Author: The Dude Person
Webcomic: Zombie Outbrick - http://zombieoutbrick.thecomicseries.com
Q. What is a “Zombie Outbrick” as opposed to a Zombie Outbreak?
A. "Zombie Outbrick" is Zombie Outbreak, with "brick" thrown in to represents its being a brick comic, kind of like "Bricks of the Dead." I also wanted an original name for my comic. No one else really uses the word, "Outbrick," as it's a word of my own creation. If you type only "Outbrick" into google, the 5th and 6th results are my comic. If you type in "Zombie Outbrick," then the entire first page of Google is my comic. Type in something like "Zombie Outbreak," and you get pages and pages of different things that would invariably have drowned my comic, had I simply gone with "Outbreak" rather than "Outbrick
Q.You don’t understand. How would a Zombie Outbrick differ from a Zombi e Outbreak? Naming issues aside, is there a difference?
(Ah, I see) Well, really the main difference is that, quite frankly (if you'll excuse the expression, Frank) there are more bricks involved. Loads more bricks than a normal outbreak. You see, people upon seeing zombies in an outbrick feel suddenly inclined, not to shoot or hit the zombie, but rather throw a large brick at it.
We think this is a result of airborn "brick-throwing" pheremones secreted by the zombie's altered human sweat glands. If survivors get a whiff of those pheremones, and there are no zombies in sight, one survivor will often hit another survivor squarely in the face with a brick, resulting in tooth loss. We believe this has forced zombies to learn to use food processors, without teeth to bite or chew with because of the brick-throwing, and zombies reproduce now by kissing people to execute the necessary fluid transfer...
As you can see, the two are very different.
Q. The first Zombie was seen in Comic #11, 10 weeks from the beginning of the comic. Why are we seeing zombies now, as opposed to Comic #1, or even # 5?
A. Well, it didn't feel quite right to simply start off with a zombie popping up out of nowhere, with no explanation or backstory. Would it have been more appealing to action-oriented readers? Yes. But, I wanted to develop my main characters and build up to the situation, rather than just rushing into it. These aren't just characters in a zombie comic; they're people that you have to get to know. It just happened to take 10 weeks for the situation to escalate to zombies.
Q. So you’re going for character development first, adding the Zombies later? At what point do you think the main characters are going to be interacting with zombies?
A. Hopefully in just another episode or two.. I'd say about 3, max.
Q. You often get 5- 7 comments per Zombie Outbrick. Why do you think your comic is so popular?
A. I don't rightly know. I suspect it's partly because "zombie" is, in itself, a buzzword of sorts that attracts people. As soon as you see the title, "Zombie Outbrick," you immediately get a good idea of what it's going to be about (and whether or not you'd be interested in reading it.)
I also try to promote my comic by telling other brick comic authors about it whenever possible. I mentioned it several times in comments I left on the Bricks of the Dead site, and I got 2 or 3 readers from doing that alone.
Q. As of now, do you have the next episode of Zombie Outbrick made out?
A. Ha, not exactly. I've never really had a buffer for Zombie Outbrick as of yet, except for the scripts. Unfortunately, even my script buffer ran out. My ideas are slow and shambling as of late (kind of like a zombie), and so I have had to write each episode one at a time every week. I'm planning on trying to get a few more episodes written, then build up an actual buffer of 2 or 3 episodes, but I haven't been able to do that yet.
So the script is written, but I haven't completed the shooting for the next episode yet (even though it's supposed to come out tomorrow!)
Q. Describe the process of making a Zombie Outbrick Comic.
The process, start to finish, goes something like this.
First, I write my script for the episode. I have it typed up in a Microsoft Word document, using a nice, type-writer-looking "Courier New" font. Ocassionally, I watch a good zombie movie beforehand to get a little bit of inspiration (although it's not necessary very often.) I write the panel number, followed by a description of the action and camera angles (if necessary) of the panel, then I skip a line, indent and write the dialogue for the scene. I usually do about 5 or 6 panels per episode, and the last panel is almost always a cliffhanger. This keeps things flowing between episodes, and also provides a good incentive for my readers to come back next week.
After finishing the script, I get out my set, and my minifigures, and set them up on my desk in front of my computer. (This way, I can see the script right in front of me as I work.) Then I turn on two very bright desk lamps I have, one on each side of the set (but still fairly close to the middle.) I pose the minifigures according to the script, for each panel, and take a couple of pictures to be selected from later. I don't usually use a tripod, unless the camera absolutely needs to be in the same place between shots (like the Blox 5 newscaster shots, or special effects shots where I have to combine different pictures to multiply pieces I don't have many of.)
After shooting, I open up Photoshop Elements 6.0 and start working on the layout, working off the script and imagining what my pictures look like in different places. The layout consists of a bunch of black lines that I draw to denote where the panels will go. I have ocassionally re-used old layouts, but generally I draw up a new one every week.
I then open my pictures in Photoshop and start working on any preliminary effects (like the greenscreen for the Blox 5 newscaster, or combining four separate shots into one massive crowd scene as seen in the news footage in the 4th panel of Episode 11.)
Then I insert the pictures into my layout, cropping and cutting things off as needed.
Each picture then gets white-balanced (if the colors looked sort of off), then I fiddle with the shadows, highlights, brightness, and contrast until all the pictures seem to match each other, and the general look of previous episodes.
I slightly de-saturate the colors by a fixed amount, then apply a bluish overlay to tint everything a little bit.
After that, I add my speech bubbles. I first copy and paste the text from my script directly into a text layer in photoshop, center-aligning it and adding line breaks where necessary. I then draw a white rounded rectangle behind the text, use the line tool to draw the "tail" that points to the characters' mouths, and combine the tail and rectangle. After that, I select the entire speech bubble, expand the selection by 5 pixels, then use the paint bucket to fill in the resulting outline.
After that, any special effects (like blood, gunshots, sound effects, TV screens) are added. I save it as a .psd file, then as a .jpg file, and then upload the .jpg to my ComicFury site.
And that’s about it! If I ever finish a "Character Bios" page for my site, I might also do a "Behind the Scenes" page where I explain all this a bit better, with pictures and examples.
Thank you for your time.
Webcomic: Bricks of The Dead - http://bricksofthedead.com/
DATE: 6 - 12 - 11
Q. Are you a genius?
Q. To date, what is the smartest thing that you've done?
A. Deciding not to fight an emu.
Q. What does the title “Bricks of the Dead” mean?
A. Well the whole comic is made out of bricks, right? And some of brick people are dead. Mostly dead, anyway. And that's where it gets interesting (at least in theory).
Q. If you could not make a Webcomic about Zombies, what would your webcomic be about?
A. I'm not really sure. You know, sometimes I worry that I just had the one good idea. At least I hope it was a good idea.
Q. So you couldn't make a comic about Whaling?
A. Of course I could. Are you suggesting otherwise?
Q. Who or what inspired you to make a webcomic?
A. Zombies, man. I'm just mad about zombies!
Follow up to Q. 4: What are your favorite Zombie Movies?
A. I'd have to go with the original Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later are also outstanding.
Q. Are you as awesome and cool as your guest strip intro suggests?
A. Sadly, no.
Q. In your opinion, how likely is a Zombie outbreak in todays society, and what should the Government do to prepare for it?
A. A zombie outbreak is extremely likely. Citizens shouldn't trust the government to protect them from the walking dead. I've seen enough zombies movies to know that never works. Buy a bunch of guns, ammo, and spam.
Thank you for your time.