27 November 2008

To me, creating comicbooks is a magical process. There's an importance and respect one should give to the various stages of its production. So, if writing is fucking, then thumbnailing is surely the pregnancy.

I tend to write in a short 'verse-like' manner that keeps an eye on how sentences are concentrated in each relevant picture panel, and ultimately, how it may read as a finished page. The example below shows how i group sentences when i write:

Then, with the script in hand, I brainstorm the panels with thumbnails. Here's an unrelated thumbnailed page that illustrates what I do:

Thumbnailing is one of the most enjoyable aspects for me. It's where the rubber hits the road, and the actual 'comic' form is worked out. Here's some more thumbnails of another story I've been doing in the background. Here I brainstormed in blue pencil, and the panels that I felt came out well, were 'blackened' as a quick visual que when i come back on deciding what to actually start laying out when I pencil the final comicbook page:

Anyway... later.


22 November 2008

Just for those of you who don't believe that I'm laying ink on paper... here's a peek at 2 pages from my next issue DIGESTED.02.

Click on image to enlarge.

Yeah, ok, It's not in the previous square format of issue-1, but after experimenting and getting nagging ideas out of my system in DIGESTED.01, I've decided that it reads better in the standard taller comicbook layout. I guess the old greats knew what they were doing... go figure?

This issue will be (6x9") 'digest' size... (no pun intended)... which is just a bit bigger than A5. The artwork looked 'just right' when I printed out a sample... we'll see. Who knows, the next issue might be a huge fold-out-map type of comic that's as big as your wall!..... just kidding.

See you all at the next comicbook meet in 2 weeks:

Day: 6th-December-2008 (Saturday afternoon)
2pm - onwards
Where: Prince Alfred Hotel (Pub)
Grattan St, Carlton (Across from Melbourne Uni.)


11 November 2008

Since last week's Armageddon Expo (see post below) fell on our scheduled comics meetup, it had to be moved forward to the following week. Fine with me. One comicbook weekend followed by another is great in my book.

I slept in til about 10.30am, got up leisurely, had breakfast, and headed into the city. I arrived at the city around 12-noon and had a few hours to kill so I walked around some bookshops. I usually go to Minotaur bookshop last (sort of like a 'desert'), and as I wandered through, was tapped on the shoulder by Mr Greg Gates while I was about to buy Mike Dawson's book 'Freddie & me' (cover below):

Greg raised an eyebrow to me, to which I said, "Don't get the wrong idea! Im no Queen fan, but I like the art... and the story looks interesting." - and it was. A great book. Check out Mike Dawson's blog for samples.

Greg picked up a book by Mike Golden, and we headed off as it was 1.30. I commented to Greg as we made our way there that it would be interesting to see how many would show up this month as its always a crap-shoot to guess. Sometimes we get 4 people there, and sometimes it's 24. We arrived at the Prince Alfred Hotel at about 1.45pm and Trev Woods was already on the couches reading.

The first thing Trev said was, "Did you hear the latest news on the boards?", to which we looked puzzled and said ".....?"

"LAC is finished."

Greg and I were dumbstruck. "Bullshit!" I said. But it was true. Dave has decided to shut up the LAC shop. Details on the LAC website, and Pulp Faction. It's a little sad, but apparently Dave just doesn't have the time/energy/money to have so much on his back anymore. The good news is Dave isn't giving up comics, and will still be doing his own stuff... which is heartening to hear. He's too good to lose.

Soon others came & it was a huge turnout.

Jason Franks (AKA: The Fish) was powerdrinking so fast I couldn't focus the camera.

Paul trying to look as Macho as possible wearing a pink t-shirt.

  • LAC closing shop. (Very sad news.)
  • Bumping into Greg & chatting as we made our way down to the meet.
  • Conversations with exhibitors and patrons that went to Armageddon. Varied takes on the con, but overall everyone seemed to have a lot of fun this year. I sure did.
  • Chat with Philip about his publication WORD BALLOONS & his view of it.
  • Dave Cunning showed us some a personal comics he's working on (nice.), including slick looking KILLEROO finished inked pages that he & Darren Close are working on together.
  • Talks with the regular faces.
I missed out on talking to some people, but I'll catch you next meet which is only a few weeks away!... Til then.


