Saturday, November 18, 2006

Illustration Friday : Thanksgiving




Nothing too complicated about this. It's just a turkey some fruit, bread and veggies waiting to be served up on Thursday.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Reading Lists

I read lots of stuff from time to time and the other day, I went through all the books that we placed in the closet (away from the Trio of Destruction). I've pulled out some books to read so there they are on the side bar, my current reading list. Check them out. Right now I'm little more than 1/2 way through with Sphereland and part way through Akira Volume 1.

Deanne reads much more than I do. You'll very rarely see her without a book. Her list of books right now includes 3 from Sue Grafton, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach.

What's Going On

For the last couple days, I've been lettering almost non-stop. I finished the last of the 48 pagers today, so all that is left is whatever corrections that need to be made. I now have time to sit down and flip through the comic books I just received. From Ultimate Comics, I picked up the latest 2 issues of DC's 52 and issue #3 of Frank Cho's Red Sonja comic. In the mail, I received Issue #2 of the Savage Sword of Conan (from 1974) and Essential Conan (Marvel's black and white reprint of the first 25 issues of the Conan the Barbarian comic).

I've been a big fan of the Conan, Red Sonja and Masters of the Universe comics and I've been trying to get as many of the comics as possible. Right now, I have issues 60-200 of the Marvel series (which ran to 275) and about 30 of the various issues of Savage Sword and Conan Saga. The newest stuff (from Dark Horse), I get mainly in collected hardcover form. I'm not a big fan of the mini series although P. Craig Russell's was good. I look forward to reading Tim Truman's mini series as well, I simply waiting for all the issues to come out so I can read it all in one sitting.

I think my run of Red Sonja is mostly complete. I'm not big fan of Dynamite's Red Sonja and their collections of the old material was poor, so I got all the back issues. I think I'm missing the newest Marvel series, but that I can live without. I'm enjoying the Frank Cho written Red Sonja mini series, but the art could be better. The funny thing about the Cho story is it features Sonja versus a cannibal queen and in a bit of creator synergy Tiegre's latest adventure in Warmageddon Quarterly #3 has her taking on a cannibal queen from the Tribe of Drakul.

Speaking of Tiegre, I just sat down to pen her latest adventure for Warmageddon Quarterly Volume 2 Number 1. In this we venture off the coast of the Warmageddon mainland and unto the isle of J'Mekya where we meet Marlee, the Oracle of Pars (along with the other Priestesses of Pars). I finished the overall plot and have written the script for the first 2 pages. I hope to have a working draft of this story before the end of the month, so that the artist can begin work on it. But I also have 36 pages left to ink for WQ#4 and comics to read.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Illustration Friday : Clear



Clear as a crystal .. this one is Deanne's idea. I was thinking about a magnifying glass burning and ant, but she suggested the crystal and the rest is me being a geek.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Zombie King Page #3 : Step 4

And... with the last panel done... This page is set to the side for grayscales. The grays will be added after I've finish inking all the pages, so it will be a while (7 more pages) before you see that. Stay tuned for Step 5.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Zombie King Page #3 : Step 3

Two more panels down and now on to the last panel which just happens to be the first panel.

Illustration Friday : Smoke


This week's Illustration Friday topic is smoke...

Growing up, I think my mother was the only one around that didn't smoke. Now every one in my family that I have contact with has given up smoking (except one uncle). Strange how the time change.

I'll be posting an update to the Zombie King Page later before I finish up the inks.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Zombie King Page #3 : Step 2


For these panels I just grabbed the pen tool and started clicking away. I started with these 2 panels because they were the most simple and the kids are running about. This allowed to get some panels out of the way and still keep an eye on the kids.


For the most part these panels used one pen size for the foreground. The background in the 3 panel is just rectangles set to an angle with 3 different line weights. Now on to the other panels.

Zombie King Page #3 : Step 1

Over the next few weeks, I will be working almost exclusively on Warmageddon stories. With those stories I will be inking, lettering and adding gray tones (grayscaling). The 2 stories are drawn in 2 radically different styles so I thought I would chronicle my work on one page from each story from beginning to end. First up is the Zombie King.

The art for Zombie King is drawn by Grant Perkins (Paradox). Below are the pencils from page 3 of the story. Zombie King was written by Richard Nelson.


