How to Make Manga – Set Goals
A couple of short weeks ago, I hit about 100 pages of rough pencils. I finished this set of pages the other day and soon, I’ll be wrangling these pages to ink, slowly inching my way closer towards completing my first graphic novel.
I was out with a friend a few months back and mentioned I was working on Polterguys to someone I just met. I was surprised at his initial response which was, “But making a graphic novel is so hard!” I’ll admit, I was caught off-guard. On one hand, I understood what he meant completely. Earlier this year, I was still struggling with the structure of the book and churning out set after set of thumbnails in search of the story. The flipside though, I was having tons of fun.
I know my insane schedule up there looks like anything BUT fun. I recall making similar arrangements with Final Track but that was for a 34-page short story, quite a different beast from the 160-page mammoth this time around. I can honestly say I’ve never committed myself completely to a major project like this ever before. My senior thesis was just 60 pages (one fourth of which was the bibliography.) It’s exhausting and terrifying, and the pages are still in a very rough stage- more rougher than I actually expected but under such a tight deadline and with still another round of edits pending, I’ve kept it loose to stay flexible.
After a while, days bleed into other days, weeks into other weeks but let me tell you, it is extremely heartening to see a stronger impression of the book coming to life. Because despite the challenges I’ve had to face, creating a well-made story was important to me. It’s like I have blinders on and all I can see is the finish line. I’ve always wanted to write and draw my own books and I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity now. So while I acknowledge how tedious and trying this endeavor can be sometimes, there really is no point dwelling on the negatives- not when the end result is something more than worth the trouble!
Here’s a productivity tip from Jerry Seinfeld I believe in.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
“Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.
Anything is possible with goals in mind.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you have your own goals for your comics? What are some of the things that keep you motivated? Sound off below!