Sometimes, you can be in the mood for making a comic (or even writing some fiction). Sometimes you can be in the mood for making awesome art, writing awesome dialogue and telling amazing stories. The only problem is… well… you don’t have a story to tell.
I had this problem the night before I wrote this article and I used a fairly simple – if somewhat geeky- technique to solve it. Although the resulting project never made it beyond page one, the fact that I was able to actually make this page was all due to one simple technique ( which I also used to get inspired to write “Acolyte!” too).
Before I explain the technique, here’s the “never seen before” page from my abandoned comic:
So, how did I get inspired to make this comic page – and how can you get inspired too)?
The very first thing to do is to look at your favourite films, games, TV shows etc… and ask yourself what something else from the “world” of that film, show or game would look like. But, unless you just want to make fan fiction/ fan comics, then there are a few other things that you have to do in order to make your work significantly more original.
Most of the time, this first step won’t be too difficult for the simple reason that the best stories often hint at more of their setting than they actually show. So, if it’s something that you’re a fan of, then you’re probably going to be curious anyway.
However, once you’ve done this, you then need to take a step back and look at the thing you’re thinking about on a thematic level. For example, if you’re thinking about the “unseen” parts of the world of a fantasy movie like “Lord Of The Rings” (or the books it’s based on) – take a step back and ask yourself “what would some other parts of a fantasy world look like?”
This step is important because not only does it force you to actually use your own imagination more- but it also allows you to be inspired by other things in the same genre too. The more things you are inspired by, the more original your comic or story will be.
For example, the comic page earlier started out by being inspired by the setting of “Blade Runner“. Although this movie takes place in a gigantic futuristic city, only a few streets, cityscapes and buildings are actually shown in the film – so, it naturally made me very curious.
Once I’d thought about “Blade Runner” a bit, I started thinking about a generic 1980s/90s style futuristic city instead before making my comic. Needless to say, it ended up being influenced by a few other things in the cyberpunk genre (eg: Warren Ellis’ “Transmetropolitan” comics) too.
Once you’ve got a good idea of the setting, then just ask yourself “What kind of people live here?” and “What do the people who live here do?“.
Since you’ll already be very curious about the setting that you’ve come up with, youir imagination will probably want to fill in the gaps – so it shouldn’t be too hard to find answers to this question.
Once you’ve got your answers, just start drawing or writing – it’s as simple as that.
Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