Friday, April 20, 2007

APE 2007

Yes, it's that time of year again !

If you're in San Fransisco or planning on attending APE, come visit Kazu and I at the Flight/Nucleus booths 517-518. Kazu will have copies of Flight 1, 2, and 3 on hand along with Daisy Kutter and a plethora of Copper prints. I will be bringing some copies of Sorcerers & Secretaries 1, Goosebumps: Terror Trips, and there will be prints of the following available: Under the Influences, Waiting for the Bus, and Wash-away Mermaid care of Gallery Nucleus. We'll be there on both Saturday and Sunday, but we intend on taking it easy for most of the convention, browsing the exhibitor's floor and maybe even attending a couple panels. Maybe!

I've been doing some sketching and lots of writing with my free time. Will post some drawings when I got something interesting to show. Until then, hope to see you guys at APE! =)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Book 2 update

Don't worry. This image doesn't give anything important away. But a sad image indeed! I'm in the middle of inking the final fairy tale sequence, with 21 pages to go for inks before the whole book is inked.

Wedding plans have taken over my life at the moment, and I keep my work with me while I'm on the go meeting up with caters etc., inking where ever I can. The toning help I'm getting from Dee, Olga, Laura, and Nicole has been a humungous stress relief. I can't thank you ladies enough!

Everything else is good. Now that I'm a better artist and storyteller, I feel like I have more options with my next project and what I'm going to do with it, whatever it may be. I still really want to do Reman, and I can feel it building up inside of me now that I'm nearing the end of S&S. I'm just not sure how to approach it now that I've been so distant from that world. I hope it's not because I've outgrown it. I'm hoping it's because I'm still in full production of S&S, and that when the book is done I'll have a clearer mind to decide where to go next. It's a bit scary of an idea to be so enthralled with something, but not being able to do much about it, worried that it might just float away never to be seen again if I don't grasp it tightly enough while I take care of things that need immediate attention. I guess only time will tell.

In the mean time, it's back to inks and wedding planning for me. I'll just put Reman back in the drawer for now and hope it doesn't crawl out and run away.

And oh yes... my friend Shadi has added the ability to comment on my blog entries to this website. I'm going to keep all my blogging here on from now on, so I don't have to post the same thing three times. No time for that now! =P

Friday, April 13, 2007

Systema Naturae

There're some awesome shows coming up at Nucleus. Since Kazu and I share a studio with Ben (the owner) and a few of his employees, we get to see the shows put together. It's quite exciting! Tomorrow night (Saturday the 14th) Nucleus will be showing the work of Andrea Offermann, Jaime Zollars, Frieda Gossett, and Michael V. Brown in their group show entitled "Systema Naturae". Kazu and I peeked in the gallery to see Jaime and Andrea setting up the pieces, and it looks amazing! If you're in the LA area definitely go check out this classy show. It starts at 7pm.

Also mark your calanders for the Art of God of War 2 book signing/gallery show. If you've read Kazu's blog you'd know we're obsessed with GOW2, it really is one of the best games for the ps2. Getting a chance to see the concept art hanging on the wall and meeting the concept artists behind it makes me psyched!!!

Thank you also for leaving me and Kazu so many well wishes and congratulations. It was overwhelming! I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many supporting people. What have I done to deserve all this awesomeness?? And yes, I am still glowing...! =)

Things have calmed down a bit since then, so now I'm helping to paint Amulet pages. It's really fun to work on someone else's pages that you admire. It's funny that if these were my own pages to paint it'd be a total chore, but since it's someone else's work I get to just make it as pretty as I can and not worry about anything else. It's totally relaxing!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thank you to everyone that has sent me or Kazu messages of congratulations and well wishes. A lot has happened since my last post. The wedding came and went at breakneck speed. It was without hesitation the happiest day of my life, including all of the stress and busy-ness that comes with wedding preparations (four hours of sleep a night!). I got a chance to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and express to everyone important to me how much Kazu and I are in love with each other.

