So, before I tell you how collaboration has saved my butt on multiple occasions, a couple announcements:
1. I’ll be speaking at the best comic book store in the country, Quimby’s, on May 30th at 7pm! I’m speaking as part of the Laydeez Do Comics series (I know I know, I’m not a lady). I’ll share the proverbial stage with Sarah Morton. These talks are always a lot of fun, so if you are in the Chicago area, I hope you can attend. I promise to share some juicy secrets! Here is the info:
2. As this post is about collaboration, I think it fitting to announce that I’ve had the privilege to collaborate on a podcast with the amazing Justin Fah of In This Issue Podcast. It’s called Back Issues. On the show we analyze older comics that we’ve always wanted to read, or always loved, or know to be essential. First we did Green Lantern: Willworld. Our lastest episode is focused on the classic X-men storyline ‘Days of Future Past’. You should subscribe to the show In This Issue Podcast on itunes or listen directly on their website:
Now, on to the meat!
So… I always wish I could do everything myself. That’s cuz I’m dumb. One of the areas I struggle with the most is graphic design. It’s an area that folks that who self-publish often under-utilize or ignore. It’s unfortunate, because I think it keeps their (my) work out of a large number of consumers hands. We live in a world saturated by design. As Steve Jobs said, ‘design matters’. Very true. No matter how much your comic rocks, if you can’t put it in a package that communicates that the work is professional, you’ll have a hard time selling it.
Since I struggle so much in this area, I often lean on my friends for help. In particular, I know this dude named Gerald Proctor. Gerald is a college buddy that has quite a talent for graphic design and all things digital art related. I got to know him through many a long night of Halo death matches in the dorms (yes I’m a nerd). The first time we collaborated was in college on a poster for my comic Simon. I gave no specific direction, so Gerald brought his own style to the piece:
It was really exciting for me to see someone take a concept like Simon, that up to that point only I had done, and explore it in their medium. Years later, Gerald helped design the cover for my Simon 10 year collection:
I’m fairly sure this cover has helped in me selling out of the first printing of the Simon Collection. Now, to the untrained eye, this cover might not look too complicated. Which, honestly, is the beauty of it. It just works and you see it as another piece of fitting design. The same way you see a book on the stands of any bookshop and just ‘get it’ at first glance. Now, without Gerald’s help, the cover would have turned out much different. To give you an idea of how bad this cover would have been if I had created it solo, here are some of my cover designs before Gerald joined the project:
Pretty bad, right? That’s because DESIGN IS HARD. Gerald used texture and subtle color to accentuate the feeling the black and white line art had. This was much more effective than just simply coloring the cover in a traditional style. Not only that, but this design adds to the feeling that this book is a collection of work over time. You get a sense of history when seeing the cover, which is exactly what a collection of 10 years of comics should feel like.
Gerald also helped give cohesion to my Gary series:
When looking at the series as a whole, it becomes even more obvious how consistent and direct design helps in catching the eye of potential buyers. Gerald also created the interior layouts for the Gary series. Picking font families, alignment, and page placement is not as intuitive as it might seem to the layperson. It requires a keen eye for detail, and a knowledge of the language of graphic design.
Collaboration is not always easy. Gerald and I tend to disagree about almost everything when working on a project. But I’m a firm believer in “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” The disagreements lead to discussion and honest critiquing of what’s working or not working within the piece. Hopefully, after the dust settles, you have a great piece of design in your hands.
Gerald continues to be a monster of a digital artist. I highly recommend you check out his gallery of work on Society 6:
I particularly like “If I walk to you”.
I plan to do another post about collaboration soon, delving into some other working relationships. I’ve had the chance to work with some amazingly talented people. Most recently, my brother Logan and I collaborated on a new Simon comic. It went so well, we are already working on another. And of course, John Wright and I are still working on our epic cage fighting comic NUMB:
I’ll leave you with a sneak peek at 6 pages of Victus #1:
I’m am extremely happy to say that Gary: Book Three is now available for purchase via tyrellcannon.com:
This is the final book in the Gary series! I have been working with a new printer called Rink, and they did a fantastic job on this book. I couldn’t be happier with the result and I hope you all enjoy Book Three as well!