Grant has a geometrical drawing style that uses consistent line weights. I've decided to do all my work on this story in Adobe Illustrator. The usual work flow on a page is writing, pencilling, inking, grayscales and lettering. Since I'm working solely in Illustrator and doing all the latter work myself, I've decide to change the work flow to lettering, inking, and then grayscales. Why? Mainly because I can. It really doesn't save any time, but it allow me to get all the lettering out of the way first. So below you can see, the page above with just the lettering and panel borders.

In lettering the page above I used Comicraft fonts. Those font were Astronauts in Trouble (for the captions) and Fighting Words (the zombie balloons). I opted to use a manga-style balloon similar to that used by Nate Piekos on Atland.

That's where I am now with the page. Look for more updates as I reach the next steps.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Illustration Friday : Wind

In an attempt to do at least one piece of art a week. I will be participating in Illustration Friday. Every Firdya that send out a topic and then you create art on the topic. Wind is the latest topic and below is my wind image. I just did it in about 30 minutes in Adobe Illustrator. It started with the idea o showing a cloud with puffy cheeks blowing, but ended as this.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

more play

Just playing, but this looks eeriely similar to a troublemaker I know a long time back.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Graves from Eirian and Orumil


I took a break from coloring the next set of Eirian and Orumil strips to draw up this little sketch in Illustrator. About 10 minutes to draw and color. It'sGraves from the strip. The strip is update Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays with new comics, but now I'm thinking about tackling a Sunday strip. Richard Nelson is hopefully coming up with Sunday strip ideas and we'll see how long I can keep those following.

Back from SPX

I got from SPX last night at about 12:30 AM or so and promptly crashed so her's the Warmageddon SPX report.

I got to SPX on Friday morning about 11:30AM. When I got there, Steve Ahlquist (who I shared my 1/2 table with) was already then with his friend Dave. Steve has gotten in the day before and was set up and ready to go. Steve is a writer/editor. his claim to fame is the Oz Squad books and SLG Strange Eggs (which he received a Harvey nomination for). He also does a mini-comic caused Peeny Boy.

Steve was on the right of me and Craig Tallefar (Wahoo Morris, Chelathon Kid) was on the left. Craig had just released the Wahoo Morris trade (collecting the 3 self published issues and the one Image issue) on Wednesday and had stacks of them on his table along with his accoustic blues CD and Sleeping Dragon TPB and speakers.

On Friday we learned that the convention ran from 2 pm and 8pm and that all our sales combined would not pay for the cost of one table. I think I sold 1 comic on Friday. 1 and I never left the table. However, eveyone else learned that animal crackers are a great and tasty treat that can be purchased in 2 pound bags at Walmart for less than $2 and I got a free 20 oz Dr. Pepper for watching Steve's 1/2 table while he and Dave went to get drinks.

After only selling one book, I wasn't in the mood to do anything after the convention, so I grabbed something to eat at the McDonald's across the street and set off to find the local Borders. After travelling the wrong way down Rockville Pike for about 2 miles, I turned around and located the Borders which was about 2 blocks away from the convention hotel. I located the graphic novel section and found the Art of Usagi Yojimbo, the first Walking Dead hardcover and Scott McCloud's new book Making Comics. I sat down and read the first 2. It was 10:45PM when they announced that Borders was closing and I went to purchase Making Comics. It was then that I discovered my wallet was missing! After panicking, I went back to the car (the last place I remember having it) and looked. After searching the car, I found my wallet under the steerring wheel and all was good in the world. I went back to Borders and bought Making Comics.

Following the adventures in Borders, I then called Deanne, grabbed some food at the 24 hour McDonald's and read some of Making Comics. About an hour later, I headed back to the hotel and went to sleep.

During conventions, I don't usually get much sleep, so I was up at 5 and back at the McDonalds for the $1 tea. Some old guy in front of me was arguing with the cashier and manager because his $1 order was $1.05 with tax. his assertion was that there was no tax on food. He was adament about not paying a tax on food and stormed out. I just stood there thinking that in fact McDonald's isn't chargining you for the food, but rather the service of producing the food. Also, I thought that he wasted more than 5¢ of his time arguing over 5¢.

