I finished drawing page one of Roeke in June of 2012. I would’ve started working on the concept and story before that, probably late 2011 or early 2012. I published the last page in November of 2015. That’s somewhere around three and half to four years, start to finish, to produce 104 pages of comic. While it was my first major undertaking and I am certainly proud of it (or, at least, proud of me for making it), I made it at a snail’s pace. Then I did next to nothing to follow it up in 2016. For something I dream of making my career some day, I sure don’t treat it like one. Any supervisor would fire an employee that unproductive.
So, for S.H.A.G., my aim is to produce a 100 page graphic novel (well, a five part mini-series, 20 pages per chapter) in time for comic-con in September. Since I started with the preview around August of last year, that gives me one whole year to produce the same amount of work I’d previously done over four. Of course, since I slacked off through the end of 2016, I really only have 6 months to produce the remaining 95 pages. Plus five covers, assuming I don’t commission Amanda or someone to do those. I have officially dared myself to be eight times as productive for my sophomore effort at being a comics creator. Sitting down and looking at my proposed schedule, while daunting, is also invigorating- because I feel like I can do this. I will do this.
I have a whiteboard in my “office” (also known as Jenny’s sewing room and Anna’s bedroom). It has a column on the left containing my to-do list for the current month. The remaining two-thirds of the board hold the breakdown of each part of the job, which I’ve pseudo-arbitrarily assigned percentages, that they might then fill the giant progress bar I’ve drawn above them. Right now, I’ve made the plot, written the outline and character backgrounds, as well as the script to the first chapter- all of which puts me at 6% complete. Only 94% to go!
My goal for this, the month of February, is to finish scripting the entire series. I basically need to write four pages a day to make that happen. Then, each following month will be dedicated to drawing and lettering a chapter. Then August will be all about coloring, though I may, once again, lean on my sister’s talents for that (which, if that’s the case, I will deliver each page to her as it’s drawn so she’ll have as much time as possible to work on them).
Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me. But that’s not even all! I also want to do a monthly fanart piece, so I have things to entice people to our booth at comic-con, because people don’t care about a comic and its creator that they’ve never heard of, but Final Fantasy or Spider-Man might draw them in (no pun intended). I also want to get some scripts going for Satellite Dust to give to James to draw. It may well be that my ambition is much greater than my capability, but there’s only one way to find out...
This is my origin story, just you wait and see.
Y'all ready to get your DEMOCRACY on? Well, here we go!
Step 1. Read the Fred Gets It SAMPLER PLATTER.
Step 2. Pick your favorite story.
Step 3. In the comments of THIS VERY POST, tell us which concept you want to see turned into a full-length comic!
(Sure, we wanna do all three, but we only got the time/resources to do one at a time!)
What's that you say? Voting once just doesn't cut it for you?
WELL, I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU.
How to get bonus votes!
1. Instead of a plain old text comment, post a selfie with your purchase from our table at Rose City Comic Con last weekend.
2. Now take that selfie and post about it on Facebook, tagging @Fred Gets It Comics.
Your extra votes will go to your choice of project. Pile them on the best, or split them between the rest!
But Jhustoe, we're broke and/or won't be at comic con, how can we vote?
Worry not, I just posted the previews on this very website! Check 'em out here
Poles will close at the end of the day Sunday (9/18/2016) and we'll announce the winner on Monday the 19th, so get your votes in soon!!
Read Sampler Platter
Vote for your fav in the comments.
Be excellent to each other, and see ya in the poles!
--Justin "Jhustoe" TN.S.C.B.D. Pearson
Holy crap, y’all, Rose City Comic Con is less than a month away! Since i finished Roeke, I’ve hardly done anything with regards to making comics. Part of the reason for this is I can't bring myself to commit to a new project. So, I’ve decided to not decide!
This year, when you come see us at table B-10,we will have a Sampler Platter comic filled with 3 previews for some of the ideas I’ve been kicking around. Then, after the con, you’ll get to vote on your favorite. Whichever story gets the most votes will be my next project! Wowee!
“How is the voting going to work,”you ask? Well, after the con, I'm going to post another blog telling you about the three different stories and calling for votes.
Comment on that blog post with your vote.
Post a selfie with your purchase from our booth for another vote.
Share said selfie on fb and tag or link to us for another vote.
That's right, you could get up to THREE votes, some of which you buy with American U.S. Dollaz, just like in a real election! Just think of all the political sway you could throw around!
So, we’ll be seein' ya September 10-11 at RCCC 2016, table B-10!!
Be excellent to each other,
I've staved off delay for another week, woohoo!
I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be able to keep up through the end of this chapter, as there are only 4 pages/two weeks left. If anything, the hiatus will come before we start the last installment (which is still quite a ways from being finished, I'm embarrassed to admit).