02 November 2008

Well... this year I came to Armaggeddon as a spectator. Not being behind the table allowed me to wander the event & hang out with all of my comic-buddies, meet new faces, & look at all the comicbooks on offer without having to rush back to my table.

I arrived at around noon, & like last year, it seemed to be the busiest time. It was full of noise & fury. They had all manner of pop-culture on show. The wrestling was booming/crashing in the corner with middle-aged men & women in leotards (superhero connection?... hmmm.) pretending to cripple each other. The usual video games, toys, tv celebrities & self-publishers of books were all there. Overpriced food was in the back.


THE LIST author Paul Bedford.

As I headed over to 'artist alley' (the self-publisher area), the first person I spotted was my main man Paul Bedford with his hands behind his back... looking more like he was protecting the wall behind him rather than selling the items in front. The long awaited THE LIST-2 is about to be released in the next few weeks/month, and from the previews I've seen, looks to exceed reader's expectations from the amazing high water mark of the first book. Followers of this series will definitely be impressed.

Its always a lot of fun to hang out & chat with this driven & talented fellow, but we can never seem to stay serious for long, as intellectual conversations, roll down a juvenile hill with just one push. Judge for yourself as Paul & I try and talk about comics in the podcast below... which i had to stitch together in segments as we kept getting interrupted by buyers wanting to (you guessed it) BUY something from Paul's table. We even interrupted ourselves. Even Ernie Hudson (from The Crow movie) distracted us to inquire about Paul's book! Very nice, friendly & gracious fellow... but I didn't record it damnit. Anyway, have a listen at us attempt a focused conversation:


Right next to Paul, was the BLACK GLASS PRESS booth which had Jason Franks & J. Marc Schmidt sitting behind it. Jason was selling a whole bunch of his anthologies under his banner, including the latest KAGEMONO-2.

J. Marc Schmidt, while being the artist in many of Jason's comics, also had his own books, framed pictures & cards for sale.

[Click here to see some of J. Marc Schmidt's work.] - Being a previous fan of his work, I was glad to meet and chat with him. I picked up his books (Published by Slave Labor Graphics) - and read his EATING STEVE book later that night. Really great read... get it!

I recorded a chat with both Jason & Marc.
Have a listen...

Wondering around I saw...

Mark Selan & Ive.

And the only other familiar booths with local faces behind them (that I knew at the expo), were the LAC guys. They splashed out for a large corner booth in the midst of all the traffic... which i think helped their sales out considerably. Location, location, location.

Busily drawing away were Darren Close & Trev Woods.

The whole LAC booth.

LAC has just released some really slick looking Graphic Novels that were on sale for the expo. The quality of these were astounding. If you haven't seen any of their stuff, check it out at the LAC Website.

Dave holding up his latest offering... the book, not his crotch.

Across from the LAC booth, behind a hoard of fans and a looong queue.... was Star Wars & Judge Dredd artist Colin Wilson. I couldn't even get close to him, and only managed to hold my camera high above the crowds' head to take the following shot...

Colin Wilson sketching for a fan...

Later, as the convention was winding down, I got to chat to Colin about how the day was going, and got to flip through the sexy reprint of his book Du Plomb Dans La Tete (English transalation: 'Headshot') - which has recently been optioned for a big Hollywood movie. Also chatted to other familiar faces like Greg Gates, who showed me some very nice artwork for a story he's working on behind the scenes.

Greg giving me the usual finger...

I had a great time at the expo as a spectator, and enjoyed spending time & chatting with various people. Hope I didn't annoy people too much hanging around, and see you all next week for our monthly comic meetup at...

Day: 8th-November-2008 (Saturday afternoon)
2pm - onwards
Where: Prince Alfred Hotel (Pub)
Grattan St, Carlton (Across from Melbourne Uni.)

Open to everyone who's into comics... see you there next Saturday.