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Journal Entry: Fri Apr 1, 2011, 1:31 PM


Tired of being indecisive about my direction, I'm writing down some specific plans here with the hopes that for once I can stick to my plans and move forward with them.

Nia Black 2010 by Dualmask Nia Black It occurred to me that I habitally develop characters and concepts with no regard for the medium I should present them in. I write a story and figure I can "easily" turn it into a comic (or vice versa), not realizing that the way I develop the concept itself determines the best medium for it. For instance, years ago I often spoke of drawing a graphic novel about one of my characters, but I wrote her story in prose form. I never could draw that comic--the story just didn't come out in visual form. It wasn't laziness because I drew other comics about other characters in the meantime. So I decided that Nia Black was a novel--and that was it. No comics (even though I draw Nia every now and then).

In 2007, I tried self-publishing this book. But it wasn't ready, though I put it out there anyway. I rushed it out, didn't edit it...and as a result, I personally found it to be full of errors and plot holes that I didn't catch in the process of trying to make it available. Very telling was the fact that not one of the very few people who bought the book bothered to tell me whether they even liked it or not. No reviews, no direct feedback, nothing. The only thing worse than putting out a product that's bad is a product that's mediocre and doesn't stimulate one way or the other. So I pulled it and took the story back to formula. I can proudly say I cleaned it up pretty well and I feel more confident in it, even though it required that I sacrifice some elements that I felt really strongly about at the time, and one character in particular that I really wanted to keep. Now, nearly four years later, I'm getting closer to a story that I can feel confident in. I'm not rushing, but I do understand that I could end up editing for the rest of my life if I don't decide when to stop and just put it out there...with better marketing this time. So I decided that my first project is the final completion of my Nia Black novel, which will hopefully be the first in a series. I have the story at about 80% completion, sans editing time, and am currently working on it at about a few pages a day.

WCL - Rivals by Dualmask WEAPON Combat League Once Nia Black is finished, I'll be returning my focus to this. Unlike Nia, I built WCL with intent to make it a comic book from the beginning, and I've experimented with plenty of WCL-related comic pages that can be found in my gallery (mostly scraps). Once I get Nia Black to a state of completion and can get it off of my mind, I'll be focusing totally on making a webcomic about this concept. It's my turn to join the ranks of webcomic artists and to stop wasting time wondering what I should do. Currently I have a written story that consists of 140,000 words that I will be using as a framework for the comic. Every WCL comic I've drawn (including the Terran Team storyboard I drew late last year) covers an event directly from the story I wrote with no ad-libbing, so I know I can do it, but I won't be able to give it my undivided attention until I start clearing up things that are higher on the to-do list.

Jet Dancer 2011 by Dualmask Jet Dancer I'm developing this character slowly but surely, but the fact is I don't know what purpose she should serve. She's fun to draw but I don't feel as strongly about her as a character (e.g., personality, background story, etc.) as I do about my other creations. The motivation to develop her is overshadowed by my desire to finish up concepts that have gotten further. Things may change in the future, but for the time being, I'm just using Jet Dancer as my subject for my game art and design studies (hence the creation of that 3D model). I have many ideas that I keep a record of. She's not forgotten, she's just not ready to move forward. The character is incomplete, but she won't go away.

I'll be updating as I make progress.

JP



  • Listening to: my iPod
  • Reading: 3DS Max 2010 Bible
  • Watching: Samurai Champloo
  • Playing: Hexyz Force (PSP)
  • Eating: Boston Market
  • Drinking: Coffee
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:iconhany-khattab:
hany-khattab Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
well i think you are getting on the right track if you start writing down your plans and steps, here's a thing, i will do that too, and follow me up every now and then to chack on my status and i'll do the same for you, to get encouraged to follow our plans, what do you say ? deal ?
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I was certain I was watching your gallery but I guess I wasn't. That's fixed. You got yourself a deal. :handshake:
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:iconhany-khattab:
hany-khattab Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
thanx for the watch, and great :) let's do this man :)
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:iconkardeen:
Kardeen Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Student General Artist
I'm in the same boat as you. I have a place I want things to go, but have not followed through. There is always something that stops me, school etc, so I've demanded of myself one piece at the least a week. Or for the graphic novel, 5 pages completed, depending on what direction I'm taking at the moment.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Yep, you gotta do what you can. It's too easy to fall on the "I don't have time" excuse. We can all free up an hour or two in a day. I can write a page of prose in an hour (usually less). I can draw a comic page (pencils) in around four hours depending on the complexity. My average color times are about six hours for a piece. So theoretically, I could produce a comic page every week or seven or so pages of text (at least) in a week.

We have the time. We just have to have the will. :nod:
Reply
:iconkardeen:
Kardeen Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011  Student General Artist
I think knowing where the fault lies (aka willpower) is and just being proactive against it might get you out of that slump :)
Reply
:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Looks like you've got a good plan laid out. Here's hoping we can all be so fortunate.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Yep...but as we both know, planning is the easy part. The doing is the real challenge.
Reply
:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This is true.
Reply
:icontheunlimited:
TheUnlimited Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011
arent you worried some might take your characters for themselves?
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Nope. Most of these have existed for years, and all are copyrighted.
Reply
:icontheunlimited:
TheUnlimited Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011
how much does it cost to copyright each character?
Reply
:iconkardeen:
Kardeen Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Student General Artist
You can also do a form of what's called the "poor man's copyright" it works with most forms of media (audio has been debated) send a certified copy of your work to yourself and do not open it. There is a date issued by the post office for date of postage (which is a decent date for your work produced) keep in case of a lawsuit where you need to go to court for violation of copyrights.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Your work is copyrighted the moment you publish it online (hence the symbol that comes with every upload).
Reply
:icontheunlimited:
TheUnlimited Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011
how do you type the copyright symbol?
Reply
:iconmtc101:
MTC101 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011
Also, if you want to know more, you can ask ^FantasyStock. She's done some solid research on copyright law & what we artists can do, etc. Sending her a note is best.
Reply
:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Hold the Alt key and type 0169.

You might want to pay a visit to www.copyright.gov and consider registering your ideas if you feel wary about protecting them. But if your original work appears in a tangible form, it's copyrighted.
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