Sunday, March 27, 2011

Time is Ticking in My Head!

And it Never Stops!

Speaking of time, I never seem to be good at deadlines. I have my mini comic to do and yes I know some people may know it isn't due until June 1st but I do work a day job and run a hockey team (OK that hockey team one is a stretch as it pretty much runs itself) and help with my wife's design business. My, aren't I great??? Heh.

OK. This isn't going to be about THAT mini comic (I will be mentioning it more and more as I get closer to the deadline). This is about a b'day card I decided to make for my nephew at last minute yesterday morning. Sure I could have gone to the dollar store and picked up a made card but I figured I am creative and I had a couple hours to spare. Well, what was supposed to be a card then turned into a mini, mini comic. Oh not in the traditional sense (It was 3 pages no panels) But it did end up taking longer than 2 hours and it went from black and white to flat coloured and before I knew it the time had zoomed by. In the end I finished it and it went over well (with the adults better than the kids). My 7 year old creative niece asked, "how did you do this?" and so did my sister (which were fun questions) I got the usual family/spouse kudos but the guy I wanted to impress most (my nephew) was just "meh". Moral is make the drawing about the subject especially when they are 10!

What else I learned?

What I learned was I don't have to be precious for my upcoming mini comic, I can work fast and with a deadline when I 'want to".

My Art week.

I have been using the 3 by 3 inch post it notes as panels to rough out my mini comic some more. I wrote a story outline with descriptions (not panel by panel but I already did have the story in my head (ooh just had an idea for another panel!)

This was based on a video with Joe Kubert about story telling called "Comics Legend Joe Kubert Talks About His Process"...

Upcoming Week:

My wife Leah Bazian is doing the One of A Kind Spring Show in Toronto this week. You can check her out there. She works very hard and if you mention you read about her here, you can get the Jahhdog discount!

My Reads:

Ack read The Grim Ghost #1 from Atlas Comics relaunch by the creative team of Kelley Jones (artist) Tony Isabella (story) I liked the story and I am a fan of Kelley Jones art but something in the art is very inconsistent, enough so to pull me outta the story. 3.5 outta 5 howls

Been using my Manga Studio For Dummies a lot I can't give it a perfect score cuz it can't draw for me and it is about version 3.0! 4 outta 5 howls

and finished up my The Complete Peanuts Collection Volume One. 1950 - 1952.

Mr Charles M. Schulz, you are one funny dude (previously reviewed!)

Comments Keep Us Alive!

I can't survive in a vacuum. Though who would want to??? It's so dirty in that bag with all that dust, dog hair and stuff!

OK! So leave me a comment (good, bad etc.) or I may have to climb into that bag!

Now go create something (like a comment)...


Friday, March 25, 2011

Rogue Rules

Rogue Rules, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

This is a rough panel with really rough blue line and some basic inks. I like where it's going and I will probably keep this as I am working on each gag separately in my min comic...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sometimes it is OK to Start Over...

Or Just ...

Many of us have started something and said I have to finish this. It may be a book, movie, music or even a comic book that just doesn't do "it" for us. Most of these things are things that we do for enjoyment. In fact all of them are. I don't make money from any of them and I won't "offend" someone if I don't finish it. Hey there is a reason there are more flavours of ice cream than vanilla and chocolate...

If You Aren't Feeling it...

So yes, I have stopped watching a movie 15 minutes in, or put down a book 20 or 30 pages in (begrudgingly mind you) as I have that "once you start something you gotta finishing it" attitude in my head. Especially on a recommendation from a friend...
Is it that I don't want to hurt their feelings? Or I don't want to miss out on the awesomeness that is (insert title) here...

Heavy Lifting Alert!

Comics are work. Very hard work and if you aren't willing to do they "heavy lifting" then don't make comics!

But, I have stories to tell! When it is my story, my comic (as in the mini comic dump truck project) I am working on, I think I should not have to continue on it if it isn't working. Yet here is the problem. I have had a couple meetings with my mentor and we have discussed the story (an 8-12 page mini comic) that has a June deadline. Now I am living with this book and I need to get it done but am I procrastinating because there is no love there? Is it the execution (or lack there of) or is it just a bad idea? I think it is a little of all of these things... I think that it is also not being paid for this book that has me slow. I have started and restarted this book in thumbs and even pages etc.

