Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The End

This has been an interesting journey to say the least. I’ve gone from joy, sadness, pride, frustration and everything in between. Part of me feels a great sense of accomplishment, and another part of me feels spent physically, mentally, and emotionally. One undeniable thing about this project is all the things that I’ve learned. It’s going to take me some time to take it all in, but it was definitely worth it. This, of course, is just one case for the team; it wasn’t the first, nor will it be the last. Much like a Franco-Belgian comic book, it is designed to be open ended stories dealing with different cases. However, it’s going to be a while before I tackle another.

Priorities aside, I have other projects to focus on at this point. Yet, the one thing you can be sure about Metasearch is that you can’t keep it down. After all, this is just another permutation in Metasearch’s eleven-year existence. It might look different, but it has to have the same mood. My next offering might not even be Metasearch at all, but some other fancy of my psyche.

This blog was kept exclusively as a sort of journal/insider’s look of the novel. Maybe I’ll do the same for the next one starting from the very beginning, who knows? As a journal, it has been of great use to me and hopefully the insider’s look somewhat enriched your experience as a reader.

Last but not least, and I can’t say this enough; thanks\ you all for your patience and your readership. I don’t think I would have been able to finish the project without your support. For those of you who went out of your way to drop me a line, you have no idea what that means when you’re doing something for the sake of passion.

I truly hope you’ve enjoyed the story. If I managed to entertain you for a moment of your day, then I have accomplished a lot. This is not a goodbye, but an “until later.” As always, I’ll see you on the page.

Oddman Out.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Thrill Is Gone

And so ends the terror of the psychic vampire. When I started the novel, I doubted I could pull off the first five pages. Fourteen months and eighty four pages later, it has been quite a journey. By now I’m sure you were not expecting a big apocalypse finale with walls bleeding and a huge explosion. If you were, you wouldn’t be reading this story to begin with.

I have to say, a lot of things happen in a year: economic downturn, family stuff, work priorities, vacations; “life,” simply put. Sadly, this incarnation of Metasearch wasn’t picked up by any publishers… yet. As disheartening as that can be, it was the people who have kept checking back to see where this paranormal tale will end, that gave me strength to keep on going when writing the whole thing off and moving on to something else would have been easier. There is something to be said about the interest in a story just for the story’s sake, since there’s no other hook to keep bringing readers back.

We have one more page to go before this case is wrapped. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Black Magic Woman

It’s time for Acantha to step up to the plate and show you what she’s got. Although in the esoteric world it is said anyone can develop psychic abilities, there is always talk about natural psychics or natural witches. Needless to say, Acantha is one of these gifted people; the kind whose phone number you want handy when things go the way of “Poltergeist.”

Researching for the book, I found out that even though there are spells per se to accomplish certain things, Wicca, as it’s understood today, is a very personal experience. For example, you can choose a different pantheon to work with i.e. Norse, Egyptian, Celtic, Greek, etc. It all depends on which one resonates with you. Casting spells is no different; every witch has their own way of doing it. Certain laws and principles are observed, but again it’s up to the caster to shape the spell in a way that suits them. I thought a direct, prop-thin casting was more in lieu with Acantha’s personality. She’s so talented and experienced that she doesn’t require too many psychological crutches or catalysts to work her magic. It’s more a sentimental thing for her, a nostalgic comfort if you will, than a necessity. Plus it looks better when you illustrate it.

I hope you’re enjoying the story so far. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Inside My Head

The image of the first panel was one of those that I kept imagining during the writing stages of the book. As time grew closer to the actual artwork I was curious myself of the outcome. The final incarnation of the psychic vampire had to more solid, brighter, and refined to reflect its new otherworldly existence. I was satisfied with it and I hope you are too.

The last showdown is on. More to come soon. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Monday, May 25, 2009

Waiting for the Miracle

No page 81 last week due to the long weekend, but here it is nonetheless. The stage is set for the last tussle between Metasearch and the psychic vampire. I’m curious about the impressions of the coming last pages. As recurrent readers know by now, this graphic novel is all about experimentation and that includes the story itself. Whether it works or not remains to be seen. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dark Night

The final showdown between Metasearch and the psychic vampire is afoot. I had a cool time doing the artwork for this page dealing with all the gang together one more time. I’m going to miss them when this is over, but it’s about time to bring this story to a close and move on.

