Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DAVID DESTROYS CHRISTMAS


Another impressive line for my resume’.

We have a V3 completion date from the printer- December 21st!  

Then begins my weeks of signing, sticker-stuffing, packaging, and rounds to the post office.   However, this guarantees I can’t deliver V3 Pre-Orders in time for Christmas.

Thereby destroying it.

I was waiting in fear for Santa to swoop in and foil me, but it appears my precautions on that front have paid off in full.  A little garlic goes a long way…  Or hadn’t you heard?

Santa = vampire.  http://vividstuff.blogspot.com/2010/12/santa-horror.html


If you have a Volume 3 Pre-Order, I’ve e-mailed you regarding this.  (The release date, not Santa being undead.)  So if there’s nothing in your inbox from me today, be sure to e-mail me and ensure we have the right contact info on file for you.

I find it curious that Volume 3’s print date falls on the exact day the Mayans predicted earths’ cataclysmic finale.

Everyone have a safe apocalyptic holiday season!

Friday, November 9, 2012

V3 Pre-Orders: COUNTDOWN


Volume 3 is with the printer right now- in a few more weeks, our apartment will be 1,000 books heavier.  Once they‘re here, Pre-Orders will close so we can focus exclusively on packaging & mailing them without confusing ourselves.  I’m expecting us to be mailing for at least two solid weeks-

This means if you want to receive Volume 3 before Christmas, be sure to get your Pre-Orders in now before they close!

And might I take this opportunity to point out that nothing is more in keeping with the warm yuletide spirit than neon cartoon characters struggling for survival against bloodthirsty Lovecraftian horrors.

If you know anyone that might like V3 for Christmas, or even someone that would be interested in Pre-Ordering themselves, please spread the word! http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/storeVolume3.htm
I’m keen on finishing Volume 4 fast- ideally within a year.  Every single V3 order is going to support this goal.


E-books:  We’ll get Volume 3 formatted and available as soon as I’m finished delivering Pre-Orders.  I also plan to get all books available in Nook, Kindle, and whatever else those crazy kids are using these days.

Meanwhile, I’m getting the Halloween Fanart beads sculpted and painted, and I have some other surprises in mind for the remainder of 2012...



Thank you again to everyone for your incredible patience and support!  The next book is almost here, and I think we may be in a position to kick this whole project into high gear.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!


We finished up Volume 3 *just* in time to get our Halloween Prelude ready:  http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/PreludeHalloween12.htm

And in more seasonal news, if you haven't seen the 2012 Fanart Contest entries yet, help yourself to a gallery of spooky, cartoon delights:  http://dreamkeepers-fans.deviantart.com/gallery/39780694

The winners have been announced, and voting will open soon for the Fan Favorite award.


In miscellaneous news:  Yes, Volume 3 is done.  We're working with the printer now to get the first proof copy for review.  No solid release date yet, depends on how many rounds of proofing we do - I would expect mid November.

I'm colossally behind on e-mails and art account replies & postings, not to mention I need to get in gear on finishing Commissions 13 and 14.   And then there's personal hygiene...    So, I'll be busy getting caught up on various fronts over the next couple of weeks, hopefully before the V3 shipment is ready for mailing.

Thanks again to everyone for being patient with me.  I hope you have an excellent Halloween!

-David

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sneak Peek #26: Finish Line


Time for a quick update on V3 progress!


All but ten pages of story are finished.  I’m pulling an average shading rate of 6 pages per week.    Factor in an extra couple of weeks for cover art, polishing, tweaks, and the book will be with the printers before Halloween.  

Volume 3 is on the verge of being print-ready.  …I can already feel the my sanity levels rising.


Usually we grab shipping supplies from Staples, but not for Volume 3.   Today we received beautiful, hulking boxes of bulk-ordered shipping supplies.  Combining our living quarters with a warehouse is kind of a fun experiment - and just in time to have company over!

