I loved the shape I went with here but I tried to use my Copic markers and things didn't go over as well as I wanted. They're not great on rough bristol board, and my markers were sooooo old that I couldn't use half the colors I wanted to use. I still like the outcome over all. I may buy a new set of Copic marker and see if I can't make them work properly next time.
6x9 bristol, brush and ink, watercolor.
UPDATE: All Daily Doodles from this week have been sold. More next week!
All I had in mind was trying to get the silhouette of a vulture. Usually people go with the long nose but I figured if I really widened it up it would help create the head and beak shape of a vulture. Hey, whatever, it was a sketch, what do you want from me? :)
6x9, Brush and ink, watercolor.
All Daily Doodles will be for sale for $100 each and will be made available every Friday in my Online Store.
I have hit a slow pocket over the last four days. My writing as I draw it process is proving to be a bit of a hurdle. When I began down this path I had a specific scene in mind so the momentum was strong. I hit the ground running with what was in my head so the layouts were coming along quickly. Once that scene was put together I found myself staring blankly at the screen of my Cintiq trying to decide what would come next. I have the ending and I know how I want to get there but with out a bit of a road map I'm starting to loose my sense of direction.
Tonight was the fourth night in a row of me not actually producing any page layouts so it was time to switch it up. I'm going pull the laptop back out and start writing to find my way again. I'm going to give myself a very loose outline, index card style and then break down a few scenes into plot and dialog. We'll see if this helps me get back on track.
I'm going to give myself two weeks to have this stage done. If I get done earlier than that fine, but I'm going to really push myself to hit this mark. Since I have the major beats in my head I don't think this is that big of a challenge, but we'll see in two weeks.
Next time I'll talk a little more about the actual story and Boy, my main character.
Ok, since Scott and I are going to doing an actual story at SkottieScott it I'm going to be doing some warm-ups here at my blog. They would be as involved or as big as I was doing at our blog but I'll keep the energy flowing. I'm going to stick with Marvel characters for a bit, and who knows, you may see a collection of them.
I'll be doing 6x9 bristol board sketches. I will be selling them. But instead of the lottery style that I did at the blog I'll be adding them to my store. I'll wait until Friday and then add that weeks sketches to my store and it will be first come first serve.
Here we go on the first one. Ghost Rider. Brush, ink and water color. 6x9, bristol.
The last few projects I've started all went the same. I had an idea that I committed to and was excited to write and draw. I'd pull out the sketchbook and start looking for the character and style of the book. After a week or more of that I'd hit on something and then move over to the laptop where I'd spend a few weeks plotting an outline. I followed the screenplay structure. Act I, Act II, Act III complete with properly placed plot points, mind points... you get the points.
Next up, I would start writing. My structure consisted of detailed plot with full character dialog. I didn't bother breaking it down into pages or panels because I was doing graphic novels, I could do that in the layout stage. A few projects didn't make it to the end of this step. My last project did. I finished the full script.
It was a few months after having the initial idea that I was ready to finally start doing thumbnails ands laying out the book. I finished layouts in about 5 days and the book ended up being 124 pages long. I jumped right into drawing and inking pages. I was around 90 days into creating my OGN and I had only spent 20 of them drawing so far. I felt burnt out and hit the wall that mentioned in the previous posts.
Flash forward a year later and I'm writing this post. What's different this time around? Everything.
There's the content which we covered in the last post. I'm playing in made up world but telling a personal story with it. But most of all, I'm already drawing. That's the big difference. The idea started to form in SDCC around 3 weeks ago, 2 weeks of discussing options with my trusted crew of art junkies and now I'm laying out pages.
I decided to skip that whole pesky writing step. Well, okay, not really. I'm just "writing" differently. Instead of sitting at a laptop and using all that energy and motivation that I have for this story, I'm just going for it. I'm writing with thumbnails. Letting the story breath and grow in the direction it wants to go with the art. I have the major beats I want to head towards and most of all, I have the ending. So with those milestones in mind, I'm putting lines down and going for it. The thumbnail stage is my version of a first draft. I'll be able to step back at the end of that and edit all I want before going into the 2nd draft of finishing the art. I'm just combining all the steps into one.
I try to be honest with myself. I could come up with a million great reasons why I've stopped every project I've started. Most people would say I already do a monthly book, that should be enough. But that's no excuse. I'm dying to tell my own stories, and I've just flat out dropped the ball each time. But I think that it's because I try to go about it the way I THINK it's suppose to be done. Graphic novels are written and then drawn, right. Well, the more I look into some of my favorite storytellers you begin to find out that's not always the case. I was happy to know that find out that Jeff Smith knew where Bone was going, but he didn't have it blocked out before hand. He just drew his story. I liked the idea of this because it would allow me to use that new energy and motivation I have on actual pages where as before I was burnt out before even getting to the art stage.
I'm 10 pages into this new process and I'm as excited today as I was on the day I started to form the concept. I'm determined to not repeat the past this time and hopefully with in the next year you'll be holding this book in your hands.
Thanks to all of you who have been following along and leaving your comments. Pass the word, retweet, post away. The more eyes that are reading the more people that will keep me in check.
As I mentioned in the last post, I'd been brainstorming story ideas since I put my last OGN on pause. I needed to make sure I really hit on the content and story I wanted to tell. The frustrating thing was I would love an idea for a two days and then somehow I would convince myself that the idea was done. Simply being that excited about it would bring it to life and play the story out in my head saving me the trouble of having to actually make this pesky thing. I'd just talk about it for a few days and that would be all I needed. Except I still had this burning desire to create a graphic novel. After running through four or five ideas I found myself back at square one. No progress had been made. Sure I had a lot of material to mold at some point but they weren't connecting with me now.
