A Fan Site of Dan Hernandez's Journal Comic

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Commentary from Dan

The following is quoted from Dan himself:

dreadfuldays-danhernandez

Commentary

September 15, 2015

I’d drawn autobio comics, but this is the first journal comic I ever drew. I forget, but it was probably Drew Weing with which I first became familiar with journal comics from. Although I believe I had read some of James Kochalka’s  journals in some print anthologies before then.  I remember setting out to attempt what he was  doing because believe it or not it was a fairly novel idea in the beginning of the 2000. I was never quite as prolific as Drew or James Kochalka, but I feel that I’ve put a large catalog behind me over the years.

I honestly have no idea who I was working with during this comic but I do remember the other girl from the first panel if not by name exactly.

Anyways, it was years later that I learned it was spelled Cremaster. Apparently the director was married to Bjork or something. For those interested there’s more info about the movie Here.

Where to Get Inspiration for Comics

thinking-comic

Comic stories form an important part of civilization. They are used for guidance and understanding when faced with uncertainty and insecurity. Stories facilitate learning, growth and empathy. Stories take us to wonder worlds and allow us to interact with people out of existence.

The heroes in comic books inspire people in their daily lives. Any story including yours, has enough power to affect a change. Mechanics of a story seem to be simple but composing one is a demanding task. A simple idea can be converted into a great comic story.

The first step of writing a story is identifying the inspiration that will take you through the writing process. Once you get the idea you can proceed to other decisions like the role of each character. These are the insights on where to get inspiration for comics.

Inspirational Scrapbook

You can put together an inspiration scrapbook. There are ready made ones which can be purchased at art and craft stores. Alternatively, you can make one with a notebook paper and a binder. Gather packs, wrappers, newspapers and magazines. Cut out any funny illustrations. Use tape or glue to attach these scrapbook pages.

You can then go ahead and flip through to obtain an idea. All the illustrations in a scrapbook tell a story. These include; its origin, purpose and age among other characteristics. This helps your mind in bringing plots and characters to life. You also collect images from the internet and store them in a CD or any other digital storage.

These images can be obtained from video games, movie screenshots, album covers, cartoons and vintage print ads.

Art Magazines

There are many magazines which analyze historical comics. They have both recommendations and criticism. They also illustrate fine art in detail. Among them are ImagineFX and Watercolor Artist. They allow you to keep track of the trending techniques.

Reading these magazines allows you to learn new techniques. It allows you to go through the work of others for more ideas. These provide motivation and inspire you to write something new. Speaking of more ideas, feel free to share with us some of yours by contacting us at this page.

Art Books

These also form a great source of inspiration. There are many art instruction books available. They teach you about artwork and different techniques to ignite your creativity. They also illustrate different author’s point of view.

Art history books are also a great source. They profile famous artists including Max Ernst, Claude Monet and Andy Warhol among others.

Movie Books

The making of movie books is also another source. These are books that go behind the scenes of a movie and explain its development. They talk about the origin of the script, concept art, costume design and production stills among others. There are many movie books for famous films like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. These guide you through film creation and animation while giving you writing ideas.

More inspiration is also obtained by reading different comic series. These cover a long period of time from your childhood. You can also borrow ideas from movies. Develop the habit of writing down any word, phrase or comic sentence that comes to your head. Your personal experiences can also inspire you to write comics.

The singing comic book

It was only a matter of time before the singing comic book was brought to life- unless of course he forgets to cut holes in his pristine plastic covering and collapses in a heap deprived of oxygen! As a kid I bet you always dreamed of having your favorite comic book superheroes leap out from the pages before you and embark on wild adventures with you through your hometown, slaying dragons, saving pretty women from burning buildings and taking advantage of x-ray vision.

Who knows what the possibilities are now that the singing comic book has been created. Limited editions will forever be a hit in the comic book store, with some die hard fans lining up overnight just to get their hands on a copy and lose themselves in the land of make believe- now we’re taking it to a whole other level.

What will the world come to when all of your comic book stars come to life in human form yet are trapped in the plastic sleeve unable to escape into reality?! Can you imagine how long the oxygen supply would last in there before it is all consumed? Unless of course if you’ve practiced breathing using superior singing methods… Only you can set them free in time! Don’t let yourself be lost to the conforms of being a grown up with all those adult responsibilities. Break away from the status quo, ignite your imagination and be taken back to the days where you could close your eyes and then transport yourself next to your superheroes.

You don’t have to be the lone wolf in the crowd, as all nerds will band together to transform the minds of all grown ups taking life a little too seriously. One by one you will use all of your superhero strength to save the inner child within every adult that has fallen victim to life’s hardships!

Guide to creating and publishing your own comic book

Creating your own comic book used to be a complicated process but today it’s easier than ever before. With the current technology advancement and the increased use of social media, comic publishing is within any creative comic artist. In this guide, we are going to have a brief look at the process behind creating a good comic book. We will put most of our efforts on how to break the ideas of your comic and how you can make it fun to read and lastly on how to self-publish your book.

comics-creativity

Creating a story

Knowing how to write a storyline, the plot, and the script is very imperative in creating your comic. When you have your character and the ideas of what you will tell, it is tempting to start drawing, but doing this will put you into a dead end. So, long before you begin anything, note down a series of event, organize them appropriately and now turn them into a visual story. This is in fact, the hardest part because it requires a lot of imagination and creativity in between. Focus on the character more than other elements, because a comic book will only reach success when it has a memorable character.

Different stories have different pacing, but it’s good, to begin with, a strong hook then slows down as you move one and try to arrange the events with the pacing of your story. Remember that the tone is the vibe of the comic, so combine comedy with drama, or make it dark or maybe light-hearted.

Choosing a panel

Comic books come in wide range of formats, but the most common are single frame and strip. It would be a good idea to experiment with different formats and see how it goes, however, as a general guide, a single frame format is better on comedy. This is typically because they do not require much set up and probably rely on one or just two lines of dialogue. Strips are very popular for man diary funnies or web comic, as they allow narrative development. The shape of the panel can make a huge difference, and can change the atmosphere of the comic. Whatever panel you decide to use, remember that clarity is the key, so use your best judgment to determine what will suit your comic best.

Lettering

This is often an overlooked task when creating a comic book, but it determines how successful your book will be; if your lettering is messed, chances of people reading your story is subtle, possibly zero. Lettering is a broad topic, far beyond the scope of this guide, but as a general guide; plan your dialogue or sound on the panel appropriately and use figures and background to create a form of complete composition.

Penciling

Whether you are drawing traditionally or digitally, penciling is difficult as your artwork has to be perfect. But the most important thing is to draw the comic first, and then you can perfect it with time. Penciling works best when it’s done by the writer who created the scene or the story. Make sure you choose the right pencil, of course with the right paper, and most importantly ensure that the images are consistent but with different facial expressions to show different emotions.

Time for inking and coloring

Now it’s time to perfect your work with ink and colors, but it would be a good idea to do both task separately and let someone else so any of the task. Consistency in colors is the key; you don’t want your character to appear green on this page and yellow on the other.

Publishing

It’s always good to start with a print publication, but publishing online puts you in a better position depending on your audience. If you decide to publish in print, some options will allow you to sell your print at minimal cost, for instance, the PoD Printers, however, if you have your market already, use the offset printers. If you decide to publish online, pick a site or create your own. If you choose to self-publish never do it, until you figure out how you will market or sell your book; luckily, social Medias makes marketing relatively easy.

Creating your comic book requires a lot of hard work and determination, but as long as you have the knowledge, the skills and the time to tackle the task on your own; it very easy and worth it.