Everafter #6

I drew issue #6 of EVERAFTER for Vertigo Comics. It’s a stand-alone story, hitting comic shops on Feb 1st! It’s a spin-off of FABLES! Go get it!

Experience the dawn of the Everaftering through the eyes of the legendary magician, The Amazing Szymon! At a crisis point in his tired career, the Amazing Szymon is on the verge of throwing it all away when his tricks of the trade are suddenly revitalized by real and inexplicable magic. After Feathertop intervenes with a promise to guide this new Fable in exchange for his service with the Shadow Players, Szymon’s mission to rescue a Mundy pop star from a distant goblin realm reveals sinister underpinnings.

Written by Dave Justus & Lilah Sturges. Pencils by Steve Rolston. Inks by Ande Parks. Colours by Michael Wiggam. Cover by Tula Lotay.

www.vertigocomics.com

Hourly Comic Day 2016

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:

Public Relations #6 in Previews Catalog

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.

Public Relations #6 pg 18

Comic Lecture at Vancouver Public Library

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.

See more event details here. 

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.

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!

www.patreon.com/steverolston

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.

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.

thedrawnline.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/why-you-should-take-steve-rolstons-comic-making-class

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.

I Just Launched a Patreon

patreon_name_and_message

You may have seen me talk about a comic idea of mine called TRAPEZIUS PEPPER. It’s a project I’ve been wanting to write & draw for quite a few years now. A series of comics revolving around a writer-turned-gambler in a city filled with crime, corruption, mystery and, of course, talking bears and raccoons.

I’m getting serious about it now and have created a Patreon page so people can show support for the project by kicking in a little bit of money each month.

With this Patreon, I’m going to take TRAPEZIUS PEPPER from a collection of scattered ideas and form it into an ongoing webcomic series launching later this year. Since I’m still experimenting with the visual style and character designs, I’m going to start off by drawing some one-page comics to get a feel for it. And I’ll be giving my Patreon supporters exclusive early access to that work for as little as $1 a month.

Patrons who pledge at least $3 will also get access to Creative Process posts where I show off and discuss how each page comes together. Go on, head on over to my Patreon page to find out more! And spread the word!

www.patreon.com/steverolston

patreon_process_taste

If you want more of a taste, you can download my digital #INKtober sketchbook, RACCOONS & HUMANS & BEARS, OH MY!, which is a collection of character designs I was exploring for the TRAPEZIUS PEPPER stories.

One Bad Review

I just stumbled across Hansel Castro‘s unflattering review of my 2003 graphic novel One Bad Day and I think I’m in love with it:

One Bad Day cover“I recall Steve Rolston’s artwork for Greg Rucka’s “Queen and Country” never impressed me: the simple cartooning was at odds with the maturity of the story. He draws and writes for his own graphic novel, 2003′s “One Bad Day.” It’s a fluffy, familiar Hitchockian tale. Marie Leblanc is a “wrong woman” who inherits a singularly unimpressive McGuffin” and is pursued by varied thugs and a killer with the heartless name of Tinman. (That the Tinman has a clingy girlfriend that shows up at the scene of his hits is the novel’s most clever idea.) Ed Brubaker described this as “Slacker Noir”, which is about right: this is noir (albeit printed in green ink), and it’s not trying too hard.”

“RATING: GOOD ENOUGH”

It’s a somewhat brutal review but I can agree with most of it. I mean, I definitely tried my best but not everyone’s first graphic novel is going to be solid gold. One Bad Day is out of print but I still have some copies available in my Etsy Shop if you want to judge this “good enough” comic for yourself.