I didn't have time to stress about it because SDCC was looming off in the distance. Getting ready for that is harder than most jobs so I doubled up on work and got things ahead so I could hit San Diego with a running start. The weather was great, the fans were AWESOME and over at TR!CKSTER, Scott Morse, Scott Campbell and myself got ready for our first Symposium (art workshop). Forty plus people in a room watching Skottie, Scott and Scott paint was fantastic. The thing that worked out best for me was the way we came about our subject. The room called out words and we combined them and start drawing and painting. Apocalypse and Bunny. These two words led me to the pages I'm working on now.
I met up with Jason Howard after the show and showed him the painting. I hadn't thought much of it. Just another random piece for fun. Jason said "You should do that as a book. Apocalypse Bunny." I thought about it for a second and agreed. It was on!!! Once we were back from SDCC I would jump online with my Skype Crew of Jake Parker, Ryan Stegman and Jason Howard and they all offered up advice on different aspects. Story ideas, business plans, publishing options, etc. I was getting hype. Now I need to start it.
I drew character designs, ideas for logos, and a rock solid idea for a symbol that would be a sick t-shirt. FALLOUT BUNNY was born. I grabbed the laptop and started plotting out scenes that I had in my head. They were fun, funny and filled with a bunny killing fools. It was happening, I was doing it. After writing a 4 scenes I hit a bump. The scenes were good but they didn't really help tell a story. They were more like gags stuck together, which is fine but not for what i wanted to do. I realized that the goal of my character was a bit of a gag and so all actions on the way to that goal would be gags. So I started to modify the goal. What does Bunny want? And as I thought about it the goal changed from a gag to something much more personal, something that I myself had been thru. This was an interesting turn.
Whenever things like this happen, I pull out my sketchbook and try to scribble my way to the answer. So many choices of mine have been made out of happy accidents drawn in a sketchbook. I drew another version of the bunny. this time with a gas mask on. I drew him a few times and then hit on one that looked haunting. It was ALMOST there. Just one thing needed to be fixed.
I pulled out a white out pen and erased the bunny ears.
Now it was a boy. A young boy in a mask. Whats he hiding? Why is he hurting? These questions started forming and the answers were coming from my life and the places that I've been. It's not about me but it will be have A LOT of me in there. And who knows, when it's all done, it might feel EXACTLY like me. We'll see. I just love that a art workshop brought me to a action/comedy bunny book and that led me to a boys journey thru a post apocalyptic world that will touch on things from my life. Happy accidents.
Next I'll dive into my process and how I'm changing it up on this book compared to my previous attempts.
Marvel announced my series MAGNETO: NOT A HERO today. I'm writing the mini series with Clay Man (X-Men: Age of X) handling the art. I'm very excited to be jumping on the writers side and pushing into new areas of storytelling. I'm also thrilled to be working with Clay. I think he's a crazy talent and I'm lucky to have him on this with me.
Finding the End will be a new series of posts following a new project of mine. Before we get to that, I'll answer the question some of you may have. "What happened to the last OGN you were working on?"
About a year ago I started posting videos and posts about working on an original graphic novel. I worked thru the outline, writing the script, rewriting the script, designing characters and finally, I finished almost 30 pages of art on the book. 124 pages written, 30 pages of art finished... and then you heard nothing.
What happened? A few things. My schedule for Ozma of OZ was tighter than any of the previous series so work was heavy last year. Fatherhood. There's a time management issue that comes into play when you're trying to work all day and see your family as much as possible. But most of all, I lost the motivation for the actual book.
Let me clear this up. I didn't lose my motivation to create or work on my own book. I lost motivation to work on THAT book. I made the mistake of thinking about the market before I thought about who am I am as a creator. I had some fun with the concept but once I hit page 30, I already felt that I had drawn everything I wanted to draw and I just hit a wall. I was bored. I was bored on page 30 of a 124 page book. I love fantasy, action, adventure stories and here I was making a story about kids in junior high. Again, it was fun but it just didn't feel like me. I thought about taking it to more of the book publishers like Scholastic or Harper Collins and I was trying to force content to what I thought they would like. Obviously, that was not a smart thing to do on my part.
One day I listened to an interview with my dear friend Jim McCann as he talked about his and Janet K Lee's OGN Return of the Dapper Men. He was thrilled to be creating his fantasy adventure and there I was drawing lockers and lunchrooms. That was the day I put the project on pause. Some may say I can blame Jim for it, but I thank him for it. For reminding me to tell the stories I want to tell instead of trying to predict the market and letting the business side of my brain get the better of me.
I spent the rest of the year working on Ozma of Oz at Marvel, raising my son and thinking about what to do. I felt a little defeated and let that beat me for a bit but I filled my time. I released 2 art books, Junk One, and Stuff, started a daily sketch blog with Scott Morse SKOTTIESCOTT.COM (which is in the process of evolving into a story blog) but spent many, many days throwing around story ideas with my buddies Jason Howard, Ryan Stegman and Jake Parker.
Needless to say, I've finally regained the motivation, and NEED to get going on my OGN. So I will be updating my blog under the title of FINDING THE END. I'll be posting at least once or twice a week on the process. The ups and downs and hopefully getting rid of the excuses. I failed last year. No matter what the reasons for stopping, I stopped and failed. That's ok. I'm able to admit it, learn from it and try to be better this time around. Hopefully getting you all involved will help keep me honest and working. So thank you in advance.
Next up I'll let you in on how I came upon my story.