Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sorcerers & Secretaries mini-site

The S&S site is live now~ not that mangaonline isn't enough, but the site is as much for me as for any reader that wanted some more info. It gives me a place to contemplate the story and refocus if I need to.

In the site you can find some wallpapers, I need to get the felaxx wallpaper section up, and I also have some gift art up there (a couple are also bday presents from friends, I have a few of those so I'll post about it later~!).

Time to get some food and dive back into writing. Hope you guys like the new site!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Rennida drawing and BN signing report

The above picture is an illustration I've been struggling with the past couple days (click image to see larger version). Having done so much work for publishers lately, I wanted to draw something just for the heck of drawing it and of course I wind up going back to the world of Rema for such a task! This is Rennida, a character that doesn't get introduced to us until halfway through the story or so. However, her part is pretty important so when I restart RM (which I'm thinking of just calling "Rema" from now on), I'm going to start it off with her story, kind of like a prelude. Doing this was a breath of fresh air despite the struggle I had. Looking forward to doing another illos as I write book 2 of S&S~

Huge thanks to everyone that trekked out to see me and Kazu (and Scott McCloud! How crazy!) at the Barnes and Nobles signing last night. I had so much fun, it was my second signing but I felt a lot more comfortable this time knowing what to expect. There were about a dozen folks there of varying ages and interests, some even knew about Reman Mythology! I was shocked! I have no idea how many people have read that comic but it was still very touching to me to hear that people there knew about it. =)

After speaking for 30-60 minutes the group broke for some signing and mingling with Kazu, Scott, and I. Scott brought his beautiful daughters, Sky and Winter, along with his equally beautiful wife Ivy. We had fun talking about Buffy and Inuyasha over dinner at Buca Di Beppo after the signing, where Kazu and I humbly asked Scott if he'd officiate our wedding. Shockingly, he said yes with a big smile! He even said he'd try finding the green checkered jacket he wears in Understanding Comics! How perfect! If I knew that this would happen years from when I discovered Understanding Comics at 16, I probably would've fainted. Kazu and I are both not religious, but we've dedicated our lives right now to comics and it was our interest in comics that brought us together so... asking Scott only made sense to us! I'm so happy~ Well, now to plan everything else about the wedding between projects! Should be an interesting challenge...

The lady in charge of the signing at B&N was kind enough to give me a 30% discount, so I went a shopping spree. Here's the book s I picked up:

The Stories of Eva Luna by Isabelle Allende, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (for Kazu), The Mysteries of Harris Burdock by Chris Van Allsburg, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku, Myth-Taken Identity by Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Signet Classics edition)

All of these were things I were meaning to get whether I've already read them or not, just thinking about reading them makes my heart soar. =)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Possible cover for S&S2, plus B&N signing

If all goes well, the above could possibly be the cover for volume 2 of S&S, but you never know. The artwork isn't final but I spent all night on it and thought I would share~ Click the images for larger versions.

Flight 3, the first edition of Flight to be published by Random House, has just gone up on for pre-orders. Check out that hot hot cover by my sweetie!!! *sigh* Show your support for the awesome artists within with a pre-order for Flight 3.

Tomorrow is my book signing at Thousand Oaks, hope to see some of you there! Thanks to the fine folks at Flight, Scott McCloud, and Kazu for pimping the event. I promise I'll try to do better than I did in Torrence! XD

Work has been dense lately, juggling between freelance, S&S 2, and my Flight 4 story (I'm going to make it in this time, by the comic gods!!!). But at the same time, I'm feeling hints of my old inspired self coming back, a part of me that wafts in and out of my life as I continuously hammer away at the geode that is my career.

I haven't really blogged about it much, but going through the first book was very draining (as it probably is for every comic artist), as was halting my artistic sanctuary that was Reman Myth. I was so tempted to just start again online, just so I could visit the world again and indulge myself in its complex social issues and romantic storyline. So tempted!!! Then a friend reminded me that the story was a whopping ten books long, and reality hit me in the face again. The only way I could EVER do this book before I die was if I could do it full time, and the only way I could afford to do it full time was if it was published. So I just let it go, it'll have to wait and work on the proposal when I can spare the brain space, just as I'd originally planned.

This doesn't really affect anyone reading this, but it had a sizable impact on me in recent days. It took me a year to finally admit to myself what my actions (and logical brain) decided on last year. This seems to be the pattern with me... my brain gets it right before my heart every time and my emotions catch up. Well... except with Kazu. My brain and heart were right in step with eachother. =) By finally accepting the reality in its full, I can allow my 13-year-old self that's so attached to RM to go play in the S&S world for a while. This will make the story much richer in the end, because not only will I be inspired while I do S&S2, I'll be PUMPED... and hopefully it'll show.

