Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

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Here's a little something different!  I usually reserve the updates on this blog for news and announcements, but Eleanor Davis tagged me in this fun thing that's going around where you answer a few questions about your writing process!  Here is her entry.

1.  What am I working on?

I am currently finishing up Mermin Book 3: Deep Dive, the third volume of my graphic novel series from Oni Press.  My wife, Michele, and I are working on coloring the book right now.  After that's complete I will take some time to write some new stories for SpongeBob Comics, do some freelance work, and then it's time to write Mermin 4!

2.  How does my work differ from others in the genre?

I think each author brings a unique mix of influences and life experiences to their work.  I don't like to think too hard about my work in comparison to others, and hope that it comes out more naturally and subconsciously.  I suppose one thing that might set my work apart is that the humor I write comes from a history of American comic strips, while the action and pacing (of Mermin especially) stems more from my love for Japanese comics.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

I just write what I think is fun and interesting, and hope others feel the same.  Again, I try not to analyze it too much, and rely on the subconscious to do its thing.  However, I want my work to be sincere, and make others happy.

4.  How does your writing process work?

Usually, I write a lot of outlines, which develop from spotty lists to pretty detailed descriptions of scenes.  And then when I have a pretty tight idea of how everything works I move to sketchy "thumbnail" versions of the comic pages, where I let scenes play out as they will and develop the dialogue.  I find this allows for my characters to "act" out parts more than when I try to write in a movie script style, like I know some other cartoonists prefer.

For a more detailed look at how I work, from outline to finished page, check out this blog post from when I was working on Cavemen in Space.  This is from 2009, but it's more-or-less how I still work to this day!

Next up, I tag Chris Schweizer to continue the chain!
Chris Schweizer was born in 1980, grew up in Louisiana and Kentucky, and went to college at Murray State University.  He majored in art, then theater, then history, then English, then ended up back with art, earning a BFA in graphic design.  
The first book in the Crogan Adventures series, Crogan’s Vengeance, came out in 2008.  Chris made the book while he was in graduate school, studying Sequential Art (that’s the academic name for comics) at SCAD-Atlanta, the metropolitan branch of the Savannah College of Art and Design.  It was nominated for an Eisner award.  He received another Eisner nomination a few years later for Crogan's Loyalty.  He divides his time between the Crogan Adventures and the Creeps, a middle-reader horror/mystery series coming from Abrams Amulet in fall of 2015.
Chris and I have been collaborating on something, and he's been great to work with!  I look forward to seeing what he has to say about his process next week!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mermin Book 3 Announced, Previewed + More

It's been a while since my last news update!  Sorry about that, I've been hard at work on the next Mermin volume, and haven't had a chance to post any news.  A few items have piled up in the last few months, so here's a bit of a catch-up.  First of all, speaking of the new Mermin book...
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Mermin Book 3: Deep Dive was recently announced by Oni Press for September this year!
Joey Weiser’s all-ages hero, the prodigal merman returns! No one knows much about Mer, the underwater kingdom where Mermin the merman was born, but due to a rising conflict with the people of Atlantis, Mermin is needed back home immediately. Which means that his human friends get to accompany him and see all the aquatic wonders of Mer. But once again, Mermin is tight-lipped about his past – even when it’s swimming right in front of him. And there are enemies lurking in the seedier depths of Mer, who’ve got their sights set not only on Mermin, but on Pete and his friends!
If you'd like to see more, Comics Alliance has a 6-page preview of the book!  This is very exciting for me.  I've been working hard to get this book out as soon as possible.

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Also, SpongeBob Comics #31 will be in stores April 9!  I wrote a story in this issue and designed the cover!  I'm glad a lot of the little details in my sketch were carried through in the final art.  So look out for that!  Click on the image above to take a closer look!  Can you find all of the SpongeBob references?

At the end of last year, I filled in for a few weeks on David Mack's comic strip, A Round Town.   David compiled all my strips into one spot on his Tumblr!  The strip is about living in Athens, GA.  Since David does his every week, it ends up more like a journal comic, but I took the opportunity to just write about a few things I like about living in Athens. 

Finally, I'd like to direct your attention to a really great review of Bezoar 1 & 2 on Panel Patter.  I think the work in Bezoar is really strong, and I'm happy to see it get some attention online.  I'm proud of the issue I edited, and the review says some very sweet things about my stories in both issues.  Bezoar 1, 2, and our Dungeons & Dragons art zine Explictica are all on sale at the (newly revamped) Little House store!

That's all the news I'll post about for now.  I'll be at the FLUKE Mini-Comics & Zine Festival on April 19th.  If you live in the Athens, GA area, you should definitely check it out.  I have a few other things to update the site with and I'm still putting the finishing touches on Mermin 3, but hopefully I can post again soon!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mermin Book 2: The Big Catch In Stores This Week!

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Mermin Book 2: The Big Catch is in stores this Wednesday, 12/4!  I have signings coming up to celebrate its release:

Atlanta, GA
December 4th, 2-6pm
Criminal Records
1154-A Euclid Avenue NE
, Atlanta, Georgia 30307
Facebook Event

Athens, GA
December 11th, 3-6pm
Bizarro Wuxtry
225 College Avenue
, Athens, Georgia 30601

Facebook Event

Bloomington, IN
December 18th, 4-7pm
Vintage Phoenix
114 East 6th Street
, Bloomington, Indiana 47408
Facebook Event 
So, if you're in the Atlanta, Athens, or Bloomington area please come by!  Check out the links to the Facebook events and let us know you're coming!
http://www.tragic-planet.com/MerminV2Preview.html
Despite Pete and the gang's efforts to keep the fish-boy Mermin from making waves in their small town, he can't help but stick out! An amateur team of paranormal investigators has their sights on Mermin, and they think he's their chance to make it big! Meanwhile, Benni, Mermin's round aquatic companion, is ready to spill the beans about their lives in the underwater kingdom of Mer, but perhaps things aren't as simple as he says.
Read a preview of the book here.  This is the first book of all new material for those who have read the Mermin mini-comics!  I hope even if you can't make it to one of my signings, you'll still go out to your local comic shop and check out the book, or buy it online from retailers like Amazon or directly from Oni Press