Monday, March 18, 2013

Graphic Novels - Some Helpful Tips

I have recently had several people ask me about turning their works into a graphic novel format as I have. I have been working for 2 years to finish the entire story of High School Heroes as a graphic novel (it will be two parts when it's all done) as well as working on an original graphic novel called The Poe Murders. 

They both present challenges. And as I have  absolutely no artistic ability, I must hire people to do my artwork for me. So, I am going to post my advice on this blog for any and all to see. I will probably make a couple of postings on this subject, this is just the basic advice to get started, so that you know what you're getting yourself into.

Now, I use 2 websites to find and hire artists for my work: and

Now, each one has it pros and cons. Freelanced, will likely give you cheaper artists and you can tell them specifically what you wish to spend on your project. However, I have found some of the artists (not all) on this site to be unreliable (hence why I have now had 4 different artists on my High School Heroes comic). However, there are some that are quite good, like the woman who illustrated my children's book.

Elance, you put the project up with an approximate amount of what you'd like to spend and the artists will bid on the project. The artists I have worked with on here have never let me down (crosses fingers while knocking on wood). However, they are usually more expensive and you have to put money into an escrow account up front.

I will suggest black and white if you are paying for this by yourself, because keep this in mind...

Coloring can cost you an extra $10 - $40 per page. If you are going to do a standard 100 to 125 page graphic novel, that means upwards of an extra $1,000+ to $4,000+ out of your pocket. Not to mention that you will then have to pay for someone to letter the book (add in all the speaking bubbles and captions and whatnot) and the cheapest I have found for that is also $10 per page. (Now, I letter my own books, it takes me a good deal of time, but when you think of the money saved...) Then you will also have to pay an artist to do the cover and for a decent cover, that will also run you a minimum of $100. (I get around that by designing the cover myself and paying an artist just to draw a character for the cover for High School Heroes, The Poe Murders, I paid the full price).

When you consider that a black and white graphic novel of 100 pages is already going to cost you approximately $2,000 to $2,500 at minimum, all these extras can cost you money. Also, usually you will have to hire separate people to do each of these things. The person who draws, usually doesn't color and vice-versa.

I hope that this has been helpful to you. Check back in a couple of days when I discuss creating a script. 

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