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!


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!

Working on the first eight pages of my graphic novel





I sketched out some ideas of the first page, introducing the world of Red Amygdala and the people who inhabit it.

Here is a more finalized inking of how the first pages will appear in the book.

I’ve been working on conceptualizing this world and on the characters which I’ll share next time.