Getting there with storyboarding my graphic novel Displaced – the first week

End of the first chapter.

It may not be of the quality of my favourite comic book artists – Sean Murphy for instance – but I believe what I’ve been drawing will at least convey the basics of what I want with each panel of Displaced. Been just over a week since I started drawing and I think I’ll be able to complete the lot, having just finished chapter one last night.

I have actually encountered a few problems whilst I draw. Sometimes I’ve missed panels and had to redraw a page from scratch. Other times, I’ve realised that what I’ve put in the script won’t quite work and so I’ve had to improvise. But at least I’m dealing with these problems now, rather than leaving it all to frustrate an artist at a later date.

Paul is now considering the idea of buying me a how to draw comics book for Christmas. Mostly due to me bemoaning last night that despite having a GCSE in Art and Design, I was never taught how to draw.

Last week I saw the storyboards for a friend’s comic and noticed that the artist involved there was drawing really tiny versions of the pages involved with several on a single side of A4. I’ve decided instead that each page of my sketchbook represents a page of Displaced. For me this makes things much easier and should be useful when conveying double spread splash pages.

In order to help me draw, I have been reading a great many graphic novels and trades in order to keep panel layout ideas fresh in mind. It’s the panel layout that’s one of the most important aspects of what the storyboarding is for, as the artists and illustrators I have had contact with locally over the past year often didn’t have a clue as to how to layout a page.

As to the above image, it’s taken from the end of chapter one as Eric – Cindy’s father – lays in a pool of blood from an ex-KGB officer he’s just shot. I would like to emphasize that the style – what little there is of it – is not what I actually want used in Displaced. And man, I wish I was drawing on thicker paper so that my outliner wasn’t leaking through pages.

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