C2E2, Meeting Art Spiegelman, & May Update!

Hello everyone! Dave here. Just wanted to check in and share a quick update on some things.

*Gordie Gnomo #3 is looking at a tentative release schedule of either July or August

*Neslow’s Story: “A Rabbit’s Rite of Passage”, the Neslow rabbit origin one-shot is 80% complete and should be ready by mid-June! (Fingers crossed)

*The Color Edition of Gordie Gnomo #1 is now out of print and we are still selling the remaining stock. 

*Speaking of color, there are no plans to produce any further color editions of the series, until the possibility of a trade paperback in the future. Right now, we really can’t afford the time to produce the color books and are not interested in hiring a colorist quite yet. That being said, all future releases of Gordie Gnomo books will be in black & white (with color covers).

*We are switching to a new printer. There is no confirmation yet, but we are very close to making our final decision. Reprints of #1, 2 and all upcoming issues will be printed with whoever our new printer will be.

*I’ve been in the middle of moving and working as a caricature artist and really busy, so a lot of that has been taking time out of my schedule to work on the comic. I’m working on a little bit each night while I also try to get my proper doses of rest.

And now for a RECAP of the past few conventions:

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C2E2 was awesome! Chris and myself took the train to Chicago in late April to go to one of the biggest conventions in the U.S. We didn’t get to table this year unfortunately, due to the fact the show is HEAVILY juried and we didn’t quite make the cut. That didn’t stop us from going as attendees and having a great time though! We also managed to drop of a copy of Gordie Gnomo to Kaboom Studios, the all-ages publisher owned by Boom Studios. No guarantees if we’ll hear back, but it was worth a shot. Of course we met some awesome people, too.

Claudio Sanchez of Coheed & Cambria, and his wife Chandra Eschart, co-authors of the newly launched “Translucid” from Boom Studios.

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imageChris’s photo with Claudio is classy with a touch of black & white.

Claudio Sanchez of Coheed & Cambria, and his wife Chandra Eschart, co-authors of the newly launched "Translucid" from Boom Studios.

I was very happy to get my Coheed & Cambria albums and 2 different cover variants of “Translucid” #1 signed!

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Chandra Free, author/artist of the “God Machine”

Here we have Chris Sopsich recording a podcast with Chandra. It’s called the Hopscotch Podcast! You can listen to this episode and Chris’s other podcasts HERE:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf_wBLjFIFQ

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I’m sure Chris was very pleased to pick up one of her excellent Henchmen illustration prints, too!

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Of course we had to catch up with Dirk Manning, author of “Nightmare World”, “Mr. Rhee”, and “Write -Or- Wrong: A Writer’s Guide To Creating Comics”. Dirk is such an incredible and outgoing person. We always make sure to say hello and chat with him for extended time at every convention we see him at.

It was a VERY busy convention weekend, and we were exhausted. But man, it was one of the most memorable shows I’ve ever been to.

Previous to C2E2, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to meet Art Spiegelman, author of the critically-acclaimed "Maus" at a wonderful keynote speech at Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, MI where I went to college. The event was called "What the !@#$ Happened to Comics?!" and covered a brief summary on the history of comics as a legitimate art form.image

Soon after I met Art, I thanked him for his impact on the industry and his visit to Ypsilanti, and even passed him a copy of Gordie Gnomo #1. I’m not sure if he’s the type of guy to enjoy our work, but I felt compelled to as a sign of respect and appreciation. Want proof? It’s right here!

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Shortly before that, I visited a huge anime convention in Lansing, MI called Shutocon, where I met the ever-so-nice and funny Rikki Simons, best known for his role as the voice of GIR on Jhonen Vasquez’s “Invader Zim”. He was also a background painter on Invader Zim as well as one of my childhood favorites "Jackie Chan Adventures".image

I really dug his hairstyle. Maybe I’ll try it out sometime if I can manage to a find a strong enough hairspray or gel. 

ANYWHO, that was a lot to write and my fingers are cramping while I type this. I think I’m going to get back to drawing Gordie #3, so it can come out in time for the mid-Summer!

Thanks for keepin’ tabs!

Sincerely,

Dave J. Woodward

Co-Creator/Illustrator of Gordie Gnomo

S.P.A.C.E. 2014

It’s time! Convention season in the Midwest has finally arrived and as Chris & myself prepare for more shows, I would like to reflect on our adventures at the Small Press Alternative Comics Expo (S.P.A.C.E.) 

