I think I've come up with a tentative set of deadlines for completing my comic. I'm giving myself the whole year. This may seem like a long time, but if you've seen my blog and art gallery, you know I'm not exactly Mister Rapid Content Creation. Besides, I'd rather give myself a lot of time and be able to get ahead of schedule than fall behind a shorter deadline.
Here's the breakdown:
|Thumbnails/page breakdowns||March 31|
|Environment designs||April 30|
|Main character designs||May 31|
|Minor character designs||June 31|
|Page layouts||July 31|
|All pages pencilled||October 31|
|All pages inked||November 31|
|All pages flat colored||December 31|
|Shaded colors||I'll get back to you…|
|All pages posted||January 7|
These are soft deadlines, of course, subject to change. Also, I'm not planning on doing all this one thing at a time; there will be considerable overlap. These dates are just when I plan on finishing up a step. Think of them more as milestones than a step-by-step procedure.
For instance, I'm not going to wrap up the thumbnails and then do a solid month of environment designs before I touch the character designs. I've already done some preliminary work on both, even though I'm only a little over halfway through the thumbnails.
I'm doing this partly to keep myself from getting bored. If I'm stuck on the layout of a page, I can go work on a costume design or start the pencils on an earlier page. This does have the capacity to backfire, though, as it permits me to get all the fun parts out of the way early in the project.
Another risk is that, by giving myself so much time, I'll be tempted to slack off until the last minute, when I won't have enough time left to get everything done before my self-imposed deadline.
Hopefully, the milestones throughout the year will mitigate both problems. It's harder to get behind schedule and say, “Whatever, I still have six months” (or however long), when I have a deadline approaching in March, and another in April, and so on. It also limits the things I can put off: I can't ignore that last page layout I'm stuck on when the thumbnails are my first deadline and the detailed layouts are due in six months.
I mentioned research in the last post, but you'll notice it's not on the schedule. Instead, it's built into the other items. Costume research is part of character design, for instance. Fighting style research is part of the thumbnails/layouts/pencils for the fight scene. (Fortunately, the fight scene is short.)
Finally, I've decided that coloring is going to be optional. I figure flats won't take too long, assuming I'm on or ahead of schedule as I near the end of the year. If I'm behind, that will have to be sacrificed. Shaded colors will be more of a stretch goal, which I'll try to accomplish if I get way ahead of schedule.
I think that's everything. I'll try to have another post out in the next month or two detailing what I've gotten done so far.