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SDCC 2012: DC Comics: From Concept to Page Panel

Your live coverage of the San Diego Comic Con panels begins here! Where do these stories and characters come from, and how do those concepts become actual comics?

Hey guys! It's time for some panel coverage. We'll get started in 10 minutes, when this DC panel kicks off. I'll be updating the article roughly every 5 minutes, so keep refreshing!

The Flash #2

10:05AM: And here we kinda go. A gentleman tells us to text HEROES to 80888 to donate money to the We Can Be Heroes campaign. We will be going through the process of how comics get made. Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul come up. Matt Idelson and Brian Cunningham come up. They ask Francis about his response to him writing Flash originally before the new 52. His ressponse was "f#!@ yeah!" Brian says his response was the same. Both of the guys have known each other for a long time.

10:10: Francis says it made a lot of sense for them to work together. Originally, they didn't know they were pitching for the new 52 because it was so under wraps, but when they did find out about it, they threw away everything they had and restarted. Brian says they treated it as a pilot, but take the story "off and running." People knew the Flash so they didn't want to retell a long origin.

10:15: Brian says storywise it made a lot of sense to not have him married because he's younger. We see some early design pages for Flash. Originally, Jim Lee designed the main guys, including Flash. Francis wanted to revamp how the costume got onto Barry. He says that the costume just coming out of his ring wasn't that cool.He says Jim came up with more of the original design, and Francis just tried to replicate it. They're showing more pages from the book, and Francis' chaotic page set-up, which is awesome.

10:20: Francis says it made sense in the new 52 to fracture the way Flash thinks. He can see every single scenario and choose from there, instead of "with us" we go with our gut feeling. Brian says the problem with too much information is that sometimes it becomes white noise and he hasn't mastered his power yet.

10:25: Cut to one year later, they're talking about issue 12 and the writing process. Brian and Francis talk to each other on Skype and talk about the overall story and character and where they want him to go in an arc. They talk about the big stuff, then go onto the smaller stuff. Sometimes, they go write to layouts with the script, which most creative teams don't do. Francis jumps in and says he talks to Brian more than his girlfriend or his mom. There are times when Brian and Francis wrote entire scripts together. They have a variety of different formats, and they change it up to keep it fresh.

10:30: Brian and Francis share a lot of the duties with each other. Brian says they don't bring egos to the table. Idelson, the editor of Flash, says how they work together is very helpful for everyone else and they work together well. Brian calls their work "like Moses." Francis says Brian is Moses because he has a beard.

10:35: Spreads time! Francis starts with a quick sketch with color, which still looks amazing, for the layout, then works off of that to draw the final of the page. They put the colors under the ink in this early process which helps Brian set the tone with the color and it's a good visual guideline. Brian says, in photoshop, they put the color under everything and it won't muddy everything up.

10:40: They show us the colored version of the page. It's pretty. They're now showing us a sequence of an opening page where the words "The Flash" and the credits are incorporated into the page. Francis says certain issues he has a plan and certain issues he just draws and everything comes together. He says in one issue, they didn't have time to show Captain Cold escaping Iron Heights, so they put trails of ice near Iron Heights during another scene or Captain Cold's footprints in ice to get the point across. Francis seems to draw things which he thinks are cool, which are usually cool anyway.

10:45: Issue 12 cover. They show the process of pencils and inks to color to becoming covers. Francis says some of his cooler covers have been shot down before. Brian says that Francis doesn't take rejection very well. Editorial makes a joke about how they nag. You have to be careful with your choices, Brian says because if you just crap one out they might use that one. Francis says this was a straight forward cover. It was made to introduce Glider.

10:50: Question time! How much work do you do with other creative teams? What it's like working with other people? Brian says Francis really doesn't have time to work with other people. Brian works on Hellblazer and says it's a different process and he just colors it and sends it off. They were friends first, so they're not trying to outdo each other. Francis says he really liked working with Johns. Next question: He asks about a Flash movie. Francis says he has nothing to do with that.

10:55: How much time does it take to finish an issue? Brian Cunningham says it has to be finished 3 months before release. Brian says Francis has done an entire book in 11 days before. They always want to get it in before the deadline. Francis says it's usually 3-4 weeks to do a book. The guy who asked the question got an Owl mask. What's the best advice you can give a writer to get an idea onto paper? Brian recommend a few books and storytelling. Brian says you have to answer a bunch of questions about the character and story, put in the work, and be able to explain everything in 3-4 sentences.

11:00: Are there plans with Iris? Brian says she's stuck in the Speed Force, but he doesn't have any details for anyone. Will there be other speedsters? Francis says maybe. Brian says sit tight. Panel over! See you guys in 15 for Superman Panel!

16 Comments
Posted by doordoor123

Love that you're reporting this panel. I thought it would be interesting and didn't think anyone would report it.

Posted by inferiorego

@doordoor123 said:

Love that you're reporting this panel. I thought it would be interesting and didn't think anyone would report it.

I'll be in this room until 7 pm tonight reporting...... Prepare for exodus! (I don't know what that means)

Posted by sethysquare

Will you guys be reporting the Superman panel as well?

Posted by inferiorego

@sethysquare said:

Will you guys be reporting the Superman panel as well?

yes. that's coming up in an hour an 15 minutes

Posted by sethysquare

@inferiorego: thanks

Posted by k4tzm4n
@inferiorego: Sweet, looking forward to the updates.
Staff
Posted by Lvenger

@inferiorego: Will you, G-Man and Babs be updating on this page or is it just you? And which panels are you going to cover on here if I may ask?

Posted by inferiorego

@Lvenger said:

@inferiorego: Will you, G-Man and Babs be updating on this page or is it just you? And which panels are you going to cover on here if I may ask?

i am

Posted by Webjaker

@inferiorego: THANK YOU! Manapul and Buccalato's FLASH is amazing and this is the panel I'd be most excited for.

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

I hope report even more panels!!

Posted by doordoor123

Do these people who went to this panel not know anything about writing? Lame questions. I figured some of these people would at least have a little knowledge. I guess not everyone goes to college, gets an internship or gets a job writing before they decide they want to write comics.

Posted by inferiorego

@doordoor123 said:

Do these people who went to this panel not know anything about writing? Lame questions. I figured some of these people would at least have a little knowledge. I guess not everyone goes to college, gets an internship or gets a job writing before they decide they want to write comics.

I didn't even report a few of the questions.... guess why?

Posted by ZZoMBiE13

@inferiorego said:

Prepare for exodus! (I don't know what that means)

Is that your "Excelsior"?

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Awesome stuff! I'll stay tuned...

Posted by LordRequiem

The Flash art style is not one of my favourites.

Posted by mcclellanscott

When will I ever get to be here?