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!

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.

The Beginning of the Writing Process

Hello everyone! It is now June and I have moved on to the next phase or step in the process of making this graphic novel. As you can see I have decided on the look of myself in the book and that was a major accomplishment for myself. I will still have to design the other characters in the book. I will save that for later when I’m ready to draw out the book. I just wanted to get a good feel for what my character design will look like now because that will be a good jumping off point for the look of the rest of the book.

As for the next phase of the book making process, I have given myself till September to accomplish my next goals. This step will be mostly writing a script. I have never really written anything more than 5 pages in my life so it’s a little scary.

I bought “Mastering Comics” this past week because I’m hoping it will give me some good information about writing a script and the steps to take in the writing process. I enjoyed the first book, “Drawing Words & Writing Pictures.” Right now I’m in the story pitch stage when I have to sum up my story in a paragraph or so. At this point I don’t know how helpful this book will be but I’m hoping it will point me in the right direction.

The writing process will have several stages to it. As I said before, I will give myself till Sept. to write just a purely words script (mostly done on the computer). I will then do a rough page layout with just words inside the panels  to see what the page will look like and how many pages the story will need. From there I plan on adding or subtracting from the story or moving scenes around. Then I plan on penciling in story in earnest. After the whole book is penciled in I will of course start to ink it. After about a third of the book is inked, I will start sending out what I have to publishers to see if they are interested. So that it my plan of attack so far.

I have bad news that affects this project. A couple of days ago I discovered my scanner (a HP Photosmart Premium all-in-one) now likes to put a thick striped line down the center of the scanned image. So instead of using a big chunk of my budgeted money for a new scanner, I have decided to use the scanner at my work until I figure out what I’m going to do. I like feeling like I’m using the system for my own good but I also really just like the convenience of using my own scanner at home.

So from now until September I will be writing the book which I will not go into too much detail here. I don’t want to give away too much story. I will give updates on how the writing process is going and maybe little discoveries I’ve made along the way. I will continue to do the one page comics that you see above just to practice drawing. They may not always be about me or the book though. I was think of maybe doing illustrated “top ten lists” and posting those on this blog and maybe sprinkling them throughout the book as well.

I will also begin to collect photo references during this next phase. I especially need to start taking pictures of the local area. This I will do while writing the script.

That is where I am at in a nutshell. I didn’t plan to write so much but I guess I had more to say than I thought. Stop in again to see what I’m up to. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