OK. I guess the reasons to finish are:

1) to finish something! (obvious no?)
2)to practice my craft!
3)to get something out to other creators so I can get a copy of all their books in my sweaty little palms!

Good reasons!

4) that it is only 8 to 12 pages (you ca do more) but for some of us on our first "real" comics this is more than enough... Kudos to Kevin W. Cross for realizing this...

My art week!

Re-thumbed first 2 pages of my comic. Did some inking and started reading about perspective (again) Artrage Studio Pro Demo 30 day trial (I use 2.6) there still is a slight delay for me when I use my pen on Wacom. I don't get this in Windows Paint or Manga Studio Ex and it is a little frustrating...

Go and Create Sumthin!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mystery Miss

Mystery Miss, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

Grey pen tool in Manga 4 inspired by AOTS G4 TV sketch ...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Colour Double Axe

colour double axe, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

I was looking at my inks and I was a little frustrated by the lack of depth from the lack of technique I have. I decided to use the limited colour of Manga EX 4.0 and maybe later pull it in to Artrage and fool around with the airbrush tool ...

Wolin Double Axe Ink

wolin double axe ink, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

When I think in black and white I find it easier to ink but when I think I will be colouring the drawing it can throw me off. Here is one that I am going through as a back up story idea for Children of the Sun...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Boxed in!

fenced in, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

Pencil and Air Brush tooled inked new avatar from My Brain Hertz comic (coming soon)...

Wolin Double Axe

wolin double axe, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

First rough for Children of the Sun back story Wolin Double axe really light pencils...

Wolin Double Axe 2

wolin double axe 2, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

Going over First rough with heavier pencils feeling out image

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Teach Your Children Well...

And Your Artists Too!

So I was a having a Twitter discussion with my art buddies Rene van Belzen and Jonathan Rector and it brought up some memories of art class for me. How I couldn't connect with the teachers who were supposed to recognize and encourage my creativity and help foster growth. Now I know this must sound kinda negative but all I thought at that time was "bah, just a typical teacher!" Now I'm older with a better sense of people and understanding I sometimes ponder what it is that makes a teacher good? It is essentially many of the same elements of what makes a good parent but I will save that topic for my parenting blog (I don't have children).

A Good Teacher!

1)Has the ability to guide and communicate.

2)The ability to teach discipline (not to strictly discipline) which comes from respect.

3)The ability and willingness to foster & not stifle creativity.

And most importantly the ability to listen and learn.

It sounds funny that I say this but I think that learning is a continuous process not only for students but more importantly for teachers.Teachers need to keep that "learning freeway" open in both directions and if one of these "roads" becomes blocked for whatever reason, that's when problems can occur.

Most of my teacher s had a stick up their butts! In art class most teachers were "art snobs" about comic books and animation. I doodled and drew superheroes and they turned their nose up at it. Instead of fostering the interest they tried to stifle it and tell me how a graphic design course or illustration course or a BFA (bachelor of fine arts) was the route. I grew frustrated and steered away from what I love until I met Miss Hoika.

We didn't always see eye to eye on art. We didn't always "get each other" but we respected each other. I who was the tenth grade kid who knew it all. She that teacher who was trying to give a lesson in the creative side of the arts . I knew she did some sort of oil painting and I regret not attending her art show. My cool friends asked "why would ya want to see HER stuff, it isn't going to be Ken Danby!" A realistic photographic style artist who did a lot of hockey sports related paintings I know "hockey."

"At the Crease" Ken Danby

Well I AM Canadian, eh?

Miss Hoika might not have liked realistic painters, ok she loathed the style. "That's what cameras are for!" she said. She didn't tell me to stop drawing in that style or stop with my comic characters, she "listened" to the students love of realism in art and in the end we agreed to disagree!

More recently I have come to realize she was right. She would like that, I think.

The Circle of Teaching:

This brings me full circle to teacher's need and ability to listen and learn. Don't get me wrong, I think we can't all be teachers. I know that teaching takes patience , it takes the ability to listen and the ability to learn from your students. One of my favourite quotes is those that think "they know everything, know nothing". These are the teachers (and people) to avoid!

My Reading Week:

I am still reading Peanuts Collection Volume 1 and I am finding that the in depth interview with Charles Schulz at the end of the book (yes I skipped to the end) is quite an interesting look into what made the man tick. I almost like this better than the strips!

