Normal Life?

(Originally posted today at Patreon. There are a TON of posts that I’ve not gotten around to posting over to this site – please feel free to go check them out, if you’re into that! I’ll be better about updating the free-to-read posts here as well!)

My life has been topsy-turvy lately, but I’m getting closer to normal (for whatever that means!) I wanted to share with you where I’m at on our Typodmary comic books, because that’s why we’re all here, right?

I also need to be able to remind myself where I’m at, and know that I’ve been making progress, even if it seems I haven’t. So, to that end, some reminders as to where we are at this moment in time!

Era of Great Wonders:

I’ve been getting really detailed with the backgrounds in Era, but I think I’m getting really close (for yet another given value of that word!) I may end up using simplified backgrounds for the inside of Eoin’s apartment (like the one directly above, where he’s trying to sleep on the couch) to help differentiate the chaos of the outside world, vs the stability he’s trying to provide his children.

And the updates we’ve all been waiting for, All the Growing Things! I’ve been tinkering away in the my “spare” time (usually when I should be working on other commission work) and adding pages and moving things around.

The first and second page are copies because I’m trying to figure out the layout for the printed book – I think I’m going to have a different page 1 than the one here, something that will work as a nice “splash page” for folks that just pick up the comic without picking up the other comics.

I’ve really been struggling with the pages where Texy starts to remember things, and his memory starts to bleed through: the first set of pages 6-12 you’ll see below. I want to really hit home the fact that Texy and the people he sees in those panels are all reincarnations of people he’s… um… “wronged” or at least, been tied-up with for the past couple millennia!

I also included pages 1-8 of the NEXT  issue of All the Growing Things (although 7 and 8 look pretty blank!) but I want to show everyone that Maude is coming back, and she’s coming back with a vengeance!

I have a bunch of photos I’ve taken of my painting for the Dr. Strangelove piece, but I want to wait until after the art show on Friday to show everyone the “final product” (by which I mean, art hanging in a public space!) and the changes and problems I had with that piece.

For closers today, I wanted to show you the drawing I was working on last night, for our Pen & Stylus reboot podcast:

We’re going to be re-doing the way we do the podcast, where instead of doing a live google/youtube hangout and having you all suffer through our rambling, we’re going to edit things down, maybe even have theme music from the Creative Commons world, and basically, try to step up our game! I can’t wait to see how the new episodes come out, and I guarantee that I’ll share those links with you once we figure out what we’re doing!

That’s it for now, I hope to update more frequently now that the worst of my deadlines are over, and comic convention season is almost over! Thank you all for your patience!

-Jenn

MOAR UPDATES!

posted in: comics, Era of Great Wonders, Patreon | 0

Hey! So I chatted with my Patreon supporters, and they’re all cool with me sharing my patreon-only blog with everyone! So I’m going to catch you all up here, and then when that’s all done, I’ll start updating things here as I post them there. (If that makes any sense?)

This was originally published August 13th, 2015:

#18 More and More Frogs

I *think* this is where I left you all last time:

I’d spent so much of my time on the middle panel, and had to force myself through to finishing the other panels on the first page. Most of the bottom panels were done, and it was just a matter of drawing the character running out the door in the (middle bottom panel) as well as the background. I ended up filling in the bottom right panel with a black background (see below) and then after doing that, I wanted to balance the black on the page, so I did a silhouette on the fist panel. (I will honestly use silhouettes given the slightest provocation. They save so much time when you’re drawing!)

I spent WAY too much time yesterday drawing the panel in the upper right hand corner. Below you can see a close up of what I did with it. Each of the three upper panels has more and more frogs, until I lost count with the upper right panel.

(Twelve. I just counted them, and there are twelve frogs. Mind you, it’s the one you *don’t* see that gets you!)

I then called it done, posted the page to the website, and started working on the facing page. I’d already drawn the middle panel, with Sgt. Smythe’s face really big, so I started with the detail heavy bottom panel.

