Monday, October 29, 2007

It's been a long weekend of doing errands and digital painting. My eyes are burning in their sockets, and I've had enough caffeine to kill a moose. Eh. Oh. Urgh.

Now that I'm coming to my senses... I have been trying to find time to work on the play at home thread for Comic Book Idol round 3, but I haven't had any time slots open up. It's like I have to schedule time to take a crap any more. Oh, well. Back to work...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Some Digital Painting Comin' Ya Way!

I had no idea it took so long to do a digital painting. Pretty much the same amount of time (or more...!) than a canvas painting. I'm finding this out from experience. I started a new painting in Photoshop on Tuesday. I have put in roughly 12 hours since then on it, and I'd say I'm about 1/5th of the way there....

It really shouldn't take this long. I think, like anything else, once I figure out the process pretty well, I will have my own style and it will be much faster. It's grueling work at this point, though. I'll have to post the finished product when it's done. (And yes, kiddies, I am making a Youtube video of how I did it. Stay tuned to watch it in its insanely sped-up glory!)

Almost got the Project: Camelot submission packet ready to send to the printers. We just have a couple of things to do yet. Once it's together, though, it's going to rock men, women, children, and armored soldiers everywhere.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I got my 3 Witches sample books from the printer yesterday, and I've been working hard to get some of them out the publishers. I'm only sending out a few at first to some of the top companies who publish creator-owned properties.

Some have some VERY stringent submission guidelines, I'm finding out. For example, some want certain things included in your cover letter, or they throw out the whole submission. Dark Horse requires a signed form stating if there is legal involvement, it will be handled in the state of Oregon.

I figured it was time I got my stuff out there. I've been saving up material for a long time, and I guess there's not much of a point of keeping it to myself. Heck, I have 3 issues and almost a full 40-page special of Legends that haven't been published. Who knows? Maybe if I ever make a name for myself, I'll release Legends in TPB format. ;D


Monday, October 22, 2007

The Workend

I had the weekend off, but I had lots to do, so I pretty much sat in front of the computer (and played with the kids) most of this weekend, trying to get a sample book together for Project: Camelot. It seems like the more work I do, the more there is to be done.

I also finished my "play at home" page for Comic Book Idol 3. Click the image below to view it!

So anyway, I'm going to try and work on another page or so for "play at home" for round 2, if I have the time. I've never read C.B. Cebulski's "Wonderlost," but that is the next script posted. I'm running about a week behind the others, but I'm not competing, so it doesn't really matter, I suppose. I just luuuuv to do drawrings. :D


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Project: Camelot Coloring Video

Camelot, Here We Come

For the past few weeks, I have been working on a submission packet to send to publishers with Travis Legge, senior partner at Aegis Studios, the makers of the Contagion RPG. It is called "Project: Camelot." We decided that to allow publishers to see the finished product, we would go through a Print On Demand publisher and have some 8-page sample copies printed up. (Is POD the bomb or what?) We're also considering using a short comic book story idea I had for Project: Camelot and submitting it to some anthologies for inclusion so that it would already be a published property, and we would already have some publicity on our side.

The cover for the submission is finally finished for the most part. I may choose to tweak it at some point, but it's pretty much done as far as I'm concerned.

I thought that meant we were finished with our submission, but I actually have some pages that I have to put together to fill the rest of the interior pages. I will probably put together a couple of "sketchbook" pages with the character sketches that I did when designing the look of the armored suits in the beginning.

I have to say this has been one of the cooler projects I have ever worked on. I have always wanted to see if I could handle drawing armored heroes or big robots, and it gave me a chance to prove to myself that I can. Plus, I had an excellent writer backing me up and providing more than I could ask for. I have a feeling this project may pan out to be something good.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Jumping Through Hoops (or, Not)

Frig. I can't believe how much these Comic Book Idol contestants are expected to draw. I do realize that this is a contest for artists, but they do (I'm guessing...) have lives outside of comic book art. The assignment in round 1 and round 2 so far has been 3 consecutive comic book pages each round. That's not so bad for a week or so of work for most artists who are not considered pros. But for a weekEND, I think it's a bit much.

