Written and Illustrated by Dave Baker
The State of the Future-Union
The Action Hospital is going strong, ladies and gentlemen.
We’re currently in the middle of our second issue, six pages in to an 18 page story to be precise. In case you forgot, I’m writing and drawing the currently sprawling epic about Boy Detectives, Yakuza, Robot Arms, and super-powered nurses.
After that we have Action Hospital Issue 3 staring Mallory Sloan, Satanic Super-Sergion written by me and drawing by the one and only Clay Murrell.
Mallory is the resident ‘nothing can fix this, fuckit. Send ’em to Mallory Sloan’ doctor. When nothing can be done, they call her. She doesn’t come cheap but she’s worth every penny. When pitching Mallory to Clay I described her as
Clay drew the fuck out of these pages. They’re stunning. He captured the countless eccentricities of Mallory with just a few pen storks.
In issue Three we also have the first black pope, Pope Shotgun the 1st.
Clay really outdid himself on the pages. Just look for yourself!
Action Hospital issue three is going to be off the chain. Satanist magic, a black pope, and super science. What more could you want? Nothing. That’s what. Action Hospital has literally everything you could ever want in a comic book EVER.
Ok, that might be a little extreme.
Younger and Younger
Meanwhile, over in Robert Negrete’s world:
Robert is only a few pages away from finishing INKING issue four. That’s right. INKING. Holy moly, that guy is so good and he’s really learning how to move quickly and effectively. Look at that lay out. Dope, right? Yeah. Dope.
In a distant galaxy…
While Robert and Clay are kicking ass and taking names on their pages, I’m slowly moving through mine. I’m currently writing and drawing issue 5, which will see the return of Albert, Joan, and the cast of characters from the currently being serialized issue two.
My pages look something like this. Lots of weird creatures, dudes in space suits/robot costumes, and tons of panels.
And call outs. Can’t forget how popular the call outs have been. Everybody seems to love those. Which is good! Cause I love drawing them.
Robits, man. SPAAAAACE Robits. I’m all about them.
Dance Until Your Heart Falls Out
In other news, I’m working on some super fun writing projects outside of comics. SOONER OR LATER I’LL BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT THEM. Gosh. It kills me.
So, I’ll leave you with this. Justice. Do it.
Live Long and Party
creating is a very lonely thing. You spend all your time sitting in a room ‘working’. Sure, some people listen to podcasts or music but it’s an undeniably solitary life. I’m not complaining, mind you. I love not having to go into an office. I love being able to push my schedule around as I please. However, there are times when even I, the most hobbity of hermits, want to interact with people.
Night before last I, and my small cadre of nerds, ventured down onto Hollywood Blvd. To say that it’s a hive of scum and villainy wouldn’t be incorrect. The place is bonkers. Twenty-four-seven. Part of me loves it and part of me hates it. I love the fact that a few blocks from my house there’s a massive orgy of excess and drunken indulgence. I also can’t help but be disgusted by the artifice of it all. On Hollywood Blvd there’s nothing honest. There’s nothing real. It’s like Vegas. It’s all genetically engineered to be consumed by individuals who have no cultural awareness. Hollywood Blvd is the porn version of life in California. Everything is heightened, all the vulnerabilities are shoved under a rug, and there’s a shit ton of noise. There’s a large facet of my person that devours this presentation of life here. I love the fact that people come here to escape from their everyday lives. Even individuals who still live in Los Angeles attend parties and go to clubs on Hollywood Blvd because a small part of themselves buys into what the club owners and party throwers are selling.
And then there’s shit like this. A fucking dude in a Mario suit. Why? Because it’s friday night and why not. It’s like comic con, but with more crappy hip-hop. And almost every night.
The sheer volume of ‘holyfuckwedon’thavetoworktomorrowlet’sgetfuckedup’ is astonishing. People really hate their jobs, their partners, their (insert aspect of their life here) and they are constantly attempting to escape it. Every time I’m in a situation where I witness this It gives me an immense amount of perspective. Oh course there are elements of my life I’m not happy with. Everyone has something. But it’s the fact that people need these venues to escape from themselves for two or three hours that I find endlessly fascinating. I find the whole cycle really beautiful and really sad simultaneously.
