Friday, July 8, 2016

Back in the saddle

It has been a long, long time since I've spent much time working at getting the continuation of this story put together - but over the past few days I've spent a little more time going over my old notes and configuring how I want to approach the next installment.

The good news is this: I'm working on the new script that will pick up in Gobekli Tepe where a subterranean temple was demolished with Dr.s Casey Miller and Howard Bolam trapped inside.

What I loved about the last installment of Tomb of the Undead was that the script really worked on a lot of levels for me - I was really happy with how it came together and the character development throughout. The artwork developed nicely over the years, as well. Can you imagine it took four years to put it all together? Wow.

I'm not sure how long it will take to write this script, but it's the first step to finally getting back in and telling the rest of the story I wanted to tell.

I'm excited to talk about the project, but as usual, don't want to spoil anything before the time comes for you to see it. In any case, as I make developments, I'll probably post them up here, quietly, where they'll never be seen.

But they'll make for an interesting history of the project.

Today I made real strides in determining the "subject" of the story, which isn't necessarily zombie dinosaurs, as the title of this blog suggests, but rather, the story of a man who learns to love and open his heart. :) .... to zombie dinosaurs.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dinosaur Man, vol. 2 - The Unhappy Visitors

For today's Throw-back Thursday, here's the second, classic edition of Dinosaur Man. Vol.2 The Unhappy Visitors. It's still terrible, and basically, it's just some jerk who beats up other dinosaurs. Granted, it would appear their social circles and societal decisions were fairly primitive, so perhaps this is simply how dinosaurs behave - - running around in herds prepared to beat each other up.

Click to enlarge.
Notice the now-politically-incorrect chest slap indicating something sucks?
Boy, that sure takes us back to the school yard. 

Click to enlarge.
Sure see a lot of homages to the terrific Nelvana product Beetlejuice: The Animated Series 

Click to enlarge.
And there you have it, a successful party where there was a big fight and everybody got beaten up. I imagine this is what it's like at Peter Jackson's place when he has a party. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

#TBT Dinosaur Man, vol. 1

For today's Throw-back Thursday, I figured I'd go back and dig up some of the oldest, more embarrassing stuff I can get my hands on, and then show it to you. So, without further ado, Witness to the origin story for Dinosaur Man, circa 1992.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

3 Takeaways from November

What was I thinking when I did some of this stuff? Well, almost as important is what do I think of it now, too.

Key takeaways
- multiple panels can aid comedic timing. Don't restrict yourself to only single-panel comics.
- give yourself the space for artistic expression. You need space to tell your story.
- hand lettering can give you the specific intonation in each word and letter, leading to a more specific reading of your text.

Here's the rough work before I went on to finalize them, and you can see it was still back when I was just folding a page into four squares and restricting the work to the size of a quarter page. I've moved on from this and think it's going to rememdy some of my observations on past "work."

Holy Erectile Dysfunction, Batman! I'm sorry Robin, this NEVER Happens.
Holy Guacamole was an indecisive spinoff of the silly things Robin used to say to Adam West's Batman. No particular gag was especially poignant when I was writing it, but it was easy to come up with a few different punchlines to hopefully make it worth the visit to read them?

No, it wasn't very timely, but I thinkthe artwork matched the original title sequence on the television show. The framing worked out well, too. The concept of finding a moment when these expressions would be a fitting pun for Robin to use was the basis --perhaps there was something more creative to be done? Now I'm second-guessing myself.

I really liked this joke, but it didn't get the response I thought it might. I guess so long as I'm happy with it - - validation is nice, too, though.

Ahead of Schedule is kind of based on a conversation I had with another couple at a wedding a few weeks ago. They have two kids, one about the same age as our first, and we were just commenting on how "busy" our kids are before they're even two. We figured they reached the Terrible Twos early -- though I believe the consensus was:
"If you think THIS is bad now, just wait another eight months and you'll be WISHING he was only 21 months old again."
I feel like I should comment on each joke, but I don't really have much to say about Work Those Gluts. I think the punchline "Soon you'll be able to rip a phonebook in half with your ASS" has great potential to be delivered with great effect, but I'm not sure it was captured here.