S.P.A.C.E. for those who aren’t familiar is an annual comics convention held in Columbus, Ohio where the entire line-up of artists & writers are experienced or new coming independent self-publishers. Seeing as Gordie Gnomo fits that category perfectly, this was the perfect show for us to meet fellow indie creators!

Most of the time I was drawing away new sketch cards and talking to all kinds of talented people. Here’s a shot of me at the table.

Photo Credit: comicrelated.com/news/25052/space-coverage-hub

Jimmy Gownley, cartoonist and creator of "Amelia Rules!" was our table neighbor and was debuting his latest book, "The Dumbest Idea Ever." It was the first of his books to be published under the Scholastic/Graphix imprint. It is also Gownley’s first attempt at writing a memoir, and deals with his teenage years as a self-publishing comic book creator and his first series "Shades of Gray". He was such a nice fellow to talk to and told us all these great stories about his experiences with touring Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” studio. 

We also met up with our awesome friend Shana Schottenstein, a very talented illustrator and animator whom was a student of Joe Murray, creator of animated hits such as "Rocko’s Modern Life" and ”Camp Lazlo”. As many of our followers know, Chris & myself are BIG Rocko fans and Joe has had a tremendously large influence on our work. She showed us her studio space and a load of her animation work.

You can see more of her artwork here: http://shottsy85.deviantart.com

Also featured at S.P.A.C.E. was my friend Bruce Worden, creator of  "Woodstalk: 3 Days Of Peace, Music and Zombies),a very witty and charming comedy about what would of happened if the Zombie Apocalypse happened during Woodstock 1969, starring none other than the British Invasion band themselves, The Zombies! 

I actually did the inking work for the newly release 3rd issue, which you can read as a free preview on Graphicly HERE: http://graphicly.com/black-market-books/woodstalk/1 or order it in print from HERE: http://www.sketchsketchsketch.com

During the after hours of the show, we dropped off some fresh copies of Gordie Gnomo #1: Color Edition and #2 at the following comic shops:

The Laughing Ogre and Comic Town

One awesome feature of the Laughing Ogre is this giant Phoney Bone statue (from Jeff Smith’s "Bone") located in the store entrance!

So if you’re from the Columbus, Ohio area and like what you see, please take the liberty to stop at these shops and pick up a Gordie Gnomo book from their indie/local section!

In the next entry, I will go over our trip to C2E2 in thegood ol’ “windy city”, Chicago, Illinois!

Issue #2 NOW ON SALE!

You can NOW purchase GORDIE GNOMO #2 on the Square Market!

Click HERE: https://squareup.com/market/gordie-gnomo-comics

All copies purchased through here will be signed by Chris Sopsich & Dave J. Woodward

Issue #2 and Struggles of Self-Publishing

I must say, Chris & I have been squirming in our seats in anticipation to release the long-awaited 2nd issue of Gordie Gnomo TODAY on this Wednesday, March 12, 2014. We will be picking up a small batch of copies of Issue #2 of Gordie Gnomo from the printer tomorrow. As some of you may know, we completely self-publish Gordie out of Michigan. As many self publishers do, releasing a new book isn’t as frequent as we’d like it to be. Cripes, the first issue came out in August, with a limited experimental color edition to follow-up soon after! image

The biggest question we get regarding this 2nd book is "why did it take 6 months to complete?" Well part of it was pretty personal on both of Chris & I’s ends. Here’s the lowdown about beginning as self-publishers. We pay for all the production, printing, and promotion of Gordie Gnomo all out of our own pockets. We work our butts off. Chris and I both usually outline vague story concepts on our own time, and eventually Chris stays up long, late nights until he has a script draft up to his current satisfactory. He’ll usually do about 2-5 more drafts of the story until we both review it and are confident with the direction.

As for production, I basically do all the physical artwork. Which also means I’m VERY slow. I storyboard thumbnails, pencil, ink, letter, edit artwork, and design the layouts, logos, and color the front and back covers. When we’re really in a time pinch, luckily I have Chris trained in lettering and coloring to lend a hand. I owe him my fondest gratitude for dealing with my slow production habits. Part of it is because of fitting in the time for other responsibilities and priorities, but another huge factor is the desire to make HIGH quality work. I want these books to look as good as possible, just as much as Chris wants to keep his humor and stories as tasteful and funny as possible!

