How to make comics - even if you can't draw. If you would like to have your own comic AMA!

Neil Gibson
Mar 24, 2018

If you have ever wanted to make comics but don't know where to start, or if you just need a little motivation to get started, ask me a question!

From having my first idea for making comics to having my first 200 page graphic novel in my hand was only 9 months and it became a Kindle No1 bestseller. I have learnt a lot since then and can happily share it with you. 

www.dropbox.com/s/qr36tx8f7rw4i5v/NEIL%20%28original%29.png?dl=0

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How would you rate your writing skills?
Mar 31, 7:24PM EDT0
How do you organize, plan, and prioritize your comic writing process?
Mar 31, 1:03PM EDT0
Where do you do your work on your comics?
Mar 30, 9:39AM EDT1
What do you think about the continuity in the comic books?
Mar 30, 8:11AM EDT0

Very interesting question. Certain characters are so old (Batman first apeared in the 1930s) that trying to keep the continuity over all the changes is nigh on impossible. However, where it can be kept as one cohesive universe it certainly should be. Having said that, I do think that if a writer is brought on to a long running series and the canon is so complex and unwieldly, then the writer should be free to ignore continuity. At the end of the day what matters most (to me) is the best story possible. 

Mar 30, 8:32AM EDT0
Do people ever request comics on specific themes?
Mar 30, 3:13AM EDT0

All the time! I was once asked if I had any comics with a strong female lead who was a woman of colour in a bisexual relationship. It was a little specific and I didn't have it, but some people know exactly what they are looking for. Most people who love comics in my experience aren't too concerned with genre - they just want something that is good. 

Mar 30, 6:54AM EDT0
How do comics reflect your lifestyles, wishes, beliefs, and dreams?
Mar 29, 8:40PM EDT0

This is a difficult question to answer. Some writers put in characters who reflect their own values and beliefs and some put in a varitey of different viewpoints. So to me it is all down to the creative team and what they create. Personally, I try to write stories that encompass a wide variety of lifestyles wishes, beliefs and dreams and not make them just a reflection of my values. 

Mar 30, 6:52AM EDT0
Have you ever collaborated with anyone on a comic project? How was that experience?
Mar 29, 10:39AM EDT0

I always collaborate, be it with another writer, illustrator, colourist, inker, letterer, graphics designer or printer. When it's a good team it is an awesome experience. When people are late or lazy or sub par, it's a challenge. 

Mar 29, 10:58AM EDT0
How did you cultivate your own comic art style? Did you pattern yourself after anyone?
Mar 28, 6:57AM EDT0

I'm not actually an artist - I'm a writer. So I don't really have my own art style (unless you count 'rubbish drawing' as an art style). 

Mar 28, 12:37PM EDT0
What other projects are in the pipeline for you?
Mar 27, 7:02PM EDT0

We have a lot. We have volume 7 of Twisted Dark coming out, and probably the most anticipated title we have ever had is The Theory - a Twisted Sci-fi. We are also making a comic for Stan Lee's Lucky Man and for the TT in the Isle of Man. It's going to be a busy year!

Mar 28, 12:36PM EDT0
What outside of comics inspires your work?
Mar 27, 4:40PM EDT0

Interesting facts about the world or psychology. 

I LOVE that stuff! :)

Last edited @ Mar 28, 12:29PM EDT.
Mar 28, 12:29PM EDT0
What is one of the things that you’ve enjoyed reading this past year?
Mar 27, 4:40PM EDT0

Martin Eden's 'Zeros'. It is supposedly a kid's comic but I love any story by Martin.  I also discovered tom Taylor and am a fan of his writing!

Mar 28, 12:28PM EDT0
What do you like about comic books?
Mar 27, 9:51AM EDT0

Oof - do you have 3 days?

There are so many things I like about comics but if I had to condense it all into one word, I would pick 'efficiency'. A picture says a thousand words and with one shot, you can show the bodylanguage of characters, the setting, the mood, the intensity, the emotion, the action, the drama. AND the readers can spend as much time as they want to on it. Throw in some filler dialogue and I think it's a phenomenal medium!

Mar 27, 11:38AM EDT0
What’s one thing you had to learn the hard way while creating your own comic books?
Mar 27, 7:56AM EDT0

Indesign files. When you get your files laid out for print, you should insist on getting the Indesign files, not just the print files. If not when you change contractors, you will have to get it done all over again. 

Mar 27, 8:23AM EDT0
Could you provide a brief summary of your creative process for thinking the original script of your comic books?
Mar 27, 7:26AM EDT0

Tough one. 

Something strikes me as interesting - either just a fact or different viewpoints or an unexpected twist (and if I'm lucky a great premise/setting) and I write it down. I flesh it out into a story with a beginning middle and end and then I write it out in prose. Then I convert it to script format and it's ready to send to the artist. If I am not happy with it, I will send it to a few people to get feedback and try to improve the story. 

Is that the sort of answer you were looking for?

Last edited @ Mar 27, 7:53AM EDT.
Mar 27, 7:53AM EDT0
What's the name of your best selling comic and could you share the link to the online store?
Mar 27, 1:04AM EDT0

My biggest seller is Twisted Dark. You can get it from www.tpubcomics.com or indeed any bookstore. Or you can read a lot of it (not all of it) for free on Webtoons. It is recommended for mature readers though!

==>  www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/twisted-dark-/suicide-/viewer?title_no=75552&episode_no=37 

Mar 27, 4:24AM EDT0
What according to you is the relationship between the comic book writer and you as a painter/illustrator?
Mar 26, 11:35PM EDT0

Well I am actually the writer, not the illustrator. :)

The relationship varies depending on the creative team. In my case I am the editor as well as the writer so I give instant feedback to the artist at all stages to achive the vision I am after. I must stress that like many things (be it sport  business), making comics is a team effort and each party brings something valuable to the table so you want to work with talented people who need little editing because they shine in their own right. 

Mar 27, 4:22AM EDT0
What is the work you’ve done that you’re the most excited about?
Mar 26, 4:37PM EDT0

The best ending I have written is for Theatrics. The work I am most excited about to date is The Theory - A Twisted Sci-fi. But I think the best thing I will ever do is Tabernacle, but that wont be out for a good few years. 

Mar 27, 4:20AM EDT0
What do you hope your readers take away from your comics?
Mar 26, 4:16PM EDT0

It really depends on which comic they are reading. For example if it is Chub Chub (an all ages book) I hope readers laugh and maybe relate the stories to somthing in their lives. If it is Twisted Dark (psychological thriller) I want to surprise, entertain, educate and leave the reader thinking.  If you want to read free samples of any of my comics you can at www.tpubcomics.com 

Mar 27, 4:18AM EDT0
Do you have any quick advice for aspiring comic book illustrators out there?
Mar 26, 3:29PM EDT0

MOST aspiring illustrators are not yet at a quality that most publishers would accept. Some are but most aren't. I would suggest making it a must that they draw every single day and then continuously take their portfolio to conventions and show it to both publishers and artists they admire and ask for feedback so they can improve AND find out what publishers are looking for. Once you are good enough, you will get offers. 

Mar 26, 3:44PM EDT0
Who are some newer artists working today whose work you admire?
Mar 26, 1:29PM EDT0

There are so many talented artist out there. I look for more than just quality and style though, I look for clarity, choice of shot and storytelling ability and I have to say I am a huge fan of Joëlle Jones. I would love to work with her one day. Also David Aja. Those are my top two pics!

Mar 26, 1:45PM EDT0
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