I call this guy “Wandering Rogue”.
Here’s a crow wearing a Victorian dress because…well, why not? Used the Pentel brush on this one with a few quick washes.
This one was super fast. I think I was going for a Victorian age puppet, then something weird happened with its arms.
Continuing on with the Victorian theme. Here’s an old timey clown.
A little behind posting these on my site. Here’s a quasi-Victorian alien with a ray gun.
This Inktober sketch is based on a Victorian dress. Some sort of winged beastie is morphing out of it. I might explore this idea with future doodles. I only used a Uni .38 pen on this, then did a few ink washes over the page. Inktober is a great opportunity to experiment with different styles. In future scribbles, I’ll work on combining the ballpoints and the brushes.
I’m a bit behind posting these to the website. Generally I whip these up as quick as I can then just post them around to social media. The name of the game is speed. Inktober is a great exercise to break away from whatever project I’m working on and do something random. Helps loosen the gunk around the creative gears.
Its that time of year again. Time to put aside twenty minutes a day and whip up something with pen and ink. I’ll post my Inktober doodles here as well as on social media. It really is a great excercise to refresh the creative engine.
As you can see, im going with a Victorian theme this year. I might not make everyday, but really speed is the key, so I should come up with at least a scribble.
Yep. Volume six is almost patched together. That means there’ll be some giveaways and deals on the past editions coming up. I’ll announce everything in the newsletter first. So if you haven’t signed up yet, drop your email in the hat and grab the free ebook while you’re at it.
There will be some Conjurers news in a bit too, as I’m in the process of finalizing the copy and laying out the first the novel. That will hopefully include a final, set in stone publication date. Stay tuned!
Another quick post about the free ebook. Hopefully everyone on the email list got the link to their free copy. I’m new to setting up this type of thing, so if you find any wrinkles, let me know. If you’re reading this and aren’t on the list and want the book, just sign up in the right side bar. Or, wait for the nifty, quasi-annoying pop up box.
If you enjoyed the ebook, please help spread the word. It’s not like you’re asking someone to sign up for a super-spammy email. I rarely send them out. When I do, it’s to announce new books, deals on current books or cool free stuff.
Speaking of which, there will be a volume two of “A Darker Shade of Plaid”. Free, of course, to everyone on the mailing list. It’ll take me a bit to collect the poems, shine ’em up a bit and pop on some scratchy doodles.
As always, feel free to let me know what you thought about the book, or any of the other books, or the strip, or the webcomic, or your thoughts on mice traveling to Mars. Drop me a line on social media or leave a comment here at the ol’ homestead.
So when I wanted some sort of incentive for people to subscribe to my newsletter, I came up with the idea of collecting a few of the more coherent poems. And here it is. Yours for simply grabbing my newsletter. I don’t send many, and when I do they are for announcing new books or book sales and such.
If enough of these strange bits fill a few more notebooks, I will put together another collection. And I’ll add in a helping of the single panel cartoons that litter the pages between the poems.
And that’s it. Drop your email in the subscription box and you’ll get a link to the ebook. Only a PDF for now. Once I have time to gussy up the internal workings of my email server, I’ll add the option of epub and mobi.
If you do snag a copy, let me know what you think in the comments or on facebook or twitter or send me a pigeon or smoke signals.
Right, in full disclosure, I’m a little biased. I’m a big fan of Lucas’ work. That said, he and Greg have made something special with “Dream Jumper”. My initial reaction after reading it the first time was the craving for more. I want more of this world and, more importantly, these characters. That’s where this dynamic duo really rocked. They hook you right away on the main characters. So many times I’ve read graphic novels that use worn out, on the nose, horrifically obvious tools to get you to like the people in the story.
You know what I’m talking about, the literal “save the cat from the tree” scene, that has proliferated graphic novels and movies alike. They rarely have the intended effect of making the reader go “awwww!” with glassy, anime eyes. Instead, they jolt you right out of the story, ruining the illusion. Not in “Dream Jumper”. Again, I won’t mention specifics of some of these subtleties, but they’re there and they put you right next to the hero. And off you go.
