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Last summer, Toronto Cartoonists Workshop ran their first "Fit to Print" class. The idea was that participants (all of whom had to have taken at least one class through the school) signed up, chose whether they wanted to write, draw, or ink. Writers got to pitch story ideas to Ty Templeton (creator of the premise and the characters behind Holmes Incorporated). When he approved one of their three pitches, they were then sent off to produce an outline, eventually a script. There were weekly meetings; all were welcome to come not just those "presenting" each week. Artists were assigned stories before the scripts were finished, and all the artists worked on designs to be used for the Holmes stories--some even worked on designs for building, vehicles or characters that wouldn't be in their own story. The idea was that everyone contributed to the Holmes Inc. environment.

Once the scripts were finalised, they were passed on to the artists who had a week to produce layouts (for 7-page stories). The layouts were reviewed at the weekly meeting with all able to give their thoughts, not just Ty. Although the point of "Fit to Print" was to emulate the idea of working professionally on a published comic, Ty's hope was also to foster a collaborative environment where creators could become colleagues and friends.

After the layouts, artists had two weeks to produce finished pages. Artists had the choice of inking their own work (if their samples had been approved) or were assigned inkers. The inkers had two weeks as well.

Originally, Ty had the idea that he was going to teach everyone how to letter and they would magically all be able to do so. As many were leery, there was a volunteer who offered to letter five of the stories...but because of time constaints and various problems, I was eventually asked to letter them. After, it turned out Ty had planned to letter several other stories...so I lettered those, too!

HOLMES INCORPORATED #1 launched last summer at Fan Expo 2010, in Toronto, Canada. Print copies were available there, but it was difficult for anyone not in the immediate city--although it was possible to order online from the school, few did. But...now you too can read HOLMES INCORPORATED #1. As we're about to publish HOLMES INCORPORATED #2, the decision was made to put #1 online...and so far, it's up at two different online sites (several more to follow).
And--the best part? It's free, free, free, gloriously free...FIFTY-TWO pages of comic stories for FREE!!

Check out Drive-Thru Comics comics.drivethrustuff.com/prod…
or
The Illustrated Section theillustratedsection.com/toro… and download a FREE FREE FREE copy today.
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July 9, 2011
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