Aqua Vastum

2013-05-04 11.39.14

For my FCBD mini-comic this year I had been planning one of my typical whimsy-laden picture books, complete with broken verse and adorable protagonists. However, a couple weeks before the event I attended a local Community Cinema showing of “The Island President.” The film illuminated many facets of our modern environmental situation that I have somehow managed to ignore, or at least kept at arm’s length. When it was all shown to me at such a personal and immediate scale, they leapt into focus. It became important that I somehow capture my feelings on the matter, so as to remind me later when it all seemed less pressing, and that night I went home and click-clacked a manic e-mail to myself. The next day I refined those ramblings into the script for “Aqua Vastum,” which I hope can convey unto you some of the intensity I felt that evening.

If you haven’t checked into Community Cinema programs in your area, I highly recommend it, I have yet to attend a showing that didn’t spark conversations for weeks to come. And I especially appreciate WCTE for putting on our local showings here in Cookeville.

If you would like to print copies of “Aqua Vastum” for educational purposes, please contact me and I will be glad to get you a pdf. I’ve also set up a quick link for this post, at bit.ly/aquavastum , if you’d like a fast way to share the comic.

Thanks for reading!

 

“We The People” mini-comic

Here is a mini-comic I created in an attempt to condense my concerns over our current political climate. While the comic itself was initiated by my train of thought after Obama’s DNC speech (and yes, I am a bit slow getting this out:) it truly is a Party neutral editorial, dealing more with the concern and civic responsibility we voters should have when approaching this election. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if it resounds with you at all, please pass it along.

 

FCBD and My New Book!

Hi guys! I’ve got all sorts of exciting announcements for you today.

Right off the bat, I want to pass along a bit of good press received for myself and my art in the local newspaper. It was a great article written by the talented Megan Trotter, and I really appreciate it.

Even though it is mentioned in the article, here is another reminder to schedule in some time for Free Comic Book Day tomorrow. It’s an amazing worldwide event, entirely free, and is a great way to support comics, get yourself reaquainted with current stories, find all new favorite books, and to introduce someone new to the medium. Every year there is a book I add to my list purely because of its FCBD sample, and I would never have found these gems otherwise. Do yourself a favor, find a shop near you.

And if you are in the Upper Cumberland area, why not come on out to Mountain Top Comics in Cookeville? There will be an all day event, with all the usual free comic wonderfulness, as well as several local artists (including myself!) doing free sketches for those who come by. I will also have free copies of my new mini-comic, “Frolic Not The Mount.” It’s a good’un! And since the shop is located just a few minutes from the movie theater, you can drop by on your way to see The Avengers (which was so good I have not the words to properly express myself:)

Now, my Big News is the formal announcement of my new book, “Sadbot: A Lackluster Love Story.”

Here’s the official back-cover-blurb: Ted Robo isn’t naïve about love, he’s just rather inexperienced.  A brutal breakup leaves him crestfallen, dour and discouraged from ever romancing again.  But even a sad robot can be pulled from the bitter depths of heartbreak.  With the help of his farcically benevolent buddies, a few wayward blind dates, and one tiny but true aquatic friend, Ted reluctantly embarks upon a quest for happiness.  And who knows, if he keeps his antenna up, he might even find it.

It is an 84 page large format (8.5″x11″) black and white paperback collecting a variety of the Sadbot comics I have posted online over the past five years. Included are the “Origin,” “Barbot,” and “These Three Dates” stories, previously only published at Inanimate Shorts. There is also a brand new 11 page Sadbot story, “Monstrorigin,” detailing how Ted came to meet his fishy friend. And there is an Author’s Note, by me, the Author, detailing the history of Sadbot and including, for the first time seen publicly, the original notebook doodle that gave birth to Ted. This is a professionally printed book, which I am self-publishing through Lulu.com, and I am quite excited about it!

On that note, this Saturday at the Mountain Top event, I will be pre-selling Artist Editions of A Lackluster Love Story, to be received at my upcoming book signing on May 19, also at Mountain Top (more details to follow). These Artist Editions are $25, which will include a signed copy of the book, an exclusive Sadbot mini-print, and an original ink drawing of our hero, Ted, or the cast member of your choosing. There are only 20 of these editions currently available, and they will be reserved on a first-come-first-serve basis at the FCBD event (Where I will also have a proof copy of the book to show off!) If any are still available afterwards, I may try to offer them online somehow, but no guarantees!

And since this Is an art blog, here is a small excerpt from the “These Three Dates” story. As far as set-up goes, Ted Robo has just been shang-haied into an online dating service by his “dear” friends:

 

 Have a comic-tacular weekend!

 

Comics Comics Comics!

I’ve got a trifecta of comic updates for you lot!

First off, I have just relaunched Inanimate Shorts as newer, much more streamlined, comic blog. This will be the place to go for any new comics projects from me, so please keep an eye on it. I’ve gotten it primed with several of my classic journal comics, hourlies, and an array of pages created for The Oracle. In addition, I’ve posted the revised “Voyage of the Clementide,” previously only available to those who grabbed the mini-comic version a few years back.

Which segways nicely into: this coming Satuday, May 5th, is Free Comic Book Day! Wherever you may live, track down a participating store and go get some free goodies. If you happen to live in the Upper Cumberland area, might I suggest Mountain Top Comics? I, along with several fellow artists, will be setting up shop from 10-6, giving out free sketches to anyone who would like one. Plus, Mike will have a slew of great free books out there. Including, of course, a new free mini-comic from me.

And, lastly, I just thought I’d share a quick snap shot of something I got in the mail today:

More details soon:]

“The Library Pumpkin”

One of the best things I’ve ever done was apply to be a part-time clerk at my local children’s library. Over two years later, I can honestly say my artwork wouldn’t be half of what it is today if not for the influence this job has had on me. From doodling bookmarks to decorating massive bulletin boards with paintings, I have been given so many great opportunities to grow artistically. One of my favorites has been the mini-comic/picture book I was allowed to create as a Halloween give-away.

“The Library Pumpkin” started out as a pretty simple activity book. It was going to contain a few mazes and word puzzles and coloring pages, and somewhere in there I wanted to do a little two page story about a pumpkin. As I started working on it, it grew and grew (pun intended) and turned into a full twelve-page story, written in verse, which necessitated it’s own book.

I like to find ways to challenge myself when working on a project, so I endeavored to do this entire book without ever touching a computer. Roughs were done in non-photo blue pencil. I laid them out on the page in the order that they would need to be printed and stapled, to form a proper mini. I inked them at size, and hand lettered every word (which explains the near illegibility at parts.) Then I ran the whole batch off on the library copy machine, hand cut them, and stapled the whole lot together.

Easily the most rewarding part has been watching the kids pick up this tiny book that they can keep, flipping through it to see familiar sites from the library around them, and even realizing that the jack-o-lantern on the pages matches the real one sitting on the desk.

Happy All Hallow’s Read to you all!