Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So I started with the Marvel submission since I was a Marvel zombie growing up. I knew the characters and the stories and such.

I didn't even bother sketching or warming up. I just went straight to layouts. Here's the 5 pages laid out.

At this point I decided I wanted to do Cap and some female character in a one page talking scene, escalate on the next page and the next 3 would be a consecutive action sequence that hangs off the pages before and after it.

At this point I haven't even decided who the female character was yet but I could just as easy plug in pretty much any character there. I decided I'd use Dr. Doom, who would turn out to be a Doombot.

So on page one, panel one I have my establishing shot, could be anywhere, any big city in the US but it's probably New York since I'm using Cap.

Panel 2- I'm singling out that one building that hopefully stands a bit more prominently then the rest when I get to the finished pencils.

Panel 3 the female lead enters her office with what looks to be Cap, or Steve Rogers waiting for an appointment. Why? Who knows.

Panel 4- Your coffee Mr Rogers.

Panel 5- Thank you mam.

Panel 6- Phone rings

Panel 7- Hello

Page 2 easy- P1- It's a bomb! Or something. P2 Get down! KABOOM! P3 Ok hot female office lady is a super heroine in disguise!

Page 3- Voila! Dr Doom and he's come to destroy the entire world- you first Captain America-

Page 4- But before that happens super hero girl decides she wants to kick Dr Dooms arse. But actually she can't, because he's impervious to pain! Or just numb

Page 5- So it's up to our Start spangled avenger to finish the job! And the reason he's impervious to pain or numb is because he's actually a doombot.
Last panel- Are you ok Miss (whatever your name is).

Emerald City Comicon

Ok so I'm going to my first comic convention next week at Emerald Citycon in Seattle. So I decided I want to do some samples and let some people in the industry have at it and truly gauge myself in terms of readiness. Why Emerald City? Because I have a brother who lives there. I live in Hawaii. I'm not used to travelling outside Hawaii. And then there's cost. It cost me 1100 bucks for me and my wife to fly there. SO my plane fare and room is taken of and my brother offered to be our taxi. Yay! For once in my life I get to be the tourist. I'm used to seeing tourists around town and now I'm gonna be one.

Well honestly I wanted to do a portfolio review. But later on I find out Marvel and DC don't do reviews there, they only do em at the bigger shows. I was so pissed! And that is truly a struggle for the people out there in the world who don't live on the continent of the US. There is the internet again but then if you're not savvy with it (LIKE ME) it won't get you very far.

SO the whole idea of me getting on a plane to go to a con was to jockey for a job. Then I find out I can't. I either have to go to San Diego or New York where they do portfolio reviews.



And of course I find this out after I buy the tickets. But oh well. What can you do about it. So I decide I'm still gonna do the 5 page samples. One for DC and one for Marvel.

In the next few installments I'll walk through the whole process from start to finish.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The whole comics chasing thing. You really gotta want it. There's just no other way in. It'll be years before you smell any money. Forget about the money. It has to be a burning desire inside you that keeps you going.

And this is coming from an artist.

I take my hat off to every writer who throws his (or her) hat into this arena. Brian Bendis said he had mental problems. I have to agree. You gotta be that stubborn about it. You can put countless hours, days, weeks, months, years into it and nothing. People will take a gander at it and just pass it by.

I used to post a whole lot at DW but nowadays, I save myself the grief. I mean I still post, but not like before. Before I'd get so excited posting something on-line, waiting for a response. That's a trip. Mostly because everyone has an opinion. As dumb as they might be. Posting on-line at a web hosted forum exposes you to criticism. And there's alot to be learned from crits. It keeps you on your toes. It opens your eyes to a whole slew of mistakes you never even knew existed. It teaches you how to be sensible for different things.

But then there's the other side of the whole thing. Persona's getting into the mix. See, some people are just obnoxious. And they totally take advantage of your post to be so. And at first you want to seem like you've got the thick skin it takes just to make it as a pro, so you just take it. And after after a while as you keep at it, you keep seeing the same names. And most of them keep saying the same ol thing when you realize they're pickin nits ' Hey man if you can't take it don't post it up on-line'. And that there opens a whole new can of worms. Flame wars. Because by now you've done your research on them and realize they're no better than you are. They have even more flaws than you do. Maybe they're jealous and can't contain themselves.

