Tag Archives: The Activist

You Creep!

NO…not you. I would never say that to you. You, you’re awesome.

I recently had first hand experience with the creep. See, I already was familiar with the bleed, not that I like her or want to spend time with her, but I know her.

When you want your comic book pages to print passed the edge of the page, it needs to bleed off the page so your documents for print need to have a 1/4 inch bleed (generally). For example, the invitation I made in Photoshop for my in law’s wedding has a bleed. Here, I will share with you the finished product, with added glitter from my dear wifey.


So I printed a “The Activist Collection” recently. It includes all 3 stories Nick and I did. As I prepared the files in Indesign I made sure I had the bleed and not to have anything important outside the safe area.


That’s when the creep came in. The fatter your book, the most likely the creep will creep in (haha, I am so damn funny). The more pages you print of a saddle stitched booklet, the more likely the inner pages will creep out and stick out because of the folding. To make up for it, they get trimmed as well, or at least, that’s what my printer did. This resulted in more than the 1/4 inch bleed being cut off on some of the inside pages. Meaning that it might cut some of your text and whatnot.



Depending on the batch, the trim can creep in even more.


Now it’s not all that bad, considering the nightmare that was the whole printing process. See, my first batch, instead of looking like the proof they showed me, was way, WAY darker. So they ended up printing everything in color (even though most of it is B&W) and they gave me extra copies. All in all, not too bad.

So warning to you wanna be printers, beware the creep!

Stay in the safe area y’ all!



Stalking at R.C.C.C.

I just came back from the ROSE CITY COMIC CON. It was awesome.



That’s how many people were there BEFORE it started.

Sunday was very much a relaxed kind of day, my wife and I walking around the floor, shopping and getting Comics signed.

Saturday, on the other hand, was a very busy and businessy kind of day. I went from panel to panel, listening mostly to professional writers and artists talk about collaboration and their respective craft as they share pearls of wisdom. I attended a panel about breaking into comics as well. The real work and main reason I went to some of the panels though was to meet Editors.

In advance of the Con, I had listed the editors that were going to be there and prepared myself. I had my business cards, my mini comics and a full fledged Activist Compilations. I had something for everyone. I was ready.

The last thing was to appear confident despite the nervosity. Have you ever approached a perfect stranger and asked them if they would like to look at your work? It’s nerve-wrecking.

It’s also a lot like stalking. You know in which room they’re going to be, you wait for them at the exit. I kinda liked it. Then I smiled and tried to be charming without being pushy or too eager and without seeming nervous or psychotic. It worked better with some editors than others and it was nice for the ones I met before to actually remember me and my work. All in all, it was a victory.

I am actually very proud of myself for doing it. In the past, I had not been that good: giving up easily on approaching someone because it is hell of awkward. But now, I am a hammer. I am going to keep on hammering at the comic industry until I break in. Onto the next thing.


Putting a Comic-Book Together (how I get technical).

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.


Finish It!

Ta-ta-ta-ta tatata-ta-ta-ta  tatata-ta-ta-ta  tatata-ta-ta-ta  tatata-ta-ta-ta MOWTALKOMBA!

That’s right. I just hummed the Mortal Kombat Movie music to you. Classic. No, I did not misspell Mortal Kombat. That dude just sounds like he has a hot potato in his mouth: MOWTALKOMBA!

So, FINISH IT, right? Excellent.

I am currently working on a couple different stories for a potential new artist. I want to blind him with my fat awesomeness. I have a tendency to start a story, do an outline and/or a rough script and sometimes move on to another story. I feel legit doing that because I remember Writer extraordinaire Gail Simone mentioning at a panel that she prefers doing 2 projects simultaneously so that when she gets bored or stuck with one, she can still work on the other.

Thing is, I am not Gail Simone. And to indulge in this behavior is risky since I can start a lot of things and not finish one of them. That’s why today I say FINISH IT!

Stay on board with your current project and see it to the end. Not only will you have achieved something, but you will also feel great about it, filled with a deserved sense of pride and that is so worth it. Flawless Victory.


An image pulled from AC#1, go check it out!


Big Typo.

I started passing around my business card.

People usually like it. I did it here if you wanna try.


Notice the pretty artwork from Nick. Only I know that’s what he looks like on the toilet–>here.

Yesterday I gave it to a coworker and told him about the work Nick and I are doing and how we’re going to be in an anthology blah blah blah…

Then the unthinkable happened. As he was browsing through this very website on his I-phone, he noticed a TYPO! Not a typo in a text or a blog or a word balloon. No no no..that I could have stomached. He saw this:


How do you pronounce that???

What in the name of fuck? I mean come on people, a little help here. No one noticed this!!!??? Yeah, I’m looking at you Nick. I have a valid excuse, English is my second language: “Anglissh his aard four mi”.

Anyway I fixed it:


Phew! I feel better. Next time though, could you please let me know you guys. I mean, what am I not paying you for?


The Pitch.

