Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Card 2010 - Rest, You Merry Gentlemen!



Each year I pick a Christmas Carol and write a poem inspired by the title expressing something I'm feeling that year. This year I picked God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, because I was feeling overwhelmed by how much I had to get done for Christmas, and I thought that wasn't what Christmas should be. When I was little, Christmas was the greatest time of the year, and I don't remember ever feeling rushed or overscheduled. I also discovered that the carol was originally called God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen and was changed from You to Ye to make it sound more old fashioned. Who would have thunk?

I also create an original illustration that goes with the poem. This years came from several places. I wanted to show a family around the fire on Christmas Night relaxing together with the kids playing together. I also used the Nursing Home background from my Wandering Koala meets the Beast who came for Christmas comic book miniseries. The window was inspired by an old Batman comic by Bob Kane. The illustration is 100% digital, yet it looks hand drawn which I really like.

Every year I also send out Christmas Cards. I use to mail them, but now I almost exclusively email them and share it on Facebook. And every year fewer and fewer people respond. I'm not sure if they don't like it, if after several years it isn't special anymore, or if the world in general is just getting more and more selfish. I use to get ten email thank yous or so. This year I got two. What a world we live in.

This is one of my favorite Christmas Cards I've ever made. I hope you like it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wandering Koala meets the Beast who came for Christmas

The latest chapter in the Wandering Koala saga is now available!

Part One of Wandering Koala meets the Beast who came for Christmas is FREE for a limited time. Download your copy today!

www.WanderingKoala.com/comic0006.php

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A new comic in time for Christmas


I've been wanting to do a comic completely on the computer for quite a while, but I didn't know how. I've been experimenting with various techniques and settings for quite a while trying to get it just right.

My last venture, Wandering Koala rides The Phantom Coach, was an experiment doing it all in Painter and Google SketchUp that turned out well. But it was very stylized and abstract, and I wanted a more hand drawn, painterly feel. So I decided to do a Christmas story in this style and am quite pleased with the results.

Above are the first four pages. The comic will be in three parts, the first part being offered for free in about a week or two. The next two parts should be done around Christmas. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Comic books designed for small screens - eReaders and smart phones



I've always loved comics, but the cost of printing, distribution, advertising, and senior management benefit packages make them unviable in today's marketplace. Most comics are between $2.99 to $3.99 for a mere 22 pages. Who is going to pay that other than the comic book addicts? There's no room for the marketplace to grow--at least not in print.

But the eBook movement and the move to smartphones opens up a whole new market and new opportunities. There are no printing costs and minimal distribution costs. Plus, a cartoonist doesn't need a big company to publish anymore, so the senior management benefit packages don't have to take their chunk out. Many people have tried to do digital comics, but none have succeeded very well because of three problems: 1) Pricing, 2) Formatting, and 3) New Content. So I designed a new comic to meet these concerns.

Most digital comics cost either $0.99 (which isn't enough to make them profitable) or $1.99 (which is too much for 1's and 0's with no resell value). To overcome this, I've priced my comic at $1.50, which allows me to make a profit but doesn't soak potential customers.

Most digital comics take existing print comics and chop them up into pieces so you lose everything achieved from panel layout. I've designed my comic to be easily read on a smart phone, eReader, or a computer screen. Yet the comic still has the resolution and detail to look good in print for when I'm ready to do that.

Finally, almost all digital comics are reprints of old comics, not the new comics that come out every Wednesday. So I made mine all new material.

My new comic is called Wandering Koala(TM) rides The Phantom Coach. It's in two parts and a trade paperback, all of which are now available from Amazon.com and Smashwords.com for almost all eBook capable devices, and I drew it almost entirely on the computer with Corel Painter X and Google SketchUp 7.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cully Koala Daily Online Comics


I've loved comics since I was a little boy. I was first introduced to them thru animated cartoons. Snoopy and Garfield are still two of my favorite. Then in Jr. High I discovered Calvin & Hobbes and was re-inspired.

I've been drawing comics since the summer of 6th Grade. I wanted to do it for a living, and at the end of my second year of college started sending my strip off to syndicates and newspapers. One syndicate picked it up, but did a terrible job of promoting it. And my interests shifted to less limiting forms of storytelling. But I had all these great comics that the world at large wasn't enjoying.

