Journal Entry #20

This is just a card I drew for Sara's nephew who's a marine stationed in Japan. I'm thinking of deleting his name and using it as a Christmas card.

This is just a card I drew for Sara’s nephew who’s a marine stationed in Japan. I’m thinking of deleting his name and using it as a Christmas card.

Hey guys. I’m sorry but there be no comic today. My mom had to be admitted to the hospital this past Wednesday because her blood sugar levels were in the 600s which could have killed her. She is doing fine now and will probably even get to go home today. She hasn’t been to a doctor since I was born (34 years ago) so she could have probably prevented getting diabetes. She has to take insulin and keep tabs on her diet now which I think will be good for her. I think now that she knows she has diabetes she’ll start to eat healthier and probably even feel and look better. Plus she’ll have to start seeing a doctor on a normal basis which I’m glad of.

I hope you all had a happy Black Friday Eve… I mean Thanksgiving. I swear that someday we will all forget what Thanksgiving is and just start calling it Black Friday Eve. Holidays are pretty much run by consumerism now anyway. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade was the beginning of this I think, it’s a harbinger of our consumerism.

I’ve been having a hard time writing my comics and drawing them lately. About two weeks ago I became the only full-time person working in my department. It has been scary and stressful and I can only hope it will get easier. I think this has taken a toll on my creativity and my passion for “Habitat.” I also get depressed that I’m not showing any signs of improvement, so I think why even try? I know I have to keep the mindset that I’m in this for the long haul but it get’s difficult just to do this thing for myself. I think my new goal is just to keep putting out a new comic every Friday and not worry about syndication right now. Slowly, as the comic progresses I’ll start to feel when it is time to take it to a syndicate. I have to start to love “Habitat” before I want to turn it into my “career.”

Once again, I’m sorry about the lack of comic but hopefully this post makes up for it. I’ve noticed that I get more “likes” and more comments on my journal posts so I have a suspicion that people like the journal entries more anyway. I hope to get back into the groove next week and I’ll have  brand new comic for you guys. As always, thanks for reading and I hope you continue tuning in!

Journal Entry 14

Howdy folks! This is going to be a short blog post because I really don’t have much to say as far as “Habitat” goes. And because of not having much to say, I thought I would answer a commenter’s questions here in this post.

I was asked “why the name ‘Habitat’?” My initial idea was for a comic about all sorts of animals that you would find outdoors in a suburban setting. I still would like to add more characters into the mix but for now I want to concentrate on fleshing out Morton and Finn. I wanted the name of the comic to be short and sweet like “Peanuts” (even though Schulz hated that name) or “Pogo.” Another name I had in mind was “In the Neighborhood.” “Habitat” had a nice ring to it and it described nicely what the comic was about. No real secret meaning or anything cool like that.

To answer another question, I work full-time as a graphic designer for a small, local publication. I am responsible for ad design. Working as a graphic designer could be a cool job but it’s not where I work. I’ll just leave it at that.

One more thing and then I’ll end this. A funny, crappy thing happened to me this past Tuesday. During my lunch break I got locked out of my house while letting my dog out. So I was stuck with a dog and no keys or cell phone. I could have knocked on doors around the neighborhood to ask for a phone but my anti-social ass walked 3.3 miles (I checked) across town to my landlord’s house to be let into the house. It was a nice day and I enjoyed the weather but I got a blister on my foot and I was pretty sore the next day. Just goes to show how out of shape I am in.

OK, I’ve blabbed on long enough. Thanks for reading and I hope you keep enjoying “Habitat”! Peace.

Journal Entry #13

Howdy folks. As I’ve stated in a previous post, this past week has been pretty crazy. Working by myself is no fun. Being the only full-time person in the art department is stressful because I’m pretty much responsible for how the publication turns out. I’ll definitely be glad when my supervisor starts working full-time again. That’s enough about my job though… I don’t need to clutter up my blog posts with garbage about my stupid day job.

I do have a new Habitat comic coming up on Monday. It took me longer to create than usual. I usually like to finish the comic off all in one 2-3 hour block of time, but this time I took a break from it and went back to it later. It’s nice to have a break sometimes and come back fresh. I didn’t feel rushed like I normally do when I work on it straight through. Usually towards the end of the comic I start to get antsy and I just want to finish the thing so I sort of settle for the rush job. In the future I might be a bit more leisurely with the comic.

In other news, I might be teaching my own cartoon and comics class in the near future. My future father-in-law told me on Friday that there will be a cartooning class opening up for about 30 girl scouts at our local museum. I’m not sure of al the particulars but he made it sound as if I would teach the classes and he would help me out with them. I’m pretty excited if I’m able to teach my passion to a bunch of kids. 30 girls is quite a bit for someone who has never taught a class before though. Those little girls could eat me alive! 🙂 I’m excited but nervous. I’m already planning out in my head what the class would do. I’ll let you know more as I get more information.

