Monday, August 29, 2011

Cartoonista's SKETCH-A-PALOOZA event at GEEKS Comics

A video shot/edited/produced from filmmaker Jim Lujan featuring the event held yesterday at GEEKS Comics in Whittier.....

SKETCH-A-PALOOZA! A day for free sketches for kids from the Cartoonistas. This was a great event with lots and lots of families showing up for free drawings. I had about 5 of my students from my comic book workshop show up as well. (As if they don't get enough free drawings from me in the class!).

Thanks to GEEKS for hosting us. This is truly a match made in heaven between the Cartoonistas and GEEKS. And thanks to all the wonderful artists who showed up to make the event happen. And of course thanks to all the kids and parents and grandparents who stopped by to visit!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Last night's comic book release parties for FOREVER FRESHMAN and USMZ

So last night I attended two release parties for two, new different comic books.

"USMZ" by Roman Montes de Oca.

"Forever Freshman", Issue #1, by Ray Mendivil & Neil Segura. 

Roman's event was held in the Art District in Downtown Pomona, a lively neighborhood featuring many art studios and galleries. The release party was held at the Foggy Windowz Gallery, and Roman's artwork was on display, as well as his brand new comic book.

Roman's book deals with a Marine squadron pulling back into port after months overseas and landing right in the middle of a zombie infestation! Roman's story has that air of authenticity about it due to his tenure as a Marine years previously. The zombie stuff....well, we'll have to ask him what his experiences are there!

I visited his home studio some time ago and he showed me the progress of his book. He also gave me a mechanical pencil, the kind you can use with replaceable leads. Since then, I bought another one and use them with non-photo blue leads for drawing my layouts as well as using graphite leads for drawing with. He got me hooked on mechanical pencils and now my Ticonderoga #2 HB pencils sit unused in a cup by my desk......

It was very cool to see Roman debuting his book there amongst the many art galleries that were open that evening. The great thing about comics is that they don't have to only be confined to comic book stores and conventions. They're art, so anywhere were art is displayed and sold is a potential market for a book. I got there at about 6, but when I eventually left the area the streets were streaming with people walking from gallery to gallery. Roman got the word out, as he had plenty of people stopping by to pick up the book.

I left the Pomona area around 8pm and headed back to Whittier, as there was another comic book release party going on with another friend of mine.

GEEKS Comics was packed with people when I arrived. Everyone was there for the release of FOREVER FRESHMAN. 

Good ol' Neil Segura. He and his friend Ray Medivil created this comic as a way to relive, and greatly embellish, many of their High School antics they had together. 

Ray and Neil had actually debuted the comic at San Diego Comic Con a month prior, but this was a chance for all their local fans, friends and family to pick up a copy of the book. They put on a really good show, with raffles, food, artwork and general fun being had by all.

If you read my blog on Friday, you'll remember that both Roman and Neil had taken my DIY COMICS CRASH COURSE right there in GEEKS itself exactly one year and one day ago! So it was nice to come back to the scene of the crime, where it all began....

Congrats to all three of these creators, Ray, Neil and Roman, for completing their books. We all have a myriad of different reasons for creating our stories and self-publishing our work. But that evening was real fun to experience. Comics, like most art, takes a lot of work. So it's great to see people spending the time, making the sacrifices necessary, to make their dreams a reality.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Two release parties for two new comic books!

This Saturday night is a big weekend for new comic book creators. There are two comic book release parties going on in the Whittier and Pomona areas. I'll be attending both, showing my support and having some free food and fun.

Roman Montes de Oca is releasing his new comic book, USMZ, at the Foggy Windowz Gallery in Pomona

Meanwhile, an hour later, Ray Mendivil and Neil Segura will be throwing a release party for their new comic book, FOREVER FRESHMAN, at GEEKS in Whittier.

I'm really glad for these guys, as they're all hardworking artists and slugged away at finishing their comic book projects. And I must say, I'm particularly keen on the fact that two of them, Neil and Roman, actually attended my DIY COMICS CRASH COURSE last year at GEEKS comic shop. It was back on August 12, 2010, almost exactly one year ago from their release parties! 

Roman and Neil are the 2nd & 3rd from the Left. Me, I'm the Prof. Xavier of the group, sitting down and thinking "Hmmm...So who's going to be the first to put out a comic book..."

I guess I should open up an institution called Professor Javier's School for Gifted Cartoonists. Or I could go the Magneto route and form The Brotherhood of Evil Comic Creators!

Granted, they were already working on their projects at the time, and would no doubt have self-published their work. But they were still interested enough in taking the course, and there was plenty of discussion in the class about the do's and dont's of creating one's own comics.

Congrats to Ray, Neil and Roman for publishing their books. I'll be at both releases, and will be the first to ask "So, when's the next issue coming out?".

A question, mind you, that people never stop asking! (Trust me, I'm speaking from personal experience!).

Monday, August 08, 2011

Creating THE COMA

As announced in a previous post, I've begun working on a comic book featuring a new character of mine, The Coma.

