Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Recent Conversations

     Had a couple of interesting conversations recently.
     First, I met a friend of mine for a beer at the local Box Bar and we talked about pursuing creative projects outside of work.  He has been managing  the site Driven Mavens please check it out if you like drawing, art or cars. Arvind is a man of many talents, just one is drawing and rendering cars. He ran a successful kickstarter campaign and is growing his online profile. We had a great talk, as we are getting older the value of what we are spending our creative energy on becomes more and more important. I enjoy my work but at the end of the day I do want to create something that comes from me without outside demands. I want to know if my perspective and values, shaped largely by art and working in a creative field, are shared by others outside of the office/industry.
     He had a number of good ideas about how I should start to find my audience. But it was just fun to share my thoughts with someone (other than my wife, who has to listen) about why I spend hours sketching stories.  Why I like to sketch with younger kids who have vivid imaginations and no internal critics. It also brought to mind the need to surround yourself with positive, motivated people. People who share your interests and enthusiasm.  People you can learn from and be inspired by....and the beer was good.

Check out Arvind at Driven Mavens


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Final versions of SUPERCOW with all the edits and final page layout is now complete.  Look under my comic page on this site.  I had my first ever public showing at KRC (Kids Read Comics) at the Ann Arbor Library yesterday.  Going back today at noon to six.  It was very fun and filled with kids and parents interested in the lighter side of comics and the storytelling industry. Comics for children with fun and interesting content.  Some comics can get pretty dark and deal with more mature content but this event focuses on young readers with a very positive interaction between creator and audience. So far so good.

Monday, June 8, 2015

2nd grade visit

I go into 2nd grade tomorrow for a quick and final update on the project I introduced last October.  The book is done but still needs some revisions.  One issue was not having a clear enough voice for each character.  I now realize how much farther I could have taken the writing before the sketching....sounds obvious I suppose until you go throught the process for yourself.  Little things like different line weights and a more relaxed drawing style started to become more obvious on the later pages. Again something to watch for next time...wish me luck tomorrow...

Saturday, June 6, 2015

      Ok! its Saturday Morning and this is the start of my little push to finish inking the blacks on my last few pages.  The Magna tools are great for this and I feel I am getting more comfortable now that I am almost done:)  The kids are still asleep so I am trying to go as quickly as possible.  Last night I ended up crashing on the couch while watching Despicable Me 2 with Natalie...I am fighting a little stomach flu but seem to be close to 100% ....I hope.
     In this page the EVB is forced to taste his own medicine and realizes his recipe is not what he was expecting. OK more pages to go....stay focused...

Friday, June 5, 2015

Food Fight

I need to be sleeping now. I need to be sleeping now! now!  Just can't get to sleep.  So I got up to work on page 23.  A few more left.  Had to rewatch Serenity and Firefly while drawing again tonight. The kids and Lorene are sound asleep, I am going to be dragging tomorrow but this was better than just sitting staring at the ceiling.  Using larger blacks and  going back with a little feathering with black and white pen. OK I am going to try to get some shut eye...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Big Big Pig

     Adding blacks to page 19, still 10 pages to finalize before the 2nd graders see this. Tick tock, tick tock... only a few days of school left for Super Cow to solve the caper of the missing lunches!  It will be down to the wire.
     The kids have told me a number of times about balls being kicked up onto the roof. The janitor has to go up on Fridays to retrieve all the tennis balls, baseballs, basket balls...that end up stuck on the roof.   I thought that might be funny to have Major Pig use one of these as a little trampoline to gain some potential energy before coming through the roof...he has a big entrance on page 20...stay tuned ....(both of you....)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Inking rush

Spent Friday and Saturday on the computer inking.  The plan is for a Thursday visit to the 2nHd graders with a finished book but the finishing touches and editing are taking far longer than I had hoped.  Watched Firefly season 1 a couple times now while working.  Love joss! Using simple shapes for inking, Manga lasso tool with fill mostly. Work is picking up at the office keeping me busy most week nights.  ​But I am really looking forward to KRC I hope the kids get a kick out of this little book!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Inking last page

This is the final page for SUPERCOW 1 comic.  I hope to unleash on the 2nd graders as a coloring book edition. The editing process has been longer than expected but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It has been a challenge to find quiet time that isn't at 1:30 am.  I am starting to get a better workflow with less backtracking on story or art style. I can see changes in inking styles over the 28 pages.  My roughs had much more energy then the finals so I started to use them more.  Text edits are next...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Editing painful

Editing can be a bit painful. As KRC is getting close.

