Borderlands 2 Sketches

posted in: Art Making, video games | 0

I’m still not sure I’ve recovered from ACE yet, but I’m slowly getting back into gear (I mean, it’s only been a week and a half!) and I wanted to share some sketches I’ve been working on.

Most of the time I spend all of my time working on comic layouts, penciling, inking, and things like that. I’m usually going for speed, rather than elegance or accuracy, so it’s… it’s more of a “workload” sort of mentality. Drawing up posters feels like an indecent luxury that I can not, and should not take time to do, but I had such a fun time talking to people at the convention about Borderlands, and I found myself really inspired to work on more pinup styles of art.

I also had a couple of people tell me how to take out Pete the Invincible and Terramorphous the Invincible, so I’ve been looking forward to that as well.  I swear, I sometimes suspect I’m the only person that has not been able to kill any of the raid bosses.*

Either way, I’ve been thinking a LOT about Borderlands, but haven’t been able to do much of anything between working on AtGT and Era, and finishing up my Innsmoon stuff.**


Above is the sketch for Rakkman that I started a while ago. I thought it was kind of stupid and not as dynamic as I wanted it to be, but you know what? I’m just being dumb – After I color this, and drop some more rakk in the background (and put more details in the rakk) it’ll be fine. Also: I want to do a neat logo at the bottom, but I’m not sure if it’ll overwhelm the rest of the poster. We’ll see, I guess.

Smile, you son of a...
Smile, you son of a…

I’m not so sure about Salvator’s face (above) because he’s smiling, but then again, when I play him he always seem so happy to be out and killing. A bit like a more lucid Krieg. I’m fairly certain I’m going to screw up his right hand (I’m going to have him holding an version of Unkempt Harold, I think) and have been putting off penciling it. But this dang drawing won’t be done  until I do, so I can only put it off for so long. Also, his eyebrows are a bit funky, but… I don’t know. Maybe they’re fine. Gah. Indecision and self doubt: I wouldn’t know how to function without them.


* Mind you, it would probably help if I took some time off work to play more video games, but then again, that’s what the weekends are for. Well, that and errands.

** At some point I’ll have to update y’all on the Innsmoon Stuff. It’s 80k words and still going. It’s exhausting. I also wrote a short story (13k words) in the same world, and that -at least- came together fairly quick.

Moar Monsters (part 3)

posted in: Art Making | 0

I’m a little worried this will never be finished, and when i finally do flip my keyboard over and walk away from it in disgust, it won’t look like I want it to either. An important lesson: nothing is as ever good, as it is in your head.

Finished Inks
Finished Inks

I finished the inks yesterday and then spent a long while working on the flat colors. Because I find flat colors a bit boring, I’ll just show you the “finished colors.” Although, these aren’t really finished. They’re sort of just… where I’m at until I quit. I want them to be darker and more vibrant.

Sometimes (often times) I wish I understood photoshop manipulations better. Ah well, we can only work with what we have.

Finished Colors?
Finished Colors?

Next week, perhaps, I will get in there and just… gah. Increase contrast or something. Something.

Something something something.

Moar Monsters (part2 of ?)

posted in: Art Making | 0

I’m STILL working on this crazy banner.

There’s a certain point where I start to feel as if I’m just doing busy work, treading water, and that none of this matters. The urge to work on comics is overwhelming, but the thought of leaving this image only half finished is something I can’t even contemplate.

Yesterday morning’s version:


This morning’s start:


While it doesn’t look like much has been done, there’s a ton there. Well, at least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Today my goal is to finish the inking on this, but I’m not sure I’ll make it. I have a ton of chores and things I have to do to get ready for the craziness that is this weekend (and I can’t believe it’s Friday already!)



MOAR Monsters!

I’m constantly hearing people talk about “branding,” and several friends have even tried to hammer the concept into my thick skull. I’m still not sure what branding is exactly, but in the interest in keeping everyone up to date with the crazy stuff I’m working on, I thought I’d share my plans for a new website design.

First off, I love love love comic easel, and I’m a bit afraid to use another wordpress theme, but the more I think about the design I want, the more I think I’m going to have to make the jump to something a little more customizable.

(Now would be a good time to show you the sketch of the website I want, but I didn’t scan it in. Sorry.)

I want to have a big banner across the top, with monsters that says “TypodMary” and then under it, something that says either “indie comics” or “subversive comics.”

One of the more interesting exersizes I’ve done is where you list ten words that “sum up” your product (which I guess is… me? Or my art? Or my comics? See – still not certain of stuff.)

When I think of the work that John and I do (and a few friends who are interested in collaborating with us,) I tend to be pretty boring and literal.






