A Gift…

Here are the first three pages of the mini teaser of Red Amygdala in color.  These are probably NOT the final pages of the teaser or complete first issue.

I anticipate numerous changes as I complete the first issue.  Just wanted to share the final ideas I workshopped in the SVA Continuing Ed:  Creating an Independent Graphic Novel Course this past semester.




Happy Holidays to one and all.  My sincerest desire we all greet the new year in good health and humor, embracing the success and certain prosperity to come.



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].

Retooling My Characters Part Two

Here is a gallery of some my preliminary digital sketch and coloring of the individual characters of Red Amygdala.  I had a few obvious actors in mind when constructing the story.  I’ve since fine tuned these characters and will post their final sketches soon.

Elaine Black & BFF Jaharia Aguido


Brief Description:

Elaine Black, a biomedical research scholar and Jaharia Aguido, a film studies major, are coed BFFs trapped for crimes they committed outside of Red Amygdala.





Miss E Morgan

Brief Description:

Miss E Morgan, another biomedical research scholar, conducted research in the same suite of labs, under the same mentor Dr. Diana Schlosser, as Elaine.  She is punished for her clandestine work with both Dr, Schlosser and Elaine’s estranged mother, Helen Black a noted Pharmacologist.  

She reminds me of the actress Ruth Wilson.



Anwar Salahuddin

Brief Description:

Anwar Salhuddin, He refused the ‘call to covenant’. His parents died when he was ten years old.  They were killed by his older brother Wesley.  He founded and ran “The Prescription” an anti-feminist podcast.  His online rants trigger a series of serial killings of which Anwar was the prime suspect.

The sketch on the left was done digitally with Sketchbook Pro.  The sketch on the right was an initial idea.  Anwar reminds me of the actor Isaiah Washington.


Henry Booker

Brief Description:

Henry Booker, a ten year old boy, is sent to Red Amygdala for dereliction of duty, he didn’t adequately guard a graphic novel.

I’d be pissed off too if that breach netted me jail time.



Social Workers:  Agent Black & Agent Red

Brief Description:

Guilty of Misconduct, Agent Black, is sent to the Citadel to redeem himself.  He is secretive; logical; paranoid; conservative; Asexual (dislikes both women and men)


Agent Red reluctantly accompanies Agent Black to ensure that Agent Black fails his mission.


The Warden:  The Steward

Brief Description:

The Steward, is an old timer inmate and the “elected” warden of the Citadel prison inside Red Amygdala.

I want him to look less freaky and be much older.  Morgan Freedman older.



The Screws:  The Controllers

Brief Description:

The Controllers are the militia, or men with pointy sticks that “police” the Citadel.  

They look too much like Maori warriors here so I tweaked them some more.  I admit being highly influenced bu Asian imagery for these characters.

The Inmates:  Series 18 and Series 15

Brief Descritpion:

The Series 18 Inmates (left) are bald, fragile looking but dangerous.  They are religious.

The Series 15 inmates (group on right) are muscular but not as freakishly muscular as the Controllers and hedonistic.

Retooling My Characters Part One

I spent much of November tweaking the characters and finishing my final pencil pages.  I will start inking them this last week in November.

Here are some sketch ideas for my characters:

I like these but want more personality in each character.

A Proof of the 1st Eight Pages

These are my preliminary eight pages of the first issue.  I specifically did these without dialog balloons and text to see if the sequence of images tell the story alone.  This was a good exercise for me to see where I need to improve the story visually.  Some standout observations.

  1. There are too many panels per page so I intend to rectify that in the pencil stage.  It is probably going to increase the page count.  If this spreads from eight to twelve pages it will be good.  If so I will have to retool my script which is currently 64 pages long for 40 page graphic novel.
  2. These were done all digitally with a Wacom tablet directly into a graphic art program.  I want more control over my lines so the next stage is pencil on Bristol boards.  Then I’ll scan them in to Ps and ink digitally.
  3. I want more definition in terms of how my characters look these are too generic.
  4. I want to include clearer visual transitions or connections from one page to the next page.   To my eye the story seems to jump around and not flow linearly.
  5. I  am exploring example of how to distort panel sequences of my characters’ memories, looking at my fav artists Dali, Kara Walker, Peter Chung (animator)
Additionally I’ll work on some prelim cover ideas for the first issue and post up my ideas as I narrow in on the one I want.  I plan to ink and color all my covers by by hand.  My plans for this story is very ambitious for one person so the interior pages will be pencil, then scanned, inked and colored on computer.
Whew!  Go me!