You can tell a lot about a person by what they say. Even on-line. See when we write, a bit of our true selves are exposed. And you find a hint of jealousy behind all those words. And then you end up not liking the person. And they probably don't like you either but you both realize you both still want to play at the same sand box so you stay out of each others way. Maybe until the next time.

But the worst thing about posting stuff on-line is when your precious work that you've spent hours and hours on. And you wanted to show your growth as an artist. You wanted people to see how you've improved on the mistakes you used to make, but now they're no longer there. How your sensibilities have opened up to new things. And..... and....and.... nothing. Nothing. No replies. No comments. No crits. No advice. Nothing. And it may be because you yourself haven't commented on anyone elses posts either.

But as an artist you want your work to speak for itself. And it did. And that's what it had to show for itself, that no one gives a damn!

This could be a precursor for things to come if you ever become a pro. Brian Bendis said (somewhere I'm not sure where and when) that he's spent a whole bunch of time working on something and nobody cared. Can you imagine your dream finally comes true and it's tainted now? Because the celebration you're supposed to have isn't going to happen because nobody cares. The moment you've dreamed of for so long is now reduced to some life lesson like " Don't count your chickens before they hatch" or something dumb ass saying like that.Don't get your hopes up high.

Me? Everything in my being hopes that things don't happen that way for me. But judging by the way things have gone so far? I'm gonna prepare myself for that one too. Just in case.

There's a lot of negative burn involved in having the job you always wanted. So much to endure. And when you just want some encouragement most times you'll just get knocked back down. Get the whole reality check speech. You'll go through things by yourself. No one else cares about your dream but you. The mental stress. Not being able to create when and how you want to. You might feel that life itself is a distraction. The frustration of having checked everything off your schedule and finally have time to to get some work done only to be bombarded last minute. People looking looking at you like you've just walked out of a flying saucer saying "You wanna do what? What are you a fuckin kid?" All that stuff, you gotta go it alone. All an internal journey that no one will ever see. But you'll be better off for it.

Lately though DW has been great. There's even a new thread where Cary Nord is going over some good lessons in perspective. And other people are chiming in to help.

And that's where I take solace. Not just in learning new stuff. But in the work itself. Just keep my nose at my desk and keep drawing. That makes me happy. Knowing that I can escape this shitty world and jump into my own with just a pencil and some paper. Knowing that no matter what happens I'll always have that. I'll always be able to get to that place and be at peace when I'm working. It doesn't matter that no one will see it or not. I just do it for the way it makes me feel while I'm doing it. And when I finish? For me there's no better feeling than when I get a full page done. That feeling of accomplishment is heaven for me. It brings me back to reality. All the insanity that was overflowing out of my brain, into my emotions, into my fists (side note: my wife even bought me a punching bag, and let me tell you -it works.) All that craziness built up inside of me is released- creatively. When that page is done, all that is gone. And I'm happy. I want to see that my wife is happy too, that my kids are happy. That since I'm feeling great everyone else should be too. So the work and the feeling you get after a good days work is what I look forward to.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pono Loa

This has to be the easiest project ever. Living in Hawaii is a disadvantage to an artist. There's no big bustling cities to look at right outside. No good real life references. I mean the internet is there but still, sometimes a script calls for something mundane and ordinary, you know real common knowledge but I won't know what it is. But this project takes place here. Where I live. I can look outside my door for real life reference. It's my own culture. Things that are common knowledge to me is all in there. No need for research. Research for a project can really pull a project back a few notches. It takes time and you need to know how to do it right. Use the internet, magazines, books, movies, all that stuff.

But what really makes this project even easier is the creator- Stephen Smirl. This guy actually gave me some books to read up on. He's been a blast to work with. And he even pays me. First paid gig- yipee!

