The Many Deaths of Polonius

So my residency at Roosevelt High School for Writers in the Schools is almost over. I have next week, and then I have to put the zine of the final comics together the following week. I’ll do a recap of the experience when I’m all done, but for now, I thought I’d share the cover image I made for the zine:

hamlet-zine-coverIn case you’re wondering about the title, it’s kind of an inside joke. In the project, students were asked to pick a scene, a theme, or an idea from Hamlet and then adapt it into comics. I would say that 80% of the students chose to portray the scene where Hamlet kills Polonius. I think it’s probably because until the end of the play, it’s the most dramatic action. Most of them were just adapting it straight up, but some of them changed the setting and time period and everything, so that’s where the other images come from. Anyhow, I was talking with Jason one night and telling him about it and he threw this title idea out and I thought it was pretty great and ran with it.

I know the colors aren’t mind blowing, but it would still be nice if we were able to print up the covers in color.

Photoshop Experiments

So the last couple of weeks, I’ve been playing around in Photoshop just trying to work out some different ways of working on things. They’re really just been experiments and trying out different techniques. I’ve been posting them on my Tumblr, but I thought I’d go ahead post them here, too.

The first couple were me doing some studies from photographs trying a more realistic and painterly approach.

samurai-test

channing-test

After that, I decided to really just take that more form-based approach and do some images that are a little closer to my normal style.

jester

self-portrait

I feel like I’ve plateaued a bit with my normal techniques and I have just wanted to find a way to change things up and evolve the art that I make. It’s been really good for me to be thinking in a different way – in shapes and not line – and I’ve had a lot of fun. It’s still a work in progress, and I don’t know how or if I will use this stuff. We’ll see. In the meantime, expect more pieces that look a little different from the stuff I normally do. I might not post all of them here, so if you’re interested, make sure to check out my Tumblr, where I have been posting a lot of these experiments and other pieces where I’m just goofing around.

Stumptown 2013!

I mentioned in my last post, but I figured I’d make some bigger noise about it in it’s own post, but I’ll be at the Stumptown Comics Fest this weekend, sharing a table with my good friend, Breena Bard, né Weiderhoeft. We’ll be at table J-07.

I don’t have any new comics, but I will be selling original pages alongside copies of Americus, the Lorian Gendarme Adventuring Guidebook, some old One of the Johns mini-comics, as well as assorted other original art.

I’ll also have copies of these posters I had printed. One is a huge library scene that I did for an American Library Association donation piece, and the other is some fan art of a bunch of samurai fighting off an army of zombies.

stumptown-posters

stumptown-posters-detail

I think that’s it for now! See you this weekend!

Columbia River Barge

So I did a one page comic for the Willamette Week this week about another solution to the much disputed Columbia River Crossing, which is basically the renovation of the bridge from Oregon to Washington.

wweek-crb-comic

I originally planned, as an experiment, to attempt to do it completely digitally since I’ve been spending my time the last week or so playing around and experimenting in Photoshop with different techniques. If you’re interested in seeing some of the results of my futzing around, you can check out my Tumblr where I’ve been posting them.

Anyhow, it didn’t last very long – I lettered the comic digitally because there was so much copy that I needed things to be a little cleaner and take up less space so I could have more room to draw. Outside of that, I only got the panel borders done before I realized I just wanted to shift over to my drafting table. I know it’s something that might take some time, and I also don’t really know if it’s something I really want to do. Really, I’m just trying to find a way for me to utilize the digital drawing as a tool, but I don’t know that I want to use it as a crutch.

Oh, and one more announcement: I will be tabling at the Stumptown Comics Fest this weekend, sharing a table with the always awesome, Breena Bard, né Weiderhoeft, at J-07! Come by and say Hi if you’re around this weekend!

The Titular Hero!

titular-hero-00

I know it’s been a little quiet around here the last month, but that’s because I’ve been busy teaching and making comics! In fact, do you ever check out Tor.com and all their awesome content? If not, now would be a great time because they have a short original comic by MK Reed and myself that we’re both pretty proud about that I just wrapped up.

I’m also wrapping up my second week at my residency at Roosevelt High School where I’m teaching comics through Literary ArtsWriters in the Schools program. I’ll probably be posting a progress update on that sometime next week.

But seriously, make sure you head on over to Tor.com and read The Titular Hero. Make sure to comment on it to let them know what you think!

Happy Belated Year of the Snake

It’s the Year of the Snake! And I guess it has been for like almost two weeks now. Anyhow, I hope it’s treating everyone well. I don’t think I posted it here, but I did my first promo postcard for the event and sent out the first round to magazine art directors. I need to sit down sometime this week and get another batch together to send to publishers and illustration agencies.

2013-tet

And here’s the pencils, if you’re interested in seeing that sort of thing.

tet-2013-pencils

I still have lots of postcards available if you would like one. Just leave your mailing address in the comments section, or send me an e-mail.

I also did illustrations for the horoscopes in the Asian Reporter’s special edition. If you’re interested in reading your horoscope for the Year of the Snake, you can check out the AR’s special edition online here.

snake-horoscopes-AR

Imaginary Money

I did some quick News 1 work for the Willamette Week this week. You can read the article here if you’re interested.

ww-imaginary-money

It was pretty fun. There was a little more I wanted to do coloring-wise, like knocking lines out and stuff, but time & amount of money getting paid curbed some of that. It was still pretty fun to draw.

Coloring Catchup

All right. This week I’m trying to tackle coloring some of the pieces in my portfolio that have been just black and white up until now. It’s great to see how the pieces come alive with color. The only bummer is that all of these pieces are crowd scenes, so they take FOREVER!

Here’s the first one I’ve finished, which was a donation piece for the ALA conference last summer.

ala-poster-2013

For reference, here’s the two other pieces I need to color.

l5r-fan-art

farmers-market

I’m hoping to have them finished this week so I can put them in my portfolio before any potential art directors that got my postcard look at my website.

Memories of ‘Miah

miahIt was almost four months ago that my brother Jeremiah passed away. My relationship with Jeremiah changed a lot over the years. When we were kids, we fought all the time and as we got older, we sort of just didn’t really talk to each other. It wasn’t until the last couple of years that we really forged a relationship and realized that despite spending all of our lives thinking we were so different, we actually had so much in common.

Looking back at some of my older work, I noticed that I drew him frequently into the comics I made before I started working on Americus. I didn’t realize the importance of this until looking back through my portfolio now after his passing. Even though we weren’t really close and didn’t really talk during those years, our silence or distance didn’t mean we didn’t love each other.

Here’s the pieces he starred in or had cameos:

choking-hazardwitty01witty02

He’s also in the story I did for the Popgun anthology, Sucky, Sucky. Here’s a sample page, and you can read the whole thing over at my portfolio page.

sucky-sucky-sample

And lastly, here’s a piece of the three of us that I did for our Mom a couple of years ago:

3-Js-team

I’m hoping at some point I’ll be able to take all the love and memories of him and turn it into something that I can put creative energy into to honor him. Until then, I thought I’d just share these comics where I was thinking about him those years we didn’t speak, even if he never knew.

Love you, ‘Miah. xoxo.