September 10, 2014 § Leave a comment
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.
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:
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.
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.)
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.
August 29, 2014 § 1 Comment
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!”
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 »
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.
I’ll share progress and story details in future posts. Wish me luck!
July 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
June 12, 2014 § Leave a comment
Up next in a line of 1980s toy franchise reboots, Hasbro is in production on a Jem and the Holograms live action movie. I was never a fan of the Jem and the Holograms toys and cartoon, but my kid sister was; and being a fan of The Go-Gos, I found Jem a heckuva lot less annoying than Barbie.
Though Gen-X favorites Juliette Lewis and Molly Ringwald have joined the cast, this definitely looks like a project for a younger audience. Fans of the original Jem must now be in their 30s, and few of them will want to check out a film featuring an emo-looking Jem directed by Jon Chu, the man behind Step Up 2: The Streets.
We’ll just have to wait and see if this new incarnation of Jem is truly, truly, truly outrageous.
May 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
Work has kept me from posting in a while, but unless you’re one of the few who regularly read Think Tank by Matt Hawkins with art by Rahsan Ekedal, I need to tell you:
Think Tank is kind of like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare written by guys who want to explore the politics and moral issues of destroying your enemies with groundbreaking technology. Though it’s far from Image Comics’ best-selling title, I have to believe it’s one of its best. What makes this one-shot Fun With PTSD essential reading is just how sophisticated, relevant, and poignant the story is.
Without giving too much away, Think Tank: Fun With PTSD is a one-shot comic book about a government scientist named David Loren who attempts to cure the PTSD of a friend who is a Navy SEAL. Loren is the funny and rascally kind of genius, but the seriousness of the situation takes the story into some affecting places.
There have been a few stories in print and on-screen that address PTSD, but Think Tank is unique in that it examines the biological aspects of the disorder. Scientists have known (or at least suspected) for a while that there is a biological component to PTSD. I’m a veteran who doesn’t have PTSD (most don’t), and I volunteered to be in the control group for a study on PTSD’s affect on the physical brain way back in 2007.
Hawkins and Ekedal take time in the story to explain a lot of the science. This is one of the reasons to love this series: it treats the reader like he or she is smart. If we’re honest, most current science fiction treats you like you’re a reasonably intelligent eight-year-old. In explaining the science, these creators take a serious look at the issue and its solutions. And a tangible solution makes for great storytelling because it gives our protagonist a concrete goal.
So even if you don’t want a moving story that takes a serious look at PTSD that’s respectful of America’s veterans, you actually get a quality science fiction story, where real, relevant science fuels the story, as opposed to the science fantasy that audiences usually get. And if you don’t want a quality science fiction story, you get an emotional story about the effort a person will give to save a friend in need. And if you don’t want any of that, Ekedal’s ink-wash is gorgeous.
And if you like ANY of that stuff, well, you don’t enjoy life very much, do you?
May 14, 2014 § Leave a comment