Hi everybody. Here’s a quick update on everything Make/Tell. I took September off working on the show so that my alter-ego Dan Berry the cartoonist/illustrator could meet all his deadlines. September soon turned into October too, so the show will be returning refreshed, full of vigour and raring to go in November. Thanks for sticking with me. It has been the absolute most busy I’ve ever been.
I also want to tease you with rumours of a new podcast launching soon in the Make/Tell universe. If Make It Then Tell Everybody is a show about everything that goes into the creative process, this new show is about everything that doesn’t. It’s a lot of fun to record and my co-host Hannah Berry (no relation) and I think you’ll really like it. It is silly. Keep your eyes peeled, there’s going to be a website/twitter launching in the next couple of weeks.
The Toronto Comic Art Festival takes place on the 9th & 10th May and I’ll be going! Here is a list of former Make/Tell interviewees that will also be exhibiting. I hope I’ve not missed anyone off! Listen to their interviews and then go along (if you can) and say hello! I’m there as part of ‘It’s Nice Out’ a showcase of commissioned work from the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, showing off some stuff I’ve been woking on and launching the 24 by 7 book collecting 7 24 hour comics I edited last year. I’m really looking forward to it!
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.
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;
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.
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.
Glyn Dillon (Interview here)