I knew that I wanted to have it sort of separated from the other panels, without a border, but I hated the way the last scene of the Pangean Book store came out, where I tried cross hatching:

(Ugh, so awful!)

So I tried instead to go as “border-less” as possible:

I had to put in a thin border for the night sky, or else I would have either flooded the page with black ink (not a bad idea, now that I think about it, but then I’d have to go back and retroactively flood all the pages with black ink to make the whole scene cohesive. I try to keep the page boarders similar in style for each mini-chapter.)

I did a little bit of copy-and-paste with the car wreckage, but I think I was subtle enough with it that it doesn’t stand out. then I drew in boxes for the other stores and their windows, and moved on to penciling the upper panel, with the three survivors:

I’ll be finishing the upper panel today. It’ll be an interesting challenge to blend both details and heavy shadows (to help balance out the bottom panel) – we’ll see later if I succeed!

-Jenn

What I’ve been upto

Sorry about the silences on the site, it’s one of those deals where I’m really not paying as much attention to time as I should be.

I’ve been sketching and doing layouts for the next issue of Era of Great Wonders, and then I got distracted drawing and inking pages that are at the end of the next issue without bothering to finish the ones in between! I’m a bit of an organizational mess right now! Still, I have stuff to share with you:

This is me drawing page 32 of issue 4 (or maybe 5… having 40+ pages in ONE comic seems a bit extreme, so we’ll see where it ends up when it’s all said and done.)

In order to keep the video under 4 hours, I’ve sped it up 16x so it goes pretty quickly. One of these days I’d like to do a more “true to how slow I draw” video, where you can see exactly how much time I spend drawing and erasing, then redrawing and re-erasing things. I wanted to show just how much I mess up, because I think it’s important to show that pages don’t come out perfect from the get go.

Not that they ever come out perfect, but there are some pages I complain about less than others! Which is a sort of perfection!

I’ve also been trying to come up with a shirt design for All the Growing Things.

I want something that says “Monsters and Garden Society” or, “Urban Gardening and Monster Hunting” or something that implies a bunch of old ladies sitting around, drinking tea, and fighting monsters. I just can’t seem to get the wording right. I feel strongly that if I could find the right words, the art will fall in line, but I’ve been struggling. Instead, I’ve been looking at a lot of Mucha’s art, and am thinking maybe I’ll just with something along those lines.

garden-tshirt

She started out as Matilda (or Young Maude as she’s sometimes called) but I’m thinking this might be another gardener, who is maybe also dealing with the same monster infestation! Who knows? I like the idea of doing a couple different designs with different women in the design. Maybe even a dude or two. Print On Demand is an amazing thing these days!

Tomorrow Pen and Stylus will be doing another show at 8:30pm (or more likely, 9:00pm) MST where we will all be showing our responses to Ben’s Random Character Generator. Tomorrow’s subject will be “Male Alien Heavy Weapon’s Expert”.

I’ll be showing how I drew this, as well as probably talking about why I drew a worm-alien. Spoilers: It’s because I received a worm composter for my birthday, and I haven’t shut up about it since!

worm-gunnerFIN

Alright, later alligators! I need to get some more pages of Era done so I can at least pretend I’m going to make my deadlines and start uploading to the webcomic!

Pen & Stylus

posted in: Art Making, comics | 0

Tonight we’re doing another Pen & Stylus podcast, and tonight, we’re interviewing John Myers. (I know that guy!)

He’s a bit of an over-achiever, so he put together a pdf with some notes and a sample of the first few pages of Era of Great Wonders’ script.

Check out the show here

Check out his script stuff here

Edited next day: I sort of figured that maybe not everyone wants to click on a bunch of links, so here it is, all laid out:

Last Night’s Video with John Myers:

John’s “packet” thingy.

