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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cora update: March 31

Update for this week: Trying to find energy and time to work outside of the daily schedule at the studio has been difficult and taxing. I'm trying to mix it up by working a morning one day and an evening the next, then a lunchtime, a Saturday one week and a Sunday the next, etc, etc...anything that will keep me from burnout. The weather has been especially nice too, so that doesn't help.

Anyhow, the book is coming along well & I shouldn't have too many problems making the deadline. I have a bunch of ideas for new, more exciting posts about film and storyboarding and I look forward to posting those as soon as the book is done. But onward for now -- 33 pages to go.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cora update: March 24

Trying to move forward at a regular pace...My goal at the moment is 6 pages a week with a 2-week contingency at the end before the book goes to print in mid-May. 26 pages are done and 38 to go.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Justin Wright

On March 18th, Pixar story comrade Justin Wright passed away due to heart complications at the age of 27. I saw first hand Justin's dedication to his craft as he worked his way through a summer internship to become a full fledged story artist at Pixar; a goal he had had for a long time and through hard work and tremendous spirit, achieved.

Last summer, we worked closely together on the short film PRESTO, for which there were just three members of our story squad. It's a surprise we got any work done, because most of the time we were howling with laughter at each other's gag drawings, each one topping the next, flowing like water. In one of those sessions, Justin humorously declared he had drawn the "worst drawing ever". We debated him, but Justin insisted on bestowing the honor to himself. Much to his chagrin (and amusement), director Doug Sweetland framed the drawing and presented it at our next meeting, where it presided for all our future sessions. Justin's attitude combined professionalism with an eagerness to please and brought tremendous spirit and humor to the productions he was a part of.

In a few months he will be credited for his work on "WALL•E" and "PRESTO", the short that preceeds it. A mighty achievement.

My thoughts go out to all his family and friends.

You can see Justin's work on his blog.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cora Update: March 17

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone -- there are 21 pages finished on Cora and 43 to go. Not bad considering mid-May is the estimated ship date to the printer. I'm giving myself 2 weeks before the ship date to fix things: change drawings, re-write dialogue, make color changes and work on the cover which only needs to be tied down a bit.

The American release will most likely be a limited edition of 200 or so and each will be numbered and have a drawing inside. The limited print run may be cost-prohibitive, so that idea isn't set in stone yet but I'll keep you posted. There is also a possibility that the first installment of Cora will have a French release this fall as well.


Monday, March 10, 2008


An image for the week...I'll continue to update on a weekly basis as I make my way through the book. The clean up has been a battle so far due to lots of technical issues, mostly with new equipment and software that don't work together (not to mention all the style issues I've had). I had to revert back to an older computer, older OS, and older version of Photoshop and it has been very frustrating. Sometimes I feel like I should just go back to the traditional method of pen and paper.

It's all about overcoming obstacles in getting these kinds of projects done, whether it's artist's block, loss of inspiration, time constraints, or style or technical issues. But it will get done. That's the imporatnt thing to remember; keep an eye on the finish line...I'm adding pages and re-working the story even though it was laid out months ago, and it's keeping the flame burning. New ideas, new inspiration.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

CORA update

Here are some of the most recent panels. I feel that I've finally gotten my feet under me regarding the style of the book. I had to move away from trying to reinvent myself while inking the book. I've gone back to the way I was comfortable before, and just trying to tighten the line work a little more. Flat color wasn't jiving with this kind of inking too well for me so I tried to incorporate some texture in the paint.

One of the influences for this was the way that Dave Stewart colors Mike Mignola vs. Guy Davis. He uses flat colors and gradients for Mignola and more blending and texture for Davis. Both methods complement the artists' styles beautifully, so while my stuff is rougher, I think the textured color is the way to go for me.

There is a learning curve here and I'm discovering a lot as I go. Ronnie del Carmen told me when I started the first R&I that I shouldn't worry about the style and that I'll find it and settle in as I go. And he's right again. I'm enjoying drawing the book very much right now, I feel I can focus on the storytelling now without worrying about the style too much.