Thank you, too, to everyone who ordered S&S so far. So far the feedback has been very positive, I'm so relieved! Your support just spurs me on to get better and make better comics. If I could I would give everyone who bought it a hug. Your purchases allow me to do what I do for a living. I feel so incredibly lucky. I guess the best that I can repay you guys is to just deliver a really awesome conclusion in volume 2!

By the way, has anyone else watched the new Silent Hill trailer? Love the simple eeriness of that poster image! I'm looking forward to seeing this more than any other movie right now... =P

And did I mention that Jen Lee Quick is back with a vengence? Her fuzzyfeather site may be down but you can check out her latest works full of color, story, and character over at her deviantart account.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Barnes and Nobles signings

Hey guys, just a heads up...

I'll be attending two book signings in the next few days. The first one is on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the Barnes and Nobles in Torrence (Del Amo Fashion Center 21500 Hawthorne Blvd). This one starts at 5pm, I'm not sure how long we'll be hanging around though. This'll be my first book signing, so if anyone's around the LA/Torrence area please do stop by! XD

The second one is in a Barnes and Nobles in Thousand Oaks (160 S. Westlake Blvd.), about an hour outside of LA. It's on Thursday, Feb. 16th, at 7pm. Hope to see you there! =)

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Rochester Teen Book Fair and Chubby Bunny Show

If anyone is in the Alhambra area, the opening night for the Chubby Bunny show is this Saturday (the 11th) at 7pm, curated by Tragnark and featuring some awesome paintings of rabbits like the above watercolor by Kazu! XD We'll be stopping by and enjoying the art sometime during the night so hope to see some of you there!

Speaking of rabbits, Curse of the Wererabbit is out on DVD now and is definitely one of the best movies I saw last year. If you haven't seen it yet, you know what to do! =)

Also details are coming in about the Niagara book fair on April 29th. Turns out it isn't in Niagara at all, it's in Fairport, Rochester! This is awesome news for me because I grew up in Rochester and haven't been out to visit my hometown in AGES. If anyone in the area is reading this, please do come out and see my editor and I at The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival! Man this is gonna be so great... we'll be staying at extra day to see some of my favorite places, if they're still around. I can't wait to see how the city has changed over the years, I'm pumped! =)

Monday, February 6, 2006

Plantasia and Dracula

Just a heads up, the last game that I worked a bit on with Gamelab was this one, Plantasia! Once again published by Playfirst, it just came out today, so I downloaded and played it. Of course, it's awesome! But I know that the creators wanted to make a game with some heartfelt storytelling in it along with a more sentimental atmosphere than most other downloadable games available.

The music is just fantastic, and the gameplay weaves in with the story seamlessly. I really love the pixel art and the animation/design of the flowers (care of Caro and Kyron~) are really adorable! As for my duties, I did the character design for Holly and Jack, as well as the drawings for the comics. It's really the gameplay, music, and animations that make this awesome, not to mention the great writing! So go download it, try it out, and if you like it purchase it! =D

Here are some screenshots:

screenshot 1

screenshot 2

screenshot 3

Also, Becky Cloonan's Dracula (due out March!) is available for pre-order at I got to watch her draw this over her shoulder so trust me when I say I'm totally geeking out over it! >_<>

Saturday, February 4, 2006

New Manga Online

Hello folks~ there's a new edition of manga online now and guess what... It features the first chapter of my pal Becky's latest creation, East Coast Rising! I believe this is the first time she got to draw AND write her own story (besides the short stories for Flight) since her acclaimed work on Demo. So please, do check that out!

I also really like the new addition of George's "Go With Grace". I thought his Rising Stars entry was one of the best with clear and down-to-earth storytelling that I enjoyed. So yeah, check that out too.

The site changed their organization as well, so chapters 1-3 are available to read for S&S and that'll be it. I think the same goes for all their books with 3 chapter online previews~ Also keep an eye out in bookstores for S&S (apparently in stock at the tokyopop store) and if you're bored, well... heck! Book's about to be out, just go ahead and vote for S&S at manga online. >_<

*pimp mode off* With work, I started writing book 2 (so far chapters 1 and 2), and as mentioned on the forums the story picks up right where it left off. We're shooting for a Jan. 07 release but this date is tentative at best. It's interesting because whereas last time I would write/draw/tone each chapter one at a time, this time I'm doing each stage in book-long chunks. So this means ALL of the writing (pp 1-170!) first, then ALL of the thumbnails, then ALL of the inks and all of the tones. This is so different from what I'm used to, but considering I get the worst artist's block at the writing stage, this is such a great idea to get all of the thinking out of the way and then it's just a matter of pumping out the visuals, which requires less brainpower from me. I'm excited to be trying this out~ =)