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How Comics Are Made Today

We read them every week, but most of us never stop to think about what it takes to create a modern day comic.

Courtney Daley-Pavone at Macaroni Kid has been asking IDW’s Associate Editor, David Marriotte that very question.

When I stepped inside IDW Publishing I got a glimpse into the creative minds behind such hits as Sonic The Hedgehog, Star Wars, X-Files, and Star Trek.  Those are just a few of their impressive titles. Long gone are the days of picking up a comic book at a newsstand, there are still a few specialty shops that carry comics, but most comic sales are sold online.  I spoke to David Marriotte, an Editor at IDW on how comic books are made in 2018.

COURTNEY DALY-PAVONE: How has comic book creation evolved since its inception?

DAVID MARIOTTE: There are a lot of answers to that question — clearly, the technology’s changed from essentially sequential paintings to pen and paper to early digital to knowing people who can happily make comics on their iPad. I think another major difference is what stories are told and who tells them. Again, technology has made it so much faster and easier for writers and editors and artists to all contact each other on the fly, as well as making it easier for folks to do all three (and letter and color and market) all by themselves. The medium is constantly evolving.

What do you create at IDW?

I’ve done a bit of writing at IDW. I adapted the first three episodes of a series called Hanazuki: Full of Treasures into comics and a have created a lot of “editorial content” — which is to say, character bios, essays, retrospectives, etc. I also work closely with writers and artists to create the best stories possible, from fostering initial ideas and designs to making last second changes on the almost finished project.

Which product are you the proudest of?

I’m afraid if I answer that question, someone I work with will be mad at me! But, as much as I take pride in everything I do, the initial response to introducing a new Sonic The Hedgehog character, Tangle the Ring-Tailed Lemur, will always hold a special place in my heart.

How do you break into the comic book industry?

The question everyone always wants to know! It might be mundane, but networking goes a long way. Meeting other creators, working with people when you can, and promoting your own work (be it through portfolio reviews or fan comics on Twitter) can be huge.  For example, one of our Sonic cover artists, Nathalie Fourdraine, came to me and Joe Hughes, the other editor on the book, through two separate people sending us fan art she posted on Twitter at the same time. We saw her work, fell in love with it, sent it to each other, and completely missed the other person’s message because we were already getting up to go talk about it in person. Now she does a cover on every issue. Creating comics is a really collaborative process and I couldn’t possibly mention everyone who works on every comic. From the licensor to accountants to writers, artists, colorists, letterers, and editors, so many people have a hand on the ball. For such small teams most of the time, there is no storytelling method that collaborates in the same way.

For More Information Visit IDW’s Website: http://www.idwpublishing.com/

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Steve Galloway
Steve was 5 years old when he saw Star Wars for the first time during its first UK cinema release. He considers himself a first generation Star Wars fan and in his own words is a ‘Child of 77’.