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More Reader Love!

As you may now know,at least I kinda of hope you do, seeing as you’re on my site and all, I write a graphic novel series called Lost Bread. Since I am just starting out on this publishing venture, I want to make it clear to my fans how much I appreciate them. I have stated that I will hand sign each order, and am happy to write a custom message or abide by special shipping instructions.

So far I’ve gotten a few that stand out. The tamest, albeit first, was for me to “Seal with a kiss.” I inked up my mouth (a taste I will never forget) and planted an indelible smooch on the inner cover.

Then there was the request to “Package with love.” That reader was treated to an envelope filled with heart shaped confetti (plus a comic of course.)

Next, I was to receive the request to sign “To my Puddin'” while dressed up like Harley Quinn. You can see the somewhat disturbing results hereĀ  (Personally, I think I look more like Yzma from “The Emperor’s New Groove.”)
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Alas, it was the best I could do! I can’t make myself more attractive (unless you guys buy enough comics to foot the bill for some serious plastic surgery! I kid, calm down!)

Another reader demanded that instead of packaging his order with love, I instead “package with disdain.” Hopefully, he posts pictures of the end result!

This latest request was a doozy!
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If you aren’t an obsessive Ed Wood fan like myself, you may have no idea who the people listed there are. Let me elucidate.

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Vampira (Maila Nurmi) The precursor to Elvira in the 1980’s, Vampira was the original horror hostess. In the 1950’s she provided sassy commentary and campy schtick to accompany late night monster movies. After being fired from her network, she would accept a role as a zombie bride in Ed Wood’s notoriously so-bad-its-beautiful masterpiece “Plan 9 From Outer Space”.

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Bela Lugosi portrayed Dracula in the original 1931 film. His performance set the president for every actor to take on the part in years to come. In his later years, Lugosi was rejected by the studios that had once courted him. He was sited as being difficult to work with and battled an addiction to heroin. He would be given a second chance at stardom, and eventually become the cult figure he is today thanks to Ed Wood’s films “Glen or Glenda”, “Bride of The Monster”, and “Plan 9 From Outer Space.”

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Tor Johnson a.k.a “The Swedish Angel” was a wrestler whose imposing appearance landed him work in Ed Wood’s “Bride of The Monster” and “Plan 9 From Outer Space.”

My challenge was to combine all three of these iconic personages into one entity! Here goes!

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“Here’s your order sir!”

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“You will sign for this package, I command you!”

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I love it. I’m like that crazy old guy at the Goth club who elbows into your conversation andĀ  wants to brag about how they saw “Nine Inch Nails” before they were big. Actually, I think I am that guy. Damn it!

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“Want to hear some of my dark poetry?”

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Anyway, I hope the promise of watching me humiliate myself at your command might encourage you to buy some books and prints from my super happy store, right here, on this very site! What will you force me to do?

I have no shame, but I do have morals, a day job and family, so lets keep all requests PG and non-permanent. For instance, I’m not going to cut off my pinkie finger and include it it the order, so just stop asking! Granted, it is the least useful of fingers. I mean the only time you really need it is if you were say, having tea with the queen of England (pinkie’s up!) However, I want the option to wear a gaudy pinkie ring to accessorize my velour track suit when I get older and hairier. You wouldn’t want to take that joy away from me would you?

Thanks for reading, and keep the humiliation coming!

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I Love My Readers!

In case you didn’t know, the paperback version of “Lost Bread” has just gone on the market. I sign each one myself, and customers can order a personal dedication written just for them, no extra charge! This one below has to be the most creative request I’ve received to date!

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Those of you who know me in real life may be aware I have a slight infatuation with Harley. As far as I know, I’ve never met the person who placed this order, but with the impending release of Suicide Squad, Harley has been getting a lot (overdue) attention.

A lesser writer might have scoffed at such a request, rebuking it with a cry of “but I am AN ARTIST!” However, I love my readers and I love challenge!

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Some of you may not know that I am not only a comic book creator, but also a prop maker and makeup artist as well, with a heavy focus on special effects work. Trust me, making myself passably “cute” requires some heavy special effects.

Wigs, grease paint, ample padding… okay, were in business! Shout out to John Blake Wigs and Ben Nye make-up! I don’t work for them, just swear by their stuff!

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I even set up a little Arkham Asylum backdrop… complete with bats! (Thank you Micheal’s Craft Stores!)

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I hope my Grimerica shirt bounces back from having been stretched out like this. Honestly, I felt like I had padded the bustline a lot heavier than I did, but in the picture it looks pretty minimal. And while were talking about Grimerica, you should know that one dollar of every sale goes to support the podcast!

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So, to the fan who made this request… you’re welcome! To the rest of you, sorry for the nightmares this may induce!

