year-end suite with guest Gary Hodges, this time with favorites of the year! Roll out the year with us as we share our favorite comic book (8:30), artist (15:45), writer (43:00), TV show (53:45), movie (1:05:00), and band (1:13:00), among other favorites.