I’ve been talking with Cyan about making a bound copy of the Myst comic for sale. We still need to talk details, but it looks like I have their support! Woohoo!
What I’d like to do is this: At the end of this chapter, there will be a total of 128 pages. I’d like to publish those chapters together as VOLUME ONE, and offer it for sale. Later chapters would be bunched into volumes as well, probably five in total by the end of the story. It is, after all, an epic story
The question is how. I am open to traditional publishers, but I’m leaning more toward self-publishing options, just because it’s easier and faster. I’m skeptical that a traditional publisher would be cheaper or really be able to extend the market that much. Although, self-publishing now doesn’t exclude finding a traditional publisher later.
Anyhoo, so right now these are my ideas: Magcloud.com for a crisp, color version of the comic. And Lulu.com for a cheaper, black and white version of the comic. Two options.
I’m still open to looking at other companies. The cost of printing the books are so expensive and I don’t want to make the book super expensive! (but I’d also like to make a little profit … it would certainly help me keep going!)
One question I have is if anyone knows of other online publishing companies they like.
Another thing that makes finding printing options difficult is that the page size of the comic is unusual. Landscape printing is hard to find. Lulu and Magcloud have it, but CreateSpace does not. And a lot of places don’t have it.
Now I’m just thinking out loud, but kickstarter is also an option. Several people have mentioned that to me. Maybe the idea could be like: Support the project to see it finished and get copy of the book(s) as a reward. It might be cheaper that way because then I can preorder the books and get a bulk discount. Hmmmm.
Anyway, these are the thoughts that are milling around the old noggin these days. How can get more exposure for the story, make an affordable print copy and make a little money to offset the considerable time and effort the project takes??
If you have any ideas or comments, please share!
I’m excited to share this with you guys.
Maybe you’ve seen some of the color script paintings I’ve been doing for an animated short film called “En Passant”. Well the trailer for the short is finally out! Have a watch!
The short is not yet finished, but I’ve been watching the rough cuts and I think it’s awesome. It’s a dark and thrilling story with haunting and beautiful music. The acting is a joy to watch. The songs and music really stay with you. I really honored to be a part of the project.
And there I am in the billing as COLOUR DESIGNER. Sweeeeet!
I recently posted about a story I'm working on for my storyboarding class. I have class tomorrow and I'm going to be presenting my "beat boards", which are these drawings that represent the major turns of the story.
When I posted the story I got a lot of great comments that really helped me think about the story. I'm here again asking for your thoughts!
So what I want to say is something like this: It's about a devil father and his toddler son. The devil father is insecure about being a parent. At any cost, he wants to make his son happy. He tries to entertain him with devilish deeds. But the son just wants to do "nice" things. The father tries harder and harder to do things together and the son gets more and more unhappy. Until finally the father feels like maybe his son would be happier with a "nicer" crowd. But he realizes at the end that his son entertains himself and just wants his father's company.
(Pictures can also be seen here, a little bigger: [link]
So, to recap, I'm at Comic-Con, I had an interview with Dave Elliott, and had an encouraging talk with Pixar story artist Octavio Rodriguez. Good stuff.
The con was absolute pandemonium. There were people in costume everywhere. There were screens and lights and signs and all kinds of media attacking the senses.
Some thoughts. I'm trying very hard to be a content creator, but I didn't realize until I'd gone to the con, that I'm not much of a content consumer. It's clear that there are people who consume a lot more comics, tv, film and video games then I do. I mean, it's comic-con, so these are maybe the top consumers, but still.
LucasFilm had a large area. I started thinking about Star Wars, how the original content that started the brand was just three feature films. It seems like so little compared to the empire of off-shoot content, merchandise and fandom that has come up around it. Seems like the effort to produce all that secondary content is many times more then it took to make the original content.
It made me think about stories. If you create a story that people like, people don't just want to re-watch it or watch more like it, people want to INTERACT or CONNECT with the story in a different way. If a person feels a connection with a character or a story, there's a strong desire to express that somehow.
I know as a big Myst fan that I don't just play and replay the games, I want to buy stuff to wear, I want to meet Rand Miller, I want to create something new based on that brand. And comic-con was a lot about that aspect. They had panels and stuff to buy and contests that give fans a chance to connect with the source material in a different way.
It was interesting to see then the content creators (or rather people who license their content) coming up with different creative ways for fans to do just that. It was fascinating.
Anyway, back to the con!
