Archive for the My BOOK! Category

Art Confessional Vomitorium: part II

Posted in Blogging, Comics, Drawings, Love, Miscellaneous, My BOOK!, Things That Anger Me on September 28, 2010 by gladlad

Hey!  Welcome back to my overview of things yet unfinished!

Moving along, last year’s 24-Hour Comics Day’s 24-hour comic: A Forest of Teeth.

Yeah, it’s sketched, but I’ve been meaning to ink it for… well, a year now, since the next 24-Hour Comics Day is NEXT WEEK!  YAAAAAAAGH!  I cannot believe it’s October again already!  I’m really excited for it, especially since I was just able to get work off to attend.  Every cartoonist/comic artist EVERYWHERE should find the nearest one and go insane.  (Seriously; you will go insane if you manage to stick out the entire 24 hours.  Heck, a lot of people start to wig out after like five or six.  It’s intense.  And ONLY FOR THE HARDCORE(/stupid)!!!)  October 2nd, people!  GO GO GO!  (I have a sweet idea for this year’s comic, while keeping to the randomness which makes it so challenging and fun.  Tee hee!)

The second entry in today’s vomitorium is the project I actually started this blog to help track, get motivated for and keep me accountable with.  Wow, that got left in the dust.  I haven’t worked on it for about as long as I’ve been hanging out with the Cartoonist Conspiracy, so almost TWO YEARS NOW!!!  I cannot believe how fast time speeds by my spinning head!  YaaaaAAAAaaaargh!

*ahem* Anyway, it’s the graphic novel I want to make.  Up at the top right of my blog there are page links to “The Schedule” and “Hurdles Hurdled”, both relating to this project.  I have a sweet story, sweet characters, and a sweet world just a-floatin’ around in my head, and it needs to get onto paper someday.  But for now, a few odds and ends from the beginnings of the birthing process:

I guess I halted work on this around the time I started learning about what it really takes to put a comic together and publish it.  I don’t want to think I started too late, but when I look at Nausicaa and Bone and think about the time it takes to put the whole shebang together, it sure feels that way.  On the other hand, when I look at all the ‘geezers’ in the biz still producing awesome stuff, I get some sense knocked into me.  Also, witnessing the hard work and passion that goes into every page of Manly Tales of CowardiceHijinks, Introspective Comics and Uptown Girl makes me want to cry in my lazy jerkness.  Bow to them, internetfriends, for their love pours forth in deed.

Port-folly-os

Posted in Drawings, My BOOK!, Things That Anger Me on September 15, 2008 by gladlad

I’ve been a small amount of work away from creating a decent portfolio of my artwork for about, oh, say ten years now.  I really don’t know what my deal is, besides just being a self-defeating procrastinator.  Without clear, immediate results, that kind of thing just gets eternally put on the back burner.  But since finding out about the fun comics industry in Minneapolis, I want to defeat the self-defeat really really badly.  One thing about me is that if it’s not for some specific purpose, I never finish things.  I have so much unfinished artwork laying around!  I’m gonna finish some old good ones and make some new finished pieces and create a good portfolio, finally.  I AM GOING TO.  Last night at work I started a new piece, with the sole intent of just being pretty and fun to draw, as well a basic representation of my drawing style and influences.  It’s still a one-night-at-work sketch, but I made my first-ever animated gif showing the stages of it so far, with the sole intent of making an animated gif for the first time.  (You have to click the pic to see the animation.)  The finished picture will be a little goofier than the sketch; she’s gonna be shooting something

That’s another thing I want to do: finally learn all the programs I’ve been meaning to, such as Photoshop (the 75% of it I haven’t fiddled around with yet), Illustrator, and Flash.  The guys I met at the Cartoonist Conspiracy also use font programs (which I’ve fiddled with a little), and stuff like InDesign (which I’ve never even touched).

Also, I want to note that “My Book” has not been forgotten.  It was floating in that realm of Things With No Immediately Foreseeable Result, but I’m going to pick it up again.  I know it’s only been one night so far (long nights at work combined with the internet makes those people seem omnipresent), but I know that surrounding myself with people who make me feel lake a lazy freakin’ ass will be inspirational.  Which makes me feel like crap for my wife, who is my most stalwart supporter and motivator, but gosh darnit, she’s never published a comic book!  Tomorrow’s our 8th anniversary, by the way, and I’m in love with her.

Thanks for looking at this stuff, whoever you may be.

EDIT: Uh, I just realized, after groaning to myself about how hard it is to render toes, that the whole foot is backwards.  I’m just gonna give in to temptation and indulge myself for a moment: “Oh!  The agony of da feet!” Phew…  Sometimes a bad pun fixes everything.  (Speaking of which, “Animated Gif” would be a cool band name.)

Trudge. Budge. Huuuuuuudge.

