Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Step 1, the idea:

I have decided to re-post this series after many emails from the last one I did.

I started this site many years ago to document my experimental path to making a graphic novel. I have deviated on occasion from the real purpose here, but lately I've been getting back to the mechanics and art of visual storytelling.

This is a multi-part series on how to make a graphic novel based on my own experience. There is always more than one way to do things so keep in mind that if you've done it a different way and you’re reading this now, congratulations! Keep going in the direction you're going and we will both get there together. There is no wrong way of doing things, only a different way.

Sometimes I outgrow my tiny studio and overflow into the dining room.

The professional comic book industry does things a certain way which I will mostly adhere to. However, there are several things that I do differently to achieve the same or similar results. In the end, my book is as professional as anything on the market is today.

Prisoner of the Mind prototype. I have gone through over 100 revisions and counting. It takes a while to get it right. We'll get into more on that later.

The difference is, that I employ time-saving devices to streamline my process. Remember it is only you, not a company full of writers, pencilers, inkers, letterers, graphic designers, and editors. You can see that you will wear many hats in the graphic novel making process.

I like to see things visually, so wall placement is part of my process of elimination.

Throughout this series, I will give you many links and resources to help you. I suggest you read my entire post first, then go back and click on the links for more information. If you click on the links as you go, you might get lost on the way to the light at the end of the tunnel because the tunnel is long.

Ok let's get to work, so, you want to make a graphic novel or comic book. You are creative, artistic and a decent storyteller. That’s good, you’ll need all of your skills to pull it off. First of all, don’t think about anything format related yet, like the number of pages, size of the book or any of that. We will have plenty of time to get into the technical details later. The first and most important step is a good story idea.

 Some of my early character sketches for Prisoner of the Mind

If you have a good imagination, you probably already have several ideas bouncing around in your head. Before you proceed, you need to figure out which one is the strongest. I will approach this in two parts.
  1. You have too many ideas and don’t know which one to develop.
  2. You have no idea what to write.
I have a solution to both problems, let’s tackle number one first.

You have too many ideas. Let’s say you have five different ideas. Take all of the ones you have and compare them to what’s been done already.

Some of my best ideas come from my sketch book. If I really need some inspiration I go back through my sketchbook and pluck out one character then develop it further until I have something interesting.

Example; If you have a story about an average character that develops some type of superpower, check out what’s gone before. Chances are you’re not reinventing the wheel here. Spiderman, Daredevil, Hulk You will most likely find it hard to beat those stories without copying them in some way. 

If it’s already been done, cross it off your list. Unless, it really, really, really stands out in some unique way that perceptive comic readers will say hmm. Ok, now after you are down to say three final ideas figure out which one makes the most sense and which is the strongest. Here is what I do to figure this out.

Creating the best idea: Come up with a working title for only three ideas and then write one or two sentences to describe what the story is about.

These are mine:
  1. Prisoner of the mind is a neo-noir thriller set in the near future of New York, the Unforgiving City. An agent accidentally uncovers a seventy-year-old secret, which opens a door that cannot be closed.

  1. Vault of Heaven: The vault of heaven opens once every millennium. A burning star falls to the earth and new life is born.

  1. Ghost Circus: Do you believe in magic, the Cyclops, werewolves, or the supernatural? If you came face to face with your disbelief, would you die of fear? Throughout history, the ringmaster has taken his circus of freaks to one lucky town somewhere in the world. Children watch and believe when they are young and when they grow up it’s not too late to believe, is it too late for you?

Here is some additional info on writing a story synopsis:

Now that you have three ideas, think about what your main character will look like. Start sketching. Many times, you’ll make two or three sketches right off the bat, and know that this story isn’t your strongest. Great! Save that one for later. Focus on the one that rises to the top of your list. It is all about process of elimination. Once you have it down to one story, then you need to write.

Here is a stack of P.O.M. scripts that I have collected for each revision over the years. Eventually, they will probably be recycled.

In my case, I chose Prisoner of the Mind because I already wrote the first treatment many, many years ago and I always wanted to draw a spy noir thriller so I had a jumping off point. Second, there are too many crappy stories about aliens and ghosts floating around out there anyway. You can only choose one because you are going to be working on it for a long time. Keep the other stories in a file somewhere and when you finish your first one, revisit the others down the road. Write them in a word document, don’t write them directly into your blog. Why, because the web is notoriously unstable and you would hate to lose everything because a server went down somewhere and wasn't backed up. I also print out all of my stories just in case that happens.

Back to problem number two. You have no idea what to write your story about. OK, start by breaking it down.

The Ancients was a story about discovering an old civilization that I started to develop in the 90's.

