Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cartooning 201: 3 Knights in India, the Cover Story Part I

So I'm trying to finish my graphic novel, 3 Knights in India, right? I'm drawing a new strip every week for the India Post, while at the same time putting the entire book together in Pagemaker, and creating extra illustrations and writings to flesh it out.

Of course, the most important part of a book, the part that grabs the reader and invites them in, is the cover. It's good to have the cover done ahead of time, so you can start creating promotional materials, and show everybody what a great artisty you are, and stuff like that. And the good news? I finished the cover... in fact, it was one of the first things I did.

And it's not bad as far as covers go; it's dynamic, eye-catching, and most importantly, actually shows the 3 Knights... in India.

The problem? I did this two and a half years ago. It's been all over my website, and seen in several newspapers, and my family have all sorts of outerwear with this image emblazoned upon it. I even used it for the cover of my first comic book. The prognosis? It's old.

Besides, I've grown as an artist. I should be able to outdo this, right? Rule #2 in this business is this: Don't keep recycling your stuff. Sure, show off your good stuff, but eventually you have to move on. If you're any good at all, you're going to keep on working, and keep on getting better.

So now I have a new problem... something I really haven't faced before, and it's starting to really, really bug me, like a mosquito in the ear.

I'm out of ideas.

Seriously, I'm not used to this. But let me clarify... I have about 6 ideas that I have sketched out, and I'm not 100% happy with any of them. Usually, when I need an idea, I let it cogitate in the old grey matter for a while, and then sudenly 'boom', it hits me in the shower, just in time to save the day!

So maybe I need to finish this book already, and get to that 'needing' part. Maybe some part of my brain realizes we have time yet, so it's slacking off. It's unfortunate that the conscious brain has very little influence on the unconscious, allowing the unconscious to get all cocky and all "I'll get to it when I'm ready".

Damn. So onto rule #3. Don't go with your first idea, or even the first 6 ideas, if you're not happy with them, 'cause if you ain't happy with it, who will be?

So back to the drawing board. Hmm... I need to show the 3 Knights, in India. Something colorful, preferably involving a cow...

Well, if I come up with anything, maybe I'll do a How-To page, showing the creation of a comic cover? Meanwhile, here are the covers to the second and third 3 Knights in India comic book covers ( available at my website ), just to show that I do get ideas once in a while. Cheers!

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