Almost finished until I gave my wife a job to edit the text.  She texted me asking if she could cut my pages apart to rearrange frames.  She took an axe to my 28 pages and I didn't take it well. But as usual she was right.  Her suggestions on page flow, text, character development and more have brought out a much better story.  It means a step back, maybe two, from where I thought I was in my timing.  It's well worth the effort.  It has made me rethink just when is it the perfect time to bring in a critique.  She saw the earlier stages in rough, but at those stages intent was still unclear.  In the rough it is very difficult for a critiquer to know really what you are planning on changing vs. keeping. If you wait until your intent is clearer, changes can become more painful.  But the input is often more focused and valuable. Still learning that sweet spot in my development process to share. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Super Cow Page 24

The EVB gets his own creation in the face!

The point at which every villain must take their own medicine.  Just  a few more pages to ink, then I need to go back and look at darker blacks.  This comic will not be color, just black and white. I will be very happy if I can just finish it to that level.  Pages are coming a little faster I just hope my story is making sense.  You look at something for so long and it seems logical to you but when someone else sees it, out of context, all bets are off. I have been showing it to the kids and Lorene but not a very wide or critical audience yet. Not looking to win any prizes just hoping it is mildly entertaining.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Super Cow Page 23

With the Kids Read Comics June 21 date getting closer an closer, I need to get this moving.
I was able to finish a little more of the prelim inking so far. Here is a sneak at page 23 with prelim text.  I plan to do a quick and rough text to leave space for balloons and sound effects.  My biggest worry should be story but I am more focused on consistent character and facial expressions. I am getting more comfortable with my characters and am anticipating a number of page redos to match the feel of my later pages ...I really liked this page in that regard. KCR (Kids Read Comics) is getting closer...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Super Cow Page 22

Here is another update on the Super Cow 28 page book.  Page 22 features the EVB (Evil Villain in Black) who is challenging our Hero to a food fight!  All dialog is still preliminary and working  out the page.  This is the only page I really changed the frame shape to something a little more dynamic. I have to play with this more in the future...keep moving forward...

Friday, May 8, 2015

page 21 update

In Page 21 Super Cow is communicating with Major Pig who landed behind enemy lines.
This took a few hours on last Saturday but still showing progress.  I need to refine the sound effects on all pages.  Still need ideas for this.  Not sure if a more sketchy text or polished text looks better. Still need some experimentation.  43 days to KRC and counting!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Super Cowpage 20 update

The weekends will be busy trying to finish these last 6 pages of Super Cow by end of May. Here is an updated page 20 with the initial inks. I really liked EVB's (the Evil Villain in Black) in panel 3.  The text still needs revisions and I am hoping to add my black fills soon.  I also need a good name for EVB's food crunching machine.  He uses this to combine all the stolen lunches into a new food flavor meal that he feels will change the way the world looks at lunches.
Any suggestions are welcome as well as comments...
KRC countdown 46 days left!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Page 20

I have to finish this comic for the local 2nd grade class and for the Kids Read Comics convention...
Here is a work in progress on page 20.  I am working in Manga Studio going panel by panel.  I threw in some of the dialog as placeholders as I refine and edit.  If I can finish the art by the end of May I should be in fair shape for revisions.  As I go the characters are getting more comfortable to draw.  I am finding that the more I relax my sketches the more expressive and dramatic the poses and expressions become.  The tighter the drawings the more life seems to drain from them. OK time for bed and getting a little sleep now.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kids Read Comics Convention - June 2015

Ok! this is newsworthy for me....
     I am trying something very different this year.  Turning a hobby into something more.
I found an event in Ann Arbor a few years ago that is really quite unique and wonderful. It mixes a love of art, drawing and storytelling together with kids.  Kids Read Comics is a two day event held at the Ann Arbor Library in June 2015.
      I will have table for the first time this year. My kids and I will be sharing stories and comics I have done as a volunteer Artist throughout their grade school experience.  I hope to be posting more often as the event nears.  I am working on a story from our 2nd graders and a great teacher at Bird School in Plymouth. (more to come on that)
Save the date:


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Art Parent last 5th grade visit

Went to visit the third grade and fifth grade classrooms. We drew cars, pickle cars, rocket cars, ketchup cars and future cars! I did feel challenged presenting because the students just wanting to ask questions constantly. My kids mentioned that I talked a little to much, more drawing please. I was happy using the computer and a projector in third grade class. It worked out pretty good. This was the last visit of the year and probably the last one for my oldest son who's in fifth grade. I'm going to miss this.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Drawn to the Night

Last Friday night in Plymouth drawn to the night five modeling sketches.  The model was doing yoga poses. This created some challenging views but it was a lot of fun.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Walking Dead ZombieTamer

You asked about me drawing the "Walking Dead".   I only saw a few episodes and it kinda' freaked me out!  So here is a take on fighting Zombies with kid power!  Saturday morning warm up sketching....

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Drawn to the Night...DTTN

Went to the Plymouth Arts Council for live model drawing last night. Small turn out last night, hope to see more people next month.  Very fun.