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PaizoCon 2014!

Jim Zub: Pathfinder Comic Writer Q&A


Paizo Licensed Products General Discussion

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Jim Zub wrote:
Fredrik wrote:
Aaggh! Merisiel's whites of the eyes again!! (Golarion's elves don't have those).

I think if you saw a larger image of that cover you'd see that it's actually just a 'hotspot' reflection/highlight on her dark eyes, not actual whites of the eye.I could be wrong, but that's how it looks to me when I'm checking out the large versions.

If not then I'm sure the Paizo gang will ask for it to be tweaked before print.

Spoiler'd for nitpicking:
The special effects indicate that she's backlit from her right, so all of that lightness on (again from her perspective) the left side of her eyes doesn't make sense. Also, if you're leaning to your left with a headtilt to the right, then you're looking to the right, which is what an artist would use lightness on the left side of the eyes to indicate. Finally, there's hardly any dark at all in her left eye, and there's lightness on both sides of the darkness in her right eye. (That's not how reflections work; there's only one sun.) And I saw all of that at a glance.

I don't expect other people to see all that I do, since my full-time job is to notice visual details. (Entrance screening at a county courthouse, including x-raying people's bags.) I'm vastly underemployed -- but at the same time, I'm kind of proud of being kickass at it. ;)


I look forward to the Know Direction interview. Ryan. and Perram do a good job with their interviews. I'm not much of a comic book reader these days, but this may tempt me.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Before that Know Direction podcast goes up, Erik Mona and I were guests a couple weeks ago on Earth's Mightiest Podcast, an audio program normally focused on the Avengers, but this time they step into tabletop RPGs, Pathfinder and Skullkickers in a big way.

The podcast is long and our interview doesn't start until the 37 minute mark of the program, but we cover a lot of different subjects once it gets going and there's some really good stuff in there.

Here's a quick run through of major sections so you can focus on a particular part or two that interests you:

0:37:12 - Interview start; chatting about tabletop RPGs
0:40:50 - Chatting about Skullkickers
0:45:03 - Erik Mona joins in and explains his RPG industry cred and Pathfinder history
0:54:49 - I explain my nerd cred, RPGs, comics, manga
0:57:00 - Writing fantasy stories versus running an RPG
1:06:54 - Pathfinder comic discussion
1:45:50 - Skullkickers and Tavern Tales
1:47:17 - Art submissions and breaking in to the industry
1:59:50 - Conventions and pop culture
2:19:20 - Favorite Avengers line-up and stories
2:27:50 - Wrap up


As long the material is solid, I will be buying it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Jim Zub wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:

Since this will be more gritty and realistic, how will other such topics be handled? Romance and even sex, for example?

Similarly, we have heard from various Paizo staff that at least one of the iconics is gay ... will that ever get explored in the comics?

Romance and sex are definitely part of my long term plan. It's not going to be exploitative/graphic or a constant feature of the comic, but having relationships addressed in the series was one of the things I put into the pitch that Paizo enthusiastically responded to.

I want a fantasy series that's character driven, not just "grab the magic item and travel to the next fight - rinse and repeat" kind of stuff. That means characters will grow and change, as will their relationships with each other.

As for the second question, also yes. Paizo asked me about revealing/exploring homosexuality with the iconics in the series and I think we have a solid plan for that. It's not going to be dealt with directly in the first story arc, but it is going to come up later on and add depth to one/two of the characters.

One of the things I really like about Pathfinder is the strong female characters and overall diversity of the iconics. I believe that should be reflected in the comic as well. It's one of the reasons I asked that the initial group of six consist of 3 male and 3 females.

Thank in advance for this, Jim. I have loved your work on Skullkickers, and look forward to a new hero of the LGBT and questioning gamer with your work on the Pathfinder comic.

I owe you a beer at Gencon!

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Know Direction interview I recorded is now up!

Check it out:
Know Direction #43: Interview with Jim Zub

It's the most extensive info released so far about the comic series and my plans for it. Please listen and let me know what you think!

Contributor

Comic Book Resources just posted up an 8 page preview of the first issue.

