New! Books and Goods Page

I have great tidings for interested parties looking to purchase Book 1: The Last Hour. Added to the top menu is a Books & Goods page, where you may purchase books, posters, pins (and eventually anything related to Hecock that I can sell) using Paypal! For direct access, go to www.HecockGraphicNovel.com/catalog. Before you know it, Book 2 will be available also. Exciting times, these!

Speaking of products, take a look at the first finished character poster created for one of my Kickstarter Backers:

PosterAmiraweb

Updates on Just About Everything

First I’d like to thank everyone for their concern and well-wishes for my health. My sugar readings are now normal! YAY! And they have been consistent for several weeks. I feel better now than when I was… well… better than 7 years ago. Diet and exercise are the big secret.

As for Hecock, I just finished the artwork for Chapter 2! Double YAY! I’m so looking forward to starting Chapter 3: a hairy ride, a train trip, a romance and a ghost… all this before breakfast! (hmm, I think I’ll go make an egg.)

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My Apologies

So sorry to loseimg0032crying touch with everyone for so long.  Several months ago I began to experience some strange and disturbing “symptoms”. It turns out I’m diabetic! I was devastated. Thought it was the end of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course… it wasn’t. I’m doing very well now. I HAD temporarily lost my eye sight to the degree that everything was blurry and my glasses were no longer helping. Working on the computer was impossible! After I was diagnosed and my sugar first came down a bit, I could see crystal clear. But that didn’t last long. Now I need reading glasses, and I am able to use the computer again.

I would just like to emphasize to all my friends, family and faithful followers that this disease can sneak up on you. If you have any symptoms at all, you are better off to get it checked and get it under control now. These symptoms can be any or all of the following:

  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue and Irritability
  • Frequent infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
  • Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections

I had six symptoms before I realized something was VERY wrong.  I almost have it under control now and I’m very pleased to say I lost 15 pounds, I’m exercising 5 xs a week, I’m eating right (and I don’t miss anything I shouldn’t eat), my joints no longer hurt, and I’m sleeping so much better. I even wake up with the sun!

Anyway, I love all of you and want everyone to take care of themselves, and be especially wary of this awful yet common disease!

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It’s back to work for me! Chapter two is looking sooo good. And I can’t wait to finish chapter 3! Next step will be PUBLICATION! YAY!

Shock and Awe

"Did she really say that??"
“Did she really say that??”

Aren’t you curious as to what all the kerfuffle is about? Stick around… I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and chapter 2 is coming along nicely.

While you wait anxiously, meet a few more characters: from top to bottom, left to right, we have Belle Hecock, Mother Hannah (Belle’s mother), Harry Hecock (Burrell’s father), Burrell Hecock, Baby Myrle (Burrell’s cousin), Hattie Zeller (Belle’s sister), Annette Hecock (Harry’s sister) and Edward Zeller (Hattie’s husband.)

Where Do These People Come From?

If you have ever pondered the question “Gee, how does she draw the same character in so many different poses?”

I have models. I tell them the story line, ask them to imagine what is happening, and then tell them to REACT impulsively to the scene. I like lots of exaggerated facial expressions and over-acted movements so that the camera captures an image I can turn into a “cartoon” figure. For example, on the first page of chapter 2. Scene: Hecock is holding his new baby cousin, who is obviously wet. First here is the photo of Steve, my Hecock model:


I do an ink drawing, changing the clothes, and, of course, drawing a baby in his hands rather than a rolled up sheet! I have to tweak the facial features because Steve has a longer nose, and a square jaw, unlike the slightly upturned nose and angular jaw of Hecock. You may have noticed the drawing is a mirror image. It worked better with the page layout to flip the image.

Next, I will show you Finzel’s model.

Setting the Set

Been a long time, old friends! Here is something you may find interesting. Atleast I did, when I realized just how much preliminary work was required to produce a chapter that takes place inside. Interiors. Here’s the progression of creating interior multi-room settings for Chapter 2:

Let’s start with the story board, which is a collection of thumbnail size drawings to lay out the composition of each frame on each page. This is the story board for pages 22, 23, 24 and 25. I’m not too consistent in the detail of the thumbnails. Sometimes I just need some stick figures to show placement, while other times I want to remember expressions on the faces or furniture placements that I thought of.

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Let’s deal with Page 24. There are three frames on the page. The first one is a view from the living room through the dining room, into the kitchen where Aunt Hattie is talking (i.e. the speech bubble coming from the doorway.) It occurred to me that I don’t know what the house looks like or how the rooms fit in the home’s floor plan! I had to come up with a house, a floor plan, and architectural details. I found antique house plans but the floor plan was all wrong for the flow of the story, so I had to recreate the room layout. (Yes, I became an Interior Designer!) Here is the house:

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Is that the coolest front porch you’ve ever seen??

I pulled the image of the floor plan into photoshop and proceeded to redraw the room layout to make the rooms fit the action and flow of the chapter. (i.e. Aunt Hattie moves from the kitchen into the living room with coffee. Those rooms had to line up so that you could see her coming through the dining room from the kitchen.) Here is the final floor plan. I printed out 15 copies, two on a sheet because I use one per page layout, and write “director’s notes” on the plan to show where my characters are, and from what angle I want to view them. I also added rectangles that represent the furniture. This is more like writing a movie script than a book!

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Now I was ready to start drawing the scenes within the frames on the page. Until I ran into another step I hadn’t thought of… consistency. I had to make sure that if someone was sitting in a certain chair in two different frames, there better be the same window behind him, and the chair better be the same as well. Consequently, I drew all the room interiors of each frame. All empty rooms… no people. So here is page 24 so far:

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The first frame is a view from the living room, through the dining room, into the kitchen. The second frame is a close up of the kitchen doorway. And the third is the other side of the living room, with the big bay window and window seat. Hecock will be sitting in that chair.

Next the fun begins, adding characters, shading everything, then overlays of transparent color, and finally wallpaper patterns and fancy rugs. This isn’t exactly the typical method for graphic novels. Nor the fastest or most efficient. But it is the method I developed in Chapter 1 and I have to keep it consistent throughout the whole book. As I work, I’m always thinking of ways to improve, but those will have to wait for the next book.

A Little Steampunk With That, Sir?

Just keeping in touch… my head is spinning like Hecock on the rope! As in a whirlwind, I’ve written Chapter 2, sent it off to my silent partner, and I’m half way through Chapter 3! As it turns out, looks like chapter 2 is almost entirely dialog! Tonight I’m starting on the storyboard for chapter 2, working with the page layouts, and deciding things like how many frames on each page. It’s an exciting process much like putting together a film: My mind creates “still shots” that help tell the rest of the story that is not told in the dialog between characters. I have some wonderful turn-of-the-century rooms, furniture and bric-a-brac to include in my scenes this chapter. I have to say, it was a challenge to have snow, snow and more snow in every frame of chapter one and make it look interesting! Now I can have some fun! Steampunk, here we come!

OH, and meet Finzel!