Monday, June 30, 2008
After forty pages of trying to keep every page interesting, you don’t want to repeat yourself. This pushes me to be more creative every time. It’s challenging and satisfying, and the book benefits from it. I have also become a bit looser with my lettering. It’s still a work in progress, but it has certainly improved. As I compare page 1 to page 40, I see that Metasearch has gone a long way in a very short period of time. Don’t worry; we still have a lot more road ahead of us. I’ll see you in the page.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Gabriel’s last name is somewhat uncomfortable for English speakers. Take the first to letters of his surname and you’ll understand why. I’ve been asked why didn’t I choose something different, but the genesis of his particular family name comes from a person I know, who had a much more compromising last name. As I writer, I fall in love with life little quirks, and use them to make my characters more real. Not everyone can be like Homer Simpson and choose to change their names to the more appealing “Max Power.”
DeNegro’s amazing ESP abilities not only forged his character, but his chosen profession as a holistic healer in the critical wing of a hospital. He was supposed to be originally a parapsychologist, but that honor went to Acantha so each character had a job becoming of their gifts and personalities. There you have it, the elusive, yet accessible Gabriel. I’ll see you in the page.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Take this page for instance, it could have been a straight forward scene with six panels or so. However, I’ve been wanting to make a collage page for awhile, and I thought this was the perfect time to do so. What I like about composing a page this way is how it conveys the passage of time. It also involves the reader by immersing them in the documents Inspector McConnor is reading. I had some concerns about how it would come out with Metasearch’s faded look, but after all was said and done, the scene played out beautifully. Lettering was also a concern of mine, since there was so much text going on, but I try to integrate the narration into the art as much as I could and it worked pretty well too.
It is often the case with me that the pages with which I struggle the most, turn out to be some of my favorites. I’ll see you in that page.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Nevertheless I liked Anya and, with the little twist to her gift, I wrote her into “Reverie.” The alteration was that she couldn’t control her astral projections, and her uncomfortable extra-physical experiences were synthesized from the supposed repeated incidents of two people I know. This incorporeal meeting between the psychic vampire and Anya gave the story a whole new interesting dimension. Her occupation, a Doctor in Art History and Anthropology working for the
As a plot catalyst, Inspector McConnor represents the skeptical, pragmatist side of the reader. On the other hand, Anya is the guide into the unknown. She is the fear, reluctance, and helplessness of someone unwillingly touched by preternatural forces. So hold on to your bodies, and let’s see where this hapless traveler of the unknown takes us. I’ll see you in the page.
Friday, June 20, 2008
The fact that a person can put words together in sentences doesn’t make them a writer. Most people in the 21st century can read and write, and word processor software has made the task even easier. So really, the ability to write doesn’t make you a writer. Perhaps the quintessential illustration of this idea comes from the Robert Altman film “The Player,” in which studio executives browse through the newspaper in search for story ideas, since the screenwriters were on strike. Personally, I think a writer is a person who has a way with words, i.e. Shakespeare and Cervantes to show the pinnacle of this skill. These are people that have such a command of their language that can convey timeless stories. I, for one, see myself as a storyteller, not a writer.
To the chagrin of most people who want to break into the comic business as writers, the doors are tightly closed. Like fictional spies, we search for the one chance we can find to “Machiavelli” our way into the impregnable fortress that is the publishing business amidst an endless army of clone-writing, half-baked producing, rip-off adapting, unoriginal-typing, nonsensical-scribing people. I’ll see you in the page.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
My formal training is as a script writer for film. Screenplays have very definite rules that the writer should follow, even though they are used mostly as a guideline for cast and crew than an immutable bible. Movie scripts focus more on who, where, how, why, and when; with an emphasis in dialog. Camera angles, props, costumes, action scenes, and even the dialog can change as the manuscript travels through the different departments and talent in a production. The witty banter of Pulp Fiction would be hard to reproduce in a comic book, since space is always an issue. As much as the letterer blends the word balloons with the art, the fact remains that something will be obscured by the dialog.
Since Metasearch is a one-man-effort, it is easy for me to edit my own dialog to suit my panels, but I can’t deny the fact that I find myself doing that all too often, and I keep reminding to myself “this isn’t a screenplay.” Going through every stage of the creation of a graphic novel has been an immense learning experience. I’ll see you in the page.