Anyways, I finally got my tea and set down to read more of Making Comics. When I loked up an hour later, there were 4 people sleeping in the McDonald's booths. One was obviously homeless, but it struck me odd that people come to McDonald's for the early morning version of siesta. I grabbed Making Comics and headed to the hotel lobby.

In the hotel lobby, I sat down and read Making Comics as the sun rose and warmed the lobby. I was greeted by another comic fan who sat down and feel asleep while waiting for hte rest of his party. Later, 2 little girls ran around the counch near where I sat while their grandparents attempted to wrangle them. I finished reading Making Comics and headed to the car to get my stuff before starting the day at the convention.

The convention started at 10am. I was inside by showroom by 9:30 and it was mostly empty. I put together my table and sat down hoping for a better day. By 10:00, you couldn't even tell there was a convention. Most of the tables were still empty and it seemed as if no one was wandering about. Someone mentioned in passing that the first 2 hours on Saturday were pointless as ntohing started until noon.

2 hours passed and I had 1 sale. It was now noon and I settled in expecting no more sales for the rest of the day. My plan was to wait for Scott McCloud to show up, talk to him for a bit and head home. It was then that people just appeared out of nowhere and the sales started coming in. Before I knew it, it was 12:20 and I had even more sales. by 12:30 I had even more sales and by 1PM even more. It was around then that Steve Conley passed by and we had a short chat and then I sawe Scott McCloud enter the room and head to his table. His table was 2 tables down from mine on the corner and then .... he disappeared. Scott was off buying the various comics and mini comics, just taking a view of the landscape. So I stayed at my table as even more sales trickled in.

Stan of Squid Works came by and purchased some books.
Logan of ComixPress.com came by and we talked a bit. He purchased several books and headed back to his table after inviting me to come check out their perfect bindingas they had samples at the table. It slowed down a bit and I spied Scott McCloud at his table wiht only one person in line, so I headed over there. By the time, I navigated the 2 tables to Scott, I was the 6th person in line so I patiently waited while Craig and Steve laughed at my misfortune.

Some time later, I finally made it Scott. I didn't want to monopolize too much of his time, so I sat down the 3 books to be signed (Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics and Making Comics) and started to introduce myself when ...

Scott hesitated and began, "How's it going Jama..."

For those that don't know, I had a friend, Jamar Nicholas, who is also a black guy with dreads and glasses and roughly the same body type. We met at SPX 1999 and have been communicatng ever since. We do look vaguely similar and are both into making comics and the comics scene (as it is). We have a similar set of comic industry friends, so every now and then I run into people who thinks I'm him and he runs into people who thinks he's me. So with that in mind, let's remember that I've only corresponded with Scott once via email and I've met him once (about 4 minutes 7 years ago) and now back to Scott.

Then Scott paused and you could see the gears turning as he putting a last name with the firat name. "Walton?," he half- stated and half-asked. I was astonished that he knew my name since we haven't corresponded for over 6 years. And then Scott began to talk about how he was aware that I was building a good web presence and we talked for about 10 minutes about comics and what I was doing with Warmageddon and who knows what else. As we talked a line began to form, so I turned his attention to the books again (which we had both forgotten as we were deep in conversation). I apologized for monopolizing his time and he promptly ignored my apology as we started talking about print on demand and Zot! We reached the end of that conversation and I excused myself so that the others could talk with Scott.

Free of my table and having recently (with Scott) talked about print on demand, I heade over to the ComixPress both and talked with Logan and Jodi. Honestly, I have been a very vocal critic of ComixPress. Both Jodi and Logan know how difficult I am and they won me over! You couldn't ask for more dedicated, patient, polite, and knowledgeable people. Logan knows his stuff and stands behind everything that ComixPress does. The short run color look great. The black and white books look good. The TPBs are well bound. My only gripe is the glossy paper, but you can't win them all. As I said, I'll be working with them in the future and with their new discount systems and the SPX discount, they'll be hearing from me soon!

After talking to Logan, it was back to the table and making more sales. Chris Stevens and Jason Rodriquez stopped by. I didn't get to talk to Jason as he darted right on by. Chris had come by earlier and introduced himself. Chris is working on a comic with some amazing artists. When it's complete, I very much look forward to buying it.

