I’ve been digging at the comic mines rather fervently in order to submit to Oni Press’ recent submissions opening, which is a really big thing, because they’ve traditionally kept their submissions closed until recently! So, I thought I’d share some of the work I’d sent in (these old things from a year ago when I was prepping for SPX, new pages made and added recently in the portfolio gallery). Oni promises to send some kind of reply (standard rejection, fancy custom rejection, actual acceptance) within 60 days, so I’ll have to cool my jets in the meantime, but then submissions will re-open in two months, so for anyone interested, here are the acceptance guidelines. Good luck to everyone!
Hey all, I’ll try to get through this portion as quickly as possible: I’ve sort’ve left the blog alone until I had thought about what I want to do with it, moreso than simply having an online space to display artwork, and I think it would also be a valuable place to not only keep record of my works in progress, but to also leave a place to discuss facets of illustration, getting published, what-have-you, because there is a great wealth of resources out there to read about the publishing process, and it would be nice to have a place to put down thoughts about the attempts to get published from a newcomer’s perspective, and also a place to keep a public record of when those rejection letters come a-rollin’ in. With that out of the way, let’s get to posting some real content here:
Back in 2010, I had the exciting opportunity to go to SPX down in Bethesda, MD, and had no idea how many of my favorite artists and publishers would be present. I got to meet Anthony Clark of Nedroid, Dylan Meconis of Family Man, Chris Yates and all his little ghosties.
I also came upon the table for Top Shelf Productions, a notable indie publisher, featuring Craig Thompson and James Kochalka in their roster, and had a nice discussion with Leigh Walton, one of their editors. When I asked about what they did at conventions about looking at artwork, he couldn’t stress enough about the importance of minicomics. Minicomics are not only a great way to easily distribute samples of your comics to publishers, but to also give as gifts to your favorite artists at the show. Brilliant! First Second publishers have a great post about conventions that mention minicomics and their importance here. And while you give your minicomics out, don’t be afraid to chat up someone at the booth, provided they’re not too terribly swamped. At the end of our conversation (mostly about certain artistic merits of Scott Pilgrim and creator’s rights and movies), I was asked about going to karaoke later with them (which I had to decline, assuming karaoke was at a bar and I was 20 at the time). They won’t bite.
But now, it’s 2014, and I’ve been working on a longtime series called Atlas, and, while not having the most original name, I guess I just didn’t know better in 2009, but I’m rather attached to it. It’s gone through many false-starts, some which I may post later, but I’ve been working on the samples to include in my minicomic stacks this year. First Second recommends including some sample pages to hand out in a mini at conventions, on the chance that you’ll formally submit later, and there’s a good chance they’ll recognize you, remember you from the convention, and get the feeling that you’re quite serious about this whole publishing thing.
These are about 90% done; two adjoining pages to see what they would look like in the sample together.
I’ve also been working on a trio of art nouveau-inspired illustrations for the three main characters, Charlie, Robin, and Alex. This is Robin and her 70’s Honda, and while there is a lot to get into while discussing this series, I’ll explain in later posts as I go along. My current base of operations is Lancaster, PA, and a local printer, Blacksmith Printing, is a really flexible, really fabulous group, and while I have no idea what his last name is, the head honcho is Mike, and he has an Evangelion tattoo, and that’s all I really need to see to trust someone with my artwork (other than the fact he’s pushing the limits of all kiiiiiinds of things you can print on, and once you get sterling results printing on BFK, then you’ve got my attention/adoration).
Anyway, I want to make updates as I come along this process of making the SPX 2014 mini, discuss some things I’ve learned talking to people and discovering sources on the internet, and eventually post some finished work. Goodbye!
Hello folks, it’s time for a works in progress blog update:
This is about as rough as I let anybody see my projects, and I have to admit, my pencils can get smudgy, but a lot of the smudges this time resulted in my poor placement of them within a large sketch pad, where another old pencil drawing left its smudges, and my new pages picked up the slack. As for my bear, once the blocked in objects are cleaned up, I hope to put them in a cel-style coloring while the bear remains the only thing with high detail. It’s the mascot for my studio, and this is the digital postcard. I hope to release a comic theme postcard and a watercolor postcard, so I have postcards that represent each field and media I like to work in.
Next week, the inks should be dry on the last piece I posted here, but hopefully, I’ll have both of these pages done, with any luck. Then, because my heart is young but my soul is old, I need to order ziptones to finish them off. No digital toning for me. Because I’m a masochist.
But you’re not really an artist if you’re not a masochist, am I right? Enjoy your weekends, everyone.