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

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

CORA almost done...

Two weeks to press time and I have to say this has been a lot more difficult than I predicted (and this is only book one...). Well, "if it isn't a challenge, it isn't worth doing" is a motto I remind myself of often. These kind of ventures shouldn't be easy; they're learning experiences that prepare us for what comes next, essential in a creative person's development (there's nothing wrong with taking an easy gig sometimes to pay the bills...I'm talking about artistic expression).

The color has been a lot of fun but very trying at times; color decisions I make one day sometimes look awful the next. If I make a color change earlier in the book, chances are it will affect a color choice further ahead. Everything is in a state of flux but now that all the pages are cleaned up, I can work all the color at once.

Crafting a story in color like this in multiple parts is tricky because each volume has its own color arc as opposed to the whole story having one single arc. I'm trying to think in those terms, but I don't want the first book to be entirely desaturated to set up the rest of the story. The books need to stand on their own as well.

There will be much more story to tell in the upcoming books; this first volume is essentially the set-up to the larger story, much the way part one of R&I was. It's the first fifteen minutes in film terms; the exposition.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rory Root 1958-2008

Rory was the founder of Comic Relief, "The Comic Bookstore" in Berkeley. The first time I stepped into Comic Relief after relocating to the bay area in 1999, I knew right away that a lot of care and knowledge was put into the selection of its inventory. The store had personality, character, and a uniqueness that you find only in the best book shops, and that's all because of Rory Root. Thanks Rory. You will be missed.

Check out the Comic Relief website for more information on Rory and his achievements.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blog of Note

I just realized that Rose and Isabel has been posted as a blog of note on the Blogger home page!

For those of you who have dropped in via the Blogger link, Rose and Isabel is a 2 part graphic novel that I wrote, illustrated and self-published in 2006. Below is a synopsis and some previews (ordering information is on the right hand side of the blog in the side bar as well as a list of shops that carry the books). I'm currently working on a sequel to the story, which is called Cora.


Rose and Isabel is an American Civil War story about the Callaghan family of West Virginia whose three sons have left home to fight for the Union army. When letters from the brothers stop arriving, the two Callaghan sisters Rose and Isabel take it upon themselves to don the uniforms of union soldiers and leave in search of their missing brothers. The twist to the story is revealed that Rose and Isabel are direct descendants of the Amazons and have been gifted with extraordinary skill in combat.

Some reviews can be found here:

Boing Boing
Indie Spinner Rack (Best of 2006 list)
Indie Spinner Rack (podcast)
Nashville City Paper
The Fourth Rail

Rose and Isabel Part 1 ($8)
64 pages, B&W

Rose and Isabel Part 2 ($15)
160 pages, B&W
Mature readers (contains graphic violence)

Thanks to the folks at Blogger for choosing Rose and Isabel!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cora update: May 12

Press time has been booked in June for Cora, which has given me an extra week or two to continue working (phew!). The book is shaping up, with about 6 pages left to clean up, some dialogue to write and a color pass to be done. I haven't been as diligent in sticking to deadlines as in the past, so the extra time will be crucial to get the book done on time.

As with R&I I am learning a lot from the experience of a tighter clean up style as well as using color. I'm more confident about the pages I'm doing now than the earlier ones. Luckily I'm working out of continuity so it won't look too different front to back.