Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Throughout this book, you will see subtle changes in my drawing style because my artwork has grown along with it. I did manage to keep the attention to detail, and continuity of the story.

After numerous starts and stops, I finally went through about 20 or 30 script revisions until ultimately I was satisfied. I then sent the script around to many of my friends in and out of the industry for feedback. I did some final tweaking to the story and finished it. It turned out that I am re-drawing the entire beginning, so all of the drawings I did over the past 16 years start at about 25 pages into it. What this means is, that you will see all of my latest work first, progressing into the older stuff. I will post one new page each week until I have the whole thing online. Some pages, I will document complete progression from the story, to the storyboards, and then to layout, all the way to final ink.

Monday, July 11, 2011

PRISONER OF THE MIND is a neo-noir thriller set in the near future of New York, the Unforgiving City. On the outside, the city looks a little different. Buildings are taller, the sky is a little darker, technology is more advanced and machines have replaced some human workers. Nevertheless, people are the same inside, hungry, greedy, and deceitful. A hardboiled government agent with a perfect service record tries to commit suicide after investigating another agent’s death. Following Coles attempted suicide, he awakens in the psychiatric ward of a hospital, with no recollection of the incident. The psychiatrist Doctor Zane questions Cole and learns that the dead agent he investigated was a close friend from the academy named Tommy. As Dr. Zane digs deeper, he finds out that Cole’s mother was killed in a boating accident and his father was murdered when he was only nine years old. When Cole is finally released from the hospital, he discovers his apartment has been tossed, but oddly, nothing is missing.

His partner, Agent Alicia Reece has a theory of why he tried to kill himself that involves his friend Tommy and his past lover Jasmine, but Cole is still in denial. Through a series of mysterious forensic clues, strange dreams and weird blackouts, Cole begins to assemble the pieces of a puzzle. Following the breadcrumbs, he obtains classified information from an informant that something more sinister is happening. He discovers that his father’s death might be connected, when suddenly the rat is murdered. This sets off a chain reaction of lies, conspiracy and the death of more agents. Cole finds himself on the run, hunted by a ruthless killer with no identity.

He soon fears that staying alive will test his moral fiber and his friendships. Cole doesn’t know who to trust and sometimes he even questions himself. He tries everything to get to the bottom of it, but the only person holding the key is abducted right before his eyes. Frustrated, Cole seeks the help of his cousin Smitty that works on the wrong side of the law. Every, question leads to more, when Cole pays a visit to his father’s grave to retrieve a secret stash, that has fatal consequences. Will Cole stay alive long enough to see justice for Tommy, and reveal his fathers killer? Will Cole discover who he’s chasing, and who is chasing him? Will he re-unite with Jasmine, his former lover and clear his name, or remain a wanted man?

Thumbnail sketch, blue pencil and final ink page three.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Throughout this book, you will see subtle changes in my drawing style because my artwork has grown along with it. I did manage to keep the attention to detail, and continuity of the story. My goal here is to show my progression, my process, my successes, my failures and to help others avoid the pitfalls that I fell into while creating my graphic novel. When I started this project, I was anxious to start drawing, so I started drawing pages without having a finished script, which ultimately resulted in me making many more changes down the road, and re-writing the script. I think I made every rookie mistake possible before this was completed.

Rough thumbnail for page two.

 Blue pencil sketch for page two.

First ink of page two.

Final ink of page two.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I decided early on in this project, that it would take as long as it takes to get the job done. When I started this graphic novel in 1995, I was working full time as a storyboard artist and illustrator, juggling five or six projects simultaneously. I could only devote an hour here or there until it was finished, that was sixteen years ago. Now, I still hold true to my original plan, which is, “it takes as long as it takes.” Any great comic book artist will tell you that it takes devotion to a project to pull off a 32-page comic in a six-week period. I have recently ramped up my work on this novel and now volume one is nearly complete. These drawings are the first page of the graphic novel, starting with storyboard, blue pencil and then into final ink.

Page 1 thumbnail storyboard in pencil

Page 1 blue pencil and first ink


Page 1 final ink

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

People have asked about the inspiration for this graphic novel. Prisoner of the Mind is inspired By Blade Runner, and Film noir. It’s not so much the story or the characters of Blade Runner, but Ridley Scott’s obsessive attention to detail that captured my attention. My artwork is influenced by many great artists including Syd Mead, Moebius, Geoffrey Darrow, Frank Miller, Jack Kirby, Hugh Ferriss, Gustave DorĂ© and of course Will Eisner.

Blue pencil cover #1

Inked cover #1

Final colored cover #1

Although, the prisoner of the mind website has been around for years, I finally decided to make it into a blog. The images here are my steps from pencil to final color for the comic cover.

Monday, March 21, 2011

After conceiving this project and drawing the internal pages for many years, I decided to start thinking about the cover. Back in 1996, I hand painted a cover that I thought would work well with the story, but over the years I set this painting aside and started painting other cover ideas for Prisoner of the Mind. Now, years later I went back to the original, which I think still, holds up.

Monday, February 21, 2011

More, more, more...

While working on a particular character, you have to beat it down. What I mean by that is you have to work it, left, right, top, bottom, etc… after you do this for a while, the expressions and the features become more natural. You can’t expect to write a comic book story and then draw a couple of characters once or twice, then draw them in the book. Every time you need a different pose, you will struggle to get it right. Why not start with something that you have already practiced.

I draw on the subway everyday, it gives me something to do on my way to work and it makes me a better artist in the long run. Obviously if you drive to work this is not an option, but if you take what you do seriously, you have to make time for it. Go to a coffee shop or a mall and just do quick sketches. At first it will seem hard, because no one waits around for you to draw them. That is ok, you want them to move around. It is almost like you’re drawing their essence, their movement and their expressions. Just keep at it.