Friday, May 13, 2011

The new coolest thing I've ever done

Sorry I didn't post last month, folks. I was too busy drawing to write about what I was drawing.

The exciting news is that Issue #2 of Holmes Incorporated is underway under the watchful eye of our editor and mentor, Ty Templeton.  I've been working on location and character designs, and about a zillion iterations of layouts for the seven-page story I'll be drawing. For a seven-page story, I had a design pack about a mile deep. About half of it is stuff that might (very likely would) come back in future issues now that it's been introduced into the continuity for the series, so I wanted to make sure my design pack was clean enough for posterity.
Mission control, Holmes-style

Jack Watson, the badass grandson of Dr. Watson

I'm wearing a Panama suit and army boots. FTW.

Elizabeth Watson, age 9

Issue #1 was good, and well-received (check it out here if you missed it) and it was a ton of fun to work on.  Let me tell you, though, issue #2 is set to kick the ass of issue #1 around the block and back again.

As fellow artist Gibson Quarter says on his blog "it's like the best parts of issue #1 are now taking steriods!! Yep, it's that strong.

Someone messed with Texas
Case in point... me. I've been working out, so to speak. Artistically, I mean. Taking classes at the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop and filling up sketchbooks with practice drawings. And it's paid off; I draw about a zillion times better than I did at this time last year. So much so that when Ty was setting up the writer/artist teams and the running order for the book, he gave me one of the showcase spots. Tell you what, I did NOT see that coming. Fellow contributor Aaron Feldman has written this fantastic, strong and juicy script full of action and drama, involving the fantastic, strong and sexy field leader of the Holmes Inc team, and they're letting me (ME .... mind you .... little, old me) draw it.
Yup. Better than this.

I'm batting cleanup.  So, you know, no pressure or anything. All I have to do now is come up with seven of the best pages of artwork I've ever drawn in my life. And that includes my drawing of the Silver Surfer, which I think turned out pretty well.

The thing is, I think I'm actually doing it.  I'm actually drawing the best pages I've ever done. I've finished four pages so far, and presented three of them at our class / team meeting the other day. When I put my art out on the table, there was kind of a stunned silence in the room, and one very soft "Holy s***"

I didn't even know I had it in me. When I first got the assignment, I cracked just a little bit under the pressure and had to remind myself a bunch of times that it's the stuff I've done for fun that got me this spot in the lineup, so I should just relax and have fun drawing these pages too.

So I draw a page and then stare at it in disbelief that it could have come off my pencil. I'm batting cleanup, and I really did knock one out of the park, even if I say so myself.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and draw three more of the best pages of art I've ever done in my life.

Curiouser, and curiouser.

P.S. (There's one more pretty squee-tastic news item coming, which I will share later when I know it's OK. Suffice to say, the reaction of Aaron and myself can best summarized by this YouTube video.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A quickie for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Hey, friends. Sorry I didn't post last month. I was too busy drawing to write about what I was drawing! Details on that coming soon to a blog near you.

As for today, this weekend is the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Tons of fabulous events and exhibitors, and general good times for all. Check out their site for full details.

One fun little piece of trivia is that I actually do have some artwork there.

Nothing fancy, but as an occasional participant in the Toronto Comic Jam I had a chance to contribute to their 2011 anthology. The topic was "TTC" and the premise was that each contributor would pick a subway station and create a story about it.

I picked Dundas because it's close to where I work and therefore very familiar to me. And being more of a pictures person than a words person, I teamed up with a co-worker from my day job (Sandra Herve for those of you keeping score) to write the script. We teamed up a bit on the basic plot, because I wanted to give a bit of direction to the type of story I was going to draw. We ended up with quite a nice, happy, and positive story. It was a fun little side project. Here's a preview of page 1.

So, hey, if you find yourself in the neighbourhood of the Toronto Reference Library this weekend, check out the TCAF. And if you find yourself checking out the TCAF, check out the Toronto Comic Jam table.

Good, fun times, right?