Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hrm—Let's say "January Update"

Completing SBTB #2, thinking, that was fun, it probably won't repeat, I turned back to my own comics with the verve that New Year's brings. Over the next few weeks, I finished annotating THE COMPLETE (AND ANNOTATED) ARCHE-LADY VOLUME 1, all 556 pages! The series, more or less, from 1991-1996.

This is not complicated, but labor intensive. In 2011, I scanned (tedious) all 1000+ pages of the art from the series that I drew from 1991-2001. Then, I had to place and resize the files (tedious) from V1 into InDesign. Then, add my notes (fun!), and export (tedious).

So, 3/4 of the process is tedious x 556 for V1. I was about to turn to the annotation of V2 late January, when my SBTB editor contacted me and advance the work of my next assignment. I was glad it was going to happen, and sooner than expected! 

Here's the draft of the cover for V1. More soon—


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Saved by the Bell #2 ANNOTATED

I finished inking this New Year's Day, and make some edits to the inks once the colors were complete. Lots of consistency errors, such as Lisa would be wearing some jewelry on page 2, but not page 3, etc. 

It had been a while since I had drawn a comic, and I was definitely rusty, despite my warm up period. Inking especially, was a smudgy experience. Lots of correction fluid on the pages of Saved by the Bell #2!

But here's an inside look at the issue. You'll have to buy it to follow along, which I hope you did on March 4!

The cover is by Chynna Clugston. She draws the odd-numbered issues of the series, and the covers, as well as setting the character style guide. She is amazing, and I am honored to be such a close part of a project that she's on. I've been a fan of her solo series Blue Monday for a long time.

PAGE 1

Lisa's outfits here and the whole issue, are ripped from the pages of Seventeen magazine. I hadn't ever looked at Seventeen!

Shout-outs on the posters hanging to Marvel, my series Cavalcade of Boys, and an ad for French Club as I've studied French (poorly) for many years. Colorist got the flag wrong though.

PAGE 2

Shout-out to my OGN Strugglers, though obstructed by the letterer.

PAGE 4

Ha, Jessie's book is titled, Subject.

PAGE 5

Had to research random teachers that appeared on the show for this page.

Panel 2, first appearance of, let's call him Jeff, the gay indie boy that is a recurring background character in my art.

Panel 4, I forget what this was supposed to be a shout-out to.

Panel 5, Jeff panel-bombing again.

PAGE 6

At first, there was no style set for the MAX. By the end of the issue, it was decided to go with the TV show set, as if anyone would hang out there present day. But it was too late to change for this issue.

PAGE 7

Possibly the only full page I really like of this issue.

PAGE 8

Panel 1 is nice. My Co-worker Rosheen, a huge SBTB fan, is there, as is my friend Adam, who lent me some pens for inking this. I couldn't find them locally, couldn't wait for an online order, yet I had a deadline. Thanks, Adam!

PAGE 9

Jeff panel-bombs panel 2.

PAGE 10—awful!

PAGE 11

Fashion channel's offices utilize Saarinen Tulip Chairs, designed in 1953.

Panel 4, poster for the Jane Austen Society.

PAGE 12

Panel 3, Jeff's reading in the background.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Oops—mid-year updates

Ok, looking back to my ambitions for 2014, I was rather too ambitious for who I am today.

I've kept up with my Saved by the Bell assignment, which has been fantastic. I have a great editor, the script is fun to draw, and it's an important step for my comics, professionally speaking. Great, yes? Yes.

Each 12 page shortie takes me about a month to complete (pencil, edit, ink, edit) before and after working at MIT. The assignment is the series' even-numbered issues—more or less—one month on, one month off.

I'd thought I could keep pace on my off-months with my own pet projects (Arche-Lady compilation; Arche-Lady SPECIAL #s 13, 14; Cavalcade mini, Baby Makes Three). Nope. 

Sadly, the assignment comes to me about 5 years too late, both in terms of the peak of my production capabilities, drive, and draftsmanship. While I think my art is still solid, and I've not faltered on the deadline, I'm simply not able to keep burning the candle at both ends. 

In short, I love the assignment, and I love my down time.

In the coming weeks, I'll offer up some details about how I've spent 2014, but in the meantime, here's a quick update on all my boastful New Year's plans:
  •  Saved by the Bell —issues 2, 4, 6 e-published and TPB due soon. Issue 8 inks submitted. PASS
  • Sign up for New York Comic Con—applied but rejected. FAIL
  • Cavalcade of Boys "Quickies" mini—3 of 8 pages drawn; won't have in time for Boston Comic Con. FAIL
  • Baby Makes Three—no progress. FAIL
  • Arche-Lady compilation—completed V1, V2 not yet started. FAIL
  • ArcheLady SPECIAL #s 13, 14—no progress. FAIL
  • Make new business cards—complete. PASS
  • Make new convention banner—incomplete, not likely to have in time for Boston Comic Con. FAIL
Oh well. In the meantime, enjoy this sketch of Kelly Kapowski, which was one of 3 final character sketches that got me the SBTB job.

UPDATE: I just finished and uploaded my new banner. If it functions properly, I will have it in time for Boston Comic Con. Might just be a PASS after all!  


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saved by the Bell














Secret revealed! It's Saved by the Bell

Lion Forge Comics acquired the right to do a SBTB comic, and hired Chynna Clugston as lead artist. Right time, right place, with me at NYCC and Greg pimping me over to Lion Forge. Yay!

I'll be a regular back up story artist, with my first story slated for issue 3. Not sure if it'll be precisely monthly after that or a bit random but regular. 

Was a lot of fun sketching the characters, pushing closer to Chynna's style guide. The series is set in present day, so I spent a lot of time looking at Seventeen magazine for the latest teen girl fashions.

