Marissa Louise Sketch Dump

A Lifesaving Schema.

Hey pumpkins,

I haven’t done a non-caucasian flesh tutorial just yet, but I have something nice to tide you over. I assume most of you are artists, or aspiring artists. One of the absolutely most important things is to get your work in on time. This saves your team a lot of grief & encourages people to work with you. 

BUT organization doesn’t come easily to all of us. So we need to develop tools to help us stay organized. If you’re anything like me you’re running 10 projects at once and forgetting contract terms and aaaa!

So I spent some freetime today creating a schema spreadsheet. This has vital contract terms (start date, end date, & rate!) and transfers that information into a VISUAL calendar. As long as you update it with contracts as you get them, you’ll be able to see what needs to get done. There is a little more fussing I could do with it, like turning the X into the number of pages that need to be done and totaling that at the bottom, but maybe I’ll make a 2.0 later if people like it.

Right now it only has places for 8 projects, but it is a year long calendar. To update it copy the formula =IF(AND(I1>=$G$#,I1<=$H$#),”x”,” “) & replace the # with the number in the row you’re working on. Then just extend that formula to the end, it will autofill the proper column while keeping the start date & end date consistent.

Because I’ve made this specifically for artist, I’ve Included a section for Con scheduling. Those take a lot of time & you want them on the calendar. 

I also included one for vacation. I know we all hate to do it, but you must, you must.

Adjust the schema as for the information you need & happy arting! Even happier business!

Download Schema for Artists


Accounting Questions?

Hey gang, I was wondering if you would be interested in some of my spreadsheet magic. Bill is a huge pain and hard to keep organized. So after a few years in the industry I’ve come up with some billing solutions. Would you be interested in this? Or do you have some arts accounting specific questions?


What do you think is the most important element of an action comic? Outside the obvious, like 'good action'. from johnnylawgottagun

darrylayo:

Read Sean Witzke on Uncanny X-Force: http://supervillain.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/emma-peel-sessions-53-determined-without-being-ruthless/

Later (years), I wrote about Uncanny Avengers: http://comixcube.com/2013/08/30/uncanny-x-force-part-two-uncanny-avengers/

Both Uncanny X-Force and Uncanny Avengers are written by Rick Remender. What I feel tends to work in both series is that there are characters who are strong enough to care about. There are large plot-reasons to be invested in the circumstances of the action and there are smaller, minor character-notes that do more to ramp up the emotional stakes of the overt conflicts.

The action depicted in those comics isn’t any better than any competing superhero comics. But due to Remender giving each character his or her own unique perspective within the narrative, those action scenes feel more meaningful than the action scenes of other comics.


On the visual side of things, for fighting, action or violence to work, I need to see figure-ground relationships (character in their background environment) and I need to see figure-figure relationships (characters’ spatial relationships to one another).

Finally, there’s something that Witzke mentioned that I also pulled from an Adam Warren twitter discussion. The idea of a fight scene or an action scene as a progression of happenings.

A fight scene (one that lasts longer then two hits: A hitting B and B hitting the floor) will consist of a series of attempts, successes, frustrations and changes of direction and dominance. There are stories in these action sequences. The story of one party trying to overpower the other, one party’s efforts to disarm or undermine the opposing party’s intentions.

Make your characters work for it.

That’s what the point is. After all we know that the protagonist is going to survive and win. Eventually. Until then, it isn’t any fun if the protagonist doesn’t have a bunch of setbacks. In an action comic, one has to consider that the protagonist and antagonist are working against one another to achieve their own goals and to undermine their opponents’ goals.

~

I wrote “finally” but I’m not finished yet.

There’s another genre of “action” that I usually see in manga such as Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack comics but is also seen in the David Aja/Matt Fraction Hawkeye comics: the procedural.

The style of showing an action or activity step-by-step throughout a sequence of panels allows the artist to show off his or her technical knowledge and actually teaches a task. It’s a cool method of revealing a subtle process to the comic’s reader. It’s one thing to have a character performing an action. It’s something else to explicitly place the details of how that character accomplished the action.

~

There’s more to it but those are the main ideas that come to mind for me.

@darrylayo

Darryl has good things to say.


Y&#8217;all know normal I keep this blog process oriented and light hearted. But this is something dear to me. Learn first aid and learn how to take charge. I&#8217;ve prevented a number of deaths because I have been willing to jump in and organize the chaos. It&#8217;s not hyperbole when I say that. One man had a heart attack on the L train. If I hadn&#8217;t sent two specific people to call the police &amp; two more to set up a parameter he&#8217;d be dead. One woman was hit while on her motorcycle. People were trying to take off her helmet, never ever do that! Set up a parameter (cars were still driving through) and stabilize the person! There are many more examples. And I&#8217;ve talked about this before, but the one time I failed to do something a man died of a drug overdose. I will never stand by again and I will never forgive myself for letting that man die. 

pepperjohnrogers:

cumberbum:

The Bystander Effect - The Bystander Effect is a social phenomenon in which a person (or persons) are less likely to offer help to another person (or persons) when there are more people around who can also provide assistance. Many people believe that, when there is an emergency and lots of people are present, the people in need are more likely to get assistance. However, this is not the case. Rather, the more people there are who can help, the less likely each person is to offer help. Thus, when in a group, people are less likely to offer help than when they are alone.