Newspapers are dying and with them is the traditional route for making a living with comic strips. So I decided to try something different. I've created a website to promote the strip with five free comics each day, a link to a store with Cully Koala branded swag, and the ability to add the comic to your site. (If you haven't already added it, go there now and do it!)

I wasn't sure what to make the site look like. Other comic strip sites have been very unimpressive, so I thought to make it look like the comics section of a paper. I wanted lots of colors and lots of fun, and I think it turned out that way.

But don't take my word for it.

CullyKoala.com

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Phantom Coach is now on sale!

Has anyone ever told you to stay out of an argument because it doesn’t involve you? Do private disputes really stay private, or do they have a larger effect on the world around them? What if a domestic disturbance caused a ghostly disturbance? Mike and Angie are just another couple on just another Friday Night date having just another argument. But this time it won’t stay between them.

My latest comic, Wandering Koala(TM) rides The Phantom Coach is now on sale! (At least part one is.) Like I said in my last post, this is the third time I've tried tackling this story, and I think the third time was the charm. I softened the harsh industrial style by adding texture and gradients, and I think it turned out really well. I'm also stoked about all the cool ghosts I've added, although most of them don't survive the next three pages. Oh, well, they're ghosts, it's not like you can kill them; they'll be back.

This comic is available in all eBook formats and will soon be available in most eBook stores including the Amazon Kindle store, the Barnes & Noble Nook store, Apple's iBookstore, Kobo (formerly shortcovers), Diesel eBooks, the Sony eReader store, and of course Smashwords, the largest publisher of independent authors.

Purchase your copy today for the incredibly low price of $1.50. (That's right, I said $1.50!!) In a world where print comics cost $3.99, and electronic versions of old comics are $1.99, this is a steal!

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/26287

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Phantom Coach

So I've begun a new comic. But it's not really that new. This is the third time I've tried writing/drawing this story, but I think this time it will work.

The story was inspired by two things. First, an old victorian ghost story called The Phantom Coach, which I found in a Dover dollar edition of short stories and absolutely loved. The second is a night I rode the bus in Alegrette, Brazil with a couple of friends. There was such energy that I knew I had to write a story about it sometime.

For this time I decided to try a style I've always loved but never been brave enough to do. Also, I decided to do the whole thing in the computer including the line work. This presented a few interesting challenges. I had completed several pages, but they looked so stark and lifeless, so I went back and added textures and a few gradient tricks which really helped warm them up. It's taken a long time to find the write settings in Corel Painter to create the line I was looking for. And the buildings and bus were constructed in Google Sketch Up. It took me a while to refine the models enough for the comic. They still look too computer generated, but for this stark style I think it's OK. For the next comic, though, I'll have to do better. And the font is a free font called Anime Ace I found on 1001Fonts.com.

On this particular page you'll notice the bus is distorted as well as the city itself. And I've added a cartoony sound effect. I've noticed a trend in comics to look more photographic and less like comics, but really, it's a comic book--it should look like a comic book, just like a Watercolor should look like a Watercolor and an Oil Painting should look like an Oil Painting.

I'm trying to get the whole story finished and published before Halloween, but it is taking longer than I thought it would. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Evolution of a Cover


If you've been reading my blog, then you know I've just published a new short story called Sign of the 5th Dimension. (Take a peek below at the description.) I had a cover for it when I published it, but I wasn't happy with it. Unfortunately I was in the middle of illustrating a children's storybook, so I didn't really have the time or energy for my own stuff. But now I'm almost done with the book, and I have time for a few projects of my own, so I decided to redo the cover.

I thought it would be fun to show the steps and stages my illustrations go thru. First I sit and ponder the image until something comes to me. Then I create a quick thumbnail in my tablet with a pen (it looks like scribbles to anyone else). Second, I pencil the image. Then I ink it (see the first image). After it dries and I've erased the pencil lines, I scan it into my iMac. I color it in Corel Painter X with flat colors to get them right (see the second image). Finally I do cool painterly effects and have a finished image (see the third image). You'll notice the sky changed color. I was placing the text on the image when I said to myself, "Self, this isn't dramatic or science fictiony enough; no one is going to buy your short story." So I made the sky a purple to orange gradient and wallah!

What do you think? Do you like it better than the original?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sign of the 5th Dimension

I love science. I always have. I guess that's why I write science fiction and include a bit of real science in each story.

