I read today about a call for submissions for comics to be published in Future Sci-Fi Tales #5. I figured this is an opportunity to walk the Virtual Comics Club through my process to put together a short comic story. From concept to completion.
The boring stuff
Projects often start with the boring stuff. Collecting the submission information the publisher provided a set of guidelines for submission:
- Between 4 to 10 pages
- Page layout is follows the Ka-Blam template (7 in by 10.5 in 300 dpi – pixels per inch)
- Story must be Science Fiction, set in the future.
Developing the concept
From there I started developing the concept. I started thinking about the Isekai genre of anime, where characters are transported or trapped in a virtual or video game world. I wanted to turn this popular concept on its head. I wrote down a lot of concepts and inspirations:
- Two Artificial Intelligences playing games with real people
- The Zhuangzi quote of the dreaming samurai
- The X-Files episode: Kill Switch
- Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Schell
- Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep)
I’m going to keep that list taped up next to my sketchbook as I work on the concepts.
Blocking out the rough plot
This project is being built as a one-off so there is a limited amount of world building involved. My process is usually to work on a sketchbook and work through the project/issue on a page by page basis. I like working on an unstructured page so I can put notes wherever I want and graphically arrange my thoughts.
I decided the plot would follow levels of a video game and that the “players” wouldn’t be revealed until the end. The splash page would post player stats and have them dialoging about buying their freedom from the game. I broke down each level would be 1-2 pages and the players would fail to defeat the boss.
Tomorrow Ill work on character development.