Saturday, January 31, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
We're nearing the scene of our final showdown. Those three pillars of rocks are the lair of the Nameless One.
The dwarf pope is riding a new beast, the dwarven equivalent of a BlockHead, called a HornHead (creatively enough). I first imagined him being carried in a giant litter, but thought this would be more fun. HornHeads are bred by the dwarves to carry only the highest ranking dignitaries. They're generally smarter and more obedient than the BlockHead.
So up until this episode I have been 'drawing" every dot of snow with my stylus. Yeah...TEDIOUS. Tap tap tap tap tap... Finally I realized I could just make a template for snow in Adobe Illustrator. So I made a few different sized snowflakes and then then duplicated them hundreds of times. Then I turned them white and voila! All I have to do is drop the snowflakes on a layer in photoshop, zoom them in or out depending on what the camera angle is for each panel and add a little motion blur. Much faster and the change is hardly noticeable.
Next week, Bruce puts his tracking skills to good use but someone or someTHING is spying on them...
So with the unexpected time I now have on my hands, I’m going to be using it to make some comics. I have two big projects on my plate which I’m looking forward to jumping into and I’m also working on a new webcomic which I hope to unleash on the world. Given the state of comics and Diamond’s recent news, I think webcomics will be entering into a new age of validity.
Thanks for allowing me to whine a bit. I’ll try to post more here.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
It's a plot mover. But I love being in situations like this one, where I can reveal something to the reader that the main characters are SO CLOSE to seeing, but don't. Like what's hanging from the tree branch in the last panel. If they had just seen that, Barry's suspicions might not have gotten the better of him...and the whole story might play out in a different way. It's evil, but it's fun.
I'm getting comfy drawing snow backgrounds again. In next week's episode I even worked out a MUCH faster way to add snowflakes than I had been using. Tell you all about it then.
Speaking of which, next week...Inky at the mercy of the enemies. (And a cool new creature!)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Monsters for your dungeons.
This is from a tiny little scribble on a sheet of paper from work when I was in a boring meeting. I blew it up and did some finishing touches and thought it was okey dokey.
Going through tons of old stuff and finding a lot of junk that has a good, solid base and could make for cool imagery. It's fun, no?
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Who could Hurke be talking to? Some strange mouse witch? A girl from high school? A cashier at the local diner? Find out in episode 14...
Doodle of the city of Zyn Dweomer. Place of much that be happening and much that be not.
Still goofing around with Naola's look. Always fun trying to work out the kinks on a new character design. Here she sports the trendy-yet-practical Usagi.
Still early in the comic, I’m feeling my way toward some kind of sense of pacing and what-not. At first I thought it might be a very rapid-fire strip where each page constituted an entire scene, but as I get into it I default to my natural way of doing things. I tend to favor action-to-action sequences during action scenes with some smallish splashes to punctuate.
The setting is really taking form in my mind and on paper (well, on digital file anyway). The original concept was to make it as generic as possible, just a straight riff on the classic D&D fantasy motif. And I’ve kept to that, mostly. But the whole thing is starting to take on it’s own character – which of course is both inevitable and desirable.
One of the things I’ve struggled with a little bit is to what degree I want to do “exposition”. My fellow Wizards can attest to the fact that several versions of the strip passed before their eyes prior to the published version. Some of those versions had quite a bit more in the way of pure exposition, just setting up the theme of the comic. In the end I opted for a somewhat more natural pace that will reveal the setting and RPG-inspired motifs a bit more slowly and as needed.
Oh, and it’s a whole lot of fun.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Sorry guys it has been a few weeks. I've been prepping for one of the coolest small cons of the west....
A few years back I had an internet-type, back and forth with a great writer and nice guy, Stephen St. Laurent. He was the writer on a great little comic called IMPH along with artist extraordinaire Pepijn Berghout. IMPH was a fantastic series of shorts featuring a robot and a strange apocalyptic world. A few of the IMPH stories were published in Heavy Metal Magazine. I had always hoped that these IMPH stories would be collected but, alas, nothing so far. I’m happy that the website is still up and I encourage anyone who digs the Wizards of Ur to check this out. Great stuff. The few links that aren’t active are shorts that were published in Heavy Metal Magazine. Awesome stuff.
Stephen, if you’re out there, give me a shout.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
You knew this was coming... but, lordy, I love drawing Nodd when he's being evil. I practically chuckle like a psychotic killer while hunched over the drafting board (it helps).
The whole "grandma let me out of the bag" thing is an old inside joke from when I was in high school. (I may have even used it elsewhere in ATLAND...) Some friends and I used to write serialized comedies (one would leave a cliffhanger and the other would continue) just to make each other laugh. This line stems from those. And that's all the explanation you'll get out of me.
You may have already read, but I screwed up the pagination of ATLAND book 8. If not, go see what happened. Luckily, we're still on schedule.
if anyone cares (and I'd be shocked if you finished the whole thing without falling asleep), I finished a new article about the grammar and tradition of comic book lettering: http://www.blambot.com/grammar.shtml
Next week...our heroes are divided...is Inky missing...or is he a traitor?
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Well, I'm well into the teens on page count and the comic is still rolling along. What's great about the beginnings of any project is that shy, but barely restrained sense of lust you feel in getting to know it better. Kind of like fooling around with that girl in 8th grade. Heh.
Each page tells me something more about the characters and their world even as I try to reveal what I already know to be true.
The fun never ends.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Here's a little preview of a Prince Valiant-style pastiche I'm doing for the next Cloudscape book. The theme is newspaper strips, so I'm doing an adventure strip with descriptive text instead of speech balloons. Colour by the very talented Mike Birkhofer.
Figured I'd update a little early since you guys have been so patient for 2 weeks.
I had a ball drawing this one. I love drawing snow, and I like having the opportunity to do episodes that don't feature our main cast.
I hope you like the female dwarven Captain. In the script all I wrote was "dwarven captain" but when I sat down to draw I started playing with the idea (I drew her close up before her full body shot in panel 1) and first made her a woman. Then I shaved her head. Then I added the scar and eye patch. You'll be seeing her again.
In Season 2 news:
- I've finalized concept design for two new, important characters that I can't wait to show you.
- During the break between seasons 1 and 2, I'm going to do weekly previews of new concept art for the people/places/things which will be important in the new season. I'll put up a new set every Weds. night/Thursday, just like the regular update. That's the good news. The bad news is I'm witholding all new concepts until then.
Next week, our heroes arrive in Nilfang and survival becomes an immidiate problem...
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Well, last day of my holiday break. I feel good, though. I really accomplished a ton of work while I was off. I left 2008 with a terrific feeling of inspiration and accomplishment and that feeling is carrying over into 2009. The family is good, baby girl is rising and getting ready to turn golden brown, and the comics are flowing like cheap wine. Zyn Dweomer got off to a good bangin' start and I'm loving it so much it feels illegal.
Stay cool everyone. Remember da Bode's words:
"BE YOU, YOUR WAY, WHAT YOU ARE NOW IS FUNKIN'-A, right on, Ok; WE IS ALL things AT THE SAME TIME."