Friday, September 30, 2011

Graphic Novel Timesheet

Sorry for all the craziness everyone. It's been a very silly week in the studio. Total pandemonium. Moments ago, I turned in the samples for that new job audition (everyone cross your fingers!) The art director and the publishers will have a meeting tomorrow to see if I'm the right artist for the job. I'll let you know how it goes.

I am a man without a sleep country. I don't know when I'm supposed to sleep (or eat.) This week I've been using a horrible, cobbled-together, two-shift sleep schedule. 2am to 6am, then 5pm to 8pm. I think they call it "Polyphasic Sleep," I don't think it works. I feel crazy all day.

This should all be remedied by next week. We'll jump back into Princess Batman like the last two weeks never happened. I've also got a fun spooky Halloween story planned.

We'll have a fresh start Monday. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy these papers. This my graphic novel project bible. The timesheet, (remember, I was into that timer app.) with columns for lettering, inking and coloring. And the ever important page cross-off chart (the last row seems to have been cut off by the scanner.) Anyway, this documents the times for each page (starting at page 40) in graphic novel #2. Kind of interesting, if you are into charts and time trials for graphic novel pages. (super boring if you aren't.)

See you Monday!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bad Timing

Boy oh boy, has the disorientation set in.

My body is angry and confused. Here's a long tale of life in the freelance illustration game. If you like that sort of thing, read on. Here's what happened:

I wrapped the book on Monday. I delivered it and waited for confirmation that the files were where they should be. When I heard they were safely delivered, I brushed my teeth and dove into bed like an Olympic diver.

Forty minutes after falling asleep, my phone rang. It was my illustrator's rep calling about a possible job--a fairly lucrative job. They wanted to see samples. Luckily, I had some samples ready to go. I sent those files (waited for confirmation again.) And a few hours later was back in bed--at that point I was pushing into the 30-hour zone. I was wiped out, but happy, because the big job was done, and an interesting new job was possibly opening up.

I got a few good hours of sleep then popped up at 10 pm on Monday, ready to roll. But, as you saw in yesterday's post, I decided it was time to reset the clock. From about 1 am on, I forced myself to bed, but since I was used to being awake at that time, I couldn't sleep. At all.

Tuesday morning, I felt okay. My rep called and said the job was looking good, but the client needed a new, specific illustration sample in the format of the project--and they needed it ASAP. Fine with me, I was feeling alright. By the time the client called with the info on the new piece, I was starting to flag. I got the specifics, and jumped back in the illustration saddle. I had nothing. The piece was fairly simple, an the possible job was a VERY nice-can't refuse-type of offer. But I had burned through all my illustration juice.

I tried to push through. By now the exhaustion was really hitting me hard. I had done several attempts at sketches but nothing was working. Oh, also, today was the last chance to get our business taxes in for last year, so my wife was running around trying to pin down all of our business expenses from last year. ALSO, this week is parent teacher conference, so the kids are home at noon every day.

Around 5 pm today, I took a two hour nap on a bean bag. I'm now back in my nightshift mode and feeling fairly awake, just tired and confused. The good news is, I got my drawing mojo back, and am about a third of the way through this illustration sample (due tomorrow--I hope I get it!)

Long story short. No Princess Batman tonight. Although, I think I hallucinated a Princess Batman a few hours back.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hard Reset

Oh boy. Folks, I'm going to need another day to get back into the groove.

I finished the books, now I need to reset my sleep schedule. The nightshift schedule worked WONDERS, I couldn't have finished on time without it. But now it's time to go back to the dayshift.

Disorientation, here I come!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Graphic Novel is a Wrap!

Hey everybody, I'm happy to announce I finished my big graphic novel today! On deadline! (the extended deadline, anyway.) Two complete graphic novels in five months. That's an all time record for me--one I hope I never have to beat!

The week off from blogging was extremely helpful. We'll get back into the groove tomorrow. Batman Princess ON!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Princess BATMAN Wallpaper and Week Zero

Princess BATMAN is really shaping up. I think we are closing in on that elusive final design.


...this is week zero on my big graphic novel deadline. I can't do Princess BATMAN (or anything, really) on week zero. The deadline is a week from today, Monday the 26th. I have 20+ pages to go. I'm on lockdown-crunch-time.

I leave you with this parting gift to hold you over and keep P.B. on your mind:

It's the official Princess BATMAN desktop wallpaper! Tile it up so the princesses are tiny--so CUTE! You could tile it up and print it out as wrapping paper, or REAL wallpaper! The possibilities are endless with Princess BATMAN!

I'll be back next Monday (better make that Tuesday, I need a day off) with more Princess designs, and exciting anecdotes from my week zero adventures.

See you on the other side! Shutting down internet connection in 3...2...1...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Princess BATMAN! 4

It's time to see these outfits in action. Here are the favorite combos, but in an action pose!

I know there were some cape fans out there, but I'm afraid I have to veto the cape. She has to have a dress, and a cape + dress is too much (think of the fabric costs!) I mean, a dress is a cape for your butt, right? --wait, that was good. Let me re-type that in bold caps:

"A dress is a cape for your butt."
--Nathan Hale

That's going on my short list of quotes for my headstone.

E.2 has the minimized crown-under-mask, and a little highlight at the waist.

G.2's dress is a very different in action. The long middle flap section is problematic. Although Chun Li from Street Fighter doesn't mind the long front flap. I like the gray leggings, they give her a dancer vibe.