There were occassional lulls, but every time I really noticed it appeared as it people were just dropped into the middle of the showroom and then more sales came. There were lots of people interested in Warmageddon for their teenaged kids and I'm really glad that we made the decision to make it a PG-13 book. There was one mother that asked which of the 3 issues would I reccomend for a young female reader. I told her that the books are PG-13 and that issue #1 features Tiegre (a strong female character that's always in control) and Ulmragha (a young female character that is banished because she doesn't fit into her clans beauty standard). She purchased it and I was happy to be have a book that could appeal to a female audience.

Before I knew it we were in the last hour of the show. Typically, in the last hour of the show, I begin to tear down everything and get ready fo rhte trip home. however, 5 minutes into the hour, I made a sale and then another. All said and done, I made 5 sales in the last hour and almost completely sold out of issue #2. I packed up said my good-byes and hit the road.

4 hours later, I was home and 1 hour after that I was sleep.
At some point today, I'll unpack the car and read Peeny-Boy again and figure out who I need to contact and follow-up like Green Brain Comics and Stephanie Brandford (mutate20) at Dwayne McDuffie's forum.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Writing

This is what I was given today by McKenzie. She's now 4 and has been working on her writing for a couple months now. She has been spending lots of time daily looking at books and writing the words from the books. She can't read but she can successfully copy letters and write the correct letter when you tell her what to write. Right now see can successfully spell 3 words without any assistance. Those words are the 2 above (Daddy and McKenzie) and Mommy. She can't yet spell Mom, without help (go figure) and she with working on Gwen and Nesta.

I'm most impressed beause her name has some really hard letters that most kids write backwards or just incorrectly (k, e, n, z) but she writes the correctly most of the time. I'm very proud of my little 4 year old, however, I wish that she (and I) could stay as we are now forever.


One day my little girl with no longer be my litle girl :(

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Name Game

I (Larry Jámal) am named after my father (Larry Ben) who was in turn named named after his father (Benjamin). Despite everything, I chose to keep the tradition and name my son after myself (Nesta Jamal). Why? I don't know, but I take solace in knowing that that my father knew I extended the tradition even if I don't know why I chose to.

Interestingly enough, Deanne and I had names for the kids long before we ever had kids. The boy was to be Nesta Jamal and the girl, Tate Alexandra. We had these names back in 1995 when we first got engaged right out of high school. When Deanne was pregnant with McKenzie we stated the name game again mainly because I wasn't happy with Tate (I wanted Paige) and she still wanted Tate so we later decided on McKenzie Elizabeth. McKenzie is name after my mother, Stephanie Elizabeth. She was named after her maternal grandparents (Stephen and Elizabeth). To further complicate the matter, my mother's official name is actually Stephenie and not Stephanie (note the e after the h and not the a that is normally there). Apparently while she was in grade school, the teacher decided that my mother should use the "correct" spelling and thus up until a this last year, my mother has used the a rather than the e. Who knows why she decided to make the change (but she may read this post and respond with a reason in the comments, she'll be Nona), but she has.

I have cousins Stephen and Elizabeth. My sister (Clarice) is named after our grandmother (Clara Lee). There's a Stephanie (named after my mother Stephenie). There's my cousin (and Stephanie's brother) Darryl Lee named after his father (Darryl Trent) and our grandmother. They also have an older brother, Trent. There's my uncle James, Jr named after my grandfather (James). There's my cousin Rhonda named for her father (my uncle), Ronald. That's my maternal side.

There are only 4 of us on my paternal side (me, my sister, and 2 cousins). The only one of note for this discussion is Charnez who is name after her father, Arnez. Incidentally, My sister's daughter is Ieashia Sharez, but she denies all implication that she named her after our uncle Arnez.

The bottomline is that there is a naming tradition on both sides of my family. On my mother's side there are even family names (Ann, Elizabeth, Steven, James). Our mother didn't pass along any family names to us, but she did continue the tradition and I passed that tradition on to my children. It will up to them to reinstate the family names. I can only think of one child in my children's generation that has a family name and that would be Stephen's son Stephen. Neither Stephen nor his son Stephen use their first name, like myself and most of my cousins, they use their middle name. Of my generation, only 2 use their given first names, 2 use nick names (alternate versions of their first names) and at least 6 of us (myself included) use middle names.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Procrastination ....

