I’ve been trying to get back into drawing comics for myself for years. It’s awkward as the publisher of ComicBookBin to witness so much talent while taking a back seat. I’ve tried in 2009 to commit to The German Cousin but it is complicated. I have a mental block. I want it to be perfect. I wasn’t satisfied with any of the pages so far.
I stumbled upon the idea of Johnny Bullet recently. Unlike The German Cousin, it’s not a complicated multi-layered 20 years-old story. There isn't a personal coming of age meaning with tons of meaning mixed in. It’s a straightforward fun comic strip that I want to post at ComicBookBin as a Web comic. I have also been drawing more this summer. My production cycle is not fast but I seem committed.
Now, here’s the rule about Web comics. You need enough material before you start one. I should know more than anyone how to craft a Web comic and a comic book in general. I have covered thousands of successful and less successful projects at ComicBookBin for 12 years.
Although I’m announcing Johnny Bullet, I won’t release it until I know that I can commit to it. It needs enough material to go on if I fall behind in my schedule. I am a full-time PhD student. I don’t always own my schedule.
I’m glad to write that I feel good about Johnny Bullet. I won’t say much more about it though. Someone already registered the domain name for JohnnyBullet.com last year. I may have to change the name of the comic strip if there is a related trademark. Meanwhile, I’ll focus on creating a lot more strips and will stop discussing Johnny Bullet until I’m closer to launch. But I wanted to share this project with ComicBookBin readers.
Previously, I thought that comic book reporters should not moonlight in comics. I felt that it made them less objective. Graduate school taught me that objectivity is relative. I have focused on animation and have left comics-making behind. That’s a big loss. My priorities about life are changing.
Last year, I lost all my original animations and drawings. I have to start from scratch to rebuild my portfolio. Johnny Bullet is part of my attempt to create new material. Previously, I relied on a mix of analog and digital techniques. I drew all my illustrations and scanned them digitally.
Johnny Bullet mixes digital and analog in comics differently. I don’t draw on paper anymore. Everything is digital, but I still use freehand drawing on my Cintiq screen. I’ve had this drawing screen for years and it’s great for animation. I had never used it for comics before.
I draw in Flash. Many people say Flash is dead. It’s not. It might be for online advertising and people who publish Web videos. When it comes to Flash, Adobe lost its focus on illustrators and animators years ago. It’s a shame. Yet, the drawing and animation tools in Flash are still the best. It’s only dead for those who don’t understand its hidden power. I still use Flash 8 released in 2008.
I don’t want to reveal too much about what Johnny Bullet is. You can find out for yourself when I launch the strip as a Web comic on ComicBookBin.