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!

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!

Model Sheet: The look of me.

Howdy all! So I’ve pretty much pinned down what I will look like in the graphic novel. What you see above is pretty much what I’ll look like with my glasses on and off. I usually draw myself with no glasses since I’ve just started wearing them relatively recently. I like the look that the “texturizing” of my hair gives. I think this is more interesting than just making my hair a solid black which is what I usually do.

This is a model-sheet that was done previous to the first six-panel comic. I’m going to stick with this look but just change the hair to the textured look. I’m pretty happy with the design.  I’ve decided to do just the outline in the fine tip Sharpie marker and then the inside line work and details with the ultra fine tip. Most of the book I’ll just be in t-shirt and jeans or a coat for wintertime. I still have to design what my winter clothes will look like but I’m glad I got the bulk of the designing done.

My only concern with working in Sharpie marker and panels not much bigger the 4 inch squared is limited room for stuff in panels. I’ll have to be clever when putting in my word balloons, laying out the page and what’s in the panels. I’m hoping that my own “style” is pleasing to the eye and doesn’t look too amateurish. I want something that looks kinda rough and raw, not something that looks like it was drawn by a third-grader. lol

With this page I started drawing certain body positions and what I would look like in a panel. To be honest, I’ve alway had trouble with realistic portrayal of anatomy… as you may have already figured out. I have a lot of trouble with how the head is seen on the body. I’ll have to work on that.

So this is what I have so far… The model-sheets (design of main character) was the last thing on my list of goals so I feel good that I’m moving forward. The next step is writing a script which I’ve set September deadline.

I hope you like what you see! Thanks for stopping by! Oh yeah… I don’t really think smoking makes you sexier. lol

Process and Accomplished Goals

Hey all! So I didn’t really get around to working on any real character design. Needless to say I don’t have any model sheets ready to be shown. I’m still struggling in my mind with how I want the style of the book to look. I want the style to be easy/simplistic enough on me that I can sustain drawing an entire book but I also want there to be enough detail to make the story more realistic, interesting, and believable. My big 3 comic influences are R. Crumb, Craig Thompson, and Jeffrey Brown. I would like to put them all in a blender and make something special of my own.

The little comic above is just practice for the book really. It was done with Sharpie marker on regular 8.5 x 11 printer paper. I think I will stick with the six grid format for the book though. I think working with that grid should be simple enough for me to work through a whole graphic novel. I will try to do as many as these practice one-page comics  as possible and post them when I’m done. I want to show my process and to see if I’m improving in any way I can. As you can see they aren’t really thought out very well but I want to keep at it up so I get better.

As far as goals and deadlines, I almost have everything crossed off my June deadline list! I have decided on the materials I will use for this project. This past weekend I spent under $20 for supplies I will need. I have written both of my artist statements. And my next September goal list has already been made but, I will get into that more in a later post. Soon I will develop the look of the character and I will complete my final task before June hits.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by!

Artist Statements

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this post I would like to talk a little bit about last weekend. Last Saturday was the Summit City Comicon in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fortunately, some of my family live there so Sara and I were in attendance. My uncle, who is a local Ft. Wayne artist, was nice enough to take us there. Unfortunately I have no photos to share but it was still fun to see how a smaller city throws their comic book conventions. Katie Cook was there drawing a crowd as usual. We also met Jeremy McFarren who had the genius idea of doing daily doodles and putting them in his kids’ lunch boxes. He has several books you should check out. A really talented and friendly guy! I didn’t end up buying anything but I still enjoyed my trip and I think Sara enjoyed it too. Maybe someday I’ll be able to get a table there. 🙂

I have been doing a lot of thinking and I have finally come up with an artist statement for myself and the book as I had promised last week. Both are to help me stay focused and inspired enough to stick with this graphic novel thing. So for those of you who really care, here they are…

Personal Artist Statement: I am an illustrator with a goal of conveying the human experience  graphically. I want the emotion in my drawing to look effortless. I see my art as a constantly evolving. I should be constantly improving as a draftsman. Idea / purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface is the path I will strive to follow. Good art always tells it’s own story but is told in a way that others can relate to and that is my goal.