  • What is a Comic Book Script?
    • There are no real hard and fast rules
    • It is basically a tool for communication between writer and artist
    • The default is inspired by the screenplay format
  • What Separates a Comic Script from Other Written Entertainment?
    • Novel/Poetry
      • Novels and poetry are direction communication with the reader. There is no
        intermediary party between the writer and the reader (except maybe an editor.)
    • Play/Screenplay
      • Both are interpreted by a large number of people who all bring their own take to the
        story.

        • One actor’s line reading can change the entire way their character is interpreted,
        • A change of camera angle can affect how a scene “reads.”
  • So What Makes a Comic Script Different?
    • It is communication between an artist (or group of artists) whose job it is to visualize the
      writer’s ideas
    • It is filtered though the work of the people responsible for visualizing it. At a certain point
      the writer hands over control of the look and style of the comic book.
    • The is does not change as much as one would expect when working on a script to draw
      yourself. It is is at its heart a guide to turning the thoughts in your head into a visual story.
  • The Fundamental Challenge
    • How do you communicate the ideas in your head to another person so they can in turn
      visualize it themselves
    • Concepts breakdown a little bit more between each person (like the game telephone), this is
      not necessarily a bad thing. This is a fundamental aspect of the act of artistic collaboration

      • Most times talented artists working together will enhance each other
    • Communication is key but it is hard, hard work
    • The writer has to be willing to let certain aspects of the way they see the story go
  • What Makes a Good Comic Script?
    • At the end of the day the only real test for a good script is one that results in a good comic
      book

Resources

Comic Book Script Archive
Decompressed Podcast (in particular #1 with Kelly Sue DeConnick, #4 with David Aja and Matt Fraction and #6 Matt Fraction and Mark Waid)
Scrivner

Script: Terra Farmers

PAGE 1
PANEL 1
Exterior shot of the Grey Corporation spacecraft as it enters orbit around Verdant. It looks tiny in the vastness of space.

CAPTION
How many times can you fall from space before it becomes boring?

PANEL 2
The Smythes are awaking from cryostasis. They are bleary eyed, and stretching as if waking from a deep but uncomfortable sleep.

CAPTION
If you were me you would say you got tired of it by the time you were 12. It was my fourth unpowered fall from orbit.

PANEL 3
Tameris enters an uncomfortably looking chemical shower.

CAPTION
I celebrated turning 12 by falling from space in a shuttle onto the surface of a barren world. So I could spend a few years preparing it for other people who would move in and get to call home.

PANEL 4
The Smythes are suiting up, getting into their encounter gear. They are still sluggish. Like they are sleepwalking through their morning routine.

CAPTION
We’re Terra-Farmers. My family and I seed lifeless worlds and prepare them for colonists. We’ve been engineered with genetic traits to do the work as best as possible.

CAPTION
But we always move on to the next project before we get to settled anywhere.

Script: Era of Great Wonders

Story 1: “The Time of Giant Men Part 1: The Era of Great Wonders”

Description: A interview with Dr. Reese Wesen, Wesen looks like he could have walked out of a 1960’s educational film, over the course of the interview he smokes heavily.

Interspersed with the talking head shots of Dr. Wesen are images of the ruined city of Pangaea, including various giant monsters both alone and squaring off against each other. And reactions from ordinary people to their presence.

Pangaea looks like an old-world European city, where ancient buildings and temples are liberally mixed with modern sky scrapers.

Narration: The following is an interview with Dr. Reese Wesen the foremost expert on the so-called “Time of Giant Men.” Dr. Wesen is professor of Science! at Pangaea University and like many others he spent much of the period trapped in the city of Pangaea, which is still famous for being the site of the most devastating monster attacks.

Interviewer: Professor, what is the first thing you think of when you think about your experiences during the “Time of Giant Men?”

Dr. Wesen: That the name “Time of Giant Men” is deeply misleading. It was a mistranslation that the media ran with before it could be corrected. When the first reports came in from Pannotia they were sending reports of an “Era of Great Wonders” but the news services were in such a rush to get the word out they used the literal translation.