Fortunately, everyone loves cardboard boxes.  We’ll make a maze or a fort to play in.  That’s business done right.


Once again, my reply rate with e-mails and art accounts has been sacrificed on the altar of Production.   Churning out V3, filling orders, restocking merchandise, and keeping a job nailed down doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room, and my slave-clone is turning out wrong in every way imaginable.


But despite that, I believe Volume 4 will be going *much* faster than Volume 3.  I’ll speculate more on that later- but for now, the end is finally in sight for the next installment of Dreamkeepers.

I think it’s going to be a fantastic holiday season.    

Monday, July 30, 2012

V3 Pre-Orders

At last, after years of buildup... 


 Volume 3 Pre-Orders are open!   http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/storeVolume3.htm

Thousands upon thousands of hours in effort are finally bringing 144 pages of Dreamkeepers story your way.

...Try not to read it all in one sitting, alright?
 

I had wanted to refrain from opening Pre-Orders until the art for Chapter 8 was finished, and the end of production was in sight-
And Chapter 8 was finished the other day.  The end of production is in sight.





The book isn't entirely done yet - but we're close.



The pencils for the book are finished, and thanks to our intrepid freelancers, the color blocking for Chapter 9 is taken care of.  This means that a single Chapter of shading is all that remains to be done.  Based on my production rates to date Volume 3 should be complete by Halloween, and in the mail to Pre-Order customers before Christmas.

I'm not promising anything, because if a meteorite shrieks through the earth's atmosphere and blasts my head off in the middle of the night, well- that might slow things down a bit.

Apologies to everyone for falling off the map over the last month, but I return with Done Stuffs.

I'm going to take a few days to get caught up on commissions, post up a storm of backlogged images to our art accounts, manage Pre-Orders, prep the next Prelude arc, and assassinate any other miscellaneous tasks bold enough to garnish my attention.


Then I will roll on Chapter 9 like a tank on animal crackers.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

DK on Critiquing Comics


Dreamkeepers has been featured on the podcast Critiquing Comics!  http://deconstructingcomics.com/?p=2440


Clear-eyed, useful critiques can be very hard to come by these days - but the guys at Critiquing Comics deliver.  Hop on over and give it a listen, and if you’re inclined to comment on their podcast, go for it!  It’d be nice for the reviewers to know their insight is both heard and appreciated.

…And in other news, we’re back from Anthrocon!  This year was hands-down awesome.  

I’ve got a slew of pencil commissions I ought to post soon.  In fact, catching up on posting in the accounts is now officially on my ‘to do’ list.  

Once Chapter 8 is completely finished, I’ll be throwing a truckload of art up in the accounts, catching up on e-mails, and of course - finally - unleashing Volume 3 Pre-Orders online.

I’m in the color cave - but when I come up for air, fun shall be unleashed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MOUSEGUARD - The RP of Epic Proportions


I just finished my first ever tabletop roleplay campaign.

Which is rather surprising - For one thing, I didn't die in a spectacularly failed plan amidst a spray of blood and apologies.  (This 'living' result would be unexpected if you got to know the character I played.)

But it is also surprising because a year ago I had absolutely zero interest in roleplaying. 

If you've never played, you can probably relate to my mindset at the time.  I mean, what's the appeal anyways?  It's like a video game with no visuals that makes you do the math.  Who the hell needs that?  And the idea of playing a Mary Sue with stats just seemed... Indulgent.  I like good stories, not getting in a group and grinding through dungeons to level-up our imaginary abilities compensating for a lack of real ones.

And besides, I didn't have time.

But my friends were into it, and kept making such enticing overtures.
"David, it was so awesome playing - you wouldn't believe it, my character got into a fight with a crow!  It was insane!"
Well, yay for your imaginary person.  He shooed away an imaginary crow.  That sounds like it was tough.  I'm happy for you.

But they caught up with me in person before too long.  Out of town and away from my unending art obligations, I figured what the hell.  We sat down and played a little Mouseguard. 

