Saturday, October 1, 2011

Upcoming Projects: Doctor Who

Been more than a little silent lately. Between wrapping up Doctor Who #10 & 11, working on the NIGHT FOLK novel, and getting ready for another secret project, it's been even busier than usual around here. And tonight, a few hours before the Doctor Who finale on TV, the secret project I've been working on was announced -- more Doctor Who at IDW Publishing. With regular series writer Tony Lee moving on to a secret project of his own, writer Joshua Hale Fialkov is coming on board for a four-part story starting in issue #13. Can't say much about the story yet, but I can say it's set in Casablanca. Here's a sneak peek at my variant cover for the first issue...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On The Shelves: Doctor Who

According to Diamond and editor Denton Tipton's excellent blog, it looks like two of my Doctor Who projects hit shelves this week. First up, issue 8 of the Doctor Who Ongoing series, which concludes the "When Worlds Collide" story arc by Tony Lee, me, and Charlie Kirchoff. IDW released a preview which you can view here. But on top of that, IDW's 2011 Doctor Who Annual is also slated to hit stores tomorrow, which features a short story I wrote for my friend (and ridiculously talented up and coming artist) Mitch Gerads to draw. No preview, I'm afraid, but here's a look at the cover by Blair Shedd, Mitch, and the other artists who drew stories for the Annual.

Mitch and I are in great company for this one. Along with our story, there are also stories by Tony Lee and Josh Adams, Joshua Fialkov and Blair Shedd, and Dan McDaid. It's a great lineup, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Upcoming Appearances: Comic Depot

I'll be appearing at the Comic Depot outside of Saratoga Springs, NY this Saturday, as part of their first annual Depot Day, along with Ron Marz, Paul Harding, Joe Staton, and others. For more information, visit their website.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sketchbook: 11th Doctor Headshot

Another quick warmup sketch as I get today's batch of pages going. Still playing with line and shadow on the Doctor's face, and since I wasn't happy with the likeness on yesterday's sketch, I did an Eleventh Doctor headshot this morning to see how it turned out.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sketchbook: 11th Doctor

Just a quick warmup sketch of the current Doctor. Playing around with a looser line quality in my work. Lost control of the likeness a bit in this, but I still like the piece, in general.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Shelves Now: Doctor Who #7 (UPDATED)

In stores today -- Doctor Who #7 from IDW Publishing. Part two of the "Worlds Collide" story arc by Tony Lee, me, and Charlie Kirchoff.

UPDATE: Courtesy of Denton Tipton and IDW Publishing -- a preview of issue 7.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sketchbook: Abe Sapien

Another quick sketch, and another character from Mike Mignola's Hellboy -- Abe Sapien.

Sketchbook: Hellboy

A quick Hellboy I did this morning as an experiment. It's been a good 10 years since I used a dip pen for inking and I wanted to give it a try. Now I remember why I stopped using dip pens and brushes to ink... I was never all that good at controlling the line quality. Still, it's always fun to try different art techniques, though I doubt I'll be giving up my PITT art markers any time soon.

Sketchbook: Negative Man

Another in my series of DC relaunch-style redesigns on the characters from the Doom Patrol, this time featuring the second of the three core members -- Negative Man.

Monday, July 11, 2011

SDCC Doctor Who Comic...

I won't be attending San Diego Comic-Con this year, but I will be there in spirit -- if you stop by the BBC America booth at the show, you'll find an exclusive Doctor Who comic book I wrote, with art by Horacio Domingues and colors by the great Phil Elliott. It's a Comic-Con exclusive and only available at the BBC America booth, so this might be your only chance to pick it up!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sketchbook: Elasti-Girl

And here's the next in my little DC redesign sketchbook series -- Elasti-Girl from the Doom Patrol. The Doom Patrol is a personal favorite of mine, and I've pitched several different takes on them over the years to no avail. But here's my take on a redesign for Rita (aka Elasti-Girl), one of the three core members of the Doom Patrol.

Sketchbook: Blue Devil

And here's the first in a new series of sketches. With the big DC relaunch on the horizon, I thought I'd try something different this time around and take some of my favorite DC characters and redesign them as if they were a part of the relaunch. First up, Blue Devil. Still one of my favorite characters and I was thrilled to do a little redesign on him for the Day of Judgment mini-series years ago. But while I dig the 'big-bruiser' look he'd been sporting for a while now, I wanted to get back to something closer to his original design -- lean, mean, and more acrobatic. Hope you like.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Updates and Other Bits of Business

Well, another story arc for IDW Publishing's DOCTOR WHO is out the door. Thanks, as always to Denton Tipton, Chris Ryall, and the rest of the gang at IDW for having me back. I'll be doing another story arc this year, but I have a little down time to catch up on overdue commissions, shipping original art, and a ever-growing stack of odds and ends that have been building up while I worked on WHO. I'm also already working out my schedule for next year, along with a work schedule for the NIGHT FOLK novel (which we have slated to come out in September).

