Page in Progress

Yo.

Not a whole lot going on this week. Just busy as always. Here’s a link to this week’s news strips.

Also, here is the first page of Shadow of a Doubt in progress:

Shadow, page 1 (wip)

I’m liking it so far, but haven’t found a whole lot of time this week to work on it. More to come soon.

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Apologies

Hey everyone.

I know it’s been a lil while, and I left things on a bit of a cliffhanger. So the first thing I want to do is apologize for the silence. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed between work and school and pretty much whenever I get a free moment, I want to rest. I am going to try my hardest to get back to my regular posts. It being my last year at college, things are bound to get a lil hectic from time to time.

The announcement I wanted to make last post, the one I wanted to be sure about (and also one of the reasons I’ve been so busy) is that I know work freelance for State News, MSU’s newspaper, doing comic strips twice a week. This is something I’ve been wanting to do since my freshman year, and I’m super excited about it. The content of the strips ranges from political to school-related things, so things will change up a bit. My process for these strips have so far been entirely digital, using photoshop working out of a comics page template I’ve created. You can find some of the strips I’ve done so far here. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have paid work for something I love to do. Are political strips the direction I want to take my work? Honestly, no it isn’t. I consider this a big stepping stone that gets me closer to the position I need to be in to tell the kinds of stories I want to tell. The only issue is this is the 3rd job I’m currently working, and I may be wearing myself out a bit, which is why there hasn’t been a whole lot of content recently, but my schedule is stabilizing and I’m getting used to everything (and still hard at work on my thesis).

I also finally invested in a professional-grade all-in-one printer and I’ve been experimenting with a hybrid digital/traditional method (as outlined in Freddie Williams II book, DC Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics), in which one would make their layouts and roughs digitally in photoshop, print them on bristol board, and then pencil traditionally (inks are either traditional or digital). I feel like with this way, I can keep the energy and control of my pencils and give it a more impactful quality that I feel I can’t yet accomplish digitally at my current level. That, and I just like drawing on paper. It has a much more personal feel to it when I’m putting my pencil to paper. I will probably continue learning how to brush ink and apply that to my comics. Last night I ran a few test prints and I think I can adopt this process well and make it work for me. I’ve started the roughs of Shadow of a Doubt, which is a remake of an older comic of mine. So expect details on that later. I will also update you all on the progress of my thesis as I get more into that as well.

That’s all for now, and again, I apologies to everyone who has followed me for the silence. The apartment is set up, I’m knee-deep into the semester and work, and I’m starting to refocus my efforts on what I love to do most again: comics.

Guess who’s back?

Yo, hope everyone has been doing well these days. I apologize for the silence, but these last few weeks have been pretty hectic. I’ve been moving, looking for jobs, training as a cook at my cafeteria job, and more moving (which I really dislike, if you didn’t know). It’s been both stressful and rewarding, and I’ve been learning a lot as I go. I’ll show off the apartment once we’re done cleaning up and organizing and such. I’m worn the hell out, but excited to be back in the fray at school and getting more ground covered on my thesis.

Also, I’m pretty sure I will be resuming regular updates on this site again starting with this post. I do have a couple of potentially big announcements to make…but I can’t actually talk about those til next week. I don’t want to jinx it yet, not until I’m sure what’s up. I will say that it involves my comics career, though, and taking a step in that direction. I will also regularly start posting art. I shouldn’t show anything I’ve been working on just yet, so I ask for a little more patience and trust that when I say I’ve been working hard the last few weeks, I have been.

Stay tuned til next time, and peace.

Busy weeks

Yo, gonna be busy for the next week or 2 moving in and getting ready for the next semester at MSU. I’ll be sure to update when I can, but it’ll be much better once things become stable. Peace until next time.

Kung-fu, Math Final Boss and Big Changes

As a society, we’ve come to associate the term kung fu with Chinese martial arts and systems of fighting. This association is only half-true. Of course, many branches and styles of martial arts fall under the term “kung fu”, but that term isn’t limited to that. Kung fu is any ability achieved or tempered through hard work, patience and practice. ANY skill.  With that being said, it’s been helpful for me to apply that mind to my art, to explore the idea of kung fu in my creative endeavors. I think it’s interesting to broaden the scope of what it means to practice kung fu in that way.

 

I’ve been applying kung fu to a weaker area of my knowledge when it comes to school, and that area is math. Yeah, I kinda hate it. With that being said, today’s post won’t be very meaty due to studying for my math final that’s next week (I won’t ever have to take math again after this, thank goodness). I haven’t really been too focused on drawing or writing this weak because of that and dealing with the growing anxiety inherent in exam weeks).

 

These next couple of weeks I’m going to be dealing with a lot of big changes, so I will post as much as I can, and announce beforehand if I can’t post something for a given week. I’m getting ready to move into my first apartment in the next 2 weeks with my girlfriend. I turned 22 today. What the hell. 22. Maybe it’s because of that and the packing and the moving, but it feels like I’m on the cusp of a huge change in my life beyond just physical. I don’t know, I get this strange sensation that a growth is about to take place. Maybe I’m about to level-up in my life? I hope so. I think I’m ready to break some of my more destructive habits and attitudes. Here’s to growth! I have work training the week of the move, and then actual work afterwards, and then the semester starts. I hope I can find the strength to hit the ground running through all this.

 

Well like I said, I will try to keep consistent in my weekly posts, but it will be hectic until my schedule can stabilize. Til next time, peace.

Writing Madness and Living Brushes

So for the past week, I’ve been neck-deep in writing and plotting a few different projects. Some are for fun while some are for business. One is an updated version of my short wordless comic (the original can be found here), which I’m remaking for fun/practice and to really see how I’ve developed in the last 2 years. One is a short story I’m developing  called Pagoda, about a soldier who gets trapped in a legendary tower in a search for a great power (more on that soon). The last and most pressing comics project is my senior thesis comic, called Limit Break: Breaching Insular Cultural Representations in Comics. The point of the thesis is to examine traits commonly associated with with different ethnicities and challenge them. What I am against is restrictive expectations triggered by how the reader responds to a character’s racial identity. For instance, character A should be this way because they’re -insert race here-. I think these expectations need to be discussed, and what we accept expanded to include a wider range of identities. To read more about this project, I refer you to this post here. That one is a year-long project and is meant to cap off my college experience. 

A note about some of these links and links on previous posts: for those who don’t know, I interned at Elephant Eater Comics this summer and actually started my Friday posts on that website, and all of my posts have been collected on this one. I was lookin a little rough in that photo, though…

Also, all this scripting and planning has my drawing hand ache for something to do, so I decided to try traditional brush inking for the first time at the behest of my friend Lorraine. Here is the results of my first brush ink sketch:

I think I love brush inking.

I think I love brush inking. I think this sketch of Cloud from Final Fantasy VII does as well.

…so I think i’m going to be brush inking a whole lot more. I try to keep dynamic and energetic pencils, and I think using the brush will activate those pencil lines greatly and push my work further. It just feels so alive, I love it! It’s a difficult art to master, but it’ll be worth it and a lot more effective than my use of pens, in my opinion. We’ll see. I’ll be testing my brush against another recent sketch:

Started getting into Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike so...yeah.

Started getting into Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike so…yeah. Ryu, naturally.

So I’m feeling pretty good about my progress and productivity as of late.

One last thing: A shout out to my boy Chaz Ortega for spotlighting me on his artist collective site, Robot Empire. I compel you to check out the talent and the awesome  contained within that page.

Peace.