Woooo! Things have been busy. They still are, so I’ll just get right to it!
I was tagged in a blog tour recently by the amazing Beth Hetland and tasked with doing a post for the “My Writing Process blog tour”, answering 4 questions. Beth had been tagged by the talented Cara Bean before that. Here we go!
1) What am I working on?
Oh man… Ok…
– Victus # 3: This is the newest issue of my sci-fi, metaphysical, religious, relationship comic. It’s almost all pencilled!
– Speculative Relationships: The sci-fi romance comics anthology featuring some of my good pals that we are trying to get funded on Kickstarter (see more on this below). I am doing 2 stories for this, which I just finished yesterday! Oh and I’m co-editor with Scott Kroll.
– Upgrade Soul: I’m inking this amazing sci-fi iPad comic for Ezra Clayton Daniels. It’s a blast!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’d like to think that my work is different in that it’s not tied to the conventions of any one genre. With Victus, I’m attempting to create my own genre, which takes influence from theology, psychology, and philosophy, but also reflects aspects of sci-fi, action, and romance. I also try to bring in experimental elements which will hopefully expand the restrictions of any genre I work within. I hope that makes sense?
3) Why do I write what I do?
When I start any new project, it is usually because I need a vehicle to explore thoughts, ideas, and feelings I’m having. I usually say that I make comics so that I can understand something better. With my comic Gary, I wanted to gain more insight into how and why a serial killer exists and how that relates to my own experience and place in society. With Victus, I want to explore communication and connections to a larger universal nature. I rarely start writing something with an answer in mind. I write because I have questions.
4) How does your writing process work?
I can’t write scripts. I just can’t do it. I feel that if you’re making comics, you really shouldn’t start with just words or just pictures. So I find the process of writing a script counter-intuitive and out of place when making comics. Generally, I start a comic with random notes and drawings. These will be in sketchbooks, on my phone, on meeting agendas at work, etc. After I have a pretty large log of these ideas, I try to organize them in a google spreadsheet (words/ideas) and folders (drawings). I also start a project specific sketchbook at this point, where I will put all future content related to said project. Then I start zero-ing in on key scenes/images/dialogue and organizing them into some kind of order.
Once I have a vague big-picture of the project, I’ll start the first issue/book. I put together 8.5×11 sheets of paper folded in half and staple them, making a little blank book. Then I start thumb-nailing. As I thumb-nail, I write any words that I have figured out and plug in images from the sketchbook. Once I have maybe… 80% of the book thumb-nailed/written, I’ll start in on the “big”/”final” drawings. I guess what I’m trying to point out here is that I’ll start drawing the final comic with pretty significant gaps in the ‘story’. Since I think of my process as a meditation on an idea, I like to leave room for certain questions to be answered as I work and bring about new content. So I may not have certain lines of dialogue written until I’ve already drawn most of the first issue. I think this helps in cutting down on unnecessary dialogue or images, and figuring out what’s actually important. My writing process really doesn’t stop until I’ve filled in that final word balloon or inked that last line.
SPECULATIVE RELATIONSHIPS KICKSTARTER UPDATE
We have about two weeks left in the Kickstarter campaign for Speculative Relationships! In promotion of the project, we’ve been doing artist interviews and podcast spots. Here’s some o’that:
Scott Kroll Interview
Isabella Rotman Interview
And we’ll have interviews with me, Daniel Warren Johnson, and Mike Manomivibul up next week!
Scott and I were both featured on a couple podcasts too:
We are a little over 60% now, so we still need your help to get this thing funded. Check it OUT!
THINGS FROM MY DRAWING TABLE:
– that’s all for now!
Back again for a quick post.
Here are a few more looks at my bookshelf (or ‘shelfie’ I guess it’s called?)
Some of my proudest acquisitions on these shelves would have to be 2 of Katsuhiro Otomo’s short story collections (SOS and Memories), Visions of Arzach, Moebius’ 40 Days Dans Le Desert, In the Studio, the Hellshock collection, Stranger in a Strange Land… ugh.. honestly I love all this stuff!
What’s on YOUR shelf?
So it’s official, I’ve announced the anthology I’ve been putting together with Scott Kroll. It’s is a science fiction romance comics anthology called Speculative Relationships (get it?). We are really excited about it! Here is the cover image:
by the amazing Mike Manomivibul.
It will feature new stories by:
and of course ME.
We are planning to gain funds for printing via Kickstarter! So please keep up with the project on tumblr and twitter:
I’m sure I’ll bug ya’ll about it more as the Kickstarter approaches!
Work work work all the time
So here is what I’ve been up to…
You know I can’t get enough Prophet/Yilala. What I wouldn’t give to just get ONE PAGE in that Prophet: Strikefile book.
Work has been excessively sucky lately. So I put my feet up and watched the Thundercats intro. It helped. A little.
The Raid 2 is one of the best things ever on the planet. Do anything you can to go see it NOW. I’ve been twice so far and count on at least one viewing in the theatre.
