Creation Process … WTWL pt 4

Greetings readers, writers, viewers and scallywags!

For today’s rendition of all things WITCHES, I’ll recount a little bit of our creative process for the creation and publishing of the book in general, from conception through production and the final piece. I’ll save a bit about marketing for tomorrow’s post, as there’s enough ab0ut that portion to write a whole book about.

For the process, here’s how we begin:

I write the scripts, all the scripts, for each issue of WTWL. I have six in the bag, and had them all written before we acquired our artist, Donny. The best reason for this is to have a sense of where the story is heading, and when working with an artist it’s important to ensure that not only all of the art will fit the entire story or arc, but also to help with the planting certain images or locations to be used later.

After writing the scripts, they were reviewed by Ben Glibert, and then again, eventually, by Matt Dunford. Matt came on board as an editor at Keyleaf Comics earlier this year and has been a marvelous addition to the project. Matt’s a meticulous reader of all things comic book, and when it came time to refine the script he was adamant about certain changes and willing to be malleable to others. When it comes to churning out the artwork on time, Matt is very direct with both Donny and our colorist, Chris Man.

Donny I’ve talked about before, but I do want to reiterate that he draws and submits the artwork with an unmatched speed and dedication to the script. If there’s anyone as excited about this book as I am, it’s Donny.

There’s no doubt in my mind this is a crack team of creators, and everyone on board doesn’t hesitate to blast their opinions. Once in a while, Donny will combine panels or add an effect that at first glance appears to jaunt away from a particular beat of the script, but when looked at in the book as a whole creates an everlasting effect for readers.

Chris Man is a coloring machine, adding layers of tonality and darkness to each page with seemingly very little effort.Here’s his own take on his working process: “When I color, I strive for control and consistency with respect to color choices, shading, lighting, texturing, and extra effects.  My process consists of a flat color pass on all the pages to separate and isolate shapes and objects as well as to set a tone and time-of-day.  Then I revisit each page and apply tones, textures, shadows, highlights, and special effects, usually sequentially and in that order.  At the end of the day, I need to make sure the object(s) of attention in each panel have that certain… pop.”

Page 1, with color!

Everyone involved holds strong opinions, ALL are about strengthening the book. There’s a benefit to having such directness involved, from everyone on board, including from myself. We tell each other how we really feel, how certain pages, dialogue bubbles, or panels are or aren’t working, and then, to his much deserved credit, Matt puts on his multi-dimensional editor hat and shuts off the “all-in” opinion valve and makes a call.

And speaking of dialogue bubbles, none of the pages would be complete without the jovial spirits of Ben Glibert, who snaps in bubbles like there’s no tomorrow, yet finds the time to make any and all adjustments requested, as long as the story remains told in the perfect way — and he does it all with a smile, a chuckle, and a dry joke sprinkled in because, when all is said and done, we’re doing something we LOVE doing — making comic books come to life.

The final piece of the book puzzle, though, is the design. The look of the book, from cover to cover, and this job belongs to the talented Shannon Forrey. Ben and Keyleaf brought Shannon on board from the company’s inception, and the work she has done is nothing short of brilliant. Tomorrow we’ll take a gander at more of her marketing material, but for now just feast your eyes on the below covers (for books WTWL, The Heaven’s, and the DUST: Withered Earth TPB. She is a supporter of all of the books, and when she has a thing or two to say about the art, you listen.

No one has given more passion, dedication, and time to the books of creators than Keyleaf Comics, and I look forward to many months pounding the pavement in support of this team, and of WTWL.

Tomorrow: Marketing!

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