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JB and Dax: Quick Update

2016-01-18 19:05:22 by Emersomatic

Don't worry, no ranting about my personal life here.

If you're the one or so people who's been been following me and is eager to see me really take off as an artist, you're probably wondering just when the hell my first official comic is coming up.

First off, I don't plan to start releasing the completed pages of JBnD no1, until I've actually completed a variable amount of them. I want the pages to be released at a consistent rate, so the plan is:
1: overcome artistic hangups (see below)
2: finish enough physical pages until I've set into a predictable production pace
3: add digital etc. and post online 1 complete page as soon as I'm finished with 1 physical page.
3.5: continue posting complete pages at the same rate after completing physical pages
4: make a poster to represent the series' pilot issue.
5: continue work on the next pilot's script.

As for the aforementioned artistic hangups, there's something that I very much tend to neglect in my practice: color. I get so obsessed with the story that I want to tell, the narrative and political implications of the characters' demographic and costume designs, whether or not I want X to even be metaphorical of Y, and so on, that I kind of forgot about the nuances of applying color to the page. That's a hell of an extended brain-fart, considering that I've always known that I wanted my comics to BE in color rather than monochrome, and I've just kind of assumed that I could handle it with the tools that I planned on using: first considering doing the color all in Adobe Illustrator, then Manga Studio, but I think I've decided on Copic markers. They were an expensive investment, but I really enjoy the process of applying the ink directly to the paper. I feel very connected to the piece that way, and there's a certain coziness about the texture that physical pieces have; tiny little mistakes make it feel honest and organic, and if it's absolutely needed, I can still correct the color in the digital processing.

Wow, I just realized what a tangent that was right before getting to that last bit. So, the specific thing about color that's been holding me up is the fact that the first few pages of JBnD specifically call for a city at night. I wanted this city to look less like New York (or the dozens of other major cities that look exactly like it, or DC's several fictitious cities that stand in as a metaphor for different aspects of the-city-so-good-they-named-it-twice) and more like the humbler, slightly ramshackle urban zones that I grew up with, that are caked in yellow-orange lights at night. Problem being, I had never practiced coloring cities like in the York/Lancaster/Harrisburg spectrum, let alone practiced how to draw things in colored lights like the ones we see in my hometowns.
Therefore, every time I sat down to ink the first page (sketching it was no problem) I kept worrying about how that ink was going to translate to the colored version, hesitating, laying down a little black, hesitating again, laying down a little more black, getting up to walk around my room, getting a snack, walking around some more-- you get the idea.

I think I've solved the problem now, though, so tune in every now and then for a crude snapshot of the first page, a likely sign that the complete works are on their way.

Merry New Week. Also, The Black Room

2016-01-12 11:32:40 by Emersomatic

So just I saw (wrote) this movie (comic) about an unpopular Baron (Count) who underhandedly kills his brother, only to be meet his death by his victim's hand later, figuratively (literally) speaking. As if those similarities weren't uncanny enough, I had already decided to name the villain after Boris Karloff, the star and co-star of "The Black Room." The characters in my comic aren't twins, and the victim brother in the movie isn't an actual vampire, but there are the comparable themes of lordly feuds, the public appeal a leader has with his people, and resurgence from death, so this is all a little weird.

I swear to Glob that I had finished the skeleton plot of "Revenant's Realm" and started on character designs and dialogue long before seeing this movie. I'll try to keep the movie in mind during the rest of the project, so as to avoid putting in even more similarities. Oh, and... spoiler alert.

New year! I don't celebrate it. I know that New Year's resolutions can be a really good thing for those who set realistic goals, but it doesn't work for me. On the cosmic scale, only a new couple hours has passed, and the universe doesn't give a fluff if that couple of hours is how some insects on some rock decide is the end of an old unit of time and the start of a new one. Nothing changes on New Year's Day. But I, I will begin, againnn. I always try to come up with strategies to turn my bad habits into good ones, and this time of the year is no exception.

Wanna hear me rant about my job for a bit? No? Then you want the paragraph marked "projects." Life is a process of self-discovery. ... Oh wait, no, it's actually a phenomenon existing within particular compositions of planet-bound water, and persists by its own perpetual replication. But some people like to say that it's a process of self-discovery. Whatever. I think I've discovered about myself that I can't do certain jobs that sound easy. Maybe it's because they sound easy, that they turn out to be so difficult.

