Friday, February 26, 2010

New Portrait Up - "Claire"

This past week I handed over my most recent portrait to my patron clients, the Trammell family. This is the second portrait I've done for the family. The first was of their oldest daughter, Emmie. I was really pleased that at that time they said they wanted me to do another portrait for them in a few years once their youngest daughter was a bit older. Well, those years are past and we finally got around to creating our portrait. It was a real pleasure to complete this. It was a challenging piece, but I was really happy with it all. Thanks again, guys for letting do this for your family. I hope we all see each other again soon!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Making The Decisions... The King's Game is coming.

It's hard to make decisions sometimes. Especially ones that will encompass so much of your time and energy as the work of creating a comic can. I've spent the last three years "learning" comics all over again. When I was younger lad, I drew comics that looked like your normal news stand issue of X-Men. My goal there was to get to work on those titles. They were the reason I fell in love with comics in the first place. Then I became a fan of the now dead CrossGen universe. And what caused me to fall in love with those books was that they were telling stories with their comics. Not a battle a month style of book. This is something that may seem odd nowadays, but that wasn't very commonplace here in the states for a long time. Shortly after I met webcomics for the first time when I stumbled on Derek Kirk Kim's "Same Difference" comic.

The weight of that discovery threw me into another direction creatively for a long period in my life. I created my first online book From Death Til Now, which is now wrapping up its first volume. But what I found was that I was learning all over again. Learning how to create a comic from the very beginning and having to carry it through all of the steps to completion. I look back on so much of that early art that was done for From Death Til Now and it's hard to believe I drew that, and thought it was good. Honestly, I drew much much better than those pages showed, I just didn't know how to get it all out my head into the digital realm, using all of these tools.

Now, I sit here three years later, making another decision. I spent all of last year pitching my first graphic novel The Unknowns to publishers and ultimately that didn't pan out. It's perfectly, OK. I met my agent and other great folks and the doors are open. In fact I'm still in the process of pitching my graphic novel project (more on that in a minute), but I've made a decision about how I'm going to approach my career from here on out.

The King's Game is the title of the book I am pitching next. But rather than start working on another title or pitch next, I'm going to make this book. Whether it gets picked up or not, The King's Game is coming ( Lord willing). I had been going back and forth on this for a few months, as to if I should create another webcomic. And leading the way in that argument for making one, was my previous pitch The Unknowns. After a good talk with my wife, I made the decision that The King's Game should be the project. Because it's a simple, emotional story that can be finished in one shot and I think will be immensely fun!

What's been the reason for this decision is that, quite frankly, I just want to tell my stories. The idea of a publisher and all of that is awesome and I will keep pursuing that sort of thing, but ultimately, I don't want to spend all of my time on pitches and have nothing else to show for.

The reason I posted so much else about my development is because this is the first time, on the cusp of finishing FDTN book 1, that I think I'm really ready. It took a lot of work and time, but I want to approach this as professionally as possible. I want to create a book that you truly feel is worthy to be on the shelf next to any other book we love at the books store. So, it may be awhile, it may even get picked up, but The King's Game is coming.

See you then!

Friday, February 19, 2010

FDTN Book 1, Cover Revealed!

I thought I would share with everyone the completed inks for the cover of FDTN book 1. I haven't even cleaned up the red lines yet. It's coming out pretty spiffy I think. I plan to color it with a very watercolor style approach. Something different than the way I usually approach my colors work. It was hard to come up with an image that brought everything together real well and felt like a nice image overall. In the end I wanted it to feel like an Indiana Jones poster, which I think will make more sense when it's done.

I blocked out my schedule on somethings coming up and if everything goes as I would like, I expect to be done with book 1 by April and then have the book available for purchase in June.

A lot of work is in front of me though, as I am working to build up a second webcomic. I tend to be very cautious about starting a new project and showing it to people unless I've completed a lot of work for it. So that's making this new project take a bit more time before putting it out. But things are moving along. I feel prepared now for book 2 and I think it's really going to be a fun project moving forward now that all of the setup is done.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Four Years and Finally Done!

Well, well, well.... I did it! It took way longer than expected, but From Death Til Now book 1 is finished... As far as the line art is concerned. The first book clocks in at 152 pages, and it will have some bonus features in it as well. I'll be putting those together, but first thing is first. I have to finish the final 32 pages of the book.

It's been an odd journey with From Death Til Now. I started this project four years ago really and expected I would be finishing it a lot faster than I have been. I suppose thats the case for most. I just simply had a lot to learn about everything that goes into creating a complete comic book. But I am immensely proud that I've followed through and soon the final product will be there for people to read and enjoy.

The other big news is that the preview for my new graphic novel pitch "The King's Game" is complete and in the works for being handed out to publishers real soon. Everything had a huge wrench thrown into it though when my agent, Brendan Deneen, left his position at the agency I'm signed with to become an editor for St. Martin's press. I'm super excited for him and he's been great to work with. Hoepfully I'll get to work with him in the future again, until then, you are awesome Brendan! Thanks for everything.

So, what that's meant for me that I am in the process of transitioning to another agent and I'm excited about the prospect of potentially working with another agent there I'm familiar with. I'll update as that becomes available.

But the preview itself I think is really really strong. When I compare it to The Unknowns pitch I did a year ago, I can't believe it came from the same artist. Speaking of The Unknowns.... This year I willbe starting up my next online project. At this point The Unknowns is leading the way for what will be my first all ages story.

I've recently been doing a lot of thinking about what exactly I want to do with my comics career right now. I'm really proud of everything I've accomplished so far, but one thing is nagging me. I have only one book to show for it (and it's not even done yet)! I've spent the last two years creating pitches for publishers to consider, but so little time focusing my attention on actual projects that I will complete and put out there for people to buy and enjoy. I still very much want to keep pitching books, but I want final products to show for my time even more.

So, with that I will be putting a much stronger focus on just creating comics and finishing the books I have in my head. We'll see how it all pans out, but I have been developing a process for creating my books that is a lot more streamlined and will allow me to blaze through it. Hopefully. I have a few things to consider, but I'm excited. I feel in the drivers seat which is really gratifying.

Here's to an exciting 2010 and my first completed books!