February 1st was Hourly Comic Day, where people do a tiny comic for every hour that they’re awake. I had posted mine on Instagram and Twitter (hashtag #hourlycomicday) throughout the day but here’s the entire load compiled together:
Wow, has it really been 5 years since I’ve had something new on comicshop shelves? Well don’t cry… the wait is over!
PUBLIC RELATIONS #6 is in the current Diamond Previews catalog with a launch date of March 9th. Our publisher, Devil’s Due / First Comics is also putting out a collection of the previous arc, so everyone can catch up if they’re late to the party.
I should note that someone screwed up and the Previews listing says #6 is still being drawn by David Hahn, who valiantly pencilled the first five issues. But ignore that. It’s me. Cross my heart.
PUBLIC RELATIONS is a workplace comedy that takes place in a magickal kingdom. It has both dragons AND dick jokes! Written by funny guys Matthew Sturges & Dave Justus, pencilled by me, inked by José Marzán Jr, coloured by Hi-Fi Color and graced with covers by Annie Wu. Are you sold yet?
Head on down to your local comic shop and ask them to pre-order PUBLIC RELATIONS #6-11 from Devil’s Due for you. Maybe ask for that first collection too.
Here’s a sample page from #6 to let you see what you’re in for.
I’m going to be giving my talk on creating comics at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library on the evening of Thursday, January 14th. I’ll be discussing the basics of drawing comics and explaining the typical stages of script, thumbnails, pencils, inks and lettering, using examples from the graphic novel Emiko Superstar. The event is free to attend.
This is a good talk for those who are new to making comics and want to get a glimpse at how another artist does it. This will also give you a good idea of the types of things I teach in my comics course at VanArts. My next course there starts up on
January 25th UPDATE: We’ve pushed the next start date to February 15th.
Here’s the one-page comic I created for the COMICS IN TRANSIT project put together by Cloudscape Comics and the City of Vancouver. Twenty different comics by local artists are gracing some bus shelters for the next month. Each comic is only at one location and I don’t know which one mine is at, so let me know if you see it!
You can find a list of all the locations on the Cloudscape website, where they also have information about a contest they’re running. Basically, tweet a photo of yourself in front of one of the comics and you can win some Cloudscape comics.
Some of you may recognize the doors from the photos I took while visiting Denmark, meant as reference for another comic. When this project came along to create a one-page comic about an international city, it was a no-brainer to tackle Copenhagen in this way.
A little over a year ago I started a Patreon account so people could get a sneak peek and support me as I worked on a new comic called TRAPEZIUS PEPPER. But the project has been on “semi-hiatus” for the past 8 months as I’ve been busy working full-time as a storyboard artist.
It’s time for me to officially bump our status to “HIATUS” with a capital H.
The storyboard work has been going really well. I’m improving my storytelling skills and paying bills while I’m at it. The downside is that it doesn’t leave me with much time or energy to put toward my own projects.
I don’t know how long the hiatus will last but my current plan is to stick with storyboarding for a while longer. I want to get the loan sharks off my tail before I take another gamble on creator-owned comics. So I’ll be putting this project on the backburner until I can properly dedicate my time to it.
The Patreon account is going to stay online so people can still see the practice pages and process posts I created for it. Feel free to sign up and pledge at the $1 level so you can see all the posts. You won’t be charged! I’ll make sure to give everyone plenty of warning when the hiatus ends and it’s time to start charging for new content.
I’m very grateful to those who have already shown an interest and given me their support. Know that I WILL be returning to this project. I have a bunch of ideas for stories and games in the world of TRAPEZIUS PEPPER and I’ll be tinkering with those ideas whenever I get a chance.
Thanks for checking out what I’ve done so far!
This card showed up in my mail the other day, thanking me for my contribution to HitRECord on TV’s Emmy win for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media.
For those who don’t know, HitRECord is an online collaborative art community started by Joseph Gordon-Levitt back in 2005. It’s since evolved into a production company that makes books, short films, music and a variety show from the creations that its 80,000+ users upload and remix.
