As promised, PATCHWORK COMICS has begun its diffusion into the collective comic psyche:
The Mask of Manolo
Issue #1, 28pgs, b&w, color cover.
In the wake of his Mother’s suicide a young man falls into the delusional world of El Fabuloso Caballero, a quixotic crusader on a quest to save the world from itself. After falling in love with a precocious young girl with cancer, Manolo embarks on an adventure to save his symbolic sweetheart and redeem himself of his past misfortunes. Meanwhile his hapless father sets out to find his runaway son and return him to reality.
This 12-part series blends a poetic story by Alveraz Ricardez with poignant and clean pencils by John Amor. With letters by Ed Brisson these three cohesive artists come together and drive a passionate albeit quirky stake through the heart of all indie-lovers seeking unique characters and a breathtaking adventure.
Also available at the site are Karl Slominski’s ballsy sci-fi tale RAYGUN COWBOYS, a whole slew of retarded-fresh webcomics, and some nifty loot. So get on over there and put one of us through college.
Got a fair amount of work sorted out this week, schedule-wise, which (and you gotta give me this, at least) is no small feat, given that it’s Christmas time. I may not be the most disciplined guy around when it comes to sticking to time tables, but god damn it I can juggle like you wouldn’t believe.
Also, I’m a douche.
Promised myself I’d put a real effort into getting more indies in 2008, and I think I’ve pretty much succeeded, on the most part. Tail end of 2007 saw me get that Cebulski project, my first gig, through a ridiculously coincidental series of events — one of those right-place-right-time type deals — so ridiculous in fact that it involves my quitting law school, my working in a call center, and even a messy break-up some two-three years ago. Shit you not. It’s a Bendis plot, is what it is. But you only get lucky once, right? So this year had me working for it. And well… I like to think I tried hard enough.
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Didn’t make it into Marvel just yet, but they know my name… that’s as good a start as any, I suppose.
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To my three returning readers, here’s some stuff to watch out for: My first solo book, The MASK of MANOLO, from Patchwork comics should be hitting the stands within the next month or so. Alveraz and the gang are cranking out the proofs and working through the Christmas season to make sure Slominski and I start polluting the scene early next year.
First issue of OVERTHROW! is just about wrapped up; As I’m writing this, I’m finalizing the inks for the last page… with my feet. Took longer than I care to admit, but Justin’s been a real sport about it. Of course, he’s probably just lulling me into a false sense of security before he strikes. The book goes to pitch early next year, so we’re both holding on to our skirts about that.
First few pages of the yet unnamable horror project are beginning to zygotize in my thought-peach. It’s a bit of a departure from my super hero and modern fantasy stuff, so it’s taking a bit of doing. I’m to expect a box of reference material in the mail, a cheery package of crime scene photos from Victorian London (hint, hint), but it’s Christmas… so yeah, that’ll have to wait I guess. The script is in though, and it’s a mean mother. Like OVERTHROW!, this will probably go to pitch early next year as well.
These are all collabs though. Should devote some real time to properly scripting my solo OGNs this year as well. INSTRUMENTS is chugging along nicely with Matt being sober most of the time these days, so that’s cool. Speaking of personal projects though…
The Horror Classics series is on hold until I get a proper foot-hold on the books i’m whored out to, timeframe-wise. Though I really should get back to that soon, coz the scary faces in the noggin aren’t exactly helping me relax much on my downtime.
I quit my office job precisely so I wouldn’t have to deal with scary faces anymore, right?
So yeah, it’s been more or less a pretty good year. Dark Knight kicked ass, Obama won the election, and I drew a gutted elephant.
It’s finally November. Haven’t been able to post a lot of art lately coz I’ve been spending most of my time doing stuff that I’m not allowed to show. Can’t reveal shit, can’t tell anyone or the terrorists win. Justin’s been compromising national security by showing off inked OVERTHROW! pages on his blog though, which now feels to me like I’m standing naked in the snow, seeing as how Paul Little’s colors add so much to my drab crap. Feeling pretty confident that OVERTHROW! #1 (or most of it) can be wrapped up before MASK of MANOLO #2 kicks in. On that note, I’m posting the cover for the first issue. Solicits and website stuff along with the attendant artist profile juju should be up soon, I’ll make announcements here as I get the news myself.
