(f)Art Party!

I’ve Seen The Future And It Will Be

Robert, and his lovely partner Sabrina, threw an Art Party last night. Which basically consists of a bunch of nerds sitting in a circle, drawing, and not talking to each other. This is how we socialize. Yes, we’re that cool.

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Lighting, mother fucker.

During the Art Party, Robert and I worked on Action Hospital pages. To say that we’re gentlemen travelers of the illustrated page might be appropriate.

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There are many ways to make comics. Sometimes you just have to make them in a large group of people who are also making comics.

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I’m not exactly sure what I’m miming in the photo above but I think it’s proper inking posture. Or it could be  that I’m about to show Robert how gravity works.

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The pages are progressing at a steady pace. Robert’s really getting into a groove. Look at that Sibling enjoying her bowl of dirt. How awesome is that? The dude is really starting to kick into high gear.

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Towards the end of the night our host Sabrina served us veggie and fruit smoothies. To say that making comics, drinking smoothies and then making some more comics is anything less than a perfect saturday night would be an egregious lie.

 

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Also: can we just digress into douche bag Bro-town for a minute? Look at Sarah. How did I pull that shit? hubba hubba, man. I’ll take two with a side of hells yes. Thank you very much.

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There’s really no reference in this post’s title. It’s just funny to put an F before Art it makes FART. No points.

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Until Next Time,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013

Yes…But Take Warning

 

 

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.

In Trek terms, ‘away missions’ are required from time to time. They help maintain my sanity, which is constantly on the verge of snapping.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Form Of A Bucket of Awesome Comics!

Last night I got together with Robert Negrete, my creative partner in crime on Action Hospital.

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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:

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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.

 

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Bonus Chun Li?

I mean, look at these sketchbook pages, man! Look at his control of from and his line weights. It’s super duper good. photo-2

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:

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Team up drawing, yo!

 

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.

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Special Announcement: We’re shooting to launch the Action Hospital page #1 this Wednesday. See you then!

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The title for this post comes from Detective Comics #300. Five Points?

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Until Next Time,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013

In Space, No One Can Hear You Be A Bigot

What’s the plural of Kaiju? 

You know what’s been missing from the tried and true western genre? Monsters. Big stumpy monsters. Like Godzilla. Can you imagine a book that had a cool stoic western protagonist and tons of stomps monsters? Man, I wish there were more comics like that. I guess I’ll just have to make some. Well, that is to say Nick Diaz and I will have to make some.

Along with Action Hospital, my day job of writing commercials, and the screenplay I’m writing right now, I’m working on a Kaiju western with artist extraordinaire Nick Diaz.

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Nick has done work for Archana and Moonstone in addition to drawing some comics for a middle eastern comics publisher. That’s right. Nick’s made comics in the middle east. How rad is that?

 old west mustache, FOR THE WIN!

old west mustache, FOR THE WIN!

Anyway, Nick and I have put our heads together and are currently in the middle of creating a western/kaiju epic titled Creaturelands.

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Just take a second and look over these character sketches. How good is Nick? How amazing are his monsters? Super pimp, right? Yeah, super pimp.
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Nick and I are plugging along with Creaturelands. Hopefully, we’ll have some finished products to show you soon. Currently, Nick is about five pages away from finishing the first issue. We should be selling it to a publisher/setting it up as a webcomic/or whatever we’re going to do with it after that.

Nick is a work horse, man. You should see the detailed thumbnails that he sends me. His thumbnails are almost as impressive as his finished pages. The guy really puts his back into everything he produces.

I’m so thankful to have him as one of my collaborators.

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Action Possible and the Progress of the Hospital! 

Robert is still working on his layouts and I’m about 1/3 of the way through my Action Hospital script.

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Writing comics is hard. Drawing comics is hard. Writing and drawing comics is like giving birth. You’re constantly questioning yourself. Why did I write this scene this way? Why did I set it in this location. I suck at drawing this location. Why didn’t I set it in a different location. What is my problem?!

Like I said: I’m a glutton for punishment.

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That all being said, I’m pretty happy with the way things are progressing. I’m not hating the work I’m putting down on paper. I’m not unhappy with the script. I’m just slowly working through it. I’m hoping to have this all wrapped up next week so that I can move from the pencils to the inks.

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She Said With A Strangely Nasal Voice

My journey with the starship Voyager is progressing and I’m starting to Love/Hate it.

So far in the first five episodes the show seems obsessed with the idea of reflections. In theory this isn’t a bad idea. The concept of reflections serving as a visual metaphor for the fact that Voyager is the fourth tv show to carry on the legacy of the Star Trek legacy. The fact that these various franchise installments mimic and imitate each other is analogous to the reflections concept. It’s a really great idea for commenting meta textually on the various permutations that the franchise has gone through.

However, it’s pretty terrible in execution. Nearly each one of the first five episodes has dealt with a reflection of the Voyager in someway. For example, the Voyager drops out of warp due to a distress beacon from a ship trapped in the even horizon of a collapsing star. Eventually the crew figure out that the ship that they’re attempting to save is, in fact them. That they’re seeing a reflection of themselves across space and time. Cool idea right? Sort of. The show just misses each time. I don’t know if it was because famed Star Trek writer Brannon Bragga was primarily assigned DS9, which left Ron Moore do be the head writer  Voyager or if it this is just this is what happens with all Star Trek shows. They’re bad for like two or three seasons and then the writers figure the show out and BOOM. It’s amazing. I’m not sure.

All I know is that every episode of Voyager is brimming with potential and very few episodes have really excelled.

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I’m keenly interested to see how they handle Commander Chakotay, the Native American first officer. At one point in the pilot one of the Star Fleet officers calls Chakotay an Indian and I cringed. It’s really hard to believe that a 24th century man would use that term to describe someone of indigenous birth.

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Alien? Anyone? Alien? 5 Points?

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Until Next Time,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013

As The Invaders Leap From Their Shining Machine…

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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The title is from DC Comic Showcase #30. If you knew that: 5 points.

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Until Next Time ,

Dave Baker

Hollywood, Ca 2013