I walked around more. I found a stand devoted to Kapibara-san. I LOVE kapibara-san. I discovered Kapibara-san when I was living in Japan for a year. It's supposed to be a capybara, the large aquatic rodent native to Central and South America, but RIDICULOUSLY CUTE. I have a big collection of the plushes at home, including one of those really big ones. So I bought another little guy with funny eyebrows to add to my collection. I also took a picture with some women dressed up as kapibara-sans.
At another booth I bought myself a "moustache monocle." You hang it from your pocket and can have an instant moustache, anytime! A dapper looking man was showing them off, sporting a fantastic accent. I should have bought more. They also had longer, more villainous 'staches.
Then I took a break. I had some blackberries back at the DeviantART area.
I then briefly checked out the upstairs area. There was a tables for free cards to take. I briefly thought it would be nice to put my own giveaway cards there, but I didn't want to go back and get them and I thought I might have to ask first too.
Then I met up with voice actress Karen Kahler ([link]). She played "Anna" in the Myst animatic I did a while ago (link). I was great to finally meet her. We talked about the projects we are working on, our goals, etc. She told me that as a professional (if you can show credits) that your tickets to comic-con area are free! I didn't know that. I need to get on that for the future.
Then I meet the amazing artist Claire "Shoomlah" Hummel ([link]). We coordinated via twitter and met near my table. We talked Myst and art, things we want to do in the future. She's awesome. It would be fun to do a project with her someday. She has some great ideas for a project with Cyan Worlds. Cyan, you should let the both of us do stuff for you!
Another break. Banana. Finished the blackberries.
During my break, I was looking at the graphic novel "Cuidad" I bought at Octavio Rodriguez's table. While I was at his table, I also looked at the graphic novel of story artist Louie del Carmen. Both of them had these really loose, energetic lines and limited color palettes that I really liked. I hope I can incorporate more of that in my work.
So I was feeling like I really wanted to go back and buy Louie del Carmen's book. And I wanted to talk to him. But I felt a little awkward about going back to the table. Plus I was deliriously tired at this point. But somehow I braved it and went back to their table.
I bought Louie's books. I started to tell him that I saw him give a talk at Ottawa in 2009, but he said that that was his brother, not him. "Fuck," I said. We laughed about it. Octavio joked that it was all over, I'm going to blacklisted from the industry now. Haha. But how can there be two brothers who are amazing story artists?!? How is that possible??
Anyway, Louie was very nice and I chatted with him and his wife for a while. He currently works at Dreamworks and had worked a long time storyboarding for TV. He told me that he and Octavio are very versatile, and that they are turning down storyboarding jobs all the time. It was very encouraging. I showed him a bit of my work and both he and Octavio said I "have the chops" for this business. That was really nice to hear.
I was so exhausted by that point. I took another break. Had a sandwich. I was very happy, but at the same time I just wanted to curl up in a little ball under the table.
Next on my agenda was to check out publishers. I wanted to see what publishers might be appropriate for the kind of work that I do. Or specifically, for Seated Lady. I checked out Archaia, Oni Press, Image comics, Dark Horse, and a bunch of other places. The problem was I really wanted to talk to people who could tell me about submission and selection process. I think the staff was more people just who were trying to sell the books. I tried to ask around a bit, but I didn't get anything really helpful. Where are those meetings happening? Where are those guys?
Another break. chocolate.
The day was almost over. I didn't have any other pressing items on the agenda. I took a long walk just to stroll around and get some pictures of the insanity. Lots of pictures!
I stalked that Link character for a little while.
It seems really fun to do cosplay. Everyone wants to stand next to you and take your picture! People were very direct about asking and the people in costume were very obliging. It was really fun to watch.
I didn't go to any panels. I didn't think I could sit down for an hour, not when all these people were moving around on the convention floor. I kinda wanted to go to the RiffTraks session, but it felt too crazy.
"The convention floor will be closing in half and hour" I heard.
I wish I had seen my art up on the big screens DeviantART had up in Artist's Alley. Someone said they did see it up there though!
At the end of the day, I chatted with Dave Elliott again over at his table. It felt like the day had come full circle.
7:00 pm. Everyone left. I packed up my stuff. Bye Comic-con!
On the shuttle back to the hotel, three boys were arguing about how much they would pay for a non-working ironman suit. "1000 dollars," one said. "1200," said another. Seems reasonable, I thought to myself.
I went back to the hotel and collapsed. It was like 8:30.
The next morning, I had scheduled a meeting with musician Gwen Barriac (link). She had contacted me a few weeks ago about doing an animated short film with a music score composed herself. We both went to Princeton, at different times. It's an ideal situation for me because she's paying me and it's a project that's right up my alley.