I’m going to hijack this post to talk about what you should do to combat the bystander effect. The bystander effect is very real and can have some very serious consequences. People die all the time because of the bystander effect. 
If you know CPR and you see someone in distress, congratulations you are now in charge. Don’t stand around and wait for someone else to do something. You are officially the most capable person on scene. 
Start CPR immediately. While you’re at it, pick someone in the crowd and point to them. Loudly say, “You call 911!”. Do Not say “someone call 911”. If you say “someone” everyone there is going to think that someone else is “someone”. You have to pick a specific person. 
If you don’t know CPR and aren’t capable of offering any direct assistance, it is officially your job to call for emergency services. If you don’t have a cellphone, start looking for a phone or someone else who has a phone. 
Whenever you are in doubt about whether or not you need to take action, remember the bystander effect. Remember that other people will be in doubt too, and those other people may not be armed with the knowledge you have. 
If you pass a car accident on the highway and think “I’m sure someone else has already called it in” remember that everyone else who passed thought the exact same thing. Call it in. Emergency services would rather receive 100 calls about the same accident than not receive any calls at all. 

Y’all know normal I keep this blog process oriented and light hearted. But this is something dear to me. Learn first aid and learn how to take charge. I’ve prevented a number of deaths because I have been willing to jump in and organize the chaos. It’s not hyperbole when I say that. One man had a heart attack on the L train. If I hadn’t sent two specific people to call the police & two more to set up a parameter he’d be dead. One woman was hit while on her motorcycle. People were trying to take off her helmet, never ever do that! Set up a parameter (cars were still driving through) and stabilize the person! There are many more examples. And I’ve talked about this before, but the one time I failed to do something a man died of a drug overdose. I will never stand by again and I will never forgive myself for letting that man die. 

pepperjohnrogers:

cumberbum:

The Bystander Effect - The Bystander Effect is a social phenomenon in which a person (or persons) are less likely to offer help to another person (or persons) when there are more people around who can also provide assistance. Many people believe that, when there is an emergency and lots of people are present, the people in need are more likely to get assistance. However, this is not the case. Rather, the more people there are who can help, the less likely each person is to offer help. Thus, when in a group, people are less likely to offer help than when they are alone.

I’m going to hijack this post to talk about what you should do to combat the bystander effect. The bystander effect is very real and can have some very serious consequences. People die all the time because of the bystander effect. 

If you know CPR and you see someone in distress, congratulations you are now in charge. Don’t stand around and wait for someone else to do something. You are officially the most capable person on scene. 

Start CPR immediately. While you’re at it, pick someone in the crowd and point to them. Loudly say, “You call 911!”. Do Not say “someone call 911”. If you say “someone” everyone there is going to think that someone else is “someone”. You have to pick a specific person

If you don’t know CPR and aren’t capable of offering any direct assistance, it is officially your job to call for emergency services. If you don’t have a cellphone, start looking for a phone or someone else who has a phone. 

Whenever you are in doubt about whether or not you need to take action, remember the bystander effect. Remember that other people will be in doubt too, and those other people may not be armed with the knowledge you have. 

If you pass a car accident on the highway and think “I’m sure someone else has already called it in” remember that everyone else who passed thought the exact same thing. Call it in. Emergency services would rather receive 100 calls about the same accident than not receive any calls at all. 


Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.

— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (via krispryde)


Keeping structure when you are freelance can be a challenge. Two important things to do are organize your time &amp; get off your butt. Personally I like to do pushups or go for a walk when I feel like I&#8217;m fading. But walking the dog, jumping jax or 5 minute dance break all work wonderfully. It&#8217;s important to keep those things in your schedule. 

My actual schedule is no where near this structured. I have the A4 Architects &amp; Design Diary (http://paragrafdiary.com/layout/) Which is AWESOME for me. I can keep hours, billing, deadlines, show schedules, paid/unpaid accounts, meal plans &amp; doodles in it. There is also room for birthdays, addresses, and upcoming years&#8217; schedules. I can&#8217;t recommend this book enough. 
Next year I am going to start color coding it also. Organization is key!

plain-comics:

I make a new one of these every time my situation changes. This time I move to Oakland, it’s pretty much like the last one, but less confusing and ugly so I thought I’d share it. It’s based on this… http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret which I find works for me in the same way my Nike Fuel Band does. 
I try and keep it mostly work based, but include a few other things that push back and get me out of my chair. The dog helps me get out of the chair too. The boxes with arrows in it are projects that can expand for a given period if my week is looking like it’s going to have a lot of free time. I also try to stagger my personal deadlines so I never get jammed up.
View Larger

Keeping structure when you are freelance can be a challenge. Two important things to do are organize your time & get off your butt. Personally I like to do pushups or go for a walk when I feel like I’m fading. But walking the dog, jumping jax or 5 minute dance break all work wonderfully. It’s important to keep those things in your schedule. 

