October Improve Comic (a semi-postmortem)


So for reference, post-mortem is something video game developers do were they talk about the goods and bads, of making their game and the game itself. it’s an intricate look at the game and making of. It’s almost like they’re eulogizing the game, really.


 

This is an idea that I had that kind of failed but, I might continue to do something like thing again in the future.

I might not release this specific comic digitally but but the idea around it was something I thought was interesting so I want to talk about it.

I’ve always had a bit of fascination with making improvised stories with comics and making unique zines (where you only make no copies, and only the original exists). The latter is super expensive and time consuming if you make a bunch of tiny unique zines. The former however…. I still dig it. It helps me come up with cool ideas for stories too.

Based on this I wanted to make a series of comics that I would publish every month. Each contained an improvised story, with something about them that made them unique. I decided that playing with hand shaded color was the cheapest way to do this.

I made this zine about a demon and a blob who are really into each other. That’s literally all there was to the story ahaha.

But it was cute, sweet, and “it comes in your favorite color!” That’s how I advertised the zine for a bit. The books were printed in complete black and white, only outlines, and then I would shade in the book by hand after that with one color of the buyers choosing. At first shading took a bit of time because I kept trying to replicate the exact shading, but after a while close enough had to be enough. It helped me shade waaaaaaay faster with most colors, and it helped each book look similar to each other while still being different in many ways.

The above is an example that I created to test the idea, but a few colors were made: blue, green, orange, and bubblegum pink. I didn’t make very many of these though in the grand scheme of things. I should have sold them online, but I hesitated and ultimately decided against it primarily because I felt people would not be interested in such a tiny product even if it was cheap.

I second guessed myself on an idea i was excited about.

The other reason was that It would have been a lot of work. This particular zine is sooooooooooooooooooo cheap to print. So it was good in that respect, but the logistical side was more than I had time for. I only really factored in the time and cost of making the thing itself but didn’t factor in the time and cost to ship and promote them every month. If this was my one job/thing I needed to do in a given day it would have been fine, but given other responsibilities…… the comic just sort of ended shitting in my house for the most part.

That said given that I printed about…. 15-20 copies and I managed to sell like 4-5 of them through just word of mouth……. that’s not bad.

About the naming.

October because that’s when I made it (October 2016), It was going to be a monthly series of different short comics, not necessarily related to the same topic or story. It just had to be improvisational.

The term scrap paper is because the sizing of this comic is supposed to be determined by scrap paper that was cut from larger pieces of paper while making other zines. As such the size would also be variable. The sizing of the October comic here was created after I cut a piece of paper to make it square sized. In it’s conception this idea was just me killing time and trying to not feel like I was wasting pieces of paper, even if they were small.

Currently I have a few projects in the works, but I hope to be able to have a schedule in the future that would allow me to be able to make this kind of thing in the future. If I have logistical issues again, or if I so much as foresee them , I’ll probably make the comics digital for free and sell the print version with whatever quirk to make it unique that I can think of.

I would also make sure that the different quirks of uniqueness the zines have are focus on modifying the art in someway. I’ve seen plenty of media in the past that comes with things like certificates of authenticity, or numbers that count how many of the thing there are in existence, etc. but I’m not impressed by those. I feel like it’s an interesting challenge to come up with ways to cheaply modify the art in order to make it unique.


Also, look at this adorable Cat just hanging out watching me work! :3