Halloween is spent boozing up with cousins and siblings whilst re-watching old Filipino horror films. Crispy chicken skin from the nearby grill went pretty damn well with the malt liquor. Costume parties aren’t really our thing since we’re all just too damn lazy to put that shit together, but I live vicariously through my more disciplined friends, so I’m posting the costumes that didn’t completely suck balls:
1) Artist Paolo Gomez laying it on thick; 2) Komikero EJ Afzelius with his own brand of horror;
3) Artist/photographer Jan Rodriguez pays homage to Ledger; 4) Maia Layno (opening voice-over for the Tres Komikeros podcast) ain’t sportin’ anything scary, but hell, I ain’t complaining.
Every single time I’ve picked up the pencil lately has been to either work or do stuff directly related to work. I’m happy as fuck for the influx (influck?), but I realize I’ve sorta been going about it the wrong way coz it’s burning me out to some extent. So November will see me trying out a sketch-a-day sort of thing. Y’know, just to loosen up every day before work. No script, no audience (well maybe you guys), no guidelines, no mission. Just me, a blank sheet, a pencil, and a small chunk of time.
I did this Intersketching thing before, I just need to pick up on it again. I stopped it when my old PC crapped out, and then I simply forgot about it when I was… blessed… with this new one. Anyway, this sketch-a-day shit is important to me coz I somehow forgot that before I had deadlines to meet and contracts to fulfill, it was all primarily about loving to draw — I somehow lost sight of that a little bit, so I’m starting the dailies again to remind myself of the childish thrill. It’ll also serve to polish the ol’ style somewhat, which won’t hurt.
Holy shitcocks! We’re closing in on the deadline week! I haven’t exactly been slacking or anything, but I think it’s safe to say I’m not gonna make the October 15 deadline unless I make some serious sacrifices in quality. No one’s been sending angry emails or anything… yet… so I’ll just carry on at this steady pace. Not too happy about missing my first professional deadline, but I am juggling two books. Looking back, overcommitting might not have been the smartest, most responsible course of action possible… but fuck it but I gotta focus on making these pages the best they can possibly be.
Still in talks about doing that horror book with the horror guy, but I haven’t had time to do the concept sketches yet. Watched From Hell for reference though. Hint. Also, Heather Graham as a redhead prostitute? Win. I’ve had to make the horror guy wait, though he does know I have books on my plate. Oh well, he’ll drop me if he drops me.
Cut to image of a battered Luke Skywalker from Empire, “Don’t drop me, horror guuuuuuy!!!”
Yeah, that was in the special extended edition.
Also had to turn down a potentially fun project with a published writer this week on account of the fact that the logistics of it weren’t quite… desirable. Wow. Welcome to Vagueville. The split-ownership deal was sweet though, so it’s definitely worth revisiting. Cool guy too, so we may yet get to do something in the future. Hope hope.
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Sully’s finally piecing together a mini to pitch. Whether or not I’m the guy to draw it still remains to be seen, but I’m just glad he’s actually moving on it already. Guy’s got some good ideas. Short attention span? Sure. Gaming addiction? Definitely. But I’ll bet my Pope John Paul II comics (really) that whatever he’s got up his sleeve is just gonna melt everyone’s balls off. Chunkily.
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A buncha friends from town are returning to their roots and stepping up their sequentials as well. Fantastic, that. Couldn’t be more glad. Coz when you’re the only one ever doing it, the feeling that it’s all self-indulgence honestly can’t be avoided. Being in a group lends it a semblance of legitimacy at least. Viking and Mike are whipping up Hellboy five-pagers based on a plot I hacked out while Santini’s doing Spidey. I can’t be more excited.
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Sifting through Suicide Girl photos with co-genius Matt.