My actual schedule is no where near this structured. I have the A4 Architects & Design Diary (http://paragrafdiary.com/layout/) Which is AWESOME for me. I can keep hours, billing, deadlines, show schedules, paid/unpaid accounts, meal plans & doodles in it. There is also room for birthdays, addresses, and upcoming years’ schedules. I can’t recommend this book enough. 

Next year I am going to start color coding it also. Organization is key!

plain-comics:

I make a new one of these every time my situation changes. This time I move to Oakland, it’s pretty much like the last one, but less confusing and ugly so I thought I’d share it. It’s based on this… http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret which I find works for me in the same way my Nike Fuel Band does. 

I try and keep it mostly work based, but include a few other things that push back and get me out of my chair. The dog helps me get out of the chair too. The boxes with arrows in it are projects that can expand for a given period if my week is looking like it’s going to have a lot of free time. I also try to stagger my personal deadlines so I never get jammed up.


highcrimescomic:


GUIDEBOOK: HIGH CRIMES #2
Still playing catch-up with the recaps, and I’m trying to keep High Crimes on the brain while I’m working on the last few pages of 5 in the other window. So here’s the rundown of Chapter 2, written forever and a day ago, back when my thinking was all sort of different about all sorts of things. We were working on 2 before 1 came out, wrapping it up the day 1 came out, so a lot of this stuff is all jumbled up in my head.
COVER
Covers usually come last, and this one was no exception, but Ibrahim’s rough draft wasn’t too far from the final version. I love everything about this cover, the minimal look to it, but it says so very much. I think we were still figuring out our way on Chapter 1, Chapter 2 is where Ibrahim found his groove.
1.
So when I wrote 1 and 2, I wrote them as two parts of one issue, because that’s originally how I saw the structure breaking down, 6 26-page issues to tell the whole story. The major problem with that came when I realized that things just sort of start on page 1, no real lead-in, no easing the reader in, just, bam, here we go. But there’s a lot to get to in this issue, so there wasn’t a lot of room for hand-holding. That’s how I justify it.
2.
The safe and the stacks of money were sort of a late change. Originally I’d pictured all that stuff in the office, but I wanted to see Haskell’s house, to sort of give the flipside to how Zan lives, and this was the most elegant way to do it.
3.
That yawn. Man, that yawn makes me want to yawn. I just yawned writing this. That’s how good that yawn is. Lotta movement on this page. I think this is where Ibrahim told me that he actually likes working with a lot of panels, so I started going nuts. Things get dense, but there’s never any confusion about what’s going on, I don’t think.
4.
Finally we see Mars in the journal flesh. I knew from the get-go that Mars would be a big character, not just as the Maltese Falcon, but as a living breathing person (who happens to be dead). Only problem was I hadn’t finalized his story as deeply as I did the main story, so a lot of the work in 2 was mapping that out to the end. The hard part here is giving Mars enough life to make Zan (and the readers) care about him in such a short little glimpse. 
I just noticed, I meant to letter the label for the pill bottle, which would’ve been Sophie’s prescription. I’ll have to fix that for the trade.
5.
Lots of research was figuring out where Zan would go to actually read microfilm, an institution that’s pretty much disappeared in America. But count on a university library to keep their clunky machinery around until someone pries it from their dead hands. Also, I’m clearly in love with the answering machine/voicemail form of storytelling in these first two issues.
6.
I’d like to go ahead and take a little credit for this one, since I sent Ibrahim a sketch of how I saw this big reveal scene laid out and he actually thought it was good enough to make for a jumping off point. My vision was not nearly as pretty as this. Also, I did a lot of work getting some of these documents into storyline shape, retyping and laying out a couple of them. They’re worth a closer look, if only to not notice the hour or two’s worth of work I put into them.
7.
Things start to go apeshit. I wanted the Strange Agents’ first movements to be fast and brutal, mostly to lead into the severe bad news of the next page. I just noticed Ibrahim’s little trick of matching shot the body map in panel 1 and Tenzing and his soon to be deceased drinking buddy walking out of the bar.
8.
Hammers are great. They’re everywhere, no one really questions you needing one and they do a lot of horrible things to the human form. Ibrahim’s on fire on this page, from the bowed hallway shot on panel 1 to the universal look of a hotel room, even one that’s occupied by 5 dudes. This Agent’s name in the script? INTERROGAGENT.
9.
More Mars. I just wanted to give enough to sell his story down the line. I love the time jump panels, especially that last one, with the shot below the table all on its own. This might be my favorite bit of the whole issue.
10.
Ibrahim added a few panels here to make things more clear, which is yet another reason Ibrahim is an amazing collaborator. The crazy amount of detail in this issue is all over this page. Lot of dialogue changed in the lettering stage, from a sort of drunky, rambling monologue out loud to the wheels turning inside. Again, a lot of stuff to get to.
11.
Zan’s knife? I basically carry the same thing around with me all the time. Not that Ibrahim knew that, but it seems like the kind of kismet you point out. The panel of the Agent squatting before his makeshift torture set-up is so great. It’s casual but full of dread. It wasn’t until this re-read that I noticed Ibrahim drew this page so you never see the Agents’ faces. It’s a small detail, but it really pushes the creep level up a few.
12.
This first panel. I’ve been wanting to do a rat torture scene since I was in grade school. These are the things I’ve been thinking about way too long. Luckily Ibrahim was totally into it (especially because this is low-key compare to what’s coming up) and he kills it on this page. We wanted to be brutal but not graphic.
13.
Three panels. Look at all this ROOM. High Crimes is a really dense book, so we like to give it some air now and then, like this page. A couple frantic beats before next issue, leave ‘em wanting more, etc. Getting the last panel as a sweet back tattoo next week.
IMAGES: Notebook outline of issue 2 (bleedover from issue 1), Ibrahim’s initial cover rough, early draft promotional image deemed too obscure and reused for issue 1 promotion, Page 3 pencils, final cover image.
highcrimescomic:


