Kenosha Festival of Cartooning

Howdy y’all. This past Saturday I attended the Kenosha Festival of cartooning. Cartoonists in attendance where: Dave Coverly, Michael Jantze, Greg Cravens, Hilary Price, Norm Feuti, and Stephan Pastis. Stephan Pastis was kind of the headline for the event. The festival ended on Saturday with Mr. Pastis giving a presentation on his comic “Pearls Before Swine.” His presentation was very funny but I was even more interested in the panel discussion with all of the artists talking about their craft. As I listened I couldn’t help but think that newspaper cartoonists were a dying breed and they were struggling with how to make a living on the web yet still keep a firm fan base by keeping it free. I’m really glad that this event was held in Kenosha and I hope that this kind of thing will grow in popularity. After Stephan Pastis’s talk he signed his new book and did drawings for everyone. It was definitely a great experience.

I didn’t get a chance to buy his new book for him to sign but Stephan Pastis was kind enough to sign my festival booklet.

After attending the cartooning fest I was inspired to get back to doing a webcomic. I must admit i wasn’t that avid of a “Pearls Before Swine” fan before but Stephan Pastis kind of inspired me to get back to doing a comic. I came up with a few character a couple of days ago and I’m hoping to casually post webcomics on this blog once in awhile.

I came up with these guys after going to the Festival of Cartooning. I’m hoping to put out a new webcomic soon. 

As far as the graphic novel goes, I’m still working on the page layout with pencil and paper. It’s just easier for me to block it out that way… and I don’t have to be stuck in front of a computer screen. I’m up to 12 layed-out pages and that’s about 4 printed script pages. Anyway, that’s all I got for now. Thanks for stopping by!

I’m Back For A Brand New Adventure

This site has been a ghost land for a couple of weeks since I haven’t posted anything. I took a little break after finishing the script of my graphic novel. Sara and I took a well-deserved tiny vacation to Sister Bay in Door County Wisconsin. It was very beautiful, (what seemed to be) very liberal, and we now want to live there.  For now, we’ll have to settle for Kenosha though… at least until this book makes me a millionaire. LOL

So after several weeks of slacking, I’m back on the graphic novel project. I’m shooting to be done with the rough layout stage by the end of this year, so I can move on to the drawing and inking of the pages. Earlier in the process I started a very rough layout stage for the first couple of pages which basically where just boxes with descriptions of the scenes in them. Now I’m proceeding to put photos in and make it more fleshed out. I’m not going to be putting photos on every page but instead very rough sketches or descriptions of the scene in each panel. Here is where I’m at right now. As you can see I’m not far but I’m hoping this will work out for me.

All of this was done in Adobe InDesign. With the help of Sara I was able to take a lot of photos of Kenosha… a lot where done right inside the car… a drive-by photo-shoot. Some of the photos where slightly fuzzy which doesn’t matter since they’ll be used more as reference for drawing. So this is where I’m at in the project so far.

One more piece of news is that I finally broke down and bought an iphone with a data plan several weeks ago. I want to use it more as a useful tool than a toy but it’s often just a distraction at this point. LOL I’m hoping to get more social online now that it is easier to tweet photos and update Facebook and blog posts. So Hopefully I’ll be posting more often… whether it’s interesting or not! LOL

Thanks for dropping by. Peace!

What’s Been Going On Lately

A lot has happened since the last time I posted. I will start with the unfortunate event of our pet rat Harvey being put to rest. A huge scabbing lump had formed on his shoulder and when we brought him to see the vet we learned that he had lost substantial weight as well. The vet said most pet store rats live 2 to 3 years and we had had Harvey for 2 good years. He began sleeping more than normal, he wouldn’t eat as much as he used to and his back legs were becoming lame as well. Last Monday we (Sara and I) decided that it would be best if we end any suffering he may have and have him put to sleep. His death hit me harder than I expected it to. You kind of take for granted the joy a pet can bring you until he/she is gone. Sara wants to keep the cage up awhile before we clean it and put down in the basement. For me I get a little pang of sadness every time I see it. We buried Harvey in the flower garden and planted a stargazer lilly over him to remember him by. He was both of our first experience with a rat and we certainly will never have another great rat like Harvey. Rest in peace buddy.

OK, Hopefully that wasn’t too sad and depressing. In other more positive news. I hit the 100 page mark in my graphic novel script. I’m considering myself done with the script even though it is not fully complete. I told myself at the beginning of this whole idea that if I can write 100 pages of a script that will give me enough confidence to finish the book completely. There are still some story lines I didn’t finish but I figure I can figure out how to fit those in during the rough layout process. The rest of the script will be kinda a write as you go sort of thing. I will continue to keep you posted on how the book is going.

