I am highly punchable. This I know. I look like the kid from Mr. Belvedere for starters, and while I only qualify as an Aspie on the shadiest of online quizzes (the ones with an alien in the sidebar trying to dance you into a mortgage-seeking stupor), I have a tendency to be both overly honest and relentlessly jocose. All I can say is that three out of three of those things annoy me at least as much as they annoy you.
That said I was still somewhat surprised when a girl I did not know came up to me like a soothsaying leper in a SyFy Original, slapped a camera out of my hand and shouted, "You lied to me! You always lie to me! Always! I'm sick of it." and then started to hit me.
Okay, so some important details.
• "Hitting" is used her in the loosest of terms
Really, I guess the last part explains it all.
In other news, I recently went to Atlantic City (didn't guess that did you!?) where I gambled a little (lost five bucks after it was all over), drank a little more (it was either that or gamble a little more; I'm at peace with my choice), spent time with some truly awesome coworkers from my day-job (read: main source of income) and, of course, got smacked up by a lady who mistook me for a rascal. Oh yeah, and there was a trade show.
FUN FACT: While in Atlantic City, calculating the number of backlit pixels in any given casino (including cash registers and mobile devices) returns a number so large that the universe implodes and sends a hurricane into the past. TRY IT YOURSELF!!!!!!!!
As the hour grew late in the casinos, as a social experiment, I offered to take the pictures for every single person I saw taking group photos. And every single one, regardless of gender, creed or culture, allowed me to do so. Which means that while I am highly punchable, the idea of handing over expensive, irreplaceable personal gagetry resigns strangers to a halcyon comfort-level. Even after a convergence of these phenomena caused a stranger's camera to be swatted out of my hand by someone who fell under the spell of my punchability, my trustworthiness was maintained. Indeed, what a strange world we all live in.
Sometimes people ask me about my process. Here is a handy schematic:
A: is the tiny thumbnail I draw after researching what the client/author needs
B: is the rough sketch I send to the collaborator before continuing. I like to create my roughs at-size(when possible), so that what I see is what the viewer will eventually get.
C: is the new sketch I do after I realize I've f***ed up the orientation of the space in which the illustration appears.
D: is a refined rough draft that is sent for approval.
E: is the approved version blown up and "crushed" so that I can trace it on my homemade uber-bright light table (strong enough to trace through Bristol Board)
And then I lament that I just stayed up all night and have to go to work! Ta-Da!
How many people can honestly say that they've been commissioned to draw a lenticular picture of Frank Zappa fighting Jerry Garcia with a lightsabre? I can think of only one (me, in case that wasn't obvious).
It's been a real whirlwind of a summer. In addition to some great happenings in my personal life, I've stumbled upon a great client in the form of Shakedown Emporium. They have a lot of really cool stuff, and are tremendous to work with.
So it's been (looks at his watch) about half a year since I updated the journal here, and I apologize to all of my readers. All both of you!
I've been spending the last six months largely regrouping, paring down some of my distractions, working on my house, breeding box turtles and making my creative process more efficient. I've got a bunch of Derelict Pages in the can (pun intended) so I'll be rolling that out again soon. I wanted the first few months of weekly pages completed before I fired it up again, and I'm almost there. I've been doing a ton of writing on Byte and ISIS, so those will eventually see the light of day. I've also been tearing out my kitchen floor, which is of no particular interest to anyone, but the process of spelunking through layers and layers of progressively more ill-conceived linoleum is strangely therapeutic.
Thanks to Attack The Block being sold out in DC, and thanks to the quick-thinking of a pretty solid new friend, I attended the G40 Art Summit, which was an incredibly dense and well put-together show. very inspiring as well. Not to mention the fact that Fred "Rerun" Berry was represented in wheat-pasted graphic form:
My contribution to Chillers was completed (much credit going to Daniel Boyd's editorial temperment and patience with me). I received my preview copy and am truly impressed at what Daniel has put together. I think that the level of writing in particular is a step up from typical horror anthologies. And he produced the book while working full time, directing and being a family-man (seriously, I even got a Christmas card). I don't know where that guy finds all the hours in his days!