Yep, I completed nothing today and I blame ... ULTIMATE CONAN!!!





Dropped Deanne off at work today and when I got home, there it was waiting for me, Ultimate Conan. So I sat down and opened the Amazon package and after flipping through once, I was hooked. At every chance I read a page here and there. In the car waiting at the school. In the car while the kids played (Nesta didn't want to leave the car) and as soon as Jay's monologue is over tonight, I'll be reading it again.

The good thing about all this is that it's giving me a direction for next's years issues of Warmageddon. I've decided to flesh out the gods and mythology of the people of Warmageddon. I've always been a huge mythology buff and this gives me a way of tap into that.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Staus Update #2

I'm down to 4 pages to flat from Digital Webbing's BloodRayne comic.

I down to 1 panel to color on the Image submission.

I have 14 pages to script and letter for the next issue of Warmageddon Quarterly.
I now have another page, but I've decided to add gray tones to this story, so that adds some extra work.

I still have 1 commision to color.

I have 12 pages to letter for another Small Press Idol submission (Badland Taxi). These pages should be in either tomorrow or Saturday.

I have 3 new Warmageddon online comic strips to letter and color.
I'm waiting to finish everything else, so will probably get to this over the weekend.

And I did pay for the car insurance, yesterday.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Working status....

Let's see how much progress. I have made.

I'm down to 4 pages to flat from Digital Webbing's BloodRayne comic.

I down to 2 pages to color for an Image submission.

I have 14 pages to script and letter for the next issue of Warmageddon Quarterly.
Still waiting for the high resolution scans for the the last 9 pages, but I have a good idea of what to write.

I still have 1 commision to color.

I have 12 pages to letter for another Small Press Idol submission (Badland Taxi).
Waiting on the pages which should be in soon.

I have 3 new Warmageddon online comic strips to letter and color.
I'm waiting to finish everything else, so will probably get to this over the weekend.

So I'm slowly but surely getting stuff done.
Now I'm off to pay for car insurance.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Working ... Working ...

Lots of stuff going on that I need to get out this week.

I just finished lettering and grayscales on Wicket and Imp. Wicket and Imp is part of the Small Press Idol contest that Warmageddon once competed in. Go to www.dimstoreproductions.com and check it out.

I have 5 pages to flat from Digital Webbing's BloodRayne comics.

I have 4 pages to color for an Image submission.

I have 14 pages to script and letter for the next issue of Warmageddon Quarterly.

I have 1 commision to color.

I have 12 pages to letter for another Small Press Idol submission (Badland Taxi).

I have 3 new Warmageddon online comic strips to letter and color.

I think that's about it for right now, but I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

Time to get to wrok while Nesta is sleeping.

I also completed a phone interview with a local company that looking for a web developer role into a print /web design guy.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

new sketch


Just more digital playing around with another member from Ungoodwise. This is Uyi from the Darkside. I'm liking this new style and may apply it to another project that my buddy Mike Hawthorne says that I'm stupid not to do. More on that later.


Below is just another drawing I did just to get more comfortable. I thought of it as an Uyi image, but now, it looks much to old to be Uyi and looks more like a totem pole face.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sketch #2.5 : Going Digital

I'm not going to count this as a real sketch (thus the 2.5) as it's a digital image. I've been trying to create a digital style of my own because I spend more time at the computer with my stylus than I do with pencil and paper. I figure drawing digitally is the next logical step. The real problem is I don't like drawing in Photoshop and I don't like the inking in Illustrator. So I've been inking in Photoshop and I've finally settled on a style I like. I'll be digitally inking the next Tiegre story over Robert Herzig's art a sample appears below.

Back to my sketch... it began as my Ungoodwise character (Rasta) and ultimately evolved into a afroman when I couldn't get the dreads to look right. Oh well... here it is followed by the Tiegre page.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sketch #2 : Trap-Jaw

I feel like such a slacker. It's taken me a whole week to do another sketch. It's a head sketch of Trap Jaw and took me all of maybe 15-20 minutes. I really should be doing this more often and I really will try. Really....