It’s going to be a while before I commit myself to another graphic novel. Time is always an issue, and I feel the need to let the things I’ve learned from this experience settle in my head. I would like to take my art to another level, and I have a few ideas I want to experiment with in the future. Hopefully they’ll work out.

Be on the look out for page 81 later this week. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sympathy for the Devil

And so ends the great action scene. As for all gothic antagonists, we’re drawn to feel some pity for them. After all, these stories are about good-intentioned, flawed individuals, who made bad choices. Like all bullies, once their thin armor is compromised, you find out how really scared they are; the proverbial house of cards.

We’re nearing the end now, and I can’t help to look back and remember when I was struggling to make the first five pages. Why five? That’s usually the number of pages comic book studios want in order to see if an artist can deal with sequential storytelling. Now with every new page, we’re one step closer to the end of this journey. I hope you have enjoyed the ride so far. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hard on Me

For whatever reason, there’s always a page that is harder than the others. It might not look like it, but this one is a prime example. I like to joke about this being the story’s “action sequence.” As I’ve said before, Metasearch is character and story driven, so action is quite thin throughout the book.

Obvious in this page is my on-going exploration into the realm of lettering. By now, I feel more confident about it, but it’s still quite conservative as modern lettering goes. My main concern is to convey feelings more than just being creative.

So here’s page 78; I hope you enjoy it. There will be a page 79 at some point, but I have to leave town for a while, so whether or not I will be able to deliver it next week remains to be seen. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Enter the Sandman

I can’t help but imagine hearing audience applause when Gabriel shows up on the last panel. To me, it seems so long since I see my guys I can’t help but be exited to work with them again. In a way, every member of the team has their little solo moment. Claire had her scene with Anya at the coffee shop; Acantha’s is soon to come; but now it’s Gabriel’s turn.

Art-wise, I’m happy to go back to the non-flashback sequences of the book, the “realistic” scenes. Not that it wasn’t fun doing the more surreal pages, but the challenge of keeping the frames interesting is something I missed. I hope you enjoy these much-delayed pages as much as I have making them. More to come. See you in the page.

Oddman Out.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Surprise, Surprise

Well, what do you know? Another page within days instead of months. As much as I enjoyed doing the flashback sequence, I’m happy to go back to the good old style of the book.

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the International Manga Museum in Kyoto. What really caught my attention was a temporary exhibit highlighting French comic books, or Bande Dessinée as they’re known in France. Belgium and France not only constitute one of the biggest comic book markets in the world, but they also have a different approach to publishing. In Japan, for example, manga are done cheaply and quickly usually by one or two creators in compilations. If the story generates any interest, then it gets its own book. In the U.S. serialized books are output monthly at a neck-breaking pace by a team of artists. In the Franco-Belgian market, books are published maybe once a year by a team of two artists (usually). Sure, they are longer than 22 pages, but it’s not so much a serialized market like in Japan or the U.S.

It was very interesting seeing the differences between the three biggest markets of comic books; how they develop independently from each other, and how sometimes they influence each other. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Whiter Shade of Pale

April marks the anniversary of Metasearch on-line, so I thought it would be proper to produce a new page. Between work, traveling, and other engagements, I haven’t got the time to keep the project going on a regular basis. But I’m still here, and sooner or later I’ll finish it as promised. Once again, I can’t thank enough those of you who still have the patience and dedication for the story to keep checking for updates.

Anyway, wrapping up the flashback sequence after so long really gave me a sense of accomplishment. Every time I go back to the project I have the feeling I have forgotten how to do it. One thing I enjoyed was playing with different textures or composition of the psychic vampire. When we first meet him, he’s just a little pink cloud. But as he keeps on feeding, Sam becomes stronger, so the shape is bigger and redder. For the second encounter, I wanted a “blood in water” look to his misty form; something more solid and fluid than just a vapor. For this next evolution, although symbolic since it’s a flashback, I wanted something more like fire to reflect Sam’s rage.

I hope you enjoy the new page; more to come in the future. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lust For Life

Long time no see. It has gotten harder to keep up, but that’s no excuse not to finish what was started. I understand the complications this irregular pace brings to the continuity of the story. If I had my way, I would have been done by the end of last November, but sadly that wasn’t the case. This project has been through and through a personal challenge. It was so in its inception, and looks to be so to the end. Updates will come, slowly but surely. Thank you for your patience. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out