It looks like I'm going to be doing some more work for Skortched Urf' Studios soon, which is great. Part of the fun in working with Mark is reading the reference material he sends me; he's a helluva world-builder (and by the way, I don't get paid based on units sold, so I consider myself an impartial judge of such things!). He's also experimenting in collaborating with brick and mortar retailers to sell cards with redeemable digital content. I think it's a good idea; it helps to distribute content while maintaining the social aspect of gaming.
The next update will be much sooner, much funnier, and much... Derelict...i...er..?
Unless my frequency of updates suffers from a sudden and hyperbolic uptick, this will likely be my last update of 2010. Let's see where we're at, shall we?
Well. I'm one of those jerks on Twitter now. Yes, after much consideration, it seemed like it might be handy to alert my humble but growing collection of fans when I have the good fortune to release or produce something. If you can't see the link, then you probably can't be trusted with sharp things.
After some setbacks (aren't there always?) I completed the pencils for an 11-page story called Hunters for an upcoming comic book / graphic novel based on the classic movie Chillers. You never know what you're going to get when you read a script you're going to be working on (unless, like Coming Out, you wrote it yourself) but reading William Bitner's script to this was a treat. The man can write dialogue.
I'm very satisfied with how the pencils came out, especially for the fact that I seem to have finally cracked drawing vehicles (a former weakness of mine). Now to just keep from messing it all up in the inks...
I continue to write reviews for CHUD, which has been a blast. To check out the latest reviews, just hit up my author page there, but I am particularly proud of the one for Suburban Psycho Horror Collection and Zombie Girl: The Movie.
The process of writing is more rewarding than the process of drawing. In drawing, I am never comfortable until I have the final product, but in writing, the thrill is in putting all the pieces together, finding the right words, stretching the limits of how words are used, suckerpunching the Elements of Style. When it is complete and is out there, I don't think much of it, though I have a few fans and some very kind champions for my work.
In addition to the writing, I've been doing some header artwork for them like so:
CHUD will soon (very soon) be undergoing an overhaul that will make it more friendly, especially for mobile devices, which is gobbledegook to me (I am a perennial adopter of the free-with-the-contract-phone), but may entice some of you less ludditical readers.
Next time I will write a little bit about a new workflow that I've found that works really well for traditional black & white inked comics, provided you have a few bucks and/or know someone who works at a sign shop!
Everybody have a happy and safe New Year's Eve, with the exception of the people I really hate, whose misfortune via drunk hookup or fiery car crash will fuel my Schadenfreude for weeks to come!
About that Derelict page-per-week thing... yeah... you get what you pay for, people!
Life has been hectic for all the wrong reasons (except, perhaps, for the fact that I've finally gotten my house painted). My DVD reviewing experiment at CHUD has been going swimmingly insofar as I've met a lot of cool fellow movie geeks there and really sharpened my writing back up, in my opinion. People that know me won't be surprised to see that I've selected an eclectic range of discs to review. Only one has been unbearable so far. The mathematicians amongst you will be able to tell which one via the numeric score:
More to come soon!
I've been drawing my ass off for Chillers!, a soon-to-be-released comic book from director and sometimes luchador Daniel Boyd. Awesome guy. Patient guy. The story I have been assigned is very cool.
That's it for my general update. It's a late night, and I've got situation comedies to watch before bed.
In other news, I have recently scored a position reviewing DVD's for Chud.com. This combines three things I am very good at: watching movies, writing about movies, and not getting paid for it. In all seriousness, though, I am enjoying becoming part of the Chud community and look forward to having some input in the relaunching of their site come November. I've only been an author there for a week, and already a few people hate my guts for saying that, I didn't like the movie Into the Wild! Any publicity is good publicity, right?
Since I have three jobs now (that pay progressively less... figure that one out...) I should get back to work. Catch you all on the flip-side.