Is it a story about superheroes, on the other hand, non-superheroes? Is it set in the past, present or future? What era do you want to re-imagine? WWII, Neanderthal, a distant alien planet orbiting a double star? Remember, it’s all about the process of elimination.

Once you have an era or an idea, expand on it. With my stories, I like to include historical facts that are somewhat re-imagined for today. Think Forest Gump or Captain America, both stories had some historical foundation that really grounded the viewer/reader in facts, and then twisted them into fiction.

I am personally a huge fan of Science Fiction, so all of my stories tend to have a bit of that in them. If you’re still hurting for ideas try reading these, and play a little game called.


Be creative, what if this didn’t happen, or what if someone else got there first, or what if history got it wrong?
From this list, you should be able to generate some cool ideas.

Still don’t have any solid ideas? Try this: Writing techniques using the snowflake method: 

Once you have one idea write it down and keep going until you have three. Go back to step one above. You want to start with three ideas then pluck out the strongest to develop your story.

Click here for Part 2 ... Write it down.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Here is a little animation that I did for the book teaser. During the process of animating many pages of my graphic novel, I tried many different approaches to making things move. Essentially, there were a series of little short animated segments that were edited together to create a story. This short little piece was part of the process of figuring out how to make lightning look like lightning.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Observer game with Rutger Hauer.

Observer is a first-person game from Bloober Team, the studio behind acclaimed horror game Layers of Fear. Check it out here.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Today the Blade Runner 2049 trailer was released. If you are a fan like me, then you will appreciate every bit of it. Can't wait until 10-6-17.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer.

The Future is now!

I actually went to see Blade Runner in a movie theater when it opened in 1982 and I was blown away by the creative detail. Blade Runner was the Nostradamus of its time. So naturally, I have kept tabs on the film over the years in all of its different forms. With the final cut release of the movie after 25 years, Deckards blaster prop selling for $270k at auction, and Ridley Scott signing up to either direct a sequel or prequel in the next few years proved to me, that many of us still admire the film and it’s imaginative environment.

While writing Prisoner of the Mind over the past 16 years, I have done a lot of research on Blade Runner for inspiration, motivation and atmosphere. In my book, I make references to Blade Runner scenes through visual similarities without copying it. During this process, I have amassed a huge list of Blade Runner reference links. I vowed that some day, I would categorize them all and post them on my blog, that day is today.

Just some notes before you get surfing.

Just because I start with the Wikipedia page, then IMDB, don’t get turned off. I know full well, that everyone with an internet connection can find these on Google. However, to be fair, you have to start with the best info first and then work down the list to the much more obscure links, and then on to total randomness. I was going to leave out the cast and crew links because anyone can find them, but I thought I would make it a total package.

I tried to find the official pages of each of the cast and crew first. If that was unsuccessful, I settled for the best of what was out there. Inevitably, I am sure I missed something, I am not a replicant nor am I playing favorites with the hierarchy of this list. It’s just a list, maybe it’s helpful, maybe not. Scroll down and see if you find something interesting.

The Ultimate 265 Blade Runner Links Updated for 2017


Official Warner Brother’s movie website

Official websites of the production crew (some IMDB links because they have no official sites)

Official Philip K. Dick website

Official Ridley Scott’s website

IMDB Hampton Fancher screen writer

IMDB David Peoples co-screen writer

IMDB Michael Deeley Producer

IMDB Jordan Scott Cronenweth Cinematographer

IMDB Terry Rawlings film editor

IMDB Marsha Nakashima editor

IMDB Les Healey editor (Directors Cut)

Official Syd Mead visual futurist

Official Douglas Trumbull special effects

Official David L. Snyder art director

Official Gene Winfield custom car builder, creator of the Spinner

Official Vangelis web site

IMDB Lawrence G. Paul production designer

Richard Yuricich Special Effects Supervisor

The cast

Official Sean Young

Harrison Ford Wikipedia page

Official Rutger Hauer website

Daryl Hannah

IMDB Joanna Cassidy

IMDB Michael Emmet Walsh

Edward James Olmos

Official Brion James website

Official William Sanderson website

Official James Hong website

IMDB Joe Turkel

Official Morgan Paul website

IMDB Hy Pyke

IMDB John Edward Allen

IMDB Kevin Thompson

Film scripts, novel, sketchbook and essays

Film Scripts

Blade Runner script

Fan website of C.A. Chicoine dedicated to consolidating all of the web’s fan fiction involving the world of Blade Runner and its mythology

