How is a Comic Book Bible Created?How to make a comic Bible

If you’re a lover of comic books, I bet you’ve never really thought about what goes into making these amazing books. There is a high level of commitment required from a whole team of people to make these happen.

The creation and development of BibleForce into a graphic novel requires the collective skills of an entire team. These include artists, designers, editors and authors who require a deep understanding of the Bible to bring all the characters and stories to life.

So, how does it work?

The Plan

Like any good book, you need to start out with a concept and have some idea of how this is going to look. We call this a “book map”. It allows the creative team to map out the areas of the Bible and plan what is required in terms of stories and characters. This is a difficult task as later in the development there is a lot of information in the text boxes and messaging (speech bubbles) that needs to be conveyed, in addition to the multiple frames of artwork.

The Plot

For the First Heroes Bible, communicating such a complex plot and understanding the best way to deliver God’s word, into an abridged version of the Bible, was a challenge. Once this had been decided it then set the parameters for how the rest of the book was to be put together.

The Story Outline

Prior to any artwork commencing, the outline and messaging of the stories, the length of story and the number of pages required had to be determined. If we take the story of Noah as an example, we took the key element of his story from the book of Genesis and broke this down into shorter stories that could be visualised into “frames” of artwork.

Sketching or Pencilling

The art team would then be briefed to sketch out each frame or thumbnail to see how they fit in with the broader narrative of the story. The sketching, or pencilling process, is a constant back and forth between the artist and creative director. This ensures those frames capture the message that is being communicated and also reflects the life and times of those who are being portrayed.  It is also important to note that each frame of artwork is a complete scene where everything from centre of the page through to the back and edges need to perfectly deliver the desired message.

Basic Speech and Text

When sketching is complete, the editorial team get to work on individual texts per scene relayed in character speech bubbles at the direction of the consulting author. The content in the speech bubbles reflects months of work and research to ensure the character is on message in small bites of meaningful information.

Inking the Sketches

Once the pencil artwork has been approved, these then move to the ink stage. Like the sketches, the details in the basic inking are just as important as these too must reflect the life and times of the story being depicted.  Only once the inking has satisfied all the parameters set by the creative director it then moves to coloring.

Coloring the Artwork

The final step in the process is when the artwork has been approved for coloring. The colors must absolutely communicate the story of the frame and must be visually stimulating to the reader.  This step is especially important. Once this process has been finished the artwork phase is now complete.

Text Lettering

The completed art is passed back to the editorial team for accurate insertion of the speech bubbles. These continue from where the basic speech and text was conceptualised and may be edited, reshaped or altered entirely to fit the narrative. This is a painstaking task as all must fit within the space of the frame and in context with the artwork.

Final Editorial

Once all these steps have been completed, the final art is passed back to the Creative Director for final approval. Whilst the creative team have had constant interaction during the development process, it is never assumed that all is correct until the final pass has been approved ready for printing.

Sound simple? Bibleforce The First Heroes Bible has over 3,600 individual frames of art. There are many thousands of individually drawn characters, background scenes and other important elements carefully created to bring the word of God to life in this exciting format.
It took our team of editors, designers and artists almost 2 years to complete the task. It is without doubt that this truly was an exercise of faith!

Copyright © 2020 International Publishing Services (IPS) Sydney Australia

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