Beth Wagner's Work Log (Isaac & Lee, Space Trucking, Sam Hawke, A Grotto of Poppies)



  • I really need to sit down and get some writing done. The only time I seem to do any writing is on the bus to and from work (when I take the bus, that is )  I can see that I'm going to have to retrain my brain.
  • Tonight I am going to be working on the business part of comics. I am going to be reviewing all of the distribution outlets available to me and I will be reworking my online store. Considering that I just looked at the online store and it seems to have turned into a dilapidated mess.... I've got my work cut out for me.
    Would I rather be writing or drawing? Yes. However, I need to get this marketing back in line and I need to stay on top of it.
  • I didn't get anywhere near the amount of writing that I wanted to on the weekend. I really need to start setting some hard goals, buckling down and getting this script finished. I think part of my problem is that I don't know how long it takes for me to get writing done so I have no way to gage whether or not I'm accomplishing anything.
    Today I'm going to figure out how to set the writing goals. Because I'm really just revising and reformatting, I want to make sure that I'm moving more quickly that if I were writing everything from scratch. Of course I feel as if I'd be writing a lot faster if this was all just fresh out of my brain.
    This week, for drawing, I want to focus on drawing backgrounds and landscapes. I think I'm also going to re-read and re-write the character sketches that I had finished earlier. A lot of the characters are going to be different than how I originally envisioned them so it's time to get them all down on paper.
  • This week is the week that I finally ship that commissioned soon as I figure out what kind box/crate/packing material to use to ship it.
  • It's been over a week since I wrote in here so I'm long overdue for an update. What have I gotten done? The painting has been shipped (it should arrive in the UK in a couple of months) 

    I got some research done because I needed to figure out some logistics of a scene.

    I've really started getting into the story as I've been writing/revising it, the more I work on it, the easier the writing gets, but it's definitely a different beast entirely from simply drawing my ideas out.

    I've also been practising sketches of the characters in the story. My goal is that by the time I actually get to pencilling the story, I will be able to draw any of the characters without thinking about it. After years of struggling with it, I finally came up with an acceptable character model for my main character. For everyone else in the story, I had strong ideas of what they looked like, but when it came to him, I didn't have a clue. But now, I have a person to base him off of and now I can practise drawing him as well.
  • Thanks! My plan is to keep practising as I write until I can draw my main characters without thinking.
  • I have just stumbled across a potential serious flaw in the story. Timeframe. I have to think about what time of day everything is happening in the story. I've got the murder, the discovery of the body, calling everyone to the scene, exploring the crime scene, exploring the victim's apartment and then going to the victim's work place. These all have to fall in a logical timeframe. The biggest concern is that when the investigators head to the victim's workplace, the workplace has to be open for business. If the previous activities take too long, then I have to put some sort of marking of the passage of time, even if it's just a panel that says, "We will meet up at the office in the morning, etc,etc"
    So frustrating, but now that I've thought about it, I can't un-think it.
  • A simple caption that reads "the next morning" might take care of it.
  • Exactly. Now I just have to see if I need more than one of those. :D
  • image

    Another quick sketch, this time with a little colour to get an idea of what kind of palette I'm going to want to use (minus the textured ground which currently sticks out like a sore thumb)
  • I keep on fighting myself with this comic. I try to distract myself by drawing character sketches, I don't know, maybe I should draw more concept drawings and play around with scenes that will be in the story. I don't know. I am impatient to get started on this book. But even after I get this script done, I still will be running it by my editor. Even though a part of me wants to just skip the editor and get down to drawing. Heck, I'm not even there yet. I'm not done this first story.

    I think while I'm working on this book I may need to do some small mini-projects in order to burn off some of this drawing energy. Also, I'll practise my mantra, "Patience, patience, patience"

    In other news, I came up with a descriptor for the book's genre, Procedural Occult Detective Story.
  • I drew another character sketch as I was trying to decide what one of the antagonists looks like, even though he doesn't show up in the first story at all:

    It's hastily put together, but it conveys the general idea.
  • Drawing figures in just light and shadow is a bitch, but you're pulling it off.
  • @JasonAQuest Thanks! I have a heck of a time with shadows, I have a tendency to draw on the light side with few if any shadows.

    @marvinmann he needs to be imposing. But now the challenging part will be to draw him in other poses and maintain that feeling.

