Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Title page done! A letter from the office of Psychoboy!

Alright so here's the title page or inside cover for issue five...

So it's a combo of photos, a scan of my writing (for the signature) and a congressional letterhead I found online with some type superimposed on it. Since every issue is self contained up until now, I haven't needed to do recaps, but since this issue five is a follow up for issue four, well I had to do one. I don't think it's needed necessarily, there's enough to orient the reader in the story, but I couldn't resist Stickboy showing his exasperation over the voters'...eccentric tastes.

Title pages are fun and quick ways to feel like you've accomplished something (maybe I should just fill an entire issue with them at some point) but I am also currently working on the fourth page in which Psychoboy meets a certain President of United States. More on that soon...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Page Three Complete! Psychoboy meets Washington!

Okay, so first a correction. I actually left out Stickboy's final line from the final panel of page two....

And now without further ado, page three with commentary below...

So tons of cameos here: Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (who I picked because his turtle-like features would be fun to draw), a custodian who looks suspiciously like Stan the Janitor from Ultimate Spider-man (it's a Stan Lee cameo) and a generic dog and fire hydrant.

I actually completed this page last weekend but am just now posting it because of a bit of drama this week. Life is...difficult at the moment, so that's going to slow production down. But it won't stop it. I'm tied of being stopped. I'm going to keep working on this issue as much as I can as long as I can keep my lights on.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Page three inked: Psychoboy and his amazing one panel acquaintances!

Drew page three during the week and inked it yesterday. I drew/inked Psychoboy one time and will be duplicating him in the other panels talking to the people (or dog or fire hydrant) in the panel. Drawing cameos is fun, hopefully even without the colors they'll look familiar to you. Excelsior!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

About those delays....

First off, let me apologize for the delay on the series. Issue five should've been done months ago and instead I've only just begun on the issue. I'm backed up by nearly a year, so the earliest I'll have all 16 pages done would be next year.

Comics, like anything else in life, get delayed for many reasons. Big companies might have logistical train wrecks that cause production delays. But oftentimes they can find pinch hitters to fill-in for the weak links in the chain and get the series back on track quickly.

For comics that come revolve around one person, usually it's something more personal. Maybe something happened in their lives. Maybe another job came up that tied up all their time. Maybe the demand just wasn't there and they had to do other things to pay their rent, after all, art  is wonderful but it won't keep your lights on if no one buys it.

For me it's all the above. And unlike a company, I have no pinch hitters to help. It's just me putting out a full color comic by myself. This took up all my free time during a relatively stable time in my life. The last year however, has been anything but stable.

So when the poo hit the fan for me in January, just as I was supposed to start work on the series again after a much needed holiday break, it really made it tough to get back into it. The time I usually worked on the series was gone. Work was taking up everything I had and then some. 

Sometimes your daily life just takes up everything you got, emotionally and physically. Sometimes it takes all the hope you muster just to get up and get through the day.

So I rarely worked on the comic. The reaction to the series has been minimal to say the least. I love each and every one of you who've bought it or had kind words to say about the series, but I can fit all of you in my living room, and my living room ain't that big. There's just a handful of people who could possibly be waiting for the conclusion of "Psychoboy Goes to Washington."

So this has pretty been demoted to a hobby for me. I can't make any money off it. I want to finish the story for myself and for the couple people who might actually be wondering what did happen to dear old Psychoboy.  And it's a great story that deserves to be told. It's amazing what you say about the country in just 16 pages.

So with that in mind, I took advantage of a lull between instances of feces flying towards fans in my life to start working on the comic again. I'm going to try my darndest to work on it in some way, no matter what happens, no matter how many turd storms are in the forecast. I can't promise anything, but I'm going to try. The issue will be completed at some point. 

Both Kevin Smith and J. Michael Straczynski came back and finished comic series that had been delayed for years. Rob Schrab had everything fall apart in the 90s and came back 10 years later to finish Scud the Disposable Assassin. And none of their works were any worse for the delays, once they were completed.

The point of me typing all this isn't to say it's okay to give up on your dream, but to know that if it gets put on pause or gets set back, that it's not the end. You own that story you want to tell. It's not going anywhere. It'll be waiting for you when you're ready to tell it. Never give up. There's always going to be another chance. 