Interviewer: Why is the name misleading?

Dr. Wesen: Well, the cryptoforms or the “Wonders” are not in any way, shape or form “men.” They are biologically genderless and when they do reproduce it does not seem to coincide with anything we would
associate with traditional male/female roles.

Interviewer: Except for Mr. Jumbo

Image: Mr. Jumbo is a giant naked man.

Dr. Wesen: Except for Mr. Jumbo. Still the name conjures images of the kinds of giants we associate from folklore and mythology, titans or frost giants for example. But still the name has persisted.

Interviewer: And now we seem to be stuck with it.

Dr. Wesen: And now we seem to be stuck with it.

Garden Age

I’ve been playing a lot of Dragon Age recently, while working on pages for All the Growing Things.

This is what happens.

gardenage2

While not as pretty as the actual Dragon Age cover, I’m still pretty pleased with it.

At some point, I will resume posting comic pages online. Right now I’m simply trying to get as many done as possible (I have dreams of finishing issues 4 and 5 of Era, and compiling them into a book by mid summer!) Because I’m trying to get all of the pages done at the same time, it means I have a bunch of half-done pages, but nothing I’m ready to post yet.

Some quick thoughts on Dragon Age:

A lot of people are comparing it to Skyrim, and while I can see the initial comparison, I don’t really think that’s fair to either Skyrim or Dragon Age.

Dragon Age: Inquisition does have an open world feel to it, but it’s not as sandbox as Skyrim. You can play Skyrim for hundreds of hours and never touch the main storyline. And that’s something I LOVE about Bethesda games.

DA:I on the other hand is seriously story driven. While you can roam around maps all you want, you can only unlock new maps by completing story missions.

The only complaint I really have (and it’s not much of one) is that DA introduced so many new game mechanics that I really didn’t know what I was doing with the game, while removing old mechanics I relied heavily upon (detailed tactics comes to mind).

All in all, it’s a pretty fantastic game, and I’m having to restrict myself from playing it (and I am now counting down the days until Friday, where I plan to play it to my heart’s content. Or, well, until the early hours of Saturday morning.)

Indecision

posted in: comics, Era of Great Wonders | 2

I finished working on the cover for Era of Great Wonders, issue #4 yesterday.

Shortly after finishing it, (and it took FOREVER to get all those little buildings colored in the way I wanted them!) I realized I’d originally planned on going with the autopsy notes as the cover for number 4.

Now I’m all kinds of confused because I think the city scene works better with the other covers, at least thematically, but there’s something striking about the autopsy notes. Perhaps the autopsy notes should be saved for when I collect the first five issues into a book? I don’t know.

SUPER indecisive right now.

Thematically a better choice...
Thematically a better choice…
...I keep leaning towards this one.
…but I keep leaning towards this one.
A blue version.
A blue version.

Mostly Marketing vs Money

posted in: comics, Conventions | 0

(I wanted the trifecta of alliteration in the title)

The other day at the dojo, one of the ladies asked me, “What is the best way to buy your comic and help support you?”

I froze, because I did not (and still do not) have a good answer to that.

There are three ways you can buy comics from us:

  • Directly from us:
    • Pro: We make the most money, because we have no processing fees
    • Con: We’re homebodies, and rarely leave Albuquerque.
    • Con: What are the chances you’ll run into us and want to buy a comic right then and there?
  • From a local store:
    • Pro: it reminds local shop keepers that local comics do sell!
    • Pro: it legitimizes us in a way, and makes it easier for people to find our work if they can’t buy it directly from us.
    • Con: Because of the printing costs of our issues, the only things you’ll find in stores are our books, not our floppy issues, which until we get an Era book, means only AtGT and Vagus.
    • Con: Very few stores will do anything other than “consignment” which is a fancy way of saying we donate our stock to them, and never get paid. Once in a while, a store will offer a consignment rate that is irresistible, but that’s so rare as to not even mention it. (Also, speaking of “rarity,” occasionally a store will flat out buy our stock, which then erases this con. These stores are the best, and I love them!)
    • Con: The only stores we’ve contacted/been contacted by, are local to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. If you’re anywhere else, you’re going to have a hard time finding our books.
  • Digitally
    • Pro: if you buy it digitally, you get it right away and I don’t have to do anything! Yay!
    • Con: if you buy a physical book from Amazon, then they take a little bit of a cut (but only a little one so far)
    • Con: If you buy a physical book from Amazon, then I have to go the post office, and I am terrified of the post office. (But I’ll do it if I have to!)
    • Con: Because of their processing fees (even though it’s only a little one) I can only sell the books (not the issues) physically through Amazon, which again, means only AtGT and Vagus.

Mostly what I take from all of this is that I have no idea what I’m doing.

Okay, so that’s the… er.. “money” part of the post, so you know how I’m not making money. Marketing is… related? Unrelated? I feel so terrible: I went to school for graphic design and they forced us to do marketing research course, and it was the worst thing ever! I hated it so much that my grades dropped (I think I got a “B” for the course, or something awful like that!)

My entire comic book marketing plan has been (and continues to be) MAKE MOAR COMICS!

I suspect that’s not the path to success I want it to be.

I read a lot of articles/blog posts by indie writers and listen to a lot of podcasts about how to market ebooks. I keep thinking maybe “ebooks” are similar to “comic books” but I’m not sure if that’s true or not. (Seriously, if you know about this stuff, help an idiot out and tell me!)

Basically, I think the advice boils down to:

  • Write a series (check)
  • Publish them digitally (check – I’ve been doing these as webcomics for ages, and am now putting them on Amazon)
  • Drop the intro book price to permafree* (Sorta-check: I can’t figure out how to do this  yet, but I DID get dumblucky with the price matching dropping Era #1 to 99 cents)
  • Have a call to action (CTA) at the back, urging readers to review it. (Sorta-check: I did that, but I couldn’t get html coding to work, so… it may not work as well as I hope.)
  • Write more, and write like the wind (I suck at this. It takes me so long to draw stuff.)
  • Also there seems to be stuff about getting a newsletter together (check) and building a platform (I think that’s a website? If so… check? Although it could be a social media platform, which then… uncheck because the only thing I do is twitter.)

I’ve been trying to adapt as much of this to selling comicbooks as I can, but I’m, well, I’m not all that social media stuff. I mean, I sort of chat to myself on twitter, or if I can think of something short to say to someone in my feed, but other than that, I’m pretty much isolated in my studio.

Another thing I’ve been wondering about is, why should anyone bother buying any of our comics?

The few times I’ve told people they can read the comics (in their entirety) they almost always ask me, “How do you make money from that?”

Short answer: I don’t.

Long answer: Well, I mean, I guess I could put ads or something on my website, but that seems so tacky. And honestly, I don’t think people really read comics at my site (my jetpack stats are, well, kinda low. I couldn’t in good faith sell ad-space on my site. Like, six people looked at my site the other day.)

So what’s the point of having free webcomics on your site?

Having the free webcomics on our site allows John and I to tell people that if they want to check the book out online first and see if they like it, that’s cool with us. There’s a confidence that I feel, knowing that our comics are good enough that you’ll want them after you read them. (And it has worked a few times: we’ve had a few people see us at the start of a convention, take a card, read our comics, and then come back on the last day of a convention and buy our stuff! It’s super encouraging!)

On the other hand, now that we’re trying to sell our comics digitally on Amazon, I’m left wondering if maybe we should pull everything but the content for each “first issue,” that way people don’t get mad that they’re paying money for something that is (in a way, if you don’t mind staring at my website) “free.”

The way I tried to compensate for that was to put a heads up in the back of the digital comic issue saying, “While we know you can read this for free, we really appreciate you dropping us a dollar or two!”