Along taking the opportunity to get caught up on other things, when I finish a big assignment like this, I like to clear the palette with a pinup or series of sketches that are well outside my comfort zone. After Mirror's Edge, I drew a bunch of photo-referenced WildStorm superheroes as an experiment; after my last stint on WHO, I experimented with a looser style which led to work on the in-development October Girl graphic novel. So when model and actress Zoe Voss mentioned to me on Twitter that she'd love to see herself as a superhero, it sounded so far outside my comfort zone that I pretty much had to give it a try.

So in-between other things, I decided to do a one-off pinup of Ms. Voss as a superhero and doing it up properly with design sketches, layouts, roughs, and all the other stages that I usually skip over in the rush to get a comic book to the printer. It might not be the sort of thing all of you will get a kick out of, but if you are interested, you can view the progress here.

I'll also be back to my color sketches starting Monday. Not sure what I'll be drawing yet, but I'm open to suggestions, so feel free to chime in with requests.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On Shelves Now: Doctor Who #6 (UPDATED)

Forgive the radio silence, but between the successful NIGHT FOLK Kickstarter campaign, a stack of secret projects, and my DOCTOR WHO workload, I've been a bit buried under work lately. I'll be returning to regular blogging next week, but in the meantime, my first issue back on IDW Publishing's DOCTOR WHO comes out today. Story by regular writer Tony Lee, art by me, colors by Charlie Kirchoff, and editing by Denton Tipton. It's the first part of a three-issue arc that takes us from the Wild West to Primeval Earth and back again.

In other news, I've just completed work on two other comic book projects -- a secret project that I still can't talk about yet, and a short story for IDW's 2011 Doctor Who Annual written by me and with art by up and coming artist Mitch Gerads. I've seen the final art for it, and I honestly believe Mitch's work on this one is going to blow everyone away. So, keep an eye out for it.

As for the other project... still can't talk about it. But it was another writing assignment, and I was thrilled to get to do it. Hopefully I'll be able to talk about it soon.

UPDATE: Courtesy of Denton Tipton and IDW, here's a preview of DW #6, on sale now!

Friday, April 29, 2011


Just over 2 days left on the NIGHT FOLK Kickstarter campaign, and I'm thrilled to announce that the project is already fully funded and still picking up backers. So provided we don't have an epidemic of supporters backing out at the last minute, the NIGHT FOLK project is a go!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Countdown to NIGHT FOLK

Only 13 days left to raise the money on Kickstarter to fund my first novel, NIGHT FOLK. I took a gamble deciding to finance the novel through a crowd-funding site and publish the book myself, and the response so far has been wonderful, but we're still short of our $5,000 goal.

The NIGHT FOLK project is a labor of love for me, a return to the kinds of stories I wanted to tell at the very start of my career as a comic book writer and artist all those years ago, and a return to the mythology I began with one of my very first comic book projects -- WALK THROUGH OCTOBER -- and continued in the Fade stories I wrote and drew for the latest incarnation of Negative Burn.

It's a very personal piece of work, and the first in what I hope will be many more prose projects in the future, including the Fade novel I've been working on in between comic book assignments.

(NIGHT FOLK actually serves as a prequel to the Fade novel and a bridge between WALK THROUGH OCTOBER and the Fade stories, with several characters appearing in all three in one shape or form.)

I've been posting a steady stream of updates on the Kickstarter project page, giving everyone a sneak peek at some the character designs, sample chapters, and the incredible photos my friend Ian Struckhoff shot to use on the cover of the book. There are even a couple of mockup covers from my friend and sometime collaborator, Michael Gaydos.

If you'd like to find out more about the project and how to become a backer, the NIGHT FOLK Kickstarter project page can be found HERE.

And if you'd like to read the first two chapters, you can read them HERE.

We have lots of great rewards for our backers -- digital copies of the book, an exclusive print edition, posters, original art, and a lot more. If you haven't checked it out, please do. The Kickstarter campaign ends at midnight, April 1st, and I can use all the support I can get.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Upcoming Appearance: Albany Comic Con

Still buried under Doctor Who pages, but I wanted to stick my head out and remind you that I'll be appearing this Sunday, April 17th, at the Albany Comic con.