I guess my only complaint is that it wasn’t enough. I wanted more, and thankfully, more is coming. So, Lucas, if you’re reading this, stop! Get back to work!
P.S. Sophie had one complaint after reading it: The paper was not bacon flavor.
Indeed, I have self published another volume. You can get the kindle or print version by visiting the “My Books” page. As you can tell, I went with a Bruce Lee tribute theme this time. Also, you may have noticed the newsletter signup field over there on the right. I’ve decided to have a special little list that will offer news and some special deals and giveaways as opposed to just casting things off into the social media winds. Sign up, and no worries, I won’t be sending them often.
Indeed, this project has taken a lot more work than anticipated and I anticipated a lot. However, my editor and publisher want to get it right. Doing things outside the box means a lot of growing pains and learning as you go. Been a ton of that.
So, as it goes right now, I’m streaming words for book two, as you can see in the photo. Yes, that’s a tiger with a rabbit in its mouth and it’s not what you think. Unless you think it’s something more than a tiger with a rabbit in its mouth. Then you’re on the right track. I have a solid, working outline of book two. Nine chapters in, I’m discovering lots of cool bits that don’t show up when you outline stories. The focus on book two is getting the words down, fast and furious. Type it into the box with all the circuits and such, cut of the jagged edges and send it off to my ridiculously patient editor. By that time she should be sending me the manuscript for book one. That needs final line edits, final art direction and final, final art.
While things have been delayed quite a bit, the good news is we’re figuring out this odd way of slipping from prose to art and art to prose and a few variations in between. The other good news is that there won’t be a delay between books. That, right now, is key. And the first webcomic companion will finish its run soon. There’ll be another companion right after that one, which should be much less experimentally. More on that later after I finish torturing my Lamy on this draft.
So, in the little cracks of time between rewriting and illustrating the novel, I manage to patch together these DeD collections. Usually I spend twenty minutes a night browsing through the archive until I have enough strips for a full volume, about 128 pages with three strips on each.
Then, in those same nooks of time, I design and finish the cover. That’s where I am now, and here is the initial art for volume three. Still needs a few tweaks. It takes a while when you only spend a few minutes a day on it, but I hope to have this out by December.
We’re now in the process of Frankensteining together book one. Still some edits, nips and tucks and art changes to be done. But we’re getting to the point of seeing where everything goes and what goes where and making up rules as we go.
On the art side of things, I’m laying out the structural thumbnails of the finished art while also finalizing the style. So far, I like the layout of the shots, but the art became to rigid and lifeless. Mostly because I was so focused on getting the perspective and anatomy down, the line work became mechanical. The good thing is that, as long as I have a solid foundation, I can easily focus on redrawing the characters and such with more vitality. Part of that is creating a character reference sheet. Get their sizes, looks and styles down. Here are the latest samples from that sheet of the three main characters. Still some more tweaking to go.
Shooting a small flock with one stone here. I used this shot not only to highlight the mood of this scene, but to visually set up a few things for later. Avoiding spoilers, so I won’t point them out. However, they are not necessarily plot points I am foreshadowing, but more like markers that will demonstrate how much has changed a little later on.
Another drawing to set the scene. No sequentials or dialog on this one. A bit more traditional in the sense that it’s just a visual for the scene. It’s more to set the tone of Emma’s darkening journey. On the left side I used a cutaway technique to make the page appear torn in the shape of the entrance into the theater.
Here’s a two page spread from chapter seven. Might have to makes some changes if some of the prose ends up on the left side. Again, spoiler filter on, so I won’t divulge exactly what this scene is. This two page spread accomplishes several things. First off I can visually set the mood that flows from the text. Second, I can show all the important bits instead of spending several paragraphs describing what you see here. And my favorite bit, I can drop in Easter eggs that relate to book two.
Warning to my magician friends. Bit of exposure on this page. Quite a few magicians will recognize this book. This was another example of illustrating something rather than telling. It’s a key bit of info and I think having an image of it in your head helps later on.