Posted in My BOOK! on January 31, 2008 by gladlad

The outline is coming along.  One thing that I keep getting hung up on is my having a clear idea of how many main characters I’ll be working with throughout the book, but NOT a clear idea of who the heck they are.  Intimately, I mean.  I keep second-guessing myself about plot directions wondering what their future personalities might offer the storyline…  But that’s the point of a loose outline, I guess.  Plenty of room for rewrites at future stages.  And a-truuuuuudge…

da_huuuuuudge.png

You faithful few…

Posted in My BOOK! on January 29, 2008 by gladlad

Okay, so step #1 in my Schedule is a grudging trek of mental drudgery.  It is udgy.  Stay with me!

All done. I’m going to throw up now.

Posted in Blogging, Movies, My BOOK!, Things That Anger Me on January 19, 2008 by gladlad

Well, “the SCHEDULE” is up.  Please refer to the innocuous little link on the right side of the page, concealing a monster of a list.  All said and done, there are 115 steps listed there, the first 86 taking an estimated average of 3 or 4 night shifts to complete, and the last 29 taking who knows how the heck long.  I need to get quicker on Photoshop…

Well, here’s where the proverbial rubber hits the road.  I’ve organized; now I must do!  It’s all been text and tittering thus far, but dagnabbit there’ll be some tantalizing sketches up there soon.  The only problem with this whole ‘blogging-accountability’ pump-up thing is that the very first stage is to finally gather together all the scraps of story floating around in my head and form it into a cohesive outline.  It’s mandatory in order to know what visuals will go to each of the seven chapters.  I’d say I have close to four of those chapters fairly well in hand, but only concept-wise.  I now have to flesh those out, as well as dredge up the content of the other three… and a half… or so.  Ugh.  This will take a little while, and I hope that in that time I can generate more interest in this site, making it more and more impossible, with each new presence, to slacken in my drive to attain each goal.  115 steps to a publishable graphic novel…  Two years?  Three?  Who will see the end with me?  I hope it’s you!

Just so you know, I have been working on this graphic novel for a lot longer than I’ve been blogging about it.  It actually began last winter, suddenly having the urge to achieve my dream of actually publishing a comic book of some kind.  The story actually formed pretty quickly, and I’ve been sketching out junk for it for months.  So I have a little bit of a diving board, art-wise; I just have to fill the pool now so I don’t crack my head open.  I have no idea what that metaphor means.  Moving along…

On a totally unrelated side note, I saw “Cloverfield” last night!  Whooo dogies!  I don’t want to ruin it too much for anyone, but I just have to gripe about the casting of such stinkin’ pretty people.  I felt like the whole first 20 minutes was filmed at a Seventeen magazine model shoot.  It would’ve been a whole lot more believable with actually Everyman-feeling casting.  At least the movie is saved by not having to give a crap about the characters for the entire rest of the movie.  WOW!  What a sock to the face!  In a good way!  Ask Dana; I spent the entire movie wide-eyed, with a huge grin on my face.  Or maybe she didn’t see it while her face was dug into my armpit for the entire last hour.  Great date movie, man– that is, if your date isn’t overly bothered by unrealistically attractive people populating New York City, with uncannily lingering shots of cleavage and too-short skirts in the midst of supposed handheld camera-chaos.  Sigh… Someday someone will make an action movie for the rest of us. 

Anyway, rant over.  Schedule complete, until I notice things missing.  Shift over, typing done.  Bed now.

A note on the story, plus ramblings on Fantasy

Posted in Literature, My BOOK!, Things That Anger Me, Writing on January 15, 2008 by gladlad

I’d like to say a quick word about the content of the story of my book. In the previous post I talked a little about fantasy themes; sword hilts and whatnot. The story of my book will be set in a world easily labeled a “fantasy” one, but it won’t feel very much like Dungeons and Dragons. I love the fantasy genre as far as its possibilities are concerned, but within that genre I haven’t read many volumes that I thought were truly engaging and original, and those are both labels it would obviously be nice to attach to my own creation.

I am not a heavy reader; I can’t devour books at breakneck speed like my wife can. My mind wanders a lot, and it can take me a while to finish a novel. I reread sentences constantly, a few times, to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Therefore, when I choose books I try to be pretty selective about their content; I usually won’t commit to something which seems run-of-the-mill or cliche, no matter what genre they’re in. I made that mistake with Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’. (Steel yourself for the following opinions if you are a lover of his works, and also know that I never got past the first book.) I had already decided that the series looked kind of cheesy, but one of my friends (a respectable guy) swore by them and I agreed to give it a shot on the condition that he’d, in turn, try the Lord of the Rings, which he’d always put aside as well.

