Monday, April 30, 2012

And I like sometimes to wave it high

TCAF is this weekend!! :D Please do come and say 'hi' if you are in the area; the show is free and I will have several cool freebies for you.

Oh man, I am going to have trouble staying at my many awesome people I want to go see and buy things from! :)

Table 248 with Emi Lenox.  Here's a map.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ugh French

New comic: Facepalm French Adventures! :D

For the record, it's a 'sac à main', and I will never forget it.  (And my French class is AWESOME; this is just some silliness that needed to be shared.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Don't recognize anybody

New art: Death from Neil Gaiman's Sandman!

She's so fun to draw! *v*

ALSO!  We're less than a week from the Stumptown Comics Fest!!!  HOOAH!  Hope to see you there!  I'll be at table B-5 and I'm on a panel Sunday from 4:00-4:45 speaking on the topics of time management and meeting deadlines.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Harry Potter references in Between Gears:

I counted 8. If you find one that I missed, comment here or e-mail me a description and I'll draw your favorite HP character.

1) “…Snape’s patronus.” in foreword

2) Oct 19 – Hogwarts/Pigfarts

3) Jan 17 – Dumbledore

4) Mar 4 – invisibility cloak

5) Mar 30 – ‘Harry Potter did WHAT to WHO?!’

6) Mar 30 – Wizard People, Dear Reader

7) May 12 – ‘Gryffindor won the house cup…’

8) Bonus Material (SF trip comics) – ‘Nick is on a Harry Potter kick’

(^This one has 9)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Soon we'll be found

Portland got 2 consecutive days of sun this week and so we have entered the magical, annual sprouting phase, where every patch of earth suddenly explodes in bright fresh, SATURATED green things. It's lovely!

The Periscope whiteboard is infamous for sprouting horrors, but this is the worst one yet:

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

I am kind of hoping this will become an insert-able rage face, but I'm afraid its short/fatness makes it difficult to impose over photos. This is the best I could do, and it's awful:

Feel free to try your own. Tomorrow, if I remember, I'll take a photo of what's falling into its mouth on the whiteboard.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Flames illuminate our faces

Terry Blas and I started a Tumblr for Legend of Korra fan art and fun! Check it out.

Also, I want a Legend of Korra sweatshirt:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Take the heartland

Life drawing sketches from tonight (NSFW):

I have no introduction, I just breathe it in like the air

In this post I'm going to answer a question I received via e-mail (abridged):
"...In your blog, and in Between Gears, you mention a lot of printed comics and books (the Flight series comes to mind) and other works that you read and found it helpful to study the art from. (I) looking to expand my collection of graphic novels, formerly limited to Bone and some of the Firefly tie-in books (and, of course, Between Gears). Could you do a blog post on good books to start a sequential art collection/library for aspiring artists?"
There are so, so many comics in the world, 'getting into comics' or beginning a collection can feel really daunting. I'd say just go to your local comic shop and ask for recommendations, but that's a mixed bag depending on the quality of the shop. In Portland we have Floating World Comics and Jason Levian, who gave me great, tailored recommendations and kept me in comics when I was about ready to give up reading them. In case you live in a place without a good shop or can't go to one for another reason, here is a list of comics that I personally recommend. (As an artist, I'm naturally attracted to books with art styles I like, so I believe this list will work for those looking for art inspiration/education.)

First off, here are a few that are so good, I'm telling you "don't ask, just buy":

I Kill Giants (Titan Edition contains project notes)
The War at Ellsmere
Anya's Ghost
Koko Be Good
Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind (make sure to buy at the 10x7" dimensions or larger so you can see the line art details!)
Scott Pilgrim
12 Reasons Why I Love Her
Mysterius the Unfathomable

Other books I have on my shelf at Periscope:

1) Betsufure - A random tankōbon I picked up the last time I was in Japan. I love manga tankōbon because they contain chapters from several artists/genres and have lots of variety and inspiring ideas for page layouts and toning effects. Try looking in a large bookstore's magazine area or in a Japanese bookstore for one that appeals to you.
2)Batgirl: Year One - The artwork is incredible. Just incredible. All in all this is a really fun book and something I could get into, not being a hardcore comic reader and not having a lot of past knowledge of DC characters.
3) The Secret World of Arriety (a comic made from screencaps from the film) - Studio Ghibli makes many of their movies into comics like this, and I love them because they serve as a library of different moments from their films. I use them for inspiration, color palette inspiration, choosing the best moments to draw for particular sequences, and acting reference.
4) Oh My Goddess! - Really clean line art and clear storytelling. Chapters are fun, self-contained stories.
5) Angelic Layer - Some of the best action sequences I have ever read.
6) Les lumieres de Lamalou - Claire Wendling is a master cartoonist. Her pencils and environments make me cry on the inside a little bit. The colors are also lovely.
7) Demo - 12 self-contained stories written by Brian Wood. Each is drawn by Becky Cloonan in a different style!
8) How to Draw Anime and Game Characters (volumes 1-3) - Wonderful art books for drawing characters and giving them life/personality.
9) Yotsuba - Hilarious, clear, self-contained stories. Character designs are instantly recognizable and characters have their own distinct personalities/tastes/expressions; they feel much more real than the average comic character.
10) Patsy Walker: Hellcat - Immonen and Lafuente both have expressive, funny, and original styles.
11) Cross Game - Great mix of realistic backgrounds and simplified characters. The story is very quiet, yet manages to engage and quickly becomes a page-turner.
12) Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things - Dark/creepy aesthetic and really wonderful draftsmanship using only black and white.
13) Objects, works by Kilian Eng - A great collection of environmental and design illustrations that each inspire a million story ideas.

