Wednesday, March 30

BAX PUBLISHED!

Julia Bax had a story that she drew for a Brazilian comic anthology come out today.

Here's what is said on her website:

Finally, on newsstands all over Brasil, Kaos! comic book anthology is available! Yay! Featuring a 14-page story written by Jean Canesqui and drawn by ME! If you live in Brazil, please give it a shot. =) More info in the portuguese version. Click the flag to read it! Will update the gallery section soon, stay tuned!


I sent her a little congratulations and asked for a signed copy.
Her reply:

YAY! I am superhappy! Of course I´ll send you a copy along with the pinups, a signed one.. hehe =) Except that all text is in portuguese. But then, there´s always Google to help.

See ya!
Julia

Tuesday, March 29

CHARACTERS II

Here's the second round of character descriptions that I sent Bax today. I like to imagine actors that would play the character, if it was a movie. For these characters, I envisioned Ryan Reynolds and Paget Brewster. I made another photo-reference web page for her to get started from [character descriptions #2]

Here's the descriptions:

CHARACTER #3 - ORSON - the director.

He's the director of the film, and it the one pulling all the strings. He's cocky
and domineering. And while it sometime may seem like he's rushing into things,
he's actually planned ahead - way ahead. He's obsessed with getting his film made.

THE LOOK:
I gave you some photo examples that i think really sum up what he's all about. I
think that his hair could be a little more wild, or spiky - im thinking that it'll be blonde with red streaks in it - not sure yet.
For the first issue, he'll be wearing Earth clothes (a casual, futuristic suit),
but for the majority of the series, he'll be wearing a space suit - so that should probably be the pinup.

ACCESSORIES:
He wears a 'director's lens' around his neck. This can look pretty much similar
to the modern-day version.
As the story progresses, he'll be handling a laser gun, but for the concept
stuff, that could be in a holster at his waist.
16mm film camera. Various folks will be using it throughout the story, but he'll
be the primary user for the majority of the series. It should look like a
futuristic version of the camera gear.

----------------------------


CHARACTER #4 - Evelyn (the security chief)

Evelyn is in her late 20's, maybe early 30's. No one really knows how old she is
because she's a clone [the person she's a clone of, will not come into the story
for a very long time, if ever]. She's extremely tough, and very physical. She's
kinda like "Trinity" in the Matrix films - direct, and somewhat deadly.

THE LOOK:
Like everyone else, she'll have some 'street clothes' in the first issue, but
after that she'll be in a similar space suit, like the rest of the crew -
although her space suit could be a little more 'military looking' - maybe some
cargo pockets, a few gadgets on her belt, and some padding in places, like padded
armor.

She has a robotic arm (right arm). It's just as thick as a normal arm, and
chrome. The top of the wrist can flip open to reveal a DATAPAD. And, a sharp
spike/blade can pop out from the palm of her hand (kinda like Wolverine, but it
comes from her hand, not the fingers). She can also use her arm to discharge a
jolt of electricty into someone - like a human tazer.

She should have ONE ROBOTIC EYE. It doesn't pop out or anything like that, but it
should look slightly mechanical. I think it'd be cool to have either a tatooed
run vertically across her eye (so there'd be a little bit of a stripe above and
below here eye) - oR! there could be a scar the runs down across her eye - that
would give the mechanical eye a little more backstory.
Her hair should noticably longer than Lucy, so there isn't any confusion -
although, I think they'll be pretty easy to tell them apart.

ACCESSORIES:
Laser pistol, or rifle of some kind.

----------------------------

Monday, March 28

MODIFIED PINUP

After looking over the previous sketch, I rethought my initial idea about Gaffer's arm becoming a boom mic. So, I wrote her back:

JL wrote:
I think that maybe the boom mic is a little cumbersome attached to his arm, now. What do you think of him having two arms and holding the boom, or maybe it's a smaller kind of boom mic, with a rifle handle to hold - like it's a gun, but instead a microphone.

I like the little Mac logo on the robot's chest.
But we might get in some trouble for that, so you should proabably leave it off.
I did think it was funny, though.