Here's page 6 of the story:


I've always liked the idea of mixing artwork with typography. Kind of like the James Bond films with their opening titles featuring the credits and lots of visual eye-candy.
In my next post, I'd like to share with you where many of the inspirations for the Coma may have come from. I say 'may' because who can really say what motivates someone to create something. Sure, I always mention the artists and things that gave me that creative inspiration to pursue my own ideas, but often the variety of sources that may inspire a project come from a tremendously wide range, seemingly unconnected. Until of course, you start crafting the project and then see clearly where everything came from and how you choose to use it.
This comic, by the way, is going to be published in what the printing company calls 'manga size', which is 5" x 7.5". Why print it that size? Well, one reason is that I haven't put out a comic book in that size, so it's always fun for me to experiment with varying sizes of comics. I don't feel that a comic book should always be in the same 6.625" x 10.25" format. Also, because of the nature of this story, with it's landscape of a character's dreamworld, a universe inside the mind, I felt that a smaller book would offer a more intimate reading experience. A book you might be more prone to up close and personal with, so to speak.
A doodle I drew one day while 'warming up' to work on a page. This
was drawn on a 5.5" x 5.5" piece of scrap Bristol paper (the same paper I use to draw the comic,  Strathmore Bristol Vellum). 
I was also trying out some new Tombow color markers I bought. The drawing was kept in a much looser style than I'm drawing the
 book in, but for a warm-up that's good enough.

Sometimes to break up the process of the book, I'll switch from drawing the pages to working on some design work. Here's what I came up for the back cover (which will give you a bit more idea of what you'll find in the final story):
The color image is one I did a few years ago, with the new logo I created for the character. I penciled the front cover image over the weekend as well, with the intention to paint it with acrylics. I'll show that here when it's done. I'm going to print a limited number of this book for it's first release, and then most likely create new front and back covers for it once it's reprinted. The book is scheduled to debut at the Alternative Press Expo this October 1 & 2, so releasing a linited version of this is actually continuing a tradition I've had at APE over the years.
In the next post, I'll reach into the archives and share with you where oh where this Coma character may have come from....

Thursday, August 04, 2011

New comic book and cartooning classes in Pico Rivera

To my local readers: I have several art classes for kids that I'm teaching in Pico Rivera for the Summer! Take a look, and if you know of any kids who would be interested, please let them know:

"Cartooning for Kids", ages 7-12,  at the Senior Center on 9200 Mines Ave (due to the construction schedule at Pico Park). Students will be given instruction on drawing and creating their own creations, as well as lessons on drawing other characters. New session starts this Saturday. 

Class runs from 10:30am-12 Noon. It's a four week class, which will run until August 27. $38 plus a $5 supply fee paid to the instructor.

"Creating in Color", ages 7-12. This class already started today! Sorry for not posting this earlier. However, you can still register for the remaining classes. Students will be explained color theory, and create artwork using crayons, colored pencils and watercolors. 

Class runs from Thursday, August 4 until August 25 at 10am - 11:30am. $38 plus a $10 supply fee paid to the instructor. This class will be taught at Pico Park, located at 9528 Beverly Blvd.

"Comic Book Workshop", ages 7-12,  starts up again on Wednesday, August 17. Students will be creating their own 4 page comic book in class, with photocopies of their comic given to them on the last class.

Class runs from 5:00 pm - 6:30pm. It's a 5 week class, with the last class on September 14. $38 plus a $5 supply fee paid to the instructor. This class is also being taught at the Senior Center on 9200 Mines Ave (due to the construction schedule at Pico Park).

You can register at either location. The phone number for Pico Park is 562-801-4470.

As always you can email me directly with any questions:

Monday, August 01, 2011

Here comes.....The Coma!

I've started working on my next comic book. This one features a brand-new character of mine. Previously, I published some sketches of him in my COMIC POP SKETCHBOOK (available in my little ol' web shop) and a pic or two online. But now it's time to awaken The Coma!

The above image was created a few years back, as an exercise in determining the character's color scheme, and experimenting with some digital effects. A lot of times I create these characters in my sketchbooks, usually as a way of getting an idea out of my head. Sometimes I look at the finished drawing and put the idea away in the back burner of my mind. Over the years, as I'm working on other comics, I always go back to the old ideas and try to figure out a story for them. I created the logo a few hours ago, so it may change. But I really like the idea.
A large focus on this particular story will be the drawings and designs of the actual pages. Yes, there's a story to the character, but I really want to continue to push myself as an artist, and with the other-worldy dimensional environments and psychodelic landscapes of the Coma, I think I'll really be able to let my mind's eye run wild with the look of the book.

Here's the first page:

And here's a batch of sketches from a few years back, where I was figuring out the rough ideas for the character:

'THE COMA' is set to debut at the Alternative Press Expo this October 1 & 2, in San Francisco. I'm thinking of creating an exclusive APE edition with a painted cover. Also, I think some Coma Sketch Dolls would be cool to unveil there as well!  I'll be updating my progress on the blog, so check back for more art and behind-the-scenes 'insider' secrets!

The Coma is TM & © Javier Hernandez, All Rights Reserved.