I’ve been hard at work trying to finish the drawing aspect of this project before the summer, that way I can finish up the cover and any edits that are needed and then I can move onto the pre-press process.
This is a quick look at one of the pages in progress. You’ll notice I am using Manga Studio to create the comic, there are two main reasons for this.
1) The way it handles word balloons/lettering is phenomenal.
2) The fact that it can handle a multi-page comic like exactly that. It creates a nice simple means of organizing your project. Which is good for me since I get a tad forgetful in terms of what I am on and such.
I’ll continue to post updates about the progress of the project. And maybe even give some sneak peeks at some of the finished artwork. So keep an eye out.
So, as some of you know, I have been working on a project known till now as the only The Super Secret Project. I am now far enough along in this project that I feel I can reveal the nature of the project.
| Insert Drum Roll |
The super secret project is actually a Graphic Novel.
Yes, you heard me correctly, a graphic novel.
Why am I doing a graphic novel you ask? Well, I am glad you asked. I’ve been asked quite a few times about the possibility of creating a printed version of my comic. And I’ve always said that while I would love to do so it’s an awful lot of work to put into what amounts to a re-run. Don’t get me wrong I like collections of strips just as much as the next guy, but if I was going to do a book I wanted to do something new and different. I know I could have added “special” comics to a compilation, or a bunch of sketches but that just seemed like adding filler. So the more I thought about this book idea the more I wanted to do a completely new story.
The big problem was what exactly would the new story be about, I batted ideas around in my head for a while. Would this new comic be about epic battles or a simple day in the life of the hero? Would it be fantasy based or firmly set in reality? Ultimately I realized I already had a story waiting in the wings, it wasn’t a complete story but more like a list of plot points and an idea for an ending.
And so I set out with a basic plot in hand, and started crafting this story. It’s been quite a while since I have attempted to tell a story in a long form format, and the last time I don’t think it was much more than 8 pages or so long. This new project is looking to come in around 76-80 pages. That is quite a bit larger than any story I have attempted to tell, heck I think my longest comic was a comic called “Welcome to my World” and that came in at 30 pages I think. This new project is a deeply personal story that I hope touches others the way it has me.
You might ask “Why all the secrecy?” Well, that has a lot to do with the length of the project, it is easily twice as long as any comic I have ever attempted so I was unsure if I could stick with it long enough to finish it. By keeping it secret I would not let anyone down who had been anticipating the comic anxiously. It’s still a ways off till it’s done, but now that I have passed the halfway point I feel I can at least reveal a the nature of the project.
Heck, I will even share a page or two with you:
Both of these pages could in fact change a lot before we get to the final editing stage, but the at least show you a snippet of what the comic may look like.
As much as I’d love to go into the what the story is about, I don’t want to ruin it or the folks who might actually want to read it. What I can tell you is this:
1) The format of the book will be a Manga sized digest, full color cover and black and white interior.
2) I’ll be printing it through Ka-Blam most likely which means you will be able to order it directly from them.
3) I could be convinced that “Artist Editions” where you order the book through my site and get a fun sketch in the book are a good idea. It would take a lot to convince me of this, but it is possible.
So there you have it, now you know all about The Super Secret Project… well except what is about. I guess you’ll have to wait and buy it when it comes out!
There is members only content here.
This is the initial character sketch for potential new character. The story idea for this character is still in the formative stage, it is based on a discussion I had with a friend the other day.
The far left and far right seem to be up in arms and making all sorts of demands. One could say that they are attempting to hold the country hostage to their ridicules demands. Not one to be left behind in terms of demanding ridicules things I am forming a new political movement, The Ice Cream Party. We the Ice Cream Party have one simply demand from our leaders, Free Ice Cream for every American! We will not rest until this demand is met! For far too long have we been oppressed by not only having to pay big corporations for what is in essence our god given right but we have also had to pay taxes to big government on that same god given right! We know that all federal employees have free ice cream every Tuesday! And to make matters worse their staff gets it as well!
Don’t even get me started on the greedy corporations…
The CEO’s of these giant ice cream conglomerates are hording all ice cream for themselves! Then they have the audacity to pay not a single penny in taxes on even a spoonful of the ice cream they eat!
It’s time to take a stand people, it’s time to say enough is enough! How do I do that you ask? Why in the simplest way possible, all you have to do is spread this message through world. Use social media to help spread the word. Post the image here on your Facebook wall, share it with your Google + circles, tweet the hell out of it! Show people that you are part of the one political movement that makes sense.
Do it today!
I guess I missed this when it was announced or didn’t see it applying to comics as much, but Apple announced the launch of a new service called NewsStand a month or so ago.
Either way, in case you missed it too here are some some relevant links to the info:
As you know I have talked about micropayments on more than one occasion, it’s an idea that I support even if I have yet to see it work. I place it in a special box of ideals along with my other unrealistic ideas, like free universal healthcare.
NewsStand is said to be the iBooks for newspaper and magazine publishers, allowing one centralized place to get your content. From a consumers point of view I would think this would be advantages, it’s a one stop shopping type experience. Think of it as your digital comic book shop, in a way that Comixology has never quite achieved. From this lazy consumers point of view, if I can get everything in one place I will more than likely do so.
