Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Comic Coloring Process

I did not realize the price difference when I made the decision to make the Head Trip a color book I now understand why so many independent comic projects are black and white. I am minimalist so finding ways of reducing the amount of work that goes into generating high quality comics has been a challenge. To figure out what the look and feel would be for the book I started with the digital coloring technique of current professional comics. Modern technologoy has given the comic industry an endless range of color. Not only do professional comics get amazing colors, but a number effects can be applied to comics giving them a fidelity that starts to reach the image quality we are familiar with seeing on the big screen. I don't have a preference on coloring style, but I also don't like to spend months working on a single page. Comic for companies like Marvel and DC are produced by a team which includes, writer, penciler, inker, colorist and editor. Indie comic publishers are required to fill all these roles like Sunday comic cartoonists. It was the Sunday cartoonist who influenced my work the most namely the work of Bill Watterson the creator of Calvin and Hobbes. The three color print process limited what the artist could do, and so the artist found creative ways to creatively use this limited palette. Limiting the palette cuts down the amount of choices I have to make, and helps me to maintain simple lighting and shading techniques. I bounce between painting on my iPad or coloring in Photoshop with the Wacom tablet. Digital is great, but I am starting to find traditional techniques much master and easier to accomplish. I am waiting for the day when the gap between digital and traditional techniques closes, they are getting there.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Boards I had all but forgotten

There are many advantages to Facebook, but today one of its many ways of keeping you informed through advertising brought a forgotten project back into my life. One of my many brushes with my dream job of story-boarding on a professional project with a actual studio. Almost 2 years ago I was given the opportunity to take a storyboard test to work on a Tom Hanks project called Electric City. It was a last minute interview and I would have gotten the job, except I was living in Tacoma and they need someone in LA. Well although I didn't get the job the experience was very affirming to my ability to storyboard at a professional level. I worked on it for 3 days while my parents were in town simultaneously fighting a cold. Well the little image on the side of the Facebook page may me jump with joy, cause I was curious to see what had come of the project direct by Joel Trussel. Electric City was created on a tight budget with the hopes of exploring new area of inter-media. All the shows are release on the internet and it is closely tied in with an online game and other web 2.0 elements. Well I didn't officially work on it, but I want to share my storyboards and give you an opportunity to check it out. It is kind like Johnny Quest meeting Blade Runner. Here is the link to my story boards and underneath that is the link to the show. Enjoy.

My boards:

Link to the show:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Phase 2 Cover Design

The goal is to create a Cover that will catch peoples attention and serve as print for sale at the cons.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Covering your bases

For the past 9 years I have been figuring out what it means to be an artist. This journey took me to many places in my artistic career, where I had to learn hard lessons of humility an patience. Part of that journey has been my attempt to create a book I called "Nick Butler's Head Trip." The book was supposed to be a semi-fiction autobiography following me on my journey through my time in Los Angeles. Well one thing I struggle with is the ability to stay on task, and so I would move between all my projects when I became bored with the one I was working on at the time. This led to creation of a lot of great stories, but also led to a lot of incomplete projects. Well I have decided to clear my plate by taking all these stories and compile them in to the new "Nick Butler's Head Trip." What I have realized these comic excepts better represent my journey then any single narrative. The stories directly correlate with my state of mine at the time I created it. For the cover shown here I have illustrated the characters from the stories chasing me down, and the stories that I have been keeping in my head spilling out to the world. This project has allowed me to move on. I can now look to the future to new projects and new opportunities.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Back into the Groove
Back in February my life experienced a number of major changes. Our family had a new addition, Oroonoko Butler, we move from my brother house to downtown, and I started a new position at work. Change can often be very difficult, but the human species is especially adapted to it. My life has always been in flux, the child of military parents, we were never in one place more then 4 years. Well, we are settled into our new place, my wife Bethany has a new degree, and I am returning to my mission to make my stories into comics. The Head Trip was a project that I conceived years ago while living in LA. Initially the book was going to combine all my stories into a single narrative that followed a depressive artist through his journeys in the city. I produced art and writing for the book, but it became overwhelming and fell off my radar. Well now it is back, I have decided to create a series of story sketches, giving the audience and chance to view into the mind Nick Butler. The sketches all center around love and relationships and are all based on my past. It is good to be back at it and having the support of family and friends pushing me down the road.