The cover to the left is my latest short story. It was inspired by a Japanese Anime called Paprika. During the opening credits you see her move through posters, crosswalks, signs, etc. seamlessly, and I thought that would work well in a series of ghost stories I was writing (which later became Wandering Koala tales). It took my a while to come up with a story to put with that image, and one night a twisted romance came to mind, so that's what I used at the plot vehicle.

This isn't my favorite story, but I do like the science in it. Currently, scientists seem to be excited about string theory and 10 dimensions. There was even an article about "proof" of a multi-universe in National Geographic. Personally, I think its more spontaneous generation and sun revolving around the earth type science. I think the ideas of a fifth dimension from a century ago are more correct, and I think scientists in the next hundred years will realize that. Maybe the Large Hadron Collider at CERN will lead to it. Maybe another Einstein will pop up and figure out the Unified Field Theory with it. Or maybe some brilliant, young science fiction writer will point the "professionals" in the right direction. We'll see.

Sign of the 5th Dimension is on sale at Smashwords, Amazon.com, and soon at Barnes & Nobel, Sony eReader store, Apple iBooks, Kobo (formerly Shortcovers), and Diesel, in mulitple ebook formats.

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/20793

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An Old Seafood Joint

So it's been awhile since I last posted. What have I been up to? you are probably asking yourself. I've been commissioned to illustrate a children's book for a guy in Texas. He liked my "Robots" (it's one of my favorites too), and he wanted his book illustrated in that style which I was only too glad to do. I've passed the thirdway mark and am moving towards the halfway point.

This is a two-page spread from it. I used a Pigma Brush and Painter X (plus a Stanford Pencil and a Sakura eraser). I'm really pleased with how the book is turning out. It's definitely some of my best work. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Issue 2 is Now On Sale!

A few years ago I began developing Wandering Koala as an ongoing series, then a mini-series. After I finished the first issue, I sent it to a couple of publishers who never got back to me. I had just bought myself a Kindle at the time, and I was loving it. I knew there was a way for anyone to publish a book to the Kindle, so I said to myself, "Self, why not publish your comic on the Kindle?" So I did.

My original plan was to publish one issue per month. Well, the first issue did not take off to stellar sales, and while working on the second issue, I realized the story I was telling would work better as a novel, so I turned it into a novel. I was only going to publish it electronically, but it turned out so well, I spent the money to put it into print. After that I started a series of illustrated short stories and a couple of other comic projects.

I didn't really do anything to promote the single issue of Wandering Koala vs. The Scientific Method, and I had even thought of removing it, but it kept selling, and has actually sold better than anything else I've published. So I decided to do a second issue. I wasn't very happy with how my first attempt had been going, so I decided to start from scratch. I did reuse a few panels from my first attempt, but with some serious rearrangement. I also decided to use a digest comic format, because I loved my old Richie Rich and Archie Digests I use to buy in the early 90s.

This is the first comic that I've created that actually looked like what I thought my comic would. I was so happy with the results. Of course I recognize there is room for improvement, but so many of the questions and struggles I've been having have been worked out. I can't wait to start on the next two issue story, after I finish a couple of short stories I'm nearly finished with.

The wonderful thing about publishing with Amazon Kindle is the publication is available on the Kindle, the PC, the Mac, the iPhone, the big iPhone (aka the iPad), and the iPod Touch. Android is coming soon!

You can check out a few sample pages at http://www.wanderingkoala.com/comic0001.php.

You can purchase a copy of the comic for yourself at http://www.amazon.com/Wandering-Koala-Scientific-Method-ebook/dp/B003S3S2TC/

At $1.50, it's a steal!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Paint & Photo


I like to mix photographs in with my cartoons. I have a huge library from various trips, and there are a lot of public domain images available online. I usually do some digital altering of them so they mesh well with my drawings. For example, on these three comic book pages, I used photos of the sky and space as wall paper and blurred them so they looked like prints on canvas. I think the effect was very nice, and it adds a lot of character to the images. What do you think?

These are three fully colored pages from the second issue of Wandering Koala vs. The Scientific Method. I should be finished with it in a week or so, and then I'll publish it. This is the first comic book I've done that I've really felt looked like I wanted it to; that looked like a comic book by me. I may even do more if this one sells well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wandering Koala vs. The Scientific Method Part 2 (in progress)



A couple of years ago or so I was working on a comic book proposal that just wasn't working. I kept trying and trying, but it wasn't getting any better. Then I remembered an idea that had been swirling around in my mind for years, and I decided to work on it. I had also been watching old Felix the Cat cartoons from the 20s (black & white and silent--they were brilliant!)