This means that our own self-inflicted deadlines can be a struggle to manage. After all, we are only on our 2nd issue right now. We’ve already got another 6 issues planned ahead of time so there’s a big head start in material on the wait list to be illustrated. We also print locally through an independent printing company in very short driving distance from both where Chris and myself live. And with every printer, there is always expected to be possibilities of delays, and they have a million other orders to fulfill from businesses all over. So yeah, waiting is another big part.

Here’s where things start to get even more hectic (and a tad depressing). I was in the middle of wrapping up my final semester of college when I began drawing Issue 2. Admittedly, I’ve had a very slow and difficult journey getting through college due to a learning deficiency in math. As many fellow cartoonists may relate, we’re not exactly the best at math. Being plagued with learning problems with math stemming far back to early childhood, I had to put in my 100% focus into getting the proper help and practice just so I could graduate college. Well, I finally did it! Thank goodness! Now let’s just hope that Bachelors in Fine Arts can actually help me….

To make matters worse, I also lost my day job shortly before Detroit Fanfare Comic Con. That’s right, I lost my job. Unfortunately, as much as it is my ultimate dream to be making cartoons for a living, that is simply not the case right now. I was “laid off” as some would say by a small company (who’s name I will not mention) where I worked as a Graphic Designer.  Even worse is, I had just resigned from my previous position as an Assistant Graphic Designer for my University so I could focus more on school, and also because I would be making more money at my new job.

Low and behold, that didn’t follow through as planned because apparently, a graphic designer was no longer affordable to have on staff and I was snubbed out after a month of busting my chops. It certainly left me feeling like a worthless post-college bum for the past few months. Don’t get the wrong idea when I say this, but it’s true: I’ve been searching for creative jobs for 5 months straight. I am no lazy bum. I’ve even gotten desperate enough to scope out retail and manual labor with no responses to my resumes and cover letters, as humiliating as it would feel to me. As I am writing this right now, my top priority is getting my life together. When you try to self-publish and can’t afford to distribute and promote your work as much as you’d like, it can definitely lead to higher frustrations.

On top of that, Chris even lost HIS job! He was “fired” for putting his 2 weeks notice in to quit said job in order to move elsewhere and instead of being given a respectful exit, he was insulted and canned instantly. Thankfully, he moved much closer to where I live and found a new job. Previously, we had been 4 hours apart which at times, made it very difficult to get work done. Especially when he lived in an area with little to no high-speed internet access.

It is a fact that Michigan’s economy is in doomsday zone. This entire state, especially the Metro-Detroit area where I live is completely corrupted and broke. We don’t need to get into the politics of this situation here but what I’m trying to say is I’ve been having a horrible time searching for jobs. It’s a bad place for artists (despite what a lot of people on the internet say). If you truly want to work as a professional cartoonist like I do, you have to leave the state (a subject I write about another time).

Back to the topic of the comic, it is with great pleasure that Chris & I both have such a rich, creative outlet to vent our frustrations with a good laugh through Gordie Gnomo. Just like Gordie, (a character whom Chris and I both see ourselves in), we’re currently struggling to establish our lives and move on from a difficult past (a topic that will be revealed for the series in a later issue).

Anyway, despite all these obstacles, I am confident things will get better. Sometimes life just walks right up to you and just kicks you in the ding-dong when you’re not looking. Things will get better soon but it’s been taking it’s sweet time. I just wanted to thank those who follow the blog and support our comic, because we are striving to do our best to provide you the best entertainment possible.

Oh yeah, and ISSUE 2 GOES ON SALE TONIGHT, MARCH 12th at 8:00PM (Eastern Time). I will post an update as soon as it’s ready. 

Cheers,

Dave J. Woodward

Co/Creator & Artist 

Issue #2 Sneak Preview

For our upcoming 2nd issue, we have posted a 12 page sneak preview of the book. We will have the comic available on our online store shortly within the next week as we straighten things out with our printer.

Cabin Fever (Stage 1)

Words cannot describe how badly I want to get back into promoting future editions of Dave and I’s comic series “Gordie Gnomo”, however I feel like forming words through this blog, the best way I can.  I don’t know how other self-published artists and writers deal with this current dead spot in the “convention off-season”.  Although a break is necessary (especially for us who need time to work on our stuff) these months have produced the equivalent of “cabin fever” in me.  