An interesting concept for a Blade Runner sidequel


Phillip K. Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep .PDF

A study guide for Philip K. Dick

The ultimate Philip K. Dick fan site


Blade Runner Sketch Book .PDF

Essays and quotes

Fan website featuring in depth essays and analysis of the film

Blade Runner quotes

A philosophical reading of Blade Runner

In case, you didn’t know that Deckard was a replicant

Blade Runner Trivia Quiz

Christopher Nolan interview some of his work is inspired by Blade Runner

In-depth video analysis of the film

The Disintegration of Memory and Dissolution of Identity Concepts by Christian Protzel

A selective bibliography on the film

An in-depth breakdown of the film

Student essay written on the film

Fan essay on the Blade Runner human/replicant debate

Philosophical essay breakdown of the film focusing on personal identity

More on the Deckard replicant debate

Blade Runner movie quotes

LA Times article about a hero complex involving Blade Runner

An essay titled; Skinjobs, humans and racial coding

Fan clubs and fan web sites

Blade Runner 2

Blade Runner fan club

Huge fan site and contributors to a Usenet newsgroup

Blade Runner fan club on Facebook

Philip K. Dick Fan website

Ridley Scott Fan website with some info and pictures, but mostly advertising links

Harrison Ford fan site

Harrison Ford ageing timeline

The Official Blade Runner On-Line Magazine

A great Swedish fan website

Italian fan website

The Cyberpunk Project (TCP) is a remotely available data-well net of files about cyberpunk subculture, cyberpunk science fiction and general cyber culture in the form of collected information. 

Canadian Blade Runner fan website

Fan website potpourri of Blade Runner related links and facts

Blade Runner fan website with free downloads, photos, video and more.

Replicant City fan club

Interesting Canadian fan website part of the Blade Runner web ring

Fan website part of the Blade Runner web ring

Fan website dedicated to exploring dystopia

Fan blog

A webring fan website

Japanese fan website with a lot of cool stuff

Fan website

Fan website with lots of resource material

An extensive fan blog

An impressive Spanish fan blog that can be read in English

Spanish fan blog

Huge fan website with links, files, photos and more

Fan website with posters, music, downloads and more

Spanish fan website

French fan blog on Philip K. Dick and Blade Runner

Spanish Blade Runner message board

Spanish fan blog

Russian fan website

French Blade Runner Site

Blade Runner fan website with many free downloads and cool stuff

Fan made Blade Runner wiki

Blade Runner fan message board

Romanian fan website with plenty of downloads

Spanish fan blog dedicated to Blade Runner

UK fan blog



Deckard’s blaster original and what it looks like now before it sold at auction

Adam Savage prop maker interview about making a replica of Deckard’s Blaster

Mark Raats blaster build. Lot’s of cool free downloads.

Rick Ross designed blaster website

Hollywood Collectibles Limited Edition P.K.D. Blaster

Japanese website to print out and make your own paper blaster

Richard Coyle propmaker recreation of Deckard’s Blaster

IMFDB link to all of the weapons in Blade Runner, very detailed

Video game website on the origin of the fall out gun aka Deckard’s blaster

3d version of the fall out gun

Leon’s gun, COP 357

Phil Steinschneider has an amazing fan website dedicated to prop makers and their craft. The link here is specifically for Leon’s gun with incredible detail and a downloadable owners manual.

Jay Ohrberg restoration of a full size Spinner film car
Spinner model kit build

Randy Cooper Model Spinner kit build

Lexus concept car that has similarities to the Spinner from Blade Runner

A gallery of cars inspired by Blade Runner

Print out and make your own paper model of a Spinner

Lego Spinner

Off World blimp

Polaroid study of a model of the off world blimp prop used for the film

One of the only photos of the original Off World Blimp prop for the film

Photos of the original off world Blimp prop

Jason Eaton prop maker attempts to recreate the off world blimp in blade runner at ½ scale

Jason Eaton model maker, Blade Runner firearms and led blimp model

Paul J. Baccash 3d model of the blimp from Blade Runner

Blimp advertising mimicking the Blade Runner blimp

Japanese website that breaks down the advertising links on the blimps in Blade Runner

Miscellaneous, props, toys, magazines, t-shirts, etc…

Original Blade Runner Film Props at Auction

A forum primarily dedicated to collecting, and building Blade Runner props, but the do cover other’s too. This is probably the best site on the web for Blade Runner props.

