Messy story/comic progress

Example of how I come up with story flow and ideas for comics.

Cover Image

I left a whole bunch of story stuff on the cutting room floor for the upcoming BLT anthology. This is likely the most work I've scrapped (30+ pages) in my comic-making life. I have a tendency to just go with my gut on stories pretty quickly.

Some people are really consistent with their story dev process, but I'd say that mine is extremely inconsistent with regards to the format that the very first thoughts/outlines come out as. Sometimes it is purely written, sometimes it is purely thumbnailed, sometimes it's a combination of both. One day I came up with a weird hybrid (below) that is more like a flowchart of plot points (but images are not representative of any panels/layouts). The nice thing about working solo is that you can do whatever seems most natural and least inhibiting of creative flow.

What is consistent however, is that it's generally done at more of an "outline" level, and I don't get into the weeds of details/specifics unless they are extremely relevant.

The setting for the story was heavily inspired by my recent stint living on an island. That's why you see some Princess Sally Island (PSI) and Sam of Few Fables (haha) things at the very top. On the right, I wrote down the tropes that folks suggested to me. Then I drew whatever came to mind; let the story flow from logic and whatever could check off more trope boxes. This was done on an airplane.

Is this considered "visual note taking"? I don't plan things out spatially in a coherent way, so I rely on arrows (often criss-crossing) to tie flow/logic together. Trying to keep my thoughts neat, likely inhibits my creativity.

I also tend to not edit the first iteration over and over again. I move on to the next iteration and make changes there. Below is the rough panel layout and script pass. I went straight from the previous image, on to this.

The story above expands on the first rough flow. There was some strange half-office-drama-half-fantasy-demon plot, where you could unlock demon memories from the past by touching moles and kissing. Completely ridiculous! It took way too many pages to properly set up all the things I needed to for it to be coherent, and I didn't have enough time to finish it before the deadlines, which is why this concept was ultimately scrapped!

I took the existing character designs and repurposed most them for my actual submission. The character designs were also heavily inspired by the island's coat of arms. It's nice having character designs in the same CSP file for quick reference!

Today's music post: LOST ON YOU by Scott Hoying & Mario Jose (LP x HANS ZIMMER Cover). I also like the original by LP a lot as well, but I heard the cover before the original!

Also What Kinda Music by Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes is finally out and it's a great album!