Hey, let’s make a graphic novel! They’re the cool new thing and it’s easier than trying to turn a big idea into a movie.
Not so fast, Trigger. A graphic novel isn’t just a movie script and storyboards slapped together as a book. It takes a lot of time, commitment, and money. And there are a lot of difficult lessons to learn. What lessons? Ask graphic novelist/animator Jason Brubaker. He’s been learning, and sharing those lessons, as he makes his graphic novel reMIND, which will debut at this year’s Comic-Con International: San Diego. (Although I understand The Comic Bug in Hermosa Beach had some copies that sold out within a day. Check with them. Maybe they’ll get more before Comic-Con.)
His website reMINDblog.com has a Making Graphic Novels section that explains exactly that – great material for process junkies, fans of behind-the-scenes extras, and for people interested in making their own graphic novels. Learn how to make money with webcomics, how to design your book for publication, how to color and letter, whether to self-publish or go after a larger publisher, how to get a literary agent, selling on Amazon, the best website hosting and blogging services, web vs. print, how to make money online, how to advertise smart, how to win the Xeric Award Grant, how to make over $12,000 through Kickstarter, how to collaborate with others, and lots more. What’s great is that he is openly sharing his personal experiences with a startling level of transparency. And let me be clear. These aren’t just vague articles giving you the high points and a “go get ’em!”. He really gets into the nitty-gritty, explaining exactly what worked and why and to what extent, and how to do it, all in a very helpful and clear headed tone.
And it is that same spirit that he shares the first three chapters of his graphic novel online and it is great. These were originally posted over the last couple of years as they were completed, with the caveat that the final printed graphic novel may have changes and/or corrections. There are also some guest strips to tide us over while we wait for the rest of the story next month.