The Process Changes

Prep Work for Comic page by ~spearcarrier on deviantART

Heavenly Bride fans haven’t heard from me in a while… it’s not on purpose. I’ve been working, and for a month straight my computer was hijacked by some nasty malware. The end result is I lost work time, paid work time, had to spend money I didn’t have to get the computer cleared, and then yesterday the first fake check came into the bank from said hijacking.

I’m real lucky, I guess, that I’m not in my town in Illinois – where I went to the police to report my identity was suspect so I could get a police report for the credit bureaus was was called a liar in not so many words. I went to the police station here and got my report. If another check comes through, I’ll be able to fight said identity theft.

Even though I still have scores of work to do, one of my jobs is in a lull. So I took the extra hours .. not to catch up on commissions but to catch up on Heavenly Bride. This is usually not anything to make note of, because it’s more notable when I actually finish a page and post it for people to see. However, today I added another step to my HB creation process.

Why would you do that??? you’re wailing to me right now. I can hear the outcries across the land. This is going to slow me down! Now I’m going to take even longer!

Truth is, this particular process I used to do in the beginning – except not on such a streamlined scale – and I still do from time to time. You can tell from panel to panel. I’m talking about using 3D to set up sample scenes for me to draw from, of course. I can’t draw that stuff without a reference. I suck as an artist.

But with the prep work for Akashik’s reboot and my intention to go almost 100% 3D there I’ve come to realize that I need to pull in some more tricks for HB. I want the artwork to be even better looking you see. I already have been aware that professional mangaka will use tweaked photos for their manga backgrounds, and they also are using CGI to generate what they need. Taking that knowledge and what I’ve gained with working on Akashik, I sat down today to do the final two pages of Chapter 7.

I normally wouldn’t do a sneak peak for folks outside of the Pup Forum, but this is a big deal for Apocalypse comic creation period. See the sneak peak. Wooo.

Pulling in CGI like this actually is a bit costly – but that’s what your support dollars are for, to help this comic and others I do be the best they can be. If I like the process,I hope you’ll be able to see the difference. It’s too bad it doesn’t speed things up for me too. 🙂

Shinies and pretties

So I have a lot of things on my mind as a self-published author. 1. How nice it would be to find a publisher, even if traditional publishing is changing and possibly going down in some ways. 2. How nice it would be to write that sequel to Black Wolf, Silver Fox. 3. How nice it would be to finish Trait of Honor, Akashik, Heavenly Bride, et al. and 4. The driving quest to redo the eBook formatting (and covers) for what I already have out there.

On the latter, I’ve been doing them here and there. Real life and the quest to pay bills doesn’t allow me much time to just get them done, so I do them as I can. I have a list on my desk of what I need to tackle next. And up next is Black Wolf, Silver Fox.

You know, it took me 10 years to write it. It had two publishers look at it. One took the manuscript, held it a while, returned it, and then published a book by a similar title mysteriously six months later. The other was honest with me about why they turned me down, and its their honesty that would bring me back to them if things came to it. I appreciate it.

So skimming through BW I see why, and I realize that this format workover may result in some minor changes. They won’t be anything major – it’s just that I noticed that one moment my character is strapped to the table and suddenly the next he’s sitting up.

HOW was he sitting up? Did he phase through the straps? No no no, this will never do. A phrase later and it’s fixed. Story integrity preserved.

Black Wolf wasn’t my first novel I ever wrote, but it is the first I ever got serious with. I see the mistakes in it, the dialogue I could improve and the inconsistencies. But it is my baby still in many senses, although I have managed to move on to other scenarios, stories, characters, and points of life. (You should never get stuck on just the ONE story.) So this next redo will be a proper one – me with more experience.

But I’m going to keep the crappy dialogue. It was my first real book. Just because I’m a better writer now doesn’t mean I should rehash my first success. I should just move on from it.