Bax replied:
Hahaha, funny indeed.. but I´ll leave it off =)
I fixed the sketch and he´s using his Winchester-boom-mic now.

And, here's the modified sketch. I like a boom-gun a lot better.


Friday, March 25

ROUGH PINUP #1

Bax wrote:
Here goes some more sketchin'. I tried working a little more on the helmet, but I still don´t think I´m satisfied. Tell me what you think about the pinup layout - if you want to change or add anything, and if you are confortable with Gaffer - Lucy proportion to each other. Do you think it should be taller than her?


And here's the rough layout for the first pinup:


Thursday, March 24

GAFFER SKETCHES

And here's the robot's concept sketches. Bax sent them at the same time as Lucy, but I divided them up here so you could see the progression.

Bax wrote:

For Gaffer I liked the version where he is holding the mic but I like the headwith no jaw I made on the upper left corner better. Maybe a crossbreed of both would look nice.




After checking out the sketch, this is what I sent her:

JL wrote:
I liked the pic of Gaffer holding the boom mic, too. There's something cute about him, and I see what you mean about merging the two different heads. Although, the head on that one is really starting to grow on me. He's got a weird-happy look to him.

I would say, that his eyes will probably do MOST of his expressions, so whatever we end up going with - his eyes'll need to move back and forth in the eye slots, or the pupils will move around if the eyes sokets are locked in pace. Does any of that make sense?

I think the body is pretty good, and I like that the upper torso is more smooth looking than the other sketches.


Here's the revised head she sent me back. I think we're gonna have fun using the eyes in various scenes.



LUCY SKETCHES

I got the first sketches of Lucy and Gaffer from Bax today. She is every bit as awesome as I had hoped.

Here's the initial conecpt art on Lucy:

Bax wrote:
So, I made a few sketches of both characters. There´s Lucy in her space suit (I tried to make it more fashionable then the regular astronaut bulky thing) and some sketches on her helmet, hair, ipod, headphones, etc.








Here's some shots of the futuristic iPod thing. I love it.





Man, this is off to a great start!

Monday, March 21

CHARACTERS #1

I've prepared the first two character descriptions for Bax to get working on, and sent it to her today.

I made a web page with some relevant source images to help her get started.
Here's a link to that page, if you wantto check it out [character descriptions #1].

This is what I sent her:

CHARACTER #1 - LUCY (Lucinda Grim)
In the pinup, it'd be cool to see her in her modern-day goth clothes, but with her futuristic iPod and a film production "clapperboard", but if you want to put her into her space suit (no helmet) - then that's cool too. Once the story really picks up, she'll be wearing that more anyway. Actually, she's the only character that really changes her appearance all that much.

She's a 17 year-old goth chick from the late 2005. If there would be an actress that closely resembles her, it'd be JENNA MALONE (Donnie Darko, Saved!). She's a lot like Wednesday Addams, or the cartoon anti-hero "Emily the Strange"

MOOD: She'll be very somber for the first part of the arc, and is very witty and has a dry sense of humor. As the second story arc hits, she's going to be a lot more outgoing. When the story initially begins, she'll be wearing her normal goth clothes, and will also wear that stuff at times on the space freighter.

CLOTHING: She shops at Hot topic and is obsessed with The Cure, but doesn't have a full-on gothy vampire look - it's more "punky" than that. She's wears blocky knee high boots (or Doc Martens shoes), a skirt, and some various types of shirts, or layers of shirts (ala "material girl 80's look). Like I said, somewhat "punky." She wears one of those 'half heart' locket necklaces around her neck, and then other random goth alternative accessories.

FACE AND HAIR: I've putsome examples up for you - I'm not sold on a specific style. Her makeup isn't overly done, but she definitely wears dark mascara and eyeliner. I dont want it to be too distracting (or look too much like Neil Gaiman's character Death). I think a lower lip piercing would look good.

