November 17, 2009


"I try to make 1 panel on every page stand out. That way when a potential buyer is flipping through one of my books they'll always land on a page with something interesting."

-Mike Mignola

(this may not be the exact quote, but you get the idea)

November 13, 2009

Tenth Comic - The Darkness

I love the first panel on both of these pages. The rest of the panels are pretty hit or miss though in the end I would have to say that I like the second page a lot more.

I'm especially pleased with the way the tear from the eye takes the viewer to the next panel.

Less pleased with this sunset, it needs a bit of work.

Ninth Comic - Don't Worry

Went for a much more simplified look with this one. Not sure I really like it (there's definitely a couple things that I would love to go back and change). Maybe we can do a collected edition at some point, that'd be great motivation to go back into each of these and tidy them up a bit.

Comic # 8, 8.5 - The Survivors, Sophisticated Indians

The addition of a touch of color really pushes this piece forward. I love the way that last panel turned out.

The drawings themselves could do with another round of touch ups, but all in all this one looks ok. I will say though, that it's high time I started freakin' drawing hands with fingers!

Also, I don't know what it is, but I love the panel of the young man closing the box (pg 2, pan 4). That one just resonates for me.

And then we go with 2 colors and some grey, look at all that variation! More importantly though is what the colors symbolize. They come from the medicine wheel, and apparently each represents a different people. It's nice and simple, but still holds a lot of depth. Very cool stuff.

I remember working on that first panel and feeling really jazzed about this piece. I don't know if it holds up to time, but a lot of what I did here felt like it was more successful than most of the previous work. Part of that, I think, is that each panel has a bit more room. Looking at it now, I think the only real meaningful change I would make (aside from editing some anatomy and such) would be to add colored shirts to the folks in the last panel. Really push the idea that X attracts people from all walks instead of implying it's just the "white shirts".

Seventh Comic - Livin' For the City

Another new process. I was trying to get closer to the style X was after, and so began drawing white on black in the hopes of getting a more noir feel. I don't know how well it worked, but it was a decent experiment, and something that I continued on for a few more months.

Looking at this, I'm not sure what was going on, but I think I was using the new style as an excuse to be lazy. Some of these panels have a great feel to them, but others have serious issues...

On the upside the layout feels pretty successful (aside from the giant foot... Good idea, baaaad execution).

Sixth Comic - The Rebirth

I think at this point X was dealing with legal issues from his previous employer and wanted to make a comic about the B.S. he was going through. It's a vast change from the first couple comics I did for him. Now we're looking at 3 and 1/2 pages, tons of panels, and a decent chunk of black.

You lucky devils! I've been avoiding adding the schedule in as it's not my work, but separating it from the last page seemed like it would be a pain, not to mention would end up looking odd. As such, I've left it in. Have a look and see what Y is all about.

Looking at it I see that my use of black was still off. Some panels have a lot of deep shadows, others are just linework, no spotted blacks at all. I think this goes back to my fear of black, which in turn has lead to a poor understanding of it. A few months ago I picked up a book called How to Draw Noir Comics. I haven't had a chance to go through it all, but from what I saw it's got some good info (it also comes very highly recommended from ppl in the biz so I'd trust it as a decent purchase). One day I'll sit down and pour through that sucker, then we'll see how I do spotting blacks!

Comic # 5 - Napi and the Bullberries

Ah Napi. This comic was really exciting to work on. At the time there was a suggestion that it would be a series that would eventually get turned into a graphic novel. Sadly time has passed and I'm not sure that that project is on the table any more.

This is where X really started pushing me to use black, which is something that I've had problems with in the past. Being able to work digitally made me a lot more comfortable with laying down blacks though, and I started to make some progress here. Sadly I think the tonal balance only worked out on the first page. The second one just has too much white in it still.

Rumor has it that I may be diving back into a Napi story soon. Here's hoping!

Fourth Comic - Santa and His Old Lady

This was our xmas comic for the December schedule. In my mind this is where our work really started to grow. I was able to expand the size to 2 pages (or one whole 8.5x11 page, depending on how you look at it) and play with the panel sizes and layout. This really freed me to make some interesting choices regarding storytelling. I recall this piece being a challenge, but I think I met it head on and came out the better for it. I learned a lot in here, and in the end came out with something I'm pretty proud of.

Being able to go in with grayscale really changed the feel of the work. I think this is my favorite of the early works I did. My only caveat is that I think I could have handled the gray space on page 2 (the one with the 3 panels) much better.

I will say though, I was a little disappointed by the amount of text that showed up on the page after it was lettered. I think that's largely just my pride over the images, but it does feel a little cramped on the first page. Second one breathes a lot easier and in my mind is pretty much ideal.

What do you think?

Third Comic - The Arrival

This was the third piece I did for X. I don't know if I was thrown by the amount of work (9 whole panels, look out!) or if I was struggling with the format or style or maybe it was crunch time at school or something, but this piece really feels like a failure. There are a few fun panels, but for the most part I think it's pretty weak work.

As such, I am now going to go right into the fourth comic so that this doesn't sit at the top of the blog...

Second Comic

Right after I hooked up with X things fell apart for him and the association he was dealing with. As such, the next work he asked for was meant as a way of expressing the changes that were occuring, and challenges that he was dealing with (and overcoming).

Look at this, only 3 panels!

This was back when I was trying to figure out what kind of style to work in. I also needed some serious training in Indian culture. Who knew it would take me damn near a year to figure out how to draw braids in a way that didn't look like ass? I think X actually wrote me about this comic to give me a little culturization. Indians = tight braids. Loose braids = negative implications. Totally my bad, hopefully better now.

Also, in posting this I noticed that X did a lot more writing to fill space back then. 

First Work - The Buffalo Jump

Over the next couple of days I'll post all of the work that I've done for X over at Y. Ideally I recommend you check out his site here to see these pieces in context, and along with the schedules and other related materials. I'm not involved in any of that work though, so I don't want to be claiming it on this site.

To start I'll post the very first work I did for him.

This was the only time I had the chance to do a cover to go along with the comic. Back then things were much simpler, 7 panels, 1/2 a page, nice and easy. I was actually pretty pleased with this piece when I turned it in. Looking back at it now I feel like I could pull of something a lot more impressive, but it was a good start.

November 11, 2009

Outta Sight

Checked in with X over at Y and he ok'd my posting the comic work I do for him here. These pieces are usually month long collaborations that start with X sending me a script. I take the script and turn it into a rough outline/layout of what I have planned (panel layouts, page layouts etc). Once that's ok'd I dive into the art, penciling/sketching it to begin with, and then finishing it in Corel Painter. X finishes things off by lettering the piece and then posting it on his site.

In the future I'll try to round up copies of all the work that I've done for him, but I'll start with
the most recent (it also happens to be one of my favs).


Another quick bit of sketching. I think the idea is pretty obvious.

Spindians! (Space Indians rock)

Ripped this off for Jason for the cover of this months comic. Hopefully he can figure out a way to make use of it (Apparently there are some space issues).

Started this as a sketch in the midst of my Cultural Anthro class. Brought it home and finished if off in Corel.

Might go back in to fix up the shoulder, but otherwise I'm pretty pleased with it.