At the time I figured I was primarily enjoying the good company - but 'playing' a 'character' was admittedly not what I expected.

There were no +1 Spells of Randomshit, no excessive math or laborious calculations, no haggling over an endless lexicon of gamer tricks and dice loopholes.  It was... okay.

It felt more akin to brainstorming Dreamkeepers dialogue, oddly enough.  Sort of like sitting around and acting out a rough draft together.

So when they encouraged me to develop my own character to play with them after the convention, I broke down and went for it.  I was hoping to spend as little time as possible playing, but figured allowing myself the occasional bit of fun could be permissible.

WORKAHOLIC DISCLAIMER:  I tend to feel guilt when engaging in things just for fun.  I should be working more.  What am I, some lazy ass who never wants to be successful?  Yadda yadda.  I WAS in fact doing color blocking and other Dreamkeepers work while playing, so I wasn't totally wasting time on having a pleasant life.  Alright, just had to get that out there...
So, I figured I would maybe play just a tiny bit because why not.

And then this happened:  

I did not see it coming.  

I was hooked.


Let me describe what it was not:  
It was not a joining of Mary Sues grinding for XP points.  It was not a series of disconnected dangers contrived to let us level up our characters forever.  It was not boring.

Let me describe what it was:
It was the most emotionally involving fictional experience I have ever shared- more engaging than films, novels, anything.  The world we were thrust into was believable, gritty, and threatening.  The people we met within it were distinctive, motivated by their own concerns, hopes, and fears.  Our own characters were no Mary Sues - but imbued with delightful imperfections, driven not to level up, but to pursue goals and story arcs.

And there were story arcs- it felt exactly like I was in the midst of a novel as it unfolded.  Except rather than reading what would happen next, we could struggle to change the events.  In fact, to have even a chance at survival, intelligent struggle was not an option.  We were compelled to draw upon every ounce of initiative and cunning we could muster.  

Sometimes it was not enough.

I can't give enough credit to our brilliant GM (Game Master, the dude who runs everything except the player's characters) and the other players - good stories don't happen by accident.

Now, fear not - I'm not transcribing an exhaustive narrative summary of our campaign here.  That's not an entertaining way to convey a story.  But I do want to share select anecdotes that help illustrate why a curmudgeon like me wound up falling in love with tabletop roleplaying games…role-play in general really.  So come with me, if you will, for a brief foray into the charming and bloody world of the Mouse Territories...  

I played Sliver (aka Tug, aka Haft, etc, etc...)- the desperately proactive, inhibition-impaired little fugitive with a heart of gold and the self-preservation skills of a lemming.  




 His struggles and schemes resulted in our group coining the phrase "Pulling a Sliver," to denote achieving a spectacularly catastrophic failure.

I began the game as an innocent outlaw, on the run and scheming to clear my name by any means necessary - when I ran into a Guard Patrol:




 Gawain, tender paw training under patrol guard Seelah, master of angst and body counts disproportionate to his size.

 Seelah, a calm presence when she's not fanatically wielding a halberd into a weasel's face.















Jim, the steadfast and questionably unenthusiastic patrol leader.

















 Rifter, the somewhat jittery but brilliant doctor.


Threun, a latecomer to the campaign and scout of the mouse guard who moves through weasel ranks like a shadow.














...Lucrezia was not a player character, but she insisted on being included here.  She's... Persuasive.

















Our group was soon thrust into calamity, when a routine patrol to the western border town of Pebblebrook revealed the brunt of a brutal weasel invasion.

The scent border desecrated, Pebblebrook besieged, and Machiavellian traitors at work amongst the mice - combined with the conflicts within our own patrol - made for a thrilling tale.

I distinctly remember the first scene where I became utterly immersed in my character - when I wasn't playing as a fearful character but felt actual, tangible fear myself as the scene unfolded.

