Comic Books & Bucket Lists

Boat Volume 01.

Boat was a long process, it was a very long process.... but it was a chance to work and learn a lot about VFX and integrating into a script. I got a chance to work with a lot of talented individuals and while working on boat i got a chance in between approving VFX shots to tick off one of my bucket list dreams, write a comic book! 

I have always loved comic books and i would spend most of my wages from my part time jobs buying comics from my local Forbidden Planet. I Started off reading 2000 ad, Judge Dredd & Rogue Trooper then i fell in love with The Punisher and Wolverine then it just snowballed and i read everything... Preacher, Y the Last man, Aliens, Spiderman, Watchmen,  100 Bullets, Kick ass, Crimson, Tank girl etc (basically too many to mention)

I always loved films and comic books and everytime i wanted to do a film i would want to incorporate a comic, it never worked out because my drawing skills are disgraceful and i never had the time. The good thing about Boat was i had buckets of time and i also had a very talented Storyboard artist Mark Weallans. I spoke to Mark about the comic book and he was up for working on it and we had time over the 4 years of working on Boat to do something and we did. 

Boat Panel- Rough Design. Mark Weallans

Boat Panel- Rough Design. Mark Weallans

Boat Volume 01 is the story of Boat, it basically is the closest depiction of the short screenplay i did for Boat. There were many elements from the script that due to budget and time constraints couldn't be filmed. So in short Boat Volume 01 is the directors cut of the film. It was a great experience working on the comic version of the film, looking at reference materials, panel layouts and going over it all with the artist. Mark did a great job. Check it this behind the scenes film on him working on the comic.... 

Behind the Scenes- Boat The Comic

Mark Working on the comic. 

Mark Working on the comic. 

Getting the comic drawn was the first Hurdle. Getting the comic finished was another... There are lots of elements and i am really skimming over the process here and not giving the people involved nearly enough credit. But the final stages of finishing the book were the most enjoyable. The lettering & cover design, both created by Director/Graphic designer Andrei Stariauala were great. He captured the look and tone of the project so well. (Andrei also designed the poster of the film) Working with Andrei on this part of the process really inspired me. Each stage of creating the comic is fun but this section really brought the book to life and the dialogue positioning, sound effect creating really was an art and he really made me want to work on more comic books. Thanks Andrei! 

So... i had a finished PDF of the comic. 44 pages. 281mb file. I wanted to get it printed. To have a physical copy of the comic just to have in the flat thats the dream. I found a website, UK comics Creative and they printed at the size i always bought at. US size. Smaller than A4 just the right dimensions. (i realise this paragraph has taken geek to the next level and included file sizes. If you have chosen to skip this paragraph i understand...too late...anyway!) 

Fast forward to the proof copy. It was amazing! It looked great. The design looked so cool. The colours, the panels all looked right. The size of the book was perfect. Looked great on the coffee table. Then it came to the order. 50? or 100? I had no plan for these comics... i just thought i could have this comic and maybe hand out the odd copy at a film festival. I went with 100. 

So they came and i had to decide what to do. Nowadays comics are widely available on Digital platforms. I have submitted it to Comixology but i have to wait a few months to see if it is approved so i thought why not approach Forbidden Planet. the place where i bought all my comics. So dripping with fear and doubt i went into my local store. After wandering around for 15 minutes and looking like a shoplifter i worked up the courage to approach a member of staff.

"hey, i have a comic and i didn't know what...em process... we or you, or should i email..."


The guy outlined the process, i got the impression a lot of people have asked about this, he said i should hand something in at some point and he would make a decision on whether they would stock the comic. I had the proof in my bag. I was going to leave and email something at another time. Yes i would have, but i can get weird. But luckily this time i didn't. The time dragged as he flipped through the book occasionally pausing to ask me the odd question about it as he flipped through. It felt like 33 minutes. It ended with him agreeing to stock the book. Which was great. It started with 5 books. To see how it goes. I gave him 7. Luckily after the first week we sold out. :) 

No i didn't buy them all myself. well not all of them. :) 

I dropped off a new batch yesterday and fingers crossed a few of them sell. The plan is to do more because well... i love comic books. 

Thanks for reading.