Dan

Transcriptions are here!

Big news! I’m delighted to say that new episodes of the show are going to be transcribed by the amazing and very talented Renée Goulet. To see her in action, check out the transcript of the interview with Christopher Butcher.

Why is this big news? It means that the interviews and the many varied nuggets of wisdom, mirth and advice that they contain are going to be available in a more flexible format to a wider audience, not just people that do or can listen to podcasts. It means that they are a resource that will be searchable, accessible, quotable, easy to reference, share and fairly straightforward to mangle into a different language through something like Google Translate. It means the podcast has evolved into something more useful to more people than ever before.

This is all made possible thanks to the people who donate to the show through Patreon. It would simply not happen without financial support from the community that Make It Then Tell Everybody serves. Transcribing audio is not cheap, and when you have a back catalogue of audio interviews 3 or 4 days in length to transcribe, it is restrictively expensive for me.

At present I can only really afford to get new episodes of the show transcribed. I want to set Renée to work transcribing the back catalogue, so please head to the Patreon site for the show and sign up to donate a dollar or two per episode to help us do this. I need you. If everyone that listened donated one dollar per episode, it would financially cover the cost of transcribing everything many, many times over. It doesn’t take everyone, it’d only take a tiny proportion of Make/Tell listeners to make this work, and a modest proportion of listeners to make it a roaring success! Strength in numbers! Get enough tiny droplets and you have a whole ocean! If Patreon isn’t your thing, or you want to make a one-off donation, you can do so here through Paypal.

I know that this is something that not everyone might be in a financial position to do, so instead perhaps help spread the word. Telling people about the show and what we are trying to do is just as valuable to me.

I’m so proud of the podcast and I am so excited about what the coming year is going to bring.

The Same Faces pt.1

I get asked questions occasionally about the process of making comics. I’ve passed this particular question on to a handful of the people I’ve interviewed for them to answer, and I’ll post up more as they come in.

How do you make the faces look the same from panel to panel?

I remember this being a big concern of mine when I started drawing comics, and I get asked this pretty frequently. Probably more of a concern that actually telling a story if I’m honest. I think this is a question that gets asked a lot because it is so apparent when the characters don’t look consistent. Here’s how John Allison, Viv Schwarz, Glyn Dillon and Sarah Glidden tackled this topic;

John Allison (Listen to his interviews here and here)

I’m not sure I ever worked this out in a scientific way. When I was a kid, I drew Transformers comics, and because I was a kid who liked the toys, I knew where all the different bits of their faces went. Optimus Prime had that barn door over his mouth, Jazz and Blaster had visors over their eyes, Shockwave had a hexagon head. Their blocky appearance made getting all those bits in line easier.

I think that’s still what I do. I know what shape a character’s face is, what shape their nose is, what kind of eyes they have, and I put them in the same place each time. And I know that if I don’t properly work out a new character today, and try to draw them several times in the same comic, they don’t look the same each time. It’s not magic, you just get better at copying yourself.

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Viv Schwarz (interviewed here and here)

Good question.

I draw my characters without worrying too much beyond a simple set of rules about their individual proportions, concentrating more on their stance and expression. Then I check all the drawings, comparing them carefully and correct them in Photoshop where they are too far off.

I allow myself some room for variation because my characters tend to be a bit amorphous, their whole shape changes with emotion and their features wander a bit – that’s what I’ve observed happens in animals where feathers, fur or loose skin allow for a lot more expressive shape shifting. I am allowing that for my human characters to some extent as well because I think it reads just fine. I’m also making all the characters in any given story look quite different so that they are easy to recognise even if their shape varies a bit.

I couldn’t keep the faces completely consistent anyway because I myself can’t recognise real people by their features and have to memorise their voice, smell, stance, hairstyle and so on instead. I think that actually helps my drawing more than it hinders.

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Glyn Dillon (Interview here)

I try and learn the ‘ingredients’ that make up a characters face, & the position & proportion of those ingredients, sometimes it takes a while for them to settle, which is why often a character will look one way at the beginning of a project and quite different by the end.
If you do enough ‘pre-production’ work, character sketches, drawings where you’re trying to learn the ‘map’ of the face, then that effect should be somewhat diminished. But it’s still likely that your characters will change & evolve. Even seemingly simple characters like Homer Simpson have gone through changes… the basic ingredients are all there but the positions and proportions have changed slightly over time.
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When I did Nao, I didn’t want her to remain the same throughout the book, I wanted her to look like she’d ‘evolved’ in terms of varying clothes, hairstyles and ageing slightly. So I tried not only to have a consistency to the ingredients of her face but also to have a consistency to her expressions. I tried to give her a recognisable smile that I could repeat, so that even if her hair style had changed, she would be recognisable by her tight lipped smile.
I can understand why it’s a FAQ because it is one of the hardest things to pull off. I look at pages of Nao where I think she looks different from panel to panel, (the one where she’s putting on her make-up springs to mind) but over the book as a whole I don’t think it’s too bad.
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Sarah Glidden (Interview here)
Its hard to keep characters consistent, especially if you’re style is still evolving over time and you’re working on a long project. I have it a little bit easier because my characters are pretty simple, differentiated mostly by their hairstyles/hair color and clothing. Really, if you just looked at their faces, they don’t look the same from panel to panel, but I do my best to make sure you always know who is who.
What is most important to me is that each character comes across as an individual. Part of that means that I am very careful about how each character “acts”: their body language, their facial expressions, whether make eye contact when they talk to someone else, all of these things are less noticeable from panel to panel if you’re just flipping through the comic, but its all very considered. 
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