I finished drawing page one of Roeke in June of 2012. I would’ve started working on the concept and story before that, probably late 2011 or early 2012. I published the last page in November of 2015. That’s somewhere around three and half to four years, start to finish, to produce 104 pages of comic. While it was my first major undertaking and I am certainly proud of it (or, at least, proud of me for making it), I made it at a snail’s pace. Then I did next to nothing to follow it up in 2016. For something I dream of making my career some day, I sure don’t treat it like one. Any supervisor would fire an employee that unproductive.
So, for S.H.A.G., my aim is to produce a 100 page graphic novel (well, a five part mini-series, 20 pages per chapter) in time for comic-con in September. Since I started with the preview around August of last year, that gives me one whole year to produce the same amount of work I’d previously done over four. Of course, since I slacked off through the end of 2016, I really only have 6 months to produce the remaining 95 pages. Plus five covers, assuming I don’t commission Amanda or someone to do those. I have officially dared myself to be eight times as productive for my sophomore effort at being a comics creator. Sitting down and looking at my proposed schedule, while daunting, is also invigorating- because I feel like I can do this. I will do this.
I have a whiteboard in my “office” (also known as Jenny’s sewing room and Anna’s bedroom). It has a column on the left containing my to-do list for the current month. The remaining two-thirds of the board hold the breakdown of each part of the job, which I’ve pseudo-arbitrarily assigned percentages, that they might then fill the giant progress bar I’ve drawn above them. Right now, I’ve made the plot, written the outline and character backgrounds, as well as the script to the first chapter- all of which puts me at 6% complete. Only 94% to go!
My goal for this, the month of February, is to finish scripting the entire series. I basically need to write four pages a day to make that happen. Then, each following month will be dedicated to drawing and lettering a chapter. Then August will be all about coloring, though I may, once again, lean on my sister’s talents for that (which, if that’s the case, I will deliver each page to her as it’s drawn so she’ll have as much time as possible to work on them).
Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me. But that’s not even all! I also want to do a monthly fanart piece, so I have things to entice people to our booth at comic-con, because people don’t care about a comic and its creator that they’ve never heard of, but Final Fantasy or Spider-Man might draw them in (no pun intended). I also want to get some scripts going for Satellite Dust to give to James to draw. It may well be that my ambition is much greater than my capability, but there’s only one way to find out...
This is my origin story, just you wait and see.
Born in California, Justin now resides in Portland, OR. He's had a passion for comics from a very young age