Friday, August 29, 2008

Cornelius & Billy

Above is a random page from the first chapter. I will be showcasing the entire first chapter on the new site ( by October. I want everything to be in place for post-APE online traffic.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cover Mug

Well, here is The Peck cover graphic, untouched, unedited in all its analog nakedness. I did a rough mockup some time back to use for my May exhibit earlier this year, but it was a placeholder for the one I am designing now. I'm really putting a lot of attention into the cover as I know a lot of books are made or broken by their exterior. This cover will have some found type folded into it along with set type. I will colorize this image as well with some understated hues. I have to get this puppy off to the printer in the next few weeks, so the deadline is looming.

Friday, August 22, 2008


This rough page follows the previously posted page in sequence. Cornelius describes how he rescues Dent, gently "washes his crumpled frame, bandages grave wounds" and "heals him with the balm of music."

I'm really trying to play with the frames in making them expressive of the action happening in the content. Also trying to make frame elements more layered and interactive. Notice how the bottom line of the top frame becomes the ground Cornelius runs across; Dent's hair being blown dry in the third frame splashes over into the fourth frame, leading the eye to the next caption; the curve of on the top of the last frame becomes almost a protective bubble around Dent's recovery bed.

Yes, Cornelius is playing an accordion.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Tinkering

Here is a another rough prelim sketch of the page posted on August 9th. You can see how it's evolving. In this particular scene, Cornelius is telling the tale of how he found Dent busted up in the land fill, so I wanted the composition of frames to give off that broken/shattered vibe. Note in the final frame his lone hand amongst the toxic waste barrels; I tried to make the cracked line that separates the two above frames point to that hand. It should be the obvious focal point as I will also make the hand a stark silhouette in the frame. More tightening to go ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Buttons Pas

Just got my first two sets of buttons in the mail today from Fifty of Cornelius (the old guy on the far left) and fifty of a b&w Peck shot. Just ordered the next two in the series, Dent and Billy, displayed here for your viewing pleasure.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dirty Laundry

Here's some preliminary penciling for one of the last few pages I have left for the premiere issue of The Peck. Here Cornelius recounts (in flashback) how he first met young Dent. He discovers him in his own home, the city landfill, beaten, and left for dead under a pallet-load of toxic chemicals.

In terms of process, I draw my thumbnails in a 3.625″ x 5.25″ frame. This allows me to get enough info blocked in without getting hung up on fine detail. I scan the finished thumbnail into P-shop at 300 dpi grayscale, then adjust the size of the sketch using Image>Image Size. Making sure the "resample image" is unchecked, I scale the image up to a higher print size by lowering the resolution. It doesn't matter if it is slightly pixelated as I will be using the output for tracing the final over my light table. Once I have the sketch outputted on a tabloid piece of paper, I give it another once over with a mechanical pencil to flesh out more detail. I'll go over my tools and materials in a future post.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Usagi Yojimbo

Just got my first trade paperbacks of Usagi Yojimbo (volumes 1 and 2). You can really see the influence of Sergio Aragones in Stan Sakai's work (Stan has done lettering for Sergio's work since back in the day). Not a bad thing to have rub off. I think I naturally tend toward these more cartoony stylizations in my own comic work. Blame it on my earlier work as a gag cartoonist through my college years. To picture Usaji Yojimbo, basically take the old Japanese tales of Lone Wolf and Cub, Yojimbo, etc and cross them with cartoon animals and you have the jist of the comic series.

I like the compilation of short stories in these books. The original comics must've had 2-3 tales in them. All the stories stand on their own, but also move the global story forward. Lenore by Roman Dirge is sort of like this too in its more recent incarnation. Though the first installment of the Peck is 24 pages, I think I will do this in the future as well.


I walked into A-1 Comics today looking for a copy of Alan Moore's Watchmen. Nada. On backorder. Apparently the trailer for the upcoming movie has caused quite a spike in the paperback's sales. The clerk at the comic store says he's never seen anything quite like it for an older title. Not bad considering it came out in 1995.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Button Fun

In prepping for APE, I've started tinkering with some button designs. To the left are a few musings. Got a tip on a really reasonable online button maker at I've already ordered a set of 50 of the Cornelius button and the one of the Peck pickin' trash with the grabber. I still need to colorize the Dent and Billy (teddy bear) buttons. Fun stuff.