I’m sorry Robert Jordan, but Tolkien got to me, and history in general, first. Everything in Wheel of Time is from Lord of the Rings. There is an Elf, a Ranger, three friends with a sword, a bow and an axe. They have a wise and crabby old-man friend. There is a Dark Sorcerer Lord scouring the kingdom for the Boy with Unexpected Magical Powers. There are even Orcs (“Trollocs”… ugh). And those are just the glaring ‘similarities’. It even had my most hated pet-peeve fantasy/adventure theme cliche, which I will most likely refer to again in posts to come: the “kid who finds out s/he’s the savior of the world for absolutely no reason and plus gets sweet powers” cliche. Otherwise known as the ‘Harry Potter’ theme (or the ‘Naruto’ theme, as I like to call it). Some books are able to utilize this theme in a unique way. ‘WoT’ didn’t.

Some fantasy works I like:

*the Riddle of Time trilogy by Patricia McKillip
*Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind(graphic novel) by Miyazaki Hayao
*Lilith by George MacDonald
*The Water of the Wondrous Isles by William Morris
*Watership Down by Richard Adams (well, it’s sorta fantasy)
*The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
*The Silmarillion may be even better fantasy than the LotR Trilogy

Obviously, there are more, but if you know any of those titles, maybe you have a clearer picture of how not-Tolkien-y they are. I guess I’m just solidly in the camp (I hope there is one, or I’m gatherin’ firewood all alone) that holds that you just shouldn’t mess with elves and dwarves and rangers any longer, or you will be stomped on by Middle Earth’s mighty boot. Do I hear an “Amen”?

Wow, that all took a turn for the nerd. At any rate, none of those appear in the world I’m crafting. I promise. More later on what will, because I’d like it to be up for a little discussion. Oh, and my Wheel of Time friend “didn’t really get into” Lord of the Rings. He thought they were pretty uncreative.

Prelude to The SCHEDULE

Posted in My BOOK!, Writing on January 13, 2008 by gladlad

Well, having called in sick to work the last couple of days while I and the rest of mine suffered in the ancient Chinese “Hell Of Two Families With Many Children All Having The Flu In The Same House” (thrown out of the final script of Big Trouble in Little China) I didn’t get to work on the Schedule until tonight.  But before making the actual Schedule, I first had to make a list of all the things that needed to be Scheduled.  Without further ado, here they are:

Art design sections:

General design style: artistically unique expressions for basic elements
-wood
-water***
-fire
-fabric
-stone

Character design

-Main Characters
-Secondary Characters
-World-fill characters

Environmental design

-Basic environmental theme for each continent
>>Flora
—plains
—tropics
—desert?
—beach
—cave
>>Fauna
—insect-like
—bird-like
—at least two stages of:
>>>>land herbivore
>>>>land carnivore
—unique lifeforms (storyline-specific)

-Cultural design theme for each continent
>>architecture
—rural architecture
—urban architecture
>>fashion
—rural fashion
—urban fashion

–Individual city/locale layout
>>>Unique buildings/attractions
>>>Map (if necessary)

(all of above for underwater environment as well)

World Map

Vehicles (Continent specific)

-General ideology/design evolution for entire world
-Culturally specific forms of following:
>>Boats
—small/personal
—Commercial/pirate
—Large commercial/military
—Unique (storyline-specific)
>>Subs?
>>Aircraft?
>>Rideable animals?
>>city/village ground vehicles
—multi-person transportation
—farming use (carts, plows)
—military

All this must be integrated with story development, which must also be scheduled as much as possible!

*****

Now I’ll be the first to admit that something incorporating all these elements comes out sounding a little “Let’s make a role-playing-game!”  I don’t want my beautiful vision bogged down in ridiculous junk like making sure all my background flowers have the same number of petals and can be artistically traced to the chemical production of gunpowder in their story world.  But what I do want is a story world with realism and a consistent quality of its own, as well as a template of content I can drag-and-drop from once the actual pages of the book begin to be drawn up.  By the way, is “story-world” a real English phrase?  It should be if it isn’t.  It’s a useful term.

Anyway, I don’t want my vast audience of supporters and critics to think that you can just build a magical world of beauty by encyclopaedically crafting every buttonhole and sword hilt and devising every single word of a fantasy language and birthing entire bloodlines of kings and commonfolk before you even really know what your story is about.

Oh, wait…  That’s called the Lord of the Rings.  Okay, so you can, but let’s just remember that Frodo was not scientifically designed; he was a work of the heart– of the story giving itself to you without asking for it!  The sentence “under a hill there lived a hobbit” (or whatever) was just a daydreaming scribble, and therein lay the magic and attraction of the whole setpiece.  Descend from soapbox.  All I’m syaing is that I pray my story, though I know and shape its bones, will drape itself in flesh not of my own artificial prompting, but of the story knowing what it needs to be by itself; of the Muse descending upon the toiling note-taker; of God breathing a sweet breath into the pouch still a-mending.  But first those bones…