Friday, June 26, 2009

Roasted Almonds

I promised a teaser picture, and a teaser picture you shall have! This is one of the stories I came up with for the next anthology pack, and will more than likely be in the next edition. It's the first of a new character I've come up with named Her Majesty's Distinguished Sir Madison Redgrave-Blake; DDS.

Yes, that's his full name/title.

Jeff Martin of is doing the artwork for it, and after seeing his thumbnails for the remaining pages, I'm quite excited for the rest of you. I'm rather pleased with the story as well, and we may even expand this into something larger than 5 pages in an anthology. Time will tell.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fame is Relative

So, this post is for Fiona :P Inside joke, so there ya go XD

Although, she did give me the idea for today's post. I've got a page from the next Anthology for the Alberta Comic Group that I'll put up later, but I wanted to talk about something else first:


Now, this is something that I feel is highly subjective, and entirely relative. Of course, I've met 'famous' people before...but what qualifies? When I was a kid, I was on the Ranger Charlie and Rosco Show on local channel KSTW 11. I was -stoked- not only was I going to be on TV (sorta) but I was gonna meet someone FAMOUS.

I was about 10-12 at the time, and I knew the raccoon was a guy with a puppet. Anyway, it was even cooler because not only did I get to sit quietly while they taped the show (the kids of the 'audience' actually sat around the cabin in the stage like a campfire) and watch cartoons during the breaks, but I got juice and a cookie. And for a kid who's mom was stingy when it came to treats, that was great...but the best part was I actually got to be ON Television in a 'speaking role' because I got to ask the guest that day a question.

I was so damn proud of myself, and sadly no one thought to tape it, but for a short time, I was famous to all my friends. Then the next week I was a nobody again :P

So, I guess I got a taste for being in the spotlight, and craved more. So I guess you could say my interest in acting, directing (for a short stint in high school...I actually won an award for Best Director at one competition I couldn't even go to), and finally writing was born from that singular moment, but really all I guess I wanted was some recognition for my works and what I've done and am going to do. Which sort of brings me to my initial point: Fame is relative. What I'm trying to achieve has so many levels, and is different to every person, so have I already achieved it?

Case in point: Fiona Staples is a comic artist. And not to kiss up or anything, but she's in my top five of all time favorites, because I've seen her art grow in the short time I've been following her work, and it's really developed a unique flavor and style that you can immediately identify as hers. It's expressive without being overt. And I love the almost rough quality of her line work (But then I've always been a sucker for sketchy lines), but also the fact that it looks clean and crisp. To ME, Fiona is famous; she's been published not only by DC, but Marvel as well. She has a new monthly book coming out in July where she's the principal artist...and last year she did a stint as a fill in artist for the entire run of the Secret History of the Authority: Jack Hawksmoor.

I know Fiona, but only in passing. I've met her in person twice now, and each time I've barely gotten out a Hi and an explanation of what I'd like her to sketch (Both times were at Free Comic Book Day) because to me, I'm talking to a celebrity, and I get a little self-conscious and shy.

The thing is, she's famous for my perceived notions (and I'm sure others share them) so by that token...aren't I already famous by my own definition? I haven't been published by any major company, but I'm getting published in a small scale...I used to run a mildly successful web comic (500+ unique hits a day...not bad bask in 2003) and made a lot of to some degree, I'm kind of like Fiona in terms of fame. I'm known outside my circle of friends and family, and people are fond of my work.

So I've kinda already achieved I just need to expand it. I've rambled, but the core of the idea is there: I've already sort of gotten to where I wanted to be, some 16-18 years ago when I was just a kid on a local TV show. I've got people who know me specifically for my work, even if I've dropped out of doing regular work in the past few years. Now I just need to focus on staying the course and increasing that notion of 'fame'...because as long as I have one fan out there, this is all worth it.

And maybe next year I'll say more than 'Hi, can you please draw Commissioner Gordon' to Fiona :P

Friday, June 19, 2009

Alberta Comic Group

Another Meeting!

I probably should've posted a little since last time, but personal issues (sickness in the family) and other errata kept me from writing, let alone thinking about coming online to update the old blog.

At any rate, there was a second meeting this past Wednesday. Less people showed up (most had a schedule conflict) but it was still a solid evening for creativity. I brought along two new one shot ideas, and I got some really good ideas and feedback for both, and even found myself two artists (Well, two people interested in doing some character designs at least!) Once I have some stuff I'll show it off.

The best part was I feel I'm starting to really not only embrace being a writer for once, but I'm also getting a sense of self. One of my greatest weaknesses is the fact that I have little to no self confidence over my abilities. And as such, I usually stay very shy, quiet, and reserved, and do very little in the way of sharing my stuff...especially in person, and ESPECIALLY to people I barely know. Online it's a little different; I can post, and hide behind a glowing computer monitor. In person I have to anxiously await how they interpreted my stuff, and their thoughts on it.

The meeting was a sort of breakthrough for me. I not only showed people my stuff freely, but I was able to dialog about it and not stumble over my own thoughts (Which are quite jumbled). It was exciting, and really got me pumped.

I think I might be getting the hang of this whole 'writer' thing. Only took me a decade.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Time to write

Well, the meeting thing went rather well last night. I didn't really contribute much, but then everything I probably would have brought up was already discussed, so I chipped in with 'yeah, exactly' and 'Yes, that's what I was thinking' and felt like I was a contributing member of society.

Anyway, within the next few days there are going to be a few discussions about what format the book will be in (Standard comic size...7.25"x10.25" I believe, or Ashcan...5.25"x8.5") as well as an naming scheme.

The suggestions so far were to maybe call ourselves something over reaching, be it Dog Cannon (the previous venture much like this that sort of petered out) or something unique...and if we want to name all our comics 'X vol. 1' and so forth of some sort of continuous theme, like the Vicious Ambitious folks down in Calgary with their 'Juice' line...Pumpkin Juice (horror and halloween theme), Rocket Juice (Sci-Fi) and etc.

Personally, I'm a fan of the continuous idea, but I'm actually just happy to be involved. Hopefully this ends up staying strong (there were about 20 people there last night!) and remains focused.

As for me? I need to stay strong and focused as well. The next meeting is in 2 weeks time, and I better have a few ideas to pitch to artists there to see if I can find one, as well as have for the others to critique. One really nice thing is this isn't only a creative venture, but an opportunity to get fresh unbias eyes to look at our works.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A lot can happen in a month

Or not.

I'd be lying if I said I had some huge update for you all (yes, all three of you) who read this thing, but sadly I do not. What I -do- have is something interesting.

Because of the success of the Free Comic Book Day anthology (the one I posted about in my previous entries) we're all getting together tonight with some new people to discuss several things, chief of which is another anthology. Some of the other topics are how to help one another in our craft, and get our works out there.

Other than meeting and networking with new people, it should be fun just to get out and immerse myself in something like this. I usually end up with cold feet or am too shy to interact as much as I'd like, but I'm really trying to break out of that and start to view what I do as a serious career choice and do what I need to make it become more than a passing hobby when I have free time.

I'll let ya know how it went.