Thanks for playing along at home! Is anyone keeping score?
Hey ladies and gents!
Some announcements and the like:
First up, I am stoked to be performing next Saturday in the world-famous Brain Frame series! I’ll be debuting a brand new Simon comic titled “Piece”, which will only exist as a performance.
Saturday, January 25th
7pm (all ages) & 10pm (cash bar)
3111 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
Tickets are available HERE and I strongly recommend purchasing in advance, as Brain Frame tends to sell out. Hope to see you all there!
CONVENTIONS 2014, part 1
It’s that time again… the time when comic artists apply for conventions far and wide. It’s nerve-racking and filled with crossed fingers and budgeting. Although I haven’t heard back from all the shows applied to, I wanted to let folks know places I’m already confirmed for:
Conaway Center at Columbia College
1104 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL
Always an awesome show, made even awesome-er by the fact that it’s FREE to attend! My Chicago peeps have no excuse to miss this show.
Ramada Hotel & Conference Center
4900 Sinclair Rd, Columbus, OH
This is my first time doing SPACE and I hope some of ya’ll can make it out to Columbus, OH to say hi! I may be presenting a couple panels as well (more on that later)
South Building at McCormick Place
I’ll be tabling with rising star Daniel Warren Johnson in artist alley. This show is always crazy big big and fun.
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge St, Toronto, Canada
I’ve heard amazing things about TCAF, and this is my first time exhibiting there. The show already has a who’s-who list of artists, so this could be one of the best of the year!
… That’s all for the conventions for now. Hopefully I’ll have one or two more to announce soon. It’d be great to see you all at one or two of these shows!
Stuff I’m looking at lately..
I re-read Jan’s Atomic Heart by the always interesting Simon Roy. This is finally getting a bigger release from Image as part of a collection of Roy’s short stories. Highly recommended for fan’s of sci-fi.
Also re-read Paul Pope’s Batman Year 100, as a study in portraying action and chase scenes in comics. Good stuff.
Along with Pope’s work, I’ve been spending some time with Blade of the Immortal. Samura’s action sequences are at times non-sensical, but give a visceral impression of the action that almost transcends the actual geography of the fight.
Finally got my Riddick blu-ray. Man this is just a super-fun sci-fi movie with lots of fun ideas and characters.
More to come folks!
Hey hey, the day has finally come… Victus #2 is ready for public consumption! I’m really stoked about this second issue and I hope you are too. As with last time, I have some special bonus’s so read on…
The Story Continues:
Isaac continues gathering artifacts for Absalom, while also working with Alphonse and Dom to mark the city. A local religious group worships together at a cathedral under watchful eyes. Children are frightened by a strange creature seen near Absalom’s shop. Isaac witnesses a shocking event while spying on Absalom.
More product images HERE
I also have a 5 page preview of the story HERE
All orders placed by 12/20/13 will receive a free 8.5″ x 11″ print:
As before, the first 10 pre-orders will receive pages ripped straight from my Victus sketchbooks…
So, what are you waiting for?
And while you’re over at the store, you can also order the newest Simon mini comic:
This is the second collaboration between my brother Logan and I. The initial print-run is EXTREMELY limited, so go get yours now:
Thanks for all your patience as I worked to complete the second issue of Victus. I am very proud of the work and I think you’ll find it to be worth the wait. More news to come next week!
Hello out there!
Well SPX 2013 has come and gone. I’m very glad to have finally participated in this show, after years of hearing about it.
A commission I did for a Hellboy sketchbook (I cheated and did Amazing Screw-On Head)
Original Pancake House w/Josh Shalek (nicest guy in comics)
Everyone was extremely kind in Bathesda, MD. Thanks to everyone who came by the table to say hi and bought some comics!
So… I had the chance to do a nice interview with the folks over at IndieReader.com. We talked a bit about my process, why I make comics, stuff I’m reading, etc. Take a gander:
Thanks to Steve Urena for the fantastic interview questions!
So hey. I finally broke down and did it. I got a Twitter. And a Tumblr. If you are someone who follows those things, please follow me. Be gentle though… I’m new at this.
And some links should be showing up at the bottom of this page now… I think?
MOMENT of ZEN
Thanks ya’ll for reading!
WHOA! What a whirlwind of a couple weeks! So many awesome things to cover, so here we go:
CAKE was… awesome. I had a fantastic time talking to everyone who stopped by the table and meeting the other amazing artists that were tabling. Here’s what it looked like:
My table, in all its glory.
Table buddies! (with Beth Hetland).
It was great to finally get Victus out into people’s hands. If you picked up a copy, I’d love to hear what you thought of it! There were some new and old faces, and everyone was showcasing some great comics. There are so many and I’m sure I’ll forget some, so please forgive me. I’ll start with a snapshot of the books I picked up:
Here’s what’s up there:
Upgrade Soul: Ezra Clayton Daniels (check out the paper version of this digital comic. The story is phenomenal sci-fi)
Last Mountain: Dakota MacFadzean (table pal! gorgeous inks!)