Fan blog for the origin of the white dragon neon sign

Blade Runner whiskey glasses for sale

Fan site for Blade Runner props

Fan website of Shawn Pucknell dedicated to Blade Runner props

Spanish fan blog and mini-museum of props and collectables

A team of talented 3d artists re-create scenes and props from the movie

Japanese fan website dedicated to the detailed props of Blade Runner, from building materials down to matchbooks

John Pisa-Relli prop lawyer/collector of movie props documents his personal collection

Fan replica prop website

How to fold the origami unicorn

Another site dedicated to the origami unicorn

Japanese website with instructions on how to fold the origami unicorn

Buy Deckard’s replica trench coat

Marshall Alexander paper toy of Deckard, print it out and make one yourself

Lego Deckard

1/16 Roy Batty Action Figure Toy

Roy Batty Action Figure Toy

Deckard Handmade Action Figure and Spinner

Deckard Handmade Action Figure and Spinner another version

Deckard Handmade Action Figure and Spinner yet another version

An artist named Frenchie makes a toy Deckard

Cinefex magazine back issue cover image

Very cool graphic T-Shirts of logos and such from the film

Blade Runner related T-Shirts

Fan website covering many of the Blade Runner publications

Sets, storyboards and production photos


Hervé Attia fan blog dedicated to the sets of blade runner, great photos here

Beautiful interior images from an LA Times article on the 1924 Ennis House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Artist Claus Richter miniature model of Deckard’s apartment gallery exhibition

Future Noir fan blog dedicated to Blade Runner, great production photos behind the scenes and some other cool stuff

Deckard’s apartment 3d layout drawings

Storyboards and concept art

First concept art from Blade Runner 2

Blade Runner Storyboards .PDF

Artist Labby Sherman film storyboards

Spanish fan blog with video links to storyboards

Production photos

Vintage Production photos's

Fan website with more Blade Runner Polaroid’s

An open Swedish site with Blade Runner photos

A photo gallery of Blade Runner stuff

Another Blade Runner photo blog

Photos, movie stills, inspiration and art


Wonderful Sean Young Polaroid photos

A gallery of living movie stills, (very creative .gif images)

Movie stills

360 DVD Still photos grabbed from Blade Runner

Russian fan website with high-res movie stills


Avi Abrams Blade Runner inspired photos of Tokyo on Dark Roasted Blend

Photo’s of Dubai that could have been in Blade Runner

Blade Runner fan group uploads photos that could have been in the movie

A website with more comparisons of conceptual architecture that could be in the film

A fan photo gallery of San Francisco art deco architecture that could have been in the film


Prisoner of the Mind a graphic novel by Allan Linder inspired by Blade Runner

Victoria Secret runway show/photo shoot that resembles scenes from Blade Runner

Japanese photo shoot of a Pris like model

Blade Runner fan art

Phil Noto Blade Runner art

Blade Runner art exhibition at the Substation Gallery in Singapore, Japan

Tim Doyle Blade Runner art

French artist Xavier De La Obra recreates scenes from Blade Runner in 3d

Dances of Vice: Tokyo Blade Runner event photos

Computer games, digital media, fonts, apps, ringtone's

Computer games

Online Voight-Kampff test 2.0

Blade Runner game press kit images

Eric Gooch another of the animators for the Blade Runner game

Eric Chadwick art director for the Blade Runner game

David Austin animator for the Blade Runner game

Spanish fan website with hi-rez game images

One of the 3D animators for the Blade Runner game Jerry Deloff

Fan website with backgrounds, music and images from the game

A website that traces Blade Runners influence on games

Video game website on the origin of the fall out gun aka Deckard’s blaster

3d version of the fall out gun

Fan website with screen grabs of the video game

Lost art from Blade Runner the game

A group of Blade Runner gaming fans

UK Fan website dedicated to the walk through of the game

Digital media

Fan blog with free download of desktop themes


Blade Runner fonts to download

Apps, ringtone's and computer links

Blade Runner ringtone

Blade Runner ringtone’s

Blade Runner soundboard app features sound samples from the film

Blade Runner Vid-Phone Iphone theme

Fan project interview of the Blade Runner personal computer that could be in 2019


Vangelis fan website

Blade Runner Vangelis fan music website

Fan website dedicated to Blade Runner musicology

Blade Runner live in concert

Zan Lyons performs his music to Blade Runner projections

An Italian music group that is inspired by the film

Musical artist Dave Crane with a techno Blade Runner remix

More music archives of Vangelis and the film

Vangelis fan website

Fan films, experimental films, documentaries

TV commercials, spoofs and parodies

Blade Runner newsgroups

Blade Runner 2 and or Sequel, Prequel News

Ridley Scott Interview describing the Blade Runner Sequel

Blade Runner alternative beginning video and possible connection to Blade Runner 2

Ridley Scott: Blade Runner Sequel

Ridley Scott's Prometheus and Blade Runner shared universe

Prometheus and Blade Runner Crossover Revealed

Prometheus Community Forum

Fan site dedicated to the Sequel

Fan website featuring news of the upcoming sequel