Scouting in the forest around Pebblebrook, hidden, I saw as a war party of six towering, armored weasels swaggered into the field outside of the city walls, brandishing steel.  But they were not alone.  Being yanked forward with them were four ragged, chained mice - one of whom Sliver immediately recognized - Lona. 

A companion from past hardships, and more than that.  In a world of mice who would kill Sliver for knowing his true identity, she had shown him kindness.  She had believed him when nobody else did.  

In a grating boom of a voice, the weasel commander casually assailed the wall.  "You will surrender Pebblebrook to us - and we will allow you to leave in peace.  Until you do, we will kill prisoners outside your walls, one every minute.  And come back to do the same tomorrow. We await you decision."  With that, the weasel turned to prepare the first execution.  The militia mice manning the walls, severely undermanned, watched on in horror.  There was nobody outside the city, nobody who was there to help in time - nobody except for me.

There was no cover for a stealthy approach.  I was armed with a few stubby knives and a tinker's cloak.  Against six trained, vicious weasel soldiers, easily five times my height, there was no chance.  But I couldn't stand by and watch them kill Lona - I couldn't.  It would be better to die than to live knowing I had done nothing.

So trembling, Sliver stood up, and stepped out onto the field towards the weasels - without a plan, a real weapon, or a hope.  Alone. 

But if there was even a chance to save Lona...

Reading about it here is one matter - I can't really convey what it was like.  But imagine, if you will, how you would feel if you really were in similar situation - say, hiking in the woods, and finding yourself compelled to walk towards a group of snarling, enraged grizzlies in the middle of a field to save your sibling. 

That was how it felt.



Emotional investment is one thing - but it takes more than feelings to stop a merciless invading force.  
It was time to invest a bit more...

One of the surviving prisoners from the field revealed the location of the weasel war-camp…and recounted grimly that scores of mice were being held captive there.

Although, with the weasels, captives and rations could be used interchangeably.  We had to do something.

Our Guard patrol planned a vague raid... get out there that night, save the prisoners, and somehow make it back to Pebblebrook with them.  Hope that the weasels didn't notice us during the escape, or that if they did, we could somehow out-fight and out-run an entire camp of enemies.

This plan terrified Sliver - there was so much that could go wrong with it - and at the same time, so much opportunity...  

My conniving mind began to whir with possibilities.  The militia in Pebblebrook was under-strength, but it still wasn't nothing...  And the weasels were sure to be pursuing the prisoners.  This would leave their camp undermanned...  

Guilt-ridden over the events on the field, quivering with energy, Sliver laid out a war-plan for Walden, the militia captain:  

I planned to cause a distraction north of the camp, drawing as many of the weasels out as possible.  This would help the patrol's prisoner raid.  The rescuers carried bundles of spears, to arm the prisoners upon their release and increase our fighting capacity.  They would escape to the south.   Waiting south would be a rearguard of militia archers to cover their flight.  And then, with the weasels strung out to the north and south, the main body of militia troopers would strike the camp in force - crushing them at their weakest.  

This plan didn't go at ALL according to plan, of course - Sliver wound up stuck on a pole in the center of the weasel camp, injured, bound, roasting slowly over the fire.  Fortunately Sliver was the only one who 'pulled a Sliver,' and in the end the captives were saved, and the weasel camp scattered.  

...That's when we found their war-maps.  With the other camp locations marked in red.  Surrounding Pebblebrook.

I could recount anecdotes all day, but you get the idea.  This roleplay involved deep emotional investment, creative problem-solving, and so much more that I don't have time to properly convey.  The story was magnificent.  Not all of us survived.  The character arcs poignant.  There was friendship, suspicion, betrayal, bone-deep secrets, poisonous murder, gory battlefields, and even an unlikely romance at the core of it all.  And, in the end, against all odds... 

Suffice to say, I now have an entirely different view on roleplay after being Sliver.

