A miscellany of weekly ramblings on comics, art and film by Ted Mathot, storyboard artist and writer/artist/self-publisher of graphic novels and comics

Monday, February 27, 2006

Afterworks 2 - Conomor and Tryphine

Here's some roughs for the first two pages of my story for Afterworks 2. First pass at color...enjoying it so far.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

cleanup begins

For those who are monitoring the progress of this beastly project of mine, I finished the roughs on Monday and the book clocked in at an intimidating 141 pages. Tonight I start cleaning up the majority of it, having already completed 50 pages since last fall.

Now I've got to finish the remaining 90 or so in about as many days. Not to mention Conomor and Tryphine and minor changes to R&I part 1 for its second printing...arg. Well, I always say if it isn't a challenge, it ain't worth doin.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Conomor and Tryphine

First sketch of Conomor, one of two main characters for Afterworks 2 story Conomor and Tryphine. Color-wise it's going to have green as its main focus, as Conomor married women for their wealth. Most likely a sickly green for Conomor himself since he's a pretty rotten guy. More to come soon.

Also here are the first two sketches of Tryphine, off the top of my head.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Talkin' Story

Just recently I put a 15 page section of RI2 on the chopping block. It's a big story event that I've had in mind since day one, and with the book's page count spiraling out of control, I decided it'd be best if I excised it. Enter Mark Andrews...it's great having a guy like Mark around, cause he loves talking story. I pitched him the doomed section of the book and said " I really like this section, but I think it may have to go". Mark listened intently to the pitch and quickly analyzed the situation. I told him what I was going for with it and he said it should be in there, but I could trim it down.

I brought up the rough pages and Mark went at it, suggesting cuts and places to streamline and condense things. We figured the 15 pages could be shrunk down to maybe 10 or 11 which will save me some time, perhaps a 1/2 week or so, which these days is pretty important.

It's going to be really difficult for me to finish this book on time, but it's good to the know the story will be the better for it.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Update - Page 117

That's where I'm at in the rough stage, and here's a non-spoiler image from that page...

Hoping to finish the roughs this week and then have a read through to see if the darn thing actually works. Then dialogue tweaks and clean up starts. I was hoping for 120 pages, but the story is demanding more than that, so I'm now estimating it may be around 132 pages. Yikes.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Madness begins

Very first rough image for a short story I'm doing for E-Ville Press anthology Afterworks 2, based on the Celtic folk tale "Conomor and Tryphine". I'm going to attempt double duty with this project while wrapping up the Rose and Isabel book. Conomor and Tryphine will be a full color story...and I'm looking forward to it. More to come in the next few weeks.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Film Study - MOS

From Wikipedia:

MOS is a standard motion picture jargon abbreviation, used in production reports to indicate an associated film segment has no synchronous audio track.

The abbreviation "MOS" is very peculiar and has no obvious meaning. Two main legends are attributed to the "birth" of the notation:

MOS may stand for "Minus Optical Stripe," a note from a production sound mixer, notifying recipients that he or she did not expose an optical sound track for a particular scene or take.

The more popular theory holds that MOS stands for either "Mit Out Sprechen" or "Mit Out Sound," a broken-English phrasing of "Without sound," as a 1920's German-emigré director might have said it. According to this theory, a German director, recently transplanted to Hollywood (probably Ernst Lubitsch, but possibly Fritz Lang or Erich von Stroheim), was asked by a script supervisor how he would like to shoot the next scene of the day. The director responded "Mit Out Sprechen!", and so this was noted as a joke on the production reports and the camera slates for the shot.

Regardless of the term's history, I love a well executed and purposeful MOS scene, especially when there are characters talking but the sound is omitted for the purpose of focusing the viewer's attention on something else. A cool example of this is the end of Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight when JLo apprehends Clooney. The dialogue and sound fx tracks drop out and are replaced by musical score as the cops arrive and she explains the situation to a detective. We the viewers know plenty well what's going on, so instead of having to suffer through verbal explanations of it, we are given closeups of Clooney and his POV of JLo, with their (for lack of a better description) love theme playing in the background. What could be a rather rudimentary scene now has more emotional punch.

A scene earlier in the film where Clooney surprises JLo at a bar features cross cutting of the present moment and a future moment as well as MOS shots and time shifted dialogue. They have a dialogue in the bar and then proceed to her hotel room; the two scenes take place back to back in the script, but Soderbergh combines them and uses the tools listed above to increase the emotional impact and interest to the viewer. It's a masterful scene which I could break down further but is sort of pointless without a clip.

I'm currently putting together a group of examples of my favorite scenes that use these techniques.

Got some favorite MOS moments? Post em below in the comments section.

Friday, February 03, 2006

85 down

...and 35 to go.

I'm in the process of roughing out the rest of the book so I can determine how many pages it's going to take to finish off the story.
From there I'll be able to set my schedule for the next 3 1/2 months. I'm aiming for a 128 page book (twice the size of Part 1) with 120 pages of story (3 times that of Part 1) and an 8 page pin-up section. Out of the last 34 pages I've roughed, 26 of them are pure action, as I'm sure the majority of the remaining 35 pages will be. It's really coming fast now at about 20 pages a week. The rest of the book is fairly locked in my head (unlike the middle section which required a lot of editing and research), so I'll be able to get out the roughs in the next 2 weeks.

I'm taking a kind of "winging it" approach that was influenced by Mark Andrews. I have an outline and a few ideas for scenes, but I'm forging ahead without a script or any details. Many things are coming to me as I draw; the spontaneity is really refreshing and allows me to come up with things I probably never would have thought of if I were writing the whole thing ahead of time. I encourage any of you who are thinking about a first comic to try this approach; it gets you drawing quickly and keeps things fresh and spontaneous.

Isabel undergoes a major change about 2/3 of the way through the book which I never intended but it's working so well I'm rolling with it. Can't wait to get to the conclusion.

No post without an image, so here's a little something.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Here is another excellent take on our two heroines; this time by friend and former Simpsons co-worker Tommy Tejeda.
Thanks Tommy!!