Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Making Calabrese issue 2, part 1: the rough stage...

So I thought I'd give you guys the inside scoop on how I work when it comes to making a comic book! It's not really that exciting but here it goes. 
The first step is getting the script. This time I haven't written it. Instead I'm working from a script by the comic book genius Eric M Esquival, you may have read some of his work on Thor: Unkillable Thunder Christ, Blackest Terror, The Legend of Oz: Wicked West, Adventure Time or even Calabrese issue 1. Anyway once I get the script I give it a read through and start sketching up the characters. In this book the main characters are based on actual people: the worlds greatest horror rock band ™ Calabrese. So I start in on drawing those guys since that will give me a bit of a feel for the book.
Sometimes a character is hard to get a grip on. Bobby in this case so I'll spend some time playing with that character trying to nail down a look for him. Still not 1000% happy with his design...

Once I get some of the characters and stuff done I go back through the script and quickly thumbnail the entire book. These thumbnails are really rough. basically its just something that lets me get positions of characters down, a feel of what the book will look like when it's done. These thumbnails are tiny, no room for text at all but I have to block in areas where I think the text will go. I'm pretty sure most people would have a hard time reading these thumbnails but to me they're the spine of the art that's going to come later.
Thumbnails: lots of tiny hard to read pictures.
After I've finished roughing out the book I scan in all the thumbnails. Once they're scanned I print them out at roughly 8.5" X 11", a decent size to work with. This is the stage where if someone were to see what I was working on they'd see something that looks like a comic book. I take these blown up thumbnails and begin the task of actually drawing the comic book. I'm working with a Prismacolor Col-Erase violet pencil. Why? I don't know its just the pencil I tend to use when doing my art. Some times I'll use a mechanical pencil with B-hardness graphite or another color of Col-Erase (usually tuscon red). What ever tool I'm using its got to be dark enough that it over powers the cyan that I've printed the blown up thumbnails in.

Blown up thumbnails being refined with tighter pencils.
Better look at the pencils for page 1
better look at the pencils for page 2
During this stage I'll also go back and design some other characters, props, etc. Just so I have a break from the hard part of drawing comic pages. Designing stuff can be more fun than the actual comic page drawing part. Especially when the stuff you've got to design is monsters.
Once I finish this stage of penciling, I'll scan everything and blow them up to 11" X 17" and print those out again. From there I might have to tighten up the pencils, adding details that were too small to draw at this stage, maybe redraw some things, then it's time to ink.
I'll show you those stages in the future.
Until next time...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Strangest E-mail I've Ever Received: A True Tale of Mystery and the Macabre

I know usually this blog is full of creepy monster drawings and discussions of horror movies or other cool things like that, however today I received a strange e-mail. An e-mail from a complete stranger. An e-mail with a subject line that absolutely screamed don't bother reading this.
Titled "You are not going to believe this – not spam" I was completely convinced I was going to believe it and it was totally a piece of E-mail spam. I was completely wrong. The e-mail contained a strange tale from a man I had never known. A man involved in an important archeological dig in the wilds of New Mexico. A dig that would prove what many thought legend was, in fact, truth. This man, a man of letters not faith, was soon to under go an experience that can not be explained!
What you are about to read is the ACTUAL e-mail sent to me, May 8, 2014. The names of people and institutions involved have been removed to protect the innocent:


So first off, let me tell you a bit about myself.  I have two college diplomas (one in film and one in Multi-media) and have a BSc with a double major in Biology and Psychology.  I'm not religious or believe in many things that I cannot see but quantum mechanics has been teaching me anything is possible.  For the most part - I'm pretty sane and a skeptic. You may have heard a couple weeks ago a they dug up some ET cartridges in Alamagordo.  I was there.  I've attached a pic of myself at the dig.

I flew to El Paso from Ottawa on the 23rd, rented a car and drove around New Mexico for a couple days before the dig for some adventure.  It was an awesome couple days.  I ended up in a place called Carlsbad and had to drive to Alamogordo from there, this road took me through the mountains.  Now, I am also a musician and collect rare musical instruments - so I listen to absolutely everything.  As I came around one of the mountains, I lost the radio signal of the classic rock station I was listening to and when the radio came back it was playing another station's music - happens all the time.  It seemed like the perfect thing to listen too for this part of the drive so I kept it on and really got into it.  I took some video so I could shazam the song later and buy it on itunes.  

Here is the actual video I took

Here is the tune

So ever since this drive to go dig up the ET cartridges I have been listening to this album over and over.  When I find something I like I usually obsess over it for a time.  So, this is where things get weird...  I get these dreams where my wife is sleeping with another guy and they drive me nuts, I'm always trying to figure out who the hell this guy is ( its all a dream).  Well, last night I got a name... Andrew Barr.  Now, I have never heard the name before and don't believe I have read the name anywhere and I apologize if you are a popular artist.  As I work in an art field and many of my good friends (and employees) are illustrators, I have never come across your work or your name.  So when I awoke this morning I thought i would Google the name for shits and giggles - I was groggy as hell and just started clicking links that came up on my Iphone and I came across your ET illustration.  Pardon the language, but its a pretty fucking crazy coincidence.  Here I am listening to this Sephardic music pretty much non stop ever since the ET dig, get your name from a dream and it brings me to a Jewish ET.  Absolutley, utterly bizarre.  

Just thought I would share.

PS.  I like your stuff and might buy a print

PS. no, you can not meet my wife.

My response:
I have been experimenting with black magic in order to get my name and art out into the collective unconscious recently, these results are not quite what I was hoping for. Your dream version of me is behaving completely out of character compared to the real me, I'll have to breakdown that spell to see where it's going wrong. It's completely the not the message I was hoping to have hitting peoples minds. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Pretty cool that you guys actually found the E.T.s was there anything else in the pit? You know you weren't supposed to disturb what was buried there.

your pal,

P.S. tell your wife I said "Hi!"

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