Motion Comic Trailer

I’ve known Daniel Wheatfall for a little under two years, and have the extreme pleasure of counting him amongst my friends. Daniel is an incredibly talented Motion Graphic artist (check out his portfolio here), and over the course of our friendship I’ve grown to truly admire his body of work. On occasion I’ve had flights of fancy where I’ve imagined Daniel and I collaborating together, but since we both have pretty hectic schedules I assumed a collaboration between us to be just that, fantasy. However, a little over a week ago happenstance brought Daniel and I together and I’m excited to say it was to create a motion comic from Issue No. 0 of Your Cold Felt Heart.

We’re still in production so don’t press us for a hard release date, just know it’s coming sooner rather than later. As of now Daniel’s about halfway through creating the animations for the issue, and they’re absolutely amazing. We couldn’t keep a lid on this all the way until it’s completion, so we put together a little teaser trailer for you to enjoy in the meantime.

I’m really excited for this project, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Workflow Crisis

So, I’m only three pages into Your Cold Felt Heart Issue No. 1. Why? I’m in the midst of a full-blown workflow and art style crisis.

While creating Issue No. 0 I crafted a workflow and art style that involved incorporating my hand drawn characters with backgrounds I created using Adobe Illustrator. The upside to that workflow and art style was the ease of use for creating “true” on perspective backgrounds and three-demensional objects (like cars and trash cans, and other fancy things). The downside to that workflow was that it was slow as molasses, and involved a lot of back and forth between programs to create the final finished page. One of the reasons I went with that workflow and art style was a lack of self-confidence in my ability to draw three-demensional objects exactly on perspective, but honestly these days I wonder if  “perfect perspective” really matters.

I’ve been reading a lot of Bill Watterson’s comic strip Calvin and Hobbes lately, and can’t help but notice how little true perspective mattered to Bill. Calvin and Hobbes is an absolutely beautiful comic strip, probably the best since Schulz’s Peanuts, and it’s beautiful without the use of perfectly measured and executed perspective. Now, I don’t think I’ll ever compete with Bill Watterson’s beautiful line work, but I am thinking I might be putting too much emphasis on true perspective.

Although I’m really happy with how Issue No. 0 of Your Cold Felt Heart turned out, I really wanted to improve my turnaround time on creating Issue No. 1. Only being three pages in so far is not the improvement I had in mind; which brings me to my workflow crisis: Do I stay the course, and keep drawing my backgrounds and objects using Adobe Illustrator despite it being a slow and cumbersome process; or do I take the leap and draw the whole thing by hand this time, improving my speed while possibly creating some terrible artwork?

I have no idea what I’m going to do…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

My column over at Monster Popcorn updated today with some of my memories and thoughts on the live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. To say that I loved the Turtles as a child would be a tremendous understatement. Aside from owning every single Turtles toy Playmates put out, my brother and I would role-play as the Ninja Turtles everyday with the neighborhood kids using our own homemade ninja weapons. The first thing I remember seriously trying to learn how to draw was a Ninja Turtle. I would sit at our kitchen table and try over and over again to draw Raphael (my favorite Turtle, BTW), working at it tirelessly until I could draw him without a second thought. I drew the same image of a Ninja Turtle so many times I can still see it in my head over 20 years later. Check out my column on the movie here, and if you haven’t seen it in a while, I highly recommend you go back and rewatch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ’cause it’s pretty awesome.

The Rocketeer

This week my column over at Monster Popcorn is talking about my absolute favorite movie, The Rocketeer. The film is an adaptation of the comic book of the same name created, written, and drawn by the incredible Dave Stevens. To simply say that Dave Stevens has influenced me as a cartoonist would be a tremendous understatement. Stevens’ artwork inspires me in a way few other cartoonist have. His absolutely beautiful line art and brush work are rivaled by none, and is this impossible vision to which I aspire with my own artwork (to which I fall embarrassingly short).

This week I attempted to draw Dave Stevens’ creation, The Rocketeer, for the very first time in my life with better results than I expected.

If you get the chance, check out my column about the film here. If you’ve never heard of Dave Stevens, or his comic that inspired The Rocketeer, I strongly encourage you to check it out for yourself. It’s available in collected form from IDW Publishing.

