Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Follow up lab-work went well this morning if you don't take account the three new holes in my arms. The whole healthy living thing isn't quite as advertised. We'll see how my number comes back this time. My guess is a solid 380. Thinking about learning to sew so I can make myself a costume and fight crime. Might go with The Cholester-Arrester as a name for my new career as a vigilante. Thoughts?

I've had some back and forth with the equally vigilant Gibson Quarter over the past few days and we've been going over the finer points of scanning black and white artwork so that the solid black space requires no touching up in the lighter areas. Assisting in this one is a gentleman by the name of Ty Templeton, whose new book Holmes, Incorporated was just released this past week at the Toronto Fan Expo. I've got a signed copy headed my way in the mail. Thanks for that one, fellas.

So on to my point--I've started lettering again. Seattle happens to be a perfect place for this kind of indoor activity on many days (like today). The glow of the monitor is in fact less depressing than looking out the window.

Crap. Just realized I forgot to take my red rice yeast. Well, in the meantime here's a (potentially) finished page from the upcoming Organ-Grinder story in Undertow #1. Take a look.

GQ--shoot me back and let me know what you think.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Forgetting -- Early Character Sketches

So while I have a few minutes--waiting to head out to see the doctor about lab results to find out how bad my bad cholesterol truly is--I thought I'd take the opportunity to put up a few additional character sketches for my new story "The Forgetting," for anyone who cared enough to take a look over here.

I've had this story in my head for the last 12 years and when I decided last spring that it was finally time to begin putting it to paper, I knew I'd need to find the right artist to help me put the look together so I wasn't stumbling quite so blindly through it. I'm thinking and hoping now that Jonathan A. Rector is the guy. So far he's proven to be professional, systematic, and possessing quite the repertoire of artistic skills. Early designs for three of the six characters appearing in the intro to The Forgetting are below--they're Jonathan's take on the script and character descriptions I've given him. After this it'll just be a matter ironing out a few minor details and deciding on the final designs.

THE FORGETTER--He is one of five immortals dating back to the dawn of modern man, and the protagonist of our story. The immortals have all dealt with their existence in different ways and developed an array of abilities as their minds and bodies evolved through the ages. The Forgetter's way of dealing? Well, I'm only giving you one guess.

LUXA--She's often been the Forgetter's companion through the ages, but recently (10,000 years ago) the two had a falling out and things aren't quite what they used to be. Luxa's appearance and outward behavior seem the most human of the five immortals, but as the story unfolds we'll discover that all things have their reason, and appearances are only that.

SEVER--Not much hiding in the name here. This guy learned a thing or two of his abilities long before the others and they've definitely taken him down a different path. Though once human (or looking to be), Sever now only roughly resembles that. His searching has taken him down roads no one else has ever thought to look, and left him bearing the marks. Early in the story Sever appears to be our bad guy, but as things progress...I guess you'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Face Melter by GQ

I saw this new story a few days ago and had to put it up here because the pages I've seen are looking so damn fine. This one is penciled by GQ in the magazine Holmes Incorporated by Ty Templeton, premiering at the Toronto Fan Expo.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happening in Threes

It's been a long time since my last post, but that's usually what salmon season does to me--steals a minimum 2 months of my life every year. But it's been good: injuries to a few of the crew but all appendages still accounted for (if you discount the one's catheter). Destruction and carnage kept to a minimum with the exception of one 100,000 lb. forklift which might be headed for the scrap yard--we'll see. But a lot of fish. In fact, one of our grandiose 400-foot barges just left the river full of frozen fish, which means NO MORE REEFERS ON THE DOCK. My body will stop quivering from the generators, eventually. I realized today my headaches were possibly a symptom of carbon-monoxide poisoning from their smoke into then vent of my truck as I write down numbers and call out stow locations, wondering later on why I've transposed so many numbers. I'm astonished sometimes by my brazen stupidity. It's taken me ten years to figure this one out. So, there you have it. Item one. Peace, quiet, frozen fishes on their way to Seattle, China, Japan, and many places else.

Item two. This morning I woke up and it again looked like dusk. Gray sky, wet ground and everything between. I'm used to it now. Also found out Vitamin D can only do so much. So I carry on, plugging along as we all do because that's life, and no one likes complainers. Have to look forward to the good things you do have, like a full night's sleep coming up, and my new Green Lantern book. Strangely enough this afternoon (coinciding with the barge leaving the dock, even) I am at my desk filling out a last minute report to sail with the boat and I am shocked to see a patch of blue sky. And spreading. So now I sit writing in front of the river-view picture window at my folks place, beloved sun beaming down on me with one thought in my mind. I won't get into it here for fear of permanently damaging the tough-guy image I aspire to, but the word love would for sure be in any sentence I came up with to describe what I'm feeling right now. I'll leave it at that. Item two. Sunshine. Never take it for granted. CHECK.

And the grand finale of my week--item three. It's been a long time coming. The content of my first self-published comic UNDERTOW issue #1 is complete, along with a good portion of the cover work, thanks to a couple talented and hard-working friends of mine: Greg Harms and Gibson Quarter. Can't say enough good things about these gents, but they've helped me out a ton, ever since I first tried my hand at writing comic scripts some years ago. They were two of the first artists I ever hired to illustrate my stories (GQ was THE first, in fact), and after a hiatus in there I've been in contact with them again and they're helping me finish what was started back in 2003. Greg has turned into quite a versatile guy, penciling, inking, coloring, and doing some design work for the book, and GQ has gone back through our original 8-page short of a story call THE ORGAN-GRINDER and re-inked and drawn much of those 8 pages to showcase his developed skills, along with contributing the front cover and some more to boot.

He asked me to post something new here. Pretty sure he was hinting at the front cover, but I'll leave it to him to blow the surprise on that one (since he already has on his deviantart page). What I've thrown up here is my favorite panel to date of the Organ-Grinder's sidekick, Moses. As far as monkeys go, he goes all the way in dispelling the myth of their being cute. But when the OG rolls, Moses has got his back. You'll see why when you read UNDERTOW #1. Realizing now I've got a lot more to say on the matter, but I'll give it a few words more and call it that for tonight. But before I get into that--content of FIRST COMIC EVER--CHEEE-ECK!
The Organ-Grinder is a story about a one-armed man, Jeremiah McAlester, on the run, not from the law (well, maybe in a couple places), but from himself and the destiny that's been set upon him, in part by his own actions, and in part because of the cursed Organ he carries with him. Jeremiah isn't necessarily a gunfighter, but he's not unfamiliar with it either, and as many times as he's sworn off violence he's always been brought back to it one way or another at the prompting of the Organ and the force it contains (convenient excuse for a guy like him). His side-kick Moses has been with him for years, since around the same time he lost the appendage (the arm, sicko) in fact. More on all this later, though. The story opens in the late 1800's in the town of Rioda, Montana. Jeremiah is a newcomer, and trying to get along, but when you're the Organ-Grinder, highfalutin ideas like that are never meant to last.