Merry Christmas, y'all!
I got you this new Roeke page, and no gift receipt, so you're stuck with it!
Roeke has a sit down after getting beat up by a robot. But, hey, she got her GPS/DS thing and can hopefully use it to find Miri!
Boy, I sure used a lot of grey in this issue....
Anyway, last page of the chapter goes up on New year's Eve, so chapter three will start without interruption or delay the first Wednesday in 2015!
To all, a good night!
I like how the first two panels turned out, the rest can go straight to hell! :P
I'm coloring Roeke 03 right now and I think my art might be improving some. Funny how that works ;)
Also, how does one spell out that sound phonetically? I did my best, but did that put the right noise in your brains? That kinda inhaled hiss as you do anything you can to disperse that pain?
Well, we're winding down on chapter two. Just a couple more pages, a Christmas and a New Year's present for ya's. Then, first Wednesday in January, we will see the start of Roeke Stage 03! Featuring not one, but TWO robot fights and the wrap up of our flashback scenes, depicting the ultimate fate of Roeke and Nyant's relationship. It'll be a doozy!
Last night I lost my mind a little and scheduled out my comic work and publishing schedule for 2015, and boy, will I be busy! It is my hope and aim to finish Roeke (which has been 5 Stages pretty much from the get-go) and then in the last few months of the year begin publishing whatever my next project ends up being. Pretty exciting, eh?
Well, wish me luck. Thanks to Dragon Age (and my own laziness) I am way behind where I wanted to be by now, but not so far that it's hopeless (no month break between chapters this time!).
See ya Christmas Eve!
I originally had a much different- and much more boring- composition in mind for this page. I don't think that even made it to the tiny thumbnail stage before I thought of and fell in love with this one.
On the original drawing, the small, square falling panels were much smaller, so I blew them up when I went in to color the page. Technology!
Looks like Roeke's spider problems are finally at an end...
If robots had feelings, I'm sure someone reaching into their arm hole and pulling on their guts wouldn't feel very nice.
I like my last panel there (and the transition to it). Hard to do better suspense then "They're already over the edge!" Wile E. Coyote would be throwing up his "Help" sign right about now.
I have a nasty habit of writing myself scenes with a loooooot of panels. Particularly the fights. Beware! Future collaborators are going to hate me :P
On a separate note, I feel like emotes should count as punctuation, as sentences look funny when you punctuate after an emoji, but the emoji feels isolated and unrelated if punctuation precedes it. So, there you have it: emoji is the new punctuation :D
I hope y'all like incomplete stories, because now that Dragon Age rules my life forever, I probably will never finish Roeke 03, haha.
God, I hope I'm kidding.
Not much time to blog this morning, so I just thought I'd say "Hi!"
Hope you enjoy the page, and we'll see you next week!
So, I just got done inking Roeke 03, and I must say, I'm a better artist now. Honestly, I think my art was better in the first one, too (with some exceptions), but maybe that was just Amanda's coloring :P. I'm mostly dissapointed with my inking on this page. Welp, I'll just have to do better next time.
For you, next week means the big throwdown with Roeke and The Spider gets underway. For me: I'll start color work on Roeke 03. With any luck, I'll have enough of a lead that I'll feel confident posting issue 3 pages twice a week! No promises though!
Alrighty, catch y'all next week!
Once again, if the print is too small, hit up the infinite scroll page HERE.
I know all the things about "BIOLOGY," all of 'em! Sure, Nyant is monologuing a bit, but that doesn't mean anything, right? I actually really like how his ideas come about stream-of-consciousness style. Like he's just spitting out some comforting thoughts when all of a sudden wheels start turning, puzzles start fitting- and the scientist kicks in! We'll see where that leads us next week, eh?
Today I did the layouts for Roeke 04. I am jumping all over the place on this book. I technically still haven't even finished this issue. I still have one more page to color, it's just there's soooooo many things in that page! It's intimidating :P. I'm just under halfway through inking Roeke three. So, uh, progress is being made, so I feel like I'm allowed to feel accomplished, right?
Keep it real, y'alls!
First, if the formatting here has made all that text too small, you can check out the larger version at the bottom of this page(Roeke 02 Infinite Scroll).
This relationship I'm establishing- and all the things about to happen in/to it. This is the heart of the story for me. This makes the comic more than just fighting lots of robots. I'm excited to show y'all.