GUIDEBOOK: HIGH CRIMES #2
Still playing catch-up with the recaps, and I’m trying to keep High Crimes on the brain while I’m working on the last few pages of 5 in the other window. So here’s the rundown of Chapter 2, written forever and a day ago, back when my thinking was all sort of different about all sorts of things. We were working on 2 before 1 came out, wrapping it up the day 1 came out, so a lot of this stuff is all jumbled up in my head.
COVER
Covers usually come last, and this one was no exception, but Ibrahim’s rough draft wasn’t too far from the final version. I love everything about this cover, the minimal look to it, but it says so very much. I think we were still figuring out our way on Chapter 1, Chapter 2 is where Ibrahim found his groove.
1.
So when I wrote 1 and 2, I wrote them as two parts of one issue, because that’s originally how I saw the structure breaking down, 6 26-page issues to tell the whole story. The major problem with that came when I realized that things just sort of start on page 1, no real lead-in, no easing the reader in, just, bam, here we go. But there’s a lot to get to in this issue, so there wasn’t a lot of room for hand-holding. That’s how I justify it.
2.
The safe and the stacks of money were sort of a late change. Originally I’d pictured all that stuff in the office, but I wanted to see Haskell’s house, to sort of give the flipside to how Zan lives, and this was the most elegant way to do it.
3.
That yawn. Man, that yawn makes me want to yawn. I just yawned writing this. That’s how good that yawn is. Lotta movement on this page. I think this is where Ibrahim told me that he actually likes working with a lot of panels, so I started going nuts. Things get dense, but there’s never any confusion about what’s going on, I don’t think.
4.
Finally we see Mars in the journal flesh. I knew from the get-go that Mars would be a big character, not just as the Maltese Falcon, but as a living breathing person (who happens to be dead). Only problem was I hadn’t finalized his story as deeply as I did the main story, so a lot of the work in 2 was mapping that out to the end. The hard part here is giving Mars enough life to make Zan (and the readers) care about him in such a short little glimpse. 
I just noticed, I meant to letter the label for the pill bottle, which would’ve been Sophie’s prescription. I’ll have to fix that for the trade.
5.
Lots of research was figuring out where Zan would go to actually read microfilm, an institution that’s pretty much disappeared in America. But count on a university library to keep their clunky machinery around until someone pries it from their dead hands. Also, I’m clearly in love with the answering machine/voicemail form of storytelling in these first two issues.
6.
I’d like to go ahead and take a little credit for this one, since I sent Ibrahim a sketch of how I saw this big reveal scene laid out and he actually thought it was good enough to make for a jumping off point. My vision was not nearly as pretty as this. Also, I did a lot of work getting some of these documents into storyline shape, retyping and laying out a couple of them. They’re worth a closer look, if only to not notice the hour or two’s worth of work I put into them.
7.
Things start to go apeshit. I wanted the Strange Agents’ first movements to be fast and brutal, mostly to lead into the severe bad news of the next page. I just noticed Ibrahim’s little trick of matching shot the body map in panel 1 and Tenzing and his soon to be deceased drinking buddy walking out of the bar.
8.
Hammers are great. They’re everywhere, no one really questions you needing one and they do a lot of horrible things to the human form. Ibrahim’s on fire on this page, from the bowed hallway shot on panel 1 to the universal look of a hotel room, even one that’s occupied by 5 dudes. This Agent’s name in the script? INTERROGAGENT.
9.
More Mars. I just wanted to give enough to sell his story down the line. I love the time jump panels, especially that last one, with the shot below the table all on its own. This might be my favorite bit of the whole issue.
10.
Ibrahim added a few panels here to make things more clear, which is yet another reason Ibrahim is an amazing collaborator. The crazy amount of detail in this issue is all over this page. Lot of dialogue changed in the lettering stage, from a sort of drunky, rambling monologue out loud to the wheels turning inside. Again, a lot of stuff to get to.
11.
Zan’s knife? I basically carry the same thing around with me all the time. Not that Ibrahim knew that, but it seems like the kind of kismet you point out. The panel of the Agent squatting before his makeshift torture set-up is so great. It’s casual but full of dread. It wasn’t until this re-read that I noticed Ibrahim drew this page so you never see the Agents’ faces. It’s a small detail, but it really pushes the creep level up a few.
12.
This first panel. I’ve been wanting to do a rat torture scene since I was in grade school. These are the things I’ve been thinking about way too long. Luckily Ibrahim was totally into it (especially because this is low-key compare to what’s coming up) and he kills it on this page. We wanted to be brutal but not graphic.
13.
Three panels. Look at all this ROOM. High Crimes is a really dense book, so we like to give it some air now and then, like this page. A couple frantic beats before next issue, leave ‘em wanting more, etc. Getting the last panel as a sweet back tattoo next week.
IMAGES: Notebook outline of issue 2 (bleedover from issue 1), Ibrahim’s initial cover rough, early draft promotional image deemed too obscure and reused for issue 1 promotion, Page 3 pencils, final cover image.
highcrimescomic:


GUIDEBOOK: HIGH CRIMES #2
Still playing catch-up with the recaps, and I’m trying to keep High Crimes on the brain while I’m working on the last few pages of 5 in the other window. So here’s the rundown of Chapter 2, written forever and a day ago, back when my thinking was all sort of different about all sorts of things. We were working on 2 before 1 came out, wrapping it up the day 1 came out, so a lot of this stuff is all jumbled up in my head.
COVER
Covers usually come last, and this one was no exception, but Ibrahim’s rough draft wasn’t too far from the final version. I love everything about this cover, the minimal look to it, but it says so very much. I think we were still figuring out our way on Chapter 1, Chapter 2 is where Ibrahim found his groove.
1.
So when I wrote 1 and 2, I wrote them as two parts of one issue, because that’s originally how I saw the structure breaking down, 6 26-page issues to tell the whole story. The major problem with that came when I realized that things just sort of start on page 1, no real lead-in, no easing the reader in, just, bam, here we go. But there’s a lot to get to in this issue, so there wasn’t a lot of room for hand-holding. That’s how I justify it.
2.
The safe and the stacks of money were sort of a late change. Originally I’d pictured all that stuff in the office, but I wanted to see Haskell’s house, to sort of give the flipside to how Zan lives, and this was the most elegant way to do it.
3.
That yawn. Man, that yawn makes me want to yawn. I just yawned writing this. That’s how good that yawn is. Lotta movement on this page. I think this is where Ibrahim told me that he actually likes working with a lot of panels, so I started going nuts. Things get dense, but there’s never any confusion about what’s going on, I don’t think.
4.
Finally we see Mars in the journal flesh. I knew from the get-go that Mars would be a big character, not just as the Maltese Falcon, but as a living breathing person (who happens to be dead). Only problem was I hadn’t finalized his story as deeply as I did the main story, so a lot of the work in 2 was mapping that out to the end. The hard part here is giving Mars enough life to make Zan (and the readers) care about him in such a short little glimpse. 
I just noticed, I meant to letter the label for the pill bottle, which would’ve been Sophie’s prescription. I’ll have to fix that for the trade.
5.
Lots of research was figuring out where Zan would go to actually read microfilm, an institution that’s pretty much disappeared in America. But count on a university library to keep their clunky machinery around until someone pries it from their dead hands. Also, I’m clearly in love with the answering machine/voicemail form of storytelling in these first two issues.
6.
I’d like to go ahead and take a little credit for this one, since I sent Ibrahim a sketch of how I saw this big reveal scene laid out and he actually thought it was good enough to make for a jumping off point. My vision was not nearly as pretty as this. Also, I did a lot of work getting some of these documents into storyline shape, retyping and laying out a couple of them. They’re worth a closer look, if only to not notice the hour or two’s worth of work I put into them.
7.
Things start to go apeshit. I wanted the Strange Agents’ first movements to be fast and brutal, mostly to lead into the severe bad news of the next page. I just noticed Ibrahim’s little trick of matching shot the body map in panel 1 and Tenzing and his soon to be deceased drinking buddy walking out of the bar.
8.
Hammers are great. They’re everywhere, no one really questions you needing one and they do a lot of horrible things to the human form. Ibrahim’s on fire on this page, from the bowed hallway shot on panel 1 to the universal look of a hotel room, even one that’s occupied by 5 dudes. This Agent’s name in the script? INTERROGAGENT.
9.
More Mars. I just wanted to give enough to sell his story down the line. I love the time jump panels, especially that last one, with the shot below the table all on its own. This might be my favorite bit of the whole issue.
10.
Ibrahim added a few panels here to make things more clear, which is yet another reason Ibrahim is an amazing collaborator. The crazy amount of detail in this issue is all over this page. Lot of dialogue changed in the lettering stage, from a sort of drunky, rambling monologue out loud to the wheels turning inside. Again, a lot of stuff to get to.
11.
Zan’s knife? I basically carry the same thing around with me all the time. Not that Ibrahim knew that, but it seems like the kind of kismet you point out. The panel of the Agent squatting before his makeshift torture set-up is so great. It’s casual but full of dread. It wasn’t until this re-read that I noticed Ibrahim drew this page so you never see the Agents’ faces. It’s a small detail, but it really pushes the creep level up a few.
12.
This first panel. I’ve been wanting to do a rat torture scene since I was in grade school. These are the things I’ve been thinking about way too long. Luckily Ibrahim was totally into it (especially because this is low-key compare to what’s coming up) and he kills it on this page. We wanted to be brutal but not graphic.
13.
Three panels. Look at all this ROOM. High Crimes is a really dense book, so we like to give it some air now and then, like this page. A couple frantic beats before next issue, leave ‘em wanting more, etc. Getting the last panel as a sweet back tattoo next week.
IMAGES: Notebook outline of issue 2 (bleedover from issue 1), Ibrahim’s initial cover rough, early draft promotional image deemed too obscure and reused for issue 1 promotion, Page 3 pencils, final cover image.
highcrimescomic:


GUIDEBOOK: HIGH CRIMES #2
Still playing catch-up with the recaps, and I’m trying to keep High Crimes on the brain while I’m working on the last few pages of 5 in the other window. So here’s the rundown of Chapter 2, written forever and a day ago, back when my thinking was all sort of different about all sorts of things. We were working on 2 before 1 came out, wrapping it up the day 1 came out, so a lot of this stuff is all jumbled up in my head.
COVER
Covers usually come last, and this one was no exception, but Ibrahim’s rough draft wasn’t too far from the final version. I love everything about this cover, the minimal look to it, but it says so very much. I think we were still figuring out our way on Chapter 1, Chapter 2 is where Ibrahim found his groove.
1.
So when I wrote 1 and 2, I wrote them as two parts of one issue, because that’s originally how I saw the structure breaking down, 6 26-page issues to tell the whole story. The major problem with that came when I realized that things just sort of start on page 1, no real lead-in, no easing the reader in, just, bam, here we go. But there’s a lot to get to in this issue, so there wasn’t a lot of room for hand-holding. That’s how I justify it.
2.
The safe and the stacks of money were sort of a late change. Originally I’d pictured all that stuff in the office, but I wanted to see Haskell’s house, to sort of give the flipside to how Zan lives, and this was the most elegant way to do it.
3.
That yawn. Man, that yawn makes me want to yawn. I just yawned writing this. That’s how good that yawn is. Lotta movement on this page. I think this is where Ibrahim told me that he actually likes working with a lot of panels, so I started going nuts. Things get dense, but there’s never any confusion about what’s going on, I don’t think.
4.
Finally we see Mars in the journal flesh. I knew from the get-go that Mars would be a big character, not just as the Maltese Falcon, but as a living breathing person (who happens to be dead). Only problem was I hadn’t finalized his story as deeply as I did the main story, so a lot of the work in 2 was mapping that out to the end. The hard part here is giving Mars enough life to make Zan (and the readers) care about him in such a short little glimpse. 
I just noticed, I meant to letter the label for the pill bottle, which would’ve been Sophie’s prescription. I’ll have to fix that for the trade.
5.
Lots of research was figuring out where Zan would go to actually read microfilm, an institution that’s pretty much disappeared in America. But count on a university library to keep their clunky machinery around until someone pries it from their dead hands. Also, I’m clearly in love with the answering machine/voicemail form of storytelling in these first two issues.
6.
I’d like to go ahead and take a little credit for this one, since I sent Ibrahim a sketch of how I saw this big reveal scene laid out and he actually thought it was good enough to make for a jumping off point. My vision was not nearly as pretty as this. Also, I did a lot of work getting some of these documents into storyline shape, retyping and laying out a couple of them. They’re worth a closer look, if only to not notice the hour or two’s worth of work I put into them.
7.
Things start to go apeshit. I wanted the Strange Agents’ first movements to be fast and brutal, mostly to lead into the severe bad news of the next page. I just noticed Ibrahim’s little trick of matching shot the body map in panel 1 and Tenzing and his soon to be deceased drinking buddy walking out of the bar.
8.
Hammers are great. They’re everywhere, no one really questions you needing one and they do a lot of horrible things to the human form. Ibrahim’s on fire on this page, from the bowed hallway shot on panel 1 to the universal look of a hotel room, even one that’s occupied by 5 dudes. This Agent’s name in the script? INTERROGAGENT.
9.
More Mars. I just wanted to give enough to sell his story down the line. I love the time jump panels, especially that last one, with the shot below the table all on its own. This might be my favorite bit of the whole issue.
10.
Ibrahim added a few panels here to make things more clear, which is yet another reason Ibrahim is an amazing collaborator. The crazy amount of detail in this issue is all over this page. Lot of dialogue changed in the lettering stage, from a sort of drunky, rambling monologue out loud to the wheels turning inside. Again, a lot of stuff to get to.
11.
Zan’s knife? I basically carry the same thing around with me all the time. Not that Ibrahim knew that, but it seems like the kind of kismet you point out. The panel of the Agent squatting before his makeshift torture set-up is so great. It’s casual but full of dread. It wasn’t until this re-read that I noticed Ibrahim drew this page so you never see the Agents’ faces. It’s a small detail, but it really pushes the creep level up a few.
12.
This first panel. I’ve been wanting to do a rat torture scene since I was in grade school. These are the things I’ve been thinking about way too long. Luckily Ibrahim was totally into it (especially because this is low-key compare to what’s coming up) and he kills it on this page. We wanted to be brutal but not graphic.
13.
Three panels. Look at all this ROOM. High Crimes is a really dense book, so we like to give it some air now and then, like this page. A couple frantic beats before next issue, leave ‘em wanting more, etc. Getting the last panel as a sweet back tattoo next week.
IMAGES: Notebook outline of issue 2 (bleedover from issue 1), Ibrahim’s initial cover rough, early draft promotional image deemed too obscure and reused for issue 1 promotion, Page 3 pencils, final cover image.
highcrimescomic:


GUIDEBOOK: HIGH CRIMES #2
Still playing catch-up with the recaps, and I’m trying to keep High Crimes on the brain while I’m working on the last few pages of 5 in the other window. So here’s the rundown of Chapter 2, written forever and a day ago, back when my thinking was all sort of different about all sorts of things. We were working on 2 before 1 came out, wrapping it up the day 1 came out, so a lot of this stuff is all jumbled up in my head.
COVER
Covers usually come last, and this one was no exception, but Ibrahim’s rough draft wasn’t too far from the final version. I love everything about this cover, the minimal look to it, but it says so very much. I think we were still figuring out our way on Chapter 1, Chapter 2 is where Ibrahim found his groove.
1.
So when I wrote 1 and 2, I wrote them as two parts of one issue, because that’s originally how I saw the structure breaking down, 6 26-page issues to tell the whole story. The major problem with that came when I realized that things just sort of start on page 1, no real lead-in, no easing the reader in, just, bam, here we go. But there’s a lot to get to in this issue, so there wasn’t a lot of room for hand-holding. That’s how I justify it.
2.
The safe and the stacks of money were sort of a late change. Originally I’d pictured all that stuff in the office, but I wanted to see Haskell’s house, to sort of give the flipside to how Zan lives, and this was the most elegant way to do it.
3.
That yawn. Man, that yawn makes me want to yawn. I just yawned writing this. That’s how good that yawn is. Lotta movement on this page. I think this is where Ibrahim told me that he actually likes working with a lot of panels, so I started going nuts. Things get dense, but there’s never any confusion about what’s going on, I don’t think.
4.
Finally we see Mars in the journal flesh. I knew from the get-go that Mars would be a big character, not just as the Maltese Falcon, but as a living breathing person (who happens to be dead). Only problem was I hadn’t finalized his story as deeply as I did the main story, so a lot of the work in 2 was mapping that out to the end. The hard part here is giving Mars enough life to make Zan (and the readers) care about him in such a short little glimpse. 
I just noticed, I meant to letter the label for the pill bottle, which would’ve been Sophie’s prescription. I’ll have to fix that for the trade.
5.
Lots of research was figuring out where Zan would go to actually read microfilm, an institution that’s pretty much disappeared in America. But count on a university library to keep their clunky machinery around until someone pries it from their dead hands. Also, I’m clearly in love with the answering machine/voicemail form of storytelling in these first two issues.
6.
I’d like to go ahead and take a little credit for this one, since I sent Ibrahim a sketch of how I saw this big reveal scene laid out and he actually thought it was good enough to make for a jumping off point. My vision was not nearly as pretty as this. Also, I did a lot of work getting some of these documents into storyline shape, retyping and laying out a couple of them. They’re worth a closer look, if only to not notice the hour or two’s worth of work I put into them.
7.
Things start to go apeshit. I wanted the Strange Agents’ first movements to be fast and brutal, mostly to lead into the severe bad news of the next page. I just noticed Ibrahim’s little trick of matching shot the body map in panel 1 and Tenzing and his soon to be deceased drinking buddy walking out of the bar.
8.
Hammers are great. They’re everywhere, no one really questions you needing one and they do a lot of horrible things to the human form. Ibrahim’s on fire on this page, from the bowed hallway shot on panel 1 to the universal look of a hotel room, even one that’s occupied by 5 dudes. This Agent’s name in the script? INTERROGAGENT.
9.
More Mars. I just wanted to give enough to sell his story down the line. I love the time jump panels, especially that last one, with the shot below the table all on its own. This might be my favorite bit of the whole issue.
10.
Ibrahim added a few panels here to make things more clear, which is yet another reason Ibrahim is an amazing collaborator. The crazy amount of detail in this issue is all over this page. Lot of dialogue changed in the lettering stage, from a sort of drunky, rambling monologue out loud to the wheels turning inside. Again, a lot of stuff to get to.
11.
Zan’s knife? I basically carry the same thing around with me all the time. Not that Ibrahim knew that, but it seems like the kind of kismet you point out. The panel of the Agent squatting before his makeshift torture set-up is so great. It’s casual but full of dread. It wasn’t until this re-read that I noticed Ibrahim drew this page so you never see the Agents’ faces. It’s a small detail, but it really pushes the creep level up a few.
12.
This first panel. I’ve been wanting to do a rat torture scene since I was in grade school. These are the things I’ve been thinking about way too long. Luckily Ibrahim was totally into it (especially because this is low-key compare to what’s coming up) and he kills it on this page. We wanted to be brutal but not graphic.
13.
Three panels. Look at all this ROOM. High Crimes is a really dense book, so we like to give it some air now and then, like this page. A couple frantic beats before next issue, leave ‘em wanting more, etc. Getting the last panel as a sweet back tattoo next week.
IMAGES: Notebook outline of issue 2 (bleedover from issue 1), Ibrahim’s initial cover rough, early draft promotional image deemed too obscure and reused for issue 1 promotion, Page 3 pencils, final cover image.

highcrimescomic:

GUIDEBOOK: HIGH CRIMES #2

Still playing catch-up with the recaps, and I’m trying to keep High Crimes on the brain while I’m working on the last few pages of 5 in the other window. So here’s the rundown of Chapter 2, written forever and a day ago, back when my thinking was all sort of different about all sorts of things. We were working on 2 before 1 came out, wrapping it up the day 1 came out, so a lot of this stuff is all jumbled up in my head.