Another little goal Im working toward is reaching my ideal weight. I’ve become pretty pudgy since turning thirty. I have definitely discovered that my metabolism is not what it used to be. I can’t eat Taco Bell all day and not live with the results anymore. It makes me feel older but it is also good because it has forced me to pay more attention to my body. I’m starting to eat more vegetables, drink more water, cut down on my meat and over-all portion sizes. I’m hoping by Christmas I’ll be around 130-40lbs. That’s the goal anyway.

One more little bit of personal news, I began reading the “Steve Jobs” bio a couple of weeks ago. So far, it’s pretty interesting. The book goes Jobs’ Zen fascination which has kind of rekindled my interest with Zen meditation and Buddhism.

That it all for now. I’ll keep you updated on whats going on in my life… until then. Peace.

Chicago Wizard Con 2012

Hello everyone. I’ve been slowly chugging away at the graphic novel script. I made it to page 87 today so I’m looking pretty good for my weekly goal of 90 pages! Writing is not unbearable for me but, I still can’t wait to move on to getting more involved in the visual aspect of the book.

I hate photos of myself and this one is no exception. I guess I’m not used someone being that close to me for a photo. 🙂

Last Saturday Sara and I attended Wizard Con 2012 in Rosemont, ILL.  Usually Sara’s dad drives us there but this time I took the wheel and got us lost but Sara navigated us back on path. This year was just as crowded as last year with the new floor layout not helping the congestion much. For some reason they decided to put the autograph area right in the middle of the floor so you had to go around the most congested area to get to the artist alley. The first stop was to get six Superman comic books signed by George Peréz, who was very nice. It was fun to watch him whip out Superman drawings and other super-heroes in about 10 minutes each. For lunch we ate over-priced turkey sandwiches ($10) at the cafeteria… it’s kind of a tradition. After lunch we met Lou Ferrigno and got a glossy signed by him. He didn’t talk much but it was still fun to see “The Hulk.” There were some vendors that were at C2E2 but not at Wizard con so that was a bummer. We’re not really really sure if we’ll pay the inflating price to go back next year. C2E2 may be our only Con visit next year unless there is a cool horror con or something like that.

Well, thats the news for now. I’ll keep you updated on the graphic novel. Thanks for dropping by!

Goals and Inspiration

It’s been about 2 weeks since my last post and I am still in the process of writing the graphic novel. I initially wanted to post something every Wednesday but I found I really had nothing to post about since I didn’t want to give away much of the story. I’m at 72 pages now which I am pretty proud of. I never really thought I would get this far in the writing process. I’m starting to relax on my writing schedule a little bit. It’s getting hard for me to wake up so early every morning and be able to write. I’ve been sticking to my goal of 10 pages a week. I figure as long as I get 10 pages done a week it doesn’t matter what schedule I keep.

Besides working on the book I have also been working on trying to better myself. It’s good to have goals but I find myself becoming grumpy if i don’t finish a goal I have set for myself.   That is the main reason why I have done away with my strict writing schedule. I have also been meditating more which helps slow things down and puts things in perspective. I have also noticed That I’ve let my body go too soft so I have decided to do sit-ups every day to feel and look better. These are little things but they help me to be a happier person. http://personalexcellence.co/blog/101-ways-to-be-a-better-person/ This is the site I have been going to a lot lately. It is just another self-help site but I find it inspirational and I especially like it because there are a lot of lists.

So that’s it for now. Thanks for dropping by!

Keep on Truckin’

Hello all. I don’t really have to much to report but I thought I would post something to stay in practice. I am still writing. I have completed 44 pages so far in the book. I’m averaging 10 pages a week which is satisfactory to me. Most days I get up around 5:00 to sit at my computer for about 5 minutes and try to wake up then type about a page or so. I’m sort of amazed how fast my brain can switch to thinking about what I want to write. For being half asleep I don’t think I do too bad.

I know I’ve talked about this in previous posts but I’ve decided not to do a linear story line. Instead of going chronological, I thought it would be more interesting to work the story around topics that come up. Religion is a topic that I’m working on now. I thought I blab about my experiences growing up in the Catholic church. I took a little inspiration from Spiegleman’s “Maus” by going back and forth between the present and past. In one scene I could be talking to Sara in the studio and in another scene I could be narrating some embarrassing moment in my life. I originally didn’t want to do that way but I think it opens up the book to more possibilities that way.

I’ve been sticking mostly to writing the book lately. I haven’t been working on the layout of the pages or drawing anything yet. I figure that I’ll cross those bridges when I get to them. I don’t want to rush ahead of myself. When I get to the next phase in the book I’ll definitely keep you posted. Thanks for dropping by.