Titus and the Cyber Sun: Lale Westvind (will melt your mind)
The Reverie #2: Malachi Ward (Malachi pretty much rocks it again)
Dear Dear & Sorry Sheets: Eroyn Franklin (‘slow core’ comics with no equal)
Tiger Beat Exclusive: Gina Wynbrandt (mega funny follow up to her first love affair with Justin Beiber)
King Crow Comics (and others): Scott Kroll (new to the scene, but super funny books)
Next World Over & Equilibristics: Ian McDuffie (these book are bonkers. I love it)
Roots: Mita Mahato (beautifully hand0crafted book)
Glamera & Werewolf anthology: Penina Gal & Betsy Swardlick (table pals!)
Dumb #1: Georgia Webber (amazing book about losing her voice)
Copulate & The Excorcist: Lyra Hill (of brain frame fame!)
Library: Marnie Galloway (Marnie told me this was a true story)
Depictions #2: R. Hendricks (of Stranger to Stranger!)
Dig: Isabella Rotman (I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: keep an eye on this creator!)
Hasty Pastry: Ali Cantarella (adventures in customer service)
1-800-Kravlox: Isabel Reidy (oh my oh my. silliness abound! 🙂
Fire Messenger: Penina Gal (the other side of having super powers)
Drag Bandits: Betsy Swardlick & Colleen Frakes
Whew… Lots of great stuff, as you can see! I also was able to see some other old pals: Sean Dove, Beth Hetland (table-mate!), Kyle O’Connell, Kenan Rubenstein, Emi Gennis, and many more! What cool comics did you get at the show?
The show was a success! The gallery was filled with some amazing artists and appreciators of art! Here’s a couple snap shots:
I pretend to know what I’m talking about as Marnie Galloway’s beautiful work can be seen adjacent to mine.
If you haven’t checked out the show yet, you still have some time. Head on over to Ugly Step Sister Gallery: http://www.uglystepsisterartgallery.com/
GARY: BOOK ONE on COMIXOLOGY!
Some folks have been asking, and it finally happened: Gary is available for digital download via the Comixology app! Click the link to download:
For now, only Book One is available. But Books Two and Three should be coming in the next few months. If you go download it, please take an extra moment to give it a rating, as that helps the book’s visibility on the site. And actually it’s worth mentioning, this is currently the only place you can get Gary: Book One, as I have sold out of the paper copies. The fine folks over and IGN gave the book a “B”, which ain’t bad either: IGN Comixology Reviews
So head over and check it out!
Justin and I did another episode of the Back Issues Podcast. We discuss the incredible All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely. Just in time for the new Superman Movie, Man of Steel! Listen to us ramble & then subscribe:
I assure you, I’m plugging away on Victus #2. But don’t hold your breath. I’ll have some process pics soonish. In the meantime, Victus #1 is available at these fine retailers:
Graham Cracker Comics, Chicago (downtown)
Challengers Comics & Conversation, Chicago
Star Clipper, St. Louis
Thanks for reading all! And now your moment of Zen…
Chicago Alternative Comics Expo!
Saturday & Sunday
June 15th – 16th
11am – 6pm
Center on Halsted
3656 N Halsted
It’s here! This weekend! Seriously folks, this is going to be an incredible show. I’ll be right here:
I’ll be sharing a table with the always spectacular Beth Hetland. Keep your eyes peeled for other amazing artists exhibiting at CAKE: Kenan Rubenstein, MK Czerwiec, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Sean Dove, Emi Gennis, Lyra Hill, Marnie Galloway, and tons more!!!
If you miss this show, you’re pretty much a loser.
If you come by, mention that you follow the blog and I’ll give you some goodies.
Friday, June 14th (the night before CAKE!) is the opening for Modern Storytellers at Ugly Step Sister Gallery. I’ll be there and hope you can make it too. The show is filled with some amazing artists!
750 S. Union St.
Opening: Friday, June 14th, 6pm – 11pm
Ok friends, You’re almost out of time to reap the benefits of pre-ordering Victus #1. If I get your order before Sunday, June 16th, you can still get a free print of Celeste:
Thank you to everyone who has already pre-ordered! I’m humbled by your support. It went miles to helping me get the book finished and pay for the printing. The first round of orders have been shipping out this week, and I’m hoping most of you get them by Monday, June 17th at the latest.
If you’re a local Chicago person, or flying in for the show, CAKE will be the first chance for anyone anywhere to get their hands on the books. I’m very pleased with how they turned out and I can’t wait to share them with you!
I’ll leave you with these gems:
Jack Kirby. Showing his power in the earthly realm yet again.
Darrow and Moebius lighting it up with City on Fire.
I am completely in love with this Barry Windsor-Smith cover for X-men #186
Until next time, keep your ducks in a row. Well… geese.