In fact, Sliver personified something that I came to love about the roleplay experience - that it was not about winning.  It was not about 'beating the game,' or 'being the most powerfulest.' It was about playing a character truly, whatever the outcome, to contribute to an engaging story.  I feel that, when done right, roleplay games are not really games at all.  They are stories.  The dice and such are merely tools used to determine how certain actions play out.  

And failure didn't result in 'losing' the game.  On the contrary - it improved the story.




The goal of a game is to win.  The goal of a story is to be true.




The designers of Mouseguard seemed to understand this - because the most important element to your game character isn't a stat.  It's your core Belief and Instinct.  It's what motivates you.  And it's what makes stories matter.

If you're like I was and never gave a second thought to RP, I'd advise you to think again.  It's monstrously entertaining, creates fantastic memories - and frankly, when done right it helps build writing skills.  Learning to be in-character is critical to good writing, after all.  

Find some fun, creative friends and try it out.  If you don't have open-minded friends in the area, fear not - our entire campaign was conducted through Skype.  The internet is a great thing.

Mouseguard has a roleplay game available here: http://www.mouseguard.net/books/role-playing-game/
Based on the Mouseguard graphic novels by David Peterson. http://www.mouseguard.net/

I do have some advice to give regarding setting up a good roleplay campaign:

* Variety.  Confer a bit with the other players.  You want variety with the personalities of your characters - if everyone is a grim warrior, that gets old fast.  Someone could be bubbly and superficial, someone else pained and withdrawn, another sarcastic and cutting.  Work together to have a varied cast.

* Injustice.  If there is a wrong to right, then you have direction for your character.  Make sure your character desperately wants, needs, something.  Something personal to them.  If your character doesn't care about anything, then you're not going to be experiencing much in the way of engaging emotion.  Characters who care are more fun to play.

* Secrets.  There should be some between your characters.  If there's no mystery about anyone in the group, then there's nothing to uncover.  And if that dark spot in their backstory has ramifications that are personally significant to others in the group, all the better.  Work with the GM to see if plausible drama can be worked into the backstory.



So that's my Mouseguard / roleplay spiel!  I wanted to share, even though it doesn't necessarily relate to Dreamkeepers.  







Although...

It does make one wonder.

What would a Dreamkeepers roleplay game be like?








Thursday, June 7, 2012

ANTHROCON: Pre-convention Announcements!


We return!

You may have noticed of late that we're exuding online activity on par with a winded slug.  There's a slew of finished commissions I've been meaning to post - not to mention Volume 1 pages, sneak peeks, illustrations, some exposition regarding our extended youtube commercial campaign, a blog organizing volunteer efforts, e-mails and art account questions in need of reply, whew...   I've been in the Color Cave.  It's nice in here.  Sparkly things happen. It's quiet and smells odd in the Color Cave.


But we'll be emerging from the Color Cave for that special annual event - Anthrocon! http://www.anthrocon.org/

And things have been going so well in the Color Cave, that at Anthrocon we will officially be opening Volume III Pre-Orders.  Volume III will be 144 pages long when it's done, which looks to be this fall at our current production rate.


To help con-goers budget their weekend, here are the prices for Pre-Orders and convention commissions:

Volume III Pre-Orders.
Standard: $25
Signed: $35
Limited Edition: $60

Standard includes a 1st edition copy of V3.  

Signed includes a 1st edition copy of V3 signed by Dave and Liz, with a little doodle on the inside cover.  It will be packaged in a decorative burnt paper sleeve, and includes a bonus sticker.

A Limited Edition pre-order includes a 1st edition copy of V3 AND a Limited Edition copy of V3.  Limited editions have a color variation on the cover, and there will only be 300 printed ever.  Both the 1st edition and the Limited edition will be signed, sketched, packaged in burnt paper sleeves, and the bonus sticker tags along for the ride.

Pre-Orders will be opening online after the convention - but I may delay until late July for the online sales to open, because I have a hankering to complete all the shading in Chapter 8 first, and I'm halfway there.

