So someone asked me last week about how I came up with some of the monsters and stuff for Other Sleep. I kind of realized that, in some small way, they’re at the very least a kind of extension of some work I did last year.
I had to come up with a body of work for my senior exhibition at ETSU, 5-10 pieces or so. I decided on a series of illustrations which loosely kind of had a narrative, and I called it Embrace Infection. The whole idea was that these two people were infected by an extraterrestrial virus, and most of the pieces were just illustrating the transformations taking place in both of them. Of course, the big inspiration behind the series was David Cronenberg, who I’ve already written about on here once. I think in my presentation that I had to give on it, I also mentioned Moebius, Jack Kirby, photographs of skin diseases from the early 1900′s, and some other stuff.
…Huh, some of that looks familiar, doesn’t it?
So yeah, I guess this is where some of the visual foundations for Other Sleep were developed. I think the first draft and designs of the story were coming to me as I was putting everything together for the show itself, so there is some overlap, absolutely. I thought about turning the show into a fully-formed comic at some point, and at the beginning of this year even considered doing a kind of sequel, but it’s not meant to be. Not yet at least. Other Sleep took over, and so I just carried the leftover ideas into it.
You can check out all of the pieces here on my website. I was so damn proud of it when I had it hanging up in the gallery, and our reception went really well. Now, some of the pieces are just a bit difficult to look at, but you can absolutely see some sort of logical progression between these pieces and the imagery of Other Sleep, yeah?
Today I penciled the final few pages of chapter 4. As fast as I seem to be going, I still feel like it’s taking forever, and it’s still turning out to be some of my best work. The total change in setting and tone for the story has sort of led me to change the look of the book, too.
It may not be the greatest example, but here’s a couple of panels from a page I scanned yesterday:
I also picked up a brush recently, but haven’t really been using it much yet for anything more than the deep blacks, which there are a lot of in this chapter. Maybe as I get more confident over time (and get better brushes), I’ll be inking more and more the old fashioned way and not relying so much on illustration pens, because man, those things cost a lot and it adds up over time…
Anyways, with the way things are going, I’d like to say I’ll have the chapter finished and online in the next couple of weeks. So get excited! Hang in there! It’s almost done!
And don’t forget: Rob-Con this Saturday, at Viking Hall in Bristol!
Here’s that announcement I was promising: Chapter one of Other Sleep is in print! I wasn’t expecting it until next week, but it arrived in the mail today!
The quality isn’t…quite what I was hoping, but it’s still not bad. I went with RA Comics Direct, because they’re quick and a friend recommended them to me. I think next time around I might try Ka-Blam. But still, the mere fact that this exists is awesome enough. I got 30 copies printed, and I’ll be selling them at Rob-Con and other local things for 3 bucks a pop.
One of the benefits of owning a physical copy, my friends, is the stuff in the back. I wrote a lengthy afterword, there’s a pinup of Ninel, and some sketchbook excerpts as well. Another benefit, obviously, is getting it signed by me. WOO.
So, um, I hate to have to admit this, but? I want to always be up front with my small handful of readers.
It’s with a little bit of shame that I have to tell you that chapter four of Other Sleep is going to be late. Rather late. I’m still aiming for it to go online at the tail end of July, but it’s hard to say whether that will happen or not.
The one biggest reason is that uh, slump I was in that I mentioned last post, which delayed chapter 3. After I powered my way through it and got online, I dropped back down and lost all motivation to get moving with the fourth chapter. I was once again barely drawing, barely reading any comics, just feeling kind of down. After all that work to finish the third chapter, it seemed like no one was really looking at it or reading it, which was really bumming me out. Of course, I wasn’t really going out of my way to try and promote it the way I did the first two chapters, but I’m kind of weary of that. It’s necessary, I know, it’s something I need to do because no one else is going to do it for me, but still…just…kind of tiresome.