My Art Week:

After following some Artrage discussion on Twitter I fired up the program again. Now I run Windows 7 in 64 bit mode and I don't know if this is causing a bit of lag when I use my Wacom pen and touch but after some research I found that it shouldn't! There may be some setting conflicts in Windows and/or Artrage 2.6. I am frustrated as I also have been trouble shooting some issues on my wife's computer (or confuzer as Leo Laporte likes to call em). I don't feel like screwing around with it Artrage. I love the program (when it works) for all the brush options. It is one of the best for simulating all different brush strokes and results (again when it works)

So back to pencil and paper for now. I have been sketching and organizing my pages for 3 comics and my mini comic dump truck as well as a slice of life strip called My Brain Hertz.

Get out there and create "my lovelies!"


Sunday, March 6, 2011

I've been Conned!

Well I plan on being "conned" more often this year.

I have some good memories of comic shows from when I was a kid.

Most of my fondest comic show memories are from the 70's and 80's. The earliest shows (now called cons) were a place I went solo as my friends weren't into comics. It was no biggie as I went to the cons to shop first and fill some story run or get some books by my favourite artist. Occasionally I would catch a glimpse of the guest creator/artist many of which happened to be a favourite! There weren't any artist alleys. Usual there was a guest artist and local artists might buy a table to promote their books which was rare in the 70's as only a artist working for the big two seemed to get an invite.

Along the way I got to meet Ernie Chan who showed me the Conan newspaper strip he was working on with Roy Thomas. I saw Neal Adams but his being so busy led me to meet Cerebus The Aardvark creator Dave Sim. Seems like he was a much easier going guy back then. There were other artists like George Perez and other I can't remember. This was a time when you could chat with artists and pick up a sketch at a reasonable price though I still preferred completing my comic runs so I could READ the books versus collecting artist sketches...

I have fond memories of these shows and yet I have not so fond memories of the shows of the 90's and new millennium. These are the money shows, The small show was replaced by the monster con. I have some good memories of speaking with Diana Schutz at a 90's con and more recently Brian Bolland. I have less fond memories of waiting in huge lineups just to get into the con. This led my wife to say never again to the monster con/expo and (I don't blame her).

Someone Who does it Right!

This leads me to TCAF a free to the public show for independent comic artists . I got to meet Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire there last year. Dan Clowes was there and many others but they had too many people around them so I couldn't/wouldn't bother pushing through. I missed Roger Langridge as he was speaking at a venue not part of the library and by the time we had walked the floor I was done. I would support friends if they were there. I will meet friends if they are going but I have never been the autograph, sketch guy. I consider myself a comic READER not a collector!

This year I plan to attend again and try to meet some fellow artist down there. Some members of our art community Art and Story and support them.

I wanted to remind you if you are in the Ann Arbor, Michigan next weekend head over to Kids Read Comics, a great show and learning opportunity for families and it's free!.

My Art Week:

My art week was filled with King Kong! OK. Not really, but my studio is still in the cleaning process...sigh...

My Reading Week:

I re-read Sweet Tooth Volume 1 Vertigo imprint. I love Jeff's work and I still think Jeppard is Gordie Howe!! Have Sweet Tooth Volume two bedside.

5/5 howls

I picked up Peanuts Collection Volume One from the library. Fantagraphics did an awesome job. It is this weeks a Jahhdog Must Read! Schulz style changes over the next 50 years but I think his writing was never better!

5/5 howls
I gotta buy this one!

I actually went a bought Jeff Lemire's Superboy, now I am a Super-boy, girl, man hater (I only love superdog) but I am interested to see the writing that Jeff brings to the book. I would buy it forever if he drew it too!

Happy Birthday Will Eisner. I remember seeing his work at the local comic shop, I think it was kitchen sink press collecting the newspaper comics. They were awesome, the line work, the splash pages, the "dames"! Will did it all! Then I read his graphic novels and was floored. Like some have said said, "he was way ahead of his time!" Google is honouring him today and it is well deserved!

Create something NOW!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kong Lives & Loves

Kong Lives & Loves, originally uploaded by jahhdog.

One of my art buddies was watching Jessica Lange's love story with Kong and this is my version of their "love" story... Will clean it up a bit more as this was a warm up...