I haven’t had time to contribute anything to the HitRECord community in quite a while but I’m glad it’s still active and stronger than ever, fueled by Joe’s infective creative spirit.
If any of you out there are looking for a place to share your artwork/stories/photos/music/poetry/animation/editing skills and you want to see what others can transform those creations into, go hit up HitRECord. It’s also a great place to riff on other people’s ideas. Anyone can contribute.
And I see Season 1 of HitRECord on TV is now available on Netflix! If you see a herringbone pattern in any of the HitRECord stuff, there’s a decent chance it’s one I drew.
Heads up to those of you in Vancouver, BC! The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival has released their 2015 VIP packages that I drew a postcard for. These goody packages are $20 each and there are only 100 available. They include:
– Ten limited edition VanCAF 2015 postcards, featuring exclusive art donated by Molly Applejohn, Laura Bifano, Tyler Crook, Kadi Fedoruk, Hazel, Steve LeCouilliard, Dylan Meconis, Steve Rolston, Morgan Shandro, and Tara Williamson;
– An exclusive VanCAF 2015 poster art print, featuring art by Nina Matsumoto;
– Five raffle tickets for the VanCAF 2015 gift baskets, with contributions from Oni Press, Metropolis Comics & Toys, Opus Art & Framing Supplies, Urban Fare, and more;
– A VanCAF vinyl slingpack, for all your loot-storing needs;
– Two refreshment vouchers;
– Reserved VIP seating at all events in the panel room.
VanCAF will be held on May 23-24 at the Roundhouse Community Centre and admission is FREE. This is the only show I’m scheduled to attend this summer, so make sure to swing by my table if you go.
My former student Michael Weber has posted his third and final blog entry about his experience taking my part-time comic book course at VanArts. He’s titled this one:
That’s definitely something I emphasize in my class: making sure it’s clear to the reader what is going on and where they’re supposed to be looking. In this post, Michael shows how I coached him through a particularly tricky sequence in his Dawn Line comic. He had some cool ideas on how to lay out the panels but it took some tweaking before we got a version where we knew it would be read in the correct order.
My notes on his work also highlight just how much thought goes into drawing a comic page; whether it’s composition, timing, continuity, physics, legibility, sound effects or the many other things a comic creator has to consider. If I see my students doing something that could confuse or annoy their reader, I will call them out on it so they know to avoid those problems in the future.
It’s nice to know that Michael appreciated my critical eye and the advice I had to offer. If you’re interested in having a similar experience and you live in Vancouver, check out my Intro to Comic Book Production course. The next course is scheduled to start very soon, on Monday, March 30th.
Chris Bourassa, the artist behind the new game DARKEST DUNGEON, asked me to do a pin-up to celebrate its release. I said HELL YEAH! So here’s my attempt to capture a crew of treasure-seekers delving into the depths of horror known as the Darkest Dungeon!
The game is a challenging gothic RPG about the stresses of dungeon crawling. You will lead a band of heroes on a perilous side-scrolling descent, dealing with a prodigious number of threats to their bodily health, and worse, a relentless assault on their mental fortitude! Five hundred feet below the earth you will not only fight unimaginable foes, but famine, disease, and the stress of the ever-encroaching dark. Darkest Dungeon focuses on the humanity and psychological vulnerability of the heroes and asks: What emotional toll does a life of adventure take?
I was in Denmark for the holidays and while there I spent some time wandering the streets of Copenhagen. I got in the habit of stopping to take a photo whenever I saw an interesting door. Some of the elements and details you see here are what I’m hoping to infuse into the architecture of my next comic, Trapezius Pepper.
In particular, I expect I’ll be drawing plenty of tall double-doors to accommodate the bears who live among the humans in the fictional city of Stoutsburg. I’m still debating how many buildings will have tiny doors as well, to make things easier on the raccoon citizens.
You can find out more about the comic by visiting its Patreon page: www.patreon.com/steverolston