Sunday, September 18, 2016

When a Plan Comes Together

Much is happening out here on the west side of town, Peoria to be exact. The hot Arizona summer is beginning to cool off. Still have high around 100, but the mornings and nights are nice.

- -- First Plan that is working it's way out, the Space Monstas line of comics, resin figures, trading cards and t-shirts.
It was Thanksgiving last year when I designed the card backs for all the the Space Monstas figures (well I had designed the Spac eMummy one a few months earlier). And today I'm pouring the second figure in that line, Vinny Vampire. Hopefully I can share a picture of a fresh figure by the end of this post.
About 3 months ago I started working out how to make Space Monstas trading cards. I now have wax packs and have designed over half the first series of cards. 9 cards will be in each series and each pack will contain a complete set of cards.

Also I'm about 10 pages away from wrapping up the Space Monstas comic. I hope to have this done in October and launch a Kickstarter to get these books, figures, cards and t-shirts to the world.
- -- The other day I stumble across the Brian Brain strips I did with Thomas Hall (Robert 13 & King!) These were originally done for a zine, but were rejected. I have always been meaning to get back with Thomas and do this strip, but time has not allowed it. I think it is about time I made some time to create this series. My schedule clears up in January (besides Cousin Harold). I'm thinking of working on designing these guys again digitally and getting with Thomas to lauch this strip into the world in a unique way.
- -- As for Cousin Harold, well he is alive and well. The first stages of my plan to get more harold comics into kid's hands seems to be working. I have funding for the project secured. Now to start getting books into the hands of kids. Oh and the Cousin Harold resin figure is back in the works. bought some boxes to use as packages.
- -- Comic of the Week ---- Doom Patrol #1 by Way & Derington. WOW! I have been waiting for this book for a while and it live up to my wait, now I'm waiting for issue 2. Seriously if you have liked some of the strange Doom Patrol stuff from the past, this series is for you.

Okay well that looks like about it for this week. Oh wait. I have a picture of the Vinny Vampire figure fresh out of the mold.
Have a great week, hope you get to do what you love to do. I know I do!

-denny






Sunday, August 28, 2016

Making Stuff

Out here on the west side of town, things have picked up. Comics, toys and trading cards are being made. Each project is in it's own place and on track to be finished on time. I think doing multiple projects helps me keep excited for each one. If I was working on one thing, I think I would get bored and need to take a break way too often.
- -- The Space Monstas comic is coming along nicely. This is the splash/title page from the second story of the issue. I plan on having this done in mid october and hopefully available at the Tucson Comic Con. I will also be running a Space Monstas Kickstarter once the comic is done. The Kickstarter will include comics, resin figures, trading cards and t-shirts.  

- -- Speaking of resin figures, work on the Vinny Vampire figure has started. Here is the first attempt a his head sculpt. I sanded it down this morning and moved it to his actual body. I think it looks really good. Will be making a mold in the next couple of weeks. This figure will be limited to 13. Besides the original Space Mummy figure all the other Space Monstas figures will be limited to 13. (Oh and there is the Vinny Vampire trading card.
 - -- Speaking of trading cards, just received my wax pack wrappers from Sidekick Labs this week. Tom did an AWESOME job on these. Now I have to get creating the other 6 cards for this set. I have the layouts done. The trading cards should be done in time for the Tucson Comic Con.
- -- Also hard at work on new Cousin Harold material. I'm drawing about 4 strips a week at this point and have a buffer until the end of October at this point. Cousin Harold 11 is 3 pages from being completed and will be published on time this November/December.
- -- Comic of the Week Copra 27! Seriously if you have not tried this series yet, you are missing out. This was the best issue yet (maybe that is because of his rift on the Doom Patrol that is include). Below are the first 3 pages.

Until next time - Take Care,

-denny!




Sunday, August 14, 2016

Making Comics

I final got back to my computer this week and created some new comics - it feels Great!

- -- Currently I'm wrapping up Cousin Harold 11. I have a 4 page story left to do, then work begins on Cousin Harold 12. Cousin Harold 12-14 will feature a continuous story plus a bunch of side stories. My goal is to shine a little light on the majority of character from the Cousin Harold series. I want to give each character a specific motivation/goal that they are trying to due. This has been something on my to do list for a while. Hoping I'm able to tackle this challenge throughout these 3 issues.
- -- Work has also begun on the second Cousin Harold TPB, which will collect issues 6-11 plus a few mini-comics published in 2-104-2016. I'm planning to releasing this book during the 1st quarter of 2017.

- -- Drawing some images for the Space Monstas comic today. Very excited to be back working on this series. Also ready to start working on the Vinny Vampire toy next weekend. Hoping to have this all wrapped up in time to release the comic and new toy at the Tucson Comic Con.
- -- So the newspaper is really gone. I really miss it, but the lessons I learned from publishing and distributing it are already showing sign of success. I'm not really sure how it's going to work, but I want to start giving away Cousin Harold comics to kids when they show interest in the series. I'm tired of parent telling the kids to wait and look around at the convention before they purchase anything, because naturally being kids they will forget. In the past I have had success in giving away comics and the families returning to buy other books. Matter of fact I would like to give the books out to every kid that I see. So how do I fund this, hmm I have some ideas but I'm still working things out. However some of my ideas are already showing signs of success even though I have barely implemented them.
- -- Comic of the week - Fantasy Sports Volume 2 by Sam Bosma. I really enjoy this series and the art. I think the writing could use a little work, but it does not interfere with my enjoyment of the books. It might be that I'm just not into the fantasy writing part, but I love the sports action and really feel like I'm in the game during those scenes. Which make up the bulk of the book.

