I’ve been busily plotting out my new comics project (which, you may recall, I wrote about here previously): a story called Bolt: 6:59. It’s about a girl who discovers she has super speed.
The first draft was 16 pages long (4 panels per page), and I was more or less happy with it. I say “more or less” because, as good as the first half was, the second half just wasn’t working. It was falling flat.
I ended up storyboarding the whole thing, mocking up each panel to a 4 x 6 index card so I could recognize any drawing, pacing, or dialogue problems. After a couple of read-throughs I decided to completely jettison the second half. So out it went.
I came up with a new story, and it’s juicy enough to justify expanding the comic to a full 24 pages, or possibly 28, or possibly even more. The first half, the half that was working, remains relatively unchanged. The second half goes off in a completely different, and I think much more satisfying direction.
Since the second half relies on dialogue more than the first, which was very visual (nearly wordless), I decided to sit down at my trusty netbook and type it out screenplay style, which was actually very exciting. Like putting on a pair of shoes you haven’t worn since high school and discovering they still fit. Yes, I think I will rock these blue suede Pumas, thank you very much.
Just to vary things, I took a break from writing yesterday and sketched out a quick costume design, which incorporates elements from some previous designs, while streamlining and updating it. It still needs work, of course, and will probably continue to evolve right up until the final pencils stage. (The shoes and gloves especially, I think.) But I wanted to test out a color scheme I had in my mind’s eye to see if it holds up.
I sketched it out in red pencil, then scanned the image without bothering to ink it, bumped up the pencils, and quickly Photoshop-colored it. Here it is:
Sadly, I won’t be able to make it down to the Small Press Expo this year. Next week, Robyn will have to trek down to SPX without me. To treat my obstructive sleep apnea I had my tonsils out 2 weeks ago, rather suddenly (no emergency—the surgeon had a sudden cancellation, and the date was just 3 days after the diagnosis, so I had to jump on it or wait another 3 months). The doctor said I needed to take at least a week off work, so my boss was loath to let me take another 2 days off in the same month. So it goes. I’ll be there in spirit. And my books will be there, in spirit and in actual, you know, physical book form.