What's Done Is Done.
Submitted by Scott Reed on March 15, 2007 - 17:20
In a perfect world, I would have the patience to create a webcomic, from beginning to end, and then post it like clockwork, on a daily schedule. But it's not a perfect world, and I don' t have a lot of patience. My current web comic project, Champion Of A Lost Universe, was already partially realized as an incomplete story arc from a doomed Bronze Age comics publisher called Voyager Comics. It didn't take long to 're-conceptualize' the story, and I started by creating a few sketches, helping define the setting and some of the key characters. It took only a couple of months to write the entire script. I started drawing it and publishing it online soon afterwards, panel by panel, page by page.
The process of creating a story, in my case, always starts with what I call 'the hook'. Just like in a song, there should be an underlying riff that plays throughout. I equate much of my creative process to music, and tend to draw analogies between the two. I could have been a musician, had I decided early on to pursue that instead of art. I probably would have been poorer for it, but I would have gotten laid more often. But what's done is done, right?
The hook has to be so compelling that you'll want to listen to the song again and again. In a story, that hook is the plot. It's that simple. Preparation is key, more perhaps in print than on the web. With The Overman, a print comic mini-series unleashed later this year, there were almost 2 decades of preparation involved. The pressure involved in making this story finally work, and I mean really WORK, was enormous. I mean, 20 years is a long time. And the worst part of it is, I can no longer reach the script now and make any significant changes to it. It's in the artist's hands, and I've sworn to let it go, acting only in an editorial role in case there are any problems with the script. And when it arrives in comic shops later this year, there will be no opportunities to quickly revise anything between its covers.
A webcomic isn't quite the same. Changes can be made on the fly. I've corrected typos after publishing an episode; usually thanks to watchful fans that kindly call out mistakes via email. I've gone back and completely redrawn panels long after the strip was posted, correcting continuity errors that show up from time to time. Like I mentioned, I don't have a lot of patience, and it's one of my faults as a creator. But regardless, I do try very hard to correct them when I later discover errors. That's the beauty of the webcomic format. Even when it's published, it can be discreetly revised and republished.
With webcomics, what's done isn't necessarily done.