Monday, August 31, 2009
Having worked in children's (mostly pre-school) animation for 10+ years, I've had to sharpen my rendering skills to meet the demands of an adult horror tale set in the "real" world.
When I saw that Oni Press was running their 2009 Talent Search, it seemed like a great opportunity to work from a professional script that wasn't self-generated and to hopefully obtain some constructive criticism.
Of the three posted sample scripts, I chose to render the first five pages of a new graphic novel by Antony Johnston called "Cold City," a political thriller set during the fall of the Berlin Wall.
No word yet, but it was a fruitful learning process and I discovered that I really enjoy illustrating smoke.
After completing our pitch book, John, Chris, and I decided to start our own comic imprint, "Blacklight Studios," with the intention of collaborating on genre fiction with a political bent.
We were given the opportunity to contribute to a black and white horror anthology, still in production, and rifled through a few ideas ranging from Brooklyn-based wall monsters to haunted Spanish conquistadors.
Then Chris shared a story he heard while visiting Tibet. Chris Mangun knows how to grip a room. The guy has old-timey storytelling skills and should go on tour with his anecdotes.
As a kid, it was always pretty scary to have to make that walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Waiting in the dark, hoping the urge will pass, and fearing what might grab your ankle on the way out. Now imagine if you lived in the Himalayas and your walk meant braving icy winds and signs of The Yeti.
Here are a few in-progress pages from our 12-page story, "Frozen Dark."
I've been reading comics since 1982 (after seeing a commercial for Marvel's GI Joe comic) and published comics and strips throughout my college years at Rutgers University but my return to creating comics began in full after catching up with friends and comic creators at NYC Comic Con 2008.
Mike Dawson, GB Tran, and the guys of Mammal had been producing such accomplished and personal work that I made a pact with myself to return in 2009 as a fellow creator.
There was a forced hiatus of the show I had been working on and it gave me the time I needed to partner with friends on developing a horror story that would become our first graphic novel. With a killer concept by Jonathan "Swifty" Lang, book design by Christopher Mangun, and art by me, we assembled a pitch comic to present our work to prospective publishers. It worked and we're now in the process of making pages.
The pitch consisted of a synopsis page, character bios, map, 5 pages of comics, covers, and the first full script. Chris also did an incredible job incorporating my art into headers and endpapers. Here are my sample pages from the pitch (sans text).
(NOTE: The colors are posting a little hotter than intended. They were jacked up in the CMYK to RGB conversion)