I'm still in awe of how perfectly everything came together pretty much at the last minute. Everyone involved from family to friends put so much effort and fun into making it a heavenly day. Even though I never dreamed of getting married when I was little, let alone spend time daydreaming about a perfect wedding, if I had it would've turned out exactly as it did. I feel like it's the beginning of the rest of my life, and I can't wait to see what the future holds!

A lot of photos from guests of the party have been uploaded, but I picked a couple favorites that you can see here. (Above photos courtesy of photographer extraordinaire, Eric Wu.)

Two days after the wedding, I got a call from my editor telling me that book 2 of Sorcerers & Secretaries was due for printing the following Monday. In a massive last minute effort, Kazu and I toned about 100 pages of comics in a week. We had great help from pretty much anyone that would give it to us, including the online toning team of Dee, Olga, Nicole, and Laura, as well as our friends Ben and Alan.

After toning everything, there was a discrepancy with the lettering of the book. With Kazu's help, I managed to double-check and re-letter almost the whole book just last night, with the book being sent to printers today. Hopefully it'll turn out okay!

It was interesting having so much help while finishing up S&S, especially from Kazu. We're always discussing the problems with the process of making comics, how draining and lonely it can be. Working with Kazu and having so many people helping out, though, finishing up the book was a total blast (especially working with Kazu! We make an awesome comics team). It made me realize the importance of working with a group of people, and that it is possible to do so without chopping up the roles so clearly into a factory-type process like in traditional superhero comics (one person's an inker, one's a colorist, one's a penciller, etc.). The sort of organic process of many multi-talented hands pushing for a single book is something I'd like to try again with my next project.

Whether comics are published in book format, in serialized floppies, or on the web, I'm beginning to realize that it's not about the format the comics come in that makes it so difficult. From my side, it's more about what goes on behind the scenes and the energy put into the quality of a project. I think when you see book 2, you'll be able to tell the difference it makes when you work with a group of people. It seems so obvious that two heads are better than one, but in graphic novels usually everything is done by one person. I wasn't used to the idea of sharing comics duty with others at all. My comics were my babies! But if I'm going to take this seriously as a career, I think I need to learn how to build a strong group for making these things. Now that Kazu and I have a studio space we share with other artists, collaboration springs up naturally and it's so much better than working alone. I can't even express what a world of difference it makes.

My goals for the next book are to push myself to make the most quality material possible, and to learn how to delegate better, something I learned from watching Ben conduct business at Nucleus.

It's been a crazy, maddening, hectic, but ultimately wonderful two weeks. I got married, completed my first published work, and moved into a studio space all within the same month. I've only barely caught up on sleep today (stayed up for 72 hours straight finishing up S&S), so forgive me if this blog post is kind of tired-sounding! My plans now are to help Kazu paint Amulet, rest up a bit, and start planning my next project, whatever it may be. I can't wait!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Thanks everyone!

Thank you sooooo much to everyone who volunteered for toning help. The response was way more than I expected, and I have yet to get back to a number of you (I will definitely write back to everyone eventually!). I feel so grateful and humbled. I selected a few people for the help and a couple more for back up in case things get crazy, so I'm good for now. But I feel very very lucky to have such supportive people reading this blog and my work. I can't thank you all enough! Gotta make this book triple awesome...!!

Man... after all that it seems kinda innappropriate to say this but I feel obligated. Goosebumps Graphix: Terror Trips comes out today with my adaptation of "Deep Trouble". So if you want to see what I spent a good three months doing at the beginning of the year check it out: a page from deep trouble posted a while back and of course, the innevitable amazon link:

The Goosebumps books are perfect for comics adaptation because of their brevity and visual nature. My story aside, this is a fun series and I was super impressed with the first volume. Great art, fun stories, and a wonderful package (I especially loved Greg Ruth's adaptation of "The Scarecrow Walks At Midnight").

Well, off I go to scan 78 pages of pencils then it's on to inks. The clock is ticking!