More Cool Artists Links!

Note, I don’t really include writers’ links, because the whole flippin’ world is a big writer’s link.  If you need plot prompts or character naming sources or world creation help, then I’m probably not the guy to ask.  But, when it come to art, I’m there, baby! Whoo!

Web GL Water

Photo Editor Online (much like Photoshop)

Perspective Tool (In Japanese, but still useful)


Neon Flames

Figure Drawing Practice


Gravestone Symbolism

Observations, Artists’ Links, Etc.

Hi, All:

I just got done using the panel creation tools, 3D figure tools, and the texture creation or registration tools in Manga Studio 5 Ex.  These took a couple of hours to get familiar with an to actually put into use, but this was a first time exploration, and it was easy enough that I didn’t have to refer to the manual or tutorial videos.  I think this will go pretty fast in the future.  I learned the how to use the lettering balloons the other day, and those too had an initial learning curve, but all was well pretty early on.  I also had some specific lessons to learn in using their incredibly useful vector tools, but happiness was the result.

Here’s a tutorial I made from one of my more recent projects:



Short Movie Review

I just watched the indie film “All Superheroes Must Die.”

There’s some excellent writing in this–you can tell the writer wasn’t writing an indie film. He was writing something with emotional resonance, and bigger than life moments, and endings to long histories that we can only guess at. Honestly, some of the words were touching and powerful.

There’s a Frank-Milleresque crime noir element to this movie. The soundtrack is good, the production values relatively good. Three of the five leads were really good, and their acting was real and even memorable.

Now, as for the criticisms… As a creator of indie entertainment material myself, and as a writer who sometimes tries to transcend my medium and the resources I have at hand, I don’t feel like chopping this movie up for it’s flaws. I believe this crew gave 110% effort to make something of substance. In many ways they succeeded, so I give “All Superheroes Must Die” a positive grade.

Cool Stuff. Really.

Here’s some more outstanding resources for the imaginative digital artists out there. And, if that’s not you, then here are some fun toys to divert yourself with.  Whatever. I’m cool with it.

FaceGen Modeler 3D


Project Dogwaffle

Escape Emotion (First and second one are particularly cool)

Ethnic Skintones


3D Anatomy Models

Text-Image Converter

The Pencil



There is no excuse if you wish to create.


Yo, I say. Just Yo.

So much on my mind, so little cohesiveness to it… Sad really…

*Benita and I have been watching a British TV show called Time Team, a sort of archeology reality show hosted by Tony Robinson of “Black Adder” Baldric fame.  Very clever, really, as plans go.

*I am working on a series of pictures that simply kick ass, pictures which in different combinations will be our behind-the-table vertical banner, the cover to our third trade paperback, and a series of bookmarks.  This unusual set got me really excited, because I was dreading the banner.  I’ve never worked that large, after all.  Sorry, you can’t see them yet.  You’ll dig them, though.

*I’ve almost waited the requisite week to see the latest episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. It’s a pain in the ass, but no so painful as the prospect of actually finding a normal tv and turning it on when the show originally aired.  I have a life, after all.  My evenings are devoted to my wife and getting to bed early.

*My Acid Reflux is really kicking my ass lately, and I’m in the process of changing my diet.  Eating is not as much fun as it used to be, but I don’t like being in discomfort all the time. “Discomfort,” in this context, means that I hurt so badly I can’t sleep and can barely concentrate.  But, I’m getting better.  This problem killed my Uncle Buddy, or at least directly led to his passing, and I don’t want to be a repeat performance.

*I’m designing a fictional magic system for a fantasy series I’m working on.  You’ve probably seen hints of it in Johnny Saturn as my thoughts on all this have firmed up over the years. My ideas on this are pretty revolutionary and paradigm shifting, and it all dates back to a rather odd night in Chicago in 2008.  Oooh, cryptic…. But not sinister.  Get your mind out of the gutter.

*I don’t talk negatively about other artists, living or dead.  I have been fans of some of them so long that I’ve begun to see flaws or stylistic traits that bug me.  This artist deadens his beautiful paintings with too much black, that artists is inconsistent on how many heads tall his characters are, and this other artists parodies cute girls to the point that they look like aliens.  No, I’m not naming names, and I still love these artists, but some of the sheen has gone off the polish, or some such.

Be cool, and Yo. Just Yo.



I’ve been using Photoshop exclusively for nearly two decades, so a full transfer over to Manga Studio was bound to run into a few difficulties. Happily, the folks who moderate the Manga Studio forum on Smith Micro’s website have been able to help me each time I’ve run into a bump in the road.  In certain ways all graphic programs are going to be similar and interchangeable, but I’ve worked at a pretty high level for a long time and I’ve been way down the rabbit hole in terms of complex operations.  I sort of expected to start up with the new Manga Studio 5 Ex build at the same level, and it just isn’t happening.  I can now see it’s going to take an unspecified number of weeks and lots of experimentation to make it happen the way I want.  That’s OK, of course. It just sucks being patient.

Here are my short term goals.  Yesterday I rendered three more pages of Johnny Saturn, so that’s just nine pages left until I finish up the comic content of the third trade paperback.  After that will begin a several week period of trial and error and craziness that happens every time I format and collect a new trade paperback.  If I’m going to ask someone to write a forward I’d better get on the ball and ask soon.  I roughed out a cover today, and it’s going to kick ass.

Once the graphic novel is off and being printed I’ll upgrade my “Johnny Saturn” website.  There is a lot to do, from advice Brad Guigar gave on, to ideas I’ve culled from a variety of webcomics and podcasts and books on marketing and website optimization.  Things are going to be different.

In the meantime, as everything else is underway, I need to format more of my comics for Comixology, order a convention banner, and order new copies of existing books to sell at shows.  It’s both exciting and daunting how much I’ve got planned for this year.