Thursday, July 31, 2014

Issue Four...Psycho Goes To Washington!

So issue four is called "Psychoboy Goes To Washington." In it, Psychoboy runs for the House of Representatives, recruiting his best bud Stickboy to be his campaign manager.

I haven't written the script yet, but I'm thinking it should be around nine pages long and cost 99 cent online. Since I'm capturing an entire campaign in a short story, obviously they'll be lots of jumping around in time and summarizing in the story. But the comic will only be part of it.

I also want to tell the story online in an interactive way. Psychoboy will have an actual virtual campaign while I'm working on the issue. He'll have a campaign site and be posting on social media. Having no convictions of his own, he'll be asking you what he should stand for, letting you write his platform. He'll also be posting hilarious campaign ads, both memes and the occasional YouTube video as well as various other miscellaneous nonsense. It's going to be a lot of fun and I hope a lot of people sign up for and share his posts.

If you want to be an early adaptor and join Team Psycho you're more than welcome to look Psychoboy up on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and start liking and following him now. I'll be launching everything within a couple weeks and I'll let you guys know when the campaign is ready to go.

With the added virtual campaign, I'll be posting on here a lot less. There will still be posts to let you know what my progress is, I always want you guys to know where I'm at, but they'll be less detailed and less frequent. I'll still posting announcements and whenever I completely finish a page. Showing every bit of the creation of the series was great when that's all I had to show, but now that the series is out, it's time to switch gears and try something new and different that I hope you guys will enjoy.

My goal is have the issue done in October. I doubt I'll hit my original goal of having it done the first week of October but there shouldn't be any problem getting it out before the election.

In my next post I'll be announcing my fall convention appearances. Until then, remember to vote early, vote often and vote Psychoboy!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Issue 4 Variant Cover...The Audacity of Nope

I finished the variant cover last night. This is, of course, modeled after the famous cover of "The Audacity of Hope" by Barack Obama. It was one of those things that was too perfect to not do. I actually took shots of the real book, scrubbed the cover clean in Photoshop and then superimposed my color drawing of Psychoboy on it with some lettering. I just wish the book really existed, though I suspect it'd probably end up being one chapter before Psycho got bored and moved on to something else. With the covers out of the way I'll be diving head first into promotional art and drawing the issue now. I'll be getting into the plot and scope of the issue in my next post.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Issue Four Cover...The Nope Poster

So here's the finished cover for College Follies #4. Obviously I'm putting Psychoboy into the iconic Obama Hope poster. Like everything else in the series, it's simplified because of the art style, but I hope it still does the original justice. Hopefully, I can knock the variant cover knocked out tonight too...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Issue Four Cover Pencils...Pscyhoboy Gets His Obama On!

Here's the pencils for the covers for issue four I drew at last Saturday's comic convention. Since Psychoboy is running for office, I felt it was only appropriate to lampoon the most famous political graphic of our time (the Obama Hope poster) and for the variant cover, the cover of "The Audacity of Hope," which is almost as famous. I'm hoping to have these done this weekend, along with more work on the issue.  I'll talk more about the issue and Psychoboy's epic campaign a little later, stay tuned!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Issue Three: The Lessons Learned

With issue three, it's the first comic I've done from scratch in 14 years and a very different sort of story for the series, so I learned a few things...
Writing- Planning is key. Designing the characters before the story helped me visualize the scenes. Penciling in rough layouts for pages as I scripted was vital for a story with this complex of a panel layout. That way I knew the page layout, panel composition and word balloon placement would work for what I'm writing.
Pencils- Again, tight pencils are key. Sloppy pencils might be quick, but you'll end up losing more time than you gain when you get to the inks.
Inks- Replicating  repeated parts of a panel, whether it's a face, part of a character's body, etc. really helped cut down the time on this one, especially with all the little inset panels inside the Bots.
Colors- Being my first color action comic, I got to learn a lot about how to color explosions and crackling energy effects. Brushes with feathered edges and multi-layered gradients can look really cool and it turns out I have a totally irrational love for coloring lightening effects.
Letters- Having been a huge fan of Jim Shooter's comics in the 1990s, which used practically no sound effects, I almost never used them in mine. But since sound effects were part of the DNA of Power Rangers, I used a lot of them here and I think they really do add to the story and humor. 
I also got to experiment with show text over the panels and singing overlapping the action in certain scenes. This was a ton of fun and pretty effective. A rule of thumb I discovered for all non-dialog lettering overlapping the action is to remember the reader will probably read it where it falls in the panel so you don't want to break up dialog in a bad way. You can never read over your panels enough for stuff like that.
So that's it until September for issue three when it'll be early released. There is the matter of doing a variant cover for it, which if all goes well, I'll be doing just before the release. Once you see it, you'll know why I waited to do it.
Anyway, next up, issue four in which Psychoboy runs for office! Start feeling! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Issue Three Uploaded!!!

