Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 30

All I have to say about this page is: poor Susan. Katy showed me some great street fashion blogs that I wish I knew about back when I was doing research for various outfits for S&S characters. Check them out:

Style Bubble and The Sartorialist.

I especially like the second link!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 29

Ah... Sorry for the late update! Kazu and I went to see Pirates 3 last night around nine with my pals Phil and Johane. We didn't get back to the studio until midnight, so we went straight home and played Zelda: Twilight Princess to clear our minds of the mess that was Pirates3. It felt like someone's brainstorming session fully realized onto the big screen -- story elements were just slapped on seemingly on the fly without any set up or foreshadowing. It was ridiculous. Beautiful to look at however, and everyone was in character, but the story was a mess. The scene where the ships were swirling around in a vortex shooting each other was the ultimated visual metaphor of the story's plot.

Ah well. It was nice to get out of the studio and experience something with friends. Plus the highlight was seeing the Transformers trailer on the big screen -- I got chills! Can't wait for that one. =)

I couldn't help but feel bad for the screenwriters for pirates, though. Kazu and I have experienced similar struggles with deadline pressures and the pressure to perform, but on a much much smaller scale of the graphic novel. This is the problem I suppose with trying to write in a commercial format. You're under the whim of the publisher/producers to do the best job you can in limited time and with the expectation that it will be loved by the public and make them lots of money. That's a lot of pressure.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 28

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Hope you're having a restful weekend with your family, and not at school like Nicole. =P

Things at Studio Amzu are pretty crazy these days. I'm having loads of fun painting Amulet and learning so much! I was always intimidated by the idea of painting but I'm trying to be more open to the option of color comics these days. When done right they can be extremely engaging.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 27

This chapter is very *romantic* and was one of the most fun for me to work on. Well, what am I saying... each chapter in book 2 was a joy. Book 1 was me trying to figure stuff out, book 2 was me having fun with the characters lives in the little petri dish of 200 pages of comics. =)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 26

Sorry for the late update! Felt kind of sick yesterday so I spent the night watching Avatar episodes. >_<>

I feel all better now, though, so no worries. Tomorrow's page will be a chapter cover image...!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 25

Josh is so happy. So, so happy! =)

Thank you everyone for leaving all the nice comments about Reman and the watercolors. I haven't started drawing the comic and there aren't any publishers for it or anything like that, I'm just trying to refamiliarize myself with the characters and world, that's all. When I have interesting development art to show you, though, I'll be sure to share it. Thanks for all the encouragement guys! Knowing that you still are interested in seeing RM makes me happy. So, so happy! =) hehe~

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 24 plus watercolors

Riley and Susan became my favorite characters in the second book, and they served as a great contrasting example to different ways couples can get together (or not).

Today I spent some time doing 4 x 6 watercolors of Reman characters and had tons of fun. Watercolors are so cool! Their faces kind of altered, but the more I draw them the more familiar they'll get again. They're all signed because they're gifts for some friends. These are in chronological order of completion:

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 23

I'm wondering if like three years from now when/if the term "awesome!!" isn't used anymore, would it be like reading comics now that say "totally rad!!"... and make S&S seem completely dated? =P

Just got back from seeing 28 Weeks Later. I enjoyed it for what it was, a raging zombie movie with lots of shaking cameras, blood, and tension related to biohazards. I do feel that the character build up of the father was lost too soon in the movie though. He had interesting conflict that was worthy of a whole movie in and of itself.

Part of me kinda misses the old slow moving hordes and wishes there were more movies about those kinds of zombies. When will they get popular again? I thought they were really effective in Shawn of the Dead! Plus in Dead Rising for Xbox 360. I love that game.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 22

Another page~

Spent the day watching Planet Earth. It's so so beautiful.......... Maybe I should update earlier in the day. When I update these things it's usually at the end of the day when I'm low on energy so my posts get all random, like this one. >_<;;

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 21

It always felt like the inking in the last panel stood out, for some reason. Maybe thinner lines.......

Not much happened today, it was pretty chill. Except for the guy playing scales on his trumpet outside our building. And the neighboring bar playing clubbing music that was loud enough to set off some car alarms in the parking structure next door, around 6:30pm. Other than that, pretty chill... ;)

Also, a big thank you to whoever bought my power in numbers piece! It makes me feel like a real artist. =)

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 20

I get this reaction a lot. >_<>

By the way, this guy is so awesome.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

lots of pictures today...

Photo reference is always helpful, and you can always tell when someone uses it. I usually don't use photo reference, but I had to for the first panel because I just couldn't remember what the bridge looked like, exactly.

In other news I got early copies of book 2 today:

Mmmm... FRESH GRAPHIC NOVELS!!! =D When I got book 1 my reaction was relief. When I got these books, my reaction was pure joy! Finally a completed, full story in print! The printing is a little dark in some spots, but I don't know if anyone will care but me. It looks awesome and I can't wait to share it with the world! It still isn't released until June 12th though...

