Posts made in September, 2011

Book Release!

Posted by on Sep 24, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

Hey guys, I just wanted to make sure that everyone who reads this blog knows about my book release party on Saturday, October 1st.

Cosmic Monkey Comics was already my favorite comic store in Portland long before they agreed to host this event. I will probably be spending my money there as fast as people are handing it to me!

If you are on facebook, RSVP to the facebook event page. It doesn’t actually matter, but it strokes my precious ego and lets your friends know that you read good comics. Hope to see y’all there!

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Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I drew this picture for my old friend Elliot Kaplan, a physicist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. If anyone I know can answer the timeless question “Magnets, how do they work?” it’s probably Elliot. He currently works with the Madison Dynamo Experiment. My understanding of this is limited by my own feeble brain and not by Elliot’s lucid explanatory skills, but here’s the gist: The earth has a magnetic field. The earth’s mantle is full of circulating molten metal, and its circulation is what generates this field. In Madison they’ve built a large, hollow globe, which they fill with liquid sodium (a convenient approximation of the earth’s mantle, which I think is mostly silicon and magnesium).

They blend the sodium around with fans and pass magnetic fields through it, measuring the results. And here’s where I get a little shaky. Lightning crashes and all the scientists start laughing maniacally, God get furious, Galactus shows up hungry, and before you know it the Dynamo kills your wife on your wedding night.

Okay, so what’s this have to do with my drawing? Apparently, it’s a tradition for Elliot and his crew to get Chinese food before every run of the experiment. In some cryptic way, the fortune cookie fortunes have so far always predicted the outcome of the day’s run. Elliot commissioned a cartoon depicting physicists divining the future from fortune cookies, suggesting that their safety gear would make for good “cultish regalia.” I couldn’t agree more!

… in bed!

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Art for my own Release Party Flier.

Posted by on Sep 11, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments

Hey Apostrophobiphiles! If you read this blog then you’ve probably heard all about my graphic novel Savage Nobles in the Land of Enchantment, which is now available in print. I’m having a release party on Saturday, October 1st from 4-6pm at Cosmic Monkey Comics in NE Portland, OR. Below is the flyer for that event:

I am sort of please with the artwork for this flyer and sort of not. I think I am getting a better and better “knack” for composition. A big help was reading Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers by Marcos Mateu-Mestre. He has truly amazing skills at designing compositions that are clear, pleasing, and intuitively comprehensible, even when depicting complicated action. He also has a somewhat sketchy, digital graywash style that looks so effortless it must be affected. Since “Framed Ink” is mostly geared towards storyboarding, I found myself wanting to design a SNitLoE scene with a short, wide frame like a movie screen.

(click for larger version)

So while I think the composition is basically sound, I have a lot of qualms about the artwork itself. While I’m glad I rendered the desert mountain beyond a simple sandy mass, I think I might have gone too far the other way – the characters, especially Theo, get lost among the jumble of lines in the rocks. Somehow I am not differentiating enough with my inking between “flesh,” “cloth” and “rocks.” The blacks are not well placed. There’s something wrong with pretty much every single hand in the picture, and some of the proportions are way off. Oh well, it’s just for a flyer that’ll probably get torn down anyway!

Two things to note: Yes, “algebraic” is misspelled – I corrected it on the finished flyer. And no, a scene like this never occurs in the actual story – but neither does the scene I drew for the cover of the book. Only Tonya and Greg discover Utopiopolis, and they are not dressed that way when they do.

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SNitLoE Pre-Orders.

Posted by on Sep 9, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You can now pre-order the print version of SNitLoE from my online store!

I will mail your copy (or copies) as soon as the books arrive, probably on or around the weekend of September 24th. Books cost $15 each, plus a one-time shipping charge of $5. If you like, I will sign your book and draw a little doodle of one of the characters on the title page.

The store page also has a free download of the entire comic as a .cbz file. If you have friends who enjoy the soulless experience of reading immaterial comics by the cold blue glow of an iPad or laptop, please tell them about this download!

The store also has buttons! But these are not really worth buying unless you are also buying a book!

Lastly, if you live in PORTLAND FREAKIN’ OREGON, you should definitely save yourself $5 in shipping by purchasing a book from me directly. A good place to do that might be my release party on October 1st at Cosmic Monkey Comics. But you can just as easily accost me in the park, at the Max station, in my own bed while I’m sleeping, etc. and I will gladly sell you a book on the spot.

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Benjamin Franklinstein!

Posted by on Sep 2, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Today is Independoween, the holiday that is calendrically equidistant from Halloween and the 4th of July. The holiday was the brainchild of my friend Xavier Lyles, who envisions Independoween celebrations as containing the best of these two holidays: fireworks AND costumes; backyard barbecues AND candy; jingoistic patriotism AND a spooky sense of the macabre. You could carve an American flag into a pumpkin. Or you could dress up like Independoween’s unofficial mascot, Benjamin Franklinstein:

It would have been really cool if Xavier and I were the originators of Ben Franklinstein, but unfortunately that isn’t true. I discovered that people have been mashing these two together for quite some time. There’s even a YA book about the character. Alas, there is nothing new under the sun. It is with great sadness that I’ve decided not to suggest this idea to Dylan Meconis as a potential follow-up to her werewolf/Enlightenment and vampire/French Revolution franchise.

However, my unoriginality is not simply a coincidence. A quote from Frankensteinia, an all-Frankenstein-all-the-time blog:

The connection between the Franklin and Frankenstein has been explored extensively. The real-life Franklin and the fictional Victor Frankenstein were contemporaries, and both were electrical experimenters. Frankenstein observed a tree shattered by lightning, and Franklin apocryphally flew a kite and a key in a thunderstorm, inspiring movie Frankensteins to release kites, capture lightning and zap monsters to life.

Mary Shelley was familiar with Franklin and his experiments. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was tutored in politics by Dr. Richard Price who supported the American Revolution and corresponded with Franklin. One of her publishers, Joseph Johnson, had released Franklin’s works in London, and her lover, Gilbert Imlay, was American and a Revolutionary fighter. Mary Wollstonecraft’s husband, William Godwin, was influenced by Franklin’s politics and he was a member, as was Franklin, of the scientific Royal Society of London. Mary Shelley’s companion, Percy Bysshe Shelley, studied Franklin and was conversant with electrical experimentation.

There is frequently quoted speculation that Mary’s choice of name for her scientist was inspired by, and perhaps even an homage to Franklin, though “Frankenstein” was not a rare name and Mary had almost certainly encountered it in 1814 during her trip down the Rhine and a stopover in the vicinity of Burg Frankenstein. Nevertheless, it is said that Franklin’s electrical experiments were so widely known and notorious that the novel’s original readers, back in 1818, would have easily made the Franklin/Frankenstein connection. Many scholars have since explored the influence of Benjamin Franklin on Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Percy and Mary Shelley, and its reflection in Mary famous novel, making Founding Father Benjamin Franklin one of numerous men of science of the era who are thought of as the “real” Frankenstein.

Ain’t that fascinatin’? Happy Independoween, everybody!

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