The Possum

/The Possum

San Diego Comic Con 2011

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).

 

Javier Hernandez behind the Possum Press/Ultraist Studios/ Los Comex table

 

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:

The Possum vs. Zombie Jesus.... How am I supposed to draw this tastefully???? (this is what I came up with)

 

Since Mike wasn't with me, I got to draw SPY GUY!! (with El Muerto by Javier Hernandez)

 

The Possum on a train request.... She had me stumped for a minute there

 

The Possum (by Blair Kitchen) vs. a Midget Muerto wrestler (by Javier Hernandez)



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.

By |2018-05-25T03:50:26-04:00July 27th, 2011|convention pics, photos, The Possum|5 Comments

Issue #5 is off to the printer!

The Possum issue #5 cover image

Yesterday I sent all 40 pages (plus front, back and inside covers) to the printer!  It’s out of my hands now…….

Issue #5 will be debuting at the San Diego Comicon in July and should be available to order off my website as soon as I get back.  I’ll keep you posted on the details!

 

By |2018-05-25T03:50:27-04:00June 14th, 2011|news, The Possum|7 Comments

Feathertale review #7

I’ve been hard at work…… honest.  Last week, I received another complimentary comic (Feathertale Review #7) in the mail, featuring an original 4 page Possum comic, mentioned here.   This is the second Feathertale magazine that The Possum has appeared in (the other one, being Feathertale Review #4).

If you’d like a copy of the newest Feathertale, you can purchase one from their website here.

In other news, I’m working hard to finish The Possum #5 in the next few weeks, so it will be ready to bring to the San Diego Comicon this July!  Stay tuned for updates on it’s progress!

 

By |2018-05-25T03:50:27-04:00May 13th, 2011|news, The Possum|0 Comments

PREVIEW: Possum #5 page 1

 

The Possum, Issue #1 page 5

 

Here’s a peek at the first page of The Possum, issue #5 which is scheduled to go to the printers at the end of May, and should be ready to purchase around the middle of July!  Let me know what you think.  I find I struggle when it comes to laying down the grey tones.  I always flop back and forth from thinking they’re too contrasty, to too muddy.

 

Update:  I’ve adjusted some of the tones to make this page lighter since I first posted it.  Comparing it to pages from issue #4, I realized that my new monitor is a lot lighter than what the pages will come out printed as, so I made some adjustments.  That’s the thing I find tricky with tones, because each comic has been a bit of a surprise so far when I see it in print because usually the grey tones come out darker or lighter than I expect.  One day I’ll get it right.

By |2018-05-25T03:50:38-04:00March 25th, 2011|The Possum|3 Comments

24 pages inked and ready for the scanner!

The Possum issue 5 original pages by Blair Kitchen

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).

By |2018-05-25T03:50:38-04:00March 14th, 2011|photos, The Possum|4 Comments

A great month

In January I finished up storyboards on a television show that I was working on for the past year, and I decided it was due time to take a month off from animation work and concentrate full time on drawing comics (more specifically, drawing The Possum!).  Well, my month of being a full time comic artist has come and gone and I can tell you, it was the best month I’ve ever had!  What a treat it was to be able to get up every morning and work on my own work.  When all was said and done, I managed to finish an 8 page Possum story for Indie Comics Magazine #2, a 4 page, full colour Possum story for The Feathertale Review #7, and 2 pages shy of inking the remaining 16 or so pages of Possum #5!  I was hoping to get issue #5 finished in it’s entirety, but with the short Possum stories that I did, it just wasn’t possible, but I’m really happy with the way the shorts turned out.

The Possum in "Go West" for The Feathertale Review #7

The Possum in "Go West" for The Feathertale Review #7

I’ve been really inspired by the likes of Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Dave Sim (Cerebus) and Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo) for the sheer volume of work and dedication that has gone into reaching 100+ issues of their own comic book.  My goal as I was completing the first issue of The Possum was to make it to issue #10, but as I’m nearing completion of issue #5 I’m seeing so many possibilities with where I’d like to take these characters and so many story arcs that I’d like to get to one day, that I’m thinking that I have to start thinking bigger.  Why not dream big, eh?  Issue #10 is still a goal of mine, but what I’d really like to be doing is making these comics when I’m 80 years old.  Judging by my last month, working full time on my own comics, I’d be a happy man if I could wake up every morning, have a coffee, and draw The Possum until my wife calls me up from my studio and tells me it’s time for bed.  (of course, visits from my kids will have to be in there too).   Here’s hoping for issue #100 and more!

The Possum in "Monkey See, Monkey Kill!" for Indie Comics Magazine #2

The Possum in "Monkey See, Monkey Kill!" for Indie Comics Magazine #2

By |2018-05-25T03:50:38-04:00February 26th, 2011|rants, The Possum|6 Comments

The Possum: “Monkey See, Monkey Kill!” available to order now!!!

Remember a while back I was working on an 8 page Possum comic to appear in Indie Comics Magazine?….  Well this week is the time to go down to your local comic shop and have them order Indie Comics Magazine #2 from their Diamond Previews catalogue (order code FEB11 0699).  The deadline to order is next Friday, February 18, 2011.  Also appearing in this issue is an 8 page Spy Guy comic, titled “The Case Of The Anunnaki Artifact”.  There will be no back orders on this one, so don’t miss out on letting your local comic retailer know that you want one!!  (Mike even made a printable form that you can take to your comic shop with all the info they need!!!  It’s that easy.)  Click here for the printable form

By |2018-05-25T03:50:38-04:00February 8th, 2011|news, The Possum|1 Comment

My fancy Pelikan Pen

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?

possum #5, rough page

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.

By |2018-05-25T03:50:38-04:00January 10th, 2011|photos, random things, rants, The Possum|3 Comments