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, March 30, 2010

WonderCon 2010

I will be exhibiting with Derek Thompson at this year's WonderCon event in San Francisco. We'll be at booth #810 (EVille/Derekmonster/Rose and Isabel).

I will have limited quantities of the new Rose and Isabel Complete Edition softcover book as well as CORA 1 and CORA 2.
Copies of the just-released Sketchbook MATHOT from French imprint ComixBuro have arrived in the US and will be available at Stuart Ng Books (Booth #1023).
Stuart has limited numbers of these so get them early. If you buy a sketchbook from Stuart, bring it on by the booth and I'll customize it for you.

Special note: Friday 2/4 the booth will be open at 12pm. I will be there from 3-7 pm.

UPDATE: The Eville/Derekmonster/Rose and isabel booth will NOT be open on Friday 2/4.

We will be there on Saturday and Sunday at these times:

Saturday 2/5: 10am -7pm
Sunday 2/6: 11am - 5pm

Sunday, March 28, 2010

CORA3 :: update

It's been difficult getting the third chapter of CORA on its feet. I'm attempting to tell 18 years of Rose Callaghan's life in 80 pages. The story will focus almost completely on Rose, from age 4 up to age 22 when she decides to leave home in search of her missing brothers.

(I've added some rough panels to show how I've been working. This is what the first stage of writing and drawing looks like).

My approach to this book isn't any different than the others, although this time I'm drawing scenes out of order, which I have not done before. Call me crazy, but I'm letting the book define itself; I'm drawing the scenes I know I want and then figuring out how to piece them together as well as create the proper pacing. It's tricky business but as I've said in other posts, very liberating. What I'm coming up with is vastly different from what I imagined the book would be. The story line is essentially the same, but the path has changed.

This kind of outside-the-box, on-your-feet thinking is good story training. It really gets your brain working to come up with the best and most honest solutions. For most scenes I know the intent, but not how it will play out or what the character "business" will be. I read the incomplete story over and over and work it until it feels right.

Sometimes I get what some friends and I call a "story hangover" where you think your story's working great, wrap for the day, re-read it the next day, and say to yourself: "what was I thinking?? This stinks!" The drawings might be there, but the emotion just isn't hitting. When that happens move on to another part of the story you know you want and give the tough stuff some time. The solutions will come.

More soon...

CORA3 Status:
50 pages roughed
5 done

Monday, March 15, 2010

Recommended reading :: Invisible Ink

I participated in Brian McDonald's Invisible Ink story class in 2006 and was surprised and excited at his refreshing take on how to craft better stories. He approaches storytelling and story structure from different and illuminating angles in his class and now his insight has been published as a book. Brian isn't afraid to introduce new ideas and has a very straightforward and honest approach, which I'm a big fan of. I could go on, but for now I'll say get it, read it, and put it to use.

A quote from Andrew Stanton:

"Writing stories is hard. They are stubborn by nature. No matter how many times you master one, the next story is obligated to conceal its faults with an entirely new disguise. Your only recourse is to keep writing, while concurrently increasing your understanding of this deceivingly simple, yet highly complex, organism we call story. Brian McDonald's insightful book does just that. Somehow, Brian has found yet another fresh and objective way to analyze how great stories function, and emboldens you to face the challenge of scaling whatever story mountain looms before you. If I manage to reach the summit of my next story it will be in no small part due to having read 'Invisible Ink'."
-- Andrew Stanton

Check your local stores and if they don't have Invisible Ink, ask them if they will stock it. You can also order it though Amazon.