This past weekend was HeroesCon in Charlotte, and my friends and I made a pilgrimage down there for all three days, which turned out to be the perfect remedy that I needed. This was my first real Con experience, and there were SO MANY artists there that I’m really fond of, including one of my absolute favorites, Geof Darrow. Other dudes included James Harren, Paul Maybury, Ben Templesmith, Nathan Fox, and well, so many more. I spent all three days of the con in the artists alley just looking at everything, buying stuff, talking, and handing people copies of my Burst Reach comic. It was so invigorating and inspiring to see all that talent in one place, to look at all they’ve accomplished, to talk about some of the pain of drawing, all of it. I especially loved seeing the original pages of James Harren’s incredible run on BPRD: The Long Death, a portfolio of Sean Murphy’s pages for Joe the Barbarian, Mike Mignola’s covers, and so much more. Having the art itself right there to look at, seeing every stroke, every error that they whited out or pasted over, for me was like a religious experience. I came home pumped, ready to leap back into work and to try even harder and become even better!
Buuuuuuut there’s another reason chapter 4 is going to be late. Rob-Con, the comic convention here in Bristol, is less than a month away, July 21st, and I NEED to get things ready for that. I’ve been dragging my feet way too much on the three books I want to have ready for it, so now that it’s coming down soon, I’m pushing through them. My goal is to finish drawing and designing everything for Burst Reach 2. I also need to get together everything I need to make a print version of chapter 1 of OS happen. And finally there’s that collection of my Distinguished Gentlemen and Exciting Tales! strips that I’ve been promising people all damn year.
So I’m going to work on all of those and try to get some pages of chapter 4 done in between. It’s not as many pages as chapter 3 was, so technically it should be a bit quicker and easier, but I’m just letting you know it’s not quite my top priority for the time being. I don’t want my readers to think I’m lazy, no, I’m anything but that. In the meantime, I’m also going to dive back into promoting the comic on forums and stuff in the hope of attaining more readers and attention, yeah?
Oh, and to make matters a tad worse? In the middle of writing this, I got hit hard with what I believe experts refer to as the “Con Crud.” Shit.
Just hang in there with me, guys, I promise I’m not abandoning you or this comic. I have big things in store for Ninel, trust me…
Holy cats, chapter 3 is now online! FINALLY!!
I switched from JPEG to PNG files for this, because I realized the jpegs were just way too distorted and ugly, and it’s a whopping 20 pages, so the page will DEFINITELY take a little longer to load, so be patient.
What do you think?
There’s been a lack of posts on here for the last few weeks, and I sincerely apologize.
This month I just kind of fell into a weird little funk. I wasn’t feeling too good about the work I was doing on the comic and let myself get too distracted by other things. I lost my motivation to work on it, to work on anything for that matter, I was barely doing any drawing or anything at all. Heck, I’ve got a friend who wants me to photograph her nude in the hopes that she’ll become a Suicide Girl, and I lost my enthusiasm for that! You know you’ve got problems when you lose interest in shooting an attractive lady with no clothes on, man.
I haven’t been feeling particularly well either. Just…lethargic. I’ve been trying to exercise a bit more this past month, but it doesn’t feel like it’s really helping too much. It’s just felt like I’ve barely had any energy. Annoying.
This wasn’t something that I really wanted to talk to anybody about, which probably made matters worse. I didn’t really realize it completely until yesterday, when I just kind of sat up and thought, “I have no motivation. Something must be DONE.” I realized I needed some kind of kick in the ass to get moving again, and well, the realization itself seemed to serve that purpose. I’ve gotten a few pages of chapter 4 drawn and I steamrolled through a batch of pages of chapter 3 today at work, and I swear I’m going to keep this momentum for the rest of the week.
I’m hoping, seriously hoping, to have chapter 3 finished and online this weekend. You have my word that I will do everything I can.
Again, I apologize for a lack of content lately, and I hope that this doesn’t happen to me again.
In other news, Heroes Con is next weekend! I’m going as a fan, but I’m gonna have copies of my old Burst Reach comic and Other Sleep postcards with me to pass around to artists and people if I can. The guest list is massive, and there are quite a few people I really want to meet. I’m so stoked for it.
And next month is Rob-Con here in my hometown of Bristol. I’ve got a table there, and I plan on having a printed version of chapter 1 of OS there to sell along with two NEW books. So excited for that.
Now to get my ass back in gear and get back to work!