“Unexpected” which then led me to “Subversive.”

After I hit “subversive,” I started phoning it in. I think a lot of our work IS subversive. It’s rarely what anyone ever suspects it to be. All the Growing Things isn’t just about a goofy granny fighting monsters in her garden, but rather a psychological examination of (self) forgiveness and (possibly) redemption.

Vagus Street isn’t just a story about a haunted housing project, it’s a story that examines the way things fall apart, and the apathy of decay that people permit.

Era of Great Wonders isn’t just about people surviving in a world torn apart by giant monsters, it’s about people coming to grips with their lives, and who they thought they were, and who they hope to be. (I think it’s also about the failures of systems and how decay always settles into things, because those are themes that John tends to hit.)

Era is also (if I want to get heavy handed with it) about how many people aren’t all that different from giant monsters: some things are destroyed through accident, negligence, and apathy; other things are destroyed through outright willfulness and forethought.

Our comics aren’t always what they say on the box, but there IS a certain amount of that as well. Maude does fight a lot of monsters. Vagus is a haunted place. The kids in Pangaea do live in a world torn apart by giant monsters.

So… that’s all a long-winded way of saying that I’m slowly going to be redoing the site. Right now I’m working on a banner that contains a few “keywords.” The exercise suggested taking those ten descriptions, and boiling them down to five words, and then three, and then one.

I’m wavering between “indie comics” and “Subversive comics” for the banner, and who knows, maybe I’ll do both. Either way, I think there’s going to be some more monsters, as well as some flowers, because I am into drawing monsters with flowers.

Here are some sketches of what I’ve been up to:

Monday’s sketch & start of inking

and after a little bit of work today:

Tuesday's work with more inking
Tuesday’s work with more inking

I hope to finish this soon (I’m not above cutting and pasting flowers from one end of the banner to the other!) and then I’ll be sort of ready to switch everything over to a new theme (I’m looking at the Virtue theme right now.)

Also: this is kind of a bummer, but I thought you could click to see the images big, but it’s… not… doing that. So instead, if you’re curious, you can still left click the image, and then select “view image” to see it somewhat larger. Sorry about that extra step there.

Dead but Not

Sort of occurred to me that while I’ve been pretty crazy industrious over on my side of the internet, I’ve not really shown anyone much of it. I thought I’d give y’all a sneak peak of the next cover for All the Growing Things (and if you saw the one I posted on twitter, these are fuller, more finished versions of that work in progress photo!)

Here’s the finished line art:


Start of color (with flats):


The color that you see here (except for the stone background) are considered “flats” – which is to say, flatly applied without any shading. Later when I go to add the actual colors, I’ll use the flat colors as an easy way of selecting things and then work on another layer to give it a painterly look, hiding the coloring book style layer.

Hm. I need to write up a “how I color stuff” post. I will add that to the ever expanding list!

100th Post

posted in: Art Making, comics, Conventions | 2

…which was a bit surprising to see when I logged on today.

I’ve been silent, but it’s not because I’ve not been around. More that I’ve been frantically working, and am sort of in a peculiar mode of panic that boils down to me doing about twelve different projects, but finishing none of them. Or at least, it feels as if I’m not finishing anything.

I’ve been crazy busy trying to get Era of Great Wonders compiled into issues so that we can have something to show for ourselves at the upcoming comic conventions that are (surprisingly!) right around the corner! I’ve also been scrambling to get the next installment of pages ready for All the Growing Things so that I can have an issue of that as well.

I’ve also been helping color some of Josh’s Rhinestone Ronin pages, and it turns out that Josh draws really incredibly detailed pages, with lots of fiddly little details. Also, his ability to draw hands is crazy good! I’m sort of really jealous!

Beautiful hand by Josh McCoy
Beautiful hands by Josh McCoy

(Some above samples of my half-finished coloring… but instead, look at the beautiful, beautiful, beautiful hands!)

I’ve also been working on turning art into banners, so that when we’re at the conventions people will be able to find us. Usually I use a ragged little canvas banner (which I find charming) but I am thinking it’s time to upgrade towards something a little more professional.

I’ve also been working on a couple of commission pieces, but they’re not really comic related, so I’m not sure anyone would be interested in that, but they are things that’ve been taking up a bit of time.

I’ve also been working on making videos for podcasts, but I’m really bad at it. I’ve managed to figure out how to use screen captures (for a given value of “use” because they tend to crash my computer if I leave it on too long.. but still, I’m trying!) and I’m slowly making progress to where I can have something (maybe?) to show for myself.

As it is, this is now reading a bit boring for a 100th post. It should have more fireworks and explosions in it.

