Comics in Transit: Doors of Copenhagen

Doors of Copenhagen comic

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.

Patreon Hiatus

Project Status: HIATUS

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!

HitRECord Emmy

HitRECord on TV Emmy Card


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.

VanCAF 2015

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 VIP package

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.

Learn Clear Storytelling

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:

Learn Clear Storytelling from Steve Rolston

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.

Weird Sequence

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.

Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon

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?

DARKEST DUNGEON is available now on Steam Early Access.

Doors of Copenhagen

Doors of Copenhagen

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:

Why You Should Take My Comic Making Class

One of my recent comic students, Michael Weber, has started posting a series of blog posts under the heading “How to Make Comics the Steve Rolston Way”, discussing his experience taking my classes. If you’ve ever been curious about the part-time course I teach at VanArts, these should be an insightful read for you.

As a teacher, I’m finding it very interesting to see someone really think about the course they took and express what they got out of it. Michael was a very enthusiastic student and I expect to see a lot of comics from him in the future. Keep an eye out for his current project, The Dawn Line.

If you live in Vancouver and want to learn some tricks about drawing comics, my next course starts up on March 16th. You can get more information and register online at the VanArts website.

INKtober 2014 Wrap-Up

INKtober 2014 Wrap-Up

I just got a chance to compile all of last month’s #INKtober sketches into one big image. These are all characters who will likely show up in the Trapezius Pepper story that I’m currently trying to wrap my brain around (in addition to some of the characters I drew during previous #INKtober challenges). I do like having this visual representation of Stoutsburg’s citizens to help me keep track of everybody. I’m tempted to pin all these mugshots onto my wall and use string & post-it notes to chart everyone’s relationships and affiliations. Conspiracy walls aren’t JUST for detectives and crazy people, right?

INKtober 2014

It’s that time of year again! Keeping up the #INKtober tradition, I’ll be creating an inked drawing every day in October. I’m sticking with my technique of doing 3″x3″ head shots, which is usually manageable even on busy days.

In previous years I drew a bunch of random characters to see if I could come up with any designs that might fit in the Trapezius Pepper comic I was wanting to work on. In 2012 I focussed on human characters and in 2013 I focussed on bears and raccons. This year I’ll be tackling humans AND bears AND raccoons. And now that I’m picking up steam on the comic and have gotten further into the writing of it, I thought I’d focus on specific characters I know will be in the story.

This first sketch is of Trapezius himself. You can never get too much practice drawing your protagonist.


If you want to see more concept stuff from the Trapezius Pepper comic while I’m still working on it, check out my Patreon and consider becoming a patron:

I’ll do a round-up blog post at the end of the month but if you want to see my INKtober drawings every day, follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr.

Each of the original drawings will be available to purchase as soon as they’re posted on my Instagram. You can get one for $10 USD via Paypal (includes shipping). These inked drawings are on 3″ x 3″ pieces of bristol board, signed on the back. Email me at to call dibs.

You can also check this blog post to see which original art from previous years is still available:

And if you want a nice collection of my 2012 & 2013 INKtober drawings. you can get a digital version (pay-what-you-want PDF) from Gumroad or you can order a physical booklet from my Etsy Shop.

If you’re an artist, I hope to see you join in on the #INKtober challenge. And I hope the rest of you enjoy the show!