They've got a great bunch of guests lined up, including Ron Marz, Jamal Igle, Declan Shalvey, Paul Harding, and many, many more. For a full list of guests and more information on the show, visit the Albany Comic Con website.

I'll be there all day signing comics and talking up the NIGHT FOLK Kickstarter campaign, which is ending in two short weeks. Time is running out, and we still have a ways to go to meet our goal, so if you're interested, check out the NIGHT FOLK project page.

And speaking of NIGHT FOLK, here's a little sneak peek -- one of the illustrations from the novel:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Upcoming Appearances and Random Links

I've obviously got my hands full drawing Doctor Who, running the NIGHT FOLK Kickstarter campaign, and working on some secret things on the side. Lots going on, but not much time to keep everyone updated here on the blog. Hope to change that state of affairs soon, but in the meantime, here are some random updates from the studio...

First up, I've got two upcoming appearances -- I'll be attending the Albany Children's Book Festival on April 9th, and the next Albany Comic-Con on April 17th.

Second, there's a sneak peek at my variant cover for issue #6 of IDW's Doctor Who up on Comic Book Resources. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out here. Issue #6 is the first part of a three issue story arc I'm currently drawing.

And finally, between now and the end of April, I'll be raising funds to help finance my first novel - NIGHT FOLK - through the crowd-funding site, Kickstarter. I've still got a long way to go to reach my goal, so if you haven't visited the NIGHT FOLK project page, please do, and let me know what you think. You'll find a number of my illustrations on the Updates page, along with a link to the first chapter. And for those of you interested in picking up some of my original art, I've just added a number of backer rewards to the main page, including a custom pinup option and an original comic art reward.

Like I said, lots going on. I'll try to post another update soon, especially if some of the secret things that have been developing are announced.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sports Cars, NIGHT FOLK, and Kickstarter, part two

(And here's the second part of my long and rambling explanation for why I'm doing a Kickstarter campaign for a novel. If you're curious about the project, please visit the Kickstarter NIGHT FOLK page.)

It seemed like a pretty simple idea -- use Kickstarter to raise funds to finance work on a novel. I've been studying prose in depth for the last 5 or 6 years, learning the craft and refining my approach to stories, all with the goal of writing a novel. And then I started working out the details.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Kickstarter, here's how it works -- you put your creative project up on the site, set a goal for the amount of money you want to raise, set a time limit for the fundraising (up to the Kickstarter limit of 90 days), and solicit pledges from people to help finance it. If you meet your goal, you're golden. If you don't meet your goal by the end of your auction, you receive nothing. So in order to attract 'backers', you need to give away some rewards, geared to different levels of pledges.

Now, anyone who knows me knows I've been working on a novel based on my character, Evan Fade. When it really comes down to it, he's why I decided to learn how to write prose. My first thought was, "Great! I'll raise the money I need to take time off from comics to finish the Fade novel!". But if I was going to ask people to pledge money for a book, I felt like they should get a copy of the book, and the most logical way to do that was to create something I could publish digitally, give a copy to all my backers, and then sell it in Amazon's Kindle store and through Apple's iBookstore. I've been playing with the idea of digital publishing for my personal comic book projects, even setting up my own company to do it, so why not expand the idea to publishing a digital novel, as well?

Now, for the record, let me admit up front that I'm a wuss. This whole thing is a massive experiment, even if I happen to think it'll work. (Wouldn't be spending time on it if I thought otherwise.) But I was nervous about using the Fade novel as the project I'd be fund-raising for. There are all sorts of complicated reasons for this, mostly having to do with trying to sell a book to publishers when it's already been published digitally, but really it all comes down to this... I chickened out.

In my defense, I've been developing the Fade material for 20 years. It's an intensely personal project for me, and it's not something I'm comfortable taking chances with or doing anything that might compromise my vision for the material. With people pledging money to see a finished project, I would have to rush to finish it and publish it digitally, which in and of itself was a risk. While some authors (most vocally, thriller and mystery writer J.A. Konrath) have had a lot of success with digital self-publishing, it's still a pretty new and volatile market. All in all, a few too many risks and way too many opportunities to compromise in the name of getting the project done and out.

