Starting Over

So here it is, the very first page of the new graphic novel relaunch of Black Snow.

Black Snow: Two Drink Minimum page 1
Black Snow: Two Drink Minimum page 1

So, what do you think? I love it. Very happy with it. For those of you who know Photoshop, this page contains at least 94 layers. It’s pretty damn complex. I think it captures the mood very well and sets the new tone we are going for. Obviously a more overt noir theme this time around.

So there you have it. Will every page look just like this? I doubt it. There are several different styles contained in the different panels on this very page. I plan to keep the quality just as high, but will keep experimenting and tweaking as I see fit. Alex thought things were fine the way they were (as of issue 6), but I think this is a necessary step towards taking us to the next level. You’ll see the writing, while still keeping in line with the comic books, is much better as well. Hopefully everything you liked about the comic books will be amplified, and everything you didn’t like will be gone.

Does this mean the last ten years of drawing Black Snow were a waste? I don’t see it that way. I see them as preparation and a learning experience. Was this reboot really necessary? I think so. Sure, we could have just kept going on with our plans to kick up the quality with our graphic novel follow up to issue 6, Last Call, but it would have meant continuing to build on what Alex and I agreed was a faulty foundation.

For one, the starting point was issue 1, which Alex and I both agree is a terrible introduction for any new fan. It looks terrible, the writing is awful, and we just didn’t know what we were doing. We were a couple of teens fooling around with an idea and we executed it poorly. In the past we talked about making an issue 0 to be the new introduction, but then you’d still be going from that to issue 1.

In comparison to the page above this was the first page of issue 1.

Black Snow Issue 1 page 1
Black Snow Issue 1 page 1

There is no comparison. And while I won’t apologize for sucking in the beginning, and I’m not embarrassed of where I started, I don’t want that to be anyone’s introduction to the comic.

Beyond that, everything after issue 1 was based on what we did in issue 1. The characters, the story, the backstory, the character designs, all based on something we were no longer proud of. Honestly, I’m pretty Alex doesn’t really like anything before issue 4 at this point, and that is not good. I think we improved dramatically with each one, but why continue to build off of something that wasn’t what we wanted.

We didn’t know what the long term story was going to be when we started, and our original story plans weren’t that good. We thought of so many better ideas on where to take things, but now we can start taking them there from the beginning. This is a blessing really. It’s hard work and taking a step backward, but it will pay off infinitely in the long run.

There aren’t many times in life when you get a second chance at making a first impression, so we are going to make the most of it and do things right this time.

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