Creativity isn't a race. It took Da Vinci years to finish the Mona Lisa. It's the creation that exists at the end that's what matters. Make it good no matter how long it takes.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Hail Hydra! Page two is done!

Alright, here's page two of issue five with commentary below...

So of course, if Psychoboy went to Washington, he'd go around seeing if anyone was a member of Hydra. Duh. It's, of course, a play on the viral Hail Hydra stuff from Captain America: Winter Soldier. I know there was a jogger who may or my not have been Steve Rogers on the first page, but I tend to lean on the "may not" end of that spectrum. On the other hand, maybe it was Steve, Hydra is real and Psychoboy is a genius. You never know.

For John Boehner's tan, that is actually a color I sampled from a photo of him. Fun fact, his skin really is on the orange spectrum. But if you push the color too far towards orange, he starts looking like an Oompa Lumpa, so I decided to stick with  his real-life skin tone.

I'm having to letter this issue in Photoshop. My best advice on lettering in Photoshop is to buy Illustrator and use that instead. Unfortunately, I no longer have that option. It got a little easier once I got past the first panel with it's wondrous exposition dump, but it's still a long process with Photoshop, even when using old word balloon shapes I created in illustrator. You don't have the precise control over the shape of the balloons in Photoshop like you do in Illustrator, but I made it work.

So next up is page three where we see some of the other folks Psycho been testing his Hydra theory on. It'll be fun. And until then, remember to hail Hydra early and often. 

A tanned man in a wooden room...colors for page two are done!

Finished the colors on page two, complete with John Beohner's eternal tan. I'll be lettering it and finishing it today.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Page two inked and ready to be sworn in...

Finished inking all the elements on page two for issue five and I'll be coloring, lettering and hopefully finishing it this weekend. I'll be trying to find just the right shade of orange for the Speaker of the House...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

On your left! Page one is done!

At long last, here's page one of issue five with commentary below...

There is no more recognizable staple of a show or movie set in Washington, DC than jogging around the National Mall. If you're a fictional character and you're in the nation's capital, it's practically a requirement.

And of course, one of the greatest jogging sequences ever is in "Captain America: Winter Soldier." I couldn't resist a jogger who may or may or not be Steve Rogers blowing past our heroes.

I drew Stickboy and Psychoboy once for the opening four panel sequence and moved their arms and legs around and altered their expressions when needed.

And so the last panel had to pan out to show the Capitol building, Psychoboy's new stomping grounds, for an epic establishing shots. At first, I wanted our tiny heroes against a photo of the Capitol. Heck, I originally wanted to do the whole issue with photo backgrounds, the idea that this is the one story where they're actually in a real place (as opposed to the unnamed fictional settings of past issues). But as I did research, I found that it would require a trip up to D.C. and taking the photos myself, and even then there would be some backgrounds I just physically wouldn't be able to get shots of (like the House floor).

So the photo background issue idea was dropped, but I still thought for this one panel it would've been awesome. I had a great public domain shot picked out. And then after inking and coloring the figures in the panel, I put them against the photo...and it didn't work. They were giants compared to the far shot of the building or, if shrunk down to near proper size, they appeared as no more than dots on the page.

With no other choice, I decided to create my own Capitol building. The only way I could pull it off  (having never drawn real buildings before) was to simply trace over it in Photoshop, using the computer's ability to create straight lines and other shapes to my advantage. Almost every curve is an ellipse I cut in half.

It's a simplified version with a bit artist license, but there was only so much detail that would show up when the building was printed. Overall I'm pretty satisfied with the outcome. I now have a deeper appreciation of the architecture of our nation's capital, and I pray I don't have to draw any of it again anytime soon.

So next up, a nice indoor scene in page two. Now if you'll excuse me, I think Claire Underwood and Sgt. Nicholas Brody are coming up on Psychoboy's left. Pick up the pace, Psycho!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Page One Update: Our heroes jog..in color!

