21
Aug 03

Old News Dept: HOW TO BREAK INTO COMICS

The Brown Wedge • 480 views

For this you will need:

A sheet of A4 paper, blank on both sides unless you wish your comic to be set in a dimension of Strange Lines and Ominous Holes.
Access to a stapler.
A pen, pencil, your own blood, whatever photocopies well.
A half bottle of vodka.
A steak knife.

Fold the paper in half four times. You’ve now got a 32 page comic in your hands, but all the pages are blank and fused like The Fly. Fill them. We’ll get to the fusedness later. Beware! They won’t all be the same way up and will seem in no order when laid out flat. This is an illusion which must be cast off. You may wish to use the vodka here.

Unless you’re some kind of miniturising machine you might have difficulty getting more than a panel per page in, and not many words on it. This is good training for when you have to become SERIOUS in comics. When you will have to become SERIOUS in comics is your second one of these, but we’re still on the first. Having made your comic, photocopy it a few times. Now take one of the copies and fold it up like the original. (Keep the original in a safe place. It may be valuable ‘mint’.) Open it out to the centre pages and punch a big staple through them. You might want to incorporate the staple into the comic itself, by having a huge centre page spread with Superman saying “Look! The Metal God! He appears but once – to signify DOOM!”

You can use Superman. Few will care and the chances of a highly motivated lawyer reading it are slim. (But don’t come running to me from your courtroom hell.)

Anyway – you’ve now got a 32-page tiny comic with the edges all stuck together. Cut them apart with your steak knife. Some use scissors but I find the rough, serrated edge of the paper gives the resultant art a nice homely texture. Now repeat the process and take all your dinky little friends to the man at the comic shop. Give them to him. He will sell them for you, unless he is a fool. (Try Al Stuart of Opi8 and Savant fame, who is a saint and always willing to promote small press. He operates out of Travelling Man in York.)

If he decides to give you money then rejoice! You’ve broken into comics. It cost next to nothing (or actually nothing if you play your cards right), it took less than a day and it can keep the soul from shrivelling and dying like some kind of goddamn cake left out in the rain.

It’s all a bit Delia Smith how to boil an egg, isn’t it? I’m sorry. This has all been said and done before and there are more artistic and professional ways of doing it. But the fact remains that, having read these words, you have been charged with a sacred mission. You, Trig Reader, must build a comic and peddle it around.

Think not of the reward. For virtue is its own reward. Go now. Go now and do this thing.

Comic reviews to come soon, after refreshing drink.

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