Graves: The Story Concludes – December 17, 2020

GRAVES Cover Art Gallery

Crafting the comic?

      Very early on I conceived the ideas for the covers above and those were very concrete for me once I knew what each issue would be about and I wanted those drawn first. The first thing I did was hire my editor, his name is Jason Snyder. Then became the artist search and at the time I solely used Deviant Art’s find jobs section. I made contracts, nondisclosure ones and started to see what certain artists could do until I found my first one. I paid him around 40$ a page and we wound up doing almost two issues worth and a lot of covers. He was an interesting artist was interesting because about 2 issues into it he told me he wasn’t a big fan of the it because of the violence levels

Why it failed:

       Money, money, money!!! Graves did wind up costing a bit of money with roughly $4,000 spent as I was paying roughly 40$ a page and about 50$ per cover and we did about 2 issues and a total of 7-9 covers/promo images. In addition to that, I went through a bit of a process getting pages redrawn as I changed artists and also that factored into hiring artists to test page from the script. 

       The Writing!!! I didn’t necessarily have the comic in the right place for the writing department. I was still learning how to world build as I went and was missing details that caused me to skipping all over the place. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I just never knew from beginning to end, how I wanted it to play out. Dialogue at this stage for me wasn’t the best either, I knew what I wanted to say and what messages to convey and they were conveyed well. The problem was I still was speaking through my voice and not saying what I wanted as if I were the characters. That’s something that I’ve learned through time, but at this point I was still figuring everything out.

       Simply not good enough execution of the story was the ultimate factor. It was amazing to see my comic become a reality, but one day I did ask my editor, what did he really think. He gave a very professional answer of it has potential, but could be executed better. At this point I spent a lot on the project so far and went through numerous teams, quite frankly I was a bit exhausted with the project and the thought the scope of it was too big for me as a debut comic. This was the day that I decided to abandon the project. I kept the project in my mind throughout the next few years and went on a hiatus from writing after this. 

What would I do differently?

       If I were to redo Graves nowadays, I would make it a graphic novel spanning roughly 150-200 pages about the mystery surrounding Arthur Dugant’s father’s mysterious death.  For certain it would fit more into the horror genre, but be something that is revolving around the theme of family and loss. Which is where volume 2 was headed as well for its theme. The second and final volume of Graves was set up in the first volume with Arthur looking at his phone and becoming depressed, harboring the secret that his nemesis texts him with victims constantly. His nemesis is someone who is a step ahead of him, but loses his way after finding out about the graveyard and decides to act against the Dugant family. The big thing with the second volume is the re-introduction of the spirit dimension, as well as the introduction of the demon dimension. Which was set up by Lark’s(the guy fighting Arthur below) presence as he was a member of both dimensions.

Final Thoughts:

       I was inspired by GRAVES, as I had some reviews and would tell people about the project and their eyes would light up. I felt like I was making something that was going to change the world. Those feelings and completing the first two issues were special to me, showing that I can write and make comics. If it wasn’t for Graves, I wouldn’t of began a working relationship with my editor and it was great for me to try out long form storytelling. GRAVES showed me how to work and talk to artists, as I went through a lot and they all understood it differently and had different voices. Lastly, it showed me to be a better writer, not just trying to hit certain moments, but to follow the characters and even though it cost me roughly $4,000; I wasn’t a big fan of the artwork as far as the quality. I felt that I wanted a better look to it, and that meant that I needed to sort get rid of a budget and take my time. I used those lessons learned with CROW CREEK, a comic that will be my official debut. 

Thanks for reading about my unreleased webcomic GRAVES. Lastly, I will leave you with another gallery of the pages that we did for GRAVES. Hope you enjoyed the ride. View part 1 of the GRAVES blog posts here.