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sketch #1 : Evil-Lyn


I used to draw more often, but now I don't draw very much. I'm hoping to change that. This is a sketch of Evil-Lyn from the Masters of the Universe (aslo known as He-Man).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Eden Completed!

I just finished the last of the Eden books and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed them more than any book that I've read lately. In readin them, I found myself engrossed in the story and yearning to read more. A lot of times, I really find myself struggling to read through books ... even books I enjoy. Sometimes I even fall asleep reading them. With the book, I fought off sleep to complete it and now I feel empty. No more stories of Kerrick, the Tanu, or Yílane. Now it's time to move on to something new.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Harry Harrison's Eden Trilogy

I finished up Kamandi a couple nights ago and decided to jump into a prose novel. The novel of choice was Return to Eden by Harry Harrison. I was first introduced to the Eden Saga in 1992 with West of Eden and Winter in Eden. Some point in the last year, I bought all three books off Amazon and read WoE and WiE again. It wasn't until I started reading Return to Eden that I realized that I never finished the series. So now, I'm finishing it.

For those that haven't heard of the series ... The basic concept is what if the dinosaurs did not become extinct. That line of reasoning is followed to the point of the creation of a race of man like lizards (Yílane) that rule the Old World while humans (Tanu) rule the New World. The Yílane comtoot the new world because the Old World is becoming too cold and thus the 2 species meet and go to war. At the beginning of RoE they have reached a truce of sorts. It's an interesting series of novels.

The reason that I picked up the books again was that I was planning to use the Yílane as a base for the Warmageddon bwangs. Now I don't think I will, but I have some other ideas brewing. Right now, I'm 1/2 way through RoE and then I will being catchrch up on some comic reading before hitting the Martian books. I vaguely remember having the Marvel John Carter comic series, so maybe I'll search those out as well (if I still have them).


On the Warmageddon front, I've finished lettering the Asar story for issue #3 and have begun to work on the cover colors. Caio has finished pencilled one page from the Adventure on Roc Island. So that's about it.

Currently, I working on a shopping cart for a new site. This is the first shopping cart that I've built in about 3 years, but everything seems to be flowing well. I've finished the addign to cart and editing/ removing items in the cart functions. Next will be the user login part and address information. I hope to get through that by tomorrow. Time to hit the sack and get another small bit of reading done.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Warmageddon Monday

Did you check out the Warmageddon strip today?
If not then why not? Today marked the 4th strip so get in on the ground floor.

Today was a Warmageddon day. Today I ...
1) lettered 5 more pages of The Golden Egg (the next Asar story)
2) stopped by the post office to grab the contract from the next Warmageddon artist. He will be working on new Asar stories
3) received strip #21 via email today
4) lettered and uploaded strips 19-21
5) uploaded new art to the Warmageddon art gallery

In addition to all that I managed to read up to issue 6 in the Kamandi archives. Only 5 more issues before I move unto to Burroughs's Martian stories and the stack of comics, I sat aside to read. The stack is about 1/4 a short box so I'll plow through those in maybe a week's time.

That's it for today. I'm a little late on the update because, I was watching Leno.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Loooong Sunday

It's been a long day and it's only 11PM.
Today was a complete Warmageddon day. I grayscaled all 18 pages for the next Asar story and I managed to letter one of the pages. The completed page can be seen below.

Funny ... I don't really feel as though I did too much today. With any other comic that would be the equilivant of an entire book worth of grays, but with Warmageddon that's about 1/3 of the 56 pages. I'm thinking Volume #2 (next year) will be less pages (maybe 48), but who knows.

Maybe my day seemed so long because I had to clean up 2 tea spills and changed about 300 diapers and addition to the Warmageddon stuff. Or maybe it's because I decided to watch Star Wars. I started with Episode I around 3or 4 o'clock and Luke has just headed to see Yoda for the first time in Episode V as I type this. I know Lucas has said Star Wars is the story of Anakin Skywalker, but after watching the prequels, I'm far more interested in learning more about Palpatine. Just how did a Sith Lord become a Naboo senator?