But there was a solution. I had two stories that tie into the whole mythos of the Fade universe -- or as my friend Dan and I call it, the Smythos (which I probably shouldn't admit to, publicly) -- The October Girl, and a project called Night Folk. They're both side stories, featuring characters that also appear in the Fade book I've been working on, and flesh out the whole mythology in ways that will be important to Fade's story later on.

(Did I mention that the Fade novel I'm working on now is supposed to be the first in a series? I've got 2 more plotted, and a plan for at least 3 more on top of those. Yeah... I've had way too much time to plot and plan his story.)

There was another added bonus -- I'd conceived both October Girl and Night Folk as comics, but the more I worked with the Night Folk concept, the more it seemed like it wanted to be a novel, and a shorter novel than the first Fade book. And it was an all-ages kind of book that would lend itself to illustrations, something I hoped might bring in fans of my art who were iffy on the whole idea of me writing something. Hmmm...

But in the end, the deciding factor was that I really wanted to tell the story. It's true that I'm a wuss, and I have time constraints to deal with, so length was an issue, but I never commit to writing something unless I actually care about it and feel like I have something to say with the story.

And I care about Victoria and the Night Folk, and there IS something I want to say through them, something about being true to who your are and standing up for what you believe in.

As I'm writing this, I'm already 30% towards my funding goal with 50 days or so left. We're off to a good start, but there's a long way to go. But let me also say, having admitted my nervousness about using the Fade project (and feeling like a world class wuss for being nervous about it), I'll make this promise -- if this NIGHT FOLK experiment works, I'll be doing the same thing with Fade next.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sports Cars, NIGHT FOLK, and Kickstarter, part one

(This is the first of two posts where I plan to talk a little about why I decided to do a Kickstarter campaign, and why I decided to raise money to write a novel as opposed to financing a personal comic book project. If you're curious about the project I'm fund-raising for, visit the NIGHT FOLK Kickstarter page)

You remember the stereotypical guidance counselor question, right? The one about what would you do if you had a million dollars? The idea was whatever you would do if you were rich is what you should do for a career.

I had three guidance counselors in high school, and as far as I know, none of them ever asked me that question. Not sure how I would have answered it back then. Probably something about playing bass in a rock band.

Still, if someone DID ask me that question at any point in the last 5 or 6 years, I know what my answer would be -- I'd write novels, and write and draw comics on the side.

Don't get me wrong, I love drawing comics and I love writing them whenever I can, but it's a rough job, and not the easiest lifestyle. When you've got a job, you spend 12-16 hours a day at the table (or computer), seven days a week. And when you don't have a job, you're on the sharp edge of an emotional razor, desperately trying to line up work while second guessing everything from the way you draw to each and every career choice you've ever made.

(Note to aspiring comic book creators: I don't mean to make it sound so scary, but freelancing full-time can be a hard life. Whenever people ask me how to break in, I always try to add something about holding on to the day job for a while - even if it doesn't pay as much as the comic book work - just for a little added stability and much needed social interaction.)

Maybe that's just my experience, but I've talked with enough comic book artists to know I'm not the only one who struggles with the full-time freelance comic artist lifestyle. And considering I've been struggling with it for nearly 20 years, it's kind of amazing I've lasted this long.

This March is the 18th anniversary of my first professional work in comics. Throw in the fact that I also just turned 40 and you've got a recipe for a wild and perhaps misguided attempt at a major life change. And while some people might run out and buy a red sports car (can't afford one) or get a toupee (don't need one) or start dating someone far too young for them (my long-time girlfriend is 5 years younger than me, so maybe I'm actually guilty of this one already), but I decided to try to finally launch my career as a prose writer.

Only one problem. Working that many hours at the art table doesn't leave much time to write, and it's kind of hard to launch a writer career unless you've actually written something. I've been working on some things, including my long-running side project, a novel featuring my character Evan Fade, but I didn't have anything that I could wrap up quickly while still drawing comics full time, and I was in no position to take time off from comics to finish anything. I do need to keep a roof over my head after all, and while it kind be frustrating sometimes, I have no intention of giving up my comic book career entirely.

And that's when I noticed friends like Ian Struckhoff and Tony Harris raising money for their personal comic book projects on Kickstarter, and it got me thinking.

I'd already been toying with the idea of financing a graphic novel through Kickstarter, but with my 40th fast approaching (and my complete inability to buy a sports car), I decided there was no point doing something like this unless I went all-in, and what I wanted to do most wasn't more comic book work (even if it was something personal like The October Girl or Night Folk); it was to write a novel.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NIGHT FOLK Kickstarter Launch

I'm pleased to announce the launch of a Kickstarter page for my NIGHT FOLK project. I'll be raising money to help me take some time away from comics to work on the novel, which I'm hoping will lead to even more chances to write in the future.

