Monday, July 25, 2011

Dressing as Mario

For some reason the other night, I was inspired to draw an outfit based on Mario. Of Super Mario Brothers. But for a girl. I wasn't even a big fan of Mario. Something just struck me on Saturday and I had to draw it.

Mario Outfit by ~lunavalse on deviantART

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Comic Review: Ghostopolis

I read Ghostopolis by Doug Tenapel because I have been reading and enjoying his web comic, Ratfist. I really just grabbed it and didn’t read about it before reading the book. Though Abe warned me that it was published by Scholastic so it really is a children’s book, which is good to know but doesn’t taint the book at all.

Art: 4 stars
I enjoy the art in Rat Fist. I actually enjoyed the art in Ghostopolis even more. The art style is vibrant and active. I think the main difference is the colorist. As much as I enjoy the colors in Rat Fist – it is very appropriate to the story – I enjoyed the colors in Ghostopolis even more. The colors are vibrant but not garish.

Story: 4 stars
Again. I really enjoyed it. It is definitely a children’s story with some jokes slapped in like a made-for-tv kids movie. Sometimes they took me out of the story, but fortunately there are few of them. And I laughed at pretty much all of them. (What a dork, haha.)

The characters are funny. The main dude is not very likeable, but that seems to be the point. Benedict Arnold made me laugh every time he came up. All I had to do was see his hilariously portrayed face. I really enjoyed a lot of the characters and wanted to see much more of many of the secondary characters.

Unfortunately, the ending was abrupt and weird. Perhaps even preachy. It felt like there should be so much more story. It reminded me of the Wizard of Oz, but if after saving the scarecrow it had dawned on Dorothy to click here heels and head home. It is like he had a page limit he couldn’t go over and the first ¾ of the story took longer than he anticipated. It was a bit of a let down after getting to know and enjoy the characters so well in the first part.

Overall: 4 stars
Definitely recommend. Based on Abe’s suggestion, for not much younger than a 10 or 11 year old. I wouldn’t say it has much more complex ideas than the first Harry Potter. The story discusses death and time travel, sort of. It’s a little sad, but not horribly so.

I was really happy with this and would like to find more books by Mr. Tenapel. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite creators. It sounds like the Rat Fist web comic is wrapping up, so I really hope he starts up a new one when he is done. He has an interesting art style and ponders interesting ideas in his stories. It was an interesting story and I am glad I read it.

You can read Abe's review here. Some fan art from yours truly.

Ghostopolis fan art by ~lunavalse on deviantART

Friday, July 15, 2011

Coyote and chicken

I am getting ready to do a short comic about chickens and coyotes so I drew this to practice and see if I liked the style I had pictured in my mind. I do. I am actually pretty pleased and I think this comic will end up pretty awesome. It is based off something I wrote in junior high. Maybe even grade school.

Coyote and Chicken by ~lunavalse on deviantART

You know what else I did tonight, I already made a 4 panel sumi-e comic. 4 pieces of paper so we'll have to bring it to my mom's and Abe can prepare it there.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hellboy cover recreation

Dark Horse had a contest (due yesterday) to recreate a Hellboy cover and Ten Ton Studio encouraged people to join in by having it be their sketch contest theme. So I sent it in to both. It is a recreation rather than a reimagining, but it was so fun to make. I finally got a large watercolor brush and that allowed me to do the background in that way. I definitely plan to do more watercolors.

Hellboy-Wild Hunt 5-FanArt by ~lunavalse on deviantART

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Green Lantern movie

Well, Abe had to work late the other day so I decided to pick him up and watch Green Lantern while I was waiting. I went in with horrible expectations based off the reviews I had started reading (and then stopped to miss the spoilers). I even brought some books as a back up for something to do if I was so bored I had to walk out. But I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, it wasn't a great movie by any stretch of the imagination. It would have been good-looking cgi if it had been the 90s.

What I didn't like? The glowing costumes were dumb. Especially the painted on neck collars and mask. I didn't like that the mask went down his nose, but I looked it up and that is really how he was designed. Doesn't make it less stupid. And the painted on parts of the costume made sense since they are energy from the ring. Still looked dumb. And the main lady actor wasn't great. She pulled me out a couple times with her bad acting. At least Ryan Reynolds was consistent. I think consistency is more important than occasionally good. And there was some story stuff that didn't make sense, but I think that was because they wrote it with the intention of it having at least one sequel. Which is rarely a good idea.