This particular group of pages are from Pono Loa: The King Who Ate Men. The main character in this book is the main antagonist in the main Pono Loa story line that's being pencilled by the talented Renae Deluz, and inked and colored by Ray Dillon. The dynamic duo. I wish my wife would ink and color my work. The letters here were done by Stephen Smirl.

Having some fun with perspective. I like doing mideval castles and stuff. You don't really need a ruler. The rules aren't so set in stone. It just has to look right. Hopefully I'll get to use this in my dream project Exillion: Legen of the Storm Runners.

This was the first project I took seriously and actually finished. Man if I could take that first panel and apply some basic perspective there I'd be a little happier about it. But oh well live and learn. And I did. This was a 12 page anthology written by Howard Wong called The Knight and the Samurai Sword. I did pencils and inks. I know the inks are hard to look at. I'm still learning the whole concept of translating pencils and the inks are heavy handed.

The upside to this whole story was that I found out that Steve Leialoha was a relative to my wife. He's a cousin to my wifes grandmother. I met him at their family reunion in 2007, he was doing drawings and sketches for all the kids. At that point I was introduced, I knew who he was from his work at Marvel. Long story short, we met up at a Starbucks in Hilo, a few months later, while he was on vacation. He took the time out to look at my work and give me tips and advice on how to go about what I needed to improve on. I started this journey in late 2004 and the biggest boost I got was on that meeting. Alot of things I needed to know he brought to light for me. I hope one day I can meet up with him again. Just to say thanks.

Finally getting into some action! This bunch of pages were so much fun. I'm still learning about inks and wish I had access to some pro really doing it in front of me so I could see it first hand. I seriosly need to learn how to draw water.

I had so much fun with these. I finally got to do the action stuff I've been craving to do since I started but I never got this far on a project. I didn't like the last page. It's way too rushed for me but we only had 12 pages to do it and I couldn't change the writing. All in all I was very happy about the way the project turned out. Having met Steve Leialoha really taught me alot. I'm glad he had a look at the layouts, without that I'd be far behind.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Midnight Studios

2005 was a tough year for me. I was working as a plumber daytime and trying to draw at night. But the job was too much for me. It took too much out of me. But I was still very new to the whole comix thing. At that time I had made Midnightstudios my home. It was a small little community where I had met some good people. Brant Fowler, Howard Wong, and Niels Van Eekelen. I had done a whole bunch of pin-ups, sketches, concept designs, character designs, and all the stuff you don't see in comics. It takes place first, then the sequentials go off of everything you create there for consistency.
It wasn't sequentials which is what you need. But it was still good because I was learning and growing. Learning about drawing, but more importantly learning how long the whole process took, especially when working off the internet.
This was a cover I did for another of the Death Lurker X anthologies by written by Howard Wong. Death Lurker X:Gold.
Colors by Guiseppe Pica. I did pencils and inks. I still like it. It was my first piece that was colored. This was done in late 2004.

Death Lurker X: White

This was a promo from the first Image submission I did. The story was written by Brant Fowler. I did pencils and inks. This was me trying my hand at inking. Terrible huh? The book was called Death Lurker X: White. It was supposed to be part of an anthology that was called Death Lurkers where each different story was represented by a different color. We had White.
We did an 8 page submission that got rejected when Erik Larsen was the head at image. But he gave me some great pointers and tips on how to improve my work.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Early stuff

This was done in 2004. I had just found digital webbing and wanted to show off my stuff. It's funny no one even posted a comment on the Dark Phoenix piece at DW.

This one of Cap was fun as well. Note how off the background is. I had idea at that time what perpective was. LOL. I can laugh at it now.

I had no clue how to compose an entire page yet.

Welcome to my first blog

Hi all. Welcome to my very first blog. I'm new to the whole blogging scene so bare with me. Basically I want to use it as a vehicle to get my artwork out there for the world to see. I've been trying to break through on the independant comic scene for the past 5 years. It's been both fun and challenging. At times I felt like quitting but for some reason I just can't.

So I wanted to start showing you guys some of the earlier works that I've done so that you can see the progress I've made over the 5 years. And as things get rolling we'll move on to the more recent stuff I've done and eventually get into the stuff I'm doing at the moment. This is very exciting for me and I hope you like it.