Convention Commissions:
Are done in pencil only, and considering our existing commission que, we can't accept any take-homes.  I'll have a limited number of slots per day, so it's first-come, first-serve.  THERE WILL BE BLOOD!

Rough Sketch: $10
Single Character drawing: $40
Anything I Can Draw on A Piece Of Paper: $80

If you're heading to Anthrocon this year, we look forward to seeing you there.  8 )


 






 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sneak Peek #25: Pencils DUUUUNNNN!

The Volume 3 pencils are done!

FINALLY.

...GRAPH.

Without further ado, let's see some samples:



...After working on V3 pencils for so long, it almost doesn't seem real that they're done. I started page one in... Checking planner... Damn. 2009. Rodmonsters. I feel a compulsion to launch into an explanation of why things have taken so long, but let's save that for when the book is actually finished. For now, I just want to savor actually hitting a concrete milestone, one that proves The End is Nigh, and show some more pencils.




...And I know I already tossed some of these on the Prelude off-week updates, but PSHOUGH. I wanna show 'em again.
A lot of the scenes required more than drawing- I frequently had to stop to put some design into the settings and props. Granted I'm no engineer, and my doodles wouldn't stand a hope of being feasible in reality. But I don't want to just thoughtlessly draw crap in in a fire-and-forget fashion as I blow through the book. I want to make things... Make... Sense. Like they look the way they do for a reason. I feel like the extra effort helps make the Dreamworld, within it's cartoony premise, feel more coherent and believable. For example, here are some of the doodles for the prop we gave Igrath in the above drawing:
The rear legs are longer to better absorb shock from firing recoil, so the thing doesn't risk tipping backwards after a heavy salvo. For hard-post sentry situations, there's a seat attachment. The flak shields on front are detachable, so if they can be replaced rapidly if battle damage renders them ineffective. There are also slotted retractable wheel mounts on the rear legs, and a front harness mount. Why would a weapons platform need a harness mount, you ask?

Ha heh, questions... Moving on.



Settings especially can require a lot more planning than meets the eye... This installation in particular required a complete top-down design before I even knew where to begin drawing. Also, I would like to point out that the staircase is collapsible and modular. Why build a staircase that can never go anywhere else?

The zig-zag outer wall design is reflective of military emplacements from the days of seige warfare. When the enemy is crowding against the base of a wall using it for cover, the angled wall system allows the defenders to continue pouring fire on them. I also tried to put some thought into a base setup that accomplished the main goals of the installation, one of them being storage... For example (This doesn't come up in the book, but I just thought it was cool) The springer cartridge storage area is flanked by water storage, so in the event of an accidental cartridge discharge, there's a natural barricade minimizing damage to the surrounding areas.

...I would like to imagine that our long production time on the pencils was due to all this fancy design development, but actually our production rate in past months is roughly double the average we had in years previous.
Switching Prelude from weekly to bi-weekly has, admittedly, been exceedingly helpful to V3 production. Additionally, notching the Joe Job from full to part time has helped incredibly. This ought to mean I can retain the fast pace on coloring, meaning the book will be done this year for certain!

Oh, also, I drew Grunn. Um, he took a lot of high-level design concept stuff too. In depth.

So the Volume 3 pencils are done. How close is the book to being actually, completely finished?

With pencils done, we just need to color the thing now.

The colors, both blocking and shading, are already finished on Chapter 7. The color blocking is nearly done on Chapter 8, there are only 4 or 5 pages which aren't fully blocked. Blocking is already started on many Chapter 9 scenes.

So, I need to do the shading on Chapters 8 and 9, and the blocking needs to happen on Chapter 9. After so long working in black and white, I'm thrilled to start making things dark, and shiny, and glittery, and chromatic, and-

But, alas, I have a few things to take care of first.

