Saturday, February 26, 2011

What's Out There?


I've been looking to push myself into drawing more from the gut, leaving all purpose behind. Working on my project has me looking for ways to approach the art style that doesn't feel like your normal comic but still fits in a sequential world. 

I've been inking OZ and the rest of my work with a brush for the last 4 years. It's a blast and I love how it looks and feels. But the story I'm telling needs a bit more emotion in the lines. I've been studying a lot of artists who just go crazy with dead lines and use a pen or pencil in a more manic way. I feel that there is something bold about an artist that trusts the idea to rise above a technique or tool. There's something exciting about the scattered feeling of just scribbling and not fearing that there will be "mistakes." It's fun to draw and fun to look at.

For some reason I was really moved while drawing this today. I drew in my traditional puffy, cartoon like clouds that you've seen from me over the years. But got rid of them and decided to go with new shape. I just drew a big oval. I had been reading Shaun Tan books so I'm sure he was creeping in there but something about the simplistic shape just shook me. I was thrilled. It was strange and didn't look like a cloud. But it is. It's a cloud. I love it!!! 

Ok, so I'm feeling very inspired today and you get a big mushy, artsy post out of it. (Don't worry, I'm listening to a Star Trek podcast so I haven't sent off the flowery deep end :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

SkottieScott Daily Sketch Blog


The daily warm-ups have been fun enough so far that comic book master Scott Morse and I have decided that we need to team up and give you even more. We started the SKOTTIESCOTT blog to get our juices flowing for the day and offer you all a peek inside. It's pretty simple. We'll pick a character each day and both do our take on it. Quick sketch like character studies of some of our favorite characters. We'll even get you all in on the action from time to time.

A bonus to this blog is, each of our pieces will be available to come home and live with you forever. Both Scott and I will be selling each daily piece for $100. There will be an email link on each post for you to contact us if interested.

So, each weekday check out the SKOTTIESCOTT blog (we have the domain name we just need to plug it in) for the new sketches. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ratfist

Go read my buddy Doug TenNapel's RATFIST webcomic. He was awesome enough to ask me to do the the page for todays comic. I don't need to go much further into how great Doug is, as I just gushed about him a few posts ago. So go support a great cartoonist!

Warm-Up: Thanos


This mornings warm-up. Thanos. Again, I tried to keep it to 30 but went a bit over. I need to stop fiddling with it in photoshop after. What ev's, here you go!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Warm-Up: Man-Thing


I'm getting back into morning warm-ups. I want to keep them to 30 mins but today I was excited pushed it to about 50 mins. I'll have to start setting a timer.

Enjoy

Ozma of Oz #6 Cover


Nome King. That is all.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Buy a Book to Begin the Week: EARTHBOY JACOBUS


So, now that you've cried after reading I Kill Giants and looked at the kid in your with the Flight series, let's go with an all ages action/adventure book.

EARTHBOY JACOBUS by Doug TenNapel.

First, you've probably notice that I mention Doug a lot. From his story in Flight, his Scholastic Graphic Novel GHOSTOPOLIS and his new web comic RATFIST, I'm starting to sound like his hype man. What ev's!! I love Doug's work. He sling ink around with a brush showing us exactly what a cartoonist can do. He adds just enough to give us all the info we need without noodling a page to death. This gives his stories a pace and energy that you don't see in many comics. He has like 12 or more graphic novels out there and there's no stopping him in the future.  How can I not support a guy like this?

EARTHBOY JACOBUS is one of my favorites of his. The story of a boy from an alternate universe is found by an aging man and learns to be a part of this world. But as the boy grows older forces from his native world show up in our plane to take him back. It's a fun sci-fi, father and son tale.

If you dig this, try some of Doug's other work.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

My new hardcover sketchbook STUFF: BOOK ONE Orders Open

Orders are now open for my new sketchbook STUFF: BOOK ONE. Full Color, 48 pages, Hardcover, 7.5x7.5, and all for only $15.  Supplies are limited, get in while the gettin' is good!






Monday, February 07, 2011

Buy a Book to Begin the Week: FLIGHT


I thought I would throw a wrench at you this week and not only give you an anthology, but seven volumes of them.  FLIGHT is a great collection of short stories from the widest range of creators you can find. Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet) brings together some fantastic talent from the beginner to some true vets.

