Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rude Awakening

Some people are morning people. Some people are night people. And some are neither. The first two panels in the page above illustrate how non-morning people must feel when the alarm goes off, and the last three are how a morning person reacts. The page is from the Wandering Koala Digest 1, now on sale in print and all eBook formats. It was drawn with a stick (yes, a stick) dipped in Sumi ink and then colored in Corel Painter. I thought it was pretty funny when I drew it. I'm trying for a more cartoony and exaggerated approach to drawings. We'll see whether it works or not.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Archetypes in Art

Archetypes are recurrent motifs or images in art or literature. They include the Hero, the Wise Old Man, the Damsel in Distress, the irredeemable Villain, the Magic Animal, etc. Evidences of them can be found in all cultures and all times. Some speculate that they are part of our makeup and that's why we respond to them so readily and why they are not limited to any culture or time period. One of the most famous scholars to study archetypes is Joseph Campbell. His book was a major influence on George Lucas when he wrote Star Wars.

Above is my version of the archetype of the Thief. In this version, he is a masked highwayman on a motorcycle robbing from the good and the innocent. I drew it with a zebra brush pen and colored it in Corel Painter. I really like the greyscale with one color approach, and in this image it almost looks like full color. And it's very appropriate for Halloween.

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Page 2 of the Upcoming Wandering Koala Digest

In case you are wondering about the technique, I drew the pages with a Staedlter pencil, inked them with a stick (yes a stick) dipped in Sumi ink, and then colored them in Adobe Photoshop.

Wandering Koala Digest 1 will be available in print and all eBook formats on October 16. To stay up to date, why not like the Wandering Koala Facebook page at ?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Preview of an Upcoming Graphic Novel

Next week the Wandering Koala returns in a bi-monthly anthology entitled Wandering Koala Digest. Issue one contains a 32-page graphic novel, 2 pages of humorous comics, part one of an apocalyptic virus novella, and an essay. It will be available in both print and eBook formats. You can preorder a copy at Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, or the Apple iBookstore.

But while you are waiting, you can see a preview right here. Above is the first page of the graphic novel. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Stuffing a Square Peg into a Round Hole

If you've been in a bookstore lately (and if you're like most people you haven't), you would see the titles organized by genre. The purpose of this is to help a potential customer find something to buy. The idea behind it is good, but the execution doesn't always follow.

Some books could easily fit in more than one genre. I've always found the literature section an odd one, because all good books are literature. And a lot of horror books are also science fiction or fantasy. And fantasy just means something fantastic or imagined, but it's turned into castles, magic, and dragons. Which means other fantasy books that don't include magic, dragons, and castles have to go elsewhere. And what about supernatural books? Yes, they could be horror, but they could also be fantasy or suspense.

I get annoyed for two reasons. First as a consumer I've had trouble finding a specific book I went into the store to buy, because I wasn't sure of the genre. Second, as an author I'm not always sure how to classify my books. My most recent title, Wandering Koala Digest 1, contains a supernatural thriller, but also a science fiction novella. So do I put it in horror, because it's not really horror, but there is no supernatural category? To me that's like putting a square peg in a round hole--it just doesn't fit so well.

That's one of the joys and wonders of the digital bookshelf--a title can be listed in multiple places without having to place a physical copy in each one. You can also search for a specific title and get right to it. It's no wonder I've gravitated more and more to buying books online and as digital editions even though I love the feel and smell of a physical book, and I love browsing bookstores.

So what does any of this have to do with the above illustration? It could easily fit in several categories: science fiction for the weird monster, pulp fiction for the protagonist, horror or supernatural for the weird monster, graphic novels for the visual nature, young adult because that's usually the reading level I write, or even holiday/special occasion for Halloween because of the weird monster. Maybe we just need a Weird Monster genre?

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think.