And it’s true, we really do appreciate it. We don’t make much money from Amazon, but knowing that our work is at least worth a dollar has been incredibly flattering (and encouraging, which, we all need more of.)

Sorry this post is too long. I ramble a lot.

Amazon, Smashwords, and Comixology

I am in the process of converting our comics into ereader friendly comics.

The fact that it’s taking me forever to convert webcomic pages into ereader formats is an irony that is not lost on me. (In my defense, there are so many different settings, page sizes, and then the upload process itself. It’s… time consuming.)

A quick run-down of thoughts:

Comixology

Comixology is the reason I started converting all these files to digital.*

Comixology is the big one that I see all my comic friends talking about. It was a bit of a long and involved process (some of it due to their vetting of submissions, but most of it due to the fact that I can’t seem to stay focused long enough to finish any one project in a timely manner.) I finished setting up our profile in late June (or July? time has no meaning to me) and sent in the first Era issue. It was accepted fairly quickly, but then came the long wait while they “processed” it.

While Comixology was setting up the first issue of Era, I was riding high on a feeling of general optimism, so I decided to tackle the “Amazon Problem,” which is it’s own little area of thought that I’ll get to in a moment. Because every optimistic upswing is followed by a devastating crash (at least, for me) I quickly noticed that I’d sent Comixology the wrong file. When we’d first printed these comics, I’d sent a file with a typo on the first page. I’d thought that I’d long since deleted that page and replaced it, but because the process of getting accepted into Comixology was so long and involved, it turns out I’d started building the ebook before I ever sent the files to get printed (where the guy running the printing press found the typo!)

Horror!

Heading back into the Comixology dashboard, I realized that they were dead serious when they said “If you hit the submit button, there is no options to change your mind, you can not re-edit this comic.” So that’s super embarrassing and permanent.

In the time it has taken for me to get one issue accepted and another submitted to comixology, I’ve made some serious inroads into Amazon. The one really nice thing? We can sell our comics for as low as 99cents!

Amazon

Okay. Deep breath.

There are a lot of things I’m not good at, and figuring out (and filling out) forms is one of them. Amazon is a massive sprawling beast, and in order to do one thing, sometimes you have to do another (unnamed) think first. I finally broke down and instead of submitting another useless email help request, I gave in and asked them to cal me.

Another thing I’m not good at? Talking on the phone.

But the lady at the other end of the line told me in which order to set up my profiles and products. Something that was either reassuring, or not, depending on your point of view, was that she was also googling answers to questions that I was asking. I found that particularly empowering because I’m fairly good at googling answers (it’s how I got through my college electronic arts class).

After setting up a seller’s account and putting up the two physical comic books we have (All the Growing Things and Vagus Project**) I was then able to make an author profile at Amazon’s Author Central. From there I was able to dig around and get into the KDP dashboard which is how all the digital publishing magic happens at Amazon.

(My author page, linking to all our uploads at Amazon)

Whereas Comixology wanted high-resolution tiffs compiled into a high-res pdf, Amazon will take whatever you have. I used their Comic Creator to set up everything up, and because double-page spreads are important to me, I had to turn some other features off. There’s also supposed to be a way to insert a page where you can have text (and hypertext) that the kindle can resizes and manipulate, but I was never able to figure that out, no matter how much I wanted to.

The Comixology dashboard is pretty stripped down, while the Amazon dashboard is a maze of choices and decisions. At Comixology I was able to set the price to whatever I want (as long as it ended in 99cents – no freebies at comixology, or at least if there were, I couldn’t figure it out). Amazon on the other hand puts in price requirements based on your file sizes (and my files are huge.) People always joke “why would you ever take a 35% cut from Amazon when you have the option to take a 70% cut?” The answer to that is when you have a massive file (AtGT the digital book is about 70mb) Amazon will cut out all profit, citing that the “delivery” is too expensive if you don’t charge more (I chose 4.99 for the digital book.) While I didn’t lose money selecting the 70%, I didn’t make any money either. I was at a deficeit. But when I selected the 35% option, I now make a $1.70 for every $4.99 ebook that sells.