Last Thursday, I started an assignment at a farm, to take egg cartons off a conveyor belt and put them in boxes. Sounds easy, right? That's probably why there was one worker on two belts, instead of one to one (they said that usually it's one worker to two and a half belts). I have to think that either the factory was designed to have twice as many packers, or that the people who use the factory are making the belts spin way too fast. I don't like the idea that there's a legitimate chance to fail at something so basic as putting a thing into a box without making a mess, but that wasn't what made me throw in the towel on that job. Sure the activity itself was annoying, and I felt like I got duped in regards to how much work I was getting paid for, but then I got sick. Sick and tired, and I'm confident enough to say that the work conditions were to blame more than myself. I probably had a bad reaction to the smell of the place. Never upchucked, but seriously thought that I might. The nausea coupled with the backache I got was enough to slow my process by a ridiculous amount, equatable to being drunk. The contract was one of those sly "7 'till finished" shifts, which meant that you'd work until a certain quantity demand was fulfilled rather than time obligation, so I don't know why it was such a big deal to get things done so fast. I surmise that The Man just wants half the workers to do twice the work. Anyway, I managed to go eight hours before I had to call in sick.

Something that bugs me is that I don't know whether or not I should get mad at the temp agency. maybe this is exactly the kind of work that their workers are used to. The second job they got me was pretty laid back, too. But I don't want to keep rambling about this, because the more I think about this, the more frustrated I become. I want to watch some Adventure Time on disc to cheer up, and then get back to this journal entry. Good Grodd, I love Adventure Time. That show makes me happy.

Projects! Last time the temp agency called, I told them that I'm taking some time for a personal project, that being my comics that I keep going on about. See, with school and/or jobs in the way, my productivity was utterly mutilated. I only ever got around to actually doing something truly productive in some off-moments when I'm not A) sleeping, eating, washing or other essential things, B) occupied with the things I do to relax, or C) slogging through that ever-boring obligation that I don't really need or want. With those working hours freed up, I might actually be able to get the comics completed in full.

Which reminds me, I've really neglected to keep posting my conceptual and practice drawings online, so that's the first order of business this week, after which I'll finally draw my own profile icon.

EDIT: Having perused my sketchbook, I've decided that the potential enjoyment one could find from the practice or conceptual isn't worth the time it takes to upload each and every image. I'll draw my profile icon today, then start the comics in earnest. I do still want to post the occasional off-time product, but these should be complete standalone pieces, not my pathetic little scribblings. Stay tuned for those, then.

I'm now on PaperDemon! be sure to check the links on my page, and stay tuned for some real content.

Son of a bitch, has it been distracting to get on with what I want to do. I'll admit, I allowed WAY too many evenings to playing video games or thinking about what my comic(s) will be like without actually putting pen to paper, but college was seriously NO GORAM HELP. I've taken FOUR art classes since first enrolling - ONE was a little bit relevant to my interests, the others have only been irrelevant at best, and at worst, offensive to my identity as an artist. On top of that, the degree I was shooting for is completely worthless, and I've stopped pretending that it's worth this much time and effort.

So I'm only still attending one class of the three I signed on for this semester (no points for correctly guessing that it's not the art class) and I'm just going to look for some entry-level job somewhere else. I don't need very high pay - just need "a" job.

In the meantime, I've conceived of about five settings that are ripe for an episodic and/or procedural series before even finishing one complete story. Oh, and that 3-panel thing probably isn't going to go anywhere; the real point of it was to get used to drawing entirely in illustrator, but I've since decided that's a waste of time since I'm already so good at physical and have a more convenient way to scan onto a computer now, so I might just archive that strip. Moving on!

-----THE NEW PLAN-----

What do you do when you have the germs of several good things, but know that you can't commit time to ALL of them? Throw them at the wall and see what sticks, of course!

I'm going to complete the first issue of one setting as a Pilot Issue, then leave it alone to complete the pilot of the next most complete setting, all the while sketching around some concept art, basic plot and scenes for the remaining, less-developed settings.