If you get a chance, check it out. And in the meantime, keep an eye out for some new art I'm producing to help publicize the project.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sneak Peek: NIGHT FOLK

In the midst of the announcement at the Gallifrey One convention this weekend that I'll be returning as the artist of two upcoming story arcs in IDW's Doctor Who comic, I'm also getting ready to launch my Kickstarter campaign for the NIGHT FOLK novel. We've decided to set the launch date for March 1st, my 40th birthday. Here's a quick sneak peek at the logo treatment we worked up.

Lots to do between now and the launch of the Kickstarter project page, including starting in on the first issue of my new run on WHO, but I'll try and post updates as we get closer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Random Announcements

Well, still pretty crazy here and getting crazier all the time, hence the lack of posting. But there are a few random announcements I really need to make --

First off, for various work and personal reasons, I've had to back out of this year's Gallifrey One convention in Los Angeles. I can't even begin to express my disappointment at not being able to attend, especially since there might be an announcement or two I really wanted to be there for. My apologies to everyone involved in setting up the show, and to the fans.

Secondly, to help me deal with the genuinely crushing disappointment of canceling my trip to Gally, I'm going to do a little bit of a pre-announcement on a new project. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm setting up a Kickstarter page to raise money for a personal project, and after a lot of deliberation, I've decided to use the opportunity to help jumpstart the writing side of my career. So in about a month, I'll be announcing a Kickstarter auction for an Intermediate Reader prose novel based on the Night Folk idea I posted a while back.

(And for those of you paying close attention, this means the possible project list for my Third Act graphic novel just got a LOT shorter. Stay tuned for more news on that soon.)

I'll be raising money to help buy some time away from the art table to write the Night Folk novel and draw some interior illustrations for it (so, yeah... not entirely away from the art table). The final result will be published digitally through my Skeleton Tree Media imprint for both the Kindle and Apple's iBooks app.

For the last 6 or 7 years, I've been working hard to develop my writing skills, looking for a new ways to tell the stories I've been developing since my early days writing and drawing comics for Caliber, and the Night Folk project is the first major step towards that. It's also the first piece of a much larger story that includes both my Fade stories (and the in progress Fade novel) and the other Third Act graphic novel project, The October Girl.

I'll be posting more details about Night Folk as we get closer to the launch of the Kickstarter campaign, and I'll let you know when the project page goes live. In the meantime, I hope to be back to regular blogging in the next week or so.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Random bits: Witchblade #142 and Kickstarter

Another crazy week here in the studio. Between snowstorms, digging out from beneath snowstorms, new snowstorms, and working on my second issue of Witchblade, things are a little busy.

Two bits of random business --

First and foremost, issue #142, my first fill-in issue on Witchblade hits shelves this week. It's the first part of a two part story by series writer Ron Marz and myself, with excellent colors by Nathan Fairbairn. Check it out if you get a chance. I've been having a lot of fun working with Ron again (we'd previously worked together on The Path for Crossgen), and it's a fun little ghost story with a some interesting twists.

Secondly, I'm setting up a Kickstarter campaign for a writing project I'm hoping to work on after my next art assignment (which I can't name just yet). This is all part of my larger "Third Act" project which I'm hoping will create more opportunities to write and to work on my own creator-owned material. I'll keep you posted here, on Twitter, and on my Facebook fan page. As of yesterday, the project was approved by Kickstarter and I can start putting together a page to raise money for it. I'll be getting all of that going once I'm finished with Witchblade. Stay tuned. And warm. And hopefully free from piles of snow.

Friday, January 14, 2011

On Sale Now: Doctor Who Vol. 3

On shelves now, the final 10th Doctor collection from IDW -- Doctor Who, Volume 3: Final Sacrifice. It collects issues 13-16 of the Doctor Who Ongoing series (the "Final Sacrifice" story arc by Tony Lee and myself), and the 2010 Doctor Who annual (which includes a story by Tony and myself, and the "Big, Blue Box" story that I wrote and drew).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Original Art Blog update

Just dropped a batch of new pages onto my original art for sale blog, including pages from the final Eleventh Doctor story, "Final Sacrifice". And for one week only, I'm dropping my usual prices. 2010 was a great year for me, which means I've got a lot of original art sitting around my office. Need to get as much of it out the door as I can.