Someone complimented my facial expressions last week. Unfortunately, the way I had my form submission set up, it was anonymous, so, uh... thank you anon! I have the form set up proper now, so I'll be able to personally thank anyone in the future. And, for more traditional comments, that the whole world could see, we have the comments here on each blog post, too!
Well, typing with long nails is annoying, so I'm gonna stop and go cut mine. See ya next week!
What up, party people?
Not much going on in Jhustoe-town right now. Fighting a bit of a cold. I haven't worked on the comic much lately, in all honesty. Thank goodness I have a few page tucked away, eh? Hopefully this week or next I'll get back to it in earnest.
James and I are re-visiting and old comic idea that we think maybe, just maybe, it's time has come. We'll see. If anything, it might be fun to re-read and probably revise some old scripts!
Gonna keep 'er short n' sweet this week, so I'll leave y'all to it. That last sentence had a lot of apostrophes.
Be excellent to each other,
Gooooood Morning In-ter-net!!
Today, Roeke's crafty side repairs a busted elevator control panel. Oh, what excitement! Hahah. Pages like this make me realize why some people wait for pages to pile up so they can binge read ;)
Here are a couple picks of my table at Rose City, as promised:
I was going to post some photos of cosplayers, too, but Weebly is being annoying right now so I opted not to in favor of getting this post up this century...
But, there you have it! We'll see y'all next week!
Well, here we go, pretty old trick in the book-- continuing the previous page's dialogue on the next page for some dramatic/ironic dissonance.
It is also quite probably the worst single page I've drawn. I'm sorry. I like the design I used the for the title and credits, though, so... silver lining or what not.
Anyway, it's almost RCCC time! I WILL have a limited edition print run of Stage One for sale. And here's where you can find me:
I'm also going to have some prints for sale (if all goes according to plan). One fan art, and a piece featuring Roeke, The Guardian, and maybe some spoilers? Here's a sneak peak, as you might be aware, I'm ripping off- -er, homaging, Super Metroid!
Finally, I am tickled to present: Gamera vs. Gamora!
Well, that's it for today!
Hope to see y'all this weekend at the con!
Well, here we are: Stage 02 at last!
Other than James having already designed the robots, I am flying totally solo this issue! Writing, art, and color were all by me, so you know where to send your complaints ;)
Today's page sees us taking a step into Roeke's past, where we meet Nyant, her future baby-daddy!
AAAAGGHH! I'm Excited! I hope you are, too!! I'm also a bit anxious, as I'm doing this one all myself and I've never really done any coloring. I'm sticking with flat colors for a variety of reasons, but it's good enough for Hawkguy, so it's (probably too) good for me!
We'll take a trip down memory lane with Roeke while, in the present, she faces The Spider one on one! On September 3rd, we'll begin STAGE TWO: A SPIDER IN AUTOMATIC CITY.
See you chumps then, peace!
There's an amazing comic artist by the name of David Aja (pronounced A-Ha, as in "Take on Me"). He draws the Hawkguy parts of the amazing Hawkeye comic. He calls his layout/thumbnail sketches "Little Shits." So, now, let me show you my... little shits.
Wait. That didn't come out right.
SHIT, neither did that!
(okay, I'm done now).
Well, thanks for checkin' this out, y'all!
Next week, we'll chat with James and Amanda about their process (I'm doing the 'interview' tonight, as a matter of fact). Then, on the 27th, we'll maybe sneak a peak at issue 2, which'll start September 3rd.
Here are my initial sketches for the logo design. I stole heavily from Mega Man (I never bothered learning whether that's supposed to be one or two words). My favorite was making the triangle behind the letters into a digital blur.
Then there's my note to my sister, I left this on her desk one morning. She agreed!
Some of the first concepts for Roeke's look, and some bad puns. "No sunglasses (that's a bad idea)." I don't think I was actually planning to give her a scarf, I think that was a separate doodle, figuring out how to... draw scarves. There are a few attempts at naming the world this takes place in, not that it ever gets mentioned in the comic... . My initial instinct was my usual one with regards to giving her a thin jawline, but I wanted to work against my usual "type." The image of Roeke breaking down after losing Miri was one stuck in my head early on.
