2011 is quickly coming to an end.

If you believe in conspiracy theories so is the world.  However, all this plays out, “it’s all good” for getting motivated to finish those things we’ve started and start new ones.

Here, finishing those tasks I promised, are the first three pages of the teaser:

B/W Pages

Red Amygdala mini teaser pages (B/W)

Full Color Pages 

Red Amygdala mini teaser pages (C)

My best friend Starr often says “Make it do what it do!”  There is so much more to do to prepare for 2012!

In April there is the MOCCA Comic Con to go to during the last week of April 2012.  While I probably won’t be ready to have my own table I will bring free issues of the teaser with me and a few copies of the first issue for interested readers.  Stumptown Comic Con, in Portland, Oregon will be held at the same time.

I want to attend Stumptown in 2013 but I’d rather not skip the most independent comic conference in my hometown!

I finished my answers to the final for the online Artificial Intelligence class.  It took me a day from Thursday to Saturday in the wee hours of the morning to complete it because I wanted to review all the material, even topics which were not on the exam, while taking it.

This free online class has been an amazing experience I learned more about myself than I did about Artificial Intelligence and I know quite a bit about the subject now.  So much so it isn’t difficult to read scholarly journal articles on the subject.  I’m currently reading Sebastian Thrun’s article on Particle Filters.  It was a frustrating, logical, emotional, liberating, lonely, thrilling, exhausting, “solitude in the mountains” zen like ride that I’d do again without any hesitation.  There was no pressure of needing this class as a requirement to move forward whatever “forward” means to those nameless souls who define it, no pressure in having to compete with others.

Just me, my curiosity and bravery and the compassion of two amazing professors who wanted to share, without restriction, their passion for their livelihood with the world.  They achieved this goal with the aegis of both Stanford University and Google and the process propelled me out of this world into one I never imagined existed.

Dorothy, Alice, and all iconic female heroines real and imagined, past present and yet to be realized should all be “Wicked Witch” green with envy.  Gassho with a big “Kool Ade” smile.  Does anyone even drink that stuff anymore????

Someone immediately said he thought the AI online final was easy an hour after the exam was posted online.  Whatever [complete with eye roll].


and so it begins…

The “Create an indie graphic novel” course held at the SVA is now over.  It was an amazing experience of day dreaming, late night drawing, scanning and learning to love the intrinsic difficulties of Photoshop.  The class of seven had very diverse project ideas from personal family narratives;  “weirdly peculiar” science fiction; tasteful and beautifully drawn erotica; to a unique children’s story of self discovery; and a slice of urban life narrative.

As the new year approaches I hope we all successfully find captive audiences for our stories. We all have objectives for our stories.  Mine is to both complete the sequential art to tell it completely it and launch myself as a professional independent graphic novelist.   And so it begins… is the title of this blog entry and the last phrase of my graphic novel teaser. I finished the goal of the course which was to have a full color, “bound” 12 page mini graphic novel.

While my ambitions are larger in that I will create and design a forty page first issue and keep that page count as the story evolve, I think I end the 12 page mini on a teaser.  At the end of this week I will load up the first three final color pages of my graphic novel mini teaser and today I will post the promised final character sketches.  (Promised mostly to myself as I’m not certain I have any real audience for my progress.)  Additionally, I am posting the final cover.

Final Cover Wrapper:  The final cover appears first because it’s conceptualization was the focus of my last blog entry:

I’m pleased with the results.

Final Character Sketches

The three main characters are Elaine Black, Jaharia Aguido and Miss E Morgan:

ELAINE BLACK:  26 years old; 5’ 7”; light eyes; fair skin; long brown curly hair Personality:  Cautious; fearless; distrusts her mother; introvert; optimistic; commitment phobic; intelligent; serious; liberal; Bisexual (leans towards men) Background:  An only child of Barbara and Saul Black.  Although she was closer to her father than her mother, Saul is not her biological father. Her BFF is Jaharia.  She is in perpetual competition with her mother who is a noted scientific researcher for a pharmaceutical company. Her Crime:  She was a political agitator / activist against economic inequalities. JAHARIA AGUIDO 23 years old; 5’ 10”; brown eyes; bisexual Personality:  Extrovert; optimistic; flirtatious; friendly Background:  Jesus Aguido was one of a set of fraternal twin brothers, of two famous Puerto Rican political activists, Jose and Maria Aguido, who saw his sex change as a political protest against the oppressive binomial societal gender assignment; Her identical twin brother is Javier.  Her older brother is Raphael, who despises Jaharia as the “bitch who killed his brother Jesus” She is in love with her BFF and college roommate Elaine. Her Crime:  Assisted Elaine’s political activities.   MISSY MORGAN 24 years old; 5’ 4”; brown eyes Personality:  Extrovert; optimistic; agnostic; flirtatious; ambitious; friendly; arrogant; narcissistic; liberal; Straight Background:  Raised in a two parent suburban home with her younger brother Bruce; Her best friend Bethany calls her “M&M” ; she enjoys conducting questionably unethical research projects; she was conducting biological engineering research on her sex buddy, Rakim, of which he was not aware. Her Crime: Assisted in the proliferation of biological agents of mass destruction:  VR-5218 Delta