B.2 has some die-hard supporters. It's got a little Sailor Moon action going on. For this version, I've cut the hair and put in the pirate tie.

D.2 has the suggested super-hero mask with a crown built-in. Does Wonder Woman have that? Reminds me a little of Wonder Woman.

Lets hear your favorites! The elements in these four are the semi-finalists, we'll cut these down to two, then the final costume will be chosen!

Have a good weekend!

By the way, would somebody PLEASE leave a comment on my Wednesday post. Do you hear that whistling sound? That's the wind blowing through the zero in the "0 comments" on that post. Based on comments, Princess BATMAN is 33 times more popular than American History. Please, show some love. For bonus points, can anyone guess the historical event that is happening on that sample page?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Princess BATMAN! 3

Okay, round 2 of the Princess:

E. and G. are based on your suggestions and likes from round 1. Puffy sleeves, the strap the B. mask, pigtails etc. F. and H. are wild cards, just to keep things interesting.

F's long sleeves (dagged sleeves? Is that what they call those?) can be found on villains, but never on good guys. Why is that? They look like fun. Think of the stuff you could hide in there.

H. has a ninja mask. There is something fun about not seeing her mouth. I toned the crown down. overall. I like a slimmer, less chunky tiara. I mean, if she's a princess in disguise, wouldn't the tiara be a dead give away? We have to keep the tiara, but it should be subtle. I like the ninja tiara, where you only see part of it through the mask.

I like how all-black E is, so stealthy. (and with new frilled cuffs.)

Have at it, and feel free to say you like aspects from A-D better.

Now back to today's 2.75 pages!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Collating Princess BATMAN input...

Holy mackerel! There was so much input for the first round of Princess BATMAN concept art! Feel free to add more comments today, but as it stands now:
  • D seems to have the most overall appeal
  • Pigtails are the favorite hairstyle, with the white hair of C coming in second
  • B has the mask of choice
  • The puffy sleeves of C are well-liked
  • Nobody likes A's crown (it is kinda Sauron-y)
Thanks for the input. I've never designed by large committee before, this will be a fun experiment. Round two, using your feedback, will come tomorrow. It would have come today, but I was running behind on my graphic novel page count.

Here is a recent page. I've got twelve days to my deadline, and 33 pages like this to go. Which means I need to finish exactly 2.75 pages a day.

The sketches are already complete, they look like this:

I do the lettering (all hand-lettered, much more organic and in sync with the line-work than digital, font lettering, I think.) I ink the drawing (while making a few cuts and changes--you may spot a few) then I add the tone layer. I'm also doing a single color pass that, due to the spot-color printing process, doesn't read as a post-able jpeg. I've done about 210 pages like this since May. It has been a KILLER workload. But the end is in sight!

I don't think I've ever been more excited for a project, though. I can't wait for these books to arrive on shelves next year. Can't wait!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Princess BATMAN! 2

Okay, now I'm sorta fixated on this Princess BATMAN concept.

I did some high-speed concept costumes for PB. What do you like? Mix and match. I like the pugnacious helmet on A, and the sturdy leggings on D.

Curse those neighbor kids, this is fun.

A princess-based superhero has to wear a dress, right? Princesses = dresses. Short or long, I think she has to wear the dress. I also made her a cute kid. Because the internet is already full of grown-up lady-BATMANs. Google it you'll see (on second thought, maybe don't.)

I like the thought that she's a fairy-land superhero. Not a gritty, urban crime fighter, but a fairy tale princess with a secret superhero identity.

She's BATMAN's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother from fairy tale country. Yeah, that's it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Princess BATMAN!

I don't have time to mess around drawing PRINCESS BATMAN for the neighbor kids.

But if I might go like this:

Still figuring out what a PRINCESS BATMAN would look like. I think she should be more PRINCESS, less BATMAN--I don't want to use any of BATMAN's signature gear (don't want to get sued if this idea has legs...) (I mean, I don't want the neighbor kids to get sued...yeah, that's it.)

Here come the BATMAN PRINCESS concept sketches. I'll have to work on that name... PRINCESS MANBAT maybe. PRINCESS BATH-MAT!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Neighbor Kids 4

And there you have it. The story of the neighbor kids. Pretty funny huh? I never, ever draw licensed characters, but the analogy was just too spot-on to pass up.

What do you think? Should I grant their wish? Should I draw PRINCESS BATMAN?

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Neighbor Kids 1

It's a brand new story! Good grief--it's been a long time since I've put myself into one of these comics.

Note to Neighbors: (if you see this comic) This is all for fun--these kids are mostly fictional.

Friday, September 2, 2011

More Turvil Dog

I've got a fever. And the only thing that can cure it is more Turvil Dog! Here's a view from inside the new banner.

Have a great weekend. Long weekend--Monday's a holiday. Be back after Labor Day.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Banner Part 2

Somebody's at the window.

I like this little guy. He's like a corndog/turtle/devil--a Corturvil!

That sounds like a medication. Restless-leg-syndrome? Ask your doctor if Corturvil is right for you.

How about Turvil Dog? Yeah, that's better, he's a Turvil Dog.

Holy smokes! The site redesign is complete! Now I have to figure out what to do next. Last year at this time I was doing "Sgt. Snookums Patrol Cat"--possibly the best story I've ever done on the blog. I'll have to come up with something good.