A Comic Concept In Progress

So I’ve been thinking of making a webcomic for a while.

I’m not sure what the story will be about yet. That’s why I’m brainstorming some schemes now and making a few sketches. Today I filled a sketchbook page with nothing but potential cast members of the new story (that’s the image above).

I’ve worked with the girl in the fedora and the girl with the braid on one side of her head before. They’re main characters in a mini-comic of mine, “The Messengers”, which I just finished the script for. The script was two years in the making, mostly because when I first started it the villain was of no interest to me, so I put it away for a while until I could approach it with new eyes. Now that I have it finished, I’m debating if I want to scrap the whole thing in favor of this new idea germinating in my head.

This idea, like I said, is still developing. Right now, there is a lot of thought concerning Muses, the Nine Art Forms as considered by the French, dreams, Egyptian and Greek mythology, and interconnected yet separate worlds a la Kingdom Hearts.

In other words, I have no idea what I’m doing yet.

So you know what I’m going to do?

Work on something else for a while.

I still need to finish the pencils for my submission to the IF-X anthology, and I’m making them extra nice because I intend to use them for a portfolio to send to some comic companies. So I think I’ll switch gears and work on them.

Usually, when I do that, ideas for other projects will whack me upside the head anyway. It’s funny when that happens: when you focus on one thing, your imagination goes off into the wilderness on its own and then finds an idea for you to use. It happens to me all the time.

If you have any suggestions or ideas of your own concerning the idea, please leave them in comments. I would love to hear from you.

I’m Hosting a Contest!

I entered an event on deviantART called the 1-hour contest, where you only have an hour to draw a particular character specified by the host. And this last week, I WON! That’s exciting!

What’s also exciting is because I won the contest, I get to host the next round!

So here’s the dealio.

If you are interested in participating in this contest, here are the rules:

  1. You have 1 hour to draw a character of my choosing.
  2. Submit your entry to the 1-hr-contest group on deviantART here:  http://1-hr-contest.deviantart.com/
  3. You must submit this by AUGUST 13. That’s this upcoming Monday!
  4. Any material, etc that you want.

And without any further ado, here is the character to be drawn:

This is Thomas Doran, soldier-in-training at the military school for the Touloy Armed Forces. He considers himself a ladies man, and is in fact quite chivalrous and polite. He is well-known in the school for being an expert boxer and strategist. His two best friends are Daniel (not pictured) and Jamie (pictured as the blonde in the center image). In fact, Thomas and Daniel are keeping Jamie’s identity a secret, since she is a woman disguising herself as a man to be in the school. Thomas tends to take things too seriously unless he’s around Jamie and Daniel, in which case he likes to pull pranks on the both of them when he can get away with it.
If you win and you are a member of deviantART, then you get to host the next round of the 1 hour contest!
For sake of simplicity, only deviantART members should enter. I can’t accept outside entries. Sorry!
Good luck to all of you, and Don’t Forget to Be Awesome!

Messages in a Bottle, or Wanting More Work

Dear Readers,

I have been working my butt off the past month. As I take a break these past few days, I realize I want to get back to work again.

It’s not just my workaholic nature that does this. It’s something I have been pondering about thanks to Neil Gaiman. In a video I saw, where he gave a commencement speech to a university, he said something that still clicks with me, especially now:

A freelance life, a life in the arts, is sometimes like putting messages in bottles, on a desert island, and hoping that someone will find one of your bottles and open it and read it, and put something in a bottle that will wash its way back to you: appreciation, or a commission, or money, or love. And you have to accept that you may put out a hundred things for every bottle that winds up coming back…

“…The problems of success. They’re real, and with luck you’ll experience them. The point where you stop saying yes to everything, because now the bottles you threw in the ocean are all coming back, and have to learn to say no.” 

(If you want to see the full video, click here.)

I still feel like I’m at a point in my life (having just emerged from the institution known as University) where I’m already throwing some bottles, but I’m supposed to be throwing more of them into the ocean. It’s just that I need to make the content to put in those bottles to throw out to sea.

(Not literally making comics and putting them in bottles. Some guy on Kickstarter already came up with that. I’m talking in a metaphorical sense, you goob.)

So in an effort to do just that, to make content to put into bottles and throw them out into the sea known as the world, I’m embarking on some new, and not-so-new, projects.

First, the not-so-new: I’ll be working with my friend Chloe on “Stray Dogs,” her fancomic for Puella Magi Madoka Magica, doing pencils and tones. (If you have not heard of the fantastic series called Puella Magi Madoka Magica, it’s amazing and redefines what the genre of “Magical Girl” should mean. You should watch all twelve episodes of it. Now.) I’ll also be collaborating with my friend Casey on a new project called “Manufactured,” about the human race losing their collective memory and becoming cyborgs. “Manufactured” is still in its infancy, so we’re still working out some design kinks and talking over plot points and such.