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Do you have a request for a custom signature? (Lets keep it family friendly and non-permanent please. For instance, I’m not tattooing your name on my rump. If you read my comic, you’ll know that real estate belongs to Grimerica anyway.) Since you’re already here, why not buy a comic from my shop and leave me some special instructions in the order form? I’ll make it easy for you, click this link: http://www.lostbreadcomic.com/product-category/books/

Both books and artwork are available!

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And just in case you were worried, I turned right back into the same dork you know and love (or at least tolerate) except with way greasier hair from all the makeup remover I had to use!

What’s your request? Order a comic and make me your book bitch, I dare ya!

 

 

 

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The Comic Process

For the last two months now I’ve been working in my spare time to crank out a new issue of “Lost Bread”, a comic series for The Grimerica Show that chronicles my lucid dreams. It drives me nuts, sitting here, etching each tiny little line on my tablet. Don’t get me wrong, I love to draw (otherwise I wouldn’t bother.) It’s just that, dreams are so instantaneous, and making a comic is…well not. I have so many dreams in my journal waiting to be shared, but the process of transcribing them for eyes other than my own is laborious. However, I feel its crucially important to spend whatever time necessary for each and every image drawn to match what I saw in my head (otherwise, what’s the point?)

Since it looks like there’s still going to be a bit of a wait on this one, I thought I’d show you the process I go through in creating a panel for “Lost Bread”. I normally jot or rather tap my dreams down into iphone notes first. My trusty phone is always there waiting for me on my nightstand. I do this the moment I wake up, be it the middle of the night, early morning or an afternoon nap, so that I can still remember everything clearly. Then, I create a script, in a program called Celtx (free online) You could just as easily write it up in Word, but Celtx lets you divide your script up into panels, pages, captions and characters just by using a series of hotkeys. It makes trying to block out a comic a little bit easier. In addition to comics, it has settings for screenplays, stage plays and audio, all of which have their own specific format.

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This blog is going to follow the process used for the panel scripted as #12, but in the final layout, it wound up becoming #13. I go through several layouts before I’m happy with the end product. The first in the series is my “slop” layout. Here I’m just getting a very basic idea of how I want things to be positioned in the panel. I do some chicken scratch to represent the text, and make sure I won’t be crowding out any of my characters with rogue speech bubbles.

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After I do this, I normally sketch out the focal characters in the scene, conveying their body language and emotion. Here, my brother, Marco, and I have a spirited argument, as we often do.

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Yes, words to live by! The characters in this are actually reversed from their proper placement in the scene. I do that a lot. A little backstory here: I struggle mightily with spatial relations, to the degree that I have to actively think about which is my left and which is my right. Funnily enough, its never affected my reading, so I can’t claim dyslexia, just temporal confusion.

Knowing this about myself, I’ve found little ways to work around my handicap. For example, I used to work on ships, (I’ll tell you about it sometime.) For whatever reason, starboard and port click for me, where as right and left don’t. When I’m driving, my friends will call out directions as starboard and port, instead of right and left, so I don’t miss a turn. That doesn’t help so much in drawing, but you know what does…

Mapping out my scenes physically, so I have a reference.

 

Here I’ve mapped out the upper edge of the Campanile di San Marco using my art table, and created mock ups for the characters in clay. The bend in the clay shows me wind direction, which I’ll reference when drawing hair and clothes. My character (Nap) has a purple tip, (front left, er port, wait does a table have a port side?) The others all have their own unique markers to help me determine who goes where. This shot is just for place reference.

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Then I take another shot, with my iphone, from the angle I’ll be drawing.

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Now I can create my panel.

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Here are the characters in their correct placement.The pink colour is set on a layer below the line art, and will eventually be replaced with the final colouring. I’m not going to show you the final colouring here, because I want you to actually read the comic, and I’d hate to spoil the surprise. The pink just helps me differentiate these characters from the eventual background.

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I add in the floor tiles, to help give me a sense of space, and the box which will bound this panel.

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I use GoogleEarth to get an idea of what the view would be like from the corner of the Campanile my scene takes place on.

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And background is go! Now let’s add in some of those crazy balloons! If you’re following the series, you’ll know what I’m talking about, if not check this madness out! (by which I mean, click this link.)

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Again, I have these balloons set in a pastel green just to differentiate from the main background and the characters in the foreground. Now I’ll add in some more balloons in the distance, to create a sense of depth.

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And that panel’s pretty much where I want it to be for the now. It needs a little clean up (the largest balloon is breaching the panel’s bounding box) but as far as just getting the line art down, we’re good! Hope you enjoyed this little look behind the scenes, or were at least amused by the pictures. If not, sorry I guess. Either way, I’ve got to get back to comicing!

-N