COVER

Covers usually come last, and this one was no exception, but Ibrahim’s rough draft wasn’t too far from the final version. I love everything about this cover, the minimal look to it, but it says so very much. I think we were still figuring out our way on Chapter 1, Chapter 2 is where Ibrahim found his groove.

1.

So when I wrote 1 and 2, I wrote them as two parts of one issue, because that’s originally how I saw the structure breaking down, 6 26-page issues to tell the whole story. The major problem with that came when I realized that things just sort of start on page 1, no real lead-in, no easing the reader in, just, bam, here we go. But there’s a lot to get to in this issue, so there wasn’t a lot of room for hand-holding. That’s how I justify it.

2.

The safe and the stacks of money were sort of a late change. Originally I’d pictured all that stuff in the office, but I wanted to see Haskell’s house, to sort of give the flipside to how Zan lives, and this was the most elegant way to do it.

3.

That yawn. Man, that yawn makes me want to yawn. I just yawned writing this. That’s how good that yawn is. Lotta movement on this page. I think this is where Ibrahim told me that he actually likes working with a lot of panels, so I started going nuts. Things get dense, but there’s never any confusion about what’s going on, I don’t think.

4.

Finally we see Mars in the journal flesh. I knew from the get-go that Mars would be a big character, not just as the Maltese Falcon, but as a living breathing person (who happens to be dead). Only problem was I hadn’t finalized his story as deeply as I did the main story, so a lot of the work in 2 was mapping that out to the end. The hard part here is giving Mars enough life to make Zan (and the readers) care about him in such a short little glimpse. 

I just noticed, I meant to letter the label for the pill bottle, which would’ve been Sophie’s prescription. I’ll have to fix that for the trade.

5.

Lots of research was figuring out where Zan would go to actually read microfilm, an institution that’s pretty much disappeared in America. But count on a university library to keep their clunky machinery around until someone pries it from their dead hands. Also, I’m clearly in love with the answering machine/voicemail form of storytelling in these first two issues.

6.

I’d like to go ahead and take a little credit for this one, since I sent Ibrahim a sketch of how I saw this big reveal scene laid out and he actually thought it was good enough to make for a jumping off point. My vision was not nearly as pretty as this. Also, I did a lot of work getting some of these documents into storyline shape, retyping and laying out a couple of them. They’re worth a closer look, if only to not notice the hour or two’s worth of work I put into them.

7.

Things start to go apeshit. I wanted the Strange Agents’ first movements to be fast and brutal, mostly to lead into the severe bad news of the next page. I just noticed Ibrahim’s little trick of matching shot the body map in panel 1 and Tenzing and his soon to be deceased drinking buddy walking out of the bar.

8.

Hammers are great. They’re everywhere, no one really questions you needing one and they do a lot of horrible things to the human form. Ibrahim’s on fire on this page, from the bowed hallway shot on panel 1 to the universal look of a hotel room, even one that’s occupied by 5 dudes. This Agent’s name in the script? INTERROGAGENT.

9.

More Mars. I just wanted to give enough to sell his story down the line. I love the time jump panels, especially that last one, with the shot below the table all on its own. This might be my favorite bit of the whole issue.

10.

Ibrahim added a few panels here to make things more clear, which is yet another reason Ibrahim is an amazing collaborator. The crazy amount of detail in this issue is all over this page. Lot of dialogue changed in the lettering stage, from a sort of drunky, rambling monologue out loud to the wheels turning inside. Again, a lot of stuff to get to.

11.

Zan’s knife? I basically carry the same thing around with me all the time. Not that Ibrahim knew that, but it seems like the kind of kismet you point out. The panel of the Agent squatting before his makeshift torture set-up is so great. It’s casual but full of dread. It wasn’t until this re-read that I noticed Ibrahim drew this page so you never see the Agents’ faces. It’s a small detail, but it really pushes the creep level up a few.

12.

This first panel. I’ve been wanting to do a rat torture scene since I was in grade school. These are the things I’ve been thinking about way too long. Luckily Ibrahim was totally into it (especially because this is low-key compare to what’s coming up) and he kills it on this page. We wanted to be brutal but not graphic.

13.

Three panels. Look at all this ROOM. High Crimes is a really dense book, so we like to give it some air now and then, like this page. A couple frantic beats before next issue, leave ‘em wanting more, etc. Getting the last panel as a sweet back tattoo next week.

IMAGES: Notebook outline of issue 2 (bleedover from issue 1), Ibrahim’s initial cover rough, early draft promotional image deemed too obscure and reused for issue 1 promotion, Page 3 pencils, final cover image.