Archive for January, 2010

Some development art for a new project. I did 7 designs. 7 slightly different characters with different treatments. I learned what I think will work and what won’t in the book. I seem to need to do 2 or 3 small finished pieces when I start work on a new book. Even if the pieces pull away slightly from the actual content of the book, doing them helps me better focus on the dummy and, I guess, think about how to solve the more difficult issues present in the dummy while I consider the style and techniques. Now to finish up the dummy!

From pencil sketch, finished in Photoshop.

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I will be reading The Book That Eats People and discussing my upcoming picture book and graphic novel projects at the West Linn Public Library Tuesday, January, 26th at 6:30.

I’ll have some sample/development art from upcoming projects and will be talking about how I develop graphic novels and picture books.

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This was done in Photoshop. From a rough sketch. It’s taken a while to get it ‘almost done’. I think I started the pencil of this 3 years ago. I wonder how much longer until it’s ‘done done’? With projects like this, I’m usually playing with an idea or a style and the getting it done part isn’t as important as what I learn from it. I’ll have some new projects to announce and some updates soon. Maybe even some sample art from them.

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Another slightly off topic post. I’ll get back to posting some of my own stuff soon! And I have some really cool new projects I can talk about shortly.

Anyhoos- Stephen Silver, the amazingly talented character designer has a new series of documentaries he has been working on. First up is a two hour documentary about Mort Drucker.

It’s part of the Schoolism online art class, Master Series, if I am reading it right. Anyway, it looks really interesting to see how Mr. Drucker works and watch him draw and paint and hear his point of view. It’s amazing how fun it is to watch an artist draw. A big part of what makes comic conventions fun is getting a chance to stand back and watch someone like Brian Bolland draw and paint.

Watch the trailer for the Mort Drucker documentary on YouTube.

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Apple vs. Google.

Welcome to my off topic, technology rant Tuesday.

Looks like both companies are putting on the giant, inflatable boxing gloves. The mobile casual computing/entertainment space is real now. And the future of watching entertainment is going to be brand based. Not channel, not time, not network, not cable company.

The one thing I never hear analysts talk about when they discuss the upcoming war between the Google phones and the Apple phones is the power of the iPod Touch. Apple is the only player with a non-phone device that shares the platform. It greatly expands the platform, and allows for people to own a phone and an iPod Touch. It’s a super cool, portable computing iPod. No phone contract needed. The phone and the particular network the phone is on isn’t what matters in the long run.

It’s the width and depth of the platform. By looking at the Touch market along with iPhones you have an attack on this segment that Google will never have until they step out of just making phones. Of course they don’t have the iPod and iTunes integration to offer a product with compelling multimedia wings.

Soon Apple will release a tablet/reader that will attempt to be the portable casual computing machine of the future. The platform will grow again. Add calling over wi-fi and the Touch could grow in a different way. Add video conferencing to the tablet and it grows out again. And they share a common development platform.

Too many companies haven’t cast a wide enough net to understand what portable, casual computing is. The phone isn’t the centerpiece. It’s just a feeder. And look at the money and resources the mobile phone companies have wasted on horrible technology through the years. Phones were difficult to maintain, they offered no good content, and the hardware was bottom of the barrel in design and interaction. These mobile phone companies had no vision other than getting people to sign onto contracts for phone service. They limited technology development because it wasn’t in their interest or abilities to expand it. They were mostly fat, happy cats. Every once in a while they would buy one another, or fight over dropped calls or who signed more people, but they never looked beyond the end of their noses which were mostly stuffed with dollars.

One company changed that. But already the phone IS the MacGuffin. Everyone is now chasing the wrong thing.

Apple has made everyone take their eye off the ball, to use a horrible sports analogy. The phone companies still have no idea. So they create lots of phones with ‘touch screens’. Because that’s what’s good about the iPhone right? Touch screens. And making sure you can slide stuff around, we need that, right? It’s like adding rubber wheels to a horse drawn cart and calling it a Mercedes.

Useful devices are the key. A common, robust platform that supports casual, multimedia enabled devices is the promised land.

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