I enjoy drawing long stories, usually in excess of 200 pages, however there is a point along the way where It begins to feel like I’m drawing the same thing over and over again. Usually after the first 60 pages this kicks in and boredom sets in. There is a two part solution for this in my case. The first being sitting down and working on the story, if I don’t I will end up slacking. However this doesn’t solve the issue of boredom. When I started the story it was exciting, the characters were fun, I looked forward to working, but that fades after a while… What does one do to to fix this boredom? For consistency you can’t go and change everything… And starting over will become counter-productive. So, I’ve found ways to grow back my enjoyment with a story.
1. Don’t become married to a script. While it’s good to have a plan, making things crazy once in a while isn’t a bad thing either. I’ve had many chapters of my story that just seemed so boring on paper. So when I got to said chapters, I tossed out my script and did what I thought would be the most fun to draw and read for myself. This has helped so much in keeping me interested in my work since I’ve gotten some really crazy ideas on the fly, creating really cool pages or chapter ideas.I generally work on a ratio of 70% thought and 30% script.
2. Don’t get too hung up on details. Yes it is important that people have the same clothes in each panel. It’s bad if someone’s hair changes color or style every page… But it’s not necessary to make your comic reflect 100% all real world physics and rules. I really do feel stretching things here is good, Having fun and making things weird is one of my favorite parts of comics. It might take a while to figure out what works in terms of this, but it’ worth it. It will make your work stand out and look really COOL.
3. Take a few risks. For me usually this involves weird panel layouts, strange shots or just doing something on a page I’ve been told not to do (REBELLIOUS!). I love doing this sort of thing. It helps develop style and lets me to try new stuff.
4. Get a gimmick to help you. While in art school, my senior thesis instructor gave us a deck of storytelling cards. Each card gave instructions such as “Draw this page all in silhouette”, “Make the main character begin narration here.” ect ect… These things have been very helpful at times when I just CAN’T think of a page layout. Another thing I enjoy doing is making certain conditions apply to each page. EXAMPLE: making every page in a chapter have 7 panels no matter what. This kind of stuff has so much potential for mixing things up. Usually I’ve found after doing this my pages turn out better.
5. Draw what you like as often as you can. Like cars? make sure you have a lot of scenes in parking lots. Like dinosaurs? Make your characters go back in time. Find a reason to enjoy drawing your comic. Draw your cars, dinosaurs, girls, guys, animals, elves, WHATEVER as often as you can. This kind of thing always helped me. One thing to keep in mind with this one though… This isn’t an excuse to get lazy on everything else. (backgrounds, locations, other people, ect ect)
6. Draw a few pages at a time. I do this for the simple reason of keeping myself from getting bored on one page. I usually like to work on 3-5 pages at once.
Well this stuff has helped me keep focus.. Not sure it will work for everyone, or every type of comic out there… But if it helps you please use it, and thank for reading.