Saturday, May 30, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Days 90-96, The End of the Beginning

Hello everybody, it has suddenly come to my attention that I can't count. It's probably a good thing I quit engineering and went into graphic design. For the last several weeks I'd been operating under the assumption that my 100 days of making comics was coming to and end on June 1st!  June 1st is only day 98!! So, it looks like I've shorted myself 2 days to get this comic book done...oh well, that's good news for anybody out there waiting to see it.

In case you're joining the blog late, I started the 100 Days of Making Comics journey 96 days ago. It's an initiative started by Kevin Cross, in which he made it a point to spend at least 30 minutes a day on his personal comic book project, The Monkey Mod and Friends Show. Check it out here! He challenged other artists to join him, so I did. I've been working on the first issue of The Caped Sphincter: a 12 page story about another butt-hole in a cape. Literally. It's a goofball book I made in 1996 and never finished. It's always been on my to-do list so I figured I'd give it a go. I got the bright idea to try and finish the first issue in the first 100 days and then proceeded to shorten that time up by telling the world I'm releasing it June 1st! Genius. Figuring why stop there, I also announced I'll be releasing part 2 later this year and the never-before-seen parts 3&4 in time for the 20 year anniversary in June-July 2016.  I got my work cut out for me!

I was really behind the 8 ball on this comic going into this last full week. So much so that I took time off my day job to devote to finishing it (as well as some other household business).  It really paid off! You can get so much more done when you have larger blocks of time.  I'm wrapping up PG11 tonight and hope to start the last page.  Ordinarily I'd be scared but Pg12 is basically a single character pin-up. The cover may be a problem. Worst case scenario, I'll use the 96 cover as place holder but I think I can get that done too.

If you don't follow me on twitter, I spent an hour or two goofing off to draw this sketch for the prompt "Meet The Artist. A sucker for a bad joke I had to do "Meat The Artist". I would have been better served working on the comic book but I can't help it. I'm compelled to put pen to paper when this kind of stuff pops into my brain.  Hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for coming along for the ride! This has been fun and knowing a couple people out there like it has made it extra special. Your support and encouragement means a lot!! I'm most appreciative!! Tune in Monday for the black and white version of The Caped Sphincter.  Color will have to wait.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Days 83-89, Odds Aren't Good, But The Goods Are Odd

Welcome to the 2nd to last weekly update of my 100 Days of Making Comics challenge: a challenge in which I spend 30+ minutes a day working on my personal comic project The Caped Sphincter. I know I'm supposed to post on Saturday and technically this is Sunday but I got a lot done today so I make no apologies.

It's the start of my week long vacation and my glorious charge to the finish of making this comic book. Since it's also Memorial Day weekend, I felt obliged to do some yard work. I didn't start on my comic book work until after the girls went to bed. I'm posting this around 1:30 am so that's about 4 hours of comics just today! Very happy with this week. Got two long sessions in.

I am disappointed page nine is STILL on my plate! I severely underestimated my drawing and inking speed.  I was hoping to get this page completed before I showed it but I'm tired of keeping you all in suspense for this goofball comic book. No way can it live up to hype I've created so I'm posting what I got so far. This page actually serves as a great "trailer" of sorts for the whole book. If you like this or are intrigued by it, please stop back on June 1st when I post everything I got done during this hundred days. 

It's anybody's guess if I'll finish all 12 pages. Place your bets! In the meantime please enjoy this work in progress. (click on it for a larger view...I'm sure everyone knows this but there's bound to be one person who doesn't so excuse Captain Obvious here.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Day 85 Too Late?

Here's a little mid-week sample from the The Caped Sphincter Issue 1, I've been working on.  It seemed to fit my current level of optimism about getting this comic done by June 1st.  With just 15 days to go, three and a half pages left to ink, a cover to make, and all 12 pages left to color it's not looking good I'll be done in time.

I'm feeling really good about what I do have finished though and my mood is drastically improved since Saturday's post. I'm taking my time and doing my best and not losing my head over finishing. What gets done gets done and I'll post it June 1st...if I fall short of a finished comic it won't be due to lack of effort.

For now here's Panel 2 from PG 9 I've been working on tonight. Enjoy the work in progress!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Days 76-82 Stumbling Blocks

Hey there everybody. We're coming down the home stretch of my 100 Days of Making Comics journey and I've hit a bit of a stumbling block. PG8 was tough with that perspective drawing I was mentioning. PG9 has's unavoidable really. Any sort of environment is going to involve a bit of perspective drawing. I'm use to drawing gag strips where a horizon line or a piece of furniture would suffice to create a scene. In making a comic book you need a lot more than that if you want to establish a world for the characters to live in.