That's all I'll say for now. I'm excited to get the next script late this month. In the meantime, more work on the Arche-Lady compilation!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Damn you, Monica Gallagher!

Monica just posted her ambitious (doable, knowing her!) comics goals for 2014. She didn't mean it, but the gauntlet was thrown down! Here we go with my art goals for this year:

Secret Shorties

After I picked up a last-minute cancelled booth in artist alley during New York Comic Con in October, I was approached for an ongoing comics project.

The publisher wouldn't like me to  say much about it yet, but more or less, I'd be doing a 12 page shortie per month. It's a nice pace, a nice page rate, and fun subject matter. 

I just completed the inks for the first shortie yesterday. To the right is a awkward slicing from page 9 panel 3. If you can guess what the assignment is from this, you will earn the page as a prize. Good luck!

I don't know how long the series will last, or even if I will be picked up after this shortie...but, if I am, and the series isn't cancelled, my first goal is to stick with this for a year, all 2014, 12 pages per month of the secret shorties.

Baby OGN

If I can ramp up to something of my former pace through 2010, then I should be able to get in a few pages per month of my half-finished OGN about the straight people and their baby. Greg offered to edit the second half so it could be pushed into a better place. If I can get a few pages in per month from March-August, I could have it in time for NYCC.

Arche-Lady compilation

I abandoned this after scanning all 1000 pages of the series which I worked on from 1992-2002. After I got all jazzed about comics post-NYCC, I started with the annotation of the series, and got through about 400 pages. Obviously, 2 500-page books intended only as xmas 2014 gifts for my friends is a high-effort low-impact project, but I want to do it, damn it. You won't want to buy this, trust me.

Cavalcade mini

I've got one page completed, and 7 more scripted. Cover planned out and everything. Seems reasonable to have in time for NYCC and Angouleme, yes?

New York Comic Con

If I have a new OGN and a collection of secret shorties (as the publisher plans to have) then it'll be totally worth it to do NYCC in October. So on the goals list are cards (I didn't have any last year!), and a new banner thingie. 

Angouleme Festival

Ok, technically, that'll be January 2015, but all the commitment and prep will have to occur in 2014. I'll need to have a little French mini, a poster, and I hope to finish the faux magazine cover I started when I last attended the festival, as a freebie handout.

Ok, this list is absurd. Unless the secret shorties fall through and then there's room to spare for some unforeseen project. 

Yay, 2014! Yay, Monica!

Oh—since she asked, I will too: do you have anything you want to see from me in 2014? Blog entries? Pics of me in undies? etc.?



Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Doctor and Rose

When Doctor Who was rebooted, I caught a few episodes, but too busy drawing, I wasn't motivated to follow the series until Catherine Tate joined up as Donna. Huge Catherine Tate fan here.

Along the way, I saw all the 10th Doctor episodes, and some of the 9th Doctor. I hated Rose with the 10th Doctor, but really like her with the 9th. Their chemistry was much better, I think. 

As you know from my last post, I've been spending more time in NH with my family lately. One of the few nice benefits is I caught up on all the 9th Doctor episodes. Aside from his finale, I love that series, and Christopher Eggleston as The Doctor. 

So here's the 9th Doctor and Rose. I'm a bit inspired to draw the others with companions now. Follow the tags for the 3rd with Sarah Jane, the 10th with Donna, and the 11th with River Song, and then make your requests!

By the way, Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Give thanks.

I find I don't have many distinct Thanksgiving memories. I remember a lot of snippets, but in terms of year, location, company, situation, most are just a blur.

As a kid, I remember the year my dad was in the hospital, and my mom cooked a small feast for me and my sister. She didn't realize there were more ingredients to a pumpkin pie than just the pumpkin until halfway into baking it...they she tried to dump the sugar and stuff in. It didn't work.

I distinctly remember my sophomore year of high school, spent at my grandmother's. My aunt, uncle, and cousins made a rare appearance (after they converted to Jehovah's Witnesses, they only attended holiday gatherings when they fell out of favor with the churchings), and we must have gotten a foot of snow. My sister, cousins and I took a long walk in the picturesque countryside as the snow fell. 

My first year in Saint Louis, I attended my friend Darrell's family's event; they were very warm and welcoming, that was nice. And the year after, Erin, Kelly and I held our own orphans' Thanksgiving. And, once I was in San Diego, Rich, Dan, Mario and I held an orphans' event. I loved the orphans' holidays...so many traditions crammed into one day, everyone fighting over whose tradition should trump the others.

And I loved traveling abroad during Thanksgiving, as few Americans do so. I spent one in the company of my London pal Ian (enjoy the retro sketch here, and put on your best Northern English accent to say "Happy Thanksgiving!") and one eating an "American Thanksgiving" at some random Irish pub in 2007, solo. Of course, the year prior, I was at my folks' place with Sven in tow. 

This year will stand out distinct from all the rest. I warned you in the last post that I had received some bad news while abroad. Turns out my mom's health took a nosedive due to an aggressive cancer. I had returned home with my dad as my guest for easier access to my mom as she had been admitted to Dana Farber. The fast ravages of the cancer, as well as the chemotherapy has been terribly hard on her. She was released from the hospital a few days before Thanksgiving, and her best friend arrived to help take care of her. We had a lovely but sad meal as my mom slept; the smell of food doesn't agree with her, and everything tastes like tin to her. The outlook is good for the world of cancer...but that isn't saying much? In the meantime, I will keep her in my most positive thoughts.   

I'm thankful for the wonderful care she's receiving (and received at the hospital). I'm thanking for my dad for his extra patience with her and diligence. And of course, I'm thankful to still have a great mom. Not perfect of course, but still great.