Before I jump into the shading blitz, I have to:
*Restock our Prelude que- don't wanna run out of updates.
*E-mails. I think there are about a zillion.
*Commissions. 7 and 8 are done, but it's time to get rolling on 9 and 10.
*Finances. Running a business requires keeping track of all sorts of businessy things - eSPECIALLY when it comes to taxes. What, you thought it was possible to draw some comics and sell them without paying off those people who didn’t contribute to any stage of the work- bureaucrats? Insert rant.
*New File Backups. I had an account with Megaupload where, after months of uploading, we carefully archived our DK files- until I took an arrow to the knee. And by arrow to the knee, I mean the federal government deleted my backups because... Hold on, there's a reason I'm sure. Because other people were sharing music files or something. I don't know. All I know for sure is that the people responsible for deleting Dreamkeepers have much, much more generous pensions than me- and their comfort is funded by taxes on my struggles for productivity. Regardless, I need to get our files backed up somewhere else, because I won't risk losing years of work to a hard drive crash. Let's just cross our fingers and pray nobody shares a Britney Spears song via the company I'm archiving with now, or all bets are off.

FIGHT THE MAN! Because women are scary.

Anyways, last task that needs wrapping up-

In the course of advertising on Youtube, I learned that one can promote a video of any length, it doesn't have to squeeze into a 15 or 30 second timeslot, the way traditional commercials do. So I'm tacking some extra content onto the end of our commercial before we fire it up again. Now, don't get your hopes up- more epic animation is not on the way. Do you want me to finish Volume 3 or not?! It's just a few extra minutes of persuasion, with some drawings added in to avoid a boredom-inducing blank rectangle. So nothing terribly fancy- because if it were terribly fancy, it would take too long, and I have a book to finish.

Thanks to everyone for keeping up with us for this long- we’re getting there!



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lost in Pencilvania

We're alive! Still.

Sorry for being virtually mute online lately. E-mails are stacking up, and from all outward appearances we may as well have dropped off the face of the earth.

I've been lost in a glorious swathe of scintillating Volume 3 production.

...Where are the pictures, you ask?

On pieces of paper all over our apartment. Not online. YET. I'm taking a quick break to toss an update in here, but I don't want to take the time for a full fledged Sneak Peek because I'm SO CLOSE to finishing the pencils.

SO CLOSE!

Today I completed the pencils for page 130. The last page of graphic novel story in Volume 3 is page 133. (The whole book will be 144 pages, but that includes bonus concept art sketches and production notes and such. And those are a pushover once the actual story pages are finished.)

THREE MORE PAGES OF PENCILS LEFT.

Once I finish the last of the pencils, I'll take a breather and have a nice, big, draw-tastically visual Sneak Peek for you guys.

Colors are going great too- all but 9 pages of Chapter 8 are ready for shading, so once the pencils are finished I can tear right into lighting, textures, and final art.

Hang in there, it's coming together!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sneak Peek #24: Halfway

Alright... I got a full night of sleep last night, and it was awesome, and I think I'm coherent enough to write this. WORDS, DON'T FAIL ME NOW!


Chapter 9 pencils are halfway there! Page 112 was nailed yesterday, right on schedule. It was making it happen on my self-imposed schedule that turned out to be hell.

Not the drawing part- I love drawing. It was all the not-drawing that was tortuous. See, I have this kind of secret identity thing going... While by day I'm a mild mannered cartoonist, by... Other days, I don a spectacularly baggy uniform (Security guards were never imagined to eat fewer than 37 donuts a day) and enforce safety on the world. Duty turned out to be pretty clingy the last couple weeks, and was calling me quite a lot more than I prefer. There were parking lots- parking lots in dire need of security.

I answered the call, and let me tell you- those parking lots weren't going ANYWHERE while I was on the job. I watched the hell out of them.

Drawing, eating, sleeping, all collided into the remaining time in my schedule and fought for dominance. Drawing won, and here we are!

Because in Anduruna they have quality entertainment, we’re proud to present to you… Trio-de-Fortress! The fictional crime-fighting trio with their own prime-time franchise. They’re our spoof-equivalent of superhero / action television programming… So they’re fully intended to be the most bone-headedly clich├ęd, simple concept imaginable. It was SO fun designing them. I believe Gorse mentioned them once in Prelude, but we haven’t had a chance to show them anywhere yet. …Yet.