Well, I don’t have much else to blab about so I’ll end it here. As always, thank you for everyone supporting me and my little comic. It’s nice to know that someone is reading them. Have a good day!

Journal Entry #12

Done in sketchbook. Made especially for today. Morton and I are sorry for taking the day off. :)

Done in sketchbook. Made especially for today. Morton and I are sorry for taking the day off. 😦

NO COMIC TODAY. I’m sorry to disappoint any one who follows my comic but because of my day job there will be no comic today.

I’m actually writing this on Wednesday, the day I normally do today’s comic. I’m flying solo at my graphic design job for the next couple of weeks and that adds a lot of extra stress and worry to my life. Tuesdays are deadline days and I worked from 6:45am to 8:30pm last night. Needless to say, I’m burnt out. True, I could have made a comic but I didn’t think it would be very good with the way I’m feeling right now. Since I plan on having these comics sent for syndication consideration, I want to work on them when I know I’ll have my full concentration.

Once again, I apologize to anyone who follows my comic and actually looks forward to reading it… so to that one person… I’m sorry. Ha-ha! I will still be making a new comic Tomorrow (Saturday) and posting it on Monday at 10:00am! Thank you for your understanding, and all your readership! See you Monday!

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.

 

When You’re 33.

It is the week of my birthday and I can feel death’s hands draw inevitably closer. ha-ha Of course I’m kidding. I’ve actually heard that 33 is one of the happiest ages to be. I’m not sure why that is or how that was found out but, I would hope it to be true. I would like 33 to be a turning point at least in my artistic career. No more screwin’ around, I either start AND FINISH some huge artistic venture or I don’t do it at all.

As far as the book goes, I’ve started messing around with some character design, which is namely me since it is partly autobiographical. I think I’ve pinned down Sharpie marker as my media for this project as well. It will give me a more varied line width. So I am slowly on my way to getting this ball rolling.

Not much else to report. I’ll be back next week to let you all know how my b-day went. Till then… “Keep looking up!”

This is a sharpie drawing I did of one of our co-workers. That has become his catch-phrase... I'm not too sure he knows it though.

Beginnings

In previous posts I really didn’t get into much of how or why I’m doing an autobiographical graphic novel. I’ll cover those subjects now.

I had been thinking of illustrating a children’s book for a long time. As a matter of fact I have a whole other idea set aside for a children’s book that I might try to tackle after I finish  at least one book. I switched to the autobiographical idea because it would be a nice introduction of myself as a “professional artist.” It’s not that I have a big ego and consider myself an important artist, I just want to start my professional art career with a book that shows the human experience from my perspective. I think it is good for every human to face themselves at some point and what better (and challenging) way to do so than the autobiographic graphic novel?

I am also 33 years old this year and I felt it was time to to do something that I can really be proud of and call my own. I am going to try to get this book published by a publishing house so I know this has to be good to get my foot in the door. I see this book as a major stepping-stone to a more artistically fulfilling career. At age 33 , its either now or never.

How am I going to complete this book within a years time? That is a good question. LOL I hope I can get it published professionally (or by myself) by sometime next year. I have been doing planning and rough timelines to see how long each step will take and I’m hoping that I will stay focused enough to stick to the schedule.

What you see in this picture is all I am using to create this book. (plus the scanner which is not shown)

I have always been fond of the DIY ethic in the world of comics. This project is going to be very simplistic in terms of how I’m creating the thing. I set myself a $200 budget so everything will be done with cheap, basic supplies. To cut costs I am using art supplies that I already own. I’ll be using just a basic Uniball rollerball pen and a cheap sketchbook to create the book. I think the sketchbook idea is good because then I’m not locked to my drawing table and it fits in my scanner. Since this my first book I want it to be very simple in terms of materials used and the design of the book. I want to show that something beautiful can still be created using very simple and cheap materials and techniques.

I will be using: a cheap Mead academic sketchbook, a Uniball "Eco" rollerball pen, a Sharpie marker, a Pentel mechanical pencil and eraser.

In a way I see this book as a certain evolution of myself. This book is just the beginning. After mastering a simple pen I will move on to other more expensive art materials. After I finish an autobiography I want to move on to a more imaginative story. I see this as a learning experience.

The Workspace

My messy studio workspace.

I have always been interested in other artists studios so I thought I would post my humble working space. My studio is fully equipped with Macbook hooked to a larger monitor, printer/scanner all-in-one, external hard drive, DVD/CD burner, reference/inspiration books, and tons of art materials. My drawing table doubles as a computer desk which isn’t much of a problem since I never work very large. I could have tidied it up a bit for the photo but that would be unrealistic since there are always piles of my crap everywhere, especially on the scanner and under the table. This is probably where I will be doing the bulk of my work on the first graphic novel. Thanks for stopping by.