Aug 292017
 

One of the first colour images I ever drew of Rocket Rabbit was of being chased by a big blue robot, who came to be called THE BLUDGEONATOR.

Although that image became the cover for my first ever Rocket Rabbit comic book, I never drew any continuity for this robotic showdown back then, but I’m roughing out the story of their confrontation at the moment, in a short 6 page story called ROBO-BRAWL.

This will be part of a 20 page prolog story that explains why Rocket & Professor abandoned their vagabond lifestyle, and came to work in San Fiasco as do-gooders working for THE COMPANY.

I have a BIG book planned with over 100 pages of story, about half of which will be existing material and the other half completely new. ALL of it needs to be coloured, so it’s a lot of work, especially in my current condition, but it will mean so much to me to finish this project, especially if I can seamlessly integrate my new left handed art with the pages I drew with my right hand.


I hope to chip away at it over the next few years with small, 6-10 page stories. So stay tuned!

Oct 182016
 

Since 2001 or so, I’ve occasionally published silly comics about ROCKET & PROFESSOR, but I’ve doodled the characters even longer than that. The few comics I’ve actually completed belie the fact that I’m always drawing the characters, and thumbnailing & planning stories. Real life sometimes got in the way of following through, but lately I’ve been trying to assemble a fraction of these scribbles and notes into a plan for a 96 page full color book.

yotr_thumnails

To call it a GRAPHIC NOVEL is way too grandiose for the silliness I have in mind, but hopefully it will have a somewhat coherent narrative shape. Taking all the pages I’ve published so far and combining them with new material, I hope to weave it all into a meandering story, telling how Rocket & Professor came to live and work in San Fiasco. Even at my best, a 96 page full color book would have been a massive undertaking and in my current reduced circumstances it is a very ambitious project indeed, but will make a wonderful physical therapy project so I’m committed to working my way through it. Comics are a fiddly and demanding medium, requiring many skills together; writing, drawing, composition, design, acting, coloring and so on. If I can pull this off and manage to make new left-handed artwork that is compatible with old pages that I drew years ago with my right hand it will be huge, and I’ll consider myself well and truly back. As a professional cartoonist at least.

yotr_pages

The old stories were laid out on a 3-tier page of typically 6 panels. When I did my Sephilina color comic book a few years ago I found that a FOUR tier page worked well, because by cutting each page in half they could be cleanly displayed online. I’m planning to do the same thing with this book. The RE-laying out of pages is fiddly but I think it is worth the effort, and gives me a task I can do while my drawing skills return. Hopefully by the time the layout and coloring of the old B/W pages are complete I will be ready to tidy up the thumbnails of the new material.

yotr_colour

It will take me years to chip away at this project, and in the interests of getting something complete sometime soon, the 96 page tale is broken down into 6 parts, and they are sub-divided into 6 to 8 page chapters. So with any luck, I may get something short completed within the next year.

Jul 152010
 

I have been a hermit for the past few weeks and I’m just now coming up for air. The reason for the lack of posts here on the blog, not to mention my lack of human interaction out there in the real world, has been that I have been hammering away making a new SEPHILINA book for COMIC CON. And I am pleased to say that I am finally DONE. Not a moment too soon. Whew!

It is a 40 page FULL COLOUR mini-digest sized at 5×7.25 inches, laid out in the LANDSCAPE format. About the size of one of those paperback MANGAS, but turned on its side (and nowhere near as THICK!) 28 of the pages are for a comic story and the balance are a Guest gallery in the back plus sketches of my own. I am pretty proud of this little book. I’ve seen the proof and it has come out very well; KENESS has done a wonderful job on the printing.

I’ve wanted to do a full colour comic book for ages but could never make the numbers work; my sales are low and the minimum print order (to get a low cover price) is usually very high. So my conundrum was to either A) go for a high volume/low unit price but be saddled with both a large investment and unsold stock (which I’ve done many times before) or B) spend less money for less volume but have an alienating cover price. Doing this book at the digest size made the full colour option affordable (both for me and my customers).

Part of the breakthrough for me has been finding a wonderful printer, who is both local and patient in answering my many questions as I formulate a plan for a new book. A few months ago, I began talking to KENESS printing, about pricing for a colour book. Based on those discussions I planned a reformatted, expanded and coloured version of an old 10-page SEPHILINA story (originally done for the BABES in SPACE anthology). Though I had a plan and a great quote, I wasn’t sure if I could actually get it all done in time. However, I recently had a HIATUS in my paying work, which gave me some spare time, and a chance to go for it..

My only regret is not making the book a little bigger. I was maxed out in the vertical (for a digest) at 5 inches but I actually could have made the horizontal about an inch wider, and I am not sure now why I did not. If it goes into a reprint I may expand it to 5×8. However, my REAL hope in a reprint would be to do a much bigger, re-formatted PORTRAIT style book. Both pages in any given two-page spread can be stacked two atop one another (ie; to become ONE page) if I ever get enough pages done to justify a big, album style book.

