Make Comics Forever!!

Make Comics Forever is a forum for cartoonists dedicated to improving their productivity. This is not a forum for wimps! This is not a forum for flakes! We are here to share tips and techniques on how to produce more work and better work. Become a comic-making machine! Join the discussion now! To become a member, email a request to robyn @

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Do It and Screw It! (what's your motto?)

"Do it and screw it" is a phrase I heard from my friend, super-cartoonist Vanessa Davis. I think it comes form her mom. It just means stop worrying and get on with it! Do it!

Also there's "When in doubt, black it out." That's from my former professor and current boss James Sturm. It's just a practical recommendation when designing a panel. James would probably agree that Tom Hart's "When in doubt, use tracing paper" is more helpful. Tracing paper"s such a great tool, it can save you from ruining a drawing.

Then there's "Make every moment a working moment." That's from K Thor Jenson. Thor has been producing comics steadily since he was a teenager. He's an advocate for drawing whenever you can, like on the subway. Your sketchbook: don't leave home without it!


At 10:23 PM, Blogger Alec said...

Mine are:

"Draw Comics EVERY Day."


(both are equally important!!!)

At 11:44 AM, Blogger robyn said...

Good advise Alec! Not very catchy, though.
I just remembered one of my favorites: "Whatever Works!" I have a special fondness for this phrase because it was the name a zine being produced in Anchorage, Alaska in 1995. Back then there were a lot of zines in Alaska. My hometown of Wasilla even had two (one of which was mine, called "We".) The #1 Alaskan zine was Quip, but Whatever Works was up there!
Anyway, I think" Whatever works" has a lot of implications for the diy cartoonist. Do what it takes to get work done! Hack something together! The finished product is the finished book, not the finished page.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Cam Chesney said...

I like this idea! I'm trying to come up with a good one...

1.) "the LINE will set you free, the Beer will let you BE"
2.) "You don't have to be Charles Schulz, you just have to be Joe Matt.
3.)"If all else fails..INK! (you stupid dink)-optional tag"
4.)"3 lines on paper is worth 15 minutes of happiness"
5.)"Your pen will never lie to you, unless you lie to it."
6.)"A panel a day is .... still pretty slow but better than nothin"
7.)"Drawing is better than sex." Ha! that's a good one...
8.)"A good cartoonist never lets another cartoonist read Ziggy"

At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Rina A said...

This website is the coolest idea, Robyn. Thanks for creating this. I know it can be difficult for me to get an idea down on paper, especially about things that are personal or close to me. I always remember a quote that I heard a composer say: "Write what you feel, and if you're really honest, you'll be writing for everybody else." It's not really a motto and it's not that catchy, but it helps me get through the insecurities of stopping a comic project before starting it.

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JENSEN!!!!! JENSEN!!!!!!!!!!!

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Mikhaela said...

"Do it and screw it" is a great motto--you have to set deadlines and stick to them no matter what, and you're not allowed to cringe over quality or redraw that panel 50 times, you just have to get it done.

For SPX I had all these grand plans of drawing a beautiful cover for my mini and getting nice paper and maybe even doing some extra non-political stuff... but at the last minute, I had to just throw a cover together from already-drawn stuff and just try not to sweat it.

And for my weekly cartoon, the thing that really gets me is that if I procrastinate until the last minute and draw a crappy, poorly thought out comic, over 150,000 people (the readers of my various newspaper clients), plus all my cartoonist peers, are going to see it--and I worry that they're all like "wow, that one REALLY sucked" and think really poorly of me.

But every week, I have no choice but to turn it in when it's due. So here are the things I tell myself to keep going and not just hide under my drafting table in shame:

• "There's always next week"
• "Hey, it's still better than 99% of mainstream editorial cartoons, because at least I haven't drawn a donkey standing in a flood of water labeled 'partisan politics'."

I still need some good motivating phrases to get me to start working on my cartoons sooner than the evening or morning that they're due, though. Every time I manage to pull one off in an hour or two that's actually good, it only makes me more likely to procrastinate the next time.

And speaking of sketchbooks, I'm such a sketchbook delinquent. In high school and college I'd fill four or five pages a day with drawings from life, conversations, etc... lately, I'm lucky if I do one.

hoo boy, that was too long. there's nothing like talking about procrastination to help me procrastinate!

At 1:45 AM, Blogger David Lasky, Esq. said...

I used to like "Just Do It", even though Nike ruined it by making it a commercial slogan. But "Do It and Screw It!" -- that's great. It could apply to a lot of situations, and have multiple meanings. Sounds much more agressive than just doing it. And I think that's what we're looking for on this blog: Agressive Comics Production.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Fabricari said...

Don't think, just ink. A variation on one of my, ahem, other favorite mottos. But very effective. Reminds me that getting the panel finished is far more important than the quality of the inks.

I followed the link from Comixpedia. Great blog - it's been bookmarked!

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sturm may have said "When in doubt, black it out," but Wally Wood is the guy who originated that quote (back in the '50s).

...just thought you should know. ;)

At 2:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"think before you ink."
considering no one will ever see your pencil lines but you, it would make sense to make sure you've left enough information on the page to go on and that you're in the right mental frame to put down lines equal and better than whats there in lead.


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