The New Style

Greetings and thanks to all those  who would read this.

So I’ve been meaning to write about a few things, but held off to try and make my ideas appear a bit more cohesive and concise.  I just posted Alex’s first blog for him, and a few things struck me as I read it.  No, it was not his overall critique of Marvel and DC, as I can honestly tell you I have no idea what he was referring to, and thus no opinion.  It was his self proclaiming of being a slacker and his much appreciated shout out to myself at the end.

First I’ll address the slacker issue.  Funny how Alex struck a nerve right away by referencing the bizarre 90’s idealized version of what is essentially laziness.  Honestly, I often think of things in terms of the 90s.  Not that I don’t realize what year it is, but that is the decade in which I really grew up and it’s overall attitudes have left a lasting impression on me.  That’s probably why I’m one of the most cynical people you could ever hope to meet.  I’ve called myself a slacker before, and know I’ve thought it of Alex, but when I really think about it I don’t think we are.

To understand what I’m about to discuss you’ll need to know a little more about our roles on this comic.  As you know we both created it, I draw it and he writes it.  Of course it’s not really that simple.  As far as “creating,” well that’s pretty complicated.  We both developed the characters and stories together, and for the most part I came up with characters’ looks, sometimes with suggestions from Alex.  Each issue has been a bit different, but in general Alex and I will discuss a general outline, he’ll flesh out the scenes and add dialogue, and we’ll both review it.  This is not always true.  Sometimes he writes the whole thing and I just kind of edit it and other times I sit down with him and we do everything together.

So my involvement varies.  While I don’t think it would be a lie to say I’m the driving force behind the comic book, it would be an exaggeration.  I’ve come up with the look, the website, and pushed us continue on many occasions, but I cannot take credit for the story or overall tone.  My original idea was to do the comic much more like a light hearted sitcom and play each issue out as if it were an episode.  So you can see how much Alex’s involvement has shaped things.  On this idea of pushing forward, well I’ve always been the one saying we need to continue working on this and that it will eventually lead to something big.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I’ve wanted to quit doing this, taken long breaks, or even thought about starting my own comic book by myself, but I love Black Snow with a passion and always come back to it.  It’s not easy to dedicate so much of your time and energy towards something that you’re losing money doing.  It can also be frustrating because Alex is sometimes quite laggardly to write and very reluctant to contribute to the whole marketing and advertising.  I do feel the burden, and it doesn’t help when it seems like no one wants to read it or cares about it.

But things seem to be improving.  Alex has become more proactive and the writing is coming more quickly.  He is also tentatively starting to help me more as far as getting the word out.  The new website is also becoming quite successful.  I recently added tracking code and started a SEO campaign and I’m happy with the way things are going.  People are starting to read it and take notice!  Personally, I think it’s about to blow up in popularity.  Eventually I’d like to get enough traffic to start selling some merchandise on this site.  I’m also very happy with the way our story and look is progressing.  I’ve had a recent personal revelation about our overall theme and what we are trying to accomplish.  I won’t go into detail, as I prefer the readers come to their own conclusions without me slanting their views.

I’m really happy with the new art direction issue 6 is taking.  I’ve been able to fuse my love of drawing with my love of Photoshop to produce a really polished product.  The main feedback I’ve received so far is that it looks very slick.  It allows me a lot more freedom in the way I draw the page and lets me work faster.  Up until now everything you saw was exactly what I drew, and I drew around the text that I had already printed.  It wasn’t very fun and required a lot of pre-planning.  Now I add the text and bubbles last and do my “inking” virtually.  It saves me a lot on pens!  I also decided that I’m never going to draw a straight line again.  I hate working with rulers and, quite frankly, straight lines are boring.  Who knows, eventually I may even add some color to the pages, though I’ve decided to restrict that to covers for the time being.

Well, so much for being cohesive or concise!  Hopefully you found some of this interesting.  Leave me some feedback and let me know about what’s on your mind and how you feel about the evolution of our comic.

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