I often reflect on the nostalgia of the excellent experiences I had in 2013 even though I only went to a few cons, but did they ever motivate me and give me thoughts of optimism for the subsequent years.  It gives me great joy that our 2nd story is done.  This Saturday we’ll be heading over to East Lansing for the MSU Comics Forum to debut the said story. I believe the art has improved tremendously as well as my writing.  I feel like this 2nd story more clearly illustrates my urge to make our comics into readable 22-minute animated cartoon episodes.  As a fan, I like when there are different plot threads that barely interact with each other throughout the “meat” of the story, but converge at the end to give better closure.  

This story certainly follows this formula which set a precedent for future scripts.  I think readers are definitely going to get a better grasp of this than in the first issue.  I want the reader to feel like they’re watching a television show, except that it is in their hands.  This Saturday I consider the convention season officially “open” despite how early in the year it is.  Containing my excitement right now is like a classroom of 12 year olds trying not to snicker in the middle of health class.  This coming weekend has the makings of being quite awesome!

-Chris Sopsich

Co-creator/writer

Gordie Gnomo teaming with Scratch 9 (Created by Rob Worley). 

You can check out more of Scratch 9 at the

Official Website

Scratch 9’s Facebook

Scratch 9’s Twitter

Gordie Gnomo character sketches. Gordie, Thaddeus Lard, Neslow & Faye (an upcoming character for Issue #4!)

Issues #2 + #3 - A Background Story

Greetings from Gordie Gnomo central!  Co-creator and writer Chris Sopsich here!  Following the debut of the first issue of Gordie Gnomo is the much anticipated second and third issues! (I’ll explain why I refer to them as a pair in a bit). 

I also feel I should provide a bit of background for these stories because I feel like the journey they took is quite interesting (or maybe quasi-interesting).  Issue #2 titled “Going Mentor” was originally a possible story following the original “pilot” issue (which I had little to no involvement in), and was honestly my first attempt at writing a full-length comic story. 

I had been working with a person of questionable character at my day job who was really the inspiration behind the main antagonist of issues 2 and 3.  He would constantly ask me for rides to and from work and would never pay gas money or even offer to.  This guy was the proverbial thorn in my side.  If you ever wondered who Gordie is based off of by the way, it is definitely a mix between Dave and I’s  work and life experiences, but this one was specific to me. 

While at work I would constantly think of dialog for another project, but for some reason I thought of writing my own Gordie story, just to have some involvement in the characters Dave and I originally created back in 2001.  Seeing as I was somewhat out of the creative picture at the time, Dave always told me the door was open for me to come back and contribute things here and there.  So one night (about a 3 hour writing session.)  I typed out a script that I thought would make for a funny future story for Gordie.  At the time Dave and an unnamed collaborator had finished the “pilot’ issue and began planning for #2. 

While they were doing this, I sent this script off to Dave and he loved it.  The plan was to continue with #2 and have this one be 3 or 4 or whatever.  I actually followed canon from the pilot issue and used characters from it.  When production for issue #2 stalled, the collaborator dropped out of any involvement with the series, leaving Dave the sole representative as well as a rough, incomplete 2nd script which was later completely scrapped. 

By this time I had moved to California to pursue a career in writing (mostly for animation) and was 2,000 miles away.  By mid-February, things weren’t going as planned and couldn’t afford to live there anymore, so I had decided to come back and write a new 1st issue, cementing my involvement fully in the series with me taking on sole writer duties and Dave drawing and inking it.  We were and are still the only ones working on this series. As the “new” #1 was being completed, I decided to re-visit my story I wrote a few years back.  I beefed up the plot, revamped the dialog and added more characters.  We had a fun time adding things in like sight gags and of course cameos from our friends. 

A few weeks ago, we came to the decision to split this unusually long story (estimated at 52 pages!) into two parts. It just so happened that my 3rd act had enough substance to be it’s own second part to the story, as well as a few fun extras.  This way, the reader (and especially us) don’t have to take out a second mortgage on their house to buy it. 

It also gives a theatrical feeling by having this story spilt in two (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, anyone?).  This wasn’t our idea initially, but it works out so who cares?  It’s also encouraging to note that I’ve also written issues #4 and #5 as well as another short story so I’m still cranking these things out every so often.  I’m looking forward to #2 being finished in the next week, so we can finally have more than one book to show you.  

