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Diversionary Dog Picture Post-O-Rama

Thursday, June 16, 2011
Dog Photo Update

Because my legions of imaginary fans demanded it: it’s time, once again, for another dog-centric diversionary rootin’ tootin’ picture post-o-rama.

First up, an important message for all the irresponsible pet owners who’ve been loitering around my neighborhood lately: YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

Secondly, (if you’ll allow me to adopt a completely different tone) I made a little digital photo collection of my relative’s vizslas for whom I had the pleasure of petsitting on many occasions over the years. I originally created it to share with family but I figured others might enjoy seeing them as well. Sweet dogs that I’ll always associate with fond memories of exploring the mountains, parks and beaches surrounding Santa Cruz. They will be missed…

Manga Lettering and Website Update

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Grand Guignol volume 3 cover

While I had a nice break from work earlier in the year allowing me to revamp the site and create some new webcomics I now find myself clocking in massive amounts of overtime to make up for the lost income. Suffice to say there’s not a lot to report on the webcomic production front but I figured I should share a quick update since the last post was over a month ago.

First of all for those of you that are interested in my manga lettering career I just completed work on the five-volume Grand Guignol series pictured above (a title that can best be described as a Victorian-era zombie drama involving mind-control music and giant chain guns). I also continue to work on Saturn Apartments (about futuristic window washers) and Dogs (a John Woo-esque stylistic action romp). In addition I’ve recently taken over the lettering duties for Oresama Teacher (a goofy high school comedy). All and all my dayjob is keeping me very busy at the moment and I feel fortunate that I get to work on such a diverse range of genres to keep things fresh.

Moving on, I’ve also had a chance to make a few minor improvements to the website since my last post. More specifically I reorganized the webcomic section, added bookmarking/sharing links to most of the webcomics, changed the look of the animated shorts section, added a Facebook link to the contact section, removed pop-up windows and added a link to previous posts at the bottom of this blog. The most time-consuming update though is ironically also the least-noticeable: rewriting the HTML code for the entire site so that it conforms with the current standard and, thus, has a greater chance of appearing in search engines (and thus increasing exposure). So far the extra effort seems to be paying off as I just received my first guestbook comment. Woo hoo!

Recommended Webcomic Reads

Monday, April 25, 2011

Currently going through a bit of a lull in the webcomic production process as I fix some outdated code on the website. Thought this might be a good opportunity to share a few online comics I’ve enjoyed reading lately. You’ll find the selections organized by length (shortest to longest) so you can pick and choose based on your allotted free time:

If you have 1-2 minutes to spare-
Adrift webcomic by JP Coovert

JP Coovert’s Adrift is an extremely fun and appealing little webcomic I discovered shortly after my “save a whale, harpoon a poacher” tweet. In addition to being a sucker for anything nautical themed, I also enjoy Coovert’s clear and simple art style which complements his clear and simple message perfectly.

If you have 5-10 minutes to spare-
Nothing is Forgotten webcomic by Ryan Andrews

Ryan Andrews’ Nothing is Forgotten is a thoroughly involving stand-alone webcomic that also serves as fitting homage to the work of Hayao Miyazaki. It’s a wordless comic but it certainly doesn’t read like one because the artwork does such a good job of telling the story.

If you have 25-30 minutes to spare-
Ivy online comic sampler by Sarah Oleksyk

Sarah Oleksyk’s Ivy is a gripping, richly realized “coming of age” story that should strike a chord with anyone that was fortunate enough to survive high school. While I can’t say I can relate to some of the darker situations the main character finds herself in I can certainly relate to the roller coaster of emotions that come with being a teenager (and how said emotions can render one extremely vulnerable to being lead down the wrong path given the right circumstances). I should point out that some of the content may be unsuitable for work and the webcomic is actually the first chapter of a 200 page graphic novel released in February. It’s a comic that can be enjoyed on multiple levels, both on the surface as an involving dramatic narrative and in the smaller details which hint at a much deeper character study. I particularly enjoyed how Sarah manages to mirror the emotional states of her character through the rendering of a telephone cord and her clever use of shadows during a pivotal scene (but you’ll have to buy the book if you want to read that part). ;)

Hawking Mini-Comics at WonderCon

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Handing out mini-comics at 2011 WonderCon comic convention.

Golden Gate Park baseball field.

San Francisco spring flowers.

Visited the WonderCon convention in San Francisco over the weekend. I had prepared/printed off around a hundred Random Rambles #2 ashcans the night before with the intent to drop them off at the freebie table (as I’ve done in previous years). Unfortunately the staff there have decided to turn this simple, harmless method of promoting one’s work into a huge hassle. First I talk to the guy manning the freebie booth who tells me I need to go to the press booth on the other side of the convention to get my mini-comic approved. I wait in a long line at the press booth only to find out that the only guy that is qualified for the job of judging the appropriateness of a 5-page mini-comic is on lunch break and to come back later. I come back later, wait in another long line, finally meet the head-honcho of the ashcan approval department, the guy doesn’t even glance at my comic and instead tells me that I’m not important enough to have my material evaluated because I don’t have an exhibitor badge. Well thanks a lot for the massive waste of time fella, why didn’t someone tell me that in the first place?!