Smashwords

Pricing! Many authors I follow talk about using Smashwords as a control for pricing at Amazon. It doesn’t always work, and when it does it doesn’t work fast, but it’s still a thing I’d like to try!

I am looking forward to figuring out Smashwords, only at this point I need to use a Word doc to build my comics, and I don’t have Word. I have Open Office, and I guess it inserts a bunch of crummy code when you try to build your book. John, on the other hand, has Word, but only on his work computer… which means I sort of hover around his office, waiting for him to get off work. By the time he IS off work, he’s too exhausted to struggle his way through the Smashwords Style Guide.

I’d like to use Smashwords to offer the first of the ebook issues for free (regardless of the fact that the comics are free on the website), and then drop the rest to 99cents, and I have it in my head that Smashwords is the only way to do price matching with Amazon – I’ve read a lot of stuff about that, but “reading” and “doing” are two different things, so we’ll see what it is I actually “know.”

Another hesitation is that the file size requested for images is something like 600 pixels x 800 pixels, which seems incredibly small to me. I’m not a fan of how small the text looks at the larger sizes, and this seems just way too small to me.

Notes:

* Seriously, it drives me nuts to say that because I drew them digitally to begin with! However, the entire time I was/have been creating pages, I’ve been planning for print, so there is a substantial switch-up with how I’ve had to think/re-think my process.

** These two books are the only ones we make money on. The single issue comics (Era Issues, AtGT issues), were a small print run from a local printer. The cost per unit to print is pretty big ($3.50 – $4.50 per issue) compared to the fact that we sell them for $5 a piece. We make our printing costs back, but not quite enough to pay for printing more.

Well intentioned friends have suggested that we try to sell them for $8 to $10 in order to pay for the books and make a little money, but I don’t think I can sell a black and white 22page comic for that high of a price with a clear conscience. the same well meaning friends have also suggested we color the books, and then sell them for 10$ or so, not realizing just how expensive color printing is, and again, how little people will pay for physical comic issues.

Trade paperbacks (like the Vagus and AtGT book), however, sell fine at higher prices, and are where we make the most of our money back so that we can continue printing and expanding our lines. (I can not wait until we have the first five issues of Era together so that we can print that in one large book!)

Small World Giant Monster (throwback)

posted in: comics, odds and ends | 2

These were the pages that prompted Era of Great Wonders.

All I knew was that I wanted to draw giant monsters, but I couldn’t really think of any sort of story.

smallworld1

Page one started out as a gray scale mess, and while I always tell people to “never go back and fix your art,” I did go back and fix this when I was trying to talk John into doing the comic. (This was YEARS ago. I think it must have been around 2009?)

This was all done in photoshop, and the text is an art layer that I “wrote” in – meaning that when* I made a typo, it was impossibly difficult to fix.

smallworld2

This was about as far as the story went. I knew I wanted these two kids to be the first to see the meteor swarm, and for them (and the reader) to be able to look back and know that this was the last “normal” night of their lives, and that whatever fell from the sky wasn’t just rock and minerals, but was the start of the giant monster invasions.

…and then I didn’t know where to take it from there. I drew a few more sketches of giant monsters destroying a city, and then lost confidence in my ability to write this story.

smallworld3

I don’t suppose those giant monsters look familiar to anyone who’s read All the Growing Things?

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And that’s it. I can’t even tell you what’s happening in the second to last panel. Maybe it’s building a web? I have no idea.

After John and I finished up The Vagus Street Rehabilitation Project, John wanted to take a break from horror and do something a little different. I don’t know if I consciously remembered Small World Giant Monster or even showed it to him, but at any rate, I told John I wanted to draw giant monsters, and he started working on Era.

 

* “when” not “if”

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