Also, let us never forget the vast gift that is webcomics:
1) Emitown
2) Bucko
3) Works of Emily Carroll
4) Out Foxed
5) Hark, A Vagrant!
6) Works of Marc Ellerby
7) Tragedy Series

If you go out and explore and follow your own tastes, you'll find much more than this and stumble onto things I have never even heard of. Never give up! Never surrender! Never stop reading comics! There's so much good stuff out there.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ECCC 2012 wrap-up post

This was the best convention I’ve had yet. Thank you to all of the organizers, volunteers, attendees, and other exhibitors for making this show so much fun. You can bet I'll be there next year if I can snag a space before it sells out!

I borrowed my brothers’ car and drove up on Thursday with Emi Lenox. It was great taking a car (vs. Amtrak), because we could take as many boxes as we wanted and we were on our own schedule. Usually, I have to pack very light and leave the show a few hours early on Sunday to catch the last train, but this year I could stay until the veeeeery end, go to dinner, and then hit the road.

Getting my badge, setting up my table, and checking into the hotel all went smoothly. It was lovely. Emi and I met up with Cat Farris, Ron Chan, Sean Kelley, Wook Jin Clark, Patric Reynolds, and Jarrett Williams for dinner, then had a relaxing first night in.

(We also did some Seattle spelunking)

On Friday morning, I was hoping to take a ride in an open-cockpit biplane, but the company didn’t call me back in time to arrange it. It was a bummer, but I went to Pike Place with Emi, Cat, Ron, and Sean instead, and was able to hang out with Terry Blas and Colin Matthew before the show started. Maybe I can take a ride with a different company this summer, or try this company again next year when I’m in Seattle again.

I sat at an exhibitor island with Periscope Studio, and we got choice traffic flow. It was fun watching my studiomate Benjamin Dewey constantly engaged with his Tragedy Series fanarmy. That man could take over the world tomorrow if he gave them the order...

I blew my fangirl budget before the show even started on two Brittney Lee prints (1, 2). xD They are gorgeous. I’ve had my eye on them for a long time, and was really happy to be able to buy them in person.

Attendance at ECCC this year was incredible. I've heard that it went from 32,000 in 2011 to 50,000 in 2012. Friday and Sunday, historically slower days, were at least as busy as Saturday was last year. And Saturday? Insanity. I’m glad my table spot was less than 50m from the bathroom. This was, of course, a really REALLY good thing as an exhibitor. I was pleasantly surprised to talk to a lot of people who said it was their first comic convention, let alone their first ECCC.

It was funny when I looked up immediately after making that purchase and saw this:

The ECCC volunteers were helpful and prepared, as always. This year, they did me a nice favor and helped connect me with John DiMaggio so I could cut a 2-hour line (so sorry, everyone else! @_@) and give him some fan art before sprinting back to my table. I’ve been e-mailing with Ben Acker of The Thrilling Adventure Hour, and he helped make this happen as well. Oh, you want to see the fan art? It’s for a later post, but stay tuned~ :P

I was on the Image Comics 20th Anniversary panel, which was nice, but in all honesty I felt pretty out of place sitting up there with a bunch of well-established pros. I also said some unfortunate things like, “obviously, things have gone pretty well” (about my career since college). xD; I blame nerves! Some people came by my table and picked up Between Gears, citing the panel as their introduction to it, so I am grateful for that. Brandon Graham, Emi, and I had a little fun doodle-jamming during the panel:

Convention sketches were fantastic this year. I got a lot of requests, and many of them were fun subjects and turned out really well. Here are a couple of my favorites:

PS - Did you commission me to draw Sadako Sasaki? I want to give you your commission, but you need to contact me! (Tally at farbeyond dot com)

I did a lot more interviews than last year—I’ll be sure to link when they go live.

(Emi, Eric Stephenson, Ron Richards, Joe Keatinge)

I normally try to network at ECCC because it's a fantastic show for that, but this year it was difficult because several industry parties did not end up happening. I had good times, mostly with friends from Portland, and didn't beat myself up about it.