She happens to live in San Diego, so we meet for early lunch before my flight out. The focus of the story is how the creative process can be very painful, even destructive, when you are trying to create something new. You'll see art and sketches and stuff for the project in the months to come.
Gwen had written a script and we talked about it. I love talking story. I asked her to explain the feelings behind different parts she had written. We came up with some new ideas on how to approach it, to make it clearer and stronger. Then she was kind enough to drop me off at the airport.
Bye San Diego! I got on a plane for San Francisco. That's where I am now. I'm starting my first class on storyboarding today at Animation Collaborative.
I'm staying at a place literally three blocks blocks from Pixar. I shot this picture my first day walking around:
Hopefully, I'll have more to tell about that soon!
Summary: Comic-con was amazing and I'm very grateful to DeviantART for the opportunity to go!
Thanks for reading guys!
Hey everyone! It's monday, I'm feeling settled finally after a big trip and I'd like to share with you what I've been up to! I had a fantastic time at San Diego Comic-Con and I have lots of pictures and things to share. This is going to be a multi-parter because there's a lot to say!
But I have some bad news to start with. I don't have any new Myst pages for today (maybe not tomorrow or wednesday either...). I shipped my Wacom Cintiq from DC to Emeryville and it hasn't arrived yet. New pages soon I hope! So for the time being, I hope you enjoy the story of my adventure at comicon!
A few weeks ago, I received a scholarship from DeviantART.com to attend one day of the San Diego Comic Con. DeviantArt paid for my plane ticket, two nights hotel and gave me $50 for expenses. The experience was awesome. And now I'm in Emeryville, California (near Pixar) because I'm starting a course on storyboarding at a school called "The Animation Collaborative"
San Diego Adventure! First Night in San Diego:
I flew from Washington DC to Denver, and then Denver to San Diego. Before getting on the Denver flight, I spoke with a family of four who told me that they had each camped out on different computers trying to get access to the con site in order to buy tickets. They sell out really fast. They each got four one day passes, even though they really wanted many four day passes. I didn't realize so much luck was involved!
Caption: View from DC to Denver flight. I don't remember where we were. But I was amazed at how dry it looked and how clear the line was between green and not green.
When I got on the plane, I sat in a row of four girls all going to Comic-Con. At one point, one of the girl's yelled out "Who's going to Comic-Con?!" and most of the plane screamed out "YEAAAAHHH!!" That was fun. The woman who say next to me told me about the different shows she was interested in and what she wanted to see at the con. We chatted most of the flight. She wanted to work in govenment because the benefits are good, but it sounded like she would make a great writer! I told her about this book that really helped me with story writing [[link]
I arrived in San Diego. DeviantART got me a room at "Holiday Inn on the Bay." I got a room on the 12th floor with an amazing view. Thanks DeviantART!
Caption: The view from my hotel. Look at that ship! At first I thought it was from Pirates of the Caribbean. >_<
That night, I was set to meet with Bree (), her husband Joel, and their friend Mario (). Bree has been commenting a lot on my Myst comic pages and she seems so sweet so I wanted to meet her in person. She lives in San Diego. So the four of us had coffee at this cute out of the way place called "Upstart Crow Bookstore & Coffee House."
Then Bree whipped out this amazing present:
It's a piece she made herself based on my Myst comic. JOY! It's my first Myst comic fan art. Atrus and Flame are so cute. And it's got the bookshelf and the cut-out stairs and everything. So awesome. And this is the original! You can also see it on deviantART here (blue lines removed):
And on top of that she also gave me a iPhone case that she crocheted herself. Thanks Bree!!
We talked and joked and ate some grub. I really enjoyed it. I hope I get to hang out with those guys again. I'll see Mario again at the Small Press Expo in September, back in DC.
Then I went to bed. Big day tomorrow.
San Diego Adventure! Day at the Convention:
Still being on East Coast time, I woke up at 6:30. I got my cards and stickers and books all together (stuff for my table). I was carrying a backpack and a messenger bag.
I took a shuttle from the hotel to the convention center. The convention center was ENORMOUS. I've never seen a building so long. It was 8:30 and there was a huge crowd of people outside the gates.
I headed away from the crowds and into the Gaslamp Quarter. I had one mission before the day started: Get Food. I was told getting food at this place could be difficlt, and I didn't want to spend my time waiting in line, or worse, not eat anything and feel weak. I wanted all my strength!