Monday, June 16, 2008
It would have been easy to fill page 34 with internal dialog, but I’d rather keep the panels blank, so the reader can project their own thoughts in what I like to call the “quiet pages.” I see them as a blank canvas in which the reader can interact with the plot. They can follow the character and “write” their own internal dialog to the scene. This is the sort of interaction and submersion I strive to achieve. There’s no better scene than the one played out in the public’s mind. I’ll see you in the page.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Personally the payoff of all this comes from the people who take the time to email me about their regard for my work. When you really think about it, these people have no other motivation to do this other than their genuine enjoyment of what I do, and their gregarious choice to convey it to me. What good would a storyteller be without an audience gathered around the fire to hear his tales? I believe when art is done for yourself, it is self-expression; when you find an audience, it is communication; and when you make money out of it, it’s a career. I spend a lot of time in the “self-expression” stage, and to finally be able to communicate my vision to others has been very rewarding.
I want to thank all of you out there who have honored me with your emails and support. As sappy as it might sound, you have given me one more reason to keep on doing what I love. Now move closer to the fire so I can continue my tale… I’ll see you in the page.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Page 31 has been by far the hardest. Painting hues and strokes had to match; different textures and color filters had to be created to give each apartment its own signature look and feel. References, perspectives, and action had to flow seamlessly to convey the action. Elements had to be retouched and blended together. If this was a page solely done in pencils or painting, it would just be a matter of creating each panel without having to deal with all these elements. Then we go on to page 32, which has to match page 23 in order to maintain art continuity.
As you can see, it is sometimes an imperfect method that yields interesting results and creates a distinctive appearance. Every panel is approached differently since each presents its own challenges, but that’s what keeps it interesting for me as an artist. Even the most mundane panel becomes an adventure. I’ll see you in the page.
Monday, June 9, 2008
One of the elements that I like about the story is the pr
Friday, June 6, 2008
There is a cross in every panel of page 1.
The cover of the book on page 4 was an old art school project.
The title is a play to Dion Fortune’s book dealing with the same subject. The “Metasearch” business card McConnor is holding in page 6 was actually the same business cards I used to promote the graphic novel at a comic book convention some years ago.
The “Witch’s Cauldron,” the pub in which the team meets the Inspector, is one of those imaginary places which I got to design as a recurrent place in the book. I’m particularly found of the sign. Also, the artwork on the walls of the pub (page 18 and 19) depict illustrations of witch hunts in England.
McConnor’s Brand of cigarettes, “Gypsy’s” (page 27), is another of my custom designs for the book.
Finally, on page 30, the design on the girl’s T-shirt is from a make-believe rock band I created and it depicts odd-i-t’s own mascot, Oddman. I hope you find these indulgences as amusing as I do. Keep your eyes peeled and I’ll see you in the page.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Throughout “Reverie”, it is suggested that McConnor has some history with Metasearch, a past that’s yet to be revealed. The Inspector represents the logical mind; the part of our brain that rationalizes everything. He is a cop, and he lives in a world of analysis, evidence, and facts. Yet his life was touched by the unexplained at one point; in such a way that has shaken him to the very core of his beliefs. This makes McConnor live in a state of semi-denial; hence his reluctance to contact Metasearch. But, it also explains why he would consider them as an answer.
James was born out of the necessity for a story catalyst. However, he soon took a life of his own, and developed his voice. It didn’t take long to develop a soft spot for the big, old, cynic with the stone-like face. I’ll see you in the page.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Art and entertainment aren’t mutually exclusive. They certainly cross paths more than once, but they also tend to be confused by most people. Art is a form of self expression that challenges society; it mirrors it, and its end result is not necessarily agreeable to the public. Entertainment, on the other hand, is escapism, enjoyment, and satisfactory to the public. Both are necessary, important, sometimes similar, but not the same. There is one indisputable factor they have in common: Money. You can grab your guitar and entertain friends at a party, and you can paint in your free time to express another side of you, but if you choose to make a creative endeavor a career, you need to pay the bills. The greatest artists in history were no exception; they were hired by kings, popes, the nobility, and the wealthiest families of their time.
If I could quit my day job in order to pursue a career doing comics, I would do it in a second. Who wouldn’t love to be making a living out of something they love to do? We spend a big chunk of our lives working, and to me there is nothing worse than to wake up every day to do something I'm forced to do. To be able to make money through self expression is an admirable feat, not something of which to be ashamed. I’ll see you in the page.