So I created a first issue, but wasn't happy with it. Then I tried starting a different story arc. I didn't even finish that issue before I realized it wasn't working. So I gave it a third try, and this time something great was happening.

I wrote and drew the first issue and sent it off to two publishers for considerations. One rejected it; the other didn't even bother replying (thanks, Dark Horse). I had just purchased a Kindle for myself and was loving it, so I decided to publish it there. I also planned to publish it on the iPhone, but that was too involved for the time.

While working on the second issue, I realized the story would work better as a novel. I had been reading a lot of great books and short stories on my Kindle which had re-kindled (pun intended) my love of reading. I had also always wanted to write and publish a novel. And I wanted a novel that was like Hardy Boy books with pictures and adventure, but written for adults and worthy of being a classic. So I decided to do it. It's called The Scientific Method (a Wandering Koala tale).

Since publishing it, I've written two and a half new short stories and published two of them. I left the first issue of the four issue mini-series up for sale, and it kept selling. So I said to myself, "Self, you should write a second issue--it's by far the most visual and works better as a comic book than a novel."

I've always wondered what a comic book by me would look like, and all my past attempts have been disappointing. This time I analyzed some of my favorite comics and what excited me about them. I also thought back to some of the best experiences I've had with comics, and some of my fondest memories. That's when I realized I loved mini-comics. Mini-comics also fit nicely on the Kindle (as another attempt Euphony in E showed). So I decided to create a mini-comic.

So I'm 13 pages into the second issue, and I'm really happy with the result. It finally looks like a comic I'm proud to sign my name to--a comic I can walk up to someone with and proudly say look what I did!

Above are three pages I was especially happy with. They still need to be colored and lettered, but I thought I'd share the black & white artwork. I'm tempted to leave the issue black & white, because I love black & white artwork so much. What do you think?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Muses Are NOT Amused

In college I was an English minor. One of the classes I took for it was a creative writing class in which we wrote an essay and a short story. The teacher used a method developed by Nyberg. You start with a turning point, then write about the scene, then turn it from first person to third person, and create a fictional story from it. I wrote a story and thought it was the greatest thing in the world. Then the file went missing.

A few years later, I found it. It wasn't as good as I remembered. So I reworked it and added a fantasy-horror element to it. It's currently on sale as Smashwords in every eBook format for FREE. (I'll probably start charging money for it in a couple of weeks.)

The cover took me quite a while to come up with. I've been wanting to combine brushwork characters with Photoshop created objects and a photograph background. I like it, but I'm not sure if this is the direction I want to go.

What do you think?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Character Sketch: The Native

So I drew this picture for a friend last Christmas and meant to create a colored version, but I could never get the colors to work.

Until now.

I drew it with a crow quill pen and colored it in Painter X. I call it "The Native" because it is a picture of my friend and that's what he always called himself (at least when he was being humble).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Character Sketch: Summertime Lady in the Park

My original plan was to turn this into an art deco type decoration, but I was coloring it in Corel Painter X and looking thru my iPhoto library and found this picture of a park in Savannah, GA that fit the sketch perfectly.

I love to mix my cartoons with photos. It creates a really unique effect. And my iPhoto library is big enough that I have a nice selection of pictures. From now on I'll have to take more scenery type pictures of places I go.

I still plan to do an art deco version. Be sure to check back for it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Character Sketch: Summertime Lady

So it's been a while since I last posted. That's the thing about work--it takes up all your free time! But seriously, it is good to be busy working and earning money in the current state of the economy.

This is another in my series of character sketches. I used a $1 brush from Porter's in Idaho Falls and sumi ink from Udrecht's in Tempe, AZ. It's based on a photo of an ice sculptress that I'm creating an animation for. I was going thru files on my computer looking to delete anything old and unnecessary, and I found this photo. I thought the pose was really nice and would work as an art deco-styled illustration, so I added the fancy dress and large hat. (She was just wearing a t-shirt and shorts in the photo.) I'm going to add color and a cool background, but I thought I'd let you see the linework, because it did turn out really nice. Check back in a day or two for the full color version!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where have all the Short Stories gone?