Anyway with that whole debacle behind me I took to the exhibition floor, determined that the previous night’s work (and $40 in printing expenses) not be in vain. A couple hours later I had successfully managed to pawn off my entire stack of ashcans to various perusers loitering the indy comics section. I don’t know if my latest promotional stunt was worth the effort, judging from the current state of my website statistics probably not, but I hope, at the very least, I didn’t annoy too many people with my obnoxious, unrehearsed and painfully generic “free comics” hawking.

On the plus side the weather was uncharacteristically spectacular and I ended up spending the majority of the evening outdoors soaking in the spectacular sights and sampling the delectable cuisines from the great city by the bay. Certainly everything didn’t work out the way I wanted it to and I wish I was able to spend more time browsing the convention floor but sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches and make the best of the situation. There’s always next year…

Mr. Fly’s Fifteen Frames of Fame Face-lift

Sunday, March 27, 2011
Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the award-winning animated short Mr. Fly's Fifteen Frames of Fame.

Recently realized it’s been ten years (!) since a plucky housefly and his perilous quest for fame made its big screen debut in animation festivals across the nation. To celebrate this momentous occasion I’ve dug through the archives and (with the help of some friendly tech folks over in Redwood City) have prepared a digitally remastered version of the award-winning Mr. Fly’s Fifteen Frames of Fame viewable here. The graininess and choppy framerate that plagued my original online upload have been addressed so I encourage anyone that enjoyed the old version to take a gander at the new version in all its “creator’s original vision” uncompressed glory.

Fans of the short are also encouraged to check out the Son of Mr. Fly webcomic I made a few years back which I consider to be a “spiritual sequel” to the animation and features a similar style and story arc. In recognition of Mr. Fly’s tenth anniversary I’ve added a bonus graphic to the comic’s comments section which I think those familiar with the short will get a kick out of.

Anyway, thanks for buzzing by the site hope you dig the fly-centric update.

Licensable BearTM Online Comic Sampler…

Saturday, March 19, 2011
Licensable BearTM Webcomic Preview

I’m happy to inform everyone that the first comic collaboration between Eisner-nominated (and all-around nice guy) Nat Gertler and myself is now available to view on the web. The story, Licensable BearTM, Finder of Lost Consumers, was originally published in the Licensable BearTM #2 comic (my first “mainstream” comic illustration work) and can currently be found in the trade paperback collection The Licensable BearTM Big Book of Officially Licensed Fun.

For the uninitiated Licensable BearTM is, literally, a Licensable Bear. In his own words, he’s “a complete image-based concept ready to be licensed for a wide range of products and multi-media applications, throughout the English-speaking world and beyond!” In other words he’s like a walking, talking Captain Crunch who has stepped off his cereal cover in search of bigger and better opportunities.

An odd premise for a comic to be sure but Nat makes it work time and time again by focusing on writing entertaining, fun (and, yes, sometimes even poignant) stories first that, secondly, just so happen to feature an aspiring marketing icon that likes to prattle on about “secondary branding possibilities.” The cumulative effect is that in between the laughs and compelling dialogue exchanges you’re actually learning useful information about private domains, intellectual properties and copyright infringement (topics that usually cause my eyes to glaze over under any other circumstances).

Anyway, that’s the reason I enjoyed reading and working on the series. Hope you find Licensable BearTM’s latest web appearance entertaining (and a bit educational) as well.

Random Rambles #2 Webcomic

Monday, February 28, 2011
Random Rambles #2 webcomic
Hurray, at long last Random Rambles #2 is finished!

I say this not because I feel there’s a huge demand for its release (one only needs to check the current state of #1’s comment section for the sad truth on that subject). No, the reason I say this is because I’m just happy (and relieved) to see a personal project that has consumed the majority of my free time for the past couple months finally come to fruition. I guess another way I could phrase it would be: “At long last my brain is free to focus on other things!”

Speaking of other things I think I’ll keep this brief so I can get a head start on some much-needed R&R from RR. Hope you enjoy the comic as much as I enjoyed …er… finishing it and be sure to check back next month for more webcomic goodness.

New Webcomic Coming Sooner…

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inks are done, pages are scanned. Obviously I was a bit optimistic with my initial ETC (estimated time of completion) but I am making progress and finishing the comic continues to be a high priority. I’m not going to try to name dates since there are a lot of factors to consider but let’s just say my next update will be a bit more exciting.

New Webcomic Coming Soon…

Sunday, January 23, 2011
Pencil preview for 'Random Rambles #2' comic.

Work on my latest comic, Random Rambles #2, is slowly but surely nearing completion. I’ve just finished the pencils (typically the longest part of the production process for me) and hope to polish off the inks, letters and tones next week. Wish me luck and be sure to check back soon!

Rambles Backstage Madness!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011
Random Rambles #1 Backstage Madness feature

In anticipation of my next Random Rambles comic I’ve posted a behind-the-scenes feature (with pictures!) on the original installment viewable here. It’s not something I’m looking to do for every comic but I felt I could contribute one or two interesting factoids this go-around.

Enjoy and Happy 2011!