This might have been achieved with a few more panels building up to the punchline? I'm interested in doing fewer single-panel jokes - - telling a joke requires timing, and a single panel is very limiting, even if they're much quicker to produce.

Finally, Nice of You to Join Us is another example of a joke I personally enjoyed a lot, but may not have translated to the masses with much effect.

First of all, I think it was a lot of fun to conceive how Beard-o might cope without his beloved ducks. Obviously it would lead to substance abuse - - and that's how this whole story arc developed. Drinking toilet duck and having a stupid hallucination was a fun idea, and being able to draw King St. from a completely different prespective (a bird's-eye view) was intriguing as well. Plus, it set up nicely into the payoff at the end of the arc.

I'm still struggling to get the lettering and the word-balloons to look the way I think they should. By using larger panels when I'm creating the gags (though this is before I started doing that) I've got more space to write the letters by hand, rather than relying on the word processer to do the work for me. I think hand-drawn letters is more the style I'm going for - though don't expect that to happen for a few more weeks, as other items in my production schedule are coming up.

Anyhow, thanks for reading. If you've got any questions about how things are going / coming along, drop me a line.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Short Cuts and Execution

Sometimes I go through a stretch where you look back at what you've done, and you're not entirely proud of it ... and this pasta joke is one of them. Definitely an err in judgement.

While it's funny when it happens to someone else, it's hardly a well-written joke. And it wasn't especially well drawn, nor was it particularly well coloured, and no gag was written along with it to add any special value. So there's another lesson learned. Here's how it turned out.

Seems that lately there's been more "lessons learned" than things I'm proud of.... 

As for drinking toilet duck, this story arc just wrapped up on the main blog and I think it covered all the bases I wanted to cover. Towards the end of the arc, the artwork and framing really improved. At this point I was still simply drawing elements of a panel and them assembling them digitally - - whereas I think a cleaner panel is created when you do it all on the page. Adding extra elements might be "easier" digitally, but it looks like you took a shortcut. You can see how these elements came together in the final strip here.

Obviously, skipping any setting or background made this look rushed and incomplete. When I speak of "lessons learned," I guess what I'm hoping is that I won't repeat the same mistakes as in the past.

I've taken some steps to eliminate those "shortcuts," and I think it's paying off, but, of course, it means things are taking a bit more time, too.

Business Man @ Home is designed to be a whole lot simpler, though. One panel, one frame, one line of dialogue, minimal setting - - and I think it works as a motif, but ... I think people are losing their lust for the strip, though. In any case, I think the minimalist structure and the trope on "Crying Over Spilled Milk" worked well for this gag, and you can see how it turned out here.

Most of these strips were drawn back in October at some point, and I've since taken some corrections to give myself more space to build a panelled comic. I'm not just folding a sheet of paper into quarters and building a strip from there. I'm taking more time to use the space more effectively and add more detail to the images - - I think it's been working out, but we'll have to wait and see as those strips start appearing on the main site.

Something I've been looking to improve are the "brush strokes" in the comics. Frankly, none of these have the "swishing" strokes you find in clean, more professional-looking strips - - and I'm not sure I've got the correct hardware to create those lines. I MAY have to get nibs and actual ink and stuff, rather than the pigment liners I've been using.

If that happens, that'll be a whole different kettle of fish to unpack, set up, practice and keep out of the reach of my 2-year-old :S

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! I hardly even proof-read these posts all the way down here!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

This Is It - Behind the Scenes

Some behind the scenes stuff for the "This Is It" scene - - as I've probably mentioned in every post, I had to rewrite quite a bit of the third act to add some "pay offs" and reveal what was necessary for things to make sense - - in any case, I've noticed now that I'm looking back over everything, that my inspiration for the names of each scene was definitely waning.

You can find the finished scene at this link: just click here! When I first started writing the story, too, I knew that the relic would "unlock" a device at the end, but hadn't really imagined what that device would be - - in my mind, I'd hoped it'd be this ingenious and convoluted device, but ... well, nothing to fantastic really came of it.