Issue No. 0 Cover Process 4 of 4

With the release of Your Cold Felt Heart Issue No. 0 today it’s fitting to finish my post involving the process behind it’s creation, as well as officially debut the final cover. After completing the pencils, finished inks, and coloring, the final step was the inclusion of type and graphical elements to the finished design. The crease marks and rubbing effects were all created by actually creasing and distressing a piece of paper before scanning it in and applying the effect to the finished cover. The tagline included on the cover originally read “Frank’s North Side Adventure” which was my little nod to the second volume of Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer, “Cliff’s New York Adventure”. But, the reference to Stevens’ work seemed too obscure to forgive the inaccurate use of “adventure” to describe Issue No. 0’s content (despite my deep love for The Rocketeer). All together, I’m really happy with how the cover, and the issue, turned out. Now it’s time to start the next one.  Issue No. 0 of Your Cold Felt Heart is available as of today in my store. Check it out!

Issue No. 0 Cover Process 3 of 4

Leading up to the release of Your Cold Felt Heart I’ve been going over the process involved in the creation of it’s cover. After completing the pencils and finished inks the next step in the process was coloring the composition. The goal for the finished colors was to resemble a painted Film Noir poster from the 40s, which was something above and beyond my skills set. In order to achieve the final painted appearance my friend (and one heck of a colorist), Chriss Cornish, used her amazing talents to add an incredible dynamic to the illustration. Although I don’t know the exact details on how long it took her to finish the colors for the cover, I can say that she finished them way faster than I expected, because she’s awesome like that. The logo for Your Cold Felt Heart was added to the composition before the colors so that Chriss could include them in her pallet for a more cohesive appearance.

Issue No. 0 Cover Process 2 of 4

Leading up to the release of Your Cold Felt Heart Issue No. 0 I wanted to go through some of the process that went into the creation of it’s cover. After completing the pencils the next step in the process was applying the finished inks to the illustration. At the time I was using Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pens for all of my finished inks, but have since started using Pigma Micron Markers. The illustration took me about 2 hours to ink, and I somehow managed to only make a few mistakes (but I’m not going to point them out). Early on, when I was figuring out of my style for Your Cold Felt Heart, I decided to use a cartoonish, heavy line around the outside of my characters to distinguish them from the backgrounds of my illustrations. My backgrounds tend to have a more flat, ligne claire appearance which I think plays nicely against the more dynamic line I’m using on my character drawings. All-in-all I’m really happy with how the inks turned out on this illustration, which is rare for me because I am not a talented inker.

Issue No. 0 Cover Process 1 of 4

With the release of Your Cold Felt Heart Issue No. 0 right around the corner I wanted to give some insight into the process of creating it’s cover. As far as illustrations for the book go, the most time and effort was spent making sure the cover of the issue was as eye-catching and detailed as possible. Before composing the final image I worked out the poses and layout as thumbnails. Although I experimented with several different ideas the split cover with Frank and The Blind Scarf was my first, and ultimately my favorite, composition. This stage was completed with graphite pencils on an 11×14 piece of smooth bristol and took about  2-3 hours to complete (mostly because of the two point perspective on the brick wall). Despite my shortcomings as an illustrator, I have to say I’m proud of how these pencils turned out.

Constable Butterman

This week my column over at Monster Popcorn is talking about one of my favorite films, Hot Fuzz. In an effort to further push myself as a cartoonist, and to find some link between my writing for Monster Popcorn and this site, I decided to take a stab at drawing a character from the film. Nick Frost’s portrayal of Police Constable Danny Butterman is one of the main reasons I return to watch Hot Fuzz time and time again. When I told my friends what I was doing, everyone anticipated a more humorous drawing of P.C. Butterman (perhaps in his ill-fitted cowboy attire), but I really wanted to capture Danny’s thirst for adventure and “proper action and shit” so I opted instead for a shot of him firing two pistols whilst jumping through the air. If  you’ve never seen Hot Fuzz, I highly recommend you check it out when you’ve got the time, until then here’s my drawing of Danny at the height of his wish fulfillment from the action packed ending to this hilarious film.