Wednesday, April 2, 2014

All's Quiet on the Western Front -- But Not For Long

You may have noticed I've been pretty quiet lately. In fact, I managed to go an entire month without posting.

Don't worry, I'm not dead, just busy. I have a day job, and it's been occupying my time. It's good to be busy, but that doesn't mean I've forgotten about the Wandering Koala universe. In fact, I've been working on something pretty exciting that I'll be unveiling soon. Keep an eye open.

But until then, have you checked out any of the recently released Wandering Koala Digests? Each one has comics, prose, an essay, and more! The image at the right comes from the first one.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Putting It All Together

I've been working on a new style for my characters and a new style for backgrounds. I finally put the two together and came up with this. It was inspired by a trip to the grocery store this week. It was about 40 degrees. I noticed a little old lady all bundled up walking out of the store and a young guy in a t-shirt and shorts behind her. The contrast made me laugh. Temperature is definitely relative.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Imaginary Worlds

Something I've really been struggling with is backgrounds. I'm just not sure what I want the backgrounds in my work to look like. I've tried many styles and techniques, but I have yet to come onto one that makes me jump up and yell, "Eureka!"

The above image is one of my latest attempts. It's completely digital--a mix of Google SketchUp and Adobe Photoshop.  It took me three days to build, but now I have a whole town that I can twist and turn and photograph from all angles.

I've created digital backgrounds before (just look at my most recent posts), but this one is different, because it has a painterly feel to it and a storybook vibe which I kind of like. I'm not sure if this is the direction I will pursue, because there is another very different style I'm also exploring, but I do like it and it does offer many advantages.

But I'd love to hear what you think.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Never let anything good go to waste

Previous posts have followed the evolution of the cover for the latest Wandering Koala Digest. I did like the original try, but not for a main cover image, so I used it on the back cover. It makes an excellent back cover, because it looks good, but it's also simple enough that it can be covered up with the barcode and book description without obfuscating what it is.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Correcting Mistakes

A couple of posts back I posted a potential cover image. When I created it I thought it was great. Then I looked at it the next morning and wasn't as impressed. And judging by the weak traffic to the image on DeviantArt, neither was anyone else.

The title of one of the stories in the latest issue of Wandering Koala Digest is Mistakes, so the title of this post is a bit of a pun. The first cover was a mistake, but instead of pushing ahead with it I decided to start from scratch and create a new cover. And boy am I glad I did!

The figure was drawn with a pencil, inked with a Pigma Graphic 1, and colored in Photoshop. The background was created in Google Sketchup with textures from Photoshop. The figures are from previous projects. The phoenix and fire are from the original try.

I am really happy with how this turned out. This is a style I could get behind. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Catch the Readers' Attention

Something that is almost as important as the cover of a book and the name of the author or series is the description. A good description will have the reader drop everything to pick up a copy of the book. A bad description will make the reader wonder why this person thought they had any right writing a book.

Coming up with a catchy summary that both tells enough to hook the reader but holds enough back to not give everything away is a challenge. Below is the description of my latest publication, Wandering Koala Digest 3. The illustration was created in Corel Painter.

Henry Conrad has made the find of the millennium—an actual living, breathing dinosaur! The only problem is, in a drunken fit of rage, he killed it. When he seeks aid from a man of science, he realizes too late that the scientist is as unscrupulous as he with his own agenda.

On the other side of the country, a young doctor finally discovers a cure for the unidentified illness ravaging his state. Unfortunately, those he depends on to distribute the serum are the very ones who created the disease.

Only the intervention of the Wandering Koala, a mysterious figure left speechless since childhood, can untangle this juggernaut of deceit and betrayal.

Wandering Koala Digest #3 contains a 35-page science fiction graphic novel, the conclusion of a 3-part science fiction novella, an original essay, humorous comics, and more!