Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Post SDCC Sale on JUNK ONE

If you couldn't attend SDCC or did and were on a bit of a budget while there, don't fret. I'm having a Post SDCC Sale on my latest art book JUNK ONE. $10 off for the next 2 weeks. Use this chance to get your copy while supplies last. Under 500 copies left IN THE WHOLE WORLD!


And The Winner Is....

That's right! We came home with 2 Eisner Awards for our book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  I couldn't be happier and more proud of the work everyone did on the book.

I'd like to thank specifically Dan Buckley and Dave Gabriel for being the two guys that pushed me to take the job. I was nervous about leaving an X-men book and doing an all ages/children's book even though that is where my artistic heart lives most of the time.  I just was scared that no body would pay attention and I would get lost in the back corners of your local shops.  I couldn't have been more and these two gentlemen were smart enough to see otherwise.

Furthermore, I'd like to thank everyone up at Marvel for allowing Eric and I go run off to our corner and do whatever we thought the project needed.  No one ever messed with us, changed anything, or tried to steer the ship in their own direction.  I've never felt more free as an artist and it's a credit to our Marvel team for giving us that space to create. You all are awesome.  Nate Cosby, especially you for being our voice up at the office. You're always there to make sure we have what we need, when we need it, and a break when that's needed to. I love you crazy ass.

Jean-Francois Beaulieu, you are one of the most important parts of your puzzle. You take my work and make it more than I could on my own. You preform magic with your colors and take us too another world. I am glad to call you my partner and here is to another million years of creating fun art together. Thank you for working with me for so many years.

Eric, your love of the project and the world of Baum's Oz is the foundation of this thing. It gives me the confidence to step outside the box because I know you're always there with the connection to the material that we need.  Together we strike an amazing balance and I look forward to many more!

Last, thank you to all the fans for supporting us out there in the stores.  You're buying the books, reading the books, and telling people about the books.  I can't thank you enough.  Without you we would have never made it this far, let alone won 2 Eisner awards. So, thank you for your support over the last few years.

I'll be back to posting Video Journals later in the week, right now I still have no voice left after SDCC.  Thanks, and I'll see you all later.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I'll be taking a week off from my journals to attend San Diego Comic Con.  It's been about 4 years since I've been out there and it's nice to be returning.  I'll have a few prints and copies of JUNK ONE for sale. I'm not sure what my situation with sketches will as i can never tell how busy things will be until I get there.  Once I get a hold of how the week will be going I'll decide how i'm handling them.

Below is a view of the floor and our booth #4601.  Yup, I've joined forces with NFR.  For those of you who don't know that is a group of artists including J. Scott Campbell, Arthur Adams, Phil Noto, David Finch, Amanda Conner, Michael Golden, Joyce Chin, Bruce Timm... and now Myself.  Pack a lunch, you'll be at our booth awhile.

Below is view of the SDCC floor map and where our booth is. Walk in the door, there we are. You can't bet better than that.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Making of My Graphic Novel: Video Journal 1

I've been enjoying giving you updates on the progress of my graphic novel but filling out these blogs are going to get time consuming if I don't watch it.  So I decided that I'd add some video journals into the mix. This will allow me to add a few quick thoughts every now and then with out babbling all over my keyboard.

Oh, and I changed the name. I was already tired of looking at the title. I felt like I was 8 years old trying to give myself a nickname. ( which I tried.) So it's pretty basic and too the point.

The Project Chronicles 2

I wanted to do a little drawing before I started writing today and decides to watch my friend Francis Vallejo new inking demo. (Which you should download via the link on his blog.)  He did a the same drawing using a few different tools each time. Once with nib, once with brush finally, one combining the two. Very inspiring stuff.

I've never really used a nib for anything other than a few drawings here and there.  But I never really felt a connection with the tool enough to use it for an entire book or project.  In fact, I used to ink everything with those terrible, dead to the world Micron pens.  Nothing felt more lifeless.  About 3 years back I picked  up a brush and started scribbling around and really liked what came out of that and have been using that style since.  After watching Francis mess around with ink, I think it's time for me to step back out onto that ledge again and try out a new style for The Project.

