Assorted Doings

Hello everyone!

Still recovering from Emerald City over here, but I’m excited to say that I’m well into inking my story for Symbolia Magazine, which will basically be my full-time job for the next few weeks. Things will be quiet while I’m working on that, but afterwards it’ll be on to Baggywrinkles #4 and beyond! I’ll post previews as I can.

In other news, blogger Greg Burgas picked up a copy of True Believer at the convention, and was kind enough to give it a very thorough review on Comic Book Resources this week. Here’s a teaser:

“[Death can] become hackneyed, the way a writer approaches it, but Bellwood manages to let the emotions come out without going too far and getting into mawkishness […] As we move through the book, it becomes more intense and more personal, in a way that grabs the reader and doesn’t let go […] ‘True Believer’ is an intense work that has a lot going on in it, and Bellwood transitions easily between many different moods.”

What a guy! You can read the whole thing here.

For those of you who stopped by, thanks for saying hello! To those who couldn’t make it, never fear. I’ll be at tabling at the Stumptown Comics Fest next month with all these goodies and more.

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When we met, Greg was also quite taken with the table’s  squeaky walrus, so here’s the ridiculous photo he took of my cheesiest convention face.

Aaaaand finally, Grace Allison did a wonderful marker coloring demo at Periscope yesterday, so here’s the portrait I whipped up to practice on (we only had super skinny scraps of Bristol. Can you tell?).

Skinny

Until next time, friends!

True Believer: The Final Countdown!

Oh man, dudes. Things are heating up.

In the final few weeks before True Believer hits the printers, I’ll be coloring up a storm, making buttons, designing business cards, investigating screen printing, and also trying to format that other weird written thesis thing I was supposed to have written by now. Just kidding. I wrote it. Mostly. But that guy needs to go into LaTeX and boy howdy I do not know how to work that program yet. Still, baby steps.

I thought I’d drop a few images in here from the next stage in the process. You can see the whole beast on the wall here:

Which I will now proceed to color using this completely delightful Indigo I picked up at the art store this week.

Here are a few tests:

And here’s a page of ink lines printed at 10% grey with watercolor shading:

I’ll be scanning these in and merging them with the digitized line art to create the final images, which should look something like this:

I can’t tell you how excited I am to pull all this stuff together. The coloring will go much MUCH faster than the inking (thank God), so hopefully I’ll blow through 31 pages in the next week and get this thing printed! In the meantime, I’ve got a few illustrations to stick up in the coming days, as well as a requested post about my perspective on the art/writing divide in comics.

Stay tuned!

Progress Report

So, you guys may’ve noticed that things have been a little quiet here on the comics front. Fear not! Things are happening and this post will hopefully clear up a few questions about where my energy’s going these days and when you can expect to see some new sequential work.

Oooh! Aaah! Pages!

I’m currently neck deep in my 34-page thesis comic (tentatively titled “True Believer”), which should be out in time for Stumptown this year. I wrapped up the pencils last week after a grueling page-a-day push through February, and am now taking the opportunity for a little downtime over Spring Break. I’ll begin inking in the next few days, then do color, layout, and printing in April. This is, of course, on top of full-time school commitments and a few freelance jobs, so there may be delays, but the progress in February was really encouraging. I’ll be posting some more pictures as I start inking so you can get a sense of what it’ll look like.

In the meantime, the blog will be featuring (surprise, surprise) more illustrations! I’m making the shift from my little Pentel Pocket Brush to the real deal Windsor & Newton Series 7 for this project, so I’m trying to do as much freelance work as possible with the W&N to get the feel of it.

Thanks for hanging in there, everyone! I’m getting really excited to share this new work with you. So excited, in fact, that I’ve taken to walking around like this:

Yup.

And with that burst of absurdism, I bid you adieu.

Onward and Upward

While it’s lovely to take pride in one’s work and rest on the old laurels a little after turning in something on a deadline, I really do love the little voice in my head that says “Oh man, fuck that project! This is where it’s at” as soon as I sink my teeth into something new. It gives me a feeling of jet propulsion where each new piece is another step towards that great big magical state of artistic competence in the sky.

I’ve been having a load of dynamite conversations with people in the last few days about art, creation, culture, spirituality, craft, dedication, and other Big Things. It has my brain in a whirl, but I’m also in mega productivity mode to ink 18 pages this week. So far I’ve tackled 3 on one project (a 6-page piece that I’ll start updating on Monday), and 5 on the other:

These are the opening pages of the 12-page prologue to Wherefore, my graphic novel. The finished pages (what you see above plus lettering and inkwashes!) will be on display, along with notes on my process, at Reed College starting November 3rd. There’s a little artist’s talk and an opening that afternoon, which I’ll post details about soon, but mostly I’m just really excited to finish all this inking so I can start sharing with you guys via the magic of the web.

Hang in there. Things are going to get crazy around here in the next couple weeks.