At the beginning of this project, I had roughly half the drawing already done, but even so, the remaining work was quite a bit to do; the half that was already drawn had to be reformatted to the LANDSCAPE format and then coloured, and the OTHER half had to be both drawn and coloured (not to mention written!) and all those fiddly dialog-balloons had to be dealt with… Even with the freedom to work on it full time for a few weeks, I was beginning to feel that I had bitten off more than I could chew, and worried that it would not get done in time for this year’s COMIC CON. But, happily, I made it. It is always fun to do Comic Con but it is an EXTRA satisfaction to do the show with a new book in hand.

So if any of you will be at COMIC CON next week please stop by BOOTH #1329 to visit myself and my old booth-mate RHODE MONTIJO. I will have this NEW BOOK, plus some buttons and prints that I have never sold at Comic Con before. Rhode will ALSO have new product; his charming new children’s book, THE HALLOWEEN KID. Awesome!!

Oh, and a heads-up; one consequence of my recent grind-stone, not to mention the fact that Rhode and I now both live on separate coasts, is that we haven’t been able to wrangle any crazy BOOTH THEME this year. Hopefully the joy in seeing our new product will offset the disappointment in not seeing us dressed as robots this time around? I hope so.

See you there!

Jun 162010
 

Lately, I have had my head down; jamming on a 40 page book for Comic Con next month, hopefully (time permitting) my first self-published book in FULL COLOUR. As a starting point, I have expanded and re-formatted an old ten page SEPHILINA story that I did for the BABES IN SPACE anthology (put together by Benton Jew & Ed Reynolds) several years back. After some re-writing, re-laying out and drawing additional pages (mostly a new beginning and ending) That story will now be 28 pages long. The balance of the 40 pages will be filled with sketches of my own plus a PIN-UP section in the back. Most of the Sephi Pin-ups were done years ago (in a thread on the DRAWING BOARD) but one of them is being worked on now. I asked JULIA to do her take on the character and I REALLY love what she has come up with. Here is a sneak peek:

It is so much fun for me to see other artists do their version of my characters especially when the end-result is so appealling. JULIA is also posting step-by-step progress of her SEPHI PIN-UP on her BLOG so keep an eye on that… OK, back to the grind-stone for me!

Mar 252010
 

I have been going through old artwork looking for stuff to make PRINTS of for Wondercon next week. Not yet sure if this one will make the final cut (I already have TON of elephant prints) but thought it was worth posting here in my blog.

This pic was drawn to illustrate a story (about Elephants being used as bulldozers to clear shanty towns) from my dad’s Elephant Limerick Book.

Jul 032008
 

Here is another picture from my spare time project about a dog from outer space. The image above is from one of the later books, where he returns in a fancy spaceship to visit the friends he made on Earth in his first adventure when he crash landed.

After cloaking his space ship (which is parked above the rooftop of an apartment building that has a view very much like the view from the roof of the building where I live right now) he has further adventures on planet Earth, before returning home to his own galaxy.

May 172008
 

This is an image from a story I have been thinking about, off and on again, for years. It is about a dog from outer-space that gets stranded here on Earth.

The idea of an animal from outer space isn’t new, but I think my version is fresh enough to be worth the effort it would take to tell this particular story. I had a pretty good head of steam on this project when I first thought of the idea many years ago. I generated a lot of sketches, artwork and writing. Most of that was lost in my first ever experience with a frozen hard drive, and with it was lost a lot of the momentum behind the project. Recently I have been thinking more about this old idea and writing some new versions of the story.

Backed up, this time.

Mar 192008
 

I once had an idea about a hypochondriac robot and a manic monkey/dog (a genetic-hybrid) who travel the galaxy selling useless products to aliens. Like door to door salesmen. Their space ship is the size of a small country but most of the interior is filled with cargo, so these two live in a cramped little command module. There is a lot of travel time from A to B in outer space so there’s plenty of time for these guys to really drive each other crazy in there.


I’ve always been a sucker for cartoon science fiction stuff, but this idea is really about sharing space with someone… Sharing a bedroom with your little brother or a cubicle with someone at work. It was inspired by staying in an apartment full of guys and the frictions that result from having room-mates; all those little annoying brouhahas over who ate who’s stuff in the fridge and so on. Just put all that button-pushing and passive aggressive shenanigans “IN SPACE” with robots and monkey/dogs and there you go. Sort of a Silent Running GlenGarry GlenRoss Odd Couple Ice Station Zebra type thang… for kids!


Anyway, it still makes me chuckle when I think about it so I guess I’ll blow the dust of this old idea and do a comic story someday….