Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Chapter 6 needs help

13 pages to pencil before inks.

A small part of me is elated because it's the completion of the writing/staging phase of my first series of graphic novels ever, and the story worked out nicely. A bigger part of me is about to collapse from stress because of the amount of time I have left and number of pages I have yet to ink and tone.

Basically I need to ink 78 pages and tone 109 pages in 22 days without any breaks, not to mention continuing wedding preparations. This is humanly impossible.

If anyone out there is willing to help me with toning pages, please e-mail me: whibbage at gmail.com

In the mean time it's back to the drawing board. See ya...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chapter 6, first 23 pages

Eight more pages. Boy. Blogging's getting kinda tiring. Anyone ever get tired of bloggin'?

Anyway, this scene I'm drawing right now is sad, so to put me in a meloncholy mood I've been listening to a lot of Les Miserables. I especially love this song when it's sung by the original Valjean. Speaking of youtube and musicals, last night Kazu and I discovered a fun clip of a porsche chase scene from one of his favorite childhood movies, "Condor Man". It turns out, also, that Condor Man is played by none other than the original phantom, Michael Crawford. Wow. And by watching the opening, the soundtrack was written by Henry Mancini. Double wow. And apparently, Condor Man is a cartoonist that wants to make his comic character a reality by pretending to be him, only to be hired by the CIA. Ha. So Condor Man has three things I love: Cartoonists, Henry Mancini, and Michael Crawford. I have to see this movie. Unfortunately it costs a ridiculous amount of money to buy. Maybe blockbuster has a copy...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chapter 6, first 15 pages

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. With the last minute wedding planning and my book 2 due date just around the corner, it's comin' down the wire. Business first... My "Under the influeces" framed piece is available to buy on Gallery Nucleus' site along with unframed prints, if you're interested!

First fifteen pages of chapter six are pencilled... out of 52! 37 pp. to go! Chapter six is intense. Despite promising my editor (so patient!) that I was done rewriting, as I drew chapter five I had my solutions laid out in front of me by the way the characters were reacting to each other. I took a day off from drawing to type the last chapter's script one final time. When I was done, I literally jumped around the living room with a big smile on my face. >_<

In the end I realized the story's all about honesty. And in a romantic comedy, the moment the characters say what they really want to say is the story's climax, be it "I love you" or "I hate you!". I feel like it was a long journey to this point, but I had to get to know the characters well enough before I was able to wring out what was going on.

It's funny, I was feeling not so hot about the first book of S&S. But now that I have an ending that I'm happy with, it makes me feel very proud of the first book since it all ties together. It's like I was waiting all this time for the characters to tell me what they were really thinking, too. Funny how telling stories can be like that sometimes. It's like getting to know new friends (who all live in my head! Does that make storytelling like a form of controlled insanity?).

Speaking of friends... For those interested in seeing more process stuff from other artists, Indigo Kelleigh has started a livejournal group called Panel600 made especially with a focus on producing graphic novels. It just started so get in on it early whether you want to watch or contribute your own graphic novel making-of-special. =)

In other news I woke up this morning at six am. If you've been following my blog, you know what a big deal this is! It was rainy last night and I enjoyed the cloudy, excited atmosphere of all the birds and freshness that LA has after a good rain. I even walked out to the local parking structure to take a panoramic photo (click the image to see it)... =P

And now I get to play a round of cooking mamma before heading to bed, just to get up for more comics in the morning. See ya!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Chapter 5 pencils done

Chapter five pencils done (it's only 22 pages total), time to move on to chapter six. Chapter five is full of dramatic dialogue-driven events that are highly emotional. I realize when things get really emotional in a comic, it's really difficult to keep it "scripted". Normally, I script my comics in a fairly detailed manner, like a screenplay. I treat the comic page as a stage of sorts, with my actors trying to express properly what's being said and the panel layouts/compositions acting as a supporting soundtrack for rhythm and atmosphere.

However, in chapter five the emotions are really delicate since it's all about the subtext of what they're saying. I kept rewriting the last two chapters over and over in script form, getting stuck in the script stage until I found something at least mildly satisfactory, but there were still problems. Now that I'm pencilling, I can play off the visuals and the characters are guiding me through any kinks that are in the script, and the solutions tend to be so simple. In other words, I'm learning not to get too stuck in one stage of production. I'm learning the importance of allowing yourself room to figure things out and grow as you create a final product.

By the way, so you know how late/early I'm writing this:

That's outside my window. Some of you might be like "how can you stay up so late!", but if I sleep without meeting my quota for the day I wake up with a huge ball of stress in my stomach. I'm trying to avoid ulcers. Do they ever talk about that in "how-to draw comics/manga" books? Tomorrow I get to tag along with Kazu at the Animation Show opening. Hope I can squeeze some work in before that... Until then, I'm going to enjoy a nice, long, stress-free sleep. :}

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I hope you have a day of love, whether it be with your family, friends, or partner.

This day is especially significant for Kazu and I. It was on Valentine's day that I confessed my crush to him, setting me down a path that changed my life forever. We got engaged, moved in together, sending me across country to start a new, wonderful life. And in a month, we'll finally be happily married! So if you ever have a crush on someone and you feel it's a good match, be brave and confess! You never know what could come of it.

I love you, Kazu. And I still have a crush on you! =)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Chapter 5 -- first 14 pages

First fourteen pages of chapter 5/6. I decided to just go and pencil the last couple chapters before heading into inks. Hopefully it'll save me some time in the end. After watching Kazu use yellow printouts of his layouts and penciling over them in blue, I decided to try doing something similar. I layout the compositions for several pages now using blue pencils (rough figure and balloon placement), then go back and pencil in regular lead. I don't know if it's actually saving me any time, but it definitely saves me on the stress. It takes some of the thinking away from the process, like soaping up all the dishes before going in to rinse. Silly metaphor, but it's the only one I could think of right now. >_<

I've been meaning to do a picture of Ellon, too, so click the thumbnail to see a little pic I did on the Cintiq last night (yes, I was thinking of Howl!):

Friday, February 9, 2007

Hard to get started...

Many days later... above is the scan for my "After These Messages..." show piece for those that wanted a clearer view. Once I get any news on prints for this and "waiting for the bus", I'll let you know. In the mean time, the show opening is tomorrow at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra from 7pm-11pm! I hope to see some of you there for a bit of healthy nostalgia, where this piece will be hanging for sale in its full nerdy glory along many fantastic tributes to cartoons of days gone by. The show looks awesome so far, especially all the smurf pieces! =)

As for S&S, it's been incredibly difficult for me to get back into. The risk of doing a marathon is the inevitable burn-out/back-up of social and real-life commitments. I did a final pass on the chapter five script, and can finally feel comfortable drawing it. So far though, only four pages have been penciled in. I'm too embarrassed to photo such a pathetic amount of work. When I have ten pages done, I'll try the marathon thing again even though it's getting old. In the least, it'll help me and my editor keep track of my progress.