 

Graphic Novel Layout Process

Hello and Happy 4th of July! I’m back again to report on how the book is going. Amongst working a crappy full-time job and all the other stuff that needs to be done in life I have been chugging away at this graphic novel. As you probably already know, I’m in the writing stage of this process. The writing is more of a script. I don’t really describe what people or places look like because that will be accomplished throughout the drawing. In school I always enjoyed english class so I thought this wouldn’t be so bad. I consider myself more of an artist than a writer but I would like to think I can at least tell a good story. Writing is a chore for me but I get at least one page out a day. I have constant self-doubts but I try to push those thoughts out of my head so I can just get down to business. I’m only at 33 pages and I hope to catch up to 40 pages by Sunday.

Along with the writing, I’ve started a rough layout of what the first five pages will look like. All these pages were done in Adobe InDesign.

Title page.

I thought it would be nice to bring in a very small element of the book into the title page so I decided to pull an image from the web just as place holder to let me know I wanted a paper fortuneteller here.

Dedication page.

I’m not too sure when in the writing process professional authors decide to do their dedications but I decided to make a dedication page now just to get a feel for page layout.

 

First page of the book.

This would be the first real page of the book. If you’re able to read the text please don’t judge my writing too harshly. It is my first time writing a whole book and this may not even be the exact final wording.

I have taken several photographs of the Kenosha, WI area so I’ll be drawing lots of little scenes for everyone of these panels.

So there you have it.  The first five rough pages. It may not look like much but it is a start and you can start to see my process. From this point I will drop in photo references. Then from there i will begin to draw out the page. I’m still unsure if I will hand letter the story or do that on the computer.

Hope you found this informative. Thanks for dropping by!

Moving Right Along

Hi y’all. I finally broke the 20 page barrier. I’m currently sitting on 22 pages. My goal is to complete 10 pages every week. I don’t want to be too much of a page counter but I think it is good to set weekly goals. I’ve been trying to get up at 5 am and write but long work days like yesterday’s 15 hours definitely prevents that from happening. The book is going alright. I’m gaining confidence in what I’m doing but it  doesn’t come easy. I’ve decided that the book will be in non-chronilogical order because, firstly, I think it is more interesting that way, and second of all, it is easier. Today I plan on making a rough layout of the first 5 to 10 pages. I might post that next week so stay tuned in! Thanks for reading!

Writing is hard.

Hey folks. I really don’t have much to report on the book, unfortunately. I’m only to 14 pages and I’m starting to doubt myself that I can even write something that someone would want to read. I’m beginning to wonder if my life is worth writing about. ha-ha! I basically set-up little vignettes that never really go anywhere plot wise. This book doesn’t even have a plot really. I don’t know, maybe it will turn out alright when I start blocking it out graphically on the page but a lot of the story is told in narration. I start out the book asking the question of why people are interested in other people’s lives so much but I read somewhere that you should always start a book out with someone doing something or an action of some type. Maybe I should be a seasoned writer before I break the rules.  So for those who are paying any attention, the writing is slow going but I’ll keep at it. I’m going to try to get to 20 pages by this Sunday. This is a short post but I’ll keep you informed. Thanks for dropping by.

PS It’s F’ing hot in Wisconsin!

Began to Write!

Time to do some typing in Word!

Hello everyone. Sadly, I have no drawing to show this week. I have one started but I will try to post it next week.

On the upside, I have been getting a lot of my graphic novel stuff done! This past Sunday, Sara and I went all over Kenosha taking pictures of everything I might need to use in the book. I also wanted to start the book off with some photos of the Kenosha area so those photos will come in handy. I would like to keep taking more photos just to build up more of a reference file of photos.

I have also finally started writing a rough script for the book. I’ve been getting up at 5:00am to do about an hour’s worth of writing before going to work but it is coming along. I just started this past Monday so I only have 7 pages typed up but, that translates to probably twice that many pages in the actual graphic novel. It was rough actually writing the first couple of sentences but I think now that I’m into the story it’s been getting easier. I think I’ve fallen into a nice rhythm. I just hope I can keep it up.

Since this is an autobiographical graphic novel I’ve been trying not to be too guarded with what I write. I want there to be honest emotion even if some of it is embarrassing to me. I have a feeling it will get harder to tell my story as I get to my teenage and college years. I did a lot more stupid things then. I haven’t had anyone read what I have yet so I don’t know if it is any good. I might have Sara read it to see if it’s bearable.

I know this post isn’t as interesting as most of them but I just wanted to let you know what was going on with the book and let you know I haven’t given up on it! thanks for dropping by.