When I started my activecomics.com blog/ website, it all made sense. At the time. I was doing the Activist short Comics on my own and then with Nick. But now… having a website that is called Activecomics does not make much sense. I have diversified since then. I have written other stories, worked with other people, and gotten published a couple times. Activecomics.com is not who I am and I need to market myself as a Comicbook writer,
I have been trying to figure out what to call my new website. When your name is Nicolas Izambard, it can be kind of tricky. Will you remember to go read my work on Nicolasizambard.com? NicoIzambard.com? Nico.com? That last one is already taken. Darnit.
I thought Nicomicwriter.com or Nicomic.com was good for awhile until realize that most people reading it would probably read it “nycomic” and not get the pun that my name is actually Nico.” Actually, it’s pronounced ‘knee-comic’. Who has time for that?
So, I’m thinking, let’s keep it simple:
What do you guys think?
I am planing on making the move, meaning actually moving all my stuff from here to the new site, this week. I will let you guys know how that goes, most likely next week. I don’t know if both sites can exist simultaneously so if you don’t hear from me, activecomics.com will be dead. Wish me luck, I hope not to kill it.
Though I did refer to it in last week’s post, I feel like I should make an official and boastful announcement.
Nick and I are published for the second time!
The wonderful staff at 8th Wonder Press had a nice challenge for everyone this year. They asked for pitches for stories limited to only 2 pages long (!).
When we decided to enter, Nick told me he wanted to draw something with insects, that it’d be fun for him. I also remember watching quite a few Martial Art movies as part of my research for the Top Cow Hunt.
I am very proud of it. Nick keeps getting better. His work is more and more like a beautiful cartoon. I also did quite a bit of lettering, including the scrolls type of balloons. It was quite challenging and rewarding. Hopefully, we can get published again next year, perhaps even make this a yearly thing.
In the meantime, check out the beautiful cover below,
Just a quick update this week as I steam roll my way towards upcoming deadlines.
Next sunday, March 15th, I have two projects due.
Wait, this picture is all wrong. The deadline is March 15th!!! (AhahA,.. get it?)
First off, our final file for 8th Wonder Press 2015 Anthology is due. Nick is putting the finishing touches on his magnificent artwork. As soon as he is done, I will slap some super duper lettering on top and voila! Our second published story will be on its merry way.
Second, the Top Cow Talent Hunt is ending next Sunday as well. It will be time for me to turn in my scripts. I wrote three and I am oh so proud of having made it so far. Regardless of the outcome, it has been a fantastic learning experience. I have to thank the friends who took the time to read and provide me feedback. I especially have to thank my wife for reading all the scripts and providing me with a necessary alternative point of view. I especially love that she suggested the best insult ever for a character to say in one of the scripts: ” Bring it, dickbags!”
As you can imagine, I still have plenty to do as the dreaded day approaches so Ciao and C U LATER.
I like lettering but I am not particularly fast at it. It’s a good thing then that I only have 2 pages to letter for our short story to be published in 8th Wonder Press 2015 Anthology.
The strange thing is that most of the lettering is done even though the Art is not finished. I actually lettered on top of Nick’s rough Artwork and we submitted the lettered Art that way along with the story pitch. Of course, there will be some tweaking. One of the thing I wanted to do was to make a caption box in the shape of a scroll. It actually makes perfect sense to do that when you read the story. I just did not know how to do it so I went to the best online lettering resource I know of:
Though they did have some of the techniques pertaining to making boxes look tattered, they did not actually explain how to build the actual scroll. This was before my adorable wifey bought me their fantastic book “Comic Book Lettering the Comicraft Way” for my birthday. As mentioned in the picture above, it actually explains some of the Scrolly Ends techniques.
That did not stop me.
Using the example above as a guide, I started “drawing” the box in Illustrator. I then drew the other chunks (bottom and sides) and placed them over or under the main box. I then manipulated them using the anchor points, tattered the whole thing and Voila:
Okay, not perfect, but pretty damn good. Lettering is rewarding in those tiny glorious moments.
8th Wonder Press accepted our proposal for their 2015 Comicbook Anthology. We are getting published for the second time!
This year, the challenge was to tell a story in only 2 pages. Nick and I whipped up a hell of a proposal that included a pitch, a script, and a rough layout with lettering. Needless to say, most of the hard work is already done (“at least on my side of things”, I said like a jerk).
Nick will produce the final Black and White Artwork and I will refine my lettering job and Voila! We just have to finish by March 15th which, incidentally, is also the deadline for the Top Cow Talent Hunt. Life sure will seem emptier after March 15th.
