Well, it took longer than I expected — or hoped — but I have finally finished the initial linework for all 30 pages of The Crimebusters #120!
When I originally began the linework at the beginning of November, I hoped it would take me two months. My initial timeline had me finishing at the end of January.
Three things slowed me down. First, I took a 16 day vacation overseas, where no work was getting done. Secondly, I have had some health issues over the last month that have slowed me down. And third… well, this stuff just took longer than I expected!
I also added to pages in the middle of the process, going from 28 to 30, and those pages added more time because I had to do all the layouts as well.
Still, the linework is all done now. So what’s next?
Well, the next step of the process is adding all the dialogue. I’m going to go through the entire issue and add all the dialogue and caption boxes, and possibly some sound effects.
I may also add a few special effects — speed lines and such — because once this phase is done, I am going to print up a few ashcan copies to distribute to friends in the hopes of getting some feedback on art and dialogue changes that may be necessary during the editing process. I am particularly concerned with the storytelling — I want this to be a clear, clean, and easy read from start to finish, so making sure there’s nothing confusing in terms of panel layout, artwork, dialogue, or plot is paramount. I know my art has limitations, but telling the story clearly is more important to me than looking cool.
While my first readers are going over the issue, I will be taking a small break from the panel to panel artwork and change gears to do some other projects that need to be completed before the book goes to Kickstarter and gets published. Things like the Kickstarter promo image and the cover(s) for this first issue, as well as character bio artwork for this website need to be done. I’d also like to work on technical things for the website like the mailing list and the storefront, as well as write up bios for the rest of the characters.
Once I have gotten feedback, I will then proceed with rewriting the dialogue and, most time consumingly, finishing all the artwork with inking and special effects. I originally had planned on a month for inking and a month for preparing the Kickstarter campaign. I suspect the inking will take longer than a month, but I don’t know how long the Kickstarter campaign will take to set up, so for now I am tentatively still aiming for a May 1st live date for the Kickstarter, with the understanding it could be pushed later in the month, or even as late as June 1.
As always, I’ll be giving updates each step of the way, and I look forward to sharing more — and more complete! — art and pages as we get closer to finishing this first issue.
Next time around, I will dive into the thrilling world of fonts. But for now, here’s a look at the linework for Page 26: