Sunday, September 25, 2011

So close!!!!

I'm so close to being at an incredible milestone for the project.

The Tentpole or mid-point of Act II, that marks the centre of the story, is within eyesight. I'm drafting up the final pages to mark the half-way point in the story. I don't think it's going to get done before Oct 1, but I still made almost an entire half the story in a year, which is pretty cool.

I'm just excited - here's a cool post about it.

While I'm not quite at the anniversary of the day I began posting artwork to Tomb of the Undead, I'm very close, and I'm 78 pages in, within only 52 weeks. That's pretty impressive, in my books.

Let's hope I can replicate this success in the next year. I hope readers have enjoyed the story, and if it was moving too slow, there's almost 80 pages now to read - which should give you plenty to catch up on.


Monday, September 19, 2011

"Homesick Swedish Maus" and the Last Days in American Crime

Here's the post for page 58, which was another scene in the airplane, which I was definitely getting tired of drawing. It's awkward having characters trapped in any location where they can't move around and things like that. With a limited range of motion, it feels like there are a limited amount of ways to draw them, which can be a bit suffocating.

Just a little escape was a cutesy title to lead from "trapped in an airplane" but I had no idea how much more meaning it was going to have on me while drawing the scene. I really felt like the characters needed to escape, too.

I was relieved for them to make it to the airport terminal, and it was almost as claustrophobic to have a large open space for the characters to be in as it was to be confined in the airplane. The customs agent is modelled after a buddy of mine, loosely. My guess is you'll never guess who it is - but he'd be somewhat honoured to know that he was my choice for a jolly Frenchman who believed more in the spirit of the law than the letter of the law.

Graphic novel news
In graphic novel news - I'm finding I' jealous all the time. There are so many really neat sounding graphic novels out there, and today I've got a sample of more of them. I WISH they were my idea, but at the same time, I'm glad these things are out there to read though - for sure.

F. Gary Gray to Direct 'The Last Days of American Crime' (Cannes)
Gregg Kilday

Are you kidding me? This thing looks AWESOME! And it's going to become a movie with Sam Witherspoon, or whatever that guy from Avatar - Sam Worthington - that's the guy.

Cannes -- F. Gary Gray is now attached to direct The Last Days of American Crime, a heist movie in which Sam Worthington is set to star, for IM Global and Radical Pictures.

The project ... is based on the Radical graphic novel written by Rick Remender. Karl Gadejsak will write the screenplay set in a near-future where the government plans to implement a form of legal mind control, making it impossible for its citizens to commit unlawful acts. Worthington, the star of Avatar and Terminator 3: Salvation, will play a career criminal, who must put together the last heist in American history on the last night that crime is possible.

The actor’s Full Clip Productions label is also producing alongside Automatik Entertainment.

Gray most recently directed Law Abiding Citizen.

The project was announced Monday by IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford and Radical founders Barry Levine and Jesse Berger.

“This is such a powerful, iconic piece of material - we really believe this movie can bring something fresh to the noir universe and become an explosive action feature film. We're delighted to be working alongside the super talented Radical team, Gary and Sam,” Ford said.

“The Last Days of American Crime graphic novel is one of the most coveted titles in the Radical catalog and our most successful international seller,” Levine added.
Click to read more.

Representing History in Art Spiegelman's Maus II
By Derek D. Miller

Here's an incredibly powerful example of the places that graphic novels can go. And this scene in particular really shows how powerful the images can be even in a seemingly innocuous scene. This post really illustrates all of this.

Spiegelman's Maus II is a graphic novel and I believe Spiegelman chose this format because it is the only way to discuss the Holocaust while simultaneously conveying the impossibility of doing such a task. The Holocaust was such a horrific event that there is no way of truly representing it. Spiegelman realized that everything is a representation. He also realized that representing every aspect of the Holocaust was something that simply cannot be done. It is impossible to capture something free of representation. Spiegelman wanted to write a story about the Holocaust but he was very cautious in his construction. Maus: Volume II is constructed with precise self-awareness and self-devaluation to tell to a story about the Holocaust, while also writing a story about the impossibility of trying to capture this tragic event within the extremely limited parameters of representation.
Click to read more.

Nick Frost: Zombies, Cops, & Aliens, Oh My! PAUL & Beyond
Lucas Siegel,

On a much lighter note, but in the same vein as mice, is Nick Frost's graphic novel idea, barely mentioned, about a Homesick Swedish Mouse, which is the tentative title of his upcoming work.
Could be interesting.

Nrama: Would you like to write outside of film and TV?

Frost: Well I'm writing a graphic novel at the moment!

Nrama: What can you tell us about that, that's our bread and butter!

Frost: Well it's not what you'd expect. It's provisionally titled "Homesick Swedish Mice." My wife is Swedish, she's not a mouse, so I had this idea about a group of Mice who become marooned in London. Grandfather Mouse passes away and his final words to his son are "Take me home." So then it becomes about a group of mice trying to get from London to Sweden in a toy boat. So yeah, doing that at the moment, as well.

Also, I've written a film about a wrestler, so I'm hoping to shoot that later this year or early next!
Click to read more.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Aspiring artists, drawing tips and colonial perspectives out of Africa

I remember thinking putting a funny joke int the script how everyone seems to immediately be on their cellphones before the plane has come to a full and complete stop.

I don't know if it translated as well as I hoped it would in the picture, but I sure tried. It was a long time drawing all those folks. Also, you might recognize some of the faces, of the passengers. If you don't, then I failed again. A clue would be Ajira flight 316. If that means nothing to you - you probably won't recognize them anyhow.

Anyhow - you can read the scene at Just a Little Escape.

Moving on ...

I've found a very neat post with some advice on how to approaching designing and drawing your panels in a graphic novel, followed by a post by Sarkus who's interested in pursuing their own graphic novel, but wants to bone up on their artwork, and a final post that links to some interesting comics news and analysis from Africa.

How to Illustrate a Graphic Novel
Sarah Snow

Graphic novels are a new literary form that are often confused with comic books. Although both mediums utilize comic illustrations and bubble dialogue, graphic novels tell a single story while comic books are serialized. Graphic novels, which often cover social and political narratives, benefit from visual storytelling and the use of symbols to convey powerful situations that are otherwise left to the imagination in a memoir or novel. Illustrations in a graphic novel range from simple line sketches to detailed and colorful artwork.
Snow goes on to elaborate on the finer details of:
  • Sketch the elements of your graphic novel
  • Draw thumbnails of each panel
  • Illustrate each panel
Click to read more.

A diary for getting better (NSFW?)


Sarkus is looking to pursue his own graphic novel, and is looking to bone-up on his artwork before moving forward, but I think some of his stuff is pretty awesome. If he's not ready to get started, then he'd be appalled with the artwork I'm publishing - granted nobody's paying me to do it. He obviously take it far more seriously than I am. In any case, check out some of the work he's putting up - and look at some of the awesome hand pictures. Seriously - hands are hard.

One story I want to pursue, however, I decided would best be suited as a graphic novel. Right now I don't have the talent to execute something like that to my satisfaction so before I begin that I need to improve my art.... I decided I finally needed to take this seriously, I'm starting this thread to measure my progress.
Click to read more.

Africa: Graphic Novel News Dump (2011)

Not sure what to say about this - the picture is pretty funny, though definitely out of date - interesting depiction of colonialism from the perspective of the colonists - not so flattering for the "colonized."
Click to read more.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dennis O'Neil's tips, Human Erasers and Danny Husk

Here's a new page for Tomb of the Undead, No. 56. from the scene Just a little escape. Check it out!Evelyn and Dr. Miller disembark their flight to face whatever consequences Dr. Starkwood has put in place for them in Just a little escape
It's been difficult having characters confined in small spaces, going from offices to apartments to airplanes - they're limited, which makes things claustrophobic.I hope you can get the sense of tight spaces and confinement in these pages.

In graphic novel news, I've found some cool links with graphic novel writing advice, a neat graphic novel premise and a quick review of a new novel. So check it out.

How to write comics and graphic novels by Dennis O'Neil
Dennis O'Neil
(Serial graphic novels) seem too encourage sloppy technique, characters and conflicts not established or reestablished and a slow plod toward a climax that may not be known to the writer when he begins the project. And, because of publishing realities, our scribe may not have the luxury of rewriting when he belatedly realizes that he has problems.

What's a fella to do?

...[S]tart with the story and then figure out how much space you?ll need to tell it. Some guesswork is implicit here, but let's not have the whole shebang guesswork.

There should be a major change, development or reverse in every installment. Don't just show us your characters unless we get to see them moving the plot along.

Have a destination in mind before you take the first step. I don't want to be overly doctrinaire about this. As your story progresses, you may have second/third/fourth thoughts about how it might best conclude, and you might be able to shape the narrative to accommodate the new brainstorm(s). But unless you have planned some destination, aren't you afraid you might flounder? I mean, Columbus never got to the Indies, but he wouldn't have gotten anywhere if he hadn't been looking for them.

Dennis O'Neil teaches a ten week course on Writing Comics And Graphic Novels at the New York University.
Click to read more.

I like this idea - I'm obviously not selling my script - and it's taken me ages to put it together, but having the script was way more important than just drawing cool pictures. I've done some comics back when I was a kid and I just filled 14-page little books with pictures and a loosely thrown together story that might or might not get anywhere before the end of the book.

Having a script ready to roll is way better - though I find pacing it out so it wraps up at the end of a page can be a bit of a challenge. I like to keep the scenes a bit shorter - too many pages and it takes too long to get a scene done and I lose interest in even making it, let alone someone else reading it ...

After some great writing tips - how about a great story idea?:

Human Eraser idea ...
Brett Davidson
Do you wonder what happened to good comic book characters? I am trying to write some of my own comic/graphic novel, which are called The Human Eraser.
Prologue- Memories:
I sat in my bed as I thought about what just happened. Was it a dream, or was it real life? The days are beginning to mix together. On one day I'll have a target, the next I sit in the same cold, dark alley that I started this dirty job in.
My hands tremble each time I see my reflection in a puddle that lays next to me. After each mission, I find splatters of blood on my mask. I use to clean the blood off for a while, but then something in me snapped. The human juice became a trophy to me, almost like war paint. The memories began to stain my mind after the first few times. I don't even remember my mother anymore, not like I would want to though, yet I find that any memory is a good memory...That's all about to change.

CHAPTER 1- Blood never washes away:

....To be continued.
Pretty cool. I'm going to follow this site on Twitter: @ComicBook_Movie

And here's someone who's a famous
Thompson brings 'Kids in the Hall' straightman to comics
Shaun Manning
With the soaring popularity in mustaches over the last few years, it was perhaps inevitable that Danny Husk should return. The straight-laced middle manager, played on "Kids in the Hall" by Scott Thompson, is set to make the jump to comics with IDW and Frozen Beach Studios publishing "Danny Husk: The Hollow Planet," an original graphic novel by Thompson, writer Stephan Nilson and newcomer artist Kyle Morton. A preview book was available at Comic-Con International in San Diego and the full graphic novel will see release in October.
Thompson, a founding member of the Kids in the Hall troupe, was best known on the television series for roles like Danny Husk, the flamboyant Buddy Cole and Queen Elizabeth II. He continues to tour with the group and appeared in the recent television miniseries "Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town" despite the fact that he was battling cancer throughout its production. Thompson has since reported a full recovery.
"Danny Husk: The Hollow Planet" looks to put the titular hero in new and dangerous circumstances, propelling him into a world where his ordinariness makes him anything but. CBR News caught up with Thompson for a few more details on the project.
Click to read more

For the record, I was going to link to a Toronto Star article about this - but they gushed entirely over seeing Scott Thompson, and said absolutely nothing about Danny Husk - therefore they got cut. The Star's loss is Comicbookresources' gain.