Saturday, June 9, 2007


I get a lot of emails asking me questions about RE:Play and usually the questions fall into the same categories over and over again so I thought I’d clear some of them up here:3

Q1- When is the next one coming out?
A1- March 08

Q2- Why don’t you make an anime of RE:Play?
A2- Because I don’t know how to animate, it’s magic and those who do it are voodoo witches with amazing powers which I very much envy.

Q3- Is Char a man or a woman?
A3- It’s actually surprising to me how many e-mails I get about this, it really seems to concern people! The simple answer is she was born male but lives as a woman.

Q4- I think Izsak’s a vampire, is he? IS HE?! OMG TELL ME OR I’LL EXPLODE!

A4- …uh…please just read the comic, yeah?

Q5- Will you make an art book?

A5- This isn’t up to me, if you’d like to see an art book from me (or any other merchandise for that matter) please send TokyoPop an email and let them know what you’d like to see :3 They don’t care what the artists want, they care what the fans want, that’s the way of publishers my friends.

I think those are probably the top 5, so we'll leave it at that for today.

In other news I will be hitting up a bunch of conventions this summer!
Here's my current con schedule lovingly copypasted from my DA journal:
Anime Expo- June 29th-July 2nd
Just a fun cosplay and hang out con. No AA table and AFAIK TP will NOT have a booth there so I probably wont have any signings. Say hey if you see me tho! (I'll def. be at the SKIN concert ho ho ho)

Otakon- July 20th -July 22nd
Work con!
I'll have a table in the artist alley as well some some limited prints in the art show.
If TP is at the con I'll have some signings at the booth again~

SDCC- Thu, July 26 - Sun, July 29
Still not 100% sure if I'm going to this but if I am I'll have booth signings at the TP booth and will generally be around to talk to if you need me. Another work con for me~~~

Monday, April 16, 2007


I get a lot of questions from people on DA asking how I go about drawing my comics and what planning goes into them. So I figured I'd share a little bit of how I work.

I work a little differently for individual issue comics and for graphic novel volumes. Since most of the people who ask me are manga-style writers I'll use graphic novel volumes for this example since that seems to be the current fashion for the manga audience these days.

Step One- Plotting

The first thing I do is draft up a general overview of the volume.

Putting events in order and little footnotes to any dialogue/scenes I already have written up.
I keep a running document on my laptop that I add to whenever I get an idea for a line of dialogue or a certain scene I want to include in future volumes. That way when I get to that point in the story I can go back to my idea and work it in if it's still applicable.

So a basic flo
w of events and scenes comes first. This isn’t a detailed dialogue heavy list, it's literally a list of "this happens, then this happens, then this happens." It's basically to give me an idea of what I have to work with and how much I have to fit into my allotted pages for the volume. That way if there's too many scenes to fit into the given page limit I can start trimming back unnecessary scenes now instead of later when a lot more work has been put into them.

Step Two- Scripting and Thumbnailing

The next step is actually two things at the same time.
Working from my plot layout I’ll start scripting out the actual book from page one of the first chapter to the last page of the last chapter. I work from start to
finish in order so as to make sure the chapters flow well and the pace of the story works.

Scripting involves writing out both the dialogue for each panel and what’s
occurring in each panel visually.
EX: Page 1 Panel 1- wide full bleed panel, angled, Cree leans forward smiling ¾ at the camera

Cree- Of course
it is, I mean what I say!

Panel 2- wide outlined panel, angled, shot of Izsak and Cree’s feet on the ground in front of the bench. Cree rolls her feet in towards each other.

etc etc etc...