It's also interesting for me to read it all bound together like this. Certain layouts that worked in single page format doesn't work as well when they're bound together in a book. With each book I hope to get better at using the page-turn and book layouts to improve at my panel arrangements and word balloon placement, which is a part of comics that has always fascinated me.

And also, I didn't think I'd be able to get to it at first, but I managed to squeeze in a watercolor piece for Nucleus' "Power In Numbers" show:

The show's tomorrow (Saturday) starting at 7pm, and part of the sales are donated Susan G. Komen for the cure. Come to Nucleus and see the 200+ art pieces all priced at 50-100 dollars. It's quite a sight!

I painted this because I want amateur astronomy to be my hobby outside of comics. I just have to go buy some good binoculars and a sweet planisphere! While this was happening, Kazu spent all day doing the linework for Amulet. This has been his position for the past few weeks:

Sigh... I can totally relate. But the book is a magical read, I think people will be blown away not only by the beautifully painted pages, but by the breathtaking action and heartfelt story. Ach! Can't wait til it comes out! =D After it does, we're definitely taking a vacation though. Until then we're having fun working together with a group of five or six interns. That's right, folks. Team comics to the rescue!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 18

I love this page. Susan and Riley's interactions are one of the best things about this book, and definitely the most fun for me to write! :D

For your listening pleasure: pachelbel's "loose" canon

I almost forgot about Power In Numbers! Come out to Gallery Nucleus on Saturday (tomorrow) starting at 7pm and buy some art. A portion of the proceeds go to breast cancer research! Not only do you get some sweet art to decorate your walls, but you also get to support a good cause. =)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 17

This is a bit of an in-between page...

Today Kazu, Ben, and Dawn geeked out over Captain Eo at lunch. Being from NY state my whole life, I only got to go to Disneyland last year for the first time and missed out on Captain Eo. After watching the youtube video with my honey and friends, I feel like I really missed out on something totally awesome.

Captain Eo - part 1 on youtube, Captain Eo - part 2 on youtube

Co-written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, produced by George Lucas, with musical score by James Horner and starring Anjelica Huston and of course Michael Jackson. AND ALL IN 3-D!! Oh, how I hope it comes back to Disneyland....!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 16

Panels 2 and 6 are some of my favorites in the whole book! Interesting theories in the page 15 comment box about Susan. She'll be coming back in a couple pages so we'll see what happens... =)

I won today's round of Settlers of Catan at the studio. Katy Wu, I'm comin' to get you! XD (click her name to see her lovely sketchblog full of her great work. She's helping Kazu paint Amulet and is very talented and sweet!)

Also I discovered a new musician that plays primarily chillout/ambient compositions. I love his positive melodies and celestial sounds, and it makes great background music for writing and drawing. Check out Jon Hopkins of London! Scroll down and listen to "Private Universe" from the Opalescent album, you won't reget it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 15

I wonder if there's such a magazine as Phantastic Adventure? I know there's fantasy literature magazines out there, but I never read one. Maybe I should've done more research...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 14

Ah~ I forgot to update last night!! Sorry about that. We went home early from the studio (meaning before midnight!) and chilled at home for the first time in a couple weeks.

There's a couple questions about RSS in the last update's comment box. RSS feeds are like signing up for email updates. Except instead of email programs, you'd use something like google reader (this is what I use and they have a good explanation on there). So if you follow ten separate blogs for example, you can add them to your reader so you only have to go to one place to check all your favorite blogs, instead of going to all ten sites.

I dunno if that helped, but here's wikipedia's entry for RSS.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 13

Good news! There's finally an RSS feed so you can keep up with the site's updates with your blog reader. Thanks to Shadi Muklashy's awesome skills for setting it up! And thanks to Elayne Riggs for the reminder. =)

Ellon gets a costume change above. Well more than a costume change -- a BODY change! I love drawing him in his half-aged state. In other news, I finally saw the second disk to Avatar Book 2. Johane and Phil came over for a visit to check out Nucleus' God of War 2 show, so we watched it together and geeked out over Toph. I love Toph!! I think the earth-bending moves are some of the coolest looking ones on the show. Man... this show is making me so nerdy!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 12

I love drawing Syra's profile. Haha~ all these updates are gonna me talking about how much I love drawing these characters. >_<;;

I've been doing Reman pages for the fun of it. I'm trying not to get too bogged down by worry, and just dive in knowing that no one will see these pages. It's funny, they're some of the best drawings I've done of Philip and Tabby, and it reassures me that I'm capable of tackling this story. It hasn't closed it's doors to me, I had to take the initiative and open them myself. No amount of advice or reassurance could lift my fears, only my own actions. I guess in the end if you believe in yourself, you can do anything, just like they say.