Not afraid to say that I love my composition for this page, the mirrored images, the panels getting drawn closer and closer together, the... FUCKING CONTINUITY ERROR!!!! AAAAAAH! Roeke's blaster is on the wrong arm in panels 1 and 3. And her navigator is missing in 5. Damnit.
I'm too tired to fix this right now, I'll have to update this post later....
No Smokey the Bear in this world, I guess...
I am distracted and tired, so not much of a blog here, but I am not yet on hiatus! Let's hope I can keep up and maybe get some of my lead time back. A boy can dream...
See you Thursday?
Getting Roeke's stuff back to her in this manner maaaaay be the laziest thing I've ever written, but I thought it made for a good joke ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I could be mistaken, but these could be the first (and probably only) panels that aren't portrayed from Roeke's point of view (objectively, not physically). I like how it turned out, especially the layout.
Well, next week we will see the explosive results of the mighty Ochin's indigestion- so see ya Monday!
Those are some serious accusations there, smog!
I wish I'd pushed this page a bit further, it seems a little abstract with Ochin just floating there. None of the cloud overlaps it to add depth or anything, and there's no surrounding background so it comes off a little awkward. I did like doing that hand-lettering though, that was fun. And I don't hate how Roeke turned out.
Well, see ya Thursday for the long drop! Last page of the comic, guys, I'm killing the main character! :P
Have you ever been experienced? Not necessarily stoned, just... fed to a giant gas-spewing plant monster?
Well, this page was fun. May have gone overboard on the smog effects, to the point of kinda obfuscating Ochin (the big plant thing in the first panel/ bg of the second)
Well, not much else to say about this one, guess we'll be seein' ya Monday!
Things are gonna be a lot pinker for the next couple pages, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
I like how Roeke's expression came out when she receives her sentence, almost flinching from it like a physical blow. Or maybe, closing her eyes will make it not real? Then we got our side-scrolling trek into the woods panel below it, I like how that came out, too.
I may have fucked up the caption placement on the last panel, though. Did you read "Are they just..." first as was intended, or "Maybe I can..."? Because I fear the left/right of the panels overpowered the top to bottom of the caption placement, considering the lower caption was placed further left.
Oh hey, I thought I should also mention that I'm working on a couple pitches to submit to Oni Press, so Roeke's taken a back seat while I focused a lot more on those. Pages are set through the end of June for Roeke, but it might all catch up to me before I can get any more lead time. So, if it comes to it, we may have a short break in July, but fear not, because as of July I'll be focused on Roeke again going forward (unless Oni likes my pitches, fingers crossed!).
Also also, my sun burn is peeling now, so I've been slowly removing slivers of my own flesh all day. Yum!
Well, see y'all Thursday!
Well, that could have gone better...
I really like how that big, border-less panel of the triumphant Huntress came out. I liked this whole fight scene in general, I hope I was successful in my attempt to make it feel different than the robot fights.
So, Roeke's been caught. Now she's royally screwed, right?
Guess you'll have to see on Monday!
In the original script for this page, there were a LOT more panels. I got to drawing it and I was like "Yeah, fuck that." Goes to show that there are differences between writer me and artist me, and that there are things to be learned from collaboration- even when it's with yourself. Now let's see how long it takes me to forget to draw Roeke's newest wound!
See ya Thursday,
Roeke's gotten to starting more trouble, and she seems to be off to a good start! I'm pretty sure jump-kicks were one of the things that got me into martial arts as a kid. I've also decided that I really like the clean swooshing action lines instead of a bunch of chaotic ones. At least on my own art, I think either can look great if it's done well.
Another small thing I dug about this page was the candles deep in the background of the first panel, just little glowing orbs floating back there. I dunno, just like the look of it.
Alrighty, that about does it for this week, be seein' y'all on Mundee.
Completely unrelated, except my title for the post made me think of it, but does anyone remember The Bouncer? It was like, the first game for the PS2. It wasn't that good.
Anywho, I was apparently really into hands this issue. Well, these last two pages. Also, that hand's gonna be seriously fucked up now, I can hardly imagine how much that's gotta suck. I'm so mean!
Well, see y'all Thursday, when we get to see Roeke make more great choices!
I really like how this page turned out. The close up on the dead Smog-Floran's face, with Roeke's hand reaching for that gas mask, I thought turned out real good. I feel bad this character that's just pinned Roeke's hand to the wall never gets a name... she's just too cool for one, I guess.
Well, Roeke's been caught, now what?
See ya Monday!
Oh, why, hello there.
It's comics story-telling fact that character's eyes are hidden in shadow whenever they make a dark or dramatic decision. F-A-C-T. It's like, the law.
After the last couple issues, this page has the shortest flashback of the whole series ;P
I assume it is clear now how Roeke was helped by the Smog-Florans in the past, yes?
Something about Hokey Religions and Ancient Superstitions, blah-de-blah...
Hey hey! It's Thursday!