From a publishers point of view there are advantages to a service like Newsstand, the major thing being it’s an Apple product and as much as I hate to admit it, they have a very substantial user base. Access to that large a user base is tempting for any publisher, but one thing most publishers want, besides your money that is, is all the information contained in your subscription. With Newsstand it seems as if Apple will control all this info, which cuts off a secondary income for the publishers. The selling of your info, even if that just share it with their sister publications, it means you might decide to get another of their family of publications. So will publishers really want to go along with this? Let’s face it, if Apples wants to do it, it will, and the smart publisher will be forced to go along with it. Apple is the schoolyard bully demanding lunch money, and you better pay… or else. Speaking of paying… Apple will take 30% of what the consumer pays for their subscription. You feel you are being treated unfairly? Pray Apple doesn’t alter the deal further.*
Now what does this mean for comic artists? Well, if you draw a webcomic strip I don’t think it means much for you honestly. I think this will be an app geared to long form comics more than strips, I would guess that the minimum transaction will be about ¢99 or so and honestly are you going to pay a buck to read a singular strip? Maybe if a webcomic creator could sell a monthly subscription that might work otherwise I don’t see it as a viable option. Long form comics on the other hand, I can see this as being a great way to market your story, especially via the iPad. Comics look really nice on the iPad *Better than on the Kindle, sorry Kindle. * so all you long form comic artists should gear up for this!
Which brings to my last point, how does one get included in the newsstand app, do you need the backing of a major publisher or will it be similar to the Kindle and you just need to meet certain minimum requirements for submitting and then you are approved? And how much censorship will Apple enforce. And let’s face Apple already “filters” quite a lot of content via the App Store, will Newsstand be any different?
*Steve Jobs, the Darth Vader of mobile devices?
If you have been living in a hole you may have missed the shitstorm unleashed against poor Rob Granito this past weekend.
There was ridicule and scorn thrown his way. Which truth be told he certainly asked for. He was publically called out by the self appointed comic-con sheriff Mark Waid. Who in no uncertain terms informed him “He’ll never work in this town again.” * Last but not least he was threatened with physical violence, naturally this last bit was done from a safe position behind a keyboard.
Now, if you were hiding under a rock, you may ask “What did this awful man do?! Is he a child molester? A mass murderer?? Did he kick a puppy???
No, he is an (alleged) art thief. Most interestingly he has been doing the con circuit for years, and suddenly it just came to light that he has been borrowing other peoples work. Uh, wait… it seems like other folks have been saying the same thing for years. So why the sudden venom? All I can trace it to is he invoked the name of a recently passed comic artist, in a way that implied he had worked with him. Apparently this was the last straw. The very idea of him implying that he had worked with this artist was enough to set off the feeding frenzy. There was blood in the water. And the sharks descended. My question is where were all the sharks through the years that he was doing this? Where was Mark Waid during this time? If what he is/was doing is such a grave injustice then why was he allowed to do it for so? And why are others still doing it?
How many of you have been to a Con or a Faire and seen someone doing crappy knock offs of someone elses work? Was there an angry mob gathered around this person ready to lynch them? It seems unlikely. All these irate folks have been emboldened by the anomity provided by the internet. Which, to a certain extent, we all are. But posting about how you would punch someone and break their jaw because they had the nerve to plagerize a piece of art? It shows an extreme lack of reason and possibly that the individual making the threats might want to expand their reading a bit further than just superhero comics.
Perhaps, all these folks are never heard the quote from Picaso about the fact that ALL artists steal. Not always to the extent that Rob did, but still. In the end I don’t think this was ever about him stealing art. It was about him padding his resume, pure and simple. And then continuing the lie that he worked on all these titles. I don’t for one minute think that if he had kept his mouth shut about all the supposed pro work he had done, that this would have ever happened to him.
This a great lesson for all of the folks making crappy knock-offs of other peoples art, keep your head down and your mouth shut and you’ll be fine. You might even bring in some decent money.
*paraphrased for effect
Scott Kurtz wrote an interesting piece here, it basically states that he is over his desire to join the National Cartoonist Society. While I don’t think he really has let go of that desire, that is not really the point. I want you to over and take a look at some of the award categories for the Reubens. Go on I’ll wait…
Good. Now perhaps you noticed a distinct lack of a certain cartooning form is lacking. If you guessed Greeting Cards, then you are wrong because they have a category. Also if you guessed Advertising Illustration, you would also be wrong. If you however guessed Webcomics then you would be correct. Now it’s not exactly like webcomics is this new crazy idea, heck I have been doing them for over 10 years and they were around before then even. So why exactly aren’t webcomics given any respect from the NCS?
The closest they seem to get to honoring someone with any connection to webcomics is Chris Sanders, who is freaking amazing, but they certainly aren’t honoring him for his short lived series Kiskaloo.
Now, one could certainly argue that since webcomics are essentially self published there is no way to determine if someone is a “professional” cartoonist. Since there is no real barrier to entry into this artform, nearly any schmo can do it, than how do you separate the Pros from the Wanna-bes. You could argue that if you wanted, you would be wrong of course, but you could argue it. Want a simple way to determine the Pros? Here you go, who makes a living doing it? See how easy that was?
Now if the NCS wants to never let Scott Kurtz in that is fine. I understand that on more than one occasion he has not been the nicest individual. But to completely ignore the fact that webcomics exist is pretty silly and it makes them look as if they are hopelessly stuck in the past. So come on NCS join us here in the 21st century, it’s really not so bad.
Or you can join us in trying to build our own organization!!! Let the NCS that we don’t want to play in their silly reindeer games.