Download: Dystopium (Artbook)

Happy Holidays everyone!   Now that we’re nearing the end of the year, I thought it’d be great to finally release a sketchbook of sorts.  I started putting this thing together around June or July and still needed to add a few old pieces just to beef it up a bit.  In any case, it’s here and you better appreciate.

I know I promised a free downloadable sketchbook and for the most part that’s true, all you need to do for the download to actually work is tweet or share on Facebook.  Just follow the link and all will be well.  Thanks!

Available in CBR and PDF

Dystopium Sampler

On the few days-hours-minutes I actually get to just futz around and draw whatever I want, I’ve been consciously making sketches tight enough to later on compile into a sketchbook.  I’m a lot busier than I’d like to be these days, but I can’t really complain about that.  That said, I wish I could complete the thing faster than I currently am, but that’s just how it shakes out.  I was inspired by what Brian Wood did a while back, releasing his sketchbook for free.  And it wasn’t like it was just a buncha rough stuff either.  Dystopium will be a free downloadable cbr and/or pdf file in the coming months, so those of who you care, stay tuned.  In the meantime, here’s a few things that’ll be in it…

I quite doubt it’ll be the most thematically unified thing I’ve ever shared with people, but eh… what’re you gonna do?

Pencil Flex: Disney

It was Kat’s turn to pick a theme, and it sure wasn’t hard to tell she’s been itching to draw some Disney themed stuff for a while.  I was apprehensive at first, as my style doesn’t exactly lend itself to anything this cartoony, but I ended up having a lot more fun than I thought I would.  I had somehow forgotten that the House of Mouse had some of the hottest animated ladiez.  Silly me.

Building a Closet

I noticed a slight deficiency around here in terms of new art, so I thought I’d peel some skin back and show some bones for a little bit.  Closetworld is a webcomic written by Matt Yocum that went online a little while back.  As pretty standard procedure for all my projects, I make sure thumbnails are approved by the writer and/or editor before I actually begin work on the page.  Below are the layouts for the first four pages of Closetworld, and the finished sequentials for comparison.  As usual, click to biggify.

Aside from camera placement and shot angle, two other very good uses of thumbnails are the preconception of Shadow Placement and Shorthand of Expression.  Figuring out where your shadows go in this miniature version of the page saves you a lot of time and ink.  It’s not just shadows really, but blacks in general.  If the page reads smoothly as a small sketch, there’s no reason for the finished version to be weak compositionally.

As for shorthanding expression — it can get tedious when you’re already drawing the page and you need to keep checking the script to see if the emotion on your character’s face fits what he’s saying and doing.  If you indicate this in your thumbnails ahead of time, you save yourself quite a bit of hassle later on.

Face Off

Somewhere, Alex Cipriano is cracking a Nicholas Cage joke.

Here, people, is the mock cover to the second issue of Urban Animal.  I’ve been drawing it on and off for the past couple of weeks, and today I was blessed with a three-hour window to just slap some color on it.

I had come up with various plays for the layout of this thing — from showing the main character in mid-transformation, to a dinosaur doing an Abbey Road crossing — but I decided to just go with my gut and hint at a key moment within the issue.  I was initially conflicted about whether to make the rex snout bloody or not, but the deep red color turned out to be a nice point of interest.

When in doubt, go for the gross out.

Download: Urban Animal #1

We’re closing in on a year since I spoke with male strippers Rey and Tom over at Big Ape Design and decided to dig up this decade-old comic and give it proper distribution.  Originally titled “Beast Boy Joe” (I know, I know…) this was something I now want to refer to as a quasi-biography.  The book is now available for download for three reasons — firstly, as my attempt at participation in this admirable 100 Araw ng Komiks movement local creators are advocating.  Second, to stir up some attention and to get people ready for #2 (which was also drawn about a decade ago).  And third, because I love stories, and I love you.

This .cbr file features the first full issue of the mini-series, minus the bonus sketches and introductory text.  Urban Animal is © John Amor and Fort Bastard Studios.

Download Urban Animal #1.

Download in PDF