So I trekked with my heavy backpack to Ralph's supermarket. Lots of people were doing the same. I picked up some pre-made sandwiches, an avocado, two bananas, two chocolate bars and some blackberries. The song from Treasure Planet was playing in the supermarket (a movie I had watched recently) and it warmed my heart and got me excited. >_<
Armed and ready, I walked toward the convention center. I needed to walk from Hall A to Hall G, where Artist's Alley and DeviantART were located. The convention center is very long. I walked and walked, through a massive crowd of people waiting for the doors to open for the day.
I saw stormtroopers and Jedi knights. I was Princess Leia (with the, you know, Jabba the Hutt scene outfit). She was being interviewed by a TV crew. I saw Naruto and Adventure Time characters. There were plenty of characters where I didn't know who they were. So much to look at! I wanted to take pictures, but everything was moving very quickly (though I did take pictures later).
I made it to Hall G. There I met with Toby Labanow (), who works in Marketing at DeviantART and had arranged all my travel accommodations. She gave me my exhibitor pass and let me in. They had just opened the gates to the masses and as I was coming in, I saw LOADS of people coming in, descending from an upper floor (how did they get up there?) down to the convention floor.
Caption: Comic-Con opens!
Toby took me to where DeviantART had its presence set up. They had many screens set up with wacom tablets where people could try their Muro drawing program. They had big screens that were showing off DA artist's work. They were giving away lanyards and buttons and balls and llamas and other cool things. It was exciting.
Juli has been following my Myst comic and she asked me to draw something in her notebook. I draw a picture of Atrus looking stunned because that's what I was feeling at the moment.
I set up my table. It took like five minutes. I made a little stand for my name. I laid out my books and cards and stickers.
Compared to other people's tables it was pretty sparse and underwhelming, but that's okay. It's my first con. I certainly learned a lot and I have some ideas for SPX in September.
Next, Shyree told me I was going to do an interview with Dave Elliott (), the comic artist who had chosen the six recipients of the DA scholarship. I was very excited. I had never done an interview like that before, with cameras and mics and everything!
The videographer, Todd Grossman (), coached me in how to do an interview. Relax, we'll cut all the good stuff together, so feel free to say whatever. I had a mic on me, that was cool. I hope my hair looked okay. Dave and I talked about my work, where it was going, and how I was using DeviantART. It was fun. Dave was really funny and a pleasure to talk with. When the video with the interview comes out I'll share the link!
Then I met another of the scholarship winners, Emily (). She has amazing stuff. She set up her area like a pro! She said she had been to cons before. It seems like she made some good sales that day. It's too bad we didn't get to talk more. At the end of the day, she had abandoned the table copies of a few of her books and I took them back with me and read them. I'm interested to learn more about her experience as an ex-Mormon.
Once the interview was over, I was free to roam the con. One of my priorities for the day was to talk to story artist Louie del Carmen. I saw that he was at the con sharing a table with another artist by the name of Octavio Rodriguez. I thought I had seen Louis give a talk at Ottawa Animation festival in 2009, but I was mistaking him for his brother, Ronnie del Carmen. Oops. More on that later.
So I went to this table, but Louie wasn't there. I saw that Octavio worked at Pixar and decided to be bold and talked to him. I also noticed that I already follow his blog "Cano's Scribbles" ([link]). I was super nervous, but he was very nice. I told him I was doing the course at Animation Collaborative. I asked him questions about his work. He's from Dominican Republic. It's nice to meet other Hispanic artists. I'm half Puerto-Rican myself. It sounds like he's been working in story for a long time. I hope I get to talk to him again while I'm here in his neighborhood.
I also bought Issue 1 of his original comic "Cuidad". It's awesome. It's beautifully done, with loose energetic lines and great colors. It's how I'd like to do comics someday too. Why didn't I buy issue 2?!
Getting to Octavio's area meant crossing the entire convention floor. It was crazy. So many sights and sounds. It was a sea of people. I'm short, so I was constantly faced with chests and boobs. Costumes galore. I tried to sneak in and take pictures where I could.
Caption: A guy getting crushed by the trolls from The Hobbit!
Caption: A kid taking his picture with zombies from The Walking Dead. Creeeeeepy!!
Getting to Ocatavio's area meant crossing the entire convention floor. It was crazy. So many sights and sounds. People moving. I'm short, so I feel like I was mostly looking straight ahead at boobs and chests. Overwhelming sea of bodies. Lots of costumes. I tried to sneak in and take pictures where I could. The Tolkien trolls from the Hobbit movie was so cool, and across from it there was a picture taking with zombies.
Okay, that's a long post. I'm exhausted.
Ever since I learned Deviantart was going to sponsor me to go to Comic-Con, I've been in a flurry trying to prepare materials to bring with me. Now with a week to go, I've got all my stuff together! Check it out!