Normally I post artwork and discuss it on this site, but this post is about something that has been bothering me for a long time. The picture has nothing to do with the post other than it is from a comic I published on the Kindle called Euphony in E.

I bought a Kindle a year ago, and one of the many things I loved best about it was the selection of short stories I could download for $.59, $.79, or $1.50; stories that were printed in a magazine years ago and haven't been seen since. Stories that I wouldn't even have known about let alone read otherwise. Stories by Charles Sheffield, Kevin J. Anderson, and L. Sprague De Camp that are as good as it gets. And download I did.

The other day I was browsing the Kindle store to see if any new gems had been added, and to my shock and horror, all these great stories that I read and loved were gone! How can an eBook go out of print? Ok, I know they didn't go out of print, but Fictionwise's contract with Amazon must have expired. Still, I was upset.

I love digital content, but this is an excellent example of the biggest problem with it: licensing and availability. The rights-holder decides to yank it, and the story is gone. This happens with music and movies as well. A physical book isn't so easy to yank, and they can and do show up on eBay and used bookstores. Digital content with DRM makes reselling and redistributing very difficult. (I'm familiar with pirate sites, but those don't help build a market, so I avoid them.)

It's a shame that in a world where we now have the ability for a store to carry EVERY title every written at a near zero cost and never have to worry about going out of print, stories and books aren't more available and more plentiful than they were and are under the current system.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Character Sketch: Cowboy

A month ago I mentioned wanting to do a series of Character Sketches to help me develop a style. If you read the four posts after that you'll notice I didn't post anymore after the fireman. I was going to, but I had been commissioned to create a set of icons, then I finished my short story The Hook (a Wandering Koala tale) and needed to illustrate it. Well, the story is illustrated and published (go buy a copy on Smashwords.com or Amazon.com) and the icons are almost finished. So here is another character sketch.

The fireman sketch was inspired by a magazine sized comic book called Heroes by Marvel Comics. It focused on 9-11 and showed a lot of firemen. This one is a cowboy inspired by the graphic album Tintin in America.

I had never heard about Tintin until recently when a comic book blog talked about the new movie Spielberg and some other famous director are making. It was the writer's favorite comic. Then a month later I made some comments on another artist's work, and he emailed me back saying "thanks" and mentioned Tintin as one of his major influences. Well, I said to myself, "Self, you should check into this Tintin character." So I Wikipediaed him. I discovered there were two dozen graphic albums of adventures, the first two being black & white.

So I went to Amazon.com and ordered the first three, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin in the Congo, and Tintin in America. Then I emailed the fellow artist back and asked for a recommendation.

I finished Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and really enjoyed it, and am a little over halfway thru Tintin in America. Part of the story involves Tintin dressing up like a cowboy and getting captured by indians. I kind of like cowboys & indians, so I decided to do my next sketch of a cowboy.

This one is different than the first, because it was done completely in Painter. (The fireman I drew with a pencil and inked with a Brush Pen.) I've been wanting to get more into digital art for a while, and Corel Painter plus and Intuos2 tablet work well. I'm happy with how it turned out, and how quickly I was able to finish it. The background is a photograph of the Australian outback, which I thought looked western enough.

So, what do you think?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Illustrated Stories

I've always loved the format of children's storybooks, where they have a picture on one page and the words on the adjoining page telling the story. I've never understood why nobody creates books like that for adults. Comic books and graphic novels are close, but I think something that was written so you only needed the words or only need the pictures for the story would be stronger. (Greg Rucka did create a miniseries released thru comic book stores called Elektra & Wolverine: The Redeemer in this format, and I thought it was brilliant. I used it as a model as well as a book by Jim David called Garfield: Babes & Bullets.)

So I decided to create that. My first story is called The Hook (a Wandering Koala tale). It's about 23 pages of story (small type) and 24 new illustrations with a full color cover. I'm really proud of it. It's a story I've been working on for a long time, and I even have an almost finished comic book version of it. A few panels of the comic made it into the story. Can you guess which ones they were?

Right now I've only published it electronically thru the Amazon Kindle Store and SmashWords (which supplies Barnes & Nobel and the Sony eReader store) so you can find it in any format, including a text file or web page. It's only $1.29, which is a steal. I'm hoping to write a whole slew of short stories. Once I have a dozen or so (or maybe a half dozen) I'll collect them into a paperback.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Digital Art

I've always been a traditionalist, mainly because digital art rarely turns out as well as the traditional stuff. I offer two reasons for this.

