Job:05-19413 Title:Creating Comics
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Creative Process
Prior to creating Night Business, the comics
I created were thoroughly planned out. I
found that I had a lot of trouble finishing
comics when I worked that way. I guess
I ran out of energy or excitement in the
subject matter or story. Or maybe I’d let too
much doubt into my head about the quality
of the work. With Night Business I didn’t
plan anything out and decided to ignore any
sort of voices of doubt that might creep into
my head while I was making the comic. In
the first page of Night Business, Issue 1, we
meet Jazzie, a self-involved, cruel, coke-
addicted stripper who gets off on the fact
that men want her but can’t touch or have
her. Here in the second page we see her
backstage indulging in some drug abuse. In
this scene I wanted to establish that Jazzie
isn’t a nice person, so her violent fate is a
little easier to take later on.
When I created these pages for Night
Business I didn’t plan anything out, I never
made any thumbnail sketches or tried to
work out any of the story’s architecture, or
solve any of the panel-to-panel problems
beforehand. I was afraid that if I did this I’d
lose interest in the project. So, I just went
straight to drawing on the board. I had a
very clear image of the panel sequence on
each page in my head before I started. I
also never penciled tightly at all. I wanted
to leave a lot of the drawing to be done in
the inking stage, again, to keep my interest
sustained. The pencils I made were very
abstract, just blocking out the composition
in each of the panels. Then I would go back
and write the script after I had the loose
pencils in place. The next step was to letter
the entire book. Then I went to the ink stage.
On this page our initial impressions of
Jazzie as a character are reinforced. She’s
manipulative of men to get what she wants.
She leads a fast and dangerous lifestyle. At
the end of the page is the setup for what
befalls her on the following page.
Title: Night Business
Tools: Bristol board, 3F drawing pencil, Micron pen (various
sizes), whiteout, Photoshop
© Benjamin Marra 2008
he notorious and controversial Benjamin Marra is
the creator of the comics Night Business and Gang-
sta Rap Posse. His illustration work has appeared
in Playboy, the New York Times, Radar, Paper, and Rolling
Stone. He’s received awards and recognition from the Society
of Illustrators, American Illustration, and the Society of Pub-
lication Designers. In 2006 he was named as one of the Art
Directors Club’s Young Guns. Marra’s philosophy regarding
comic books is to strip them of their lofty, literary ambitions
as a medium; have them accept their sordid, tragic past; and
return them to their rightful place in the sewer of popular
culture. Currently, he is at work on the next issue of Night
Business, along with several other comic book projects.
Benjamin Marra
Creating Comics
Job:05-19413 Title:Creating Comics
#175 P DTP:204 Page:98
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