I guess the thinking is, "how devoted to winning this contest are these guys?" If I were a contestant, I'd feel a little more like they were saying, "how much lunch money can I beat out of this kid before I get kicked in the nads?" I'm still working on round 1 for the play at home thread. I have 1 panel finished. Sound pitiful? It's seriously not. Read my last blog entry.

I think Comic Book Idol is a really good springboard for unknown artists, and I am glad there is a place to post our artwork and get some honest criticism from other fans, artists, and even established writers and editors for the contestants. The contestants and those who choose to "play at home" come out with a lot more knowledge and experience than they had before.

For those who work a full-time job, or have families, or both, I would think the assignments are a pretty massive strain on them. But, if you think of the (massive) exposure you would get if you were one of the 10 finalists that go on to round 1 and so on, I suppose that's a pretty even trade for a few weekends.

Anyway, Warren Leonhardt, who I voted for, was eliminated at the end of round 1. I have a knack for picking out the underdogs with talent...but get knocked down by the mainstream. I couldn't believe Caio's art ranked first. Well, yeah I can. He isn't an Image clone, but there is a lot of Image influence, I believe. That's definitely not a bad thing, but in my humble opinion, that shouldn't outweigh whether or not he is a good artist. Is he a good artist? Without a doubt. Is he Michael Turner good? ...uh, No.

Dan McDaid apparently has a pretty strong following. He came in third in the vote, and on the boards, people are really voicing their opinions about his work. I think he's also one with a simplistic style without overly simplifying the page. I'm looking forward to seeing more from him. I'd almost guarantee he'll do better on round 2's "Wonderlost" script, seeing as how his art style is similar to C.B. Cebulski's other artists he has used in the past.

I'll be watching the entries over the weekend. There have been some really good entries, and some that have turned out to be duds. If you haven't registered at the CBR forums, you need to get registered now and vote during the next round. From what the CBI3 host J. Torres has said, a large percentage of the CBR forum-goers didn't vote during round 1. They only open the vote for 24 hrs (12pm Wed.-12pm Thur.), so next week get out there and vote!!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Comic Book Idolatry

I found Comic Book Idol just a few weeks ago, and I decided to take a crack at it, since submissions ended at the end of September, and I still had a few days to show my work. Over 180 contestants posted their online portfolios and 10 were selected to go to round 1. I wasn't selected as a contestant, but it didn't hurt to put my name in the hat.

I decided to keep up with the contest, and post my opinion, which is apparently contrary to public opinion. The front runner right now is Caio Oliveira. A decent artist, but lacking a sense of depth and composition. I posted a similar statement on the public opinions forum, so we'll see how that goes.

I have to say Caio has a knack for detail, but as I said in the forum, this isn't the only thing it takes to be a comic book artist. I believe it takes an understanding of how to create depth, how to compose a panel, placement and grouping of subjects in a panel, panel layout, spotting blacks to create interest in a subject, varying line widths, etc.

I'm not saying my work is better or comparable to the CBI entries, but studying the art form for 15 years, I like to think I'm gaining some kind of grasp on the inner workings of what goes on in a comic book panel, and I hope the contestants gain something from what I post.

I'm slowly working up a couple of pages of my own to post on the "play at home thread," but it'll probably be a few days before I post anything. Not because I am being lazy about the whole thing (though I'm not a contestant at all, just playing at home), but because I have several other things on my plate at the moment. One, as I posted a little bit about a couple of days ago, is working up a submission packet for 3 Witches, as well as putting together some pages for a future 3 Witches story. On top of that, I'm finishing up a submission packet with Travis Legge, Senior Patner at Aegis Studios, makers of the Contagion RPG. Not to mention working 40-48 hours per week, and squeezing in time for my 5-month old (today!) baby, my 5-year old daughter (who I take to school some mornings), and my wife.