Here's a mix of my designs, and my practice sketches based on James' designs. The Torch and uppermost Spiders are me working from James' designs. The guardian and the Spider on the bottom right are my designs. Thank god for James, right? I do actually really like the Guardian here, but it was too similar to the Torch in the end (and I had no idea what to do with his legs...).
Here's my first Miri designs, complete with size reference to her mom, and some name ideas (none of which were Miriam, if you can't read them). I had Neene, Aldina, and Mynd. No, thank you, haha. Then, here's where I worked out Roeke's face and look, is she wielding a blaster of some kind there??? And what's with that mask, anyway? Oh, yeah, and I'm working out Roeke's name on this page, as well. ROKKA!
I was gonna throw the whole issue's layouts on here, too, but this is getting lengthy as is. Maybe that'll be next week's post? I still need to interview my collaborators, so I can get their voices in on this thing, too. Anyway, take it easy, folks!
Okay, week one of our behind-the-scenes/hiatus extravaganza!
This week will mostly be the process and ideation that eventually lead to what we now call Roeke. Fun trivia stuff like, the comic was originally going to be titled "Mother Bear," but my girlfriend (and others) said that that title was "Stupid" and "didn't make sense." Haha. My reason behind it was that a mother bear is downright fierce when protecting her cubs, made perfect sense to me. I don't remember my reasoning why, but at the time my heart was set on not using the main character's name as the title, and that clearly worked out for me.
When college was starting to wind down and I was getting ready to commit a good chunk of my spare time to making some comics I was trying to think of what comic I'd like to produce first. I wanted to do something short and sweet so I could just start putting stuff out there (most my ideas to that point were for long-running or ongoing endeavors... so the fact that I got myself down to a 5 issue mini is progress!). Amidst a blast of artificial Megaman and Metroid nostalgia (I didn't play those games as a kid, but rather discovered them as an adult) I'd begin to fuel a desire to do something with that kind of video-game progression; where the protag would get consecutively cooler upgrades in order to defeat their foes.
So, with that percolating in the back of my mind, I eventually came to the conclusion that the main bad-guy force would have to be robots, because duh. So, what were these robots after? What motivated my as-yet-nonexistent protagonist?
Well, the robot's mission came to me pretty quickly, and will be better revealed next issue (sorry, no spoilers!), but their target wasn't originally our hero's daughter- or child, even.
I consider myself something of a feminist, so I think - even before I'd made the actual plan- I knew my main character would be a woman. Especially since my favorite game in my "newstalgia" binge was Super Metroid. From there, and this might be problematic, but I ultimately decided to make the baby her child because I didn't want it to be read as "ONE WOMAN'S QUEST FOR A MAN." So, making it her child, though some people might scoff "OH, so the only thing you think could motivate a woman other than a man is her own child?" to me, inspired the kind of motivation I needed for her perilous journey. So, if you're skeptical, stick with me, because I think I earned the child as motivator. Anything else I came up with beforehand just wasn't strong enough, and 90's games had no subtlety, so this felt more authentic. If you're gonna traverse a strange land and fight deadly robots, it's gotta be for something REALLY IMPORTANT.
So, Roeke must save her child from Robots, cool. I can make a fun comic with that! At first, the kid was going to be her son, but, following the same logic as above, I didn't want this to be the "my life is worthless without boys" book, though I think it wouldn't have been so bad as it's her child , but we've got Miri now, anyway.
After that, I sketched and brainstormed what kind of sweet upgrades she should get, decided what order to get them in (gotta escalate!) and worked out what/who my villains were gonna be. Upon reflection, I think that's where the robots idea really came from, they were cool things to fight AND a vehicle for Roeke's upgrades, it was a twofer! Thanks, Mega Man! And when it came time to plot, I figured the home invasion and 3 on 1 unfair fight would be a good way to set everything up: personal stakes for Roeke, establish the bad guys she can't hope to fight with just her fists- or all at once, for that matter, and show her doing better with an upgrade (Spider's arm) to establish my modular video-game hero. In a real video game, if it wasn't a cutscene, it'd have been a mandatory defeat first level (a la Mega Man X).
Well, as we wrap up this week's post, one more piece of trivia for ya: "Megamom" was a term coined by my then-roommate, Sifa, who used that as shorthand to remember what project I was talking about when I mentioned Roeke (as I have other things cooking and we'd discuss all of them, it helped him keep it straight). If I took myself just a little less seriously, and could get over having a title too close to Mega Man, you may have been reading MEGA MOM instead of ROEKE, heh.