So page one for issue five is done! I'll post the finished page when I have time to write a bit of commentary about it. But for right now, feat your eyes on the colored page, including the shot of the Capitol building, which I had to draw/ink on the spot on the computer when a photo background I was going to use didn't work out. Needless to say, that panel took a little longer than expected, but I'm happy with the results.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Return of the Son of the Winston-Salem Comic-Con

Not a lot to report from Winston-Salem Comic Con. Seems like there was a decent crowd at times. I was in between two people selling crafts, but I did have some comic creators on my isle who I heard had a good day. I sold a couple comics and talked to a few folks. It was more than the last show, but that's not saying a whole lot. The monitor set up that let people see me color a page didn't make much of a difference, but it did catch a few people's attention. I was basically just there to give folks the chance to pick up the comic if they wanted and work on issue five, so I'm not sweating it. I've got bigger concerns in life at the moment, and my main focus with the comic right now is just squeezing in the time to work on it. 

I got page one mostly colored and would've had it completed, but I hit a snag when my plan for the last panel didn't work out. I'll go into that when I finish the page (hopefully today).

Monday, August 31, 2015

Inking page two with the Ear of Beohner!

I've inked all the elements for page one of issue five. I'll be coloring and lettering it Saturday at the Winston-Salem ComicCon. I'll have my set up where my laptop will be hooked to a screen so fans can see me work. 

I also got to ink a little bit of page two. Probably get a bit more done before the con, but for right now here's Psychoboy whispering into John Beohner's ear.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Eye of the Tiger! Eye of the Tiger! Inking Issue Five, Page One!

Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen! I'm currently inking the elements for the first couple pages of issue five and it feels great! I've got most of the elements on page one done. Here's a look at those. It's for the opening jogging scene in the National Mall. I went through a lot of different music while inking before landing on a glorious two hour loop of Eye Of Tiger! The inspiring song was perfect. I can't help but laugh every time I hear it because it reminds me of  Apollo Creed chanting "Eye of the Tiger" to a battered Rocky in Rocky III, which is a bit of ongoing gag for me (I often repeat it when I'm in a difficult part of video game). 

I'm hoping to have the first two pages inked so I can color them at the Winston-Salem Comic-Con next Saturday since I'll have my set up with laptop there. Come see why won't you?

And remember children, when things get rough: Eye of the Tiger! Eye of the Tiger! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Son of the Raiders of the Lost Con

So I did Jay and Eddie's Comic Show again and had similar results to last time, but a bit worse. Small crowd again. Having talked with other comic creators there, it seemed like we all had a bad day sales-wise and in the amount of people we saw come by our tables. 

Kev Lyerly and Rodney Traynham
I sold nothing. No hard feelings or regrets. I came in with no expectations, didn't pay a lot for the table and was simply too tired to care. I haven't had a lot of sleep...for a very long time, but the last week has been especially bad with no time to recoup. So I was just kind of content to sit there trading quips with my neighboring artist and getting the pencils done on page two of issue five (which I hadn't worked on since my last con!). We had music from a live DJ and overall, it was an enjoyable way to spend five hours (should have been six, but everyone packed up an hour early).

Not sure why the crowd was so low. It was ungodly hot today, and even indoors it got warm at times. Come for the comics, stay for the humidity! There was a big anime con elsewhere in the state happening at the same time, so I'm not sure if that drew off some of the crowd.

My comic creator neighbors on my right were writer Rodney Traynham and artist Kev Lyerly who do a slice of life drama/comedy comic called The Adventures of Teague, Retail Specialist.  Kev is also head of the Scatter Pencil Society and does the  Behind the Pencils Podcast.

Nathan Long and  Robert Guetrin
On my other side once again was artist Nathan Long and his co-writer Robert Guetrin of Salem Rock Comics who do the horror/suspense anthology Terrable Tales (don't let the name fool you, the tales are actually pretty good). Along with their comic and prints, they had some old comics and figures and they were selling, so I decided to buy a Gamera figure and give him a loving home (you can never have too many figures of a giant, flame-breathing turtle.) 

Bringing old stuff you want to get rid of seemed to get a few sales for my neighbors, so I may be trying that at a future con. 

After the con I had dinner with several Scattered Society members at Golden Corral, where they discussed the con and various ideas on things for the group to do.

