Friday, September 19, 2008

Hidden Place

It’s been a while since we explored the idiosyncrasies hidden within “Reverie.” So grab your mouse, open your eyes, and let’s have some fun searching for more Easter Eggs. Ready? Here we go:

On Page 31, the poster of the couple dancing and the barely visible soccer poster in panel 2 are both art works done by me for different purposes. They were recycled as props for Metasearch. So is the poster in panel 3, page 33.

The T-Shirt Anya is wearing on page 34 sports the logo of my graphic design company “Merc Designs.”

Anya’s reflection can be seeing on the cup of coffee in page 35

Acantha has a “Witch’s Cauldron” T-shirt on it in page 39, which is the pub Inspector McConnor and Metasearch met to discuss this case.

“Sleep X” on page 45 is another wonderful make-believe brand I invented, and so is the group Johnny Jiu and Ju Ju Five. By the way, Johnny’s T-shirt has another recycled art work. I love designing T-shirts, labels, posters, etc.

The crystal skull on page 48 has nothing to do with “Indiana Jones.” Many years ago, I had an idea for Metasearch involving the aforementioned objects, but it’s still in the “ideas bin.” I just couldn’t resist showing it since there is one at the British Museum.

The gallery Metasearch and McConnor are visiting on page 49 is real. It is called “Living and Dying” and is on display at the British Museum. The art pieces shown on the page are actually part of the collection (including the Crystal Skull).

The “Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows” can be seen on page 58, panel 3 on top of the table. It’s a nod to the movie “The Ninth Gate,” based on the book “El Club Dumas” by Arturo Perez-Reverte, one of my favorite authors.

The names on the Inspector’s notes on page 61, panel 2 belong to: Maila Nurmi a.k.a. Vampira, Cassandra Peterson a.k.a. Elvira, Florina Kendric, Monica Belucci, and Michaela Bercu played the three bride’s of Dracula in the 1992 film “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” Gene Collan is the penciller and co-creator of “Blade,” Roy Thomas and Gil Kane are the creators of “Morbius, the Living Vampire,” one of Spiderman’s foes.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoy this new batch of inside jokes. More will come in due time. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Never Told You What I Do For

Here’s the much delayed page 62! My computer virus is dead. And after a week of being deprived of it, I’m now paying catch-up with all my work including Metasearch. Pages will trickle in from now on since I’m swamped with work, but I’ll do my best to have one new page a week.

This page was definitely one of the toughest I’ve done in a while. The amount of elements I needed to paint was staggering. I wanted to do a large panel with all the main characters in it, and then a reverse of that same shot. The idea was to make the readers feel part of the conversation, as if they were in the room with the characters. I also needed a lot of space to layout large chunks of dialog.

I can’t thank you enough for your patience as I try to keep delivering new pages. It would be easier if I made my living as a professional comic book artist, but until then, I still have my day job. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Virus

There was a page 62 scheduled for today, but midway through the art process my loyal workhorse-of-a-computer started to slow down to a crawl. Two updated anti-viruses and two anti-spyware programs later, and my poor PC was still down and out. Mac users please hold your comments; I agree with you, but unless you pitch in to get me a suped up Mac Pro, I don’t want to hear it. So Metasearch’s powerful engine is currently in the shop getting detox. I’m writing this on my Mac Book Pro (yes, rejoice Apple lovers). And no, files are way too layered and big to be workable in the notebook. In short, that’s why there is no new page today, much to my chagrin I might add. So much for trying to get some pages done before getting buried in work. We’ll see how that goes.

Reading back the old post “Fear is the Key,” about audience engagement being the main ingredient for fear in any medium, I forgot to mention good old fashion ghost stories. It’s truly a magical moment when you get a group of people by a bonfire, and you scare them by the sheer power of words. No images, but the ones in the listener’s heads. There is no music or sound effects. Just tone, pacing, storytelling, and a deep shared primal fear. The only reason it works is because the listeners are willing to be taken away by the story. Otherwise it’s all too damn cheesey.

Let’s hope my computer gets out of rehab in time to get page 62 up on Wednesday. I’ll see you in the page… I hope.

Oddman Out

Friday, September 5, 2008


On second thought, maybe Jae Lee decided to use long panels for “The Dark Tower” because the amount of dialog required. After all, Pater David and Robin Furth are adapting a novel. Maybe it’s all of the above. In short, I like the style and it proved helpful on this page. I wanted to do a sequence with random close ups. I always play with the use of close ups to inform the reader about something specific i.e. panel 2 with McConnor’s notes. This time around I just wanted to relax and be a bit more abstract and just use images to carry the dialog in a way that’s still captivating. I thought this was a perfect place for this layout since this whole scene is heavy on dialog. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back in Black

Well, I’m back from a great vacation, my batteries are recharged and I’m ready to keep on trucking. And so we arrive at page 60, where finally our five main characters meet, and get to have a powwow about that pesky crimson cloud.

During my travels, I picked up a copy of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born.” I knew about the novels, but I have yet to read them. Not only did I find the story compelling, but the art had quite a unique feel to it. I’ve always loved Jae Lee’s art. In fact, the font I used to letter most of Metasearch’s dialogs is “CCHellshock,” a font created by Comic Craft for Jae Lee’s book of the same name (sans the CC which stands for Comic Craft). The art in the Dark Tower is enhanced by the great Richard Isanove, and lettered by Chris Eliopoulus. If you have read previous posts, you’ll understand why I pay props to the letterer, a great team indeed.

Fear not, this blog hasn’t turned into a two-cent review. The reason I mention the book is because the idea for the long panels was taken from it. In my quest for variety in each page, I thought that would be an appropriate layout for the scene. I can only guess that Lee decided to use this format to evoke the great western tradition in film, where you have these beautiful shots framed against the vast frontier’s landscape… or maybe he just did it because that’s the way he wanted to. Who knows?

But I digress . . . please sit back, relax, and enjoy. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out