I had an awesome time at Comikaze this weekend! My fellow exhibitors were kind and the show felt very welcoming. My table was HUGE, and I had a hard time filling it up with product. But I tried:
I take comics VERY seriously
Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table and said hi or purchased a book! The only celebrity spotting for me this trip was Badger from (thebestshowonTV) Breaking Bad. He did not try to sell me meth.
I also hit some of my favorite LA food spots and try some new ones:
clockwise: Al pastor burrito- La Estrella; Animal fries- In N Out; Chicharones & Burger- Father’s Office
I will continue to post my process in creating Gary in the coming months, so please keep checking in. I will also have more information about my next (2) projects soon!
I’m stoked to be exhibiting at Comikaze in LA this weekend, September 15-16th! I’m even more excited to be premiering the 3rd and final book of Gary! Please come say hi at table 935! All the details can be found here:
I hope to see some familiar and new faces! Here is what I’ll be bringing:
I’m very excited to say this…
GARY: BOOK THREE IS COMPLETE. Which means the entire series is COMPLETE. To say the least, I feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment. I appreciate everyone’s support during the last few years of working on Gary. I’ll have more words for you regarding Gary at a later date. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at the cover for book three:
I’m hoping to have it ready for purchase by the end of August and in stores in September.
Pretty awesome, right? If you dig that and you’re in the city, stop by and say hi to him in artist alley.
That’s all for now! Stay tuned for post-Gary thoughts, and news on the book release!
Hello dear reader! I have returned!
I’m happy to say that the move went very well. I have some of the kindest, most helpful friends on the planet. It’s truly a blessing to have them in situations like these. Thanks guys!
The studio is set up!
I am STOKED about the new studio. As you can see, I have all I need in one place. The opposite side of the room houses Ms. T’s studio (pictures are forthcoming), so I couldn’t ask for more good things in one place. Quite a step up from a drawing table next to the bed. I’m hoping next time I post I’ll have the wall covered with reference, art by my heroes, and things that generally keep me motivated. The first thing I’ve cooked up in the new studio is…
An edition of 15 new prints of the Simon: Symmetry minis. These are a tad larger than last time and happen to be on one of my favorite new paper stocks. These will be available at…
Let me tell you friends, this show looks to be amazing. There is a fantastic collection of artists exhibiting. And it’s FREE! That means you can take that money you saved on admission and spend it on superb comics by the best artists that Chicago, America, and beyond have to offer! In particular, I strongly recommend you check out:
Sean Dove (my tablemate)
Beth Hetland (my other tablemate)
Mr. Jeff Brown (I think you’ve probably heard of him)
There are TONs of other artists so you do NOT want to miss this show. Here are the details:
Columbia College’s Ludington Building
1104 S Wabash, Chicago, Illinois
Saturday & Sunday 11am – 6pm
Free and Open to the Public!
Please come down and say hi! I’ll have the aforementioned Simon books, along with Gary 1-2, the Simon Collection, and some other goodies. Mention this blog post and I’ll offer a kind discount!
See you there!
Wow, thank you to everyone who stopped by my table at MoCCA Fest this year! It was my first time in NYC and my first time at MoCCA and you were all very kind!
If you couldn’t make it… here’s a peek:
photo by TYTIN
Photo by Peter Crawley
MoCCA was full of talented comic artists. It was wonderful to see some phenomenal work by folks that were new to me. Here are a few highlights:
come on in be welcome by thorneater
Streetcleaner by Alex Sherman & Federico José Mazza
The Terrifying Tales of Wellington Sun
And I had the pleasure of sharing a table with the talented Leslie Stein
and FEAR NOT! If you missed MoCCA, there are two more chances to visit me at conventions this year! Coming up first is The Chicago Alternative Komics Expo (C.A.K.E) on June 16-17
and in September, I’m finally returning to my old home of Los Angeles, to exhibit at Comikaze for the first time! The show is Sept 15-16
I will have more info on both shows as the dates approach. Also, I might be a little slow on updates this month, as I will be moving (aaaargh!). So I thank you in advance for your patience. In the meantime I leave you with another peek at Gary: Book 3...
and some inking scraps…
I’m happy to say I’ll be exhibiting at MoCCA Fest this weekend in New York City! I’d love it if you would come down, say hi, talk comics, and hey… maybe even buy some stuff! I’ll be at table D9. You can find me using echo-location. Or just use this map:
Actually… just use the map. It’s probably your best bet.