Check it out:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=13252

Our first online review from a site called Sci-Fi Pulse:
http://scifipulse.net/2012/08/comic-review-pathfinder-issue-1/

"The dialogue in this book is pretty sharp and fun at times. And the action is thick and fast."

Contributor

Four boxes of Pathfinder #1 comics arrived on my doorstep this afternoon!

22 pages of comic story, 12 pages of RPG rules and background material plus a pull-out battle map, all for only $3.99!

The comic printed really well. Andrew’s line art comes through really clearly, as does Ross’ lush coloring. The battle map isn’t stuck into the issue in any way – it’s folded between the staples so you can remove it without damaging your comic, which was a nice surprise.

Pathfinder #1 will be sold in better comic and gaming shops starting August 15th, just in time for Gen Con, North America’s biggest gaming convention!

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Liking the preview, especially Merisiel about to arm-wrestle with Ameiko.

Intrigued to see how you'll bring Kyra into the fold.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It is interesting to see their interactions and how Mer and Ez don't seem to get along to well. Unless it is just their way of "playing"


The artwork looks like something out of a third tier 90's Marvel comic. Sorry, but, ugh. I hate the heavily distorted faces, they look like they melted.

The story I could gleam from the preview on Comicbookresources is pretty standard "party meets up in a tavern". I appreciated a look at what size Sandpoint really has and seeing Ameiko serving drinks was cool.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:

The artwork looks like something out of a third tier 90's Marvel comic. Sorry, but, ugh. I hate the heavily distorted faces, they look like they melted.

Totally disagree. It's not trying to be superhero art, but a stylized fantasy and it works great. One of our best artists, Frank Quietly has "distorted faces".

The storytelling/layouts are inventive and clear, and the backgrounds detailed. I'd say they got quite a catch as far as the art.

I know the writing is top notch as Skullkickers rocks.

Contributor

GeraintElberion wrote:
Liking the preview, especially Merisiel about to arm-wrestle with Ameiko. Intrigued to see how you'll bring Kyra into the fold.

I think you'll like her introduction. It's my favorite scene in the first issue.

Dark_Mistress wrote:
It is interesting to see their interactions and how Mer and Ez don't seem to get along to well. Unless it is just their way of "playing"

They're not really playing. I didn't want all the characters to be a perfect group of friends right off the bat. Personality differences and these kinds of little frictions help build interesting character moments.

magnuskn wrote:

The artwork looks like something out of a third tier 90's Marvel comic. Sorry, but, ugh. I hate the heavily distorted faces, they look like they melted.

The story I could gleam from the preview on Comicbookresources is pretty standard "party meets up in a tavern". I appreciated a look at what size Sandpoint really has and seeing Ameiko serving drinks was cool.

I can see where you're picking up on some of those visual elements, but believe me when I say that Andrew's work has more depth and consistency than the stuff you're referencing. Read through the entire first issue and I think you'll start to warm to it by the end. The quiet scenes 3/4 through the first issue show a subtlety you probably aren't expecting.

I'd much prefer a dynamic and interesting art style to bland/generic or overly photo-referenced comic art that looks like dead mannequins standing around. Andrew's work is developing and I think he's getting stronger with each issue.

Winter_Born wrote:

Totally disagree. It's not trying to be superhero art, but a stylized fantasy and it works great. One of our best artists, Frank Quietly has "distorted faces".

The storytelling/layouts are inventive and clear, and the backgrounds detailed. I'd say they got quite a catch as far as the art.

I know the writing is top notch as Skullkickers rocks.

Thanks for the praise! I hope the first issue hits the spot for you. Balancing six characters, the plot and the world with 22 pages per issue is a really fun challenge for me.


Jim Zub wrote:
I'd much prefer a dynamic and interesting art style to bland/generic or overly photo-referenced comic art that looks like dead mannequins standing around. Andrew's work is developing and I think he's getting stronger with each issue.

It does not have to be one or the other. There are very good comic artists drawing superhero comics.