It's now time to make one last rounds of my usual Internet spots before diving into issue #2 of Kamandi. The Kamandi reading is going much slower than the Cerebus reading. I love Kamandi but often find myself drifting off. I wish DC would finish up the Kirby issues of Kamandi in Archive format.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Busy Saturday

Weekends are usually slow. I usually sit back and watch a He-Man DVD or something. However, today I had to flat some pages for the BloodRayne comic published by Digital Webbing and latter 3 strips for the Warmageddon comic strip.

What is flatting a page?
Flatting is basically taken the finished lineart for a comic book page that is to be colored and separating by color each element that needs to be colored. This usually takes me about an hour and a half if I'm wrangling with the kids or about 45 minutes to an hour with no distractions. When flatting I try to get 2-3 pages done before noon. One page during the day when the kids are more active and another 2-3 pages after the girls hit the sack. Flatting makes for really long days (as it is boring and tedious work), but the girls like watching it. You can tell if the girls are watching by the the amount of red and pink that appear in the flats. At night, I just stick in any colors (the colors you use don't matter when flatting), and they tend to stay green, brown and blue, but the girls request red and pink so I use a lot of those colors when the girls are about.

A finished flat is nothing exciting. It's just the colors without the lines. But the first one is with the girls watching. The other is without the girls. See how the colors are different? These are 2pages 4 and 5 from a Fist of Justice story.



With the Warmageddon strip, I letter it, upload it to the server and try to keep it on schedule. It's a strip that updates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so that means every weekend, I should have 3 strips to letter. Monday starts the second week of the strip and I have uploaded all the strips through the end of week six, so we are about a month ahead. In addition, we have a month worth of filler strips and I received the first strip for week 7 on the 5th. That seems to be chugging along nicely, now we just need to get an audience for the strip so it generates money for us all (Richard Nelson, Jon St. John and I). If you are reading this you should stop rerading right now and go check it out.

That's it for now, time to feed the munchkins .... again.

Friday, July 07, 2006

FF/ Iron Man : Big In Japan

With story by Zeb Wells and art by the late Seth Fisher, FF/ Iron Man: Big in Japan is a fun romp with the FF and Iron Man in Japan complete with oodles of big monster and the gigantically huge Apocalypse Beast. As it is, the story is basic superhero fare. The heroes join together to stop the beast who will end the world. What makes this book radically different from those that come before it, is that the creators embrace the absurd and run with it. I've been meaning to checkout the work of Seth Fisher since I first saw the cover to the Green Lantern: Willworld hardcover. Unfortunately, it took his death to really make me look into his work. I enjoyed this 4 issue FF mini series and will be hunting down Seth's other comic book contributions.

And yes I did read this after posting my first blog post. Right now I'm looking for something to start before going to bed. My usual night ritual involves the Tonight Show, but all this week it's been reruns after Wimbledon highlights. With no Leno I've been reading more before going to bed. Up next is Kamandi Volume 1 (Archive Edition) after I finish this then I'll dive into Burroughs's Princess of Mars.

Welcome.. Welcome .. come one come all

We are all wandering the world in varying states of madness and since today is my birthday, I've decided to start yet another blog. I have one for my kids and one about my late father (see the links). This one will cover everything else. At some point, I will move everything to ljamal.com (my web site), but until then.

WELCOME TO MY MADNESS!



I just finished reading all 16 Volumes of Cerebus and Cerebus #0 (6000 pages of comics) over the last 47 days. I started on 22 May 2006 and finished tonight (7 July 2006). Cerebus is a 300 issue comic book, so that's about 6 1/3 comics per day. For those that aren't aware, I had to read Cerebus #0 because it collects the 3 or 4 stories fromt he 300 issues that were not collected in the larger volumes. Without the #0 issue I should have only read 296-297 issues Cerebus.

Now that I'm finished with that monumental undertaking, I think I'll settle in and read some smaller comic collections before diving into the Martian stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs (A Princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars, The Warlord of Mars, etc). I picked up 2 collections but out by Barnes and Noble that collect all of Burroughs's Martian tales and I mean to read them soon. First however, I think I'll spend a week reading the comic trades that have piled up while I was reading Cerebus. First on that list is Seth Fisher's last work (Fantastic Four/ Iron Man: Big in Japan). That will most likely be followed by the latest Conan hardcover from Dark Horse and then who knows. Maybe some Rocketo (Image) as it's starting to back up.