But for now, let’s rejoice in the fact that here comes our next published short Comic by 8th Wonder Press.
Though I am not yet able to share our story from last year with you guys quite yet, you can find last year’s Anthology on Amazon. It is filled to the brim with delightful short stories.
In preparation for the Rose City Comic Con, I have been compiling Nick and I’s work. Using Adobe InDesign, I compiled all three issues of the Activist to be printed in one 32 pages B&W opus.
Can you see the typo?
Adobe InDesign is pretty easy to use when you are already familiar with other Adobe programs such as Illustrator (which I use to create the word balloons, written words and sound effects on top of Nick’s artwork) and Photoshop (which I use to merge the artwork and the Lettering files together on top of all the crazy other things I create with it including, but not restricted to, wedding invitations).
Our last issue, Oily Shit!, was a breeze since we knew about bleed and the right kind of formatting for comic book pages. I just had to drop it in and InDesign made the book for me. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our older comics. I had to resize and sometimes even correct and adjust the lettering, account for bleed on documents without bleed and make sure the color art from Big Enough For You? don’t look like crap in B&W. I even found a couple typos! You guys did not tell me.
This whole process took a lot longer than expected as my poor 4 years old laptop struggled to switch from one Adobe program to another, having all three opened simultaneously. I am actually surprised it did not start smoking.
Can the saddle stitch handle that many pages?
I did it though…or almost. Tomorrow, I go back to the printer to see the proofs and if it all looks good, I’ll show you guys next week.
Sometimes in the middle of last week, it occurred to me that I did not do my weekly post last sunday.
Usually I start thinking about the subject matter of the post days ahead as the weekend approaches, but no, not this time. Not a peep, not a worry.
Perhaps I was too preoccupied with our deadline for the 8th Wonder Press Anthology. But why would I be? Nick had all his artwork ready one week ahead of the March 31st deadline. This gave us the opportunity to get feedback from the editor and better a few things, including the title font.
So what happened? No clue. Life happened? Probably. It keeps happening all the time after all.
Now that we’re done, what’s next you may ask?
Nick and I met met for a celebratory dark, dark beer (or two) and discussed some stories he would like brought to life. He even said he would commissioned me to write scripts for him. Funny guy, since when would the artist pay the writer?
I am also keeping an eye out for more Anthology submissions since, you know, it worked out pretty well for us this time around.
I am so glad to be involved in this! Otherwise, I would feel like I am truly doing nothing. I am actually putting the title AND the credits on page 1 and page 12 respectively. What a thrill!
I really cannot show you more than that.
Lettering is fun and challenging. I am glad that this specific story has no dialogue though. Originally, I thought of it much in the spirit of the old silent cartoons like Tom and Jerry where characters barely ever speak. I also believe that a completely silent piece will stand out among the many stories compiled within the Anthology.
I do worry though. Not everyone will be able to “read” it. It takes a certain mind-set to read sequencial art. Not everyone is used to look at a picture and get all the necessary information out of it before moving on to the next one. We are so used to just being “fed” information that we no longer look for them.
I am still incredibly proud of the story and of Nick’s artwork. I think it is a true milestone in our on-going collaboration and I cannot wait to see what we do next.
In the meantime, go check out Nick’s blog for an exclusive sneak peak.
Following last week’s post about Nick bringing the script to life, I decided to show you the next step in the process. I am currently lettering the next issue. I use Nick’s rough artwork while he inks and adds the Blacks (and Whites?) to the finished artwork.
We start with the Script:
Excert from the OILY SHIT Script- Page 3
3.2. The AC grabs onto a board member (Cynthia CARROLL) by the collar as BOOGIE blinds her from behind. A tentacle appears behind the AC.
3.3. The tentacle has grabbed the AC by his feet and is pulling him from behind while he is still holding onto CARROLL’s collar. The AC is being stretched a bit between the two and starts freaking out.
AC:What the heeeeeeell???
3.4. Close on a very surprised AC. He is holding the now torn suit as the tentacle wraps itself around him.
Then, Nick turns it into Artwork:
I start to letter on the Rough Artwork. Since I work in layers, I can always adjust it later when I put it on top of the finished artwork in Photoshop. Sometimes, if I see that the original dialogue does not fit the artwork anymore (as in this case here) I change it. I quite enjoy doing that so it all comes together. I truly believe the Artwork is what makes the comic so there is no reason to fight it with shitty dialogue. When the artwork is particularly expressive, I might even cut the dialogue altogether just as I did here in the final panel. Scroll back up to the script and check it out.
If you have any advice on lettering, please share!