That didn't really have anything to do with the above page but it's what occupied my mind for most of the day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 11

I had lots of fun drawing the shadow creatures. =)

There's a reall loud cricket in the studio... so loud it's drowning out the fountain outside! That cricket must be a real stud! haha~ :: ahem ::

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 10

Not much to say about the above page other than that I had a great time drawing it. Something about Josh looking so intense about the dreamlog hehehe~

So I'll leave you guys with some youtube links of music I enjoyed today:

Ben Folds Five - Uncle Walter , They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul , Dave Brubeck - Take Five.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 9

This page marks the end of the first scene. When I drew the last panel, I was thinking about Korean dramas, such as "Star In My Heart", and "Full House".

When I was younger, I'd always think about my characters as if they were real people. And sometimes, by thinking about them and their choices, they'd guide me in life through the stories they'd tell on paper. That's how I see Nicole's relationship with Ellon when he appears in her life. To me, he symbolizes the potential of her imaginative powers.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 8

So yesterday I finished up watching Avatar Book 1, thanks to Dave Roman who sent it to me and Kazu as a little wedding present. I was adverse to watching it at first because ever since I saw the first promo images for Avatar, I was nervous. Something about it reminded me so much of Reman that it made my skin itch. I'm so grateful that Dave encouraged me to watch it, though. My fears were unwarranted, they are completely different entities that were influenced by similar things. I guess sometimes when you see the same images over and over, like I did with Reman Myth, and you see anything remotely similar it can feel disturbingly familiar even if they're really completely different.

I can happily say that my fears have been purged, and I think Avatar is an awesome show. I can't wait to see Books 2 and 3! There's cool concepts, great character archs, and superb TV animation. The only thing that could probably use some work is the voice acting, but what can you do, eh? I can't wait to get together with my friend Johanne and geek out over the series. She's a story artist on the show, and makes the best Avatar fan art on the net! Check 'em out! =)

(p.s. Zuko is my favorite character since he has such a dramatic story arch! And you know... I like the drama...)

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 7

Gosh, we're already on page seven. As I get older it feels like time moves quicker...

I wanted it to be apparant that Josh was a naturally good reader. There's some people I know that are terrible writers, but are really astute readers. Having those types around to give you feedback can be a great help if you're a struggling writer, as Nicole will find out.

I still stick by the philosophy that art is like an energy capsule that captures the emotion that the artist was feeling at the moment of creation. The success and failure of various works to me depends on whether or not it feels like the person behind the piece was really into what they were doing, and especially whether or not the piece is coming from an honest place. I think some people have an innate sense of this and can tell when something's good or not, or can immediately understand the poetry behind a piece of work. I wanted to write Josh with this hidden talent. I hope it worked!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 6

Yes, there are pages even on Sundays!

I don't necessarily feel like Nicole does when I work on my stories, as she is above. In fact, the last time I felt like that was in middle school when I was just discovering the joys of writing. I figure since she's relatively new to the activity, her attitudes towards it would be similarly romantic.

I've gotten the critique a couple times that the characters in S&S act like high schoolers rather than college-age kids. This might be one of the reasons why they do... or maybe it's because I'm still a teen deep down inside. >_<

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 5

Another day, another page. I don't know why, but I always liked this one. I think it's the hatching in the last panel...

I'm super excited for the Golden Compass movie, and a teaser poster has been released. Isn't it beautiful~?

So beautiful it makes me want to look at pictures of the aurora all night long. Well, have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 4

Just got back from watching Spiderman 3. Verdict: A hilarious bit of comedic fan-fiction. I recommend either watching it with a super open mind and don't take it too seriously, or bringing a bunch of good-humored friends so you can chuckle.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries Countdown

I don't know if it's boredom or idle hands, but I noticed there are about 43 days left until June 12th (the Sorcerers & Secretaries 2 release date) and there's 43 pages in chapters one and two. Maybe it's my webcomicker side wishing I had more content to update with. Maybe it's the full moon.

Whatever it is, I've decided to update one page a day from the first two chapters for book 2 until June 12th gets here. To keep things interesting I'll also try to add links to things that inspire me.

For example, I recently came across this 9-minute online preview of Pixar's upcoming film, Ratatouille. Not only does it look visually stunning (the designs feel like something that you'd see in 2D), but I get "this story's gonna be awesome" vibes from seeing the preview. I love cooking so the subject matter's right up my alley, and Lou Romano does the voice of one of the main characters, so I hear (the kitchen boy that wants to be the chef). Mr. Romano's an amazing artist, but now it's evident that he's a great voice actor too! (taken from Clio's LJ)

And surprisingly, I'm really excited about the Transformers movie. All it needed to do was show me those iconic colors for Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, and I'm there!

Well, I'll update again tomorrow. In the least, it'll give me something to do while I work on odds and ends between projects.

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 3

I came across this on either Drawn or Cartoon Brew, but it instantly became one of my favorite animated shorts ever: Osamu Tezuka's Jumping.

Speaking of Tezuka, I was reading Dark Horse's edition of Astroboy volume 1 yesterday. In the back there's a one-page biography with this excellent quote:

"'Comics are an international language,' Tezuka said. 'They can cross boundaries and generations. Comics are a bridge between cultures.'"

It is so true. See you tomorrow for another page~