I think that is all for this week, take care of yourself!

-denny


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Re-Up

It's been a quiet week out here on the west side of town. I have spent quite a bit of time reading comics and thinking about making comics. I'm not sure why I make comics or what my goal with them is any more, but I know that I have to make comics. Over the last couple of weeks I have felt lost and I finally realized that this is most likely due to me not making comics. With that said, let me give you a peek at what is happening.
- -- With my Flag Ship title Cousin Harold, I'm getting together the 11th issue of his series. This issue should have been a Giant-Size style issue because It collects strips that have been (mostly) published elsewhere. However after talks with my fellow creators I realized that I would be on issue 13 if I just made those special issues numbered issues. So from now on they will be.
- -- Also did a little writing for the next Space Monstas story. Still planning on releasing this book in October/November.

- -- Facebook has reminded me of a couple important facts lately that I would like to share with you.
- -- The first one being this drawing of Harold. This was the first digital drawing of the character (above) and a current drawing that I have used for promotion in several places (below). The growth between these 2 drawings amazes me. As a cartoonist, I find it very interesting to compare where you were to where you are. When I first started to draw comics, I had a piece of paper that had a page of Cerebus #1 copied on one side and a page of Cerebus #201 copied on the other side. I would use this paper to remind me that lots of hard work is how you get to where your heroes have gotten to.
- -- Thee second fact being that I have been doing the Cousin Harold strip 5 days a week for over 3 years now. I'm really proud of this. I have a full time day job and I'm a father/Husband. So to stay on this schedule and still be able to live my day to day life, WOW!
- -- Comic of the Week. Well I'm going to go back a week for my pick and it's not just 1 comic, but 3. The original Galactus Trilogy from Fantastic Four #48-50. I have read this storyline before but I finally got to read it as it was meant to be read in the original publish monthly issues. Very excited to have been able to add these issues to my collect. I'm about halfway there to collecting Fantastic Four #1-102.
Thanx for reading and I will be back next week, hope you are too.

-denny!




Sunday, July 31, 2016

SDCC Reflection

It's been quiet out here on the west side of town. Today wraps up a week of not drawing comics for me. This is the longest I have gone without drawing comics since 2008. Comics have been a big part of my life for the last 8 years, maybe this is why last weekend hurt so much.

SDCC did not go well on many levels.

I had attended the show 20+ times in the last 25 years. However, this was the first time I was exhibiting. I really did not expect to sell much, but I set myself up so that I had the chance to sell a lot. A new issue of my flagship title Cousin Harold. A limited edition Space Mummy resin figure. However this really did not matter, I did not appear to be selling what the customers were buying. Nor am I interested in making what people were purchasing.

I make hand made comics on my kitchen table. I write, draw, print, staple, fold and trim my books. From beginning to end, I'm involved in every part of the creation of my comics. Cousin Harold is kids book that is designed for kids to enjoy, but I really feel it's target audience is the adult who misses enjoying comics like he/she did as a kid. I usually tell people the book is created for 10-year-old me to read and enjoy.

I had many people say positive things about my book and work, but they usually left my table by wishing me good luck. I know my comic is not for everyone, at least we had a good conversation. The customers that upset me are the parents, whose kids are interested in the comics but are told they just got here and need to look around before they start purchasing things. The problem that I have with this situation is I'm not a mega-corporation with a television shop, video game, etc. I'm one guy with some hand made books and a banner behind me featuring my characters. Once they leave my 6 foot table, they probably will never think of me again. This is the problem that I need to solve.

I understand that parents cannot spend money on everything that their kids are interested in. Being a parent I have spent money on things that my own kids were interested in only to have those same kids get interested in something else a couple weeks later. I think I have a solution for this problem, without changing what I do. I'm in the planning stage for this solution and will share more once I'm ready.

The other things that did not go well at SDCC are more personal and I do not think they need to be aired here. All I can say that I'm done trying to help promote other people for a little while. I have spent the last 3 years making projects involving my friends from the AZ Universe series to the Comics Never Stop newspaper. I was hoping to build a team of creators which would I could travel to out of town shows and share tables/expenses with. I was hoping that these projects would spotlight what an AWESOME comics community we have here in Arizona, which I believe they did. But I felt like personally like I was left with disappointment and frustration every time. These project were a great learning experience and I plan on using many of the things I have learned from them to promote my own projects in the near future.

It's a week later and I still feel sad at how SDCC went. I remember someone saying at some point "Comics will break your heart kid!" or at least that is what has been going through my head all week. It might sounds like I'm blaming this on SDCC, but the truth is that every show I have done this year has been a little disappointing. SDCC is just the straw that broke the camel's back. 2016 has been a rough year for me and my comics.

Tomorrow I will begin to pick things up and start making comics again, formulating a different plan to get my comics out to people. Tomorrow I will make comics fun again, at least for me.

-denny