Next up is Winston-Salem Comic Con on Sept 5. I'll probably post about why my comic production has been on hold before then and (hopefully) be posting some actual freaking progress on issue five too. But right now it's pouring rain and I'm very tired, so I'm going to try and get some sleep. 

Aww, Psychoboy has a pet!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Jay and Eddies Comic Show THIS Saturday and other con announcements!

First off, I'll be set up at Jay and Eddie's Comic Book Show on  Saturday, July 18th, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Winston-Salem Hotel and Spa, 3050 University Parkway! Come see me and get print copies of the first four issues of College Follies! Admission is $3 and kids 10 and under get in free.

I'll also be at Winston-Salem Comic-Con on September 5th, at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex, 421 W. 27th Street, Gate 9 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $2.

Issue five is still super delayed. I'll probably post about that soon, but it's definitely be seeing it before 2016 but I do plan on finishing it. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Winston-Salem Comicon Strikes Again

So I had my booth at Winston-Salem Comicon again. Definitely a bigger crowd with more new faces than the con from a month ago. It was pretty decent.

Lots of great talent there. I was beside several artists sharing a table. One was wOlly (William Wacllace), a talented artist from Charlotte who does a comic called Legend of the Black Pandas and does a lot of freelance work. The other was artist Nathan Long and his co-writer Robert Guetrin of Salem Rock Comics who have their owm comic horror/suspense Terrable Tales. Though only in high school, Nathan  already has a published comic, inks like a pro (by hand with a brush while at a convention!) and will be appearing at Burke Street Comics for Free Comic Book Day next Saturday!

I forgot to take pictures of everyone, but Nathan is a big College Follies fan  and sent me this amazing piece of fan art on Facebook recently with his character meeting Psychoboy, so here you go...

That's totally going in the letter column for issue five (which will be coming out at some point before you die). I don't have a next con planned yet. There should be a Winston-Salem Comic Con in the Fall, but I'll post about that when it gets closer to the time. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Raiders of the Lost Con

With that title, I really wish I'd gotten a shot of the guy dressed as Indiana Jones. Anyway. so I did Jay and Eddie's Comicshow again. A well put together show like usual.  We actually had a bigger space this time at a new location. There was great mix of local talent with many comic and collectible vendors. Heck, we even had Ecto 1 parked outside from the Carolina Ghostbusters and an actress from this season of Walking Dead who had a table.

All we seemed to be lacking were attendees. I was working on a page (while struggling to stay awake, I was pretty beat), but almost every attendee I saw I'd seen at numerous conventions before. A wider audience with new faces just didn't seem to pop up and regulars didn't seem to appear in numbers as large as I expected. The creators I talked to seemed to have a slow day. Vendors probably had a better time of it, since attendees tended to head towards them.

I had a banner across the front of my table and my tall banner to the ceiling and I still felt invisible. I'm not why more people didn't come out. It did suddenly turn bitter cold again, so maybe the weather deterred people, and...I don't know maybe people have something against going to conventions in March. Maybe they're giving up pop culture for Lent or something, I don't know.

Anyway, hope they get a bigger response next time because it certainly deserves it. I'm thankful for the few interactions I had (I had some fun showing my Power Ranger parody issue to some kids) and sales I got. And I did get pencils done on the first page of issue five. I'll try to ink it today. I hope I'm feeling a bit more chipper at the next convention, which is only a month away!

Monday, March 23, 2015

How Not to Greet a President! Issue Five's Cover is Done!

The regular cover for issue five is done! I actually started the House of Cards parody variant cover back in November at NC Comicon and finished it in January after taking a holiday break. Unfortunately, my day job has been so bad since then, it's kept me from working on the comic, so this is the first thing I've created in months. The long hiatus didn't make it any easier, but the results are still solid.

No story where Psychoboy becomes a congressman would be complete without him meeting Obama. So obviously that had to be on the cover, joining the long line of Obama covers in comics. I created the whole cover in one weekend.

I went around and around on how to make Obama look right in the art style of the series and eventually landed on a version that influenced by how artists at Archie drew him in several issues of their comics. Actually their style fits College Follies pretty well (Hm, Jughead meets Psychoboy would be epic!). 

