What I’m Watching: Making It Up As I Go Along

October 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Artist, writer, veteran, musician, martial-artist, Larry Hama is best known as the writer behind the G.I. Joe comics.  If you consider the influence of that single property, Larry Hama’s work has impacted and inspired an entire generation of Americans.

Don’t believe me?  Do you like ninjas?

ninjas

How about, uh, America?

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That’s what I thought.

Watch this short doc, available on The Splitting Image website, and learn a bit about the man who made you love ninjas and America.

It’s Goonie Time!

October 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

Because sometimes you need to remember what time it is:

From Cuban Fury.

Marvel Secret Crisis, er, Wars

October 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

Marvel took to Times Square to announce their new year-long “event,” a rehashing, I mean, relaunching of Secret Wars, by Hickman and Ribic.  Just a couple months after Mark Waid makes fun of DC’s Future’s End for copying Days of Future Past, Marvel seems to be making their own version of Crisis on Infinite Earths.  How many Thors and Captain Americas are in the above illustration?  I see the Daredevil from Gaiman’s Marvel 1602.  Who else do you see?

Not only is this hero vs. hero crap the reason why I can’t read X-Men anymore, but I think the multiverse is getting to be as tired and overused in comics as time travel.  In comics, time travel and multiverse hopping actually happens more than those well-worn “gimmicks” of characters having a baby or getting married.

Let’s take a moment to be nostalgic about the days gone by of multiverse sci-fi:

40 Day Graphic Novel: Day 41

October 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

As happens with so many project goals, Life has other plans.

I started this 40 Day Graphic Novel because a few film projects got stalled, and I wanted to make good use of the time. But when some unscheduled writing assignments came up, well, my solo project didn’t really take precedence.

Final score: on Day 41 I have 45 pages of line art, not a bad start to a 90-page work. If my schedule goes as expected (which, again, they never do) I ought to have a complete work in Spring of next year.

Thanks for checking out my mini comic marathon. Sorry I didn’t update more, but that other work was taking up the time.

Please check out my first graphic novel MetaMorphosis, now in a tangle print format!

AVAILABLE NOW! MetaMorphosis!

September 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

The graphic novel version of MetaMorphosis is now available in print and ebook!

When a young war veteran who wakes up one morning transformed into a zombie, his mousy teenage sister discovers a very appealing way of keeping him fed.

With deadpan humor and an expressive, minimalist style, MetaMorphosis is a horror adaptation of Kafka’s story of the same name, updating the classic tale for savvy, contemporary audiences.

Buy the book from these online sellers!

Amazon.com

Kindle

comiXology.com

Powells.com

Indiebound.org

 

A BIG THANKS to everyone who’s been supporting the book since it first started as a webcomic and then later on comiXology!

40 Day Graphic Novel: Day 20

September 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

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HALFWAY! WOO-HOO.

The going’s been rough with the graphic novel, but I’m close to being on schedule. 20 days in and I’m 42 pages into the projected 90 pages.

With me getting sick and then the babysitter getting sick, life keeps getting in the way of work. Then there’s pre-production on next month’s shoot, so all-in-all, I can’t complain about my progress.

40 Day Graphic Novel: How to Draw

September 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

At the start of Day 14 of this project, I’m 29 pages in.  Not great, but by the end of the day, I ought to be on par-ish.  Labor Day weekend was a great sucking vacuum that devoured all productivity, and I spent last Wednesday, it being new-comic-book-day, doing “research,” a pleasurable chore that I will have to pass on this week.

I thought I’d drop a couple notes on the drawing process I’m using for this project.  Again, I’m not taking every page to completion.  The goal here is to get the line art, what I consider the heavy-lifting, done. Heavy blacks and my usual ink wash will come at a later date, when I’m back from a shoot in Brazil.  (Let’s hope this trip doesn’t leave me with another rash covering my body).

On to the process!

As I wrote in a previous post, my script is my thumbnails:

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After I do a really rough blue pencil layout, I draw some of the picture in pencil.  This is usually pretty rough as well, and mostly just on areas of the page I’m afraid of screwing up.

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Much can change from the thumbnails to here.  I like using an F pencil.  It’s pretty light, and, since I do most of the work in the real world (not Photoshop) I need to be able to erase it.

Next, using a hawk quill pen, I start with the ink.  I’m going for a more impressionistic style with this work, and my lines here are really, really rough.  (And yes, the hawk quill is much more dangerous than the mundane crow quill.)

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I’ll add more details and embellishments later with an art nib.  The foliage in the top panels, the cityscape in the bottom panel, and all the grays will be done with brushes later.

I’m not John Cassaday, but I can draw well enough to spin a yarn.  I wouldn’t use this style of illustration for every work I do, but this content leans towards the surreal (as demonstrated by the nonlinear panels above) and impressionistic images fit the tone.

For more ruminations on how create a quick graphic novel, I suggest Double Barrel from Top Shelf.  Digital copies of the books include various “how-tos” in the back.  If memory serves me, the back of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 also includes a basic how-to on creating comics the Stan Lee and Steve Ditko way.

 

MetaMorphosis Proofs Have Arrived!

August 29, 2014 § 1 Comment

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Proofs for my graphic novel MetaMorphosis have arrived!

I first published MetaMorphosis on comiXology, but a lot of people interested in the book don’t read enough comics to sign up there, so I’m self-publishing through Createspace, making the book available on Amazon.

There’s a lot to fix before the print book is available, but this part of the process has been a great learning experience. In the words of my hero Becky Cloonan: “Self-publish or perish!”

40 Day Graphic Novel: Writing

August 27, 2014 § 1 Comment

If you’d like to make a graphic novel, but are afraid to begin, remember that the best thing about being an amateur is that you don’t have to do things the way you’re “supposed to do it.” This freedom is most evident when it comes to writing.

My experience with film industry professionals is « Read the rest of this entry »

40 Day Graphic Novel

August 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’ve set a goal to illustrate a complete 90 page graphic novel by the end of September.

40 days seems like a short deadline for a 90 page graphic novel (Nanographicmo is only 48 pages) but for the record, I’m just aiming to finish the line art. The heavy blacks, ink wash, and lettering will all come later.  I already have a page by page outline of the book, so I’m not making it up as I go. The point is to complete the heavy lifting part of the book before I head out on a shoot that should happen in October.

I started last Thursday, and I’ve already got 10 pages, so I’m optimistic.

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I’ll share progress and story details in future posts. Wish me luck!

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