With Comitia Comic Expo happening next Sunday, I’m in the home stretch prepping for my second ever table at a con. That map IS a bit small/hard to read; click for a close up! I’ll be at table せ16b, at the end of an aisle with lots of traffic.
Like I mentioned in the last post I’ll have plenty of those postcards to share with anyone who comes by. I’ll also have Weird Crime Theater and Elbis books for sale and maybe a few surprises as well…
The first Comitia Comic Expo I attended was the International Manga Fest of November 2014. Essentially the same expo just with an international component. I’m not sure what to expect this time around as an American in a domestic comic con with mostly comics in English, but I did feel so welcomed by the last expo that I’ve decided to join all of the Tokyo Comitia expos of 2015.
You can get more info/directions to the event in English HERE.
With the new year and as Weird Crime Theater winds down, I begin to look to new projects. As some of you may know, I worked on Mindgator all though 2013 and produced some 54 pages of web-comic for this site. I had a blast and I learned a lot in that weekly production grind. Looking back on it, I was quite happy with the first 30 pages or so and I also liked some of the ideas in the latter half of the story. But I was far from finished when Weird Crime Theater pushed it off my schedule.
Although I’ve talked on this site about different ways I’d like to finish/edit the work, it really is all just an amorphous idea until it’s on a page staring back at me. More to the point, here’s my plan for Mindgator this year: I will produce The Mindgator as a series of 4 short, art house comix. My idea here is to make a print version of the book with no online or digital component. It’s not that I dislike digital but more that I believe each story has a specific format. The ideas I have for this set of books might not be translatable to digital formats. I must admit that the experience of bringing Weird Crime Theater into the analogue world also had a profound influence on how I view design and book creation.
That being said, I still have a lot of writing/re-writing and re-drawing/drawing to do. Some things that need just ever so slight a nudge and some things that need to be dumped wholesale. So get a good look, kiddies. The unfinished on-line version of the story is about to go off-line. Not sure when but soon. At least before I launch the kickstarter.
Hit the ground running as the new year began and things look like they’re only speeding up from here!
I’ll be with table at Comitia on February 1st. If you’re in Tokyo or there about, please do drop by and say hi! I’ll be handing out the image above as a postcard/calling card to everyone passing my table while my supply lasts.
This will be my second con in Tokyo and the first of many this year. It’s a con mainly for Japanese comics. Where as, last con was an International Comic Festival, this one is not so much. It also looks like my table will be much better situated than in November. I’ll be at the end of one row, facing the isle. I’m sure I’ll stick out because of my dreadlocks and being a non-Asian foreigner in Japan.
Long time, no see. I’ve been working really hard over the last year and have accomplished a lot. Some of it (Weird Crime Theater) is already for sale in the shop and other projects will be shortly.
I’d like to say however that my days of neglecting the site are over as the remnants of last year’s workload come to an end. Yes, I will never neglect the website again! Promise! As long as nobody throws me a giant project that I can’t post on the blog about. <hint, hint>
I am currently revamping the site as well. You can see that I’ve added twitter and instagram feeds in the sidebar. I’ve decided to rejoin the twitter community as a speaking, thinking person and stop just spamming them with instagram re-posts. I’ll also be opening the shop soon. For now if you’d like to buy a copy of Weird Crime Theater, you can follow the link HERE or you can find it in the COMIX page. Sorry for the inconvenience.
But on to bigger and better. If last year was any kind of sign, this year promises to be amazing with many wonderful things to come. Some from me, some from you and some from people we haven’t even met yet.
One last thing, I’ve started to sell at comic festivals in Tokyo. The first one was in November 2014. The next one will be Comitia on February 1st, 2015 at Tokyo Big Site. Here for details in Japanese. Here for English. I’ll update with more details on this site as I get closer to the show date.
The culmination of 12 years of tinkering with writer Kumar Sivasubramanian, this 150-Page Giant is a near-psychotic fever dream collection of the comic book adventures of Granikos “Granny” Kinkade and Melissa the Conqueror – two low-paid subcontractors working for the government to terminate with extreme prejudice: sasquatches, mummies, paramilitary poets, Amelia Earhart, Inca-cursed blow-up dolls, robots, demon gangsters, stoners, Sploochies (don’t ask), fishermen, Glenn Miller, rogue Russian scientists, invisible cats, and decency.