Darn straight, Psychoboy!
Shoot off some fire works and crank up the Bon Jovi, issue three has been sent to Comixology! It'll go through their review process before going up, but since they accepted College Follies #1 (now on sale) that shouldn't be a problem. The question is when. It's been almost two months since I submitted issue two, so it appears to still be a slow process.
I've also uploaded issue three to Amusedom and DriveThuComics, where I do have control over the release date. It'll be out on Sept 3 on those sites. I'm also prepping it for print so it can be ready for a convention in September, which I'll give you guys the full details of once I've confirmed them.
Work on issue four is going on now, with a mad dash to get it out by the end of October. More details on that soon as Psychoboy prepares to run for office!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tales From Another Con

So I did Jay and Eddie's Comicbook Show yesterday. It's a smaller con, basically in a large room at a hotel. Definite advantages to the venue: It's well lit, carpeted,  nice looking, air conditioned (maybe a bit too much, it was chilly!) and it's small enough that it's hard to miss you.
I felt there weren't as many people passing by but I sold slightly more. I think there was less folks who just came to hang out or just see what a comic convention was like than at the last con, which was held in a building at the Fair Grounds at the same time as the Earth Day Fair.
The table was nice this time, but I came prepared with a table cloth designed for a 6 foot table. Best $20 I've spent. I just laid it on there and it fit the table exactly and securely. It seemed no worse for ware after I was done, so I should be able to reuse it indefinitely.
 The table was slightly wider and I was able to fit everything in and have just enough room to draw. I did both the cover and variant cover for issue four, which was a great way to pass the time. Dropping the contest really helped on the space. My table was tight but uncluttered, though I'll have to think about how to do future cons as I'll be adding more comics to sale.
I'm not sure if positioning is that important at a con that small. Basically there's just tables around the walls and in the middle of the room, so anyone wanting to see everything just does a loop around the room. Depending on if the person proceeded straight at the door or took a left, I was either one of the first or one of the last booths they'd come across, but it's a short circuit around the room so it didn't matter all that much.
 I got sandwiched between two comic creators. And not knocking non-comic artists, because my neighbors at the last con were fantastically talented and nice, but there is something really awesome about the camaraderie you get from folks who are doing the same thing you are. 
Niki Pell
On my right were the talented couple of  Bobby and Suzanne Capobianco of Superville Comics, with their series and tons of Minion fan art (including Jay and Silent Bob minions!). On the other was  Katie Bishop, the Hawkeye from Young Avengers. Well, not really. It was a fantastically gifted artist named Niki Pell who did a great Katie Bishop cosplay at Heroes Con I got a shot of last month. She does superhero jewelry and a comic called Wander.
I was definitely more connected  to the other comic artists there.  I'm apparently on a Facebook group of regional artists called the Scattered Pencil Society (one of those weird Facebook things, where you end up joining a group and getting its posts, without receiving or accepting an invitation, but this is one of the good ones). I was fortunate enough to see and respond to a Facebook post about them doing a podcast and post-con gathering but they seemed nice enough that they probably would've included me anyway.

Bobby and Suzanne Capobianco
So Bobby and fellow artist Kev Lyerly interviewed me for a podcast, which was great. And then about eight of us got together at Panera Bread for supper and chatted, which was pretty informative and inspiring.
I still wish I'd gotten their earlier. I got there an hour early, which was more than enough time to set everything up but not enough time to explore the room and see who/what else was there. Last time, the con ending was like the Death Star evacuation scene with everyone packing up and getting out within 15 minutes. This time it seemed like everyone was like "After that port exhaust thing on the last Death Star, we're getting out of here at the first sign of the rebel fleet." Half my row was out half an hour before it ended and practically everyone else was out by 4:30 (the time the con ended). So next time I'll try getting there even earlier.
Overall good experience. I'm checking into a local con in September, if I can get into that one, I'll do it.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Letter page ready! Issue 3 is done! And next up is....

So I created the letter column last night with an editorial with my thoughts on Power Rangers and why it was chosen as the subject of issue three. It was a bit long, but with some cutting I was able squeeze it in. You'll have to get the issue to read my morphin manifesto.
But what I will show you is the customary "next issue teaser" at the bottom. With this, I finally draw to an end work on issue three. All I've got to do is read over the issue a couple more times and then I'll send it off to Comixology on Wednesday. I thank Ron Wasserman and all the other musicians who did music for Power Rangers for getting me through the issue, chances are I'll be still be enlisting there services when I need some I energy beats to create to.
But for issue four we'll be going into some very different but equally awesome territory. I'll go into detail a little later but for right now, this teaser says it all... 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Issue Two Is Out Now!!!

