Well well, it has been an interesting year. While I've faced some hardships, like being in a car accident, health issues, and the death of a friend, there have still been plenty of good things going on this year. Now I want to work hard to make sure 2017 offers more good things too. I don't necessarily want to talk about resolutions here but I do have some fun plans in store.
Conventions: Right now I have only one convention secured and that's Tidewater Comicon! I attended this convention as part of a family vacation last year and had many friends and acquaintances who vended. I heard such good things and had so much fun there that I decided I had to apply. I did and I got in! I'll have an artist alley table all to myself along side Voidbug and many other talented artists. I'm very excited for it and am considering this my biggest show for the year.
I will also be reapplying to Fredcon in the summer. It was a great one day show in Fredricksburg, VA and I hope to have just as good a time there again.
Comics: Right now I'm working on book/issue #1 of "Unintentionally Alice." This is a project me and Ryan Moody have been working on for a while and I'm glad to finally get some headway on it. My goal is to finish the first book this year but I'm not sure when this year would be a realistic deadline. I've been having trouble with this book because I set myself up for more challenges. Working with Ryan is great and he's gotten a lot of the writing done into the next book, its' pin pointing how I want to physically make this book that has been difficult. I've already restarted drawing the first 5 or 6 pages. I had started using smaller manga paper but realized that formatting the book for print would be difficult with this paper's size. So now I hand cut pieces of Bristol Board into the standard US comic size (11"x17"). This will give the comic a standard US format which I haven't done since college and I've also decided to color the comic. That is my biggest challenge since I normally work in grey scale.
Making up my mind on an inking method was hard enough but how to consistently color this book has been plaguing me. I digitally color illustrations frequently and that rarely bothers me so I've been tinkering with Clip Studio Paint for a few months and picked up some techniques that I like using, as well as taking note of color usage from other comics I like. The key for me is to remember to keep things simple otherwise I easily over think them and throw myself in panic mode. And panic attacks, no matter how small or contained, are no help when making art. I think I'm finally on the right track and am looking forward to this book; as well as other UA merch I would like to make, like stickers and acrylic charms and character stands! (I consider character stands the next best thing to having an action figure!)
I also took at look at my next few scripts for Alencia comics (I think I have easily another 10 years worth of stories?) and I'm so excited to work on these! I have so many plans and developments for Alencia that I'm simply bursting to do them! But the question of Kale's story still remains. For those who don't know I self published a comic in 2010 called "Kale: Lost & Found." It was my first attempt at doing a book with a 1 year deadline and for a convention. The problem was that I was still in art school when I did it so I didn't really have as much time as I thought to finish it as a one shot self contained story so instead I had an issue #1. I have since sold all my copies (a few may still be floating around in MADarts and Atlas Comics) but I wanted to retell the story and complete it in the Alencia time line. Kale is a wonderful character and I don't want to give up on her, but she's become a road block for future Alencia stories. I will need to tell Kale's story next in order to continue the timeline properly. I started writing the new Kale script and at about 8 pages in I realized that I should be writing it from Alencia's point of view so it fits into her series better while still telling Kale's narrative. So that is my next challenge in comic making. But honestly, if after writing it out if it still doesn't work I may have to consider throwing it out. And I don't want to do that so I'm interested to see how I can make this work and tell what I believe is a compelling story.
No matter what the new year brings I will be working on comics and I feel very privileged to do so, even if it is only in my spare time. I wish you all a healthy and prosperous new year. I hope you'll join me in making 2017 a better year for everyone!