I just hate the distorted faces, that just reminds me of the 90's comics art style, which thankfully has mostly died out, at least in mainstream comics.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

I'm a fan of the art style, and I can't wait to get the first issue in my subscription (next month sadly due to the timing). The preview has me super intrigued, I think you've got the characterisations spot on so far.

Going back to the art, I like the dynamism and I like that it's a little cartoony. I'm also willing to give a new artist the benefit of the doubt for the stuff that I'm not super sure of yet.

Osirion

Jim Zub wrote:

Comic Book Resources just posted up an 8 page preview of the first issue.

Check it out:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=13252

Ooh! Is it too early to start shipping Merisiel and Ameiko? :)


After a line like that, I think that we're contractually obligated to ship them. ;)

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
magnuskn wrote:
Jim Zub wrote:
I'd much prefer a dynamic and interesting art style to bland/generic or overly photo-referenced comic art that looks like dead mannequins standing around. Andrew's work is developing and I think he's getting stronger with each issue.

It does not have to be one or the other. There are very good comic artists drawing superhero comics.

I just hate the distorted faces, that just reminds me of the 90's comics art style, which thankfully has mostly died out, at least in mainstream comics.

I've said it before, but I also am not a fan of the art. The comically large open mouths are just too anime-like for my taste.

I wasn't hoping for super heroes. I guess I wanted cool, more realistic art. I'm sure I'll still pick the first issue up and as long as the story is good I'll probably keep keep getting the comic but, for me at least, it will be despite the art.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I just checked out that preview. (Yeah, I'm slow, I know. 8^) I am also not crazy about the art style, but the writing looks like it will more than make up for it. 8^)

So, overall, quite looking forward to it. Maybe, with enough feedback to that point, we can get an art shift toward a slightly more realistic style...

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've been posting some comic writing tutorials on my blog and thought I'd repost the links here in case any of you were interested in a behind-the-scenes look on my writing process:

Part 1: Brainstorming
Part 2: Story Pacing
Part 3: Page Planning
Part 4: Scripting
Part 5: Dialogue

This isn't any kind of absolute-must-follow method, just the way I work and a few tips. If you found these posts helpful, feel free to let me know here (or on Twitter) and share the posts with your friends.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments about these or the first issue of Pathfinder!

Zub


Jim Zub wrote:

Comic Book Resources just posted up an 8 page preview of the first issue.

Check it out:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=13252

Shouldn't that say "chalk it up" instead of "chock it up"?

Contributor

hogarth wrote:
Shouldn't that say "chalk it up" instead of "chock it up"?

That was a mistake on my part when I wrote the script and it surprisingly sailed past multiple levels of editorial. It'll be fixed if we do a reprint or collection down the road.

Taldor

Hi Jim, I was a huge Skillkickers fan before I even heard of the Pathfinder RPG. I think you've done a great job so far on the Pathfinder series. I love the way you've brought the iconics to life. Big fan of Valeros and Merisiel (please put them on more covers). Waiting eagerly for #3! (And waiting even more eagerly for Skullkickers Vol. 4!!!)

Contributor

The Diplomat wrote:
Hi Jim, I was a huge Skillkickers fan before I even heard of the Pathfinder RPG. I think you've done a great job so far on the Pathfinder series. I love the way you've brought the iconics to life. Big fan of Valeros and Merisiel (please put them on more covers). Waiting eagerly for #3! (And waiting even more eagerly for Skullkickers Vol. 4!!!)

Thanks so much for the praise and kind words about both Skullkickers and Pathfinder. It's been a really exciting year being able to work on both comics at the same time. I'm pumped to see how things go as we head into 2013.

I write some cover suggestions but I'm not in control of who is put on the Pathfinder covers, but I'll be sure to let the Dynamite gang know. :)

Taldor

Jim Zub wrote:
I write some cover suggestions but I'm not in control of who is put on the Pathfinder covers, but I'll be sure to let the Dynamite gang know. :)

That would be awesome. Next on my wish list would be seeing the Pathfinder iconics doing domestic chores on a pirate ship ... but I'll wait and see what the future brings.

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