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.
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:
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:
And that’s where I am on this page right now. I’ll post the next few steps once I get them done.
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!
He won’t be getting a TV special anytime soon. But he’s in the door and, as you’ll see in the next episode, focused on why he’s there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bit of a gap between pages. Sorry about that. However the reason for the delay is, I think, a decent one. Talks are back on regarding the Conjurers novel. Hopefully they end with a deal. Either way the comics shall continue.
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.
Let the lies begin. AT least for Savachia, cause I’m not saying who else may or may not be honest.
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.
And this is Tenyo. The love interest? Yup. She’ll throw a wrench in Savachia’s plans that for sure. That is is Savachia can get a plan together.
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.
A day late but not a comic short. This one took a bit for a couple reasons. I have the entire story plotted but when I hit this page I realized it could be combined with the next page. So I scrapped them both and wrote this hybrid page.
And yes, this shop is based on a real magic store. I used to live right down the street. And it’s a magician’s magic store. By that I mean, unless you’re a magician, you would never know it existed. Yet a parade of who’s who in the magic world parade through the closet sized store whenever they’re in town.
A little side story for my magician pals: One Saturday at the shop I got to spend the afternoon browsing through and trying out a box of spirit slates and such with Eugene Burger. Now that’s a real magic shop!
It’s 12:51 in the morning, so technically I missed the Monday deadline. Hopefully this page is interesting enough to be a smidge late. And obviously it opens another plot line. This plot line also ties directly into the novel. And by that I mean the scarred, card manipulating dude is THEE bad guy.
Nine pages in and I’m still on deadline. And back on deadline for Dog eat Doug too. Wasn’t sure if I’d be able to hack another strip, even if it was only once a week. So far, fingers crossed. It’s mostly due to having the writing and plotting done. Then it’s just a matter of producing the art and I’m getting the process down for this style slowly but surely.
Would love to here what you think so far in the blank little comment section below, or on twitter, or facebook, or G+ or…right, too much socializing might be a bad thing. Please just drop a note below.
Oh, and how many magic/magician allusions have you picked up on?
Already on page eight. Just about at the end of act one, which simply means that in the coming pages the plot thickens. A lot. And, from an art perspective, I think the pages will lighten up a tad. Not sooo much heavy texture in the background.
Speaking of the art, I’ll take some pics of the process for the next page. Experimenting as I go, but I have a relatively simple process so far. It’s a messy process which is as I intended. And I need to fill out more of the site. Some pieces on magic and my research for the novel.
Any magicians reading? Bet you recognized one at least one of the names I’ve slipped in so far huh?
A day ate on this one. The holiday and my other strip slowed me down a bit. Yet here it is! Hope this page doesn’t feel too crowded. In the original scripts, this bit of exposition took up two pages. I dislike heavy exposition. Especially flashbacks. However, in this case, I felt I had to dip a bit into the past to set the emotional drive for the old couple. Tugs on the heart strings a bit? I hope.