The best thing about these volumes is they are meant for all ages. You can enjoy them for yourselves or share them with the little ones in your life.

My good friend Ryan Stegman believes that the comic book is the perfect medium for anthologies. I have to agree with him. Not every story needs to be decompressed to 100+ pages. Some can feel just as epic in 8 10, or 20 pages. They're great for just flipping thru and stopping, and reading story with feeling the need to begin on page one and barrel thru. FLIGHT's seven volumes prove all these things to be true.

You're in for a treat. A few of my pals like Jake Parker and Doug TenNapel have stories inside and you won't be disappointed with the rest of the creators that join them.

Flight, Volume One
Flight, Volume Two
Flight, Volume Three
Flight, Volume Four
Flight Volume Five (Flight Graphic Novels)
Flight Volume Six (Flight Graphic Novels)
Flight Volume Seven

A quick note on this weekly column before I go. While I will highlight a decent amount of creator owned books, I'm not sticking strictly to them as some people have assumed. I'm trying to highlight books that I love and that's it. I'm not fighting a battle of indie vs. corporate comics. I'm not fighting battle at all. I just want to share the books that I dig think you might as well.

And thank you to the folks at Blacklist and Top Shelf for offering up some books for me to read. You all are awesome!

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Great Saints of the North


A quick sketch done during a live UStream Broadcast today. I thought it would be great to see a group of Saint Bernard Mystics somewhere high in the mountains. I'm going to try and get back on a regular schedule of live drawing.  This was done in about an hour in Manga Studio.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Adventures of Bernard: Digital Book Update

Another week and things are still going strong. Bernard is at 615 downloads. Orders have slowed up but that's expected. I'm 3 weeks in and still have only used Twitter to promote. I've been interested in seeing what's possible with as little push as possible and hopefully this will show me what's possible with some real marketing behind it.

Again, I'm not breaking any records but I'm moving at least 7 ebooks a day, if not more. At $2 a pop, this is pretty great so far when the print book has still sold under 200 copies in the year I've been selling it.

I do think the key to this is keeping the price low. With print costs or 3 or 4 middle men, the cost can stay low and allow for more people to give it a shot with out a ton of risk. I'm not married to $2. If I had a 200 page story I may want to go $4 or $5. But that's still a bargain compared to the cost of print books.

Again, I'm in no way against print. I just got a call from the shipping company that's arriving on Tuesday with a pallet of 1000 hardcovers sketchbooks. So please don't take this as me talking about the downfall of print, or cutting out retailers. A book like this is a perfect example that lives in a strange area. It's not going to flying off bookshelves of retailers and it obviously wasn't flying out the door when I pritined up a year ago. So it's not about not giving it the retailers or cutting them out, it's about trying to find a place for a book like this. And the digital method seems to work for this kind of thing. 

The thing I'm most interested in on my next pass at this is how to go about releasing a digital book along side of a print. Do I go with a publisher, do I just print a small run myself and handle in house, or just digital. I don't know. I'm not there yet, but these are all interesting questions that I'll have to answer in the next year.

A few more creators have talked with me about being inspired by progress so far and may jump in with their books. I'm not the first person to sell their own digital books and from the excitement I'm seeing, I won't be the last. I'm so freaking excited for the possibilities of the format, but mostly as a fan at the chance to have all my favorite creators on my iPad! 

In other Bernard digital news, Dani Jones of THE ILLUSTRADED SECTION opened up the doors for me to sell my book along side of the other wonderful digital books in their store. It's a great online storefront showcasing creators comics. If you have a book and would like include in their growing library, check the submissions section on the site. It's another great place to network together and share our books. Stop by and browse the selection. 

Most of all, thanks to all of you that have bought my little book and helped to spread the word. You're more awesome than I can explain and I'm forever grateful for your support. 


Other creators and sites that are already offering their digital books

Katie Cook -F*** You Box (funniest comic ever)
Chris Eliopoulos- Misery Loves Sherman 
Derek Hunter- Derek Hunter is a F*** and Lobster Ladd & Cosmic Jones
Jeremy Treece- Fearsome as the Night

And these are just friends of mine that i know are doing it. There are many more out there that I don't know about so look around. If you find new ones, share the love.

And someone started a blog featuring $2 digital comics. Check it out to keep up with new comics added around the web.