It also excites me to say we will be debuting #2 (and maybe #3?) at the MSU Comics Forum in East Lansing on Saturday, February 22nd.  If you’re in the area, please come and see us!  If not, we will continue to update our convention schedule, so look forward to that.  Since this blog got a bit long, I’ll end it right here.  I look forward to posting more behind the scenes stuff as well as my general thoughts on things, so I hope you enjoy!

-Chris Sopsich, Co-creator/writer

Fan Expo Canada 2013 Part 2

And now it’s time for Part 2! I’m posting this rather late as I am side-tracked from various production work. I’m still finishing up the Color Edition of Gordie Gnomo #1. Chris has laid out all the flats and I’m rendering them. I’ll post the first 10 pages once the whole book is ready, just as I did for the black & white editions.

I last left off mentioning we had made a bunch of new friends! Sarah Joy, Vera, Lyndon Hoffman, Brice Hall, Nick Clark and many more! Chris & I couldn’t help but notice that Canadians, especially in Toronto were very polite and enthusiastic. I don’t recall meeting one noticeably unpleasant person throughout the weekend.

By the time the 3rd day, Cover A (featuring Gordie with his enchanted map) of #1 sold out first. I think it was partly due more to the fact we had more to offer than an attractive and well-received cover. Apparently I was one of the few artists that was openly doing commissions for caricatures. People truly love to see cartoon-ified interpretations of themselves! Here is one of my favorites I got to draw:

What a lovely couple! ^

As for regular commissions (where I would draw anything requested), those didn’t go too well. The #1 reason was due to the convention charging $300 for each table to have access to Wifi. With my trusty iPad, I was hoping to have an instant reference device on hand but with no internet, (or prepared reference from the commissioner), I was unable to fulfill one of my duties and promises. The fact that I got so many caricatures sold was wonderful though. To those who got one done, thank you so much! Your purchase went straight towards our production fund to get more copies of #1 printed as well as a boost in costs for Issue #2 to come out this Fall. It’s a big help.

I was lucky I was getting any artwork done on time at all too because my Pentel Pocket Brush was acting rather stubbornly. I’m not sure if it was due to the brand of India ink I was using or if I ruined the synthetic brush tip. Every 15-20 minutes I had to go to a restroom and wash the brush so it could have steady ink flow again. This particular brush is not supposed to have this issue either. Luckily it hasn’t been a problem since I’ve returned to Michigan, but I have also switched over to using a Winsor Newton Series 7 brush, which has been highly recommended to me for some time now. I prefer it much better!

We noticed a particular print of ours had also received a lot of positive attention too! On the back cover of Gordie #1, we feature a parody of Nestle Nesquik (a particular brand of chocolate drink that I have found increasingly disgusting with age based on its ingredients). Chris & I collaborated on this fake ad for a few months trying to solidify a concept and design and this is what came out:

The character portrayed in is the Neslow rabbit, a character Chris & I conceived many years ago but never developed until this year. I can’t honestly remember who came up with him first, but I fully credit Chris for developing him into something tangible so I believe he deserves the entitlement of Neslow’s existence. Despite it’s great reception and laughter-inducing qualities, it seemed that many people didn’t understand it was for sale! We were offering them for only $5 each, which is a steal price for prints.


We also had these for sale but could not successfully gain anybody’s interest in them. I believe it’s most likely because Gordie is completely new to Canadian readers, and not many people are familiar with me as an artist on a vast scale.

During the mornings before the convention and the evenings after, Chris & I got lost several more times but had a lot of fun to take out of it. We got to do some sight seeing and experience an uplifting and welcoming sense of city life. Of course it wouldn’t have been a visit to Toronto without gazing at the beautiful CN Tower! Here’s what it looks like during the daytime:

And here’s the CN Tower at night-time!

Check out these awesome sculptures from the Rogers Centre!

And here’s Air Canada’s Centre.

I think I’ve touched base on many more highlights here. However, there is still room for a Part 3, which will feature a montage of video footage for your viewing pleasure. I should have this final chapter of Fan Expo up much faster than this entry.

See you in Part 3!

-Dave J. Woodward

Fan Expo Canada 2013 Part 1

I’m really bad at updating this blog aren’t I? Hello everyone, and boy do we got news for you!