SPACE TECH: She's going to get a futuristic walkman near the beginning of the story. The audio player part is a small ipod-like wrist thing. And she has some cool wireless headphones that go with it (they'll look more sci-fi than practical. Maybe with one or two spiky antennas on one side). And, she'll be wearing a custom designed BLACK and GREY spage suit/jumpsuit after the first few issues, s if you want to put her in that, that's rad.

BACKSTORY: She was cryogenically frozen to prevent a rare and untreatable brain disease from spreading. She was only supposed to be preserved for 9-10 months, but somehow it ended up being well over 500 years.

-------------------------------


CHARACTER #2 - Gaffer (the robot)

It'd be cool to have him holding a boom mic (the cord going into his back), and possible some kind of laser gun.
Basically he's going to be a clunky robot (although he calls himself an Android). He'll be running around quite a bit, so nothing too antique.

The robot should look like a sleek, hosehold appliance. Think Macintosh and iPod. He should look a little bit faded and have a few scrathes and dents. There's going to be a storyline with more updated and sleek, newer-version androids later on trying to kill them, and he should pale in comparison.

His arms can be removed and modified for attatchements. And he's loaded with a bunch of hidden gadgets like R2D2.

The hardest part about him will be getting the proper face. Not too human, but not too clunky and robotic. He's going to need to show a little bit of emotion, but it' doesn't have to be much.
Any of that make sense?

----------------------------

Lets see what she comes up with! I can't wait!

Friday, March 18

PENCILER: HIRED

Julia Bax wrote me back:

Ok, let´s do this then!

You´ll have to decide how many pages will be necessary. It seems that Dark Horse asks for 5 or 6 (at least for artist submissions). I´d be glad to be the artist if this gets picked up =).
If we can agree at a reasonable timeframe, I´ll be able to squeeze it amidst my other activities. I guess 2 or 3 pages a week is good for me.

But then, let´s start by doing the pinups and see how things work out. We can have 2 characters per page, no problem.

When there is character design involved I do a few rough sketches of my ideas so we can discuss. You send me the most detailed description you can of the characters, and I´ll work on it.

About the $$ issue, what I usually do is: you send me the description of the characters, and I´ll work on the sketches and ideas. You tell me what changes they´ll need and I´ll make the layout of the pinup. Then you send me the money and I´ll send you all the finished drawings by an extra 15 US$, if you want. I can send hi-res scans if you don´t care about keeping the originals.

I think your concept is really interesting! Never heard of anything like that. It will surely draw the attention of the editors!

Hope to hear from you soon.
Take care,
Julia



This just made my day. I think Bax has the perfect look to get my book started, and she seems rather professional.

Wednesday, March 16

JULIA BAX

I've been hunting everwhere to find an artist and I stumbled across a website for someone that I originally had intended to contact, but somehow misplaced the information. Her name is Julia Bax, and she's awesome.

I was hesitant for a moment, since she lives in BRAZIL. But, since everything is being done online nowadays, it shouldn't be a problem.

She had a contact form on her website so I sent her the following message:

Hi there! I've seen your work on Digital Webbing, and then I ran across your page again while searching for comic book artists.

Are you interested in drawing a comic book project for/with me? I really like your style and would love to work with you or talk you into doing some character pin-ups for me.

If you're interested, let me know! Take care :)


The next day I got the following response:

Hi JL!

I´m glad you took some time to visit my site.
Unfortunately, due to a really acute money shortage currently I´m not able to pick up any projects that involve no pay upfront. =(
But wish you the best of luck in finding a great artist to work with!

Take care,
Julia


Okay, so we went back and forth about page rates, and I sent her the following message:

Sounds good to me! I'm interested in making a comic to pitch to the various comic book publishers. We only need a few pages for the submission packet, but if it gets picked up you'd need to be the artist for the first few issues. I'll pay you your page rate up-front.

Does that sound like something you might have time for? I know you're a student and I wouldn't want to get in the way of your homework, or whatever. There really isn't a huge rush to get it done fast, it'd be mostly for fun and experience. Regardless, I love to have you do a few pinups of the characters, if you're interested.

Is there any chance we could have two characters per page? And do you show rough sketches of concept stuff before you do the final piece? I'm new to the whole working-with-an-artist process and I'm interested in seeing how we work together and all that in shaping what the character's will eventually look like.