First, the technology takes a long time to catch up. Digital is pretty new. The computational power to actually create art has only existed for about 20 years. Traditional art has had thousands of years.

Second, the people that do digital art are usually technology enthusiasts or fairly unskilled artists; the skilled ones are too busy learning the traditional method to do the digital stuff. Just look at all the junk that's been thrown up (pun intended) on the Internet with Flash.

These two factors are why I am a critic of digital art and an opponent of 3D computer generated stuff like Pixar or Dreamworks. I've always said that if you got a great sculptor to create art with a 3D program you would come up with something pretty amazing.

I recently purchased a program called Brushes for the iPhone that is a pretty cool painting program. The artwork you can create with it is really nice--it has a certain Jack Vettriano feel to it. Programs like it and Corel Painter make me feel a lot more favorably towards digital art.

Here is a video of me creating my first painting with Brushes. Enjoy!

video

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black & White vs. Color

I post a lot of work on a site called ArtWanted.com. People can look at my work, rate it, comment on it, or buy it. Most of my work is black and white linework that I scan and digitally color. Sometimes I'll post both the black and white version and the colored version. I always find it interesting how much more popular the colored version is. I always get more views and more comments.

I personally love black and white. When I was little I had a Richie Rich book that was black and white, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it; they were some of my favorite comics. When I was in college, I picked up my first black & white Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comic: Michaelangelo's Chrismas. It was black and white and I couldn't put it down. I immediately started doing everything in black and white and loved it. I started collecting as many back issues as I could. When I got to the colored series, I was very disappointed in the color and felt it detracted. I was glad when they went back to black and white.

But it seems we live in a world where people expect everything to be full color, HD, 5.1 surround sound, on a 72" screen. Is it because all of that adds to the content, or are people just spoiled. If it adds, I'm all for it. But if people are just spoiled, then there is a problem. Sometimes I feel that art is like over seasoned food--there is so much pizzazz that it hides the real beauty or essence. Black & White, I feel, really allows the essence of a work to come out. Also, it's more flexible in reproduction: black and white illustrations work in many more book formats and ebooks, something I'm currently pursuing.

I'm posting two versions of a Christmas card I sent out years ago. When I finished with the black and white linework, I was truly taken back in amazement: it was the greatest thing I had ever created. Then I added color and was again taken aback. Years later I was going thru some old artwork, and I stumbled on the black & white version and was again impressed beyond words. I'm posting them both for you to see and judge for yourself.

Do you like Black & White Art, or does everything have to be in color?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Illustrated Stories

When I was young, I loved illustrated storybooks. I think most people did. You could just read it without the pictures, or just follow the pictures to get the story. Or you could read it with both and have the story fuller, because they compliment each other.

As I got older, I noticed books had fewer and fewer pictures. I always wondered why no one created illustrated novels for adults. Graphic novels are close, but I think we can do better. I love great stories and great art--why not combine them? We do in movies. I have found one example, the three part mini-series Elektra/Wolverine: The Redeemer by Greg Rucka, and it was excellent. Unfortunately, it never caught on.

I also planned on creating an illustrated novel/story someday. Well, that day has arrive. I've written the story, and now I am preparing the illustrations. Here is the first one as a sneak peek for you all. Let me know what you think. I'm planning on black & white interiors, because 1) I love black & white art and 2) they reproduce well on paper and as an ebook.

I'm planning on publishing this story as an ebook at first. Once I have several illustrated short stories (I'm trying to come up with a good name for it--let me know if you have any ideas) I'll publish them as a paperback like I have my novel, The Scientific Method (a Wandering Koala tale). This short story is part of that series.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Character Sketch: Fireman

I think the hardest thing for an artist to do is create a unique style that they like and that their audience likes. I've been struggling with this for years. So as a step forward, I decided to do a series of character sketches. The first one is a Fireman. I was going to call it a fire fighter and actually show a boxer made of fire with boxing gloves and shorts, and I drew a version like that, but it was too silly, even for me. So I went with this version instead. I used a Pigma Brush Pen to do the black and white drawing, then colored it in Corel Painter X. I wasn't crazy about the black and white brush penned version, but I was ecstatic with the finished painting.

I don't think I've found my style yet, but this series should help me take one step closer. Or not.

What do you thing?