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Featured Artist Friday: Kit Seaton

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I first met Kit Seaton at Swarm Con. She’s a faculty member at the Savannah College of Art and Design teaching the art of comics, and she was one of the coolest people I met at the con.

And I’m not just saying that because she made art of Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx.

…Ok maybe that’s a bit true. But she’s still a fabulous artist.

kit seaton groucho marx and charlie chaplin

(I mean, look at this!)

I love textured brushes in digital art, and Seaton’s work is full of colorful, vibrant examples of that.

At the con, I got a copy of a comic she collaborated on, called “Otto the Odd and the Dragon King.” It’s a tale of a prince (who hates baths) that befriends the local dragon and needs to use his wits to save him from a knight. It’s charming, fun, and self-contained. Definitely worth a read.

otto the odd and the dragon king cover

Little did I know, she actually collaborates with her sister on a webcomic called “The Black Bull of Norroway“. I haven’t read it yet, but now it’s on my list. It’s based on a fairy tale and I love me some obscurer fairy tales.

You can find more of her whimsical, charming work on Tumblr.

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

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Outlines are Creative Writing’s Best Friend

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tiny unicorn opolite typing

We all have assumptions. And sometimes those assumptions serves us ok.

Assumptions like “Planning is good for buildings and other physical products” and “creating is an impulse.”

But a lot of the time, especially when we create new art and stories, those asumptions are wrong. When you create things, you gotta bend or break the rules to create something that’s worth a damn.

To that end, I say that outlines – that pesky tool that some creatives think gets in the way of writing because it’s used for book reports and not novels – outlines are not just handy in creative writing and storytelling. They are necessary.

Allow me to explain.

When it comes to how our brains work, we have this assumption that there’s a left and right brain, and that planning and logistics are logical, left brain functions, while creative expression and intuition are the domain of the impulsive and emotional right brain.

Except our brains don’t really work that way. When we create, multiple parts of our brain, not just the right hemisphere, light up with activity. The same is said for doing logical problems, especially math. Multiple parts of our brain light up. How many of us got creative with math problems?

I know I did. And I aced all my math classes.

So why are logic and organization shunned in the creative arts?

I don’t know (leave your thought on this in comments).

But I like using outlines for when I write, especially when I write for my comics. Why?

Because outlines help me figure out what’s next when my creative juices are stuck in the valve of expression. Outlines are the Drain-O that opens the valve.

Recently I was writing in a new comic script. The story is about an autistic girl, who’s exploring a town in a post-alien-colonized Earth to find a cyborg that killed her father.

I was writing act 1 when I stopped and went, “Crap. I don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

So I walked away from it and shuffled through my notes of the story, which I keep in a notebook on my shelf.

I opened this notebook, and LO AND BEHOLD! There was an outline of act 1 that included events leading into act 2.

I then took the time to write out an outline for act 2. It only took about ten minutes.

And when I returned to my script, I wrote three new pages!

Ten minutes of outlining saved me hours of staring at a computer screen and wracking my brain for ideas.

My outlines aren’t even all that detailed. They’re essentially one-sentence ideas for scenes.

But it works for me.

I know I intend on writing more outlines for my stories. I have one in particular, about a haunted house and some elementary school students that explore it, that desperately needed an outline before I jumped into it. I’m going to take the time to write one up for that before I continue any further.

So the next time you get stuck when writing something, take ten minutes to write an outline. Your brain may thank you for it.

Thanks for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

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Review Day Tuesday: Game Boss: The Final Form

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game boss the final form logo

Game Boss: The Final Form is an anthology I picked up at (surprise) Swarm Con.

Now, despite the title, not all of the stories within the anthology deal with video games. That may come as a surprise to you, because it sure surprised me.

As I read this, it occured to me that all of the stories, while not always dealing with video games, DID deal with a common theme: Transformation of the self, usually through a struggle, surprise, or sacrifice.

flesh by lea faske

A page from “Flesh” by Lea Faske.

And to be fair…this anthology handles these themes very, very well.

There are too many stories for me to break this review down to review all of them, like I did with SIX. However, all the stories stand out for a variety of reasons.

The ones that stood out to me the most were “Flesh” by Lea Faske (pictured above), “No Parking” by Mad Rupert, and the first story that appears in the anthology, “Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow” by Ngozi Ukazu (fyi, she is the sweetest and coolest lady). These ones have the strongest art as well as the most interesting takes on the idea of “transformation,” ranging from straightforward shape shifting to transforming your world view to an emotional transformation through the sacrifice of another person.

no parking by mad rupert

A page from “No Parking” by Mad Rupert

As for the art, that’s also varied. The art styles range from the hyper realism of Yunfan Zhou to the bold-lined, Steven Universe-esque cartooning in “The Quest” by Gerardo Alba. If you want some fantastic visual variety in your comics anthology, this is the volume that will satisfy you.

way to god by yunfan zhou

A page from “Way to God” by Yunfan Zhou

Have you read this anthology? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

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Distillum, Vol 1: A Review

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distillum, chapter 1

Yes, it’s the glorious return of Review Day Tuesday! Man, I missed sharing new reads with you.

Only, um…today’s Review Day Tuesday is on a …Thursday.

Funny story: my brain tricked me into thinking I didn’t have to update on Tuesday. Two days later, my brain was like, “Oh wait, in your email newsletter you said you would review a thing.”

So I’m going to course correct. This week’s Review Day Tuesday feature will be on a Thursday, but next week we’ll be back on schedule.

Anyway, comics! Continue reading →

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