Some of my pals will also be there:
Go say hi to them too!
See you there!
What a weekend!
First off, thanks to everyone who came to see me at C2E2 this past weekend! It was great to meet new people and to see some familiar folks! In case you couldn’t make it:
and a look behind the scenes (so to speak)…
I had the good fortune of being placed next to these talented folks:
SPINNERETTE by Sean “KrazyKrow”
ROCKET ROBINSON by Sean O’Neill
THEATER HOPPER by Tom Brazelton
KEEPER by Geoffrey Wessel & Jeff Simpson
I had a blast and I really hope ya’ll can make it next year as well!
IN THIS ISSUE
The fellas at In This Issue were kind enough to invite me onto their podcast as a guest host last week. We had a lot of fun talking about AvX’s failings, Prophet’s awesomeness, Punisher’s knife skills, Mass Effect 3′s ending, and tons of other nerd-fare. Have a listen:
(beware: adult language)
In This Issue also covered C2E2, interviewing folks like Ryan Browne, Ryan Benjamin, Tom Stillwell, and many more! Follow In This Issue all week for the C2E2 coverage & interviews!
GARY: BOOK 3
Here’s a sneak peak at the progress:
This weekend is the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo! This is shaping up to be an awesome show and I’m excited to be a part of it. You can find me at O2B:
If you are in Chicago, please come on down and say hi! I’ll have all my work for sale, plus some new cube prints!
In the meantime, I wanted to share some recommendations for comics you should be reading:
PROPHET by Brandon Graham & Simon Roy: Not much I can say about this one that hasn’t been said already. It’s fantastic. Who knew this terrible terrible character could be used for good? Even better, they have been running back-up stories, featuring some awesome indy guys. Speaking of…
EXPANSION by Matt Sheean & Malachi Ward: I’ve mentioned this book before. It is the best science fiction comic out right now. You get flavors of Twilight Zone, Bradbury, and Kirby in this gorgeous book. I must be onto something, as these gents are contributing a back-up story to the aforementioned Prophet! You can find Expansion on the above linked blogs.
CYCLES by Beth Hetland & Kyle O’Connell: This book is not out yet, but can be pre-ordered through Hetland’s website. Apparently, this is what I think about it: ”Hetland and O’Connell have crafted a comic as funny and thrilling as it is smart and skillful. Cycles is a deftly told tale of whimsical machinations that entertains from the first panel to the thrilling climax. Read this now!”
FLEX MENTALLO by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely: OK this is an older book, but they just released a gorgeous deluxe edition about a week ago. I’m betting it’ll be scarce soon. This book is the wacky-type of Morrison (think Seaguy), with some early Quitely art. Quitely is easily one of the best artists working in mainstream comics in the last ten years and he’s totally free to draw craziness here. Thanks to Sean Dove for putting this book on my radar back in the day.
So I don’t want to hear anyone say “there’s nothing good out right now”! I also guarantee that if you come down to C2E2 this weekend, you’ll discover some more amazing comics!
Zinefest 2012 was a blast! Thank you to everyone who came out to say hi. It was great to meet some new people and talk to some old friends. In case you missed the show, fear not, I’m going to be exhibiting again in two weeks at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2)! This con is in it’s 3rd year and has a lot to offer. It tends to lean more toward the capes, but you’ll find some great indy books represented too. This show is definitely worth the trip to Chicago! Here is the details:
You can find me at :
Speaking of Gary, I am hard at work on the 3rd (and final) book! I’m happy to report that things are progressing quickly!
Thanks to T for the pics! I can’t wait to show ya’ll more. Check back in next week, and I’ll discuss panel layouts and mention some comics you need to read.