The wiggly pile of delightful malice is, in fact, that rhyming monstrosity some of you may be familiar with already... We did a sample comic a few years back called 'Tendril's Demise,' and, yup. Here's his introductory iteration.

Tendril isn't his official name by the way. In order for things to rhyme constantly, one has to be flexible about such trifling details as names.


In other news, we FINALLY got to promote our commercial somewhere! After half a dozen unresponsive sites or outright rejections, we finally settled on what in all likelihood is the best initial venue anyways- Youtube.

The first salvo went well. Better than my worst-case scenario, worse than my rosy hopes. We'll be priming for another round fairly soon- only it will be BETTER! I'll probably blog about the upgrades as we launch, so keep an eye out.

In the meanwhile, don't forget the reader-initiated Valentine's Fanart contest is underway! If you don't have time to create an entry, do feel free to swing by the gallery and see what's cooking. And have a great Valentine's day!





Monday, February 6, 2012

Talking! I does it good.

We got to be on a podcast! Check it out: http://furcast.xanacreations.com/archive/fc-70

The guys over at Furcast were nice enough to let me in from the cold when I came scratching on the door asking for an interview. And interview aside, the rest of the ‘cast is quite an entertaining listen as well. So for some Dreamkeepery chit-chat and more, swing on over and lend an ear.


…And on that note, I have discovered that giving interviews is easy and I like it. Does anyone know of other podcasts out there that might be good for me to invade? Toss ‘em in the comments down there, and I can guarantee they will be pestered by an e-mail from me.


…For a brief V3 update, pencils are going great! I’ve got the blues and layouts done through page 112, which is the official halfway mark of Chapter 9. Once I finish the pencils to that point, I’ll toss an official sneak peek up with some art tidbits. 8 ) Thanks to everyone for your patience with this book- we’re getting there!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Commission Last Chance

Last call for commissions!

They close on Wednesday, the 25th - FOREVER.

Or, at the very least, until our current batch of commissions is done. Which ought to be, I don’t know, 20 years from now…

So, only get in this huuuuge line if you really, really want to be there for awhile. If you’re low on cash, you’ll have to scrape together at least the $5.00 sketch price to reserve your place in line.

If you want ‘em, they‘re here: http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/commissions.htm

But don’t want them after Wednesday. Or your world will be constructed of sad kittens.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sneak Peek #23: T-MINUS 33...

Egads, it's been awhile since I posted something in here. I'VE BEEN DRAWING! You can't possibly expect me to DRAW and TYPE simultaneously! What do you think I am, some kind of warbling, miraculous wonder-freak?

Time for that dream to die.

Anyways. Status report, sir!
Chapter 9 pencils 25% complete, sir!
Progress continues to go well sir, T-minus 33 pages remaining to eliminate, we expect to have more good news soon, sir!
And because a world without pictures is a cold nightmare hell from which there is no redemption, here are some sketches so far:







It's actually getting tricky finding drawings I can show without encroaching on spoiler territory. Especially towards the end of the book, showing off what certain characters are up to can start revealing more than I'd like.

I'll just start zooming in reeeaaal tight on the art we display - from now on, progress samples shall consist of close-up shots depicting the tips of various characters' ears.

This week I knocked out 2 month's worth of Prelude updates, and I'm now finishing off commissions 5 and 6. This ought to free me up for a nice, huge slew of Chapter 9 penciling during the rest of January and February. I realistically expect the pencils for this book to be entirely finished by late spring or before, and then colors will be the final focus. Pre-Orders are coming this summer.

If anyone would like to see Volume 4 happen faster than Volume 3, help us out and spread the word about Dreamkeepers! The better V3 Pre-Orders go, the more time I can work on Volume 4 without minor issues like the fear of starvation complicating things.