Dang it.



Captain Pangaea – WIP

posted in: Art Making, Era of Great Wonders | 0

This’ll be posted in a finished state later in the day at the Era of Great Wonders site, but for now, this is where I’m at. Sometimes I enjoy the half finished art better than the finished art, but sometimes, the finished stuff isn’t so bad. I have a feeling that this is going to be the rare piece that I’ll really like both ways.

If you look closely, you can see that I’ve adopted the “dot” technique that I used for Maya on the good Capt’n.


Fun fact: I used my maiden name, and John’s mom’s maiden name for the artist/author credits on this piece! I think they look nice together. Maybe for our 25th anniversary (or any nice “round” number) we can change our last names back. Or maybe I’ll take his mom’s and he can take my old name! That’d be bizarre-yet-neat!

Or maybe after the 10 year mark, we can both switch to another name, and then 10 years after that, switch to yet another! That’d be super fun for the NSA I imagine!


posted in: Art Making, video games | 4

I’m slowly going through all the Borderlands characters that I really -really- like playing. Next up is either the Gunzerker or Gaige. I’m not sure – I’m tied on those two.

Stay Still

Also, I really need to learn to sign art with my name. I can’t seem to figure out how to do that consistently.

Gratuitous Krieg Art

posted in: Art Making, video games | 0

…and I just can’t really believe that’s how you spell “gratuitous,” but I guess that’s how it goes. Staring at the word won’t make it any better.

I met with my friend The Red Neb yesterday, and talked comic business with him and John. I’m fairly certain that they were supposed to talk about the upcoming TerraFarmer’s issue, but Neb and I ended up talking Cintiqs and software instead. He’s been doing a bunch of poster art, getting ready for the convention season, where as I… have not.

I’ve avoided doing it for so long, and art is so difficult when my heart isn’t in it, but John talked me into doing posters of things I like, so I’ve been drawing up a few video game related pieces. (I think I started in November?)

One of the ones that I (finally!) finished last night (although, looking at it in the cold light of morning, I think it needs some more shadows and highlights brushed in) is a picture of Krieg from borderlands. He’s one of my favorites and he’s changed my gaming style for the worst, I think. I’ve recently been replaying Fallout3, and wow, it’s a different game when you’re playing as if you’re still Krieg!


I think the other nice thing about working on poster art is that it gives you (meaning “me”)  a sense of accomplishment that I don’t have as much as when I work on pages and pages of comics. With the actual comic art, there’s always another page, always another formatting issue to be dealt with, always some marketing thing to think about. With a poster, you just draw it up and show it to people, and if you’re lucky they’ll put it up on the fridge and give you a cookie.

I’m working on a “sexy” Poison Ivy poster too, but I’m not so sure about it. I’m not good at “sexy,” and I’m also not all that great at drawing women. BUT, I DO LIKE DRAWING PLANTS, so there’s that. Did you know that Poison Ivy was originally designed after Bettie Page? I had not known that. I also had not known that it was “Bettie” with an “ie” at the end either, so yesterday was full of learning moments for me.

Which is always kind of nice.

Couple of things

So I’ve been talking to my friend K about branding (AND SHE USED TO BE A MARKETER! Why do people never tell me these things?! Or… maybe they do and I don’t listen well enough?) and she sort of asked (I am paraphrasing here), “I don’t want to make you feel bad… but you’re clearly floundering… would you like some help?”

And I said, “YES PLEASE, OH MY GODS I AM SO ALONE RIGHT NOW… *sob sob sob*”

So I have decided to split the Jo Williams stuff to another website, while keeping this one mostly about non-smutty stuff. Because, let’s face it, it was making me super squirrelly and uncomfortable, and there’s only so much nervous laughter I can do before I start getting jumpy. So that site is now on it’s own. Sort of. I mean, I’m still hanging out over there. When I think of things to say.

Also: I may be in love with that wordpress theme. I may have to incorporate it here at typodmary too, but I’m worried I’ll break things again (as is my way.)

In other news, I’ve also been working on getting some cover art for Era of Great Wonders, but nothing is finished yet (because self-doubt is a hell of a thing, and it sort of increases the amount of time to finish anything by about twice as long as it would take a normal person.)

That said, I do have some works in progress to share:

I’ve been trying to remember how much I used to enjoy creating art, but honestly, all I feel when I see an empty canvas (or a cover that needs to be colored) is the feeling you get when staring into great void of distance while hearing the wind rush past your face.

It’s not quite like the emotional equivalent of being “paralyzed,” because paralyze doesn’t really capture the active sort of panic that I feel.

Hunted? Haunted? It feels closer to those words, really.


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