Enter the nib.  While watching Francis's demo a second time thru, I pulled out an old junky nib from my drawer and did a little doodling.  I used a col-erase pencil to throw down some very loose shapes and then just went to town with the nib and ink.  I started to get very excited by outcome and began to see the seeds of a different look to apply to The Project.

I love using the brush.  I'm very proud of the years I've put in on the OZ books and the style that I've crafted for that world.  I proud of the covers I've been doing at Marvel over the last few years.  But this is my first creator owned project and I want it to stand out from my other work.  It needs to have it's own unique voice, not only to set itself apart from my other books visually, but to help elevate the tone I'm going for in the writing.  i think it can also inform the tone of the writing as well.  

From the few tests I've done so far, illustrating from loosely with a nib is allowing me to creating a bit harsher, jagged line that gives you a sense of unease.  This definitely matches the tone of the Projects subject matter which will have a large cast of very questionable characters.  But it's also an all ages book that I want to feel very whimsical and youthful but not in the exact same ways OZ does. 

So, I'm going to play around with the nib a bit more with as I get closer to the illustration stage.  For now, back to the writing.  

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Project Chronicles 1

I've decided to start a series of journal entries chronicling the creation of my graphic novel.  I'm doing this partly for you to follow along side me while I work on my first creator owned graphic novel, but mostly for me to have some sort of documented chain of events in the creation of this great white whale. I figure it will help me learn from what I'm sure will many mistakes along the way.  

For now the book is going to be referred to as simply "Project".  I apologize for the teaser like nature of it and assure you that I'm not trying to be all secretive for build-up sake.  There is an actual reason behind it.  I read that when you start telling people your story then you are less likely to create it. Write it, don't share it.  This makes sense and I've learned the hard way that it's very true.  In fact, I think you most of you have learned that it's true on this very blog.   I've posted about various ideas I've had and how this or that was going to be my first book, or webcomic... well, you get the point.  None of them have come to life.  For whatever reason, I've never got my #@%* together and just did it.  So until I'm closer to the finish line I will just be calling it the "Project".

So far I've finished the outline of the book.  I've broken down into 3 acts with anywhere from 9 to 11 scenes per act.  The next step is the writing and drawing, two things that I was going to attempt to do at the same time.  I talked to a few friends and liked their process of breaking the story down visually and scripting to that as you go.  I tried it and it's not sitting that well with me.  I thought I would dig it but it just doesn't have the flow that I was looking for.  I like breaking an issue down all at once, penciling it all at once, inking it all at once.  This lets me sink my teeth into that one aspect of the process and stay in the frame of mind.  Once I find the grove I start moving much faster which improves the odds of me finishing the project.

After a day of thumbnailing and scripting along side one another I've decided to step back and take care of the scripting first.  I won't be fully scripting it, panel 1, panel 2 style.  All I need is a very general beat sheet with dialog for each scene. This will allow me to keep my thoughts on the flow of story and dialog and not get distracted by the angels, character designs and page layouts that cloud my mind when drawing.  Hopefully this will make for a more clever, snappy script.

Just like my day job of drawing the OZ novels, once the script is in place the art duties become second nature.  I'll be back in my comfort zone and things will start to progress very nicely.  (Let's hope so, anyway.)

Like the title of my book, I will be keeping a lot of the art to myself at the beginning.  I'll show you so doodles here and there but nothing that will give too much away.  Again, once I see that I'm making good progress and that this won't be another thing I bring up on a blog but never do, I'll start sharing more on the details of the project.  Until then, I'll keep you in the loop on the process and progress of The Project.


Sunday, July 04, 2010

A bit of a break

Just a quick note to let everyone know that it may be a few weeks before I'm back posting regular art updates.  I'm going to be spending this month writing and working on my personal project. I'll be taking a quick trip out to SDCC to push JUNK ONE and cross my fingers that we bring home at least one Eisner that we're nominated for.

So, thanks for all the support over this year.  I'll be back to regular posting in August.