Conflict is the source of all storytelling. That's not true, but it's pretty fucking prevalent! Seems Roeke has hit quite the dead end, eh? And what'd she mean when she said they've helped her before? Guess you'll just have to read on, next Monday. Nyah Nyah!
No deliberations! Roeke argues/begs! I'm pretty sure the Chief Gardner significantly changed shape between this page and the last... CONSISTENCY!! I like how that third panel turned out, though.
Well, see you guys Wed- No, THURSDAY! That's right! I'm gonna spread the pages more evenly through the week, instead of posting one right after the other. And Monday/Thursday just makes more sense to me. Hope y'all don't mind :).
Until next time: Different Roeke Time, Same Roeke Channel.
Week one, online and on time, woot!
Roeke sets the scene for the Smog-Florans.. and you!
This is pretty much what this issue is about. Exciting, no? IT WILL BE.
Anyway, that seems like a pretty reasonable request, right?
Guess we'll find out next Monday!
Eff your establishing shots, yo!
I'm jumping straight into the scene with an old-school, text-laden splash page! You wanted expositional dialog? WELL YOU GOT IT, BUSTER!
Also, bask in the glory that is the mutant cult of noseless toad people! Woo!
You'll see in this issue that I'm doing more with lighting and shading, which I think its greatly improving my admittedly mediocre art. I also did all my inks digitally, which is helping my coloring go faster (trust me). Still can't say much for my coloring, save for the garish choices for the Smog-Floran attire is quite deliberate.
Welp, that's about it for Monday, see you back here Wednesday for page two!
I cajoled my dear sister into drawing another cover for me :D!! James (robot-designer) said this cover looks like a James Bond movie poster, and I'm okay with that :P
As you can see, Roeke is facing a new challenge in this issue, one a lot less robot-y and way more fleshy! That sounds weird, she's up against people this time!
I'm gonna start posting two pages a week, as I've been saying. Page one goes up next Monday, page two the Wednesday after that! Hope I survive the experience! I've actually managed to get back on track, I haven't caught up with where I was supposed to be, but we shouldn't be seeing any late pages. I've colored through the second week of June's pages, and lettering is usually pretty quick, so I'm not too worried there.
See ya Monday,
And here... we.... GO!
This might be, aesthetically, my favorite page. The drawing is solid, and my coloring didn't suck for once. It's moody and atmospheric, and a nice conceptual tease for next issue. Sorry there isn't anything going on really plot or character wise, but I still like it.
The plan is to throw up Stage 04's cover next week, then jump in to page one on MONDAY, the 18th. You heard me, Monday! You know why? Because I'm saving Wednesday for PAGE TWO! We're stepping up to two pages a week, y'all! May God have mercy on my soul.
I still haven't "officially" started coloring #4, so uh, I guess I better get crackin' ;P
See ya next week!
--Jhustoe, of the 9 realms and the 4 paths, or something.
So, the first caption is referencing back to the first issue, when Roeke seemed to actually be missing Nyant. Of course, that started seeming problematic once I'd gotten through the flash back. Well, no retcons and no take-backsies, so instead I voiced my own concern and possible reader concern by having Roeke herself bring it up. By getting mad at herself, perhaps that will ease any concerns you all might have. I also think it adds an interesting layer to her character-- Yes, Nyant really did some terrible things and betrayed Roeke in a most heinous fashion, but that doesn't erase however many years before that when they were happy. Those feelings, at that moment, had really stirred up in Roeke, who, was pretty lonely. Now, as of this page, she's focusing on the bad, on the catalyst that got her to leave in the first place- and she's letting her anger drive her forward.
Tell me you never missed an ex, even if it ended poorly? S'all I'm sayin'.
The bottom half of this page, and next weeks page are all going to set up next issue. Smog Zone!
Slightly damaged, Guardian tucks tail and retreats. Roeke gets a new upgrade and also begins to get real mad, understandably.
I like how that fist turned out in the last panel, and the smoking rocket-launcher panel above it ain't bad, either.
Well, I'm still a bit behind on Roeke 04, so I'm gonna keep this short and get back to work on them thar inks. Well, "inks," as I'm doing it digitally this time.
Be excellent to each other,
Guardian is back to finish what he began with Roeke's ear... I mean, back!
Good thing laser cannons don't seem too bothered by water damage, she should probably still put that in a bowl of rice or something, to be sure.
Anywho, I've gotta get going to my day job, so I'll see y'all next week!
Well, that's that, then. Maybe, just maybe, if he'd fussed over her instead of The Guardian? Yeah, probably not.
I wish I'd colored Nyant's mouth in that first panel... maybe I'll go back to it someday.
We're closing in on the end of Stage 03, just four more pages! I better hurry up and finish Stage 04 :P
Born in California, Justin now resides in Portland, OR. He's had a passion for comics from a very young age