Alright people, Nick and I are pitching to 8th Wonder Press for their Science/ Mad Science Anthology. I figured I would share the pitch here so you can tell us what you think. One thing to keep in mind is that we are writing for all ages here.The final Artwork from Nick is not included but it will be in the final pitch. Regardless, this is about the story. Here it goes:

Dear Submission Editor,

My name is Nicolas Izambard and I am writer. Together with artist Nick Nall, we wish to propose to you a story for your upcoming anthology. The story is titled: “Loony the Moonian Makes Friends”. Our story is one of Mad Science. It is 12 pages long and has no dialogue.

On the moon, Loony the Moonian is enjoying eating moon rocks, his favorite meal. He just wishes he had a friend to share it with. So he hops into his flying saucer and goes to earth. Using his technologically advanced tablet, he captures animals in the most fantastic ways. Projecting a gazelle hologram to catch a lion and using a decoy lake to trap a giraffe, Loony manages to catch dozens of animals from Africa. [Pages 1 to 3]

As he flies back to the moon with the flying saucer full of animals, we see why Loony kidnapped them all in the first place. He has a plan. He wants to build the perfect friend. From the courage of a lion to the sense of humor of a Hyena, he is going to put it all together.  Back inside his lab on the moon, he uses special lasers to divide each animal into cubes (just like a sliding tile puzzle!).He then uses all the different cubes to build the most fantastically backwards looking animals. Unfortunately, no matter how many times he tries, he cannot put the perfect friend together. Disappointed in his failed experiments, Loony is about to discard a big pile of cubes when, suddenly, he trips and falls. All the cubes he was carrying fall to the ground and merge together to form a big, scary-looking creature. [Pages 4 to 7]

The poor thing is made of all the wrong parts in all the wrong places! It has a giraffe’s neck for a tail, an elephant’s trunk for an arm and it is now chasing Loony through the lab so that it can get a big hug. The creature simply wants some love. Unfortunately, our friend the Moonian does not see it this way and has never been so scared in his entire life. So when the creature manages to catch him, he reaches for his tablet to release the many failed experiments he created. [Pages 8 and 9]

Scared of all the failed experiments Loony unleashed, the creature runs away from the lab. Using the distraction to his advantage, Loony hops into his flying saucer and escapes but the creature spots him in the distance and runs after the saucer. When it finally catches up, it jumps onto the saucer and causes Loony to crash onto the moon’s surface. [Pages 10 and 11]

Later, Loony wakes up in his lab with bandages on his head. He is surrounded by all his failed experiment and the creature is dangerously approaching him! The creature offers him a plate of Moon rocks, his favorite, and they all share a meal together. Loony has not only made a friend in the creature, he did in fact make friends, not matter how imperfect they are. [page12]

The End.

Never Stop Writing

“Never stop writing”

That’s what Brian Michael Bendis told me.

I took the Writing Graphic Novel class he taught at Portland State University back in 2010. This was the beginning of my Comic Book writing days. Professor Bendis is not only extremely knowledgeable about the craft, he is also very supportive. It was just a great, fun, informative class with fantastic reading material.

I personally recommend starting with The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. It’ll teach you plenty about telling a story and the three acts structure. Don’t just read it, STUDY it. Take notes. Commit to memory. You should do that for all these books. It truly helps. THEN read Story by Robert McKee. It seemed to me it was a lot easier to read Story AFTER The Journey. I also recommend the DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics. It contains some great organisational methods. Add Will Eisner’s Comics and Sequential Arts and Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative; and Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and Making Comics. Those will take you on a trip.

That’s enough,  you got plenty there. In the end though, you write your way. There are not set methods. just pick and choose what works best FOR you.

I got an A in the class, not that I believe in grades or anything but it does help when people enjoy your work and tell you so. The Activist was born in that class and so was Alistair.

The last time I talked to professor Bendis, it was on the floor of the Stumptown Comics Fest where the whole class met for the last time. As he walked away from me, he turned around and said “never stop writing”. To this day, this is the most supportive and positive advice I have gotten. It carries me through and pushes me forward no matter what.

I quickly answered: “I won’t”.


The GIF that keeps on GIFFING.

Oily GIF!

I just could not resist. A GIF is such a succinct way of sharing the process with you guys. Of course, there is a lot more involved than just pasting stuff on top of each other like some mad comic book sandwich artist, especially when it comes to Nick’s Artwork.

In any case, I love making GIFs. If you enjoy them, you should check out the two Activist Issues I made using Photoshop.

Also don’t miss on our new issue: Oily Shit!

New Look…finally!

So I finally found a better Theme for this blog. It is called Fontfolio and it does what my blog needed most: it makes it more VISUAL.

I just love the new front page.

newsiteThe order of posts featured can be re-arranged via Sticky Notes.

The most difficult part was to find a “full width” theme in order to accommodate the comics themselves but especially the large GIFs from the AC series.

The second big change is that I decided to do away with “pages” for the Comics themselves. Instead I chose to feature the art on one long page, separated by a slight margin.


Try it here and tell me what you think,


Abort Me This!

I am SO excited to share this new issue of The ACTIVIST with you!

“Abort me this” is the second story Nick and I collaborated on together. I think it is my favorite story so far. Yes, it is a comic book about Abortion.

Comments and critiques welcome.