For a one-story preview of this awesome book click HERE!
They say that the hardest part of any project is finishing the damned thing. Well, it’s been a just over a month since my last post here and I’m getting near the end. Working at fever pitch now, I’m churning out about a page a day. If this keeps up I’ll be done-done be the end of the month and we can get this sucker off to the printer.
All good news, but I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for waiting patiently while I run to the finish-line. In fact, the countdown has already begun. Count with me.
It’s been a month since my last update and tho I’ve been posting a bit to the INSTAGRAM, I thought I’d do a small art round up for the people who might have missed them.
These are images from things that are being retouched or redrawn or drawn for the WEIRD CRIME THEATER graphic novel. I will update you again on my progress in the next few weeks, or so, as I get closer to completion of the book.
Yes, my friends, it has been too long. 2 weeks since my last post and my insta has become very slow and obtuse. I hope if nothing else, this seemingly semi-circling of wagons will be taken as a sign of my focusing on the book to get it out on time. I expect to be done with all the art and layout of the book at the end of June/beginning of July. That being said, I’ll be slowing down these field reports to a when-there-is-news pace.
Granny was originally meant as an homage to one of my favorite musicians- ex-dirty rocker and master of disaster, JG Thirlwell. Over the past 30 years that I’ve been listening/rabidly fan-worshiping, I’ve picked up on a few of Mr. Thirlwell’s isms. For example, cigarettes. I’ve also tried to infuse a lot of the characters and attitudes present in his music- The over-the-top poses, the always-cool demeanor, false machismo.
Kumar, I have to admit, topped all of that by naming him Lesbian. I was initially shocked but it did grow on me quite a bit. So much so that it was equally shocking when, at the suggestion of Dan Vado at Slave Labor, Kumar changed Lesbian’s name to Granny! I argued for a number of years that it be changed back and I think as a kind of compromise Kumar made Lesbian Granny’s middle name.
The past few weeks have been really busy with art that I’d kind of like to leave spoiler free for the book. So rather than go yet another week without a post, I’d like to introduce or re-introduce you to some of the main characters of Weird Crime Theater.
This week: Melissa.
Back in 2002 at a friend’s house, I was watching Conan the Barbarian and wanted to use the barbarian meme in a modern setting. The town I was living in at the time, Hachioji, Tokyo, seemed to be flooded with high-school girls. It seemed obvious and I liked the idea of the attitude of Conan set in the physicality of one of the local schoolgirls. I started sketching the idea down around the same time I was hanging out with Kumar in Tokyo. We had gotten to talking about doing a new series where I offered up this idea for an X-files type story with the Scully part played by a barbarian schoolgirl who acts just like Conan.
Kumar later named her as he was writing the first script and I developed her look as I started to visualize the world she lived in. She was part Scully and part Conan. But also with a dollop of Thora Birch and a heartful plenty of Traci Lords. I just like small pouty lips, I guess.
I worked on DEAD POETS SOCIETY toward the end of 2005 and most of 2006. I remember this story was originally 16 pages or something like that. At that time it seemed way too short and the Cerebus cameo was only 1 or 2 pages. Everything was soooo tight. I think that was the first time I asked Kumar to change the length of the story so it’d have some breathing room.
But that was 9 years ago. Today, it looks quite roomy and I think a 16 page story might have been okay. But the Cerebus cameo grew to 3 pages and are pretty well done so I wouldn’t change those.
Still, this was just the third story. The characters have developed quite a bit as has my drawing of them. The “old-manness” of Granny became much more evident in later stories. Perhaps a reflection on my own age as I started this project at the tender age of 32 and am now writing this at the ornery age of 43. To that point, Granny has always been older than I and as a 30-something, He was a 40-something. Now that I’m a 40-something, Granny must be in his 50s.
Melissa, of course, is a high school girl. And although her age hasn’t really changed that much, I feel that she looks more like a freshmen in the first story and more like she is on her second go round as a senior in the last few stories.
For the sake of continuity, and to alleviate what feels to me like some “eye-sore” art, I’ve made some corrections. In fact, more than a few on this story in particular. Some of them being subtle face-lifts of the main characters and some complete re-dos of panels that just didn’t work.
Below are a few of the changes next to their originals. Can you tell which is which?