A good day for development today, as I finally got round to starting work on my music based comic 'Stoned Arabella'.
The basis is simple... three women form a heavy stoner rock band and we follow their ascent/descent in the music world, through gigs, recording, writing and living together. With me so far? Good.
The differences come in to start with in the art. It's all in CMYK, no other colours. There are some shades and opacity, but no blending. Oh, and the finished art is done in Illustrator. No lines, just solid shapes. I want every comic I work on to be different, and to push my creativity with every one too. All of the main characters are women. I hope, real women. No prissy teen queens or super bimbos with boobs bigger than their brains. There's enough of those in comics already. I've had a weak/blind spot when it came to drawing women and having female characters in my stories. I feel like I'm really getting the hang of drawing, and hopefully, writing them now. And it's the first proper mature reader story I've done too...
There's not enough women in comics, which is ironic, as I'm male and writing this... It does seem to be getting better, but it's still a male dominated industry, both in terms of talent and characters. Stoned Arabella (the name of the band my three women make up) is my humble attempt to get more realistic female characters out there, and maybe give female readers a few more characters they can relate to. And it's about the music and life I love.
There are some great female creators out there: Jill Thompson, Colleen Doran, Chynna Clugston, Hope Larson and Christine Norrie to name but a few. I recommend you check out their work. And if you're a women and think you should be in comics, do it. I love creating comics for everyone, and you could too.
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Friday, 2 May 2014
Well it’s been a while, but Bag Boy is done. This story anyway. I’m not sure if there’ll be more. Let me explain.
I started Bag Boy as a fun project, to do some pure superhero comics that are homage to Jack Kirby and the Marvel titles from the 60s. I was late coming to them, but after reading some trades earlier this year, I was hooked, and finally got Kirby. I always kind of liked his stuff, but was never a fan boy. I think Mignola changed that. Now there is someone I’m a fan boy of…
I digress… I was having really good fun doing Bag Boy and just about keeping up with a page a week schedule. Then someone left a comment on one of the posts, stating they owned the Bag Boy name and character, and it really put me off my stride. I’d already story boarded the end of this story arc, but the comment, left by an Alan Smithee (I know…), stopped me in my tracks. I tried to track them down, but as they’d used a pseudonym, it wasn't going to happen. I didn't finish the last two episodes and was pretty down in the dumps.
I did a bit more searching, and there are a lot of very similar characters to my Bag Boy, but not just like mine. I should have researched more at the start, but I just wanted to get cracking. There have been no more comments, and I've got the story finished. I’m really happy with it, and might return to the character again. After all, under the bag, there’s a young boy called Jack, and he’s the real hero. And who is the Bag Lady? Jack may well be back under another superhero identity. Maybe that’s the next chapter? Jack may explore his identity and reasons for wanting to be a hero.
So, there you go. A double whammy of episodes to finish the story; and explanation as to why it took a while to finish it; and what might come next. As I already have another comic under way, Jack will probably have time to catch his breath before his next adventure begins.
Enjoy! (Click on the pics below to see them bigger. It's worth it!)