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BEAST BOY JOE (yes, yes, I know) will be scrapped, reconceptualized, and rebooted. The tentative new title is JOHNNY BEASTLING since JOE EVOLVER just sounds too much like… vulva. No yeah really, that is the only real smidgen of real thought that went into that. I don’t know. I’m dumb. Traded brainfarts with Derrick Fish via magical clicky machine about how to make the main character not seem like too much of a furry. God help me.
Just posting some process screenshots of the little online poster I did for Alveraz Ricardez’s MASK of MANOLO. I’m incredibly unorganized when I work in Photoshop, which is probably why I don’t do it very often, but I’m happy with how this piece came out.
Anyone see what I was listening to on Winamp? Haha.
Anyway, the final piece can be viewed (along with other Patchwork Comic covers) here.
September’s looking to be a busy month for me as I have four projects coming down the pipelines. I know that sounds like a heck of a lot of work for a guy who took a whole month to finish six Next Wave sample pages, but I had a day job when I was working on those. Which I’ve thankfully quit since. So… yeah. (That’s right, Johnny. Repeat it like a mantra. You might even end up convincing yourself.) But yeah, this is what I do now, and this is probably the best I’ve felt since I started taking commissions on my DA a whole year ago.
A new publisher called Patchwork Comics is gunning for a January 2009 release date for about four titles, and I got lucky enough to be chosen by the head honcho to take part in that. My own original story pitches — ICELANDER, WOLF PACK SESSIONS, and BEAST BOY JOE (all just working titles) — have been shelved for the moment, but Alveraz Ricardez was kind enough to throw me a bone in the form of one of his own original stories. MASK of MANOLO will be about a Don Quixote-esque child-hero in a more or less fantasy setting. And the best part? I’ve been granted a window of three days to finish each page! Schwing!
Also on my plate starting next month is a pitch issue for a series entitled OVERTHROW!, with an exclamation point. Writer Justin Jordan, whose webcomic Junk is up on Zuda this month, picked me to illustrate the story of a villain who has already won and a hero who has to face a sort of moral dillema about taking him down. Justin’s first e-mail to me had the word kicksplode. That pretty much won me over from the get go. You can view his work log here.
And the final comic project I was lucky enough to get chosen for is another pitch deal with Jared Koon. It’s a yet-untitled Sword and Sorcery story that I’m not allowed to really talk about just yet, so I’ll leave it at that for now
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So yeah. Whew.
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On the local front, co-genius Matt is slaving away, wrapping up the script for the first twelve-issue arc of our comic INSTRUMENTS, which we will be pitching to Image and whoever else when it’s all tight and shiny. Been talking to Derrick Fish a lot about exactly how this is done, but I’ll probably learn a lot from my current collaborators as well.
So I guess those Thor pages will have to wait. They were exciting as fuck, and I got goosebumps when I saw Asgard smoking in Secret Invasion: Thor #1, but I gotta pay the bills first. Still in contact with Cebulski though, which never hurts.
Anyway, a few random and recent sketches I did to warm up in the mornings:
About a year ago I did a fan-art series of portraits entitled Thundercats Legends. It was pretty much a labor of love in that they weren’t commissioned or anything, and I couldn’t sell them coz they were copyrighted. In the same vein as those pieces though, I’m working on a series tentatively titled Horror Classics, and you can pretty much guess what it’s gonna be about. I’ll be doing my takes on the classic monsters. ( Dracula, the Wolfman, etc., Thank you, Wikipedia, for your list of public domain characters. Heh. ) So I’m looking forward to those as breaks between the comic pages I’ll doubtless be swamped with. Here’s a preview of some studies though. Click big.
That’s it for now, guys. Wish me luck.
EDIT: Whoops! I almost forgot. I haz a new computarrr!
Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.53 GHz; 2 Gb of RAM. I am yet to get a new hard drive and maybe a new video card for… stuff… but this is the best PC I’ve ever had the privilege to use. Hands down. My buddy since frickin’ elementary school Andy Tan helped me get the individual parts from three different stores. Thanks, bud!
That blue light is uhmm… my biggest fan. No, really.