Two other unfortunate characters trapped in Red Amygdala are Henry Booker and Anwar Salahuddin: ANWAR SALAHUDDIN 40 years old; 6’ 3”; muscular; hates tattoos Personality:  Perpetually angry; atheist; arrogant; cold; misogynistic; dismissive; intolerant of homosexuals; conservative; Straight; Doesn’t curse; doesn’t do drugs; enjoys fixing things Background:  His older brother killed their parents when he was ten years old; His older brother Wesley almost beat him to death when he turned 10 years old but he can’t remember that provoked his brother’s violent rage His philosophy: “There is no such thing as a collective or racial achievement. There are only individual minds and individual achievements.   Men are true leaders, women are deceitful followers only satisfying when they have the healthy silhouette of the bootylicious femininity.” His Crime:  Malicious Tampering   HENRY BOOKER 11 years old; 4’ 10”; has a streak of white hair which he tried to hide with caps Personality:  Introvert; pessimistic, extremely cautious; liberal; Straight Background:  His brother died falling to his death in a housing project elevator shaft’; Raised with his elder brother by a single mother in a Housing Project, he became the guardian of his brother’s stranger graphic novel, entitled Red Amygdala, which he could NEVER let out of his sight or possession or something will escape from it’s pages; he had learned just how difficult it is recapturing the creatures and getting them back inside the graphic novel from first hand experience; he realized the graphic novel drove his older brother to commit suicide and he is trapped in the graphic novel and lost in its pages. His crime: Failure to guard the graphic novel in his care Antagonists social workers, Agent Black (no relation) and Agent Red: AGENT BLACK 41 years old; 6’ 4”; always wears a black neck tie; bald; he wears a half body tattoo Personality:  Introvert; secretive; logical; paranoid; conservative; Asexual (dislikes both women and men).  Dresses impeccably well;  has his own code of honor, professional conduct and strict morality. Background:  Raised by his grandfather Kyland, Agent Black was a young girl named Dorothy felt lost in a female body. His philosophy:   “While I believe in one’s rights for protection against victimization; I also hold firm in my rights to victimize you, if such victimization fulfills my primal requirements of survival. AGENT RED 35 years old; 6’ 1”; always wears a red necktie Personality:  Introvert, pessimistic, conservative; Straight-ish Background:  Raised in foster care; Always wanted to be a social worker; loves his job creating the covenant gifts Internal Conflicts: Despises and resents Agent Black as his supervisor.  Disturbed by his sexual attraction to Agent Black. The inhabitants of the world of Red Amygdala:  The Steward, who is the de facto leader, his militia called the Controllers, the Operators Series 15 the tattooed gang of workers and Series 18 (who are bald and have removed their eyes). and so it begins… I need to get some feed back on the mini teaser, finish the first issue and go to MOCCA this Spring in 2012 with my graphic novel mini. Now on to the last set of lectures in the online free Stanford Artificial Intelligence course.  The next unit is natural language processing of which I have a vague understanding.  That course was also a lot of fun. My plans for this blog is to initially create some interest in the story and publish the first eight to ten pages of each issue as a web comic.  We’ll see how it all evolves.

Cover Art, Robotics, Robot Motion Planning and Lots of Scanning!

The line art for the entire book is completely inked.  Scanning in Ps now.  And scanning.  And scanning.  Seemingly endless work!

I’ll clean up the line art and color in Ps then pull all my files into Manga Studio for assembly.  I wonder if I could have skipped Ps and done everything in Manga Studio?  Perhaps next time.

I’ve been working on some ideas for the cover (front and back)  Here are my initial sketches done on an iPad 2 using the Adobe Ideas App:


Next I thought of some ideas on the line art for the cover.  Since there are three female character I thought they should be on the cover in some form.  For some reason the campy Charlie’s Angels TV show popped into my head.  Thank goodness I scrapped these ideas:



I liked the idea of the large mask in the background of the above sketch.  I presented this and my final sketch to Chris our instructor at SVA and our guest lecture Paul Hoppe.  They both gave me good advice about making the cover iconic yet simple.

Love their work!

Check it Paul’s amazing work:

Here is CM’s amazing work:

They both work on the Rabid Rabbit Anthology.  Check that out as well:

So I settled on this idea:


Then I fine tuned it on my iPad2 using the Upad note taking app.


Now as for the free online Stanford/Google Artificial Intelligence course:  I’m eager to start learning the basics about Robotics from Professor Thrun. This is the next to last set of lectures!  Enjoying the Ai class so far but it is a lot of work!  I will weave some of the science and mathematical concepts learned into my graphic novel story.

Later this week I’ll post the final line art of my characters!

One more week and I should have the final twelve page graphic mini ready for both print and pdf!