The Curse of the Carpal Tunnel Creatures From Beyond The Grave
And now on to the the things you care about. COMICS. Or rather the drawing of the comics and such. Or maybe you don’t care about comics. I don’t know.
I’m almost done penciling Action Hospital #3. I’ve got about two more pages left to lay the graphite down on and the WE MOVE TO THE INKS!
Working on the art side of comics again is interesting. It’s been a while since I’ve actually put any serious effort into drawing. I’ve been concentrating on writing for so long. I’m really enjoying drawing again. I forgot how rewording it is to see a blank page birthed into something so much more.
One of the challenges about writing/drawing is being able to keep one hat on for an extended period of time. Whenever I start drawing I instantly start thinking of ideas for the next script and vis versa. I suppose that’s a good problem to have.
Drawing drawing and them more drawing, man. That’s really all their is to say, at this point. I’m just really deep into the production of this thing. I’m going to be overjoyed when it’s finished.
Form Of A Bucket of Awesome Comics!
Last night I got together with Robert Negrete, my creative partner in crime on Action Hospital.
Robert has finished all the layouts for Action Hospital 2 is just starting on the pages. Even his thumbnails are fucking dope. Look at this:
Great, right? Yeah, great. Robert is ten times the illustrator that I am. Here’s hoping I can finagle him into doing Action Hospital for a little while.
So, since I’m nearing the end of Action Hospital #3 Robert and I have some super cool things planned. We’re going to be both drawing on the pages. As such, here’s a sneak peak:
So, there you have it. Drawings, comics, me in a Science Officer’s shirt out in public, and Robert Negrete owning me at the drawing game.
Special Announcement: We’re shooting to launch the Action Hospital page #1 this Wednesday. See you then!
The title for this post comes from Detective Comics #300. Five Points?
Until Next Time,
Hollywood, Ca 2013
It’s like riding a bike…made of poverty and rejection
Drawing comics is the hardest thing any human being could ever do. Lance Armstrong had fucking steroids. You know what cartoonists have? A pen. It’s just you and a blank piece of paper. That’s one of the many reasons why the comics medium is so amazing. It offers so many opportunities. There’s no restrictions. The only limit is you. The only downside? No safety net. If you don’t know how to draw that dragon or that house or that arm everyone will know instantly. Because it’s there. It’s not right. It’s just sticking out saying, ” I’m not right. Look at me.”
I’m currently in the beginning stages of penciling. All the layouts are done and the rough shapes and angles are there but none of the specifics or details are laid down. I usually try and work pretty quick when I’m laying out a page. It’s very evident when something is working. Equally so when it isn’t.
I’ve been blasting through things on the page I’m currently working on. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m rusty so I’m not seeing everything that I should be or if I’m just better at this than I’m remembering.
I’m really trying to push the expressions side of things. I’m having a hard time getting things to be as malleable as I’d like. This is the beginning of this comic though so, I’m sure by the end of it I’ll have Ye Ole ‘Oh FUCK’ face down pat. That seems to be the expression that comes up most often.
Drawing is a constant evolution. Or at least it should be. Finding stylistic nooks and crannies always get me really excited about the work I’m doing. Laying down the broad strokes of composition and narrative have their place too, but usually it’s the little things that get me jazzed.
Case in point. Robot arms.
In the second Action Hospital Robert and I are introducing a transgender character that has a robot arm. I got so amped about the idea of robot arms that I’m going to make them ubiquitous in our universe. Robot arms are the cell phones of the Action Hospital.
I really dig drawing nonsense tech. I suck at drawing ACTUAL tech. But if I can just put some weird plates and circles on shit, I’m a happy camper.
Look at that robot arm. None of that works. None of that is functional in any way. But it looks cool, right? Well, at least I think it looks cool.
I’ve been really pushing myself to create more dynamic layouts. I’ve been attempting to really show movement. That’s something I’m typically not great at. I draw books about people sitting in chairs and crying. Action Hospital isn’t that type of book. It’s big. It’s fun. It’s bombastic. It’s got super-intelligent plant people.
The title is from DC Comic Showcase #30. If you knew that: 5 points.
Until Next Time ,
Hollywood, Ca 2013