Closing In...with new ink!

So, I did it. I finally broke down and got some new ink for my printer! Talk about waiting too long... The good news is it was cheaper than I thought, and now I'm back to action on the last 1.5 pages of the first chapter.

I have some extra time ahead of me this evening, so if all goes well I may be able to finish the inking this week. After that, I'll pump out the cover and get down to the next step; shading, and lettering. There's always plenty of fun to be had there. The lettering is a real joy because I make it up on the spot, spur of the moment. Sure I have a pretty good idea of what the characters are going to say throughout the story, but by not setting it in stone, I allow myself the room to let the story develop naturally. It's made for some very happy accidents - things that I hadn't intended to be funny or cool take on a whole new life. It's really fun stuff. When I get the cover all finished up, I'll be sure to post it up!


Movie Review: Captain America

Hey everyone! So, it's been a little while since I posted, but today I'm back with the Captain America movie review. To try something a little different, we're going to do the good, the bad, and the ugly, to kind of streamline the review process. Check it out:

The Good - The whole movie was very well cast, including the wonderfuly re-created 1940's feel. The locations and setting were memorable and unique. Chris Evans was fantastic as Cap, and there was a true sense of his overwhelming urge to defend his country. His motives were well represented, from getting beaten up on the streets (the bully aspect) and his respect for the American way (the patiotic), it was clear from the beginning why this was the right guy to become Captain America. The character interaction and the light romance drove the story forward in a very cool, and somewhat old-school kind of way. If the movie has anything, it's got a lot of heart, and that's a very cool thing.

The Bad - While the story wraps itself up neatly, there are a few things that the audience still yearns for by the end. What, exactly you say? Sorry, no spoilers here. I'll just say that while I thought the ending was a great way to finish the film, there were a few opportunities that could have been taken a bit farther.

The Ugly - A major issue I had was a really simple and stupid one - Before Steven Rogers (Cap) is about to be transformed into the hero we all know and love, nobody takes the time to give us any idea what he'll be capable of in his new form. All it would have taken to remedy this is one brief line from the good doctor such as " When you awake, you'll be stronger, faster, and braver than you ever dreamed." Halfway into the movie I was still waiting for someone to give us a clue as to what his powers were precisely, and what limits (if any) he had. That wouldn't be such a bad thing if the character himself had any idea. Who cares if the audience gets the exposition, the guy going into the chamber doesn't even bother to ask: "What will I be able to do"? I don't think so. Also ugly, The Red Skull. In a good way - fantastic look and very well cast in Hugo Weaving.

Bottom Line - Captain America is very cool movie with a lot of heart, and plenty of fun and action to be had. The movie goes beyond the usual actions-fest by investing in it's characters emotions and peeling away at them. Cap's last line in the film really sums up what the movie has going for it. Am I going to tell you? No I am not. Go see it, and dig.

SCORE - 4/5 Stars and Stripes


Let's Try That Again...

Ok, so HERE is that picture I was talking about. This is an early concept sketch of the Air Spirit Avia. I think she still needs a little bit of work, but it's a step in the right direction. I want her to look like some sort of winged elf person. That just seems to be a cool look for her.

In other news, I only have two pages left to go. But, as luck would have it, I don't have any ink left in my printer! Arggh! So, I'll be holding off on finishing those until I come back from a weekend trip. In the meantime though, I'm thinking I might get a head start on the thumbnails for the next story. It's a whopper of a story, and I'm excited to see what happens when I start getting into it. We'll see what happens!

Hello all! So, as I mentioned previously, I had three concerts back-to-back-to-back this past week. It made for some very sporadic posting to say the least . But that's all over now, and I'm back once again.

Today's image is for an idea I've been pondering for quite a while. One of the most common questions people ask about Avion (the world Air-Heart lives in) is; How did the skylands form? I've always had a fairly decent explanation to throw at them that involves some great cataclysm that occurred centuries before Amelia's time. But lately I've been thinking it might be cool to flesh out the story and perhaps insert it into the second book as an extra, a bonus story, detailing the myth behind the formation of the skylands. I've come to the conclusion that it was due to a fight between the three spirits - Earth, Water, and Sky that the world was changed forever. The drawing you see here is a concept sketch of the Sky Spirit, Avia for whom the planet was named after. I won't spoil the details of the story I have in mind, but I'm looking forward to playing around with it a bit and trying to figure out exactly how to tell it, and fit it in the book. I have several ideas already, but until I get down to writing it, you never know what's going to happen!


Out With the New, In With Old. (Wait, what?)

Two posts so quickly! Your heads must be spinning. I know it's hard to believe, but yes, I have another post for you all. This time it's a sneak peak at a sketch regarding the second chapter of the book. As I near completion of the first chapter, it's time to begin sketching out some of the ideas for the next story. Without revealing too much, I'll let you in on the fact that this is a much older version of Watt. If you haven't read the first book already (Seriously? Where have you been?) I've included a reference image for what he looks like all young and vicious. Let me know what you think about the visual differences; Can you tell it's the same character?

For those of you not in on the story so far - Watt is an extremely powerful villain that Amelia has met once before in the first book; Taking Flight. He is set to make his second appearance in the second chapter of the second book (Man, that's a lot of seconds!). I haven't quite nailed down a title for that one yet, but I'll be sure to tell you when I do.

As I finish up chapter one I'll be posting all sorts of goodies, finished panels, and so on. Also, be sure to look out for more sketches of the next chapter!


Makin' Time

So, as predicted, it's been a bit of a struggle to get pages done this month. Even so, I'm still making headway. With any luck, I should be into the shading process for the first chapter by the end of the month. Then I have to get started on chapter two! Luckily, I've already decided on a story and at this point I have the whole thing pretty much figured out. There are only a couple of loose ends to tie up for it to come together.

The rest of this week is totally bonkers for me so I'm not sure how much more I'll be able to get done. Of course, you never know and sometimes I get more done than I would expect to. We'll see what happens! Of course I'll try to post again as soon as I can! Until then...


Hey, remember me?

Well hello there! As expected I've been very busy so far this month and I haven't had as much time to focus on Air-Heart as would like. But don't think I haven't made progress, I have! Only a couple more pages to go until the first chapter is completely inked.

As usual, when I towards the end of a chapter, I start to think about creating a cover. As I mentioned in an earlier post, that particular task seems to have gotten a bit harder for me over the years. Whatever the reason, it takes me a few more itterations now before I'm able to zoom in on what the focus should be for the cover. This morning I drew nine thumbnails before arriving at two or three ideas that might be worth persuing further. Only one of them is actually close to being a finished concept. I've attatched the sketches to this post, but I didn't have access to a scaner at the time, hence the cell-phone photo. Sorry for the ugliness but at least you can kind of see how I work on the sketches. More later!