Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy Holidays, 2012!

This is my first holiday card using ComiPo!

This picture was taken on the skywalk that connects King Manor to the Rainbow Center.

The residents of my apartment building love my holiday card.

This image is a series of layers and I darkened the foreground characters to match the background.

I wish I could darken just a character’s skin without darkening the rest of the character model; as I’d like to include characters other than white people.

Please feel free to suggest other images that I could make using ComiPo!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Second Street Sinkhole Surprise

The first two panels depict the Duluth, Minnesota Flood of 2012.

I thought I could incorporate this once in a lifetime, I hope, flood event into my comic.  I never thought that I’d see miniature waterfalls in my apartment’s parking lot, but I did.

The last two pictures I made with a 3-D graphic program.

For the third panel, I made a bowl-shaped brush in the floor and then textured a photo of a sinkhole onto that brush.  Thus, that sinkhole appears three dimensional with the characters and floor.

I’ve noticed that when two dimensional photographs are projected onto a flat screen as background images and then photographed again, these background images appear flat, especially when you have 3-D persons or objects in the foreground.  I’ve noticed that happen when playing computer games, seeing movies, or watching television.

The fourth panel shows a Fringe gate with the rainbow effect on, from the Fringeworthy role-playing game.  That means that all three of my main characters are Fringeworthy and can use it to transit to their world’s prime platform.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Before and during the 2012 Duluth Flood

I’m amazed at how well this page comes together.  It has a pleasing mix of asymmetrical design, bright and subdued colors, and Abigail Adams tells a short and snappy narration that is sufficient to tell the reader what’s going on with these characters.

Here is what I found out while making my first digital comic that you can use to create your own digital comic.

First, I’d suggest that you should create your own digital photography portfolio of subjects to use for backgrounds.

Second, don’t be afraid to use slightly blurred photographs.  The first panel has a blurred photo (shot in light fog) for a background.  I blurred my three 3D characters to make them better match with the 2D background photo.

Third, I also darkened my three characters in panels 1, 3, 4, and 5.  I then added a rain picture (thoughtfully included in ComiPo!) as foreground for panels 5, 6, and 7.

Lastly, I’m grateful for digital software such as “ComiPo!”.  I could have never made a hand drawn comic, printed out paper copies, and then attempted to sell these to readers.

How (Laraine) Hunt joined WASS

Laraine’s background is based on a real high school student I once knew.

One day he brought to school a pair of real police handcuffs that I saw him show to his friends in homeroom.

I enjoy using “ComiPo!” to blend three dimensional characters with two dimensional backgrounds.

I’m aware that my two characters would probably not be talking about WASS in a public skywalk.

But, there was no one in the skywalk beside them, so they felt safe to talk about WASS there.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Station Speech

Abigail Adams, Angry Cab, and (Laraine) Hunt are practicing their magic in the subway station to reduce any accidental damage to WASS equipment due to a misfired spell.  The fact is that the station was built to be used as magical training grounds, isolated north from the WASS base, which is south of the King Manor Station.

Think of the subway station as a decoy for urban explorers, so these thrill seeking intruders will not find the WASS base.  In short, the urban explorers find the subway station, think that’s all there is to the DTA’s Second Street Subway project, and then return home.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

“Washington’s Army of Sorcerers and Sorceresses” (WASS)

This page introduces the secret government organization “Washington’s Army of Sorcerers and Sorceresses” (WASS).  While some readers may object to reading many lines of text, I contend that many professional comics and graphic novels use similar blocks of text to convey background information to the reader.  Not every comic needs to be written with short, declarative sentences.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The misfired spell!

I didn’t know how well Larry Hunt would react to this comic; but he accepted it with good humor.

The misfired spell Abigail Adams cast was supposed to transform Angry Cab, not her mentor Larry Hunt.

