Monday, October 25, 2010

Consistency

Oh, my poor blog. There was a time when I paid so consistent and on top of things. I had three posts a week, week after week. And now the river has turned into a stream, a mere trickle.

A week and a half ago was APE in San Francisco, which was awesome, though a little hectic. I headed to the airport straight after work on Friday (with a small rest in a bar along the way), got in to San Francisco around ten thirty. Went out, stayed out and then had jetlag wake me up too early in the morning and off to the convention all day Saturday and Sunday and then on the plane back Sunday night. A blitz.

It's a big show. Bigger than MoCCA, bigger than SPX, AND best of all they serve drinks! A few bloody mary's is just the thing to get you ready to talk to all the people. Unfortunately, the table that I was at (along with Dan Mazur) was way at the back of this big show and by the time people had gotten there they had already seen about a million comics. There was a glazed look in the eye. The jaws were just a little slack. So of these people may have been like that all the time, but for most I think it was a result of total comics overload.

The best seller was my dancing Spider-Man mini, which is good, but also bad. The good is that it sold and it also brought people over to the table to check out my stuff. The frustrating part is that I just whip off dancing Spider-Men without even thinking. There's no plot. There's no page layout. There isn't even really a premise. Just Kingpin doing the running man. And it sells itself. Meanwhile, books that I really worked on, books that I actually wrote, with characters that I created, books that mean something to me... they get ignored. So there is a little bit of love/hate with the dancing Spider-Men. But, it did bring people over to the table.

So...

Next year:

Dancing Star Wars. Possible title: Dancing with the Star Wars?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One Week to APE!

Here's another comic from awhile back that I was never really satisfied with color-wise. The first version was a sort of hideous blue and orange mess. It never really seemed to do the idea justice. I like this version much better. There's one layer of normal color which is at 80 percent opacity. Underneath that layer is a layer of solid yellow color, which just shows through the first layer. It unifies the whole page and also gives a warm glow to all the colors, even the blues.

Now all I have to do is get some prints made and than I'll be ready for APE, which is next weekend. I can't wait. I love California.

This week was also a good week for the new book. I got four more pages done. I'm almost done chapter three. I originally said that was hoping to have a solid rough draft of the book done by Christmas. That's definitely not going to happen at the current pace. It's not an easy task. With the other graphic novels I wasn't working a full-time job, so I could spend all day grinding away. Now... it's just a few hours a day and all I can really do is chip away a little bit at a time. It's harder to get a sense of pacing. It's also harder to have much of a view of the book as a whole. It's hard to know if I'm putting too much emphasis on something that's of little import or if I'm glossing over something vital.

But, I chip away a little every day, and then I'll clean up the mistakes in editing.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Let's Get Outta Here

This is a comic that I posted quite awhile ago, but I never really like the original colors too much. I decided to rework it and makes prints before I headed out to APE in two weeks. It has probably been the most frustrating comic for me to color. I'm not very confident working with color and my general solution is to try and keep my coloring simple. It's rare that I get over five colors on one page. More than that and things start to look awful. However, with this comic having a simple color palette just didn't work because one thing that having all the same colors in the panels does is unify the page. It makes it look like everything is happening in the same place. That unification is detrimental to this comic, because it is based on every panel having a drastically different setting. A large color palette was necessary.

But a large color palette can create a mess and while having the panels too unified is a problem, so is having the panels seem completely disparate. The pattern I ended up coming up with was this. The foreground characters in the first panel are red. The foreground characters in the second panel are blue. From there I alternate cycling through the color wheel with each panel. The odd panels moves from red to orange to yellow to green, etc., and the even panels move from blue to purple to pink, etc. This results in each panels foreground color being far removed from the one previous, but still creates something of a checkerboard pattern that keeps the whole page together.

I don't even want to admit how much time I spent tweaking all these colors. There were a lot of times when I thought about just doing it in black and white.

Here are some failures.
But I think I have it now, and I should have prints ready for APE (the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco on 10/16-17).