Hello all. Today I want to share with you my process for adapting Jack Vance’s The Moon Moth into a graphic novel as it may be of interest to some. And so, here is the first of a weekly series that I dub “ The Making of The Moon Moth into a Graphic Novel.”
My first step in adapting The Moon Moth was to first read the original. I found a copy in a recently released collection of Vance‘s short stories. I probably read it a couple of times. Sorry, but I have no pictures of me actually reading. Anyway, having memorized the story I began sketching thumbnails. I DO have some examples of this:
If you had read the graphic novel you will no doubt notice some similarities between the original thumbnail layout and the final version. Looking back at these I was also struck by the differences that were later made. In fact, when I originally mapped out the book it was only going to be eighty-four pages long.
I always enjoy doing thumbnails because it’s my first shot at actually “doing” the comic. I don’t worry about mistakes- in fact that is the whole point of doing thumbnails. The idea is to get down how you would like to pace your story, how you will compose the pictures, and place word balloons, etcetera. Not that there wont be revisions later on of course. But just try to imagine spending the time to draw and ink, say, ten pages only to have your editor tell you, “Nah, the layout doesn’t look right. You should’ve done it this way. Go back and redo all of it.” Or, worse still, imagine having a finished manuscript of two hundred pages only to be told to trim it down to one-fifty. I’d rather redo sketches any day!
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please let me know. I will continue this series as well as post new stuff soon so stay tuned.!