Been trying to get ready for con season and the next issue. Wanted to show a new thing I'll have this year and I'll be putting up in the store.
Pretty happy that I've come up with a tshirt I can wear for con season. Doesn't look too bad. It'll be on a black shirt and by putting it up on the store, you can have one yourself.
As a reminder, I have a Facebook page now. Go by for better updates and "Like" me.
One of my resolutions for the year, was to be more productive. In addition to the comic, I wanted something I could produce a little quicker. So I thought about a comic strip. About 14 years ago, when I came up with my graphic design company's name, AMK Studio, I came up with a little mascot. I thought of my years playing superhero with a towel wrapped around my neck, so I wanted something in that vein. Thus was born the AMK Man, loosely based on my son, who would rocket through the house in somewhat the same dress.
I don't know how often I'll make a new one, but I'm pretty happy with this one. Also posted on my Facebook AMK Page.
Did you catch the new image on the front page? Yep. I just wanted to show off the cover to the upcoming continuation of the story started in EMERGING FROM THE SHADOW. Work is ongoing and the hope is I'll have the first story done as the new convention season starts. Wish me luck!
Before I started on the new series, I wanted to step back into the planning process to make everything feel new again. The new series doesn't directly start after the graphic novel, so it gave me some time to look at everything again through fresher eyes (that along with taken the time off after finishing it). While Tommy isn't necessarily changing things up much, I do want to preview one of the biggest differences my book had with other masked books, a changing outfit.
I just felt like Tommy needed to be flexible in his clothing items. Climate and weather would have to affect how he would dress. Also, there might be more times he needs to blend in a bit. I'm not going for realism in this choice. I just want to give the feeling it's not always necessary to be outfitted in work clothes, as well as, give me some variations to draw him in.
Now for other characters, most stay as they are. The Colonel had two costumes in the book. The last one I designed a long time ago (10+ years). Going with my promise to myself to present the book as I had developed it over the space of time, I kept the cumberbund around his waist. To be honest though, that addition didn't fit too well with my current sensibilities. So I've decided to alter the outfit a bit, without a belt design. When we catch up with the Colonel in the book, he's hitting some rough times, so the sketch reflects that. I mentioned in my Facebook posting that from his creation to the publication of the book, my opinion of the Colonel's temperment and attitude had changed. Call it aging or whatever, but there's a part of me in the Colonel that I had never envisioned when I came up with him and his place in the book.
Happy New Year! As such, it's time to start rolling out what's next in my Man in the Mask series. Although if you haven't picked up the graphic novel, what are you waiting for? Go to my store now and order a copy.
Anyway, I wanted the graphic novel to have it's own feel, tone and look. For what comes next, it needs to follow it's own path. Here is the logo for the continuation of the story started in the graphic novel. There's some familiar connection in design but something that sets it apart. More to come.
I truly wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays etc. 2016 was such a turning point for me. It had it's really low lows and extremely high highs. I finished a comic project I had been dreaming and daydreaming about for close to 20 years. I went out on the convention trail with it and met some very nice people along the way. A big thank you to those that purchased the book and stopped and talked to me for awhile. It means more than you will ever know. Sometimes it's hard for this 44 year old to get everything done for the day so that he can live the life his 12 year old self dreamed up. But when I get a chance to sit down with my imagination, it's always a highlight. Thank you.
Going to try and keep this and my Facebook as current as possible in the new year. If you haven't yet go to my AMK Comics page and like it or friend me at Mike W. Belcher.
Been a little while since I sat down to really write one of these. I've tried to expand my horizons by joining Facebook. Yeah, late to the party, what can I say. So I've not paid as much attention to my blog in exchange for trying something new.
In trying something new, I'm trying to get back into fighting shape as they say for the continuing story of my book.
After I finished the graphic novel, i was pretty wiped physically, emotionally and mentally. I then went right into the selling of it on the convention scene which takes a lot of time, effort and lots of attention. There were good cons and not so good cons, which is par the course. After the last one, I knew it was time to refocus on what was next.
The experience of creating the book taught me invaluable lessons of my process and what worked and didn't. One of which, was my method of inking. Due to my long hiatus of not drawing, combined with my carpal tunnel which developed due to years using a mouse as a graphic designer, I chose to digitally ink my art.
It was a mixed blessing.
On one hand it gave me a safety blanket to undo bad strokes and experiment with things. But the end result just didn't feel organic enough for me. So in planning the next chapter, I thought I needed to go back to hand inking to get the results I wanted. Before I could do that, I needed not only practice but the feeling I'm showing to an audience as I go.
As I said, late to the party, but jumping in with both feet. I would try to have some fun while working on my inking and use the fact there was at least the feel of an audience push me harder to do my best.
It's worked better than I could have hoped. What was supposed to be just quick pencils and then inks has turned into me doing more elaborate artwork of which I'm pretty happy with.
Please feel free (if you haven't already) to friend me to see what art I've put up there. I have two, one under Mike W Belcher and then I have a page you can "like" under AMK Comics.
Thanks again for reading!
After much delay and procrastination, my store is open. I'll try to keep adding new things. Thanks for your support and don't forget to like my Facebook page!
Well, I did it. I made a Facebook page for my art and for the book. I've always been a person who said he wouldn't do Facebook. I'm kind of a private guy. But with getting done with the book, I felt like I needed to be a little more social due to my pride of finishing this very long project of mine. Still feeling my way through it. Not really sure I know what I'm doing or doing it right. But I am using it to motivate me to keep drawing. Like the feedback from it, and have already fallen into the trap of posting stuff there instead of here. Which, is the reason I'm telling you now. Feel free to "like" the book's page. Just search out AMK Comics. I'm sure once the newness of it has worn off, I'll head back to here. If I can help it, I'll not let either one suffer.
Thanks for reading and staying interested in my little book.
One of my last con appearances of 2016 was at Hobbyfest in Paintsville. For a small con, it had a nice turnout of people that like comics.
Big thank you to Ethan, Brent, Wayne, Daniel, Patty, Kent from The eStore in Pburg, Patrick from Page 3 comics in Pikeville, and one nice guy that I had such a good conversation with I forgot to ask his name, for picking up my book. I realize a $15 book is a lot from an unknown commodity like myself. It was appreciated more than you could ever know. I hope you enjoy the Franklin family.
Halloween Free Comic day is next. Kent from the eStore was nice enough to ask me to come down and set up with my pal Todd Goodman. Hours later, I got an invite from Patrick at Page 3. Which since I already accepted Kent's invite, I had to turn down. He did invite me to schedule an individual signing which I will definitely be taking him up on. Info coming soon.
A lifelong comics fan, Mike W. Belcher is the writer/artist of MAN IN THE MASK. A story he's had with him for over 20 years.