But I kept my expectations low and tried not to over analyze while I was watching it and just enjoy it. But really, Josie Campbell on CBR has a review that is pretty much the one I would write. :)

Also, I actually enjoyed it enough that it has been on my mind so I doodled this today, very much inspired by the wonderous Kate Beaton:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Working away

Well, I finished the Herbert inks over a week ago. Abe very quickly (under a week in his spare time) got the whole thing laid out. We almost got the book published at Egress Studio with my mom last weekend, but page 5 of the print (page 1 of the story) was corrupted. :'(  So maybe in another week. We are heading up again on Saturday to finish all the projects that we started and never finished this past Saturday.

Speaking of, we had lots of plans for Saturday that we hope to finish. Abe was going to print Herbert, of course. But he was also going to print up more copies of our existing comics so we have a decent inventory for Jet City Comic Show in September. (Don't forget to come visit if you are in the area). These include more One Lemming's Loss and better copies of Harrowing Tales at the Bus Stop. Bus Stop was our first comic so we need to take another pass.

Abe also tried to scan a bunch of my watercolor paintings that we plan to sell prints of: Ogre Lolita, Resting, Pregopotamus, Dancing Lemming, Playtupus Valentines, Bowling Lemming, Umbrella Girl in Muddy Shoes, Two Birds on a Wire, and perhaps even Zombie Bear. We should also have some black and white prints with us: Eating grapefruit for brunch; and some Gertrude comics: Secrets, Trial and Error, and Xmas thoughts. May be I will try to have some more Gertrude comics by then.

While Abe was working on all that, I was working on the Crow story! Printing away. I finally found the printing paper I have been looking for since I first finished the linocuts. So far, I only have the first two pages printed, but it is so much faster using my mom's printing press than using a thing I can never remember the name of but is basically doing the same thing but by hand. So far, they are looking pretty good. Once I get all the pages and the cover printed on the press, I can take it all home where I have pretty much everything to finish the project - ink, brush, thread, awl, glue. Well, I might need to buy glue. And I will need some Davey board.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Comic Review: Blankets

Anyone who reads about comics has most likely read about Blankets by Craig Thompson. Since I have read about it so many freakin’ times, I decided to finally read it myself. It is a pretty dense book, an autobiography from when he was in high school and a bit of grade school. It was not quite what I expected, but I didn’t really have much expectation.

Art: 4 stars
The art was functional. It was a style meant to tell a story. And it did that very well. The style changed to fit the story while still remaining consistent. An admirable feat, now that I think about it. At times, the art was strikingly beautiful. There are pages or panels that I could see framed on the wall, particularly the snow and the trees.

Story: 4 stars
It didn’t amaze, but it amazed me more as Abe and I discussed it.  The story is sweet and slow, worth a read. Thompson’s book covers his first falters with god and his first love and how his relationship with god and his girlfriend affect each other. I’m not a religious person. Most of the issues that bring about his quandaries and qualms were what made me become not religious in grade school.  So I have a hard time identifying with his problems. I also didn’t date in high school, so 0 for 2 there.

He seems like a bit of a drama queen, at least as the story is told, and a bit of a fire bug. But maybe I am overreacting as someone who never gets rid of anything. Granted, he is a teen. Lots of teens are fire bugs and drama queens. He is quite passionate. I did find myself wondering how much of the story was exaggeration. I did not really like the girlfriend because she was so contradictory, but she is really a tragic character. There isn’t a way out of her situation and that makes for this back and forth trying to find the right answer.

I found it thought provoking. All of the characters seem pretty tragic, which is even sadder in an autobiography. He never directly writes about it, but he seems to have been in almost as bad a situation as his girlfriend. While hers was all about her environment and not really directed on her, his was all directed on him, physically and emotionally. Instead of showing the abuse on himself, he more hints at it by showing his inability to protect his brother from the same fate. She couldn’t leave her family in the lurch; he could leave but he was so young and lost. Some of the past he reveals leaves me wondering how this book affected his relationship with his family. It is heart-crushingly real at times.

Overall: 4 stars
I would recommend Blankets. It is an interesting story, though sad, and I read through the whole thing. I bet it would be more poignant for people who have struggled more than I have with their faith.

Abe also reviewed Blankets.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Coyotes and Chickens

My next comic, since I am all done drawing the Herbert story, is about chickens and coyotes. So I practiced drawing those fellas and here they are.

Chickens in a coop! Chicken Coop!!  Cartoon chicken saying "Wha?" and a couple quick sketches of people dancing a jig. What could this story possibly be about?!
 Chicken here. Chicken there. Chickens everywhere!!
 Coyotes. Both realistic sketches and a few different styles of cartoon.
Well, I am not sure I found the style yet. So more practice is to come.