And now, a pledge to myself:

---I will NOT overthink, rethink, or doubt the story or setting in the middle of drawing the actual panels. (this is the main reason making a comic has taken this long for me)
---If I get an idea for a new setting, or think that "X" would be better if "Y," that idea will go in the very back o' mah brain-space and NOT stop me from completing the current pilot.
---I WILL draw something, edit a drawing and/or do something with a script EVERY SINGLE DAY.
---I will NOT start playing video games before having done one of these things.
---I WILL make a habit of scanning my concept art and practice drawings.
---I WILL post these images to DeviantART, Newgrounds, AND whatever other art community website I may end up joining in the meantime.
---Despite the other rules in this pledge, I WILL allow myself to have as much fun as possible for every single step of the process.

Hopefully this is enough to get me going somewhere. The setting that I'll do first may be the least developed overall, but it's also the one with the most developed pilot story. Stay tuned for concept art, updates concerning, and eventually the pilot for: JB & Dax: One Screwed Up Odyssey!

Here's a journal I posted on DeviantArt.


So I'm in college now. That first month and a half have been busy. Not as stringent as American public High School, but still enough to hinder my work here. On Monday and Wednesday I take an hour or so at Principles of Mathematics - the course that you take to get some math credit when you know that you're no goram good at math. Still, surprisingly easy. On Tuesday and Thursday it's mind-numbingly poorly presented Art History followed by a drawing class where we use awkward drawing tools on absurdly large paper. Those classes are on a campus that's a full hour's drive away from my house. It's times like this I wish I could convey a dry tone of sarcasm in writing, so that I could mark how "pleasant" this all is. Fridays see a single, long English 101. It's required before taking any other English classes that I know of, High School credit doesn't count to get a free pass, and it has the most homework of the classes I'm currently taking. The teacher is a lot of fun, though.

Anyway, if you read the title, you're expecting context. It wasn't that I was out of ideas for story; in fact, I have more in my head than time to sketch it all down. the main problem, I think, as to why I haven't gotten anywhere in a proper comic, is that I haven't done storyboards. See, even if you have a general idea as to how your story would theoretically play out, you can't just start from page 1 and keep going from there. Trust me, I've tried it. The results were not getting past the first page and cover before losing interest and beginning to change things that were already established. Even in comics - the simplest visual storytelling medium - you need to sketch out the plot, not just the character designs and a child's handful of setting detail.

In the time I managed to spare for it, I completed a one-page storyboard and have started on the first two pages. I don't know whether I'll complete them one at a time and post them in as they come, or wait until I have a poster to start, but I have a muddy scan of the pencil-drawn storyboard ready, and I'll post it as soon as I'm done uploading this entry.


I don't think I can get away with posting something as scrappy as a storyboard on NG's art forum (I'll have to check on that), but it's a good update without needing to write up a seperate journal for both sites.

New to 'Grounds - sorta

2015-02-01 16:33:30 by Emersomatic

HellOOOOOO fellow cartoonists!

My name is Maddock Emerson (that's pronounced "MAD-ik," hence the "-omatic" pun in my UN). I'm a nerdy, college-age, cynical-sounding layabout from ruralish Pennsylvania. Basically, nobody cares who I am. So why should you? Well, as it stands at the time, you shouldn't. But I'd appreciate it if you did - because I'm lonely and miserable, you see.

I never had good luck landing jobs, so as a teen, that gave me a lot of time to do stuff, which led to me doing a lot of drawing. It's gotten to the point where I'm now in a community college to major in Art & Design. This is the first thing on social media that I've gotten an opportunity to do since classes started. Don't worry, I'll figure out whether I'm a comic book guy or an animator or whatever... eventually. And then you might see some consistent pattern of posts.

I've been on this site before, but that came from needing an account in order to access the A-rated games (I didn't have the courage to just search for regular porn and risk having it come up on browser history), and it amounted to getting in a troll war where this group of members just didn't figure out that I was 14 years old and/or that taking time out of their day to relay their several paragraphs of irritation to whichever of their friends I hadn't already blocked, was a petty waste of their life. If you are one of these members, and you somehow recognize my most likely wildly different writer's voice, and you're still going to flame me over that, then all I can say is: Congratulations! You're even more of an asshole now than I was back then, and that says a lot.

I'll get around to Profile Image, Icon, first posts, etc. sometime between homework and video games.

See you on the other side.