Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Process OR How I do what I do!

I draw first in Photoshop. I'm not used to using paper anymore, because I like selecting things and moving them around. I get very frustrated with erasing. Then I move into Illustrator and make most of the basic shapes, and flat colors. Then I make shadows until I'm satisfied.

aaaand this one's gonna hold still.

Edit: This book is now available for sale on Amazon!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mothership Goose OR MAYDAY MAYDAY

I'm trying to have Mothership Goose all done and pretty for Alabama Phoenix Festival in May, and every time I'm getting close I remember another hundred things I've got to do!

So I'm hunkering down, putting in 110%, giving it everything I've got, I'm going to work hard for the team, I'm bringing my A game, and I'm going to leave it on the court, and at the end of the day it's gonna show.

Then I'm going to tear it up next season.

Alabama Phoenix Festival

Edit: This book is now available for sale on Amazon!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Zita the Space Girl OR of Sontaran Voltorbs

Vanna Bear has the day off, so here, have some weeds!
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke is a graphic novel (recommended for 8 yrs. and up) about a girl who gets sucked through a portal to another planet.



It’s a wonderful little gem I accidentally stumbled upon. This adorable drawing of a girl riding a huge mouse led me to Hatke’s blog, (if you know me at all, you know giant, rideable rodent are a dream of mine) which led me to Amazon, and before I knew it I was clicking BUY.

Hatke gives us a classic hero’s journey in an imaginative, sci-fi setting. Our protagonist, Zita is a compassionate and feisty girl, who meets a bunch of lovable, flawed new companions and scary aliens on her quest to find her friend who was kidnapped by a deep sea helmet with mechanical tentacles.

Oh no!

My favorite things about Zita:
  • It’s about a female hero. She’s so realistically a young girl I was not at all surprised to read the Hatke has three daughters. She’s frightened, idealistic, so sweet, and brave. It’s always nice to have female protagonists, but often girls have girl problems (like boys, social problems, family). Instead we get a classic damsel in distress, with the roles reversed, the boy needs rescuing, and the girl gets to be the Hero.

Usually it's a hot chick in a bikini tied to a rock. Gotta enjoy the novelty.
  • She rides a giant, sentient mouse.
  • None of the characters were perfect. Our group of heroes were broken and flawed, and it made them relateable and compelling. (A broken robot, a gun happy prototype, a con man, and a little girl walk into a bar...)
...And the doorman makes them leave.
Who would let a little girl into a bar?
  • The story is self contained. While there is a sequel to Zita, the first novel is a whole story beginning to end. I remember being particularly frustrated as a child (while stealing my brother’s comics) about cliffhangers and to be continued’s. There’s nothing worse than an unfinished story. (I’m looking at you Peter Jackson.)
  • Hatke has a great colorsense. The palette is soft and consistent. I love a man who knows his colors.
Someday I will genetically engineer the perfect mouse mount! MWAHAHAHA

  • Threat of apocalypse = automatic +5 bonus points!

All around excellent book (especially if you’re looking for something to get your kid’s interested in graphic novels or science fiction!), 183 pages of pure, epic fun! With laser guns! Pew pew!

If you like Zita, you'll like:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Covers for Sale! Get your covers here! OR an open letter for Indie Authors

Step right up, step right up. We've got it all. Graphic covers, photographic covers, illustrations beyond your wildest dreams!

You, Sir. I see that look in your eyes! Interested in a cover or three, Sir? Let me show you a little about our quality, quality covers, Ma'am.

I'm officially open for commissions! 

Especially for you, Indie Authors and Self Publishers, you're my favorites. You work so hard navigating the madness of publishing, not to mention how much love and energy you put into your creations. You deserve a break. Let me help. 

I want to make a beautiful, 100% orignal, perfectly tailored cover for your novel. I promise to love and labor over your cover as much as you love your book. I have reasonable prices, and I'm willing to work something out if you're on a tight budget. Believe me, I know how it is.

If you want a cover that will stand out on a shelf or a table as not being the same old book cover, you've come to the right place!

I also do anything else you could ever want.
  • Web Ads
  • Page Layout
  • Promotional Materials (bookmarks, business cards, mailers)
  • Add type to an image you already have
  • Advice about design (this one's free!)
  • Fix a design you don't like that someone already made you
  • You name it, I can do it.

Covers usually range anywhere between $75 and $300 depending on the level of complexity. Superpowers cost more. Even if you're on a tight budget, email me anyway, maybe we can work something out.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Royer Goldhawk OR: How I Leaned To Stop Worrying and Love A Plethora of Typefaces

Cover design for my sister-in-law's upcoming novel Rescue or, Royer Goldhawk's Remarkable Journal.

The cover is styled after dime novels from the late 1800's. My word, did those Victorian designers like them some typefaces!




So much paper is sacrificed in the name of design!
It's okay, I printed on the back too.
Types I used:
And a hand done version of Algeria:

Goodness do I ever love free stuff.

Friday, March 1, 2013

They Draw and Cook OR I may draw, but I don't cook (but people I know do!)

This week I was a featured artist on They Draw and Cook! I was one of six recipes on the homepage, along with five of my fellow Electric Keychain peeps and our contributors.

Click to see my recipe page!
Screen capture taken February 25, 2013

Check out the rest of The Electric Keychain's recipes!

Anna Coburn’s Tipsy Oysters

Go to They Draw and Cook! Our recipe's will be up until Sunday!