Peggy Bechko’s World: Creating Comics – an abbreviated how-to

Planet of the Eggs co-creators Peggy Bechko and Charlene Brash-Sorenson
Planet of the Eggs co-creators Peggy Bechko and Charlene Brash-Sorenson

by Peggy Bechko

Since our newest in the Planet of The Eggs series, Eruption, has now been released in paperback, I decided this week to talk a bit about the creation of the comics. It takes a whole lot of work, but the creation process is such great fun I thought I’d share a bit of it with our readers.

I really can’t tell folks how to find a story idea other than to be open, to research and to be aware of the weird world around you. I can, however give some practical tips.

There’s a lot to it, but basically my writing and creative partner Charlene Brash-Sorensen and I use Comic Life software (you can try it free, but there is a low cost to buy – no, I’m not an affiliate so I won’t make any money if you buy a copy) to create the actual comic, but prior to that there’s a lot of prep work.

Since neither of us are sketchers or artists of any variety, except the manipulation of pictures into our stories, we depend on photography and occasional clip art to create our books. So one of my first tips is your camera. Your phone camera, whatever will take decent pictures. There’s scenery and events all around you that can make great backgrounds for stories (be aware of not taking pictures of people without their permission), but if you need plants, mountains, forests, animals, whatever, keep that camera handy and take lots of pictures.

We even have mini ‘photo shoots’ using things like (in our case) eggs we’ve painted against white background for easy cut-out in photoshop, feathers of various colors from various angles against white, again for easy cut out and a whole lot of other items which makes the images our own and we don’t have to worry about copyright. I’ve even taken close up pictures of flower bouquets and a vigorous fennel plant for backgrounds.

Beyond that there are places online where you can find free and royalty free pictures that can be used.  We use Pixabay a lot and of course a google search for ‘commons’ photos and illustrations can yield other resources such as Open Clip Art and many others. If you want to use any pictures you find online make sure they’re royalty free and free to use in any fashion. Or purchase the pictures you need and be sure the license covers what you’re using them for. Read the requirements and follow them. Copyright infringement is a no-no.

We use Photoshop a lot for cutting out characters, changing colors, etc. But, there are phot manipulation tools available that are free. Check out Gimp and for a couple I know about. We even use Powerpoint to create some images when we won’t want to work with all sorts of layers and effects. What is created can be saved via Powerpoint to Jpg or png formats.

The whole thing sprang from a simple idea – Heroic eggs determined to save their world. We’ve had to learn a lot to put our books together – I haven’t even mentioned the required dimensions and details here that are required for digital and print publishing. The fun just never stops (and I mean that truly and sarcastically.)

Dive in if you’re of a mind – see what you can create – oh, and while you’re at it, grab copies of Planet Of The Eggs comics –

Cracked Open

Grimoire Book Of Spells

Mummified Egg


Available in Kindle Edition and Paperback with more to come!

Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her HERE. This post originally appeared on her sensationally helpful blog. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available onKindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page

Web Series: “Solid 8”

We want to see more of this show.

More! More! More!

Yo, Solid 8 creators – where are the rest of the episodes? What do we have to do to see ’em?

We’ve seen mention of ten episodes of Solid 8 on the web, but only three seem to have been shot. How can we correct this injustice? Solid 8 team, let us know. Meanwhile, here’s the most recent ep we could find on YouTube:

Episode 3: “Meanwhile, At Home”
Written by Magan Carrigan
Directed by Danny Gorman
Executive Produced by Emily Marquet

Theme Song by Michael Bergamo
Original Music by Kana Zink

Wardrobe Provided by WorldLine Brand

Episode 1:
Episode 2:

How to Succeed as a Female Writer in TV & Film

Whoa, talk about the time a’changin’. Looks like being a female writer in Hollywood is now in, hip, and trendy. Or at least ultra PC. Even the staid old media darling, Writer’s Digest, is getting into the act. Better late than never, we suppose:

Jessica Fletcher writing Murder She Wrote

by Dr. Rosanne Welch

You have to “Alertly Seize Your Opportunities”, learn the “Company Way”, insist to any still-cave-dwelling males who may come your way that a writer’s assistant “is not a toy” (nor is she – or he – meant to fetch your dry cleaning or work overtime for no pay while the producer reaps all the benefits of sending a well-formatted script to the network executives for approval). You should adjust to workdays being “Long Days” and learn “How to Handle a Disaster” (like actors throwing scripts in the trash or writers throwing things across the room). You should be comfortable with the idea that there still is a bit of a “Brotherhood of Man” atmosphere in writers rooms which are still 80/20 male/female. (Having grown up with brothers or a good set of guy friends – or having played high school sports helps.) But most of all you have to remember to “Believe in You” because no one else – not your agent, not your manager, not your producer, and sometimes not your family – will always be in your corner.