    It's pictures like the one above that remind me why it's sometimes important to use a brush to lay down large amounts of black.
  • The curse of the comics artist: OK, you've successfully drawn ____ once.  Now do it again.  And again.  And again. :)
  • @JasonAQuest Exactly! Luckily, he isn't in the first book. So I have some time to get used to drawing him.
  • I am finally down to the last couple of pages on the script! Thank god. As soon as I'm done, I will be able to figure out what format I'm dealing with and can start drawing important scenes in the book while the script is being edited.
    I will have to figure out how to use that spoiler button on the forum now.
  • I met up with a comic creator friend yesterday. We talked about conventions and our next projects. His heart went out to me when I told him that so far I've got a 73 page script for the graphic novel. He asked if there was any way for me to break it up in order to get it out faster. Unfortunately the pacing of the story wouldn't work if it was broken up. 

    I also came to the realisation that in order to do a decent job on this book, it could very well take me another year and a half just to do the pencils, inks and colours after the script is finished. 

    I need a side project because I can't go that long without a finished book.
  • I was talking with my editor on the weekend. I had reached a road block with the script and was trying to bounce ideas off of him. Unfortunately, I wasn't explaining myself very well. So he asked me to send him what I had so far. I've been going back and forth as to where to end the issue. There is a potential for a book ending where my script leaves off. Now I just need to figure out if that makes sense to someone else.

    Now that the script is off being torn apart by an editor, I need to shift gears and begin working on another comic project in the meantime. So today I am taking a comic inventory to see where I am at on various comic projects.
  • I am so terrible when I am not working on a specific book. I feel so aimless and unproductive. This week I am going to focus on finishing a comic that I started at the end of last year, the next issue of Sam Hawke, Crime's Client. I kind of like my Fantasy noir story. I think I will do it as a series. But just as a filler between my main books in order to maintain my sanity.
  • I've been told by my editor to work on other projects while he reviews the script for the current book.
    This leaves me with either Sam Hawke or Isaac & Lee, as a result, I am slowly, ever so slowly, doing the flatting on the last couple of pages for Sam Hawke. I'm almost done. So very close! The thing I hate about this book is that my art style changed part way through this second part. So now I'm caught between redrawing this book entirely, or matching my previous style which I am not happy with.
  • The colouring continues. It's a slow process for now, but I have learned about the joy that is the magnetic lasso tool which is a vast improvement over my use of the magic wand.
    I've also come to the conclusion that as an artist, sometimes I just need to play around with art supplies with no goal in mind, just to get all of the "silliness" out so that I can go on to do the actual work. This is why I made a move to having a bunch of copy paper on hand. Just a bunch of loose leaf to doodle on with no purpose, just to draw, colour and scribble on.
    Tonight my goal is to do a bunch of "timed drawings". We used to do this in an art class, we'd have a certain time limit to draw as much and whatever we wanted to and then when the time was up, we'd move on to our lessons. I think this will be a good exercise.
  • I'm back. Ready to start updating this blog again. I'm at a point right now where I feel like I'm spinning my wheels but I'm not getting anywhere. Last night I put my foot down and didn't sleep until I was finished a panel. It's frustrating. When I wasn't working, I was able to finish a page in an 8 hour session. Now that I'm working full-time at a day job, I'm struggling to keep up the pace. Last night taught me that this could simply be a lack of self-discipline on my part and that I'm letting distractions take me away from work. Tonight I have a rigid goal in mind. I will achieve it before I go to sleep. End of story.
  • My brain and I were fighting over me working on comics tonight so I decided to let my mind wander a bit.

  • So apparently, people like Tedieval. I've been doodling teddies in various fantasy settings. If I had a story for  them.... I would completely do a comic, especially after the amount of attention they got on my website. Which is annoying because I really need to finish the comic that I'm working on right now. I don't think I have the time to do yet another comic...However, once I finish the Sam Hawke series I will have a space.....
    Although I still don't have a story.
  • Tedieval is a hook and jump right off the name.  I'd run with that.

    But I know how you feel when you have another comic in the way.  I was like that with Bomb Queen when I was trying to get to Five Weapons.  And even then I had other comic projects I had to do.  Basically, I bite off more than I could chew.

    So set a goal to clear off the table and in the meantime work on Tedieval in your head -- or on the side as you did above.  Continue to seed it to your current readers, keep it visible, and protect it from being poached.
  • You are right. It's a good idea to have fun with when I need a break from the regular book. One can never have too many character sketches after all.... :)
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