Graphic Novel Art Statement: This will be a semi-autobiographical graphic novel that everyone can relate to in some fashion. It will be a collection of “snap-shots” or little glimpses into my life. This book will also collect thoughts that I have about life in general. The theme of the book will be about how hard it is to “grow up” and not be so self-centered. It also will ask the question that I so frequently ask myself, “what does it mean to be an adult man today?” I will approach the book with a beginners mind and see this as a learning experience. Although, I have drawn my whole life I still feel there is room for improvement so this will be my way of becoming a better draftsperson. Even though it will be drawn with a relatively inexperienced hand I will strive for beauty in every panel I draw. I’m hoping that the drawing style will contrast nicely with the story of growing older and wiser. I will also limit my drawing tools on this book to cheap pencil, pen, marker, and sketchbook. I want to show that beauty does not need to be created expensively.

So, there it is. It may be a mishmash of thoughts but it is something I can go to if I lose my way during the project. This is probably only interesting to me but I’m hoping that someone might be able to see my process and be inspired to start a project of their own.

Why go through all this for something I’m probably not going to make any money on? Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m at the age now that I feel the need to create something important that shows that I was once here and that I was an artist. If this turns into an illustration career that would be GREAT but I’m trying not to make it the main reason why I’m tackling this project now.

Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully next week I’ll have a few model sheets to show how I’ll look in the book!

 

Comic Books and Burgers

I was kinda inspired to do this because of the next “Dark Knight” movie. This version of batman isn’t really that threatening though.

Well, I’m officially 33 as of last Saturday (Cinco de Mayo… and FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!). It was a fun-filled weekend. On Saturday Sara and I went to Milwaukee to visit a few places. First on my agenda was Lost World of Wonders comic shop. I decided on splurging on “TNMT: Ultimate Collection Vol. 2.” It was free comic book day and the lines were pretty long so we decided to bypass it. We then went next door to American Science and Surplus where you can find everything from a bag of marbles to weird military surplus gas masks. If you want a 5 lb. bag of rubber bands, they have that too! Pretty awesome place! We swung by Daly’s Pen Shop as well, which I guess is the oldest pen store in the U.S. We ended our trip with a late lunch at Solly’s Grille which has the best butter burgers I’ve had. This place actually puts a huge wad of whipped butter on their burgers… A dream for fat Wisconsinites like myself. So all in all the first day of my 33rd year was a success. 🙂

My next big step in the book process is writing an artist statement for myself as an artist and an artist statement for the book itself. I think writing out what I’m about and what I want to accomplish with this book will keep me more focused on the task at hand. So by next week I should have those for anyone willing to look at this humble blog o’ mine. Thanks for stopping’ by!

A sketch of batman I did before the watercolor on the top. I don’t think DC would ever hire me. lol

C2E2

Greetings! It is a little late but I thought I would still post something on C2E2 2012 in Chicago. My fiancé and myself attended last Saturday and it was a lot of fun. This was our third time going so we knew what to expect already. Every year we try to figure out if the attendance was up to par with the previous year and this year it seemed less crowded… at least to me. We got to meet David Newell aka Mr. McFeely from “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.” He was really personable and made sure to talk to everyone that stopped by his booth. Yes, I do believe that is the hat he wore in the show as well… I didn’t think to ask if it was or not though. I also got to meet the Ryan Dow, the person who created the web comic introspective comics. I bought one of his first books “The Art of Failing Buddhism” and he was kind enough to sign it. Of course there was plenty of cos play and comic books to keep any nerd happy. I’ve never really been a “comic book nerd” per say but coming back from the con makes me want to subscribe to like 3 different comic books. All in all it was a fun day and I’m looking forward to two more this year, Summit City Comic Con in Ft. Wayne, IN and Wizard World in Chicago!

I have been trying to get in the habit of drawing/painting more so last week I started this little painting of our favorite amphibian. I used a radiograph pen and cheapo watercolors. He turned out alright for the time I put into it. I would like to post a drawing every week but I don’t know how realistic that is.