This is what I'm bringing:
To Hand Out:
I'm pretty proud of my assemblage of things! If you're at Comic-Con, come say hi at my booth (number yet unknown)! See some books and get cards and stickers!
It's getting closer and closer to San Diego Comic Con. I'm so excited.
There's a DeviantArt Blog post about what DeviantArt is doing as sponsors of Artist's Alley at Comic Con. Here's a link to the article: [link]. They mention me and the 5 other scholarship winners and link to examples our work. Meaning, lots of new people have come and seen my work! JOY!! Hello new people! Thanks for following!
ALSO, I wanted to say that I'll be at Comic Con all day THURSDAY, July 12, only, so if you're around, come and say hi to me in Artist's Alley!!
A few weeks ago I learned about this organization called "Animation Collaborative" ([link]). They offer classes in animation and all the teachers are big studio folks - Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, Blue Sky etc. And it's located across the street from Pixar. The school is apparently one year old.
They have a workshop on storyboarding over the summer and I've decided that I want to take it. The course runs from August 18 - September 4. So that means I'm going to be temporarily moving from DC to San Francisco. I haven't found housing yet. That's the next step.
It'll be hard to be away from Ilya (partner), but I'm looking forward to the course. It'll start right after Comic-Con, so I'm thinking I'm going to go straight there from San Diego.
One concern: How the heck do I transport my 21" Cintiq tablet monitor (aka my precious baby)? I have to find out if the original packaging would fit in the overhead ... I guess I could check it as luggage, but ... if anything happened to it I would be SO SAD. >_<
I know it's practically Monday anyway ... but I just wanted to say that I'm going to start posting new Myst Comic pages tomorrow. I'm pretty excited.
It took about 22 days, but I finally finished writing and thumbnailing Chapter 4. Chapter 4 is a big one: 38 pages! That's a little more than 7 weeks worth of new pages. I've completed two pages so far, which I think is enough to get the ball rolling.
It's been a lot of fun to work on so far. I hope you enjoy it!
These pictures look exactly like the ones here, but they are actually different books! (sorry the pictures aren't as good)
For the previous book, I used Lulu.com. For this book, I used Magcloud.com, recommended by and .
I can't say I like the MagCloud or the Lulu book 100% better than the other. They are mostly the same, both have pros and cons. In case anyone's interested, here's my thoughts comparing the two:
The Magcloud book was definitely cheaper than the Lulu book. That's a big plus in its favor.
The sizes are different. The closest fit for the comic on Lulu was 7x9 inches. The Magcloud size is 5.5 x 8.5 in. The Magcloud is smaller, but still a comfortable read (for me anyway).
Lulu's page size is proportionally taller than my comic pages, so I can't have my pages maximally to the edges if I want more inner margin (and the Lulu version needed it).
The MagCloud size is longer than my content, so there's room for an inner margin. And the content goes right up to the other edges (top, bottom, outer). I like that.
I think the Lulu one was a little more polished. The Lulu cover was glossy (I kinda liked that). Also, two of the MagCloud pages were somewhat crumpled. And one page had a slightly discolored bar across it. Overall, nothing terrible, but I thought it was worth noting.
Magcloud printed significantly darker than Lulu. If I print with them again I'll have to remember to lighten my images a bit first.
Also, MagCloud automatically puts a small QR code on the back of the book in the lower right hand corner.
Warning: big ramblings ahead
A piece of artwork or film is not finished until a lot of people see it.
It doesn’t become what it is until the audience participates in it. I might finish it, I might take my hand out of it and say its over, but from there, it enters a new place.
The artwork first started from an extra-personal place. The voices of society, your own voices (which develop from sources outside yourself) go into the creation of the artwork. Once it goes through you, then it goes out into society, to percolate in the subconscious of others.
And that process can take a long time. For some immortal pieces of art, it never really ends. People see it, it stirs emotions, which generate commentary, which affect the perception of the piece by others. In that way the piece changes through time. As the artist, you can’t control that process, but its affecting the artwork nonetheless.
That’s why the artist’s work is not finished when she finishes drawings/painting/animating, whatever. It’s not finished until she puts it out into the world, promotes it, and exposes it to as many people as possible. It’s just not finished until lots of people have seen it.
I’m thinking about this because I have a hard time with promoting my work. If I frame it as an extension of the creative process, rather a realm outside of it, then maybe it will be easier to do it. I’m trying to remember that other people’s reactions to my work, however surprising they are to me, are just as important as my own perception of it.
What do you guys think? How do you view the promotion/exposure of your own work?