First off, Gordie Gnomo, Issue #1 is finally out! You can find copies at the following stores in Michigan:

-Fun 4 All Comics (Ypsilanti)

-Vault of Midnight (Ann Arbor)

-Green Brain Comics (Dearborn)

Comes in 2 variant covers! Which will you choose?

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However, Canada got its very first dose of Gordie just two weeks after its release in the lovely city of Toronto for our last minute appearance at Fan Expo 2013! Not only that, but we SOLD OUT! Didn’t expect that to happen. Copies of Issue #1 started flying off our table so fast that we had to make a sign to emphasize it and encourage attendees to pick up a copy! Boy was it one heck of a show! We got to meet so many awesome new friends, artists and even some comic book legends!

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Here’s what our table looked like!

As you can see, it was very makeshift. We wanted to have a roll-up banner stand but couldn’t get it printed on time or fit it in either of our suitcases anyway. Maybe next time. Despite our low budget setup, it worked just fine!

So, Chris & I met way back in 1998 during Catechism at our old church (how funny, because we’re not exactly the religious type). We didn’t become formal regular friends until August 2001 when we ended up having 6th grade classes together in middle school. In May 2002, our 6th grade class got to go on a weekend-long field trip to Toronto. It felt totally nostalgic and brought back some great memories coming back for the first time in over 12 years, except this time we were promoting our comic book!

When we setup at the convention, we didn’t know what to expect. Fan Expo was without a doubt, the biggest convention in North America that we got to promote at. Sales were pretty slow the first day but by the middle of the afternoon, we started selling copies of Issue #1 like hot cakes! Day 2 was by far our best sales day in terms of books. 3 and 4 were the low points on books but I sold a ton of caricatures and commissions which definitely helped boost our production budget! My drawing hand got a serious workout! (dirty jokes put aside)

Other than working most of the time at the convention, Chris & I both had to go take breaks and do our own thing to experience the con itself. Chris had never been to a real comic book convention before so this was very overwhelming for him. His #1 goal: Meet Stan “the Man” Lee!

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Chris and “Grandpa Stan” (our little inside joke of the weekend)

I was pretty happy for Chris to meet the legend himself. I had met Stan Lee in 2010 in Dearborn, MI at Detroit, Fanfare. He’s definitely one of the nicest and most influential men in the comics industry.

Chris also got to meet Vic Micnoglia.

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And here’s Chris meeting Lloyd Kaufman, creator of the Toxic Avenger!

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I on the other hand, got to meet one of the comic industry’s biggest badasses, Neal Adams! He is hands down of the best Batman artists of his time. Neal is also the man responsible for helping the creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster get their much-deserved royalties after DC had screwed them for years.

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Neal was an interesting character. Seemed a bit cocky but with a smirk of confidence. I actually walked into him the day before I met him formally walking out of the Convention Centre. After I introduced myself I told him “Mr. Adams, I just wanted to tell you that you’re awesome!” He responded with comical “I’m awesome? Goddamn I’m awesome!”. I couldn’t tell if he was making fun of me or just playing along. Either way, I’m okay with it. Check out this print I bought and got signed too!

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I also met Todd McFarlane, best known as the creator of Spawn and co-founder of Image Comics. The line to meet him was ridiculously long as expected. However, I was not aware that the meet & greet for Todd was a ticketed event, despite being advertised as “free”. Apparently, fans had to find out last minute that they needed to get a ticket from the Ubisoft booth that would be valid for certain autographing times. I ended up missing the first 2 autograph events but was fortunate enough to get into the 3rd signing. And so I met Todd and he was ultra cool, and signed my Spider-Man #1 (Torment, Part 1, 2nd printing).

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As for the new friends we met, we met this very foxy Sonic the Hedgehog cos-player (who’s actually a professional model) named Vera Baby. image

She was super sweet and requested this very special commission that I worked very hard on! She was very pleased with the results.

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Tails looks rather excited doesn’t he?

Anyway, there’s so much left to talk about but I can’t fit it all in this one entry. Come back tomorrow and read Part 2! There’ll be more photos, some video and stories of our new friends!

Until then, cheers!

Dave J.W.

Comic Update - July 2013

Well, well, well!  It’s been quite a busy month but there’s a lot of great news I have to announce. I’ve been meaning to be more frequent on this blog but life has been ultra busy! Where to begin?

I guess the best way to break things down quick, I’ll just write in a list format. I’ve been running on very little sleep so Gordie and I are fueling up on coffee first.

