Take a look at the creation process behind a page of our latest book, Plan 59 from Outerspace!
Plan 9 from Outer Space is considered to be the worst movie ever made… which is actually quite an accomplishment. Because of this, it has achieved cult status. In this movie, directed by the infamous Ed Wood. Aliens come to Earth to destroy humanity before we can design the ultimate weapon that will destroy the universe. And how do they do it? They decide to raise our own dead to kill us. Of course, their plan goes horribly wrong, and they end up being driven off planet by their own ghoulish creations. Thus ending the aliens’ attempts at destroying us.
But we figured, if it’s so important to destroy humanity, the greatest threat the universe has ever seen, why would the aliens give up after only nine plans? No, they would come back again and again until they finally obliterated us. And thus, we bring our story into a more modern setting, and fast forwarded the clock a further fifty plans! And thus, Plan 59 from Outer Space was born.
This time, however, the aliens won’t be raising our dead and turning them into zombies. They’ll be turning us all into zombies themselves, using our own technology to do it!
In creating a comic though, much goes into the process just to make one page.
First, we write out a script, in which we describe all the action and dialogue on the page, much like you would in a movie script. We are literally describing each panel of the page.
Take a look at one such page from the Plan 59 script by James Mascia and Michael Dolce.
From the script, we send this over to our artist (in this case that would be Joaquin Gonzalez), who will first do what is called a layout of the script, but is really just sketching out the action on the page.
From the sketch, comes pencils and inks, where the image gets more refined, and much clearer. Images can change here, as you can see, the layouts of the panels from the sketch to the inks change slightly here as do the images themselves. We are taking this and making a clear and coherent page in which the story is told. This is truly the last chance to get the art right, so it is usually the longest part of the process as well.
From here we go on to the colors. The artwork comes to life once we throw these in. And coloring can sometimes be as important as the artwork, because the colors can truly set the mood of the piece.
We went with bright colors in our case. Because though this is a horror/sci-fi book filled with zombies and evil aliens, the book is also supposed to be fun and a little campy too, so we chose the colors to fit that mood.
Then, we finally get to the lettering. This is where all those dialogue bubbles with the words the characters are saying get added. Good lettering leads to a pleasing-looking final product on the page for the audience to enjoy.
Once the letters are done, this page is pretty-well final.
We hope you enjoyed looking at our process. It’s pretty simple, but creating just this one page requires several hours of work. Consider that the next time you look at a comic.
Plan 59 from Outer Space is currently on Kickstarter until December 7th. Check it out now to see where this story is going and how you can get in on the action.