I’m still amazed on the quality comics I can create with ComiPo!; and I hope to create even better comic pages in the near future.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A new ability

In this page, Angry Cab discovers a new ability, while Abigail Adams and Angry Cab make a discovery about Larry Hunt.
I’m still learning how to create comics and use all the tools in ComiPo!; so please don’t judge these first comics by the same standards as you would a professional comic writer.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chapter Two, Page One

So begins my comic’s second chapter of Angry Cab.  My comic will be bright and cheerful; appealing to kids and adults that want to read an entertaining comic fantasy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Angry Cab Characters

This is my comic’s character profile page.  The nose for Abigail Adams is a number one turned upside down.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

One story arc ends, another story arc starts!

Larry liked how the first chapter ended by reinforcing his role as one of the comic’s protagonists and mentioning his café.  I liked how the first story arc ended on a happy note.

I wanted the last panel to introduce a new antagonist for my comic.  But, I didn’t want to have a standard “off the shelf villain” as seen in so many other web comics.

Then, in an unrelated conservation Larry and I talked about the Lake Superior barrels.  I told Larry that if these barrels contained nothing more dangerous than scrap metal, then these bits should have been recycled.  After all, making “military grade” components, especially strong metal, is expensive.

Larry and I came up with the idea that these barrels were filled with the remains of an alien spacecraft shot down by a secret Army weapon near Roswell, New Mexico.  The spacecraft didn’t carry living beings, but it was itself a living being enclosed in a metal shell.  Now, these fragments of this alien spacecraft are awakening, these bits are angry, and these bits want revenge upon the humans and their cab allies!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Magical Cab Awakening Page, Final Draft

Deleting the sixth panel makes this story and the layout a bit stronger.  After all, Angry Cab is the comic’s main character.
I designed this page to humanize Angry Cab and make it a more sympathetic character.  For your information, Angry Cab has no gender and speaks with an androgynous voice.  This has not stopped Abigail Adams from considering Angry Cab as masculine, a mistaken belief that will come into play in the next chapter.

Magical Cab Awakening Page, First Draft

Larry didn’t like the sixth panel of this comic, who believed it was too negative for this fantasy comedy story.  So, I remade the last two panels.  I posted the first version of this page to show you how my comic changes during editing.

Angry Cab makes a phone call

Howard Hendrickson designed this page layout and wrote most of the script.  After editing Howard’s script, this page was one of the easier pages to create, with two backgrounds to post.  After an hour of work, I redid the last panel as the original background was pixilated to the point of illegibility.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Larry's Cafe as seen by:

This is my favorite page of the first chapter.  Larry Hunt was also pleased with the self-defecating humor presented in this page.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Angry Cab finds Duluth’s forgotten subway

This page was designed to move the story forward to the next page.  Thus, this is my first story page, instead of an advertisement page.
The use of magic is an accepted part of every life for the people of this fictional Earth.  Angry cab was able to purchase a used crystal ball at Goodwill.
Duluth’s Second Street Subway was inspired by New York City’s real world Second Avenue Subway (SAS).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Angry Cab’s introduction page

My first attempt at combining an advertisement with an ongoing story was a success.  Larry Hunt distributed thirty copies of this ad in our apartment and to nearby apartments.  I was also praised by my fellow apartment tenants.
Larry got a message on his phone from someone who described himself as a Duluth cab driver.  This cab driver said that he was angry at Larry for suggesting that cab drivers are all dishonest and greedy.  Never mind the fact this page is about an angry cab, not an angry cab driver.  Larry never returned that phone call and we still wonder if the caller was serious or was joking.
No matter what you create, there will always be someone who will criticize your efforts.  I say that you should politely ignore your critics, while creating what you and others will love.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Beth Anderson’s L.I.F.E. Advertisement

This is the second comic page that I’ve created using ComiPo!  Beth Anderson liked being depicted as a comic book character.
Beth’s company boss saw the comic posted in the lobby of the Duluth office and then praised it as an effective ad for her class during a company telecommunications meeting.  In addition, Beth’s boss thought that she had made the comic.  Beth told him that I had made her advertisement comic for her.

King Manor Café Advertisement

This is the first comic page that I’ve created using ComiPo!  Intended as a store ad, I created this page in November 2011 without thought that it would be the seed idea for my first illustrated novel.  For a first attempt at creating a comic, I think I created an effective advertisement.  I would like to thank Bruce Sheffer for his advice that improved my comic.