It might seem weird that Im just emailing you out-of-the-blue with all this, but I'm excited about doing a comic book, and I think your drawings are just fabulous.

Just let me know what you think :)

Talk to ya later.

/JL

The email is sent. Finger crossed.

Saturday, March 12

FINDING A PENCILER

Okay, so I need to find a penciler (and possibly inker) and get this thing going! Digital Webbing seemed like a great place to start. I've lurking on the boards for a while (username=LL) and there's a few artists that I really liked. I sent off a few messages, but haven't heard back from anyone.

The alternative to ninja-messaging artists is to write up an advertisement on the boards or the 'match-ups' page. But, I'm a little weirded out about it, since I'm just beginning - and not really sure what my budget is yet.

And most of the ads from writers (looking for artists)read something like this:

LOOKING for a penciler for awesome fantasy/matrix style story. This idea is guaranteed to get published. I'm just looking for the right artist. Only serious people need apply. No pay, but will get a cut of the profits when published.


It seems pretty straight forward, but I'm not completely ready to be making so many declarative statments at this time. I'll give it another week or so, and then I'll start writing up an advertisement.

Tuesday, March 8

RYAN OTTLEY

I've been putting together a list of styles and comic book artists that I like. Somewhere along the way I decided that I'd check with one of them for some commissions or something. What have I got to lose?

Here's what I wrote Invincible penciler, Ryan Ottley:

Wya,
Any chance you do commission pin-ups or concept art? You gotta be insanely busy, but I figured I'd ask.

Keep up all the awesome work - and thanks for posting it on DW.

/JL


It was a long shot. I knew this. But, he actually wrote me back:

JL,
Sorry man, right now I am too busy to even check my e-mails. Oops. Ok, so I ALWAYS find time to check e-mails. But the rest of the time doing a monthly is just all I can handle. Good luck with what you got goin. Later man.

WyA


How rad is it that he even took the time to write back? I see him posting, and offering advice on Digital Webbing to the other newbs. Not only is he extremely talented, but he's a nice guy.

Thursday, March 3

GAME PLAN

When do I have to start asking myself the big questions? Am I going to self-publish, or try to get my series picked-up by a publisher? I guess I need to have some sort of direction to start out.

From all the various submission guidelines I've seen, Image comics has a pretty decent submission policy:

Cover design (with Logo).
5 finished pages
Series synopsis, and other paperwork.

So from here, I'm gonna formulate a 'game plan'. I think that I'll work on getting an artist working on the project. Maybe once I get some concept art and sequentials done, my focus will change. Right now the most important thing is getting some momentum on this project before another few months/weeks go by - then I'll start focusing on my publishing method.

Wednesday, March 2

CONCEPT

Okay, here's the part where I pitch my comic book idea. Since my story is 'Hollywood' related, I'll tell it to you how an agent would:

high concept:
Star Trek meets Bowfinger
(That makes it sound one thousand times more retarded than I intended).

concept:
The story follows a group of filmmakers as they travel the galaxy, struggling shooting their independent film - over 500 years after filmmaking has ceased to exist.

title:
Anamorphic
(which is synonymous with "widescreen", and it sounds cool)

So that's the concept for my little sci-fi epic. I'll have more stuff to flesh out the concept and plot as the blog moves along. And, I'll be posting the first few scripts, once I get all the copyrights in order.

Tuesday, March 1

IT STARTS NOW

It's time to put up or shut up.

I've been talking about making my own comic book for a long time now, but haven't done anything except make some rough drafts and outlines.

That ends now.

Over the last few weeks I've been feverishly researching how to make a comic. I've been lurking in the Digital Webbing forums, learning the ways of the force. The keys on my laptop have started to fade with all the frenzied plotting and scripting I've been doing.

From this day forward I'm gonna funnel whatever energy and time I have into putting together a comic book (or graphic novel) together. And, you're invited to come along for the ride. I'm going to update my progress throughout the entire process - however long or strenuous it might get.

It starts now.
comicfoundry.com