Era branding

I’m still not done with it, and it’s kind of hard to read, but I’ve been working on the Era website.  I split the cover of the second book and added a top background image and a bottom background image. I’m going to mess around with it and later draw two monsters facing off over a city scape, but for now, this is where I’m at with placeholders.

Also! I got back from the printer, and we have TONS of comics ready for A.C.E. and other comic conventions!

Including TWO issues of Era of Great Wonders for people that like reading print!

(I really wanted to take a photo, but I keep shaking too much and need to have better light and a camera stand to do that. Until tomorrow when I edit this post, just use your imagination and think up a REALLY awesome couple of books. Then it’ll be just like being here!)

[edited 6/27 to add photo:]
Fresh Off the Press!
Fresh Off the Press!

I’m both crazy nervous for this weekend, and excited. I’m going to try to go to bed now, but if tonight is going to be anything like the past week, it just means I’m going to stare at the ceiling fan for the next four hours while trying to use the power of my mind to force myself asleep.

(Spoilers: it never works.)

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:

deadbutnot2

Start of color (with flats):

deadbutnot-color

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.

Sorry.

 

Technical Difficulties

posted in: comics, Web Development Struggles | 0

I don’t know what happened.

There was a fizzle, a pop, and then suddenly everything went dark. If I had to guess, I’d say I blew out my video card, so… uh… the long and short of it is that my work computer is busted, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to get to drawing comics again. I will try to use my little scrappy “barely connects to the internet” computer to post any updates about what’s going on, but there’s no way in heck we’re getting any images from this thing. I’m sort of grounded, I guess.

Um, everything also started shocking me when I unplugged things from the work computer too, so with any luck, it’s ONLY the video card that’s damaged.

I guess I’ll see everyone on the other side?

Sorry. Wow, what a bummer!

Wow, drawing with a pen and paper until this gets fixed. No Photoshop. No Manga Studio. What am I, some sorta savage?!

[EDIT: John was able to get my computer running with one gentle touch. He’s like the frigging computer whisperer, and they all love him. Me? I come into a room and things start sparking, which… when you’re having a bad day, is kind of hurtful!]

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.

 

And for My Next Trick…

posted in: comics, Era of Great Wonders | 0

I am sort of scrabbling around my office, trying to figure out where I put everything (this is normal every time I clean my studio… thankfully it only happens every six months or so…) and I’m fairly certain I have lost the script for Era of Great Wonders. I mean, I’m sure it’s here somewhere, and that it’s in a perfectly logical place for it to be… but as of right now, I am clueless.

It’s not a terribly big deal because I have a digital copy, and since I NEVER organize my files, I know exactly where it is. Well, I mean, I’m pretty sure I know where it is. But the point is that sometimes it’s nice to have the printed, coffee-stained, annotated hard copy as well.

I’m also getting ready to start issue two of the book, and I’ve chopped my manga studio files apart to reflect this. I don’t know if it’s me, my computer, or Manga Studio, but we only get along if we do things in 30 page chunks. Trying to create a whole book seems to cause it all to choke and grind to a shuddering halt. So now I’m confronted with opening a file and seeing all the blank pages. Things get a little intimidating, even though I know I already have 30+ pages of this book under my belt.

I am leaning heavily to also releasing these comics issue by issue, even though I’m more of a “Trade Paperback” girl… but I think I’m finally starting to realize that not everyone shares my love of giant bookshelves covered in strange and obscure comic book trades. I use the term “comic book” interchangeably between issues and trade books, and the other day John told me that “It’s not a comic book, it’s a ‘graphic novel!'”

I’m fairly certain he was joking though because he was using his funny voice when he said it. You know; the funny voice.

Okay. Enough procrastinating, time to get back to work and continue begging and pleading with Manga Studio!

Sort of Broken, Sort of Fixed

posted in: comics, Conventions | 0

I sort of completely broke the entire Typodmary website the other week. Most of it has been put back together (I think Namio Tristique is the only thing still broken).

I’m behind on drawing comics (as maybe you’ve noticed, but if I’m lucky, maybe you haven’t noticed!) and am not sure I’ll have anything new before we leave for the Tuscon Comic Con this upcoming weekend!

I’m pretty excited about this comic con, because it’s the first one we’re going to that isn’t in our town. Normally we do the two in Albuquerque, and I’m starting to worry that we’ve saturated ABQ a little too much. (Is it ever “too” much?)

I think we’re planning on heading out to Staples in Austin in March, but we’re still trying to plan the logistics out on that one.

Okay, back to work!

This is what I’ve been doing

posted in: comics, Era of Great Wonders | 0
Where the real estate is cheap, but the insurance is outrageous!

John and I are working on a new comic called Era of Great Wonders. He tends to describe it as “Ken Burns presents: Giant Monsters,” but I tend to describe it as “how hard is it to draw simplistic buildings – wtf?! I’m so tired and why is this taking so long?!”

