Saturday, October 15, 2016

I think this one will be called The Tower.

What started out as an attempt to get better at making strong single images has turned into what I think will be the next next book. It's gonna a cross-hatching heavy fantasy. These drawings are basically functioning as a style test for what I want the rest of the book to look like. There's definitely going to be a Mœbius influence, but I hope that it isn't too much of a Mœbius influence. But then, is it possible to have too much of a Mœbius influence?

Also, for some of the concepts of these drawings I was looking at tarot decks.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Sweet Style

I worry about style. Specifically, I worry about having an inconsistent style. Sometimes my drawings look pretty mainstream. Sometimes they're pretty indie. I worry that it makes it hard for the reader or potential fan. They see some tricked out superhero in a spacesuit on Instagram and then get some comic about a person having to share their coffee with someone they find repugnant. 

A baseball pitcher mixes up his pitches and tries to keep the batter guessing. The batter expects a fast ball and gets a curveball. It's good for a pitcher to do that, but I'm not sure that it makes my life easier as a creator. Batter and pitcher are opposed, but creator and reader/viewer shouldn't be, should they? They should be one the same page.

But I keep skipping pages and switching books.

But there are a lot of comics to be drawn, and they can't all be drawn in the same style.

These pages are from an untitled work in progress. I penciled the panel borders, but everything else was done straight to ink. There's something a little more human in those wobbly lines, and this is a human story. The colors are tentative.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pin Ups, Fan Art, Comics, Screams, and Whispers.

The table across from me at Boston Comic Con.

Boston Comic Con was a few weeks back. I was struck by the lack of comics and the dominance of fan art. Big images easily comprehended from a distance. Compared to my little books with little drawings that a person must approach and pick up in order to understand and form an opinion of. Little comics so easily lost in the sea of bright and lurid Wonder Women and Harley Quinns.

It doesn't make me want to draw Wonder Woman, but it does make me think about the bold single image and how that is a branch of my art I neglect. I zoom in oblivious to the people who are zoomed out.

I came home thinking I need to zoom out a little bit. I need to work on that single bold image.

A little OMAC Jack Kirby tribute. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Around September of last year, I started carrying little Moleskine sketchbooks, the kind you can fit in your back pocket, around with me wherever I went.  In them, whenever I had time, I would draw little comics that I made up as I went along. It was very good for building my confidence because I found that even with no plan interesting things would happen.  

I decided I would keep drawing them until June of this year. At that time, I had about eight of these books completely filled (each about 60 pages). My girlfriend and I went through and chose our favorite stories with the intention of putting them into a more finished readable form. We chose six stories, which ended up being roughly 200 pages.

Here's the beginnings of one of the chosen stories and some of the first finished pages:

My plan is to have a finished book by spring of 2017.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Panel to Panel

I used to take notes and write out stories, but that just doesn't work for me anymore. Now, almost all writing is done in comic form, panel to panel in ink. The ideas just seem to flow more smoothly. I think the drawing actually allows me more time to think about what is going to happen. It takes so much longer to draw than to write, and so various options and sequences of what's to come will play through my brains while I am drawing. A process of editing, thinking, imagining, rejecting, reimagining and twisting takes place, which doesn't occur if I simply sit down and write. Writing feels like going a million miles an hour. It's too fast.

This is a little sequence that started running along the bottom of my sketchbook.

A note on sketchbooks:

I always have multiple sketchbooks going at a time. This one, a regular red Moleskine with the thin pages, is solely for Drown.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Back to the Sketchbook

I'm doing a bit of a rethink on my project Drown, which means going back to the sketchbook and trying to let ideas flow out. There is no particular intention with these, the idea is just to document thoughts as they come. Maybe they will lead to something and maybe they won't.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


I've hit a bit of a rough patch with the book I've been tentatively titling as Drown. There has been a lot of redrawing. Right as I near completion of a page, I will begin to feel that it is not working. I'll continue on because it's best to see a page in it's finished state. Then, when it's finished, I hate it, and I just feel like I have been wasting my time.

This page is within a section where a circus ship has been capsized in a storm and all the crew members, circus performers, and animals go crashing into the ocean. With this page, the black of the undersea section just felt too heavy in comparison to the above water section. Also, the above the water section is a little unclear in terms of what is actually happening. There needs to be a splash of some sort.

And so, the fix:

This one will rely much more on computer coloring to bring out depth in the thin clean lines.

This next draw/redraw situation is in a section where the heroic pair have been swallowed by a fish and descend into its stomach, and the problem here is the clean lines. They are far too thin and uniform. They don't really show any movement or life. On the previous page, the clean lines worked because it was crystalizing the moment of the elephant plunging into the water. This page is shouldn't be that clean though; it needs a little more action in the lines.

Which basically means switching up the tools and using a brush instead of a technical pen.

These are just two of a number of drawn and redrawn pages, and one of my brains likes to think that it is just problems with the individual pages, but another one of my brains thinks that drawing and redrawing is a sign of a deeper problem, which is that this project is currently directionless, and that the lack of focus within the overall work is seen in a lack of focus or clarity of thought within the individual pages.

I think I've jumped into this one a little too soon. I also think that one of my brains was very happy with the results of Hedra and wants to create another. That brain insists on duplicating the Hedra process, one in which I really did just jump in and start drawing, and so I felt I should do the same with this project.

However, the lesson for my brains to learn from Hedra should not be to view it as cookbook recipe template. It is simply that I should do whatever I want in whatever way I want to do it. Let the project dictate the form. Attempting to copy what was done before, even if it is something done by myself, is death.