If you survived that paragraph and still want to be in the business, good. Such a reality check is necessary because dreams don’t come cheap – but they do come if you keep at your writing and keep making connections along the way. That said, writers take many paths to their careers. I’ve known ski instructors who passed spec scripts off to the wives of producers who eventually hired them. I’ve known limo drivers to producers who gained their trust traveling the 405 for a year and I’ve known writers who passed spec movie scripts to the boyfriends of former college roommates who happened to be directors. (I’m still waiting for the story of the female writer who gets to pass her script off to the former female college roommate who happens to be a director so we can skip this middle-girlfriend step.)

Before one applies one has to have prepared a portfolio of several solid, well-written, stand out spec scripts so that once their employer asks them what they do, they have something ready to share that will be too good not to produce. That entails writer courses that allow you to build up that portoflio. Some people ask if you need to go to college to be a writer – since Truman Capote didn’t. Nor did Maya Angelou. But I did and I advise aspiring writers to as well because a writer needs both writing classes and a well-rounded liberal arts education that allows them to contribute to the ever-flowing brainstorm sessions that fill a writers room when stories are being discussed….

Read it all at Writer’s Digest

It’s PEOPLE’S PILOT Success Story Time!

Vesta GilesVesta Giles, a finalist in the 2014 People’s Pilot Competition and student in the TVWriter™ Advanced Online Workshop and Larry Brody’s Master Class, has written the upcoming Lifetime TV Movie Justice Unleashed and is, in fact hard at work rewriting her second successful Lifetime sale even as we speak.

Justice Unleashed is the story of a woman judge searching for her runaway daughter, who has become the victim of human traffickers, and LB remembers its origin vividly.

“Vesta wrote a hard-hitting, totally unsentimental script in my class. I was amazed by the power in her work to start with and even more impressed by the way she responded to criticism and made it even better. Vesta knows how to listen and learn and put into practice what she learns. She has the superpower of being able to ‘get it.’ And that’s a rare and valuable power indeed.”

Vesta got the idea for the script from an interweb post about how the parents of a missing youth were able to locate their son by seeing an online picture of him trying to keep warm while Living on the street in New York City. “Every writer has a bank of images that can trigger a story,” Vesta says, and this one did it for her.

A part-time branch head at Logan Lake Library in British Columbia, Canada, Vesta points out that every aspect of her life figures into the characters and stories she develops. Justice Unleashed will be on the air on Lifetime either at the end of this year or the beginning of 2017. Filming of her next script is scheduled to begin at the end of 2016.

Congratulations, Vesta! LB and the minions at TVWriter™ are proud as hell of you! And this is just the beginning!

From TVWriter™ Press Service and Info Tel News

Now THIS is a TV Review!

 EDITOR’S NOTE: Nobody here at TVWriter™ knows Shane Barnes, the writer of the following review, but we’re all big fans. For those of you who’ve been inquiring about writing for the site, particularly those who’ve been wanting to write TV reviews, we’re presenting this recent Shane Barnes classic as an example of the kind of thing we’re looking for.

And Shane, if you see this, please give us a holler. We want to praise you to the skies and then make you an insulting employment offer. You know, just like real-life showbiz.



Jay Leno and His Great Hair Just Can’t Stay Away from ‘The Tonight Show’
by Shane Barnes

This week saw the premiere of the new season of Jay Leno’s Garage, the CNBC show in which Jay Leno gets to talk about all the cars he’s bought with all of his money. He also gets to drive things like tanks and the Batmobile. It’s a great show, if you’re Jay Leno. Another great show, according to Jay Leno? The Tonight Show, but only when he makes appearances on it, apparently, because he just can’t stop showing up on the Tonight Show stage.

Last night, as part of his Garage promotional efforts, Leno stopped by The Tonight Show, but by “stop by” we mean “joined Jimmy Fallon during his monologue,” and by that we mean he completely stole the whole thing and told some particularly uninspired jokes about politics and jobs and stuff we really want to hear about from Jay Leno, who has, at least, some really great hair.

Have you ever noticed how great Jay Leno’s hair is?

Anyway, there was a joke about Hillary’s transparency that was OK, but also a joke that went, “The economy is so bad that the government is bringing in unlicensed contractors to raise the debt ceiling. That’s how bad it’s gotten!” How about this one? “The jokes from Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show have grown so stale that the producers had to bring in unlicensed comedian Jay Leno to lower the bar!” Not great? Eh.

Watch the video below, and watch Jay Leno talk about cars in his Garage, too, if that’s the kind of thing you’re into. And who wouldn’t be? He’s got such great hair. (It airs Wednesday nights.)

See the video that accompanies this article, and more Shane Barnes