Sunday, May 31, 2009

New FDTN sketch and rebranding

Well at last I am posting some of the sketching I've been doing. I'm trying to get back into the feel of some of the characters we haven't seen in awhile. Mainly Thomas. He features pretty heavy in the end of this book. So, I figured I'd better get a grip on how to draw him again. Click the image above to enlarge.

Also, I have decided that once FDTN comes back I am going to completely re brand the book. A lot of the design work I created for this thing occurred when I barely knew anything at all about Photoshop or web design. So I want to help build an identity on this book. With my sketch is my first attempt at a new font for the logo. Let me know what you think. I expect that it's gonna take some time, but it should be fun. My plan this week is to draw the next eight pages and start plowing through the inks on the pages. I hope I can keep up the work ethic. And once I'm ready for the computer shading portion, I may be looking for some help with the flatting work. Anyone volunteers interested? Email me, and show some samples of your work.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Added Posts - The Unknowns Production Blog

I went in today and imported all of my posts from The Unknowns Production Blog, to this one. So if you want to read the history of project from a little further back, just click on a post with the tag "Unknowns" and you'll get all of my posts. Such as at the bottom of this post! Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Monster" - the Power of Suspense In Comics

Naoki Urasawa is one of Japan's all time great manga artists. The first real splash his works have had on the states is a series call "Monster." In its American incarnation, the series was dulled out of 18 volumes. I'm currently reading 14. As a writer who LOVES thrillers, Monster is the prime example of what good comics can do in this field.

This thing is epic. If you haven't read it or heard of it, I highly recommend that you do. Also, I found a pretty rockin documentary on the creator with English subtitles. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

From Death Til Now Review

A special thanks to Neil Holden of the Cool Web Comic List Blog for his awesome review of "From Death Til Now." He made some pretty flattering comments about the George/Virgil dynamic. It was a special treat to read. I've been working on this book for awhile and I haven't had many reviews or interviews for the book, so it made my day. You can read the review here:

In other news, I started plotting out more on the final two chapters of FDTN. I expect to have a fully written treatment of the last two chapters within a month and then it will just be a matter of thumbnailing and scripting those new pages. I've been tossing around the idea of switching the line work of FDTN to pencil drawings. I may test this. But my biggest concern is the look being too different from the previous pages. So I dunno. Pencil drawings are A LOT faster though. Maybe I'll post some exaples and we'll decide together.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Feeling the burn...

Comics, comics, comics!!! That is the name of the game these couple of days off. I finished up a portrait this morning and now I'm working like the devil to finish up my work on "Kevin and The Golden Temple." I think more people on this super secret project are working at a much slower pace than me, lol, but I (as always) have to come up with a story that takes a bit more than a couple of pages. So I'm pretty much sprinting hoping I finish up on time since it looks like I will be drawing and painting close to twenty pages. It's good practice though as I am planning to start official work on The Unknowns graphic novel once this is done. And don't fret FDTN fans who may be reading this, I'm working on that too.

Since all of my wife and I's favorite TV shows are off for the summer, we decided that we would work on comics together instead or veg out. She's been helping flat pages and its been great fun to work together and spend that time being productive and just visiting. I'm so blessed to have a spouse who supports and desires the same things I do with life, work and family. With her by my side I feel like anything is possible. We're gonna make some awesome work together. :-)

I also decided this week, after much thought and prayer, that I need to really hone in a specific set of things that I care about and set as goals. My two favorite art subjects are comics and portraits. And for reasons more complicated than I will pretend to understand, I've spent the last two years kind of floundering between various things. Working on comics mostly, but leaving my painting in the dust. A lot of that had to do with the fact that galleries I was repped by closed and things slowed down. But I've missed my passionate pursuit of the portrait and I want to redicate myself to it. I have some plans forming. I'll share new examples as they come.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Finally A Readable Draft

This past week I finally nailed down the first truly "readable"draft of "The Unknowns." It took four passes at it, but I think its finally in a state where I can bring others opinions in and receive feedback. I gotta tell you, it's quite gratifying to look at what I've finished and see it in printed form, sitting on a table.

My thoughts on this draft are that it is essentially the story I set to tell in the very beginning. It's both funny and scary, while feeling pretty endearing at the same time. It feels like quite a jump forward from my first pass at a finished script a few short years ago (thank you Stephen King). So, now I just have to get it into the hands of a few well trusted friends and my agent and we'll see where things go from there. I'm so tempted to get started on the actual comic, but my better judgment tells me to wait awhile.

