In Living Colours...


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In my last column it looked like I was finally ready and on my way to make my first comic. But I had forgotten one thing: an artist is not necessarily the same as a colorist.

Ranjit’s planned on doing the drawings himself and to let a colorist finish the pages. So the hunt was on again. Only this time I wasn’t searching for an artist, this time I was looking for a colorist. Luckily I knew where to look. Like I wrote before, www.deviantart.com is an excellent place to look for talented people. You can also search for specific subjects and by now I was quite good at it. After a few hours I found some pages of guys and girls whose coloring I liked. And thankfully there were even a few people who spoke Dutch (yeah, okay, maybe I kinda used search terms like 'Netherlands', and 'Belgium').

We both looked at the deviantart pages and Ranjit picked a few he really liked. One thing I decided to do very early on in our collaboration is trust the artist. Ranjit was doing this for a living, so I figured that what he knew about the visual part of the job would be so much more than I would know. So we made a list of people we liked and started sending out e-mails again.

And within a few hours we got a reaction from a guy who called himself Brian Uppie. He sounded really enthusiastic. Ranjit had done some more drawings of the different team members and we mailed Brian a drawing to see what he would do with it. The next day we saw our first drawn and colored ACE character come to live. Ironically it would be one of the last ACE members to be introduced. 

And although I still hadn’t made a real comicbook, I thought I was very, very close to realizing my dream, however small that dream might be. I had almost finished the story and knew exactly how it would end (I believe that should be the first thing you should know about your story). I had found a great artist and a colorist who was very enthusiastic about what we were planning to do. So basically we were rolling.

I was so proud. This was something I wanted very much and I had finally taken the first crucial steps in the right direction. Of course I knew I wasnt there yet, but it was a good start. I had completed the team.The only thing I still had to do was to finish the story. And that was something I was planning on doing soon.

I have read many books on how to write comics and listen a lot to John Suintres’s Word Balloon. A little sidenote on Word Balloon: (www.wordballoon.com) John holds one-on-one interviews with writers and artists in the comic scene. His interviews are often conversations lasting a minimum of one hour, covering everything about the world of comics. Required listening for anyone who wants to know more about making comics. What I learned from all the books and interviews is the following: if you want to write, go do it. It takes a lot of free time and can affect your social life (or even kill it), but if you want to write. WRITE!

And I can say from my own experience that it really takes time and effort to write. Because I still have my dayjob and a wife and children with whom I like to spend time, there is not much time left to write. The time I do have is the time you would normally use to speak with friends, go out for drinks or visit people. And that's what I gave up. I also found that I could make 'time' for writing when I stopped watching TV and stopped gaming (or rather, I went on a kind of TV diet and only watched what I really wanted to see) Reserving one night of the week as my 'writing evening' also helped.

It took me about six weeks to finish the script for ACE. And it felt great. I had written stories before, but not something like this. It felt great. It felt fantastic. And I kind of wanted more.

Next: Oops!

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