I wanted this to be a throwback cover to old 60s comics with tons of narration on the cover, back when Stan Lee would have entire sales pitches on the cover begging you to buy the damn thing. I decided to go with a patriotic theme behind the narration, similar to Psychoboy's campaign materials on electpsychoboy.com and on social media. 

Oh, and by the way, the cover is actually really tame compared to the "Psycho meets Obama" gag in the story. 

Anyway, next weekend I'll be penciling the first page while I'm at Jay and Eddies Comic Convention

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Issue Five Cover Inked...Epic Fist Bump Attempt!

Did pencils and inks for the regular cover on College Follies #5 ,which has Psychoboy meeting President Obama. I'm going to wrap it up today, so I'll have it done for the convention next week. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Issue Five Script is Done!

So the script for issue five is done. It was a lot of fun to finally type up the conclusion of Psychoboy's congressional odyssey. I've had the story in my head since I did issue four last year. It feels good to finally have all that dialog on paper. 

One thing I can never judge until I write is how long the story is. This one ended up being 16 pages. The good news is it keeps printing costs in the range where I can still charge $3 for the print edition, The bad news is a story of this length works against me getting it out this year. It'll be pretty tight but we'll see how long it takes, even with work eating up most of my time and energy. 

I'll be easing back into, figuring out how to get back into it and work comic production into my life now. So be patient and I'll keep you posted on how things go.  I'll probably try to get the cover and inside cover done in the next week or so before Jay and Eddie's Comic Convention on March 28.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Working on the script for Issue Five

Currently working on the script to issue five. It's going slowly, a few pages at a time. 

I planned to start back on the comic in January after a holiday break, but things have gotten crazy at my day job in ways I never thought possible. I simply haven't had the time to work on it during the weekdays, and I just haven't had much left in me to give on the weekends. I really wanted several evenings a week to work on it, but that's not happening anymore. I'm just going to have to adjust, and start working on it slowly, painfully, a little at a time in those few stolen hours I get. 

It's going to take awhile, but it's going to get done at some point in the year. Writing the first six pages of the script was the first time I've truly smiled this year.  

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015 Convention Announcements!

Alright, so there's been a huge delay in production on issue five, due to complications in my personal life. I'll say more about that in my next post, but regardless of what I'm able to produce, I will definitely, 100% be attending two cons in the next two months. I'll be selling print copies of the regular and variant editions of the first four issues and some other goodies at both.

So first of all, I'll be at Jay and Eddie's Comic Show on Saturday, March 28 at the Winston-Salem Hotel and Spa (formally Ramada Inn North), 3050 University Parkway in Winston-Salem, NC. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3. It's been a smaller show in the past, but a really good one with a lot of good comics, collectibles and creators there.

Then on Saturday April 25, I'll be at the Winston-Salem Comic Con at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex, 421 W. 27th Street, Gate 9 in Winston-Salem (duh!). It runs from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. and admission is $2. This is a sizable one day con that keeps getting bigger. They'll be tons of creators and comics-- they even added panels last time!

Both are great cons, I hope to see you guys there! And I'm going to slowly get back into making issue five soon, Psychoboy's starting to feel neglected. More updates on that soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The College Follies #5 House of Psycho Variant Cover!

So after taking a month off from working on the series in any way, I'm back with the variant cover for issue five! And, yes, I will go ahead and announce that issue five, entitled "Psychoboy Went to Washington" is the conclusion of Psychoboy's epic Congressional saga. As you can probably guess, he was elected in issue four and we now get to see him take to the hallowed halls of the House of Representatives to put all his empty campaign promises of inaction into reality!

The variant cover below was penciled and inked at the NC Comicon in November as passersby looked on. I've been too busy to touch it since then, so I colored and lettered it last night. Obviously, the variant is a homage to the amazing Netflix series House of Cards with Psychoboy in place of its main villain (or is that hero?) Rep. Frank Underwood. Though not a parody of any one movie, show or real life event, issue five will have it's share of jokes lampooning political melodramas including House of Cards, Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Captain America: Winter Solder and most outlandish of all: Senator Ted Cruz!

Work on the regular cover and script will begin soon!