For now, I have a story about a boy and a monster to tell, and portraits to finish.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Lost" Finale and "Kevin and Golden Temple"

Another year of "Lost" has come and gone. Only one more season remains. "Lost" is without a doubt my favorite show of all time. I first encountered it right before I got married about four years ago. At the time I didn't watch much TV at all (not a bad thing btw). Mostly because I was a senior in college and had little time to begin with. But I saw a trailer in the theater for it as it was coming out on DVD and I became intrigued. I bought the first season and watched all of it in about two weeks. The rest is history.

I constantly find myself being inspired by it at the end of every episode to work on my own stories and push my work further. The writing and production is so above the bar on every aspect that anyone who really gives it time can see this thing has changed storytelling in the TV format forever.

Last night's finale did what I was hoping for all year long, it brought in the element of mystery the rest of the season had been lacking for the whole year. Everything sort of shifted to a answer mode for the season and while that is what I think we were all hoping for, I enjoy the "wait what?" aspect of this show immensely. I don't know how this thing is gonna work next year. Well done gentlemen. Well done. Next year will be sad seeing it go off the air. Maybe afterward I'll get more done. At least "Fringe" is just starting.

The above is a quick sample of the short story I'm working on for an upcoming anthology called "Kevin and The Golden Temple." Can't reveal too much yet, but suffice it to say, it's going to be quite different than anything I've created yet and should really be fun. More on that as it approaches.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Memorial Park

Back in September of 2008, I participated in an art auction event benefiting the local Riverside Preservation Society here in Jacksonville. I was asked to complete an original painting depicting the monument in Memorial Park, which is one of the historical parks in the area. This monument was constructed to honor those lost in WW II. I used to live five minutes walking distance from the park and I've always wanted to do a painting of it. Above is my final painting.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

To Boldly Like A Story I Never Have Before

Admittedly I am a huge Star Wars fan. I first really discovered the films in my teenage years when I was introduced to the trading card game. And while the mythology and action of Star Wars had captivated my young mind, Star Trek didn't. I found it to be, well boring. It seemed far more interested, in its current carnations, to be caught up in political intrigue and other fair (sounds an awful lot like the Star Wars prequels).

Well, as of 7pm this evening, consider my heart changed. JJ Abrams and crew have pumped a new life into this classic story and left me suddenly feeling very much like a Star Trek fan. I wouldn't even mind watching some classic stuff now.

The first ten minutes of this film had me instantly locked in and I was game for wherever this ride was going to take me. The story was simple enough on its most basic of levels, but its bigger story line was quite complex and truly created a new Star Trek universe new fans could inhabit. Effectively it was a Crisis on Infinite Earths or an Onslaught Saga for the film world and we find ourselves looking at a brand new series in the making. One which I am ready and anxious to join. Check it out when you can. Even if its something you never would have liked.

"The Unknowns" Draft 2 Is Completed

Yesterday I finished up my second draft of my new graphic novel, "The Unknowns." It was really gratifying to finally print out a readable version of my script. I bound the whole thing up and set it on the coffee table, then sat back in gratification. :-) I'm tempted to dig into it and start editing it, but I'm taking a break from it to enjoy the moment and let the next piece of feedback come from my wife. She's my editor and sounding board, so I'm excited to hear her thoughts. I just wanted to take a moment to say... I'm excited!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Draft 1 is Complete

Last week I reached a penacle point. I finished the first draft of The Unknowns script. It clocked in at 63 pages in screenplay format. I sat down and read through the whole thing, and I gotta say I am pretty happy with it. It's the best thing I've written. Which may not be saying mucb really, lol. But it reads well and progresses the plot in a concise way that doesn't have much room for fat. My biggest concern is character development, but it feels like the bigger thing for this first book is introduce everyone to the story and setup the essential character elements that can be developed later. I'm planning on making this book around 6 volumes long so there's plenty of room for growth. I think I am gonna sit down and watch some early X-files episodes and other big number 1's to see how much character development was needed in those first installments.

Right now though my attention has turned to draft number two. This is pretty much all I will be doing until I have a publically readable draft that I can get feedback on, from those lucky few. There are a TON of corrections needed and a new scene I want to fit in. Anyways until the next draft... cheers!