An old draft before a new direction.

2page_spread

Since I’m going in a completely different direction for the novel, I’d thought I’d share an early layout mockup. This is more of a traditional style for combining graphics and text. It’s fun, and I love getting to do spot drawings here and there, however, the new direction, I think, is infinitely more exciting. I’ll have some completed samples of that soon.

Peek under the cover of the novel.

Opening page of the novel.

This is the rough art for the opening to the novel. It opens with news coverage of a live escape by world famous magician, Angel Xavier. So yes, the book opens with sequential art. I’ll post some more as the pages progress and add a look at how it will phase into the prose. I’m sure there’ll be a few bugs to work out.Opening page of the novel.

A different sort of novel.

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Here’ a picture from the opening of the novel. Yep, that’s a panel. Which will be followed by several other panels and then a fade right into prose.

So yes, I’m doing something different. An experiment of sorts. Kind of risky, but, what really helps is having confidence in this world, this story and most importantly, the characters. It’s all there. Just comes down to execution.

New Conjurers Comic

Who’s this guy? He is based on a real magician and it is based, loosely, on a real experience. Same as this shop is inspired by my old magic shop back in Mass.  One Saturday at the shop I had the wonderful happenstance to pick through spirit slates with thee Eugene Burger. My fellow magicians know who he is. Now if you haven’t heard of him, pop his name into Youtube and I’m sure one of his mesmerizing performances will kick up.

Making the Comic

Since I’m a bit more comfortable with how I’m making this comic, thought I’d share my process. And it is now a process. A changing one, but far from the muddled series of penciling and ink wash methods it started out as. Right, here a pic of the scanned in art:

Comic process

Comic process

Now the original page is actually a piece of heavy bond, gray printer paper. Kind of starts you off with a nice tone. On top of that I pencil in the art. Smudge some of the pencil. Add some watercolor washes on top to build up some volume. Sometimes I add ink to some parts, usually things I want to have stand out. I’ll do some finishes with white paint or a few more texture washes. Then I scan the whole mess in. Truthfully, I am forcing myself to stay loose and keep it messy.

Once I have it scanned in, I duplicate the original art. This new layer becomes my smudge painting. In essence, via the magic of photoshop, I use the pencil, ink and watercolors as an underpainting. And after smushing things about I get this:

page21_process_smudge

And that’s where I am on this page right now. I’ll post the next few steps once I get them done.

New Conjurers Comic

Now he’s getting somewhere. However, things are going to get a wee bit more complicated. You might notice the art changing a bit. That’s because it is. I’m letting it develop organically. Don’t think it will shift dramatically. That would be distracting to the story. I am starting to get a feel for this style.

Let me know what you think so far!

New Conjurers Comic

Aaaaaaand I’m back. Yup, been quite awhile. Things on the novel side of “The Conjurers” are mired in some circle of development purgatory. However, I love this world and of course I love magic. So, I scraped the cobwebs off my legs and got off the publishing waiting room couch (which is oddly similar to the waiting room in Beetlejuice sans the shrinking head guy) and stormed back to the drawing table to tell this story.

The comic will update once a week, for now. I’ve written up an actual production schedule. If that goes well, and I can keep up with my other projects, I’ll increase updates to twice a week. We’ll see. The main thing is that I got the train creaking along again. There are way to many stories swirling around The Conjurian to let fade away.

 

HEROESONLINE :: HeroesCon 2013 :: Artists Alley Information

So while I continue to draw and paint pages, thought I’d post up my table for Heroes Con. My first time and I’m jazzed. Especially since this is my hometown con now.

I’ll be at table AA-214.  Some Dog eat Doug stuff, but mostly focused on Monster Chefs. I’ll have a spackling of Conjurers stuff to show too.

HEROESONLINE :: HeroesCon 2013 :: Artists Alley Information.

Back in Production

conjurers webcomic preview

After months of the novel flitting around publishing purgatory, I’ve decided I can’t let this little world of magicians languish any longer. The strip is back in production and by production I mean I’ve written up a weekly schedule for myself to keep it on track. So Savachia’s story will continue and new stories (in webcomic format) will begin. I’m also back to work on the novel because I want to tell the story regardless of what or where it ends up. And it could very well end up here as an ebook. Which is fine and great by me as truthfully, rarely do so many of my passions come together in one make believe world and it’s not one I’m willing to let slide into the abyss of  “Oh I remember that idea”.

The next page, with all that said, will be up in the next few weeks. I’m working on three pages at a time which will also help keep me on track. And also on the long list of “hopes”, I’d love to bring other artists on board to explore the other storylines that lead up to and around the novel. First things first. Gotta get this little seedling sprouting again before worrying about how many flowers it will foster.

 

Update on the Webcomic

I know the site has been stagnant for a bit. And it’s about time I posted something as to why. The Conjurers webcomic has not gone away. In fact I’m still working on it…at an intensely slow pace. The first story is written but due to my new book, the strip and “The Conjurers” novel, I haven’t been able to get a new page up. Also, we’re moving and packing and taping boxes eats up a lot of time.

The good news is that talks for the novel are moving forward. Also at an intensely slow pace, however that’s due to what myself and my editor are trying to do. Which is something completely different. And when you try to do something completely different you don’t know exactly what it is you’re trying to do util you figure it out. And we’re close to figuring it out. And during the time away from producing pages for the webcomic, I’ve re-thought the art a bit and will take the upcoming pages in a slightly different direction. I’m enjoying the techniques I’m using, and I’ll keep using those. The changes will come in the form of a more realized style for the drawings. Which, if you flip back through the comic so far, you can tell the base layer of art (i.e. the pencils) wander a bit between comic book style and cartoony. I’m zeroing in on a set look.

Thanks to all who have come along this far and the comic will return soon.

The Conjurers Webcomic

Page sixteen. Savachia’s getting the ol’ magician’s test to see if he’s serious about magic. It’s actually a fairly common practice in the real world. Most people loose interest after learning the working bits of a trick. If someone does master a trick you teach them, then there’s a chance they have the bug.

And, again, the interiors of the shop are fairly close to the store I based it on, except of course for the secret door. In the real shop, there is a door in that location that opens into a mini parlor complete with a stage. Always loved that about the shop so I took some liberties with it in the strip. And I am certainly taking liberties with the things that room contains. You’ll just have to wait a bit for that.

The Conjurers Webcomic

And now we see a bit of Tenyo’s personality. She makes a cactus feel smooth.

Oh and a note on the “Blaine Package”. I personally don’t prescribe to that way of thinking, which is that David did tricks anyone could pick up at a shop and perform. Just borrowed that sentiment for Tenyo.

Won’t bore you with a magic lecture. Suffice it to say that the methods don’t matter. The reaction and effect it has on the spectator is what counts. Posting this now before I jog off into a rant.

The Conjurers Webcomic

Late again. But I had to appease the Dog eat Doug deadline before finishing this page. The interior of the magic shop is fairly close to the actual shop it’s based on. I know, cool huh?

There’s two other intriguing aspects to the real life magic store and both will play a roll in the comic. So, as you can guess, I’m not going to tell you now.