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NEWS / UPDATES


Standing on the Santa Cruz Pier, December 16th 2008

FRIDAY 12/19/08

With the temps plummeting and the clouds rolling in it looks like the weather is finally catching up with the seasons here in Santa Cruz (*sigh* no more mid-December beach volleyball). On the plus side all the bags are packed and I'm looking forward to making the wet beach to snowy mountain trek this weekend to visit friends and family for the holidays...

Merry Kwanzhanumas and
Happy New Year everyone!!



'Ode to Santa Cruz' thumbs, graphs and charts. Who knew making a funnybook would be so much work?

FRIDAY 9/19/08

Echo! Echo! Echo!

Been kinda quiet around here so I thought I'd dust off the ol' html code and give another shot at one of these "updatey" things. First off as much as I talked about being busy last month that's nothing compared to the workload that awaits me in future months now that I've signed up to letter a third series (a Yu-Gi-Oh spin-off). Not that I'm complaining of course as I love my job and the work does help me keep a roof over my head, but it does mean that progress on my personal projects (website updates, Ode to Santa Cruz comic) will have to be temporarily sidelined as a result.

Currently though I do have a bit of a break in between deadlines so I'm doing my best to utilize the time to make some headway on Ode. Whereas before I was very open-ended about the length and the content of the story I've since done thumbnail layouts for the entire comic so I now have a much clearer idea of how much work is required to reach the goal (which, in turn, helps keep me motivated). Also recently finished designs for the two main characters so now all that's left is to illustrate about a hundred more panels. :P

Well, you know what Confucius said: every comic book journey of a thousand pages begins with a single panel (don't quote me on that one, amittedly my Ancient Chinese philosophy might be a bit rusty).


THURSDAY 8/14/08

Just wanted to briefly mention that Why I'm Moving to Maine is making its long overdue state of Maine premiere this Friday (August 15th, 8:00 PM) at the Bangor Film Festival. I encourage anyone in the area to check out the festival as it looks to be an interesting and eclectic mix of local, independent, and mainstream films.

I'd certainly be in attendance if I wasn't 3,000 miles away and buried in work. :P



POKÉMANIA!!!

WEDNESDAY 7/16/08

Been keeping busy lately tackling a couple new lettering assignments. I’m excited to report that one such project will be a spin-off of the hugely popular Pokémon franchise (Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure, volume 1 available now). While most of my encounters with the franchise have been through video games (Pokémon Puzzle League, Super Smash Bros.) I can certainly now see how the appeal of the series lends itself just as effectively to the manga format (175 million kids can’t be wrong right?)

In other news of note I’ll once again be attending this year’s San Diego Comic Con. If you happen to be in town July 24th and 25th feel free to drop by the Peckerwood booth (#1634) and say “hi” and “bye.” Oh and while you’re there be sure to give Rob and Pete some much deserved praise for Tozzer, their hilarious weekly webcomic.



Me board game collection.

MONDAY 6/16/08

Since word already seems to be out that I'm into the comic books I figure it won't hurt my reputation too much more to admit my recent interest in another realm of geekdom: board games. More specifically designer games, a term which roughly encapsules a category of games popular in Europe that tend to require more thought and strategy than the average luck-based (ie dice-rolling) or party-themed games us Americans have grown accustomed to.

I got started down this path about a year ago after discovering a list of the Top 10 Games to Play Before You Die where a little magnetic game called Polarity caught my attention. A couple weeks later after purchasing and playtesting the game I was hooked and, much like when I first "discovered" online podcasts or indie bands, I was intrigued by the previously untapped entertainment experiences that this new medium could potentially offer.

Twenty five games (see above) and a bunch of play sessions later I'm still very much the designer game enthusiast. If I were to pinpoint the one aspect I enjoy most about the games it would probably be the shared experiences and the unique and varied interactions they inspire among their multiple participants, something music, movies, or even video games can't touch. So, in summary, any new entertainment medium that gives me yet another reason to look forward to visiting family and friends is a major plus in my book. :)


FRIDAY 5/16/08

Hiya all! Just wanted to drop in and report that despite the apparent lack of activity on the website front I've been keeping pretty busy behind the scenes. More specifically I dove back into the seemingly never-ending dirge known as the Ode to Santa Cruz webcomic production process only to reemerge some several weeks later with a handful of completed panels to show for my efforts (I don’t know whether I should be cheering or bawling at this point).

All joking aside I’ve come to terms with the fact that Ode has evolved into a long-term affair and there is nothing I can really do to speed up the process short of completely overhauling the style of the piece (which is not an option at this point considering all the previous work I’d have to toss out). So in lieu of calling it quits and moving on to greener, less intensive, and more webcomic-friendly production schedules I’ve decided to stick it out and see if I can’t finally put a bow on this one before the year is through. Wish me luck and keep checking back here for my latest lack-of-progress reports. :)



'Peckerwood 24 Minutes' coming to a comic store near you!