Now, where do I find time to draw this Comic Book Idol thing, again?

Here are some links to check out:
Comic Book Idol:
Public Comment Thread:
Play at Home Thread:


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Going Ink Crazy

I've gotta take a break. I've been working on a cover all weekend for a story submission to be sent to various comic book publishers. I finished the pencils, and (gasp!) even inks since yesterday. Inks by HAND, no less! Why? Cause I'm crazy like that, i guess.

Actually, I wanted to draw something that would make an impact with a publisher, and I hadn't inked anything by hand in many months. I broke out the old brushes and Rapidograph pens, and went to town. It was a lot of fun, but I had lost two of my old pens (which cost $20 to replace each one) and a couple of my old brushes.

I went out and bought some new brushes and a new pen, so I may actually start inking my work. It was a little slower than the process I was using before, which was doing dark pencils and cranking up the contrast in Photoshop, but the benefits may outweigh the slowness of it all. I'll probably just ink the covers and stick to pencils for the interiors. I don't really care, as long as I get to draw...


Saturday, October 13, 2007

How NOT to Market Comic Books

Not so smart. My first online comic was, at one time, located at I had T-shirts made up, and stickers made up to promote the site, and I actually still have a bunch of them. On everything I printed, I put the address I put it on the ebooks, on the downloadable calendar, in the links I provided to search engines...

But, now it has a different address. Why? That's the not so smart part. I had the domain name on auto renewal every July, charging to my credit card automatically, so that I wouldn't have to even worry about it. The problem is, I didn't realize I had it set up on the card that I closed down last year.... :O

SO, when July rolled around this year, being involved in working on a new short story to be published later in the year, finishing up the first 3 Witches story, and having the prospect of shopping an idea created by Travis Legge and myself around to publishers, I inadvertently allowed to expire. Yes, it was a pretty dumb thing to do, considering I have merchandise with the address printed on it. But, that's one of the mistakes one makes going into something like this. Yeah, that's it. A learning experience. That's what I'll call it! :D

So now, has been fertilized and cultivated into a beautiful, flourishing link farm, growing all the nutritious links you could ask for. Now, all the fruits of "Huge Comic Book Sale" are available when you visit, at no charge. Isn't capitalism...well, just capital? Makes people do some nice things.

By the way, if you ever want to drop by, Legends is now relocated at now, just down the road. We'll be there with a smile :D


Friday, October 12, 2007

Getting Published-the Small Press Way

I know a little about self-publishing, having bought "How to Self-Publish Your Own Comic Book" by Tony Caputo a few months ago, and following numerous articles online in the past. But, getting into direct market distribution and newsstand distribution, subscriptions, promotion, marketing, etc, etc, etc sounds like a LOT of work for one person, especially one who is writing, drawing, lettering, editing, and publishing the book in question.

Some of the scenarios in the book illustrate scenarios where the publisher makes phone calls to comic shop owners across the US to find out their thoughts on the quality and the sales at the store level. To boost sales, Caputo suggests holding a signing and offering free signed copies to the store to sell.

In this day and age, a self-publisher is up against time, the only unwavering force in the universe. It's like climbing a mountain covered in snow before your boots made of paper towels get wet. There's just so much to take care of, not including the work that goes into the actual making of the comic.

Anyway, that is why I am considering taking my comic to a publisher who is already established. Soon, I'll be pitching the idea and showing some sample pages to some publishers in hopes of getting the idea picked up. I have a backup plan, which involves a lot more promotion, sales, etc, but not to the extent of someone actually taking on the role of "self-publisher" in the traditional sense. More on that later.


Blog It!

I've been trying to think of a way to post regular updates on, but to edit the HTML, save it, upload it, and publish it takes so long that I just haven't gotten around to posting anything in a long time. SO, I went got me a brand spankin' new blog, so's I can communicate to the world when something interesting happens. That is, IF it ever happens! :D

But, anyway, hopefully this will get my procrastinating butt to post something. We'll see about that.