It's been awhile since I've posted here. Sorry for the long delay. I found out last Friday that I got a table at DCC at table G25, so I'm pretty excited. I'm finally launching my kickstarter Rock Slingers this Friday. So please check it out on kickstarter.com.
The kickstarter preview page is here if you want to look at it before we launch this Friday.
Comic art has always been an art form I was interested in. I
started drawing due in part because of comics. I found most interesting was the
different styles that were produced in comic art. Why did I like certain styles
over others? Sometimes it was due to knowledge of anatomy and other times it
was consistency. Bart Sears had an interesting style, and he clearly understood
anatomy. I didn’t like his work as much as I liked Todd McFarlane, and it had
nothing to do with anatomy or consistency. It was simply an appealing style. I
would find myself negating the story over the visuals. I’d study his work as if
somehow I’d figure out his secret formula. Each page was an explosive
exploration of dynamics and detail. Today I can remember the art more than the
Today I draw comics with the mindset completely opposite of
Todd’s detailed work. Though this approach is different than what I’ve done in
the past, it has stuck with me all the more now that I’ve been working on the
same project for over a year. I feel that there are stories that require the
kind of attention to detail as Todd’s work implores, but for Steamroma it is
important to keep the art simple and direct. I think this is something I never
considered as an artist. I always assumed once I find my style I just stick
with it no matter what. But for now that’s not how I approach a project.
At the moment I’m working on Steamroma the most. I have the
other project I’m doing with a friend called Rock Slingers and that story I
believe can more closely resemble a more detailed art form, not like Todd’s
work, but something with more detail to give the sense of adventure in the
story. While Steamroma seems to be more about the people in the place they are
in, Rock Slingers is a story about the future and potential of space travel. I
think both projects will be a challenge if I continue to draw them at the same
time, as I am now. I’ll have to put my brain in a different mindset to keep
each of the stories from spilling over into each other.
Still making corrections, but I think we're almost ready for inking. Now I just have to get some time to do it. I'm working on Steamroma as always and in between work and other work, I'm drawing Rock Slingers. Still I think we are good to get the first book done this year.
This is a sketch of JJ and Becky, the main characters to a side project called Rock Slingers I'm working on, which is going to be a Kickstarter in the next month or so.
Doing the math for my kickstarter is below.
I'm in the process of starting a Kickstarter for a writer
that has hired me. This is a side project from my regular gig, so it's just one
shot 26 page comic.
I started doing the math and remembered some of the finance
math I learned in college.
I thought this might help anyone that is starting a
Using the formula px = vx + FC + Profit
p is the price per unit (the price you're selling the comic
x is the number of units, (we're trying to solve for this,
which is how many comics you have to sell to break even)
v is variable cost per unit (this is the cost of printing
the comic, shipping it to you from printer and then to the customer)
FC is total fixed cost (paying the artists, writer, etc.)
I used Ka-blam to get my printing costs.
For a 26 page comic the price is $2.20 or $1.77 if you put
their ad in the comic. I chose not to get the discount, so $2.20 is the
Going to USPS and getting a flat rate 3-5 day standard large
envelope with a weight of 5 ounces is about $1.82. I put in several different
zip codes too. One from Seattle, Washington to Boston, MA and still was the
same price. Now you have to add the price of the envelope and handling charges
too, so I was averaging $4.00 for shipping each comic within the US. The charge
of shipping the comics to me, from Ka-blam averages around .20 cents.
The variable costs are as follows $2.20 + 4.00 + .20 = $6.40
I’m selling the comic for $10.00, which includes the
shipping costs. So the customer is paying a flat rate of $10.00 for one comic.
Finally the fixed costs (FC) is how much it costs to make
the comic. For art it is $1,300 and other charges are $260, which equals $1,560.
Putting the formula to work written to solve for x is
FC/(p-v), $1,560/($10.00-$6.40) = 437.
X = 437
That means in order to pay for the shipping and all the
other stuff I need to sell at least 437 comic books to break even.
Since each comic is being sold for $10.00 the total funding
I need to ask for is $4,370.
If I want to add international charges I would need to add
more for international pricing. I’ve seen pricing from $6.00 to $10.00. That is
no insurance, first class and no tracking.
Pinup WIP of a book I'm doing called Rock Slingers. It is a slow going project that won't see completion for several month, because I'm plugging away with Steamroma. This is a pinup of the two main characters.