His description is what we use when we talk to bookstores and comic fans, but I think mine is a little more accurate. I’ve finished the first few pages, but still want to get a little more ready before I start posting them online.

Combined with our other two projects, All the Growing Things and Vagus Street (Vagus which is almost completely collected, and both of which I’m also starting new storylines on), I’ve been sort of crazypants. We’re also getting into convention season, which means that I’m going to be spending time, in public, where there are people.

I’ve also been gardening, but  I’m going to wait until things fill in a little better though before I start posting any photos of that stuff – right now while my yard doesn’t look like a moonscape, it also doesn’t look like anything I want to take photos of either. Maybe I just need to be better about cropping my photos then?

Ah well, back to the arting around.

WTF March?!

posted in: comics, Vagus Street | 0

I have only a little over three hours left before March is officially over. Four if we count our missing hour from Daylight Savings time (how we barely knew ye.)

I have been frantically trying to finish up the last story for the Vagus Street Rehabilitation Project, and there is a good chance that while I will have most of it penciled by the time the clock flickers midnight, I won’t have it inked. We’re trying to get the eight short stories put together into one bound trade in time to have it ready for the summer convention season, and there is a good chance it will be my fault that it is not -quite- ready as soon as we need it to be.

In my defense, I was a bit distracted by John’s new script that came in: 20 pages of text for a new giant monster comic that we’ve been working on for the past few month. So far the script looks like it’s going to be around 40 or 50 pages when I’m done laying it out. (I’ve drawn up the first five script pages, which seems to translate to ten drawn pages when it’s all said and done.)

John says that this first installment of script is only about a sixth of what is planned for the first of six books, so that’s pretty exciting! I’m really keen on the idea of doing some big fat graphic novels! Something we can all sink our teeth into!

Above is a sample of the first spalsh page, but as you can see, it’s not much to show for something that seems to be taking me as long as it it. I hope that it will be something that will be well worth the wait however, as I’ve a strong feeling that this may just be the best work that I or John (or both of us combined) have done together.

Or separately. Or something like that. You know, without any of the pressure that such a statement implies.

Mostly this post is just a way of saying that I’m still working on webcomics, and that I’ve not given up on All the Growing Things or Vagus Street – only that I am (as usual) behind in my self imposed schedules.

I’m a pretty lax boss to work for, to be honest.

(Also, it turns out I’m a little OCD about school, which is a weird thing to discover about one’s self this deep into adulthood. Where was this dedication when I was in high school?)

Gallery Show

posted in: Art Making, comics, Honors Thesis | 0

I went ahead and put up a bunch of photos of the gallery show, if anyone is interested in seeing how that massive Namio Tristique project I was working on was coming along!

I’ve been on spring break this week, and I’ve been trying like crazy to get back to all the things I’ve stopped working on. For a while it sort of felt like I’d stepped out of my life and that I was watching everything race past me. It’s hard to pick back up when you feel so out of sorts and left behind. I still occasionally have a weird deja vu sort of feeling where (and maybe “deja vu” isn’t the right phrase) I’m not sure if I’m awake and everything is real, or if I’m still panicking in my studio, and my brain has finally snapped and I still have weeks of solitude and painting to go.

Things I’ve been trying to get back into: Aikido (I’ve been three times this week, and my body is so very sore. It turns out that falling down and getting back up is kind of painful on your back and knees.)

My comics have been neglected for so long! I’ve been trying to get the word out about the print version of All the Growing Things, but truth is: I’m terrible at advertising. I just don’t really want to bug or bother anyone. Although, I will say that having strangers review it and tell me how much they like it has really made my day! (It’s also nice when friend say they like it too!) So I also need to get started on the next storyline as well, where we’ll all learn what’s up with Texy and the cats.

I’ve also been working on the next six pages of Vagus, and we’re going to start putting together a 50+ page collection of all the Vagus stories that will be ready for the summer conventions. I’m also privately working on a spin-off of a Vagus story called Heartless that I’m pretty excited about. It’ll deal a little more with the mysterious “Jerry” that John introduced in the Children’s Story.

John and I are also working on a third comic that I’m pretty excited about. I don’t have anything to show for it really, other than an instagram photo, but it’s going to be a comic about giant monsters, and the stories of people who had to deal with living in a world where that sort of stuff is going on. (Wow, can a summary about giant monsters be any more boring?) I think it’s going to play to both John and my strengths though, so I’m pretty excited!

I’m also working on a cover for an amazing friend (I’ll have to get permission to see if I can post it here when I’m done), as well as trying to catch up on all the ceramics homework I’ve sort of let slide while working on other stuff. Did you know that throwing a cylinder is hard work? Pottery in general is frigging difficult.

And sometimes it blows up on you too. Which is a huge bummer.

I still have to write a paper for my professors for the Namio Show, and I also need to figure out what I’m going to talk about at the presentation as well. Yikes. I guess I should get back to work then?

 

 

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