I’ve been working on a Possum Short Film for a while now, with a working title called “Fish Lips” (It’s a working title, but it’s kind of growing on me). Today I just finished boarding this bad boy out! 941 panels at the moment, and it’s looking like it will be about 5 or 6 minutes long when all is said and done. Boards are just the first step…. now it’s on to the Leica Reel!
I recently participated in an art show featuring artists from the Toronto animation scene titled All Dahl’d Up. The show was organized by Tammy Semen, and was displayed at the Gladstone Hotel here in Toronto. The theme of the art show was Roald Dahl, so I did a fox… you know… because of the Fantastic Mr. Fox. Here it is:
And here’s a few process pictures for you ‘behind the scenes types’:
(there’s some bonus Copy Cat roughs up there in the photo too!… my desk is a mess!)
I used brush and ink and coloured it with gauche on illustration board. I’m kind of hoping it doesn’t sell so I can put it in my living room… I may even try some more paintings of this type, as it was kind of fun to do.
Artists in the show were:
Well, other than the fact that Axe Cop is super funny and Ethan Nicolle is a really nice guy, there’s also a 2 page Possum and Axe Cop cross over, written by 2 of my children (Avery – age 8 and Jacob – age 6) and drawn by me!
You could be as happy as these kids with just a few clicks of the mouse. The Possum #5 is now for sale at Possum Press’ Freak Pit online store. Also recently added to the store is Indie Comics Magazine #2, which features an all new 8 page Possum story called “Monkey See, Monkey Kill!” as well as an all new 8 page Spy Guy story titled “The Case of the Annunaki Artifact”, which I’ve mentioned before on the blog here and here.
I’ll be at the Fan Expo with a big stack of issue #5s and ICM #2s as well, August 25th – 28th (table A35 in Artist Alley). Mike and I are listed under Ultraist Studios / PP in the program guide.
I always come back from Comic Con so determined to make comics. Being surrounded for 5 days by all sorts of amazing talented and determined creators can’t help but give you a kick in the pants, so after a couple of brain dead days, I figure it’s best to just jump into penciling issue #6 and see if I can ride some of this motivation and see how far it gets me. Here’s last night’s work:
Tonight I’m going to plot out pages 2 and 3 and see where the night goes from there. And for anyone waiting to get their hands on issue #5 (which is fresh off the printing presses) I’ll have it up on my store for purchase some time next week. Stay tuned!
Well, I’m back from San Diego Comic Con 2011 and I’m still alive. I feel as though I just went head to head with a bull and barely made it out alive, but just making out alive is a win in my books. After every convention I’m left feeling a little different about where I’m headed as a self publisher and what my next course of action should be. One of the great things about conventions like San Diego is the amount of like minded artists and self publishers you get to meet and share strategies and opinions with, and this year was no exception. Sales weren’t the greatest over all, but I heard that from a lot of people (I’m guessing it’s due to over programming of Hollywood panels which require attendies to wait in line for 3+ hours a pop, on Friday and Saturday, which are supposed to be the busiest days of the week), and the doubling and tripling of hotel rates leave everyone financially rung dry, including us exhibitors. With that said, it always takes a day or two to weigh whether the pros of conventions like San Diego outweigh the cons….. (and this year certainly had it’s fair share of pros).
My brother, Mike who is usually sharing a table with me at conventions couldn’t make it to San Diego this year, so I had the pleasure of sharing a table with Javier Hernandez of El Muerto fame for Friday, Saturday and the better part of Sunday, which was a lot of fun. If you haven’t checked out Javier’s work, make sure you do!!!
He even made me an original Possum/El Muerto sketchdoll (TM Javier Hernandez!)
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves……. I arrived in San Diego late Tuesday night, and seeing as the convention didn’t start until Wednesday at 5pm, I had the morning to myself (which wasn’t a luxury last year as Mike and I arrived Wednesday night), so I took the Coronado Ferry over to Coronado and hit the beach. It was a great way to start the week.
