Beautiful Scars Fairy Tale: Meet the Dashing Dave Guertin

We’re continuing the series of fabulous artists who contributed to our book with the incredibly talented Dave Guertin, of Creaturebox fame!

In addition to being a generally fabulous human, Dave is an incredibly talented artist and we’re honoured to have him included in this project. He’s the hardest working man in showbusiness, so we say, and it was amazing to have him take time out of his schedule to be a part of this.

We assigned him this particular moment in the story, where the woodsman and the princess are poised to fight these winged creatures. We love his character designs so much, and he did NOT disappoint. That is one of the best things about this part of the project, seeing all the different interpretations of our world. I absolutely adore the princess, especially. Look at the intensity in her face! Dave really captured all the small details that make this moment come alive, like the rings on her dress and the little flower behind her ear.

Dave Guertin is one-half of Creaturebox, along with Greg Baldwin, producing a delightful assortment of robots, monsters, and aliens. He also creates visual magic at Insomniac Games as principal artist, and is responsible for such visuals as Ratchet and Clank. Check out their blog here!

Edit: I have been taking a reaction photo to each piece as it comes in, and posting them alongside the pieces, and this one is a twofer. This is the (probably the worst ever taken of me) photo of my reaction when I saw the piece:

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Oh yeah, baby, I am ALL GUMS.

I sent it over to Dave and said “This is the face I made when I got your piece!” He replied and said “This is the face I made while I was making it!”

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Delightful.

Mutual screams of delight. It doesn’t get any better.

Beautiful Scars: Our Favourite Pages

Guin is overly excited!

Happy New Year! 2014 was kicked off with a bang when we went to our local comic book store to pick up a copy of Previews. To our delight, we were surprised to find an ad for Beautiful Scars on the inside front cover.

As we countdown to our March 11th release, we want to share some of our favourite pages from the book. So, we’ll be sharing a page a week until the big day arrives! (Launch Party TBD)

We like this page because, on the bottom, it shows Princess Lily as a bad ass and introduces the Dragon’s minions! Also, up top, we get to show Ridley’s childhood nemesis (the one-eyebrowed baby, for you Simpsons nerds).

Last, IGN named our book as one of the “Best of the Rest” for March 2014.

http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/12/20/march-2014-solicitations-the-best-of-the-rest

Keep Warm These Holidays!

Guin and I have been doing holiday cards for a while now. The general work flow is that we realise that the Holidays are coming, we panic, and then we create a card.

This time, we combined two of our favourite things for this year’s card: movies and sweaters.

So welcome to our Christmas Story sweater pattern! We hope it keeps you warm on these holidays.

Fah rah rah rah rah! Rah rah, rah rah!

D+G

(If someone actually turns this pattern into a sweater, scarf or stocking, send us a pic and we’ll post it!)

 

Beautiful Scars on Multiversity Comics

beautifulscars-exclusive

So now it begins…

As soon as Guin and I uploaded the last file to Archaia’s FTP site, an uneasy feeling came over us. Is this it? Are we done?

For the past three+ years, we’ve been at this graphic novel. We were working on Beautiful Scars when we got married. We were working on Beautiful Scars when we moved to Canada and helped to set up an illustration program at Emily Carr University. We were working on Beautiful Scars every spare weekend, after every spare hour after grading, and every spare minute in between classes.

And now it’s all grown up. Off to the big bad world. And like the proud parents we are, all we can say is: GET A JOB!

Some news about our book: The book is now slated to hit stores in MARCH of 2014. This means we may have copies in time for Emerald City Comic Con, our first con of the year!

Also, we were just interviewed by the good folks at Multiversity Comics. Thanks to Matthew Meylikhov for asking some fun and deep questions!

Also, did you know you can follow Perpetual Flights on Facebook? Give us a like!

The Magic of Mary Blair

MB-drawing-table

This week was Mary Blair’s birthday. She was born in 1911, so this would have been her 102nd one. I didn’t even realize until I saw a post on Facebook, and thought it would be a great time to talk about her. Because I always want to talk about her.

blair-alice

If you’re not aware of her work, or aren’t one of the 15,971 people on Facebook who have “liked” Mary Blair’s page, she was a phenomenal artists who worked for the Walt Disney company in the 1940s and 50s, working on films like THE THREE CABALLEROS, CINDERELLA, ALICE IN WONDERLAND and PETER PAN. blair-mermaids

Her style was ahead of its time, blending modern, bright color with simplified, graphic shapes. She also produced illustrations for children’s books, advertisements, set designs, and Disneyland attractions including It’s a Small World, which is the closest we’re going to get to living inside her head for a few minutes. Her work continues to look super fresh and contemporary even today.

blair-smallworld

I want to go to there.

I think I have wrote about her on here before at some point, but it’s always good to talk more and spread the Gospel of Blair. Everyone has that artist that became a huge influence in their life, and was a litmus for their work. A turning point. For me, that was her.

I can’t remember exactly the first time I saw her work. I think Durwin showed me her first, and it was love at first sight. Her work taught me so much about color and how to use seeming disparate color with great results. If you look at her paintings, she uses bizarre color choices, ones you wouldn’t think to put together. I was always timid about using color, often sticking to analogous or otherwise limited palettes because I couldn’t get the riotous riotous color I wanted to behave the way I wanted. It would always end up looking like a hot mess. Her color, the absolute fearlessness and joy with which it seemed to be approached with, inspired me to take chances. It also taught me the value of…well, value (no pun intended). Her colors only work because she had such a strong sense of value. They don’t fight with each other. It always has a clear sense of focus. It seems effortless, but in reality it shows what a master of color she was. I learned that she was highly influenced by the Fauvist movement, and I can definitely see that in her work. I still have a fairly extensive image morgue of her work that I turn to for inspiration when I’m stuck.

I had the absolute pleasure of visiting the Disney archives while with the Hartford Art School MFA program a few years ago and got to see her work up close and in person. I couldn’t believe how many pieces that I had admired, or works from series that I had loved, were just…there. Hanging on the walls. It was an amazing experience. I just wanted to absorb them into my skin, to take them home with me (but of course I could not, or risk Disney Jail. Worse than Real Jail). She inspired me to think about my work more cinematically – to set a stage and tell a story with color.

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This nondescript building houses the most amazing things.

Mary Blair also had a phenomenal sense of shape. I love how simply she can describe a shape and have it just work, whether it’s a figure or a castle or anything else in between. Her characters come to life, in their extreme two-dimensionality, and jump off the page. They aren’t the best to literally animate, however, and I have read that the animators struggled with her designs on occasion. BUT, she could capture the essence of a character or a scene so well. It’s harder to be simple and effective; a lot more is forgiven or hidden with complexity. I think that’s one of the reasons her work resonates with so many people – it’s simple, straightforward, and has nothing to hide. It’s perfect.

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This is a postcard from the Mary Blair exhibit in Japan, that I didn’t get to see in person (my super wonderful husband bought me the set). It sits on the corkboard right by my desk to serve as constant inspiration. We all need reminders of what to strive for in our work, and though I have many art heroes that I look up to, she’ll always be the biggest to me.

 

 

Beautiful Scars Fairy Tale: Meet the Amazing Scott Hampton

One of the great pleasures of having your art friends and family work in your book is the reaction they can have to your world.

Scott Hampton is one of our dearest friends, but he is also one of the busiest artists we know. Constantly up to his eyeballs in paint and comics, he’s currently working on the new Neil Gaiman graphic novel with P. Craig Russell.

We sent him his illustration brief hoping he could find the time to do it. Literally 2 hours later, he sends in his illustration, completed and ready for print. After reading the book, he put aside his work, jumped into the deep end of the pool, and turned in an amazing page.

It was great to see his reaction and our pleasure to post it today.

“The dragon could not harm her as long as she stayed by th­­e road.”

Scott is a diverse artist currently working in Chapel Hill. He is known for his work on Batman, Books of Magic, Simon Dark and the Upturned Stone. He also plays a mean game of pool and is amassing quite the collection of Disney shirts. Visit his website and say hello!

www.scotthamptonart.com

Guin’s reaction to the Amazing Scott Hampton. “What the WHAT?”

Beautiful Scars Fairy Tale: Meet the Wonderful Ola Volo

For those of you who don’t know, our graphic novel Beautiful Scars (coming out April 2014) is divided into two sections. In the first section, we are introduced to a young girl named Maddie Shaw. When she hears the wonderful stories spun by her grandfather Ridley, she imagines the fantasy world of Scars the Troll, Princess Lily and Ridley the Woodsman. Inspired by the story, she grows up to write fairy tales. This first section is done using the conventional comics form: panels, dialogue boxes, gutters, etc. Most of the comics focuses on Maddie as a young girl. When we finished the graphic novel, we thought it would be interesting to read Maddie’s writing as an adult.

So, the second section of the book is a prose work entitled: Scars the Troll Meets the Vengeful Dragon. In lieu of a pinup section, we wrote the fairy tale that Maddie’s grandfather inspired. This allowed us to include details that we couldn’t add in the comics but also allowed us to flesh out the world. We divided the story into sections and asked our art friends (really, art family) to interpret it in their style.

We’ll use this blog to show off these spot illustrations every month or so, and the first image we’re showing is actually the last; here’s the end piece by Ola Volo entitled: “And they all lived happily ever after.”

Ola is a Vancouver-born illustrator currently operating out of Brooklyn. She has a wonderful decorative style that reflects her Kazakh heritage. An up and coming artist, she is about to have an artist’s book produced on her work published by Von Zos. Visit her website and say hello!

http://www.olavola.com/

Durwin’s reaction to the Wonderful Ola Volo? Awwww…

Announcing Beautiful Scars, March 2014!

Look out! Our book has a release month!

We got some very exciting news today. The book is so close to the finish line that we can see the ribbon right in front of us, just waiting to burst through. We are totally thrilled to announce that our book has been scheduled for April of 2014! We don’t have an exact release date as of yet, but should have one in the next month or two. The fact that we now have a release month to look forward to is so exciting.

April’s a pretty great month for us. Both of our birthdays are in April (9 days apart!) and many of our loved ones as well. And I feel a bit like I’m writing a birth announcement! This book has felt as close to having and raising a baby as anything ever has (short of, you know, actually having and raising a baby). Now it’s time to let that baby into the world (get a job, baby! start earning your keep!).

When all is said and done, the book will come in a whopping 128 pages. It’ll be divided into two sections, the graphic novel, and then a fairy tale filled with all the best stuff: princesses and trolls, biplanes and dragons, danger and romance. Besides us proud parents doing the art, writing, and hand holding, many of our friends are joining in the celebration! They will be creating full page illustrations which we will show off here during the upcoming months leading up to the book’s release… So stay tuned!

Thanks to you all for following us on this journey. This has been a long time coming. And really, it’s just the beginning!

EDIT: The book has actually been announced for MARCH 11th instead! One whole month earlier. This is great news!

Release month achieved. High fives all around!

The Disney Effect

punchy

Durwin and Guin on our first day signing at
the Archaia Booth…

Time to catch people up on our San Diego Comic-Con experience…

Exhausting while being exhilarating! We got to sell a ton of prints (heartfelt thanks to those who supported our 2013 artistic endeavours), we introduced the con to Guin’s cousin (Ryn = Mind Blown) we got to meet a bunch of new people (hello Royden Lepp, Shane Vidaurri, Moro Rogers, Paul Morrissey and Heather Nuhfer), but most importantly we got to preview our book through signings at the Archaia Booth (thanks to Mel Ceylo, Scott Newman and Tay Taylor for putting on a smooth show) and during our Workshop (shout out to Clydene Nee and Inez Gowsill).

Our favourite celebrity sighting? Hands down, signing comics next to Alyssa Milano (and her wall of beefy security guards).

Our favourite Comic-Con moment? Following two of San Diego’s finest heading towards the Archaia Booth. The Dispatcher calls them: “Proceed to Hall A, we have a woman who is fully nude.” The Police Officer’s reaction: “FULLY nude?” The Dispatcher’s confirmation: “100 percent.”

Classic.

However, for Guin and I, the highlight of this crazy trip is always the Monday after the con, when we and the rest of our booth buddies head out to Disneyland down Anaheim way. Joining Scott Hampton, John Van Fleet and Chris Moeller on this annual event is quite the experience. For all of us, we find that leaving a convention space with 120,000 people to travel to an amusement park with considerably more people is strangely relaxing… It may be the rides, recapturing our youth, or maybe even dinner at the Blue Bayou (shout out to Mike and Liz Kennedy), but year after year, we do this ritual and are always happier for it. We even buy matching tee shirts to commemorative every year.

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The most excellent Scott Hampton models this year’s
Disney shirt! Score!

After Disney, we stayed at the beautiful casa of Amanda Visell and Michelle Valiguera (and their pack). These are two wonderful LA artists that we feel pretty fortunate to call friends. They are known for being lowbrow artists and have even been referred as the next wave of mid-century artists. However, Guin and I discovered them through their Disney work (one of these days, Guin will have to recount the Pirates of the Caribbean 40th Anniversary Shirt Tale).

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Disney art from the wonder studio of Amanda Visell
and Michelle Valigura!

A special treat was being invited for lunch at Disney Feature Animation with Mike Yamada and Victoria Ying, two wonderful concept artists (and their booth in San Diego was spectacular!).

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Off to Disney’s! Thanks to Victoria Ying and Mike Yamada!

(I apologize for my serial killer mugshot photo. The Indiana DMV does not take Glamour Shots. -G) Guin and I recently visited Disney Features last year with a school group, and this time was super special as well. Seeing the amazing art on the walls, both old and new, was inspiring. Being at Disney’s (how it was referred to back in the day by Disney vets) made us wonder what is it about this place that energizes artists from all different industries, ages and walks of life.

Consistency.

For the theme park, they use the same exacting standards today as it was when I had to use tickets to ride rides in my youth. And even though 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is now Finding Nemo, and you no longer have to get comfortable with another stranger’s lap on the Matterhorn, the classics are still classic and the new stuff just fits in seamlessly. Even if Guin HATES the fact that Woody is in the Small World ride, she’ still happy her original work remains intact. And as far as the artists that work for Disney today, I feel that they are the best artists around. Splashier artists might work in other studios, but an average animated Disney feature or ride still ends up being more enjoyable than some studios/parks’ best efforts.

It’s an exacting standard that years in and years out has not changed. And as long as that’s the case, then I for one will be in line buying the tee shirt and drinking the Dole Whip.

After all, we’ll be buying a $200 Sleeping Beauty book from Stuart Ng this week. It’s from the happiest place on earth after all.

Tune in next week when we’ll have Beautiful Scars announcements! For now, we are exhausted!

D + G

After our final Archaia booth signing!

After our final Archaia booth signing!

 

Comic Con 2013 Update! (Artist’s Alley II-21)

So as we round third and head for Comic Con, we wanted to share a preview of our wares:

As well as a preview of our group postcard set (done in cahoots with Chris Moeller, John Van Fleet and Scott Hampton, guess which one’s which):

We also wanted to announce our signing times at the Archaia Booth (#2635) for our upcoming graphic novel Beautiful Scars:

Thursday, July 18
10-11am
6-7pm

Friday, July 19
10-11am

Saturday, July 20
5:30-7pm

Sunday, July 21
3-4pm

Besides hanging out in Artist’s Alley (#II-21) selling prints, promoting the book, and drawing commissions, you can catch us at our Using Panels to Shape Visual Storytelling talk/demo on Sunday, July 21st at 11:30 am – 1:15 pm, Room 2.

Stop by and say hello!

D+G