Next week, I'll get concept art and page layouts up for y'all, then hopefully an interview with James or Amanda the week after that.
I made a comic once, it ended up being called "Roeke."
So, next issue, Roeke's getting out of the forest and into the concrete jungle, where there's trouble a plenty waiting. That, however, will have to wait until September while I work on coloring that stage (that is, I'm getting a head start) throughout August.
But, as I said last week, I plan on supplementing with more behind the scenes material, so you'll still have SOMEthing to check out in the interim.
So, those of you checkin' us out every week: THANK YOU! I really hope your enjoying this book, 'cause I got four stages to go and a lotta Robots to kill. And now that stage one is done, you can binge it like you do on netflix. Tell a friend!
Also, speaking of robots, big ups to my man James Lloyd-Knox who, I promise you, delivered way cooler robot designs than I could have come up with on my own. Particularly the Guardian, who I had the least grasp on conceptually.
Finally, three cheers to Amanda Brewer, the patron saint de los colores! Back when I was first writing and drawing this, I realized I kept imagining things in color when I coulda made it black and white. I knew jack squat about coloring, so, naturally, I passed the buck-- and boy, what a great call that was! Now the bots (particularly the Torch) really glow with energy, and we've got our 8-bit skyline keeping my early 90's action game aesthetic alive!
Anywho, see you next week for BTS, and September 3rd we'll find...
A SPIDER IN AUTOMATIC CITY!
Da Daa, Da Daa!
A pretty quiet page with a time lapse, and our penultimate update for Stage 01.
What I could barely manage in B&W, Amanda has made all better with her colors... namely, the transition from late night to early morning. That is one bright-ass moon, eh? I think we did a decent job of making Roeke look like she's about to transition into sleep-walking, too.
Next week, we will be giving you TWO pages! Mostly because I feel that the last page wouldn't stand very well completely on its own, as the page before it leads right into it. Storytelling! And that is gonna wrap up stage one, we did it!
I don't know if I told you guys this, but I'm learning to color myself now, so I can let Amanda get back to our other project, Autumn. I'm five or so pages through issue 2 on that front, and when that's done I'll just have lettering to do.
That being said, I'm new and slow and coloring is sometimes kinda frustrating! In order to be absolutely sure I can keep pace with my one-a-week schedule, we're going to be taking August off, and starting stage two in September.
But, I plan on giving you at least SOME excuse to come to the site in August, as I'll publish more behind the scenes for issue one! In addition to my own concept sketches and page layouts, I wanna get James' robot concepts in here with maybe some commentary from him. Ooo, and let's interview Amanda or something and she can tell us about her process and NOT killing me! :P
Other than that, we're just a couple months away from me tabling at my first con! Rose City Comic Con (RCCC) is September 20 and 21. I plan on having a limited print edition of Roeke 01 for sale there, and maybe some art prints or something? And Jenny bought me a card-reader for my phone, so's I can take credit cards for payment there, woo! I went overboard and got extra exhibitor badges for everyone so it could be a packed table at times, haha. Don't know what, if anything, James and Amanda will have there, but you can meet them and thank them for me :) I'm sharing the table with my buddy James Ratcliffe (dubbed "Sleazy James" to differentiate the two), so you should check his stuff out, too!
Interested in attending the con (and why wouldn't you be)? Check out more info and see my name in the exhibitor-artist alley list at http://rosecitycomiccon.com/
Well, that ended up being a long one! Come on back next week for the final TWO pages of Roeke 01!
Quiet page, Manda color good
TWO pages next week, end of Stage 01!
BTS in August, Stage 02 starts in September!
I do my own coloring in Stage 02 (and beyond)
RCCC's gonna be crowded Sept. 20 and 21
All those water jugs I drew and Roeke collected are coming in handy!
This page is essentially the mission statement of where the book will be taking us next. She's going to "the city," taking on the 'bots one by one, and finally assaulting Sky Base Zero to get Miri back from "him."
We also take a moment to show even the toughest mom's need to have a good cry now and then, as the adrenaline gives way to the crippling fear she must be facing.
Unlike some people drawing this comic, Amanda has proven that she pays attention to light sources, or the lack thereof. Her rings around the last fire dying out I think really turned that big mess panel into a neat composition, without sacrificing any of the "your home is ruined" detail.