Though, perhaps this is fitting - - it's not like this was designed by a Mason or some brilliant engineer - - this was 1900 years ago, give or take, and in the middle of a war-torn nation.Perhaps this is more believable than some complicated Rube-Goldberg machine.

In this scene, I wanted to illustrate that once the relics returned into proximity to one another that their powers unlocked, like the earlier-mentioned magnetism experienced between the bones of Lazarus, and that they begin to react. I was aware that there may be confusion in this scene, where the relief carving of Christ on the Cross might appear like it was coming to life, whereas it was supposed to just look like it was being restored from the millenia of erosion (however much erosion occurs in a temple's sealed basement).

And then, of course, that's not the only reaction ...

Does it create just a weird laser, or do you think it means more? And if so what, but, if not, then ... it's still cool that you can shoot a laser out of a flag, or whatever that thing is, right!?

If  you've any questions, leave it in the comments section, or join up on the Facebook group and share your thoughts -- you can find contact info at the links (icons) below! Thanks for reading.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Drinkin bathroom cleaner, Jedis and Panzers for the holidays

Subhead: 4 Potshots at Mayor Ford

Photoshop is pretty excellent, and the software engineers who created that system are absolute geniuses, and these below strips required a bit more work with photo manipulation that the average gag I post.

Beginning on the upper-left-hand corner of the page, we see Beard-o with a bottle of Toilet Duck, which I required to complete a separate gag, but didn't have room on my earlier page to include. So I added him here, and then withdrew him with the cut and paste feature and it wound up looking like this.

Ultimately, I've decided to give myself more space to do the artwork going forward, because I feel there's a lot of room for improvement - - which is obvious, because I basically started doing these strips by investing as little time in them as possible. But, now that I've got the hang of them, I'd like to have a bit more pride in them. (A very little bit more pride -- these are still as embarrassing as a Rob Ford secret).

As for Yoda, I think the final image of him turned out really nicely. I created each of the elements for this gag individually, then moved the layers around to balance them as best I could. This was basically a pun on "I sense in him much fear," and required someone to be as inebriated as Rob Ford to draw the ire of Yoda - - though I'd suspect Yoda wouldn't have been a proponent of even mild recreational drug use. I would imagine that would lead to the Dark Side, right?

So, you can see in the finished panel how much of Qui Gon Jinn and that other dude with the phallic forehead are now behind the keg and party favours. I also wanted to "clean this panel" up a bit more than in the past by including a more prominent border to help make it look a bit less amateur.

"A bit less amateur" could be my theme for November, ha ha. But seriously, that definitely wasn't the theme for October! Let me be sure to make THAT clear.

The final bit here is the "What if" gag that I think had a tremendous amount of potential, but failed in the execution. Obviously, if a joke's not ready, I should probably sit on it until I'm happy that it's going to be great. In this case, the question posited is a good one: What If We Celebrated Everything with as much Vigour as we do St. Patrick's Day? Well, given that not everyone celebrates St. Patty's Day like Rob Ford in a drunken stupor, it is a bit of a cliched element of Western Culture.

For whatever reason, Passover was stuck in my head, and to over-exaggerate the holiday as much as I could, all I could do was have the celebrators REALLY do what you'd normally do, which is eat REALLY bitter stuff, KVETCH even louder and make sure Elijah was clear on no uncertain terms that you had a seat at your table for him.  .... it just didn't wind up being very funny.

I think the Panzer tank to ensure you get a good deal on a flatscreen on Black Friday was probably not an exaggeration enough ...

Once again, I took the raw images and did what I could in "post production" to give it a clean and tidy panelling, which you can judge for yourself here. Despite not being really satisfied with the overall produciton, I think the colouring is coming along very nicely - - I've always been a sketcher, never really one to colour anything, so ... I'm glad that's developing.

If you've got any questions, I'm always happy to answer 'em, unless, like, their about smoking crack-cocaine ... I'm probably going to "Ford the Question," that is to say, I'll dodge and deny, as I'm sure you'll understand.

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