TUESDAY 4/15/08

A little book I did some coloring work for titled Peckerwood: 24 Minutes is currently available for ordering in this month's Previews (which means it'll hit stores in June). The book shares the same creative team and some of the same characters as Tozzer & Tozzer 2 Special Edition so if you dug those reads adding Peckerwood to your collection should be a no-brainer. If you want to learn more about the title hop on over to tozzer.com where you can preview the first 19 pages, read reviews, and check out Rob and Pete's upcoming convention appearances. These are good guys who pack a ton of funny bits into 128 pages so if you like what you see please support their work.



New Large Format 'Goats Ahoy!'

THURSDAY 4/3/08

Hey, I'm back, and apparently I'm in a better mood than that last guy who posted here (what a jerkwad ;). Anyhoot, with the advancements in computer resolution and widescreen monitors over the past few years I thought it was high time to unveil a new large format version of Goats Ahoy!

Goats, while not the first comic I ever made, was the first comic I created with the intention of submitting to a publisher. Goats, as well as Mickey D's and Pirate Property, were all created to meet the format requirements of Dark Horse Comic's Strip Search Contest (hence they're all the same dimensions and length). If I recall correctly winners of the contest would have their comics featured on Dark Horse's website as well as included in a Strip Search Anthology published by the company. The bad news was that, despite my best efforts, all of my submissions were rejected. The flipside was that I was walking away from the contest with new experiences and three web-ready comics that I was pretty happy with. Despite the initial setback I was eager to share my creations with the world so the comics, in turn, became a major motivating factor in finally applying my web coding skidillies to get my own website off the ground.

Regarding the story itself, Goat's Ahoy! features a couple characters I created during my high school years as part of a larger story arc I never got around to finishing and eventually lost interest in. Suffice to say I feel Goats boils down most of what I had to say in my longer, messier story and presents it in a nice compact, and ultimately more effective, format. Some of the abandoned story elements that make cameos in Goats are the slasher movie parody Fiddler of Death (F.O.D.) and the superhero parody Popcorn Superego about a guy who dawns a popcorn bag to conceal his secret identity and fights crime while sliding on a stream of imitation butter shot from his wrists.  Ah, memories...

Lastly I want to thank Moira for single-handedly doubling the amount of comments in my database. The fact that someone would actually attempt to read one of my stupid comics aloud to a captive audience amuses me to no end. :)


TUESDAY 2/19/08

Aye-chi-mama, talk about a rough week! First and foremost if anyone recently attempted to send me an email and hasn't got a reply please try forwarding your email again. Due to a faulty server there was a slight chance that I missed out on some messages over the past couple of weeks. Sorry for the hassle and, yes, after much vitriol aimed at my computer screen, hair-pulling, and frustration-laden calls to customer support the issue has been resolved. For those keeping score at home (website owners and prospective buyers alike) here's what my equation ended up looking like:

(2 weeks) + (4 hosting plans) + (6 domain transfers) + (8 customer support calls) + (10 customer support emails) + (36 trial and error attempts to move my Wordpress blog to a new server via the MySql interface) = Finally discovering and successfully transferring my website (and email service) to a reliable hosting plan that doesn't randomly shut down on me every other weekday.

In conclusion I just want to say thank you Aplus.net Unix Business Class Plan, I should have never abandoned you in the first place! END RANT.

In slightly more upbeat news I just discovered that Why I'm Moving to Maine has surpassed 10,000 views (and 100 comments).
Tré kewl!



Behind the Scenes of 'World's Stupidest'

SUNDAY 2/3/08

Threw together a few sketches and a couple comments relating to my previous comic here for those who are into the behind-the-scenes scene.

Beyond that I've been slowly but surely cranking out panels for my next comic, the previously mentioned Ode to Santa Cruz, over the past couple of weeks. Still no expected completion date on this one, although I will say that if I don't wrap it up by the end of the year I'll be one very disgruntled camper.



Licensable Bear's Animated Shorts

THURSDAY 1/17/08

Anyone seeking a pleasant diversion during their weekday lunch break is encouraged to check out Licensable Bear's latest line of Products They Should Have Licensed Me For Webisodes. You can catch episodes 1-5 here and episode 6 (along with all the text versions) here. Funny stuff, and I'm not just saying that because the self-aware spokes-bear and I have "worked together" in the past.

For more madcap license-themed hilarity I recommend tracking down copies of Licensable Bear #1-4 at a friendly local comics retailer (such as Midtown Comics). This April LB will also be featured in an anthology titled Many Happy Returns which tells the story of how Licensable Bear attained spokescritter status for a popular chain of comic stores.

Congratulations LB!!
(and NG) :)


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