Debuting from Possum Press this year was my newest issue of The Possum, issue #5, which arrived a day before I had to leave for the convention (talk about cutting it close).
I had a really good response from people who picked up some Possum comics at last year’s show and who came back to get the entire set which was really nice. As always, I drew sketches for people who picked up a comic book (free of charge). Here’s a few of them:
But like I said earlier in this post, the best part about any convention is the people you meet (including the fans). Some highlights for me were talking to Sergio Aragones and Stan Sakai, who are always an absolute pleasure to meet and a fountain of knowledge. I said hello to Doug TenNaple who I’ve been wanting to meet for a while now and I got to hang out all day with Javier Hernandez too! Also, I reconnected with Shane and Chris Houghton who have taken their previously self published book “Reed Gunther” over to Image and were signing at the Image booth all weekend. Throw in a dinner in Old Town with some old and new cartoonist friends and I guess you’ve got a pretty good Comicon in my books. (In part two, I’ll post more of my thoughts on Comicon and what I feel a self publisher like myself needs to do moving forward….)
Blair Kitchen (The Possum) and Rob Wuest (Monsters Among Us)
Update: Javier Hernandez has a great Comic Con review up on his blog, Javzilla.
All the artwork for the interior pages of The Possum issue #5 is complete! That’s 24 pages, pencilled and inked! I should feel good about this, but there’s still lots of work to do before issue #5 is ready to go to the printers. I’m half way through scanning all of these and I still need to put gray tones and dots on them, as well as finish the cover, letters pages, ads, and scan and tone 4 pages of Captain Smith and Broccoli Boy strips. The goal is to finish by the end of May so that I can debut issue #5 at the San Diego Comicon, which I will be exhibiting at for the second year in a row. Last year’s Comicon was a blast, and I’m hoping this years will be just as exciting.
Man, I’m looking forward to getting this comic finished and starting work on issue #6!!! (all in due time…… all in due time).
A few months ago, I ordered myself a Pelikan fountain pen. I had been wanting one for a while now, but couldn’t bring myself to spend the $100+ it would cost, but in one of those moments of thinking “my artwork stinks, and the tools that I am using MUST be the problem”, I broke down and ordered one. It took me a while to find an ink that was black, yet wouldn’t clog the pen, until I settled with the rapidograph black ink. With my other pens, I would dip them in Speedball Super Black ink, which I find a decent, black ink, but it’s just too thick for fountain pens. (It worked for a while, but started to clog, and before using the pen I’d have to empty it out and refill it everytime, which stopped me from being productive at those times when I don’t have time to sit down and draw properly, but I happen to be passing by and see my unfinished comic page and decide to ink for 5 minutes just to get a few lines drawn, or get a small panel inked, which really ads up in the long run). I know that Sergio Aragones uses Badger brand non-acrylic black ink for his Pelikan Pen, but I couldn’t even find that ink on the internet, or anywhere for that matter…….. does it still exist?
I must say, I’m really happy that I picked up one of these pens, as the nib is more flexible than the Rotring art pens that I’ve been using, so you get a bit more of a thick and thin line out of it (and that’s something that I feel I need to work on a bit more with my artwork). The fact that it’s (for the most part) maintenance free helps because I very rarely have a full day to sit down and draw comics, so it’s quick and easy to just pick it up and start inking (now that I’ve found a decent ink).
I’m still experimenting and looking for a good mix of weapons for my comic making adventures, and trying to figure out what tool works best for what part of the drawing. I’ve experimented a bit with brush and ink (see the missile smoke/fire on the previous photo above) and I really like the possibilities with that, but I’m nowhere near confident enough with a brush to try inking characters and such, but it is something that I’m going to work on. (man, there’s a lot to learn still…..) What tools do you guys use? What kind of paper/illustration board? What’s your favorite ink, and why? For myself, I’m still experimenting, but maybe that’s a career long task.
This was taken at Dave Sim’s Last Signing at Strange Adventures in Halifax, during Mike’s and my eastern pilgrimage a few weeks ago. (It was a late night). Videos and more photos will be up soon.