A little exercise in styles. I was reading Inhumans and I felt like sketching one of Joe's drawings and then I decided to draw a similar pose with my own style. I think it is interesting looking at the difference in technique and whatnot.
Here is the first page to the comic I just finished called Steamroma. I've started on the next installment for the story. This is going to be big. It's been a lot of fun so far and I'm looking forward to what comes next. I'll post more pages as the week progresses.
It shouldn't be hard for me to update my blog, but I find I'm updating this site far less than other sites I frequent, like deviantart, facebook and some of the forums I visit. Here is a big update, I'm in Imagine FX April edition.
Please pick it up or get the digital copy. I found one mistake where they called me Todd in one of the articles, but no big deal.
Wow, look how young I look, I mean you look. Look, first off, shut up. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Sorry, I’m old and frustrated with all the mistakes I’ve made, which you hopefully will avoid. Now, you’re going to make mistakes in your general life, but that will lead you to some of the greatest times too, so don’t worry about that. All I’m here to talk about is your art.
This might be a shocker, but you don’t draw comics for a living. You make some good money drawing part time, but I’m better off working a day job and drawing comics at night. At least that’s how it worked out for me. Maybe that will be different for you. You’ll end up meeting and seeing a lot of great talent throughout your life, but don’t get frustrated or turned off because you’re not as good as they are. They can be helpful in inspiring you to do better. They don’t have more talent, they have just figured out some things you haven’t yet and their art is the result of hard work and dedication. 90% of an artist’s craft is hard work, the rest is talent. Everyone has a little talent, what we do with it is the important thing.
Draw what you like, not what you think others will like. Don’t worry about everyone liking your work. There are those who will hate it, love it, and some will just not care about it. You don’t have to please everyone, and more importantly you have to like it. That’s how you grow as an artist. Do what you love and put in 100% of your effort into each piece. Finally, and this is an important one, be patient. Your time will come soon enough. Live life, be with your family, enjoy the time you have, and never stop drawing. Even if you’re not doing it seriously for a long time, once you do get back into it your muscle memory will kick in and you’ll be back in action in no time.
Let’s go back to patience. Every piece of art should be thought out and executed with precision. You should put your work down before you’re finished with each stage of its construction. Each time you come back to the drawing you’ll find something you can correct, make better or keep the same. This can help to mold your thought process too. You’ve always inked your work, from day one, so keep doing that. Keep experimenting with different kinds of brushes, nibs and pens. Once you get a feel for the style you love you’ll find the right tools for the job.
Lastly, you will not miss out on anything. Every missed chance you have to break into the industry will not be the last. There are always opportunities around the corner waiting to present themselves. You just need to focus on the art. Keep pushing your boundaries, from comic art to fine art. That’s right, you end up getting a fine art degree, but that comes much later.
Obviously I can’t tell my younger self this stuff, but I am reminding myself of what I’ve learned over the years and hopefully someone will read this and get something good from it.
This is a sketch of Archimedes, who you'll see in the lastest comic I'm working on.
Twas the night before Christmas, there was not a blog post in sight.
I've been working on a two projects. One is a Roman Steampunk story called Steamroma® and the other, well that is slow going so we'll talk about that some other time. I've finished a six page short for the Roman story and I'm already working on another 35 pages. My guess is that this story will start on the internet and then move into published works later on when there is more to offer.
The pages take me awhile to do, so this project will be going on throughout next year.
I've been busy at work on two project (a third I haven't started yet, but its going to be big), and only one of which I can talk about. Boosterville is one of the comics I'm working on, though we may change the name due to the URL availability. It has been coming along nicely and once I have some more images to post I will.
These are in no particular order. They are the sketches I did at the convention. Some were repeat customers, but mostly new faces. I haven't been to a con for a while, so I'm hoping they come back for more next time I'm there. I'm planning to do most of the cons coming up in Denver, so I can get my name out there. I'll be bringing prints next time, because some of my friends really did well with prints.
Finally, I sold lots of my stock books. I've had many books for years and they sold like they were new, which they were to those who had not read them. I'm really happy to be back in the con circuit and I hope it is as successful as NDK if not more in the future.
Thank you all for stopping by my table and just saying hi, and extra thanks to those who bought a book and/or sketch. I really appreciate the support.