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1) Issue #1’s production in nearly complete. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get all of the artwork done on time to put to print for Kids Read Comic Con. However, Chris Sopsich and I did manage to get 75 ashcan comics and gave out quite a bit of those. There’s an error that our printer made though, where pages 6 and 7 are in the wrong order. If you have one of these, make note of that. I promise you it wasn’t our fault.


2) The plans for the first print run of Issue #1 is going to be very limited.

-100 black & white versions (with color covers): $2.99 

-400 full color versions:


3) Kids Read Comics Con was a lot of fun! It was great to see familiar friends of ours again such as Josh Buchanan (The Rocket), Jay Fosgitt (Bodie Troll and Dead Duck), Rob Worley (Scratch 9) and John Martin (Vordak the Incromprehensible). We were happy to meet some new friends, kids, and fellow comic enthusiasts too. Also you should check out our friends new Dyl Kloepfer and Sam Noir's cartoon "Munchsters" at

http://munchsters.thecomicseries.com/

https://www.facebook.com/munchsterscomic


They’re from Toronto,Ontario in the lovely country of Canada and very awesome guys.

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4) SPEAKING of Canada, I am proud to announce that Gordie Gnomo co-creator & writer Chris Sopsich are in the talks of tabling at Fan Expo Canada this year! It’s the 3rd biggest comic book convention in North America! We haven’t got our confirmation letter yet, but we hear they have a killer artist alley, especially for indie self-publishers like us!

Find out more about Fan Expo at:

http://www.fanexpocanada.com/

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now! A release date is yet to be confirmed on Issue #1  but we’re almost there. The color editions won’t come out until August, as they are about 30% finished. The final pages of the black & white artwork are still being worked on so we will put all focus into the color editions as soon as we finish and release the black & whites.

Here’s a 10 page preview of Gordie Gnomo, Issue #1.

Gordie Gnomo is a Copyright of Dave J. Woodward and Chris Sopsich

© 2013. All rights reserved.

Scanning & Editing Line-Art. Featuring Pages 1-5

So here are the first 5 pages of Issue #1 in their black & white line art phase. If you saw the original drawings, they have non-photo blue pencil lines all over the place and are sometimes sloppy. Originally, all of these are just basic scanned photographs that need touching up. I use an XL scanner that can handle 11x17 documents. Then I do the following:

1) Scan in at 600 dpi in Grayscale (NOT COLOR) to capture a super high resolution that will save as much black line information as possible. Save as a .TIFF

2) Open the document in Photoshop CS (whatever version you have)

3) Adjust the contrast to +50 and brightness to +10.

4) Go to Image, Mode, and change the color to Bitmap with a 50% Threshold.

5) Now you have solid black line art. Quickly turn back to Grayscale (if you plan on keeping your page black & white) or CMYK (if you plan on coloring right away). I’ll do a video on coloring another time. But I’ll give you a hint now that the idea is to delete all white, then color BENEATH the line art layer. Like I just said, I’ll save that for a rainy day.

In terms of the art itself, I went a very different direction with this story. Recently I’ve been taking great interest and inspiration from Jeff Smith, known for his comic book series Bone. If you haven’t ever heard of it, you may have at least seen it at your local book store at some point in your life. For reference sake, this is Bone:

[This image is not owned by me, it is artwork by Jeff Smith and merely used above as a reference piece. I take no credit for it whatsoever.]

Jeff Smith takes a very interesting approach of blending cartoony characters with semi-realistic backgrounds, and using a clean, minimalist approach to his inking. As for Gordie Gnomo, I’m aiming to reach a much more cleaned up, basic, yet dynamic shift to the art. So far, I think it’s going well. What do you think?

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imageMore pages will come here and there, but to avoid spoilers, I will not be posting anything past page 10 on this issue. This issue is planned to be finished sometime in June this year. So once it’s ready for print, I’ll have them available for purchase via Paypal. Anyways, see ya next time! Please feel free to ask any questions.

-Dave J. Woodward

This is a very vague visual step by step look at how I set up my layers for painting in Photoshop for this cover. I’d go and explain it to you but that would take forever to write out. The best way to show it would be through video. Perhaps some day I’ll record and post a video of a page getting colored. Chris takes care of coloring for the most part on the interior pages but I can do one from scratch just for fun. Feel free to ask any questions!