It’s not easy being a member of the ugliest species in the known universe! Thankfully, SEPHILINA, like all other SQUOIDS, can shape-shift and appears as a cute-ish blue girl in green tentacle dreadlocks.
This guy here is called KID KALIMARI, a comics character that I never did much with. He is related to another one of my characters that I have actually followed through on publishing; SEPHILINA.Â He lives in the city of SAN FIASCO, and ends up becoming a pal of ROCKET & the PROFESSOR. In the back of my mind, the Sephilina stories have a loose arc whereby she makes her way across outer space, having many adventures along the way, to hook up with this rubbery dude living in SAN FIASCO. I think he is her brother, or maybe he’s her boyfriend, or something else altogether (such things as gender or familial relationships aren’t meaningful to the SQUOID species, so translating such terms is tough).
Kid Kalimari, in the meantime, has his own quirky adventures on Earth in San Fiasco, focusing on the mundanities of life as an Alien immigrant, such as a job at a coffee shop, or as a lifeguard at the beach. He was the first SQUOID ever to leave the homeworld, and unlike Sephi, does not have an up-to-date translation device, and consequently does not speak English all that well, which sometimes gets him into trouble. Like her, he must often deal with the fact that humans cannot stomach the sight of an actual Squoid (The Ugliest Species In The Known Universe) but being a changeling, he spends most of the time in the humanoid form you see here, out of deference to queasy human tummies.
About the only art I ever did with the character were these here doodles. Lately, I’ve been thinking more about this stuff. Although I can’t draw as I once did, I’m at least writing and planning some books for that day when hopefully, I can drawn easily again. I have pages and pages of doodles, notes, and half-baked ideas to collate. Thinking about kooky characters and silly stories, whether they ever get made or not, is a lot of fun.
Recently, I was contacted by GEORGE CHEN, a designer from CHURN LABS, which is a company that makes internet and mobile applications. One of their recent creations is EMANATA, an indie comix reader app for the iPad, and I am happy to say that one of my stories was in the recent launch of the app in the iTunes Store.
EMANATA is sort of digital anthology indie comics MAGAZINE, with each short story linked from a scrolling index of panels that forms the index page. Each story then links to the website of the respective artists. The interface design is very clean and intuitive and the artwork looks very nice on the iPad. I had to re-format my SEPHILINA story, as my artwork was initially designed for a LANDSCAPE aspect-ratio book, but I did not mind doing this because I’d actually planned to do so anyway, when I had enough pages for an album, so this was a nice test-of-concept.
I am very much a person who likes having a REAL book to hold in my hands but, after spending several years on the self-publishing and comic convention exhibiting treadmill, I am very interested in the potential of this NEW venue for comics, especially if it helps them reach people who might not otherwise see them.
If you have an iPad and have any interest at all in comics, indie or otherwise, please go check out EMANATA; the app is FREE.
I am trying to scan and post more IMAGES on here, as opposed to wordy ramblings and photos… Here is an exploration done on in Water-based oils.
I am not well-versed enough with painting to know what the differences are between the media out there. I have a little experience with gouache and water-colour but lately I have been playing aound with “water-based oils.” I’ve not figured out if I like them or not, just yet. I still haven’t found my preffered colour medium… I am also curious to find out what “Acrylic Gouache” is like.
Here is one of the 3 NEW prints I was selling last weekend at the Alternative Press Expo.
This was the 2nd time that I’ve exhibited solo at this show and it went very well, financially speaking, perhaps because having the whole space to myself allows me to display more product. I still need to work out the ultimate stripped-down travel package for shows out of town that I fly to on my own (which I’ll focus on next time for the CTN Animation Expo).
A plus this year was being surrounded by so many friends in that same row. (for example John Hoffman and his pals Chris Pearn & Craig Berry seen in the photo above). In the SWAG department, I picked up EVERY one of Corrine Mucha‘s books (that I didn’t have already) and I scored a copy of Anthology 451, paid for with some of my own craptacular stuff.
Saturday, we all had dinner at Poc Chuc which serves Mexcican food with a Mayan slant. It was very good, especially as it was chosen in a hurried scan of YELP. The evening ended at a very fun party hosted by GHOSTBOT, MAVERIX and CINEMATICO. Sunday night we had a fantastic meal at a German place called Schmidt’s. I should have left well enough alone and gone home on a high note, but my desire to end the show with the traditional ice-cream posse to Mitchell’s unfortunately went awry in a multi-pronged miscommunication fiasco, climaxing in a sad, weary wander through the Mission district looking for transportation…
The Rum & Raisin cone DID taste pretty good though.
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!
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!
Here is an old drawing of SEPHILINA that I recently made a new Background for, to sell it as an 11X14 print at comic conventions. I’m still fiddling with it, but here is what I have so far.
Over the past few months, due to frequent travel, technical problems with my computer, work and other lame excuses that I haven’t even thought of yet, there haven’t been many drawings posted here in my BLOG. From now on, I will post more from my Sketchbook; this one of Sephilina in a mini-skirt, for example.
My sketchbook would be better called a “doodlebook” because it is full of stuff I see in my head. I rarely do proper sketches of things seen in the real world. I plan to fill my NEXT book with life-drawings and sketches done on location, but the one I have NOW Is page after page of silly characters, ideas for poses, page thumbnails for comics I will probably never draw and other meaningless thing-a-ma-jigs…
Oh yeah, and lots of drawings of pretty ladies… Wotta dork.