It's bringing me down. I'm eager to show you guys the book but rushing the environmental stuff has caused me countless undos and redos. It's very frustrating and makes me think I've seriously over estimated my skills. I think it was Kevin Cross who said sometimes you have to slow down to speed up and that is certainly the case for me on PG9. I've slowed my pace and taken my time a bit more and it's helped. Unfortunately it delays an art post today.  That also brings me down.  I'll add PG9 as soon as I get it to a point I'm willing to show people. No idea when that will be though....hopefully before next update.

I am feeling optimistic that the last week will prove to be the best week. This time next week I'll be on the first day of a week long vacation and hope to bring this book home with renewed vigor. June 1st looms large and I still have 1/4 of the book to ink and all of it to color. It's going to be close.

Tune in June 1st to see if I make it! Thanks for stopping by. As always I appreciate the supports, likes and encouragement. Keeps me going at times like this.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Days 69-75, Happy Day You Mothers

Happy Mother's Day weekend to all you moms out there....though I seriously doubt many of them are reading this blog. I've never met a mom yet that thought a comic book about a butt in a cape was a good idea and that includes both my mom and my wife.  Still, I march boldly on! My spirits are buoyed by the tremendous increase in traffic I've received since starting this challenge and I'm working hard to give you guys a finished comic in just 25 days!

That's right folks, today is day 75 in my journey of 100, in which I spend at least 30 minutes a day working on my personal comic book project, The Caped Sphincter.  I have no art to show today due to spoilers but I hope to have some this week or next report. Getting ready to start Pg 9 (out of 12) and I think I can show some art on that one....stay tuned.

The biggest announcement I have to make today is that the first issue of The Caped Sphincter will be released right here on JUNE 1ST!!  I have some earned time off from my day job and have taken the entire week off following memorial day, to complete this comic and get some other projects done. Come hell or high water this first issue will be done. I want it colored but in the very least inks will be done.

I'm very excited to get it to you guys. I'm so appreciative of the interest and support. I hope you all like it. I'm also very excited because June marks the 19 year anniversary of my original comic. When I'm finished issue two, I'll post the 1996 version for you to compare. I think I've come a long way in my drawing and story telling abilities.

For those of you just joining me, I originally drew a 1-shot issue of The Caped Sphincter in 1996 and sold a few copies at my local comic store. It was a 22 page story with a cliff hanger ending. I wrote and penciled Issue 2 but it never saw print.  This year I decided to take the 100 Days of Making Comics challenge and redo both books into 4, 12 page comics. I've enjoyed making comics so much that I'm going to keep going until all 4 are done.  I hope to have all 4 done by June of 2016.

So there you have it.  The Caped Sphincter No. 1 will be released, June 1st, 2015 and Nos. 2-4 will be released over the course of the following year, as I complete them....guess, that's 4 consecutive tours of 100 Days of Making Comics.  How about I'll just say I'm making comics?!!

Thank you ALL for the love and support but the most thanks to my mom!! She's 75 today and has given me more love and support than anyone!  I love you mom!! Happy birthday and happy mother's day.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

100 Days of Making Comics: Days 62-68, Eastbound and Down

It's was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks.... how's it going folks? About two thirds finished in my 100 Days of making comics challenge, where I spend 30 minutes a day to work on my personal comic book project The Caped Sphincter. As the title might imply, it's a comic about another ass in a cape. Literally.

Last week was awesome. PG 7 was the best yet. I got a huge block of time to work on the book. This week...this week nearly broke me. I had to travel to North Carolina last weekend for a family reunion and I had a great time but it blew me out of the water on this comic book project. Completely behind the eight-ball this week and barely getting the minimum time in. To top is all off Pg 8 features what I wanted to be a jack-knifed tractor trailer and I just could not get it to look right. Perspective is hard enough for me but drawing at rig at that angle was killing me. I got so little done on pg 8 this week it was really upsetting me. I salvaged my week by redrawing the truck to an angle I could pull off. I justified the change because the character was in a pretty controlled brake at the time of the stop so the truck might not have jackknifed....and it wasn't critical to the plot. It just would have looked more dynamic. I think a properly drawn truck in a slightly more boring position is better than a poorly drawn one at a more dynamic angle. Maybe I'm rationalizing....

One thing for sure is it's WAY better than my old drawing from the 90s.  I erased the dialog and one of the characters in the 90's drawing and hid my rough inks layer in the new one so you could compare the two. I'm avoiding all spoilers until the 100 days are up. I'll put everything I have done up then.  For now, here's some proof that I'm working and that  I suck a little less now than I did back then.

Enjoy and I'll see you all next week. Hopefully with a finished pg 8!  DAMN THIS TRUCK!