Another not-so-new project I am doing is a short comic I call “The Messengers.” I worked on this script two years ago and then put it aside because my original slant towards it was rather anti-religion, mostly anti-Christian. Now that I have cleared my head and have less bias towards them, I’m rewriting the script so it has more of an old-gods-and-humanity-working-together theme to it. The rough draft is nearly done, which is the first step. I intend to keep working on it and get it finished and printed for Colossal Con next year (which is at the beginning of June).

The new projects I hope to start will have some more solid and immediate deadlines.

The first is a submission to an anthology run by the Hamtramck Idea Men called IF-X. I intend on sending something for their Halloween issue and possibly for their final one the following month. I’m working with the editor now to get an idea of what to work on and what to leave out for this current issue.

The second project is a portfolio to send to Ape Entertainment. I want to see if they would be interested in hiring me for freelance work. I would like to send a portfolio to Yen Press, as well, but Yen Press’s submission guidelines calls for more work to go into the portfolio. With Ape, I have something ready to show them now. So I’ll be sending them my work soon (by soon I mean before the end of the month, so I just have to get up off my lazy ass to do it).

The third is actually a series of projects: monthly mini-comics made exclusively for Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago and possibly for Gumroad, if I can get Gumroad to sell books. (If you haven’t heard of Gumroad, it’s fairly new, but I have used it and it’s literally two seconds between paying for the material and owning it. It’s amazing!) I haven’t figured out a topic for any of them yet, so this project is the one most likely to change or be scrapped. We’ll see.

The fourth is what Chandra Free (the lovely lady who wrote The God Machine) called a “Pitch Packet.”

A Pitch Packet, as defined by her in this interview and paraphrased by me, is a packet of comic pages, character designs, and character biographies for a story you want to pitch to a publisher. This packet also includes a story synopsis and your resume. Every company I want to pitch to has some variation in their requirements for their pitch packets, but they all have very many of the same commonalities. So I want to work on one pitch packet that I can tweak for each company as necessary to fit their pitching guidelines.

My personal deadline for this is to finish the work by at least June of next year, so I can make copies as needed and prepare them. Then I intend to go to New York Comic Con in October and submit stuff to publishers there. Of course, geeking out over seeing my favorite comic artists there would be awesome. I just hope I don’t make myself a jackass, to the editors or the artists.

So yeah. Those are my projects. I have a lot of them.

I like to keep busy. It keeps me entertained, and I learn new things with every project. Plus, it keeps me glued to my desk when I’m not at work. This is awesome because it staves me off from doing something disastrous, like getting so bored I spend my whole paycheck at Books-A-Million (it has happened before).

I hope that things are going well for you, dear readers. Do you have any projects to embark on? I would love to hear about them, and I hope you do well working on them.

Don’t Forget to Be Awesome!


P.S. I’m also thinking of selling prints, cards, and other gifts and merch through Zazzle.com. Your thoughts?



I usually don’t include all-caps as one single sentence, but HOLY JEEBUS IT’S EXCITING!

In fact, I’m going to do some happy dances!

Of course, this now means I have to get back to the grind of daily life, including making comic reviews for magazines, collaborating with friends on projects, and actually going to work. But it’s not all bad.

Almost kinda’ wish I could still keep writing and drawing, though.

But hey! At least I finished a rough draft of a graphic novel, which is the first in a series! Woot!

DFTBA, and I’ll see you soon!


Dear Readers,

It’s been a while since I updated. I should get back to doing so on a regular basis, or else it’ll never happen. Perhaps I’ll go back to updating everyday, as much of a pain in the butt as it is sometimes.

In other news, with the graphic novel project going along nicely, I’m just now realizing all the other stuff I sort of forgot about: like the comic I’m collaborating with my friend Chloe on, or the book review I need to write due next week, or the mini-comic I should finish scripting, and the the collaboration I’m working on with another friend…

Yeah….I’ll be catching up on those soon.

In my defense, my graphic novel has been absorbing all of my free time. It is GLORIOUS, with political intrigue, existential questions, and cross-dressing, but sometimes other things can suffer for it. I’ll be working out how to accomplish all of these things over the next day or two.

In the meantime, here is some art to show that I haven’t been dickin’ around…badly:

This is a character design for a friend’s character, Nick. He’s a human with cyborg parts in a world of other cyrborg-y humans. He loves to pick fights with others to better himself, at least that’s the impression I got from him. He also doesn’t mind his cyborg parts, unlike his comrades, who like to get life-like synthetic skin to cover up their body parts if they can afford it.

I didn’t add any shading to the piece because I wanted his gray-color scheme to be evident. Simple and clean is what I was going for.

Nick is copyrighted to my friend Casey Vernon. The design is mine, so don’t be stealin’ him. He’s expensive, and you don’t have the money to get him the cybernetic updates that he wants, anyway. Sorry, but it’s the truth.

I’ll be writing again soon, but don’t forget to be awesome!