 Issue two is out as a digital comic on Amusedom and as downloadable PDF on DriveThruComics. Above is the regular cover and to the right is the variant available digitally only on Amusedom. The short story of rumored romance set in the aisles of a Super Happy Mart is only 99 cent! I'm still waiting to hear back from Comixology but since they picked up issue one, I assume they'll do so with issue two (it's just a question of when they'll get it up). And, of course, I'll be selling print copies of both the regular and variant  covers for issue two at Saturday's convention.

So click on the links below and get issue two! Issue one is on all the sites I mentioned (you can get it by clicking here) and issue three will be out starting the first week in September.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

It's Talking Time! Here's a Video On Issue Three!

Been trying to get this video out for a couple weeks. I decided to not put random movements on the panels to make them easier to look at and read. Let me know what you guys think.

I'm currently wrapping up issue three. I'm still proofing, making corrections and working on the letter column. Normally this is a fast process but I have a) unfinished stuff to promote issue one I need to do b) I have to get issue two ready for early release c) I have a con on Saturday and d) I've got to get ready to work on issue four. I'm doing all this at the same time. It's kinda crazy but I should knock all of it out in the next week or so.

Me talking over a flyer, telling you to come see me at next weekend's convention!

This is a quick video announcement for the convention I'll be appearing at next weekend. I apologize for it's Spartan nature but I tried doing a shoot outside the hotel it'll be held at but that fell through and then I couldn't find any HD images that would work in the video, so it's just me talking over the convention's flyer.

I hope you guys can join me on Saturday. I'll have print copies of issue two, which will be released digitally on Amusedom and DriveThru Comics on Wednesday!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Page 12 Ready! The Third Story is Done!!!

The third story is done! The last page is a post-episode "commercial" with the Rangers that combines Public Service Announcements with charitable commercials that were common back in the 1990s. Most of it is Stickboy and Psychoboy looking at the and reader talking like this...

Since their bodies repeat in every panel, I inked and colored the first panel and duplicated it to the rest of the panels, changing the expressions and adding some hand  gestures in various panels. It worked well and sped up things. I can't show you the rest of the panels of them talking without giving away the gag, but I can show the panel that turned it from a quick sprint into a long run to get this sucker finished...

Yeah, I couldn't resist. I just kept putting monsters in there. It's homages to some of the more prominant or memorable monsters-of-the-day in the first couple seasons of Power Rangers. None are meant to be exact duplicates of the show, just monsters that have the same feel as Pudgy Pig, Eye Guy, etc.

The page honestly could've been left out, but the gag was simply too good not to do. You'll know what I'm talking about when you get the comic.

So that's it for the story. So now all that's left is doing an editorial and a teaser for issue four on the letter column and proofing the story before I send it off to Comixology and upload it on other sites.

I'm about to pull out Ultra Mode and finish this bad boy off!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Coloring Page 12...Can Someone Get Eye Guy Some Visine?

I'm almost done with inking and coloring the last page of issue three. Other than the panel below it's basically Stickboy and Psychoboy looking at the reader while talking, so I'm doing this weird combination thing where I color and ink at the same time so I can duplicate colored bodies between panels. Just a few hands and facial expressions left on the page before I letter it. Anyway, I'll be wrapping it up by week's end...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Inking Page 12...I Know Why The Crying Cyclops Weeps

Currently working on page twelve, the final page for issue three! The following panel took a looong time to ink. I know why Crying Cyclops weeps now.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Page Eleven Ready!!! It's Talking Time!

Page eleven is done. It's the post-battle talking scene at the end of the episode!
Our heroes discuss the traumatic psychological and emotional effects of killing a monster every day to protect humanity. It's Power Ranger PTSD!
Just kidding. But the page is a really good gag and that's about all I can show you without giving it away.
It's a page of Stickboy and Psychoboy talking in their usual civilian outfits, which is familiar territory for the series and an especially appropriate way to end the story as that's where we're going next issue.
So all that's left for the issue is a one page gag to wrap up the story and the letter column. I expect to have both done next week. Get the fireworks ready and que up the Van Halen music, I'm almost done!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Issue Two is off to the presses!

 Issue two has been sent off for print. I'll have copies of both the regular and variant edition for $2 at Jay & Eddie's Comicbook Show on July 19th from 10 am-4:30 pm at Quality Inn and Suites, 2008 S. Hawthorne Road, in Winston-Salem. I'll also be selling $5 prints of the issue's variant cover. The issue should also be out on Amusedom and DriveThruComics that week too.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014