I can't believe it either, but Derelict is finally going to get released. Now, don't get all excited... it's going to be available here a page at a time at a rate of one page per week until my front tire finally shakes off my car and I die in a hideous, fiery crash along Route 66... or until I decide to stop. I know a page isn't much, but as you can see, I give you plenty to look at on each page, and hey, It's free, at least at first. I figured any marketing strategy that works for crack cocaine can't be all bad. So there it is. What you see above is the crude original sketch that led to the story invading my brain. I've got a bunch of it already finished and I wanted to get it out there.
In other news:
Since I don't have nearly enough hobbies, I've decided to make a short (very short) film adaptation of C.M. Kornbluth's incredible short story The Advent on Channel 12. Why? I dunno. But You've gotta have a hobby, right? Expect it (or don't... I'm not the boss of you) around Christmas-ish. And yeah, I know I'm not using actual film in my film, but neither does David Fincher, and would you laugh at him when he says he's "filming"?
I finished my cover for Fantasy Firearms 2 for Skorched Urf, and I am quite pleased with it, especially since I was able to channel all of my short-guy rage (short guys out there reppa-zent!) into this dwarf:
That's it outta me for now. Gotta get back to the drawing board.
The hand is better! Or at least as better as it's likely to get. Luckily, there are some advantages to not having the pinky knuckle of a normal human, not the least of which is the ability to perform marathon drawing sessions without callousing the outside edge of my right hand. So I've turned my deformity into a mutant ability. Sweet!
Best news of the week is that I will be supplying a cover for Skorched Urf Studios' Fantasy Firearms book, which is a pretty awesome read whether or not you play Pathfinder. I've also got a number of interior illustrations in it. Coming soon!
I've completed my first work for Arctic Moon Studios, and am very happy with the result. You can't see it... but it's awesome. I'm impressed with what I've seen from Arctic Moon and eager to see the rollout in the coming months.
The first draft of Byte is coming together and I'm in love with it (why wouldn't I be?). I'm hoping to shoot in the fall and edit over the holidays for release late spring/early summer-ish next year. And by "release" I mean film festivals and a big-ass party at the Alamo Drafthouse (you're all invited, except you, Josh Blaylock, unless you bring a check). Wish me luck.
Recently gotten back into working on a Sci-fi project I started years ago. Currently untitled. My next journal update will probably be about my storyboarding process when working on videos, since folks have asked.
I've spent the last few weeks working hard on the business side of drawing (when not trying to repair my car or finish my deck), which is no fun, but way more fun than my taxes will be to figure out next year if I don't put a little research in right now.
Wow, was this ever boring! I promise more exciting stuff to read... or at least more details... next time.
Have you ever done anything so stupid that you knew in less than 1 second that it was easily the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Well, I did that some weeks ago. For reasons too boring (okay, humiliating) to get into here, I punched a wall. It was a short fight that the wall won.
That's my actual x-ray. I broke my 5th metacarpal in half. It has about a 30 degree bend in it now. The pinky knuckle no longer exists. This is the first bone I have ever broken, and I was quite unimpressed with the amount of pain it caused, and yet flabbergasted at the amount of frustration it caused me.
Here I sit some time later (and roughly 2,000 bucks poorer) looking at my now-deformed drawing hand. No, really, it's deformed. The person who put the cast on me... who I would like to think sees way worse situations every day... gasped and referred to it as some "serious deformity".
It's official: I'm a freak.
Okay, so it's not that bad. Most people don't even notice it unless I point it out. And who the hell wants to be symmetrical anyway? The good news is this. I am back in action to some capacity. I need to be careful with it, and, believe it or not, I have to relearn how to angle my hand, since my knuckle is gone (but I have a bony lump on the back of my hand... ewwww...).
So if you've wondered what the hell happened to me... I've been convalescing, but like Turbo, when Miracles needed saving, I'm ready to stand up and start breakdancing with the nurses.