Now, Roeke is all packed up and ready to start her adventure. Next week: moonlight and woods! Can you even stand the excitement? :P
Until next time...
I hope upon seeing the title of today's blog you all finished it in your head with "Never Surrender," because I did. :)
Well, the robots have won. Poor Roeke. Comic's over now, guys, you can go home. HA! Just kidding. If you think a little unconsciousness is gonna stop our intrepid heroine, you've got another thing coming!
Artistically, this is one of my faaaaaaavorite pages. Can you tell we had fun with it? I loved tilting the "camera" with Roeke's POV as she hit the ground. Then the drifting out of and then back into consciousness like a falling leaf. All of which Amanda nailed and enhanced with the color art. All to end with the super pulled back long shot, showing just how alone she is now. What a bummer!
Well, you basically have to come back next week, right? Who could leave it be on this note?
Until next time!
I've never really thought this was something that people take stances on, but I am decidedly pro-sound effects. Yes, it can be done wrong or cheesy or what-have-you. But to have NOTHING there? You mean that explosion didn't make a sound? Dumb.
I'm a fan of the Torch looking back over his shoulder like, "She's still up?"
Well, we'll see how long that lasts, now that it's three-vs.-one.
I really like that action streak amanda did in the jump-kick panel, like it's popping on contact with Roeke. Neat design. And did you guys catch my Spider-Man swipe in panel 7?
It's 10:30 and I'm rockin some Ida Maria as I prep this page to be published.
The Guardian stands revealed, the last- and deadliest- of the 'bots! What is it guarding anyway? Definitely not Roeke or her house, dats fo sho. The two close-ups are my favs of this page, especially Roeke's "oh shit" face at the impending rocket. Manda made Guardian's death-stare robot eyes real scary. Good job.
Then we end another page with Roeke rushing to catch up with the other robots, who are escaping with Miri!
Win or lose, this fight's wrapping up soon... we're rootin' for ya, Roeke (except James, he has a tendency to always root for cool robots, even if they're the bad guys).
Don't miss the next exciting page, same 'bot day, same 'bot website (or whatever)!
Neither these robots nor Roeke seem to be giving in, eh? And that foot kicking Roeke looks a bit different then the two robots we've encountered so far, wouldn't you say?
Drawing wise, panels one and three are still some of my favorites from the whole issue. Which is then balanced by panel 8, where I forget how to anatomy.
If you notice some of the shapes and backgrounds come out a little blobby? That's all me. AmTip (like a pro tip, but from an amateur!): The more corners you cut as an artist, the more knives your poor colorist will be stabbing you with later. So, uh, let's give it up for Amanda for not committing fratricide! Yaaaaaay! ;P
Well here's the "script" for page 16 and 17.
Well, it's almost 11 and I gotta get this thing posted. Catch you folk next week!
Haha, get it? I wonder if "achievement writer" is a paid position. Hire me!
Do you like looking into Roeke or Miri's eyes? Well, thank Amanda, 'cause I just drew some ovals and circles, she's going in and rendering them herself because otherwise they "look funny." I didn't even ask her to, she just does.
That very middle panel (#7) was difficult for me. I still don't know if it worked or not. Does it look like she's trying to push off from the Spider with her legs? That's what I was going for.
The blood Manda colored adds so much more weight to this scene then when it was black and white. I wanna get her a tissue.
She's fairing pretty well for it being two on one, and now she's got a weapon! Come back next week to see how that changes things...
Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Well, the fight's out! Robots are lookin' to punch Roeke's lights out. She better back up, and guard her grill...
Choreographing a fight scene is a really fun challenge. Getting Amanda to color it without a proper script is a mean mean thing, though. But, as you can see, we got through it. Panel 5 is definitely my fav on this one, with the robots calmly walkin' out on her. Those dicks!
Then I'm gonna end every page with Roeke charging, haha.
Well, page 14 is pretty much exactly the same as my layouts. But look at panel 1 of 15, completely different angle! I think that is one of those spots I made a conscious effort to get more profile shots in, so as to elicit that side-scroller feeling. Also, dramatic foreshortening is hard :P
Anywho, think that's it for this round, see youse guys next week!
Born in California, Justin now resides in Portland, OR. He's had a passion for comics from a very young age