Category Archives: Comics

Super Animal Friends

Guin and I love animals. All our convention commissions center on our furry friends wearing cute knitwear. But why not capes? Four images showing work on our next book idea…

Check out our store to adopt a Super Animal Friend– http://www.storenvy.com/stores/886104-perpetual-flights-studio

Bats Supes Zatanna Cats

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

GothicMermaidSDCC

San Diego Comic-Con, International.

Five words that scare every professional that I know.

For artists, it means it’s time to get busy working. New stories, new art, new displays… It’s a madcap race to be productive so that we have something new to share every summer.

For Guin and I, it also means experimentation. From long format prints, to wooden toys, Guin and I have been busy!

If you found our site because of the convention, welcome to the show (and tell)!

Spring Time is Convention Time!

Welcome to Spring, 2015.

The time of the year when the snow gives way to flowers and other missing treasures in the front yard. The time of the year when the weather turns mercurial… warm one hour, freezing the next. Also, the time when comics artists gear up for convention season.

Guin and I are gearing up for Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, WA, March 27th – 29th. You can find us in Artist Alley, B-07. Here’s some of the new stuff you’ll see at the con:

2015 Monsters & Dames illustration: Queen Lily sends the Giants into Battle!

We are creating a series of buttons for our book (a new one for each convention we attend this year). The first button is Princess Lily! We are giving them away free with any purchase (or if you ask nicely!)

2015 Appearances:

Beautiful Scars Fairy Tale: Meet the Rockin’ Ryan Hill

This week, it is my pleasure to introduce Joseph Ryan Hill’s contribution to the fairy tale:

“Firefly hovered low enough for Scars to jump!”

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Ryan for quite a while… he’s one of my oldest friends. And though he’s been in comics for a very long time (starting at Dark Horse), he’s now one of my favourite colourists working in comics today. However, he’s an amazing artist and one of the few artists who can combine action with flair.

We gave Ryan a moment full of action and he rocked it! Maybe it’s his animation influences (Zelda?) that inspired his choreography of the Nightshade the Dragon, Scars the Troll and the Woodsman on Firefly. Or maybe it’s his comics influences (Stan Sakai?) that pushes his bold linework. Or perhaps it’s the colouring influences (Macross?) that paint a scene that is both vibrant and exciting. Whatever his tools, it’s working and Ryan’s work makes the world a better place!

Sadly, he doesn’t have a website (shakes angry fist in the air). But here’s a couple wonderful writes up on his new Judge Dredd book from IDW, so go get it:

WIRED: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2014/01/judge-dredd-mega-city-two/

MULTIVERSITY: http://multiversitycomics.com/reviews/review-judge-dredd-mega-city-two/

 

Ryan Hill’s rocking illustration makes Durwin go “Oooh!”

Hourly Comic Day 2014!

February 1st was Hourly Comic Day and I actually caught it early enough in the day that I was able to participate! Of course, it took me til the next day to actually post them…but that’s better than last year’s, which never got posted at all!

I misplaced the adapter to my Cintiq so my friend let me use his Galaxy Note with Sketchbook Pro installed to clean up my drawings. I’ve never used something like that before to do more than doodle on, but it definitely is something I’d consider buying for travel drawing and sketching. The following was using the factory stylus and the Sketchbook Pro app, of which I am a big fan! (No one is paying me to say this, but they can certainly send me one for free if they’d like.)

hourlycomicdayhourlycomicday2hourlycomicday3hourlycomicday4hourlycomicday5hourlycomicday6

hourlycomicday7

That was fun! Once I get started with these, I want to make a lot more. It improves my memory, for sure.

Beautiful Scars: Our Favourite Page of the Week

This week’s page is one of my personal favorites. The top panel shows a proud Ridley escorting his lady around in the newly-fixed Panhard. It’s one of the first panels we finished completely, and served as a reference for the styling of a lot of the other pages. The bottom is a dramatic view of the dragon, the first time we get to actually see it in the book! So, it’s a fairly important page to the story and as a reference to the rest of the visual style of the book. I remember having a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to do the bottom panel’s background. It had to be something that wasn’t too busy or overdone, because the focus needs to be on the dragon. Mimicking the style of trees from the top, but simplifying them down to their base elements, ended up being the perfect solution. And now it’s one of our favorites!

We’ve talked a lot about the fantasy side of the book on this here blog, but not about the history side. So let’s remedy that right now!

We wanted Ridley to live through some extraordinary times. And while every era in human history is pretty fascinating, we felt that the early 20th century held a lot of interest for both of us. There was so much happening with innovation in technology, society, fashion, you name it. But, tackling a historical project also means hours of research to make sure our details are correct. Questions like “when exactly were spiral notebooks invented?” (1934, by the way), or “when were crayons available?” (1903!) came up whenever we wanted to put any kind of detail or prop into the story. We both learned a lot, about subjects we hadn’t even considered before starting.

Major details, like the car Ridley is driving above, required some more in-depth searching. We had to find a car that would have been available in England in the early 1900s. Panhard et Levassor was an established woodworking and machinist firm before making their first automobile in 1890, and by 1900 they were one of the largest and most modern automobile manufacturers in the world. No wonder Ridley was so excited about it! When we learned about this car, it jumped out to us as a good fit, and also as a gorgeous machine in itself. It was a little hard to find reference for when we were looking, however. Once, I even found an old advertisement on the wall of a hotel in Victoria, and for a long time that was the best full shot of the car we had. Now, it seems like it’s everywhere! There was even one up for auction recently (although it’s a slightly different model than ours). We ended up finding a video that a car enthusiast had taken during an antiques car show and posted to Youtube as a source of major reference, especially for the engine. Oh well. I guess if we decide to bring it back in another book, we’ll have all the reference we can handle!

Last, the good PhDs at Comics Alternative gave us a shout out on their podcast highlighting the January Previews offerings. At about the 1 hour and 4 minute mark, they talk about Beautiful Scars. And yes, we are both nice and heartwarming! Have a listen

http://comicsalternative.com/2014/01/08/episode-69/

Beautiful Scars Fairy Tale: Meet the Spectacular Steven Tabbutt

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Steven Tabbutt’s work, his work is a study of contrasts. It can be detailed, yet graphic. It can be painterly yet flat. But mostly, his work can be stunning yet provocative.

“Princess Lily was named for the beautiful flowers that flourished on the edge of a terrible wood named the Idyllwild.”

We assigned Steve the start of the fairy tale, thinking that he would create a simple portrait of Princess Lily. I don’t think we were prepared for the beautiful piece that he turned in (and on hindsight, I don’t think he does “simple”). This lead image distills some of our goals with the fairy tale. Narratively, it displays the strength and resolve of the princess. Visually, it plays with decoration and detail. It’s a fantastic way to open the fairy tale!

Steve is one of those artists that successfully balances both a fine art gallery practice as well as a busy illustration career. He exhibits in gallery shows in New York, Paris and Tokyo. But, if you can’t go to one of those openings, you can find his work for such clients such as the New York Times, the Smithsonian Art Museum, and even the Grammy Awards. And now you can find his work in comics! Visit his website, and prepare to be knocked out. Again.

www.steventabbutt.com

Edit: It wouldn’t be an artist post without a ridiculous reaction photo! Guin freaked OUT when she saw the detail of this piece. Still cannot believe how this guy is able to do what he does. He’s a magic man, I tells ya.

ridiculous face

WHAAAAAAAA

 

Beautiful Scars: Our Favourite Page of the Week

And… ACTION!

Continuing the tour of our upcoming graphic novel, we wanted to share an action sequence.

This is a fun page to show off because, amidst all of the action, we get to reintroduce Scars the Troll. In the top section, Ridley is flying high in his DIY racer, but in the bottom story, the Princess and Woodsman are being overwhelmed by the Dragon’s minions. Our goal in running concurrent storylines throughout the graphic novel was to blend Ridley’s memories with Maddie’s fantasies. When two moments line up, we illustrate the idea that one memory can directly affect an idea. We wanted to counterpoint young Ridley’s exuberance against Scars’ stoicism (in reality, the troll is happy on the inside!).

Our book made the cut for CBR’s January Flippin’ Through Previews highlights! March 11th can’t get here fast enough!

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2014/01/04/flippin-through-previews-january-2014/

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

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!