IGN on Neozoic

This morning Paul just emailed over a link to this really nice review of issue 3 over at IGN. News to me, I had no idea they reviewed comics, but what really grabbed me was this nice big shiny banner on the side:

Check the score, 8.5 outta 10~!!
Made my morning it did. It's nice to see the book finally getting some serious attention.


Neozoic FCBD preview, Issue #3, other things

There you have it, the first two pages of our FCBD one-shot freebie!

Pencils/Script: J.Korim
Colours: me!
Concept/Editing: Paul Ens
Letters: Troy Peteri

Diamond pre-order code: FEB080036

As I mentioned in a previous entry, Korim took up writing duties for the one-shot. The other day I had the chance to peek through the finished PDF file with the letters and everything and found some minor changes to the script. Shouldn't be too much of a big deal as the main point still gets across fine, overall the finalized version kept the flavour from previous issues. I don't think many people would notice the difference.

I'd love to show the original rough layouts and all but nah, don't want to spoil the fun just yet. It's gonna be a while before May hits.

And speakin' of which, just heard some bad news from Atomic Robo's Scott Wegener about FCBD since we're basically gonna be in the same book. I didn't know this before, but apparently since Red 5's one of them "Silver Sponsors" we don't get the same privileges as the Big Two.

Will someone please explain this discrepancy to me? That almost negates the purpose of having FCBD to begin with!

And then I read this little footnote on the official FCBD site:
* Each retailer will decide the guidelines for receiving comics.

Bottom line: Bug your comic retailer to grab some FCBD freebies!

By the way, if anyone hits CTRL+F for "RED 5" on the FCBD Silver Sponsor page, you'll find that we're right under the compilation comic Imaginary Friends are putting out.

Spread the word, share the love. And remember, it's FREEEEEEEEEEE!

[Issue 3 and other things ▼]

At a seemingly-but-not-quite-so-ungodly hour of 8:45am this morning, I woke to the sound of fists pounding at my door. Peeking outside the window to see a FedEX truck by the driveway, I raced downstairs and finally got my hands on a white package from Red 5 comics containing my copies of Neozoic issue #3. Usually I'd expect a key from the postal office in my mailbox so I could unlock the parcel locker, but this works fine too. [Thanks Mr. Chitwood!]

Looking through the issue I can say it's fairly close to what I had in the computer. If the pages look too dark in places it might possibly may be my fault. Other than that, YEY IT LOOKS GREAT! But what are those fuzzy white dots on the pages? *rubrubrub.. Oh it's gone, never mind. Oooh, the paper feels nice and texture-y~! Ahem.

At the back, behind some of Korim's Talpid concept sketches, you'll find bios from some of the people at Red 5 along with all the order codes for our back issues. My ugly mug's in there; if someone's saluting at you, that's me.

In other news, I got interviewed by Comics and Other Imaginary Tales! Suffice to say, even though it was over IM I was a little nervous with Gwen so I broke out in boring semi-technical speak here and there. I used the word "varied" quite often, because these days there are like a bajillion ways to colour comics as opposed to flat colours or black and white way back when. There's cell-shading, there's gradients, there's vectors, there's dodge and burn, there's traditional and mixed mediums... Regardless of how different or similar some methods are, everyone's got their take on how something should be done.

I was lucky to be raised in an age where comic colouring took on more importance in the business. At first there were people like Liquid!, then there were the colourists at Dreamwave Productions who threw anime-styled cell-shading in the mix along with Udon Comics who also introduced the world [and impressionable young artists] to Hyung Tae Kim and other digital painters on the internet. Oh and how could I forget Ashley Wood, he was the perfect example of a do-it-all guy who could make comics the kinda artwork you could put in an art museum.

So yeah, I come from the school of thought where comic colours aren't just something to slap on pages. Considering the workload many colourists tend to have, throwing colours down does sound ridiculously tempting. Some of us don't, because purposely doing a bad job on a book regardless if anyone notices or not, reflects badly on us as professionals. Call it pride if you will, in the end many colourists just want to do a good enough job they won't kick themselves for.

I tend to kick myself quite a bit still. Ow.

On a semi-final note, that 10 000 BC movie looks pretty cool from the short trailers I've seen. I should check it out soon.

Issue 3's out tommorrow by the way.
Anyone gonna grab a copy?


#3 Coming SOON!

So far I've been able to sniff out a couple reviews by the following places that have received advance copies, in case anyone wanted to know what others might've thought about the book:

It's hella early to ask but if anyone else out there did purchase a copy or happened to flip through it at their comic retailer, I'm curious to know what you guys thought of this issue as well.

Kinda wish we had an official Red 5 forum for this stuff, but y'know... Better than nothing right?

[Hope this crazy ass weather lets up soon. Ugh.]


Neozoic FBCD short DONE!

As of 1:17AM yesterday morning the last page was coloured and uploaded for Troy to do his lettering magic! Eight pages of freebie goodness done! I felt like a train letting out steam at a platform.

Allow me to say the f-word. That was so.. Much. FUN.

Korim and I chillaxed a bit on the short since the layouts themselves were very simple and there were no crazy battle sequences like in issues 3 and 4. Even without the speech bubbles it was very easy to tell what was going on. Speakin' of which, the FCBD roughs he sent me actually had some dialogue he wrote up for fun. Dunno if there were any script changes since then, I remembered it being a rather cute read.

"Cute" in terms of short and sweet badassery.

Takes place way before any of the events in issue 1 came around. One of the dinosaur species from a previous issue makes an appearance here, but there's no real way of knowing which one it is because that issue won't be out till the end of May.
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Doing the FCBD short felt like working on a clean slate. No more yellow-orange-y backgrounds for me, yesiree. This month's inspiration for colour cues was a bunch of stuff from J. Scott Campbell's MySpace page that Korim emailed me, most of which were beach/city scenes that had very vibrant summer sunset-y colours like purple, magenta, turquoise...

I went with green. Trust me, it worked. Made popping things out a whole lot easier with the colour contrast and everything.

There was still plenty of silhouette action going on, lighting effects were a no-brainer except on this double page spread where I maxed out all the lighting potential it had short of throwing on the dreaded lens flare.

Learned something new again, I got to try painting water splashes which I've never done before. Was kinda fun actually. Google was my best friend in helping me figure out how I could try going about that stuff. I would almost hope for an underwater fight scene somehow someday, because trying to duke it out with a giant dino with lesser chances of survival in the sea than on land sounds awesome to me.

Some more of that funny revision business happened again:
- forgot the PDL logo on some of the shoulder guards
- painted clothing bits as armour and vice versa in one panel
- shifted the last panel up to make room for a mini-ad
- forgot to paint in some of Lilli's eyebrows

Had to stop what I was doing for 10 minutes each time to fix them up and re-upload. Oh man. My mind must be slipping.

In any case I'm glad the short turned out alright. I really hope that anyone who gets the chance to see it will have yet another reason to check out the series.

[Some tidbits about issue 5, Paul tells me it takes place mostly at night, which means I get to rearrange the colour pallete!]


Retrospect on issue #04

There's just something that's gotta be said about books that are done months ahead of their release. I mean this issue isn't gonna be out until the end of APRIL.

Now hey what am I talkin' about? That's what this blog is for!
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Issue 4 picks off right after the last panel in the midst of the chaos that was issue 3. This time around it focuses a little more on the characters, so that pretty much means no dinosaur stampede orgy [WHOO HOO]; though of course that doesn't mean no obligatory fight scenes with the big guys and tons of debris flying everywhere. To my count there's at least 3-4 of them.

There's still a bit of blood to go around, me I'm wishing I got to paint more of that and maybe some viscera like in issue #1. Ah well. Word of advice, don't ever piss Lilli off. She'll spray your pants with flesh-eating acid and you'll find yourself living a scene outta Planet Terror. I know she don't look it, but she can be sensitive. Korim's been pulling off better facial expressions lately, so I thought I'd kick it up a notch and make 'em go BAM like Emeril.

Time-wise the sun's still making the big rise in the sky, so the theme in this issue is orange. Lotsa orange.. Dust clouds.. Oh, and rim-lighting! Korim asked me to put in some more of that ala HTK, but not as in-your-face since he knew it bugged me that it was an oft-abused technique and all. I said "ok", and did it sparingly just enough to help pop out more objects against the lighting. There's a whole buttload of back-lighting action going on in #4, so making out the shapes was really important.

I noticed there was this funny trend where in each issue there were double page spreads on 2-3 and 22-23. It got broken as of now, there's just one of them this time on a different page. *GASP! Reduced lag times on the computer! Whootages!

Some of the technical problems behind issue 4 were another story. Korim was sick in the middle of all the winter downs when I accidentally killed my Graphire 2 with some static electricity. We had roughly a week until the deadline on top of that.

While panicking/waiting for more pages I got me an emergency replacement tablet, a Wacom Bamboo Fun, which oddly enough made me think of pole-dancing pandas. It was alright, but the texture on the tablet surface wore down the pen nib like crazy, just using it for three days wore it down by almost half. Then there were those irritating driver glitches where the response got cramped and sluggish at random times, new driver or no. Usually that bit was easily remedied with a quick reboot.

I figured out why the USB cable on the Bamboo had two ends, it was so you could easily unplug and plug it back in whenever it tried to sneak back into crappy default mode. Also made a somewhat-wonderful discovery: my Graphire 2 pen works on a Bamboo tablet. So yay! I have a spare!

Time was a little tight on issue 4 because we had to prioritize the FCBD short. Luckily Paul helped buy some time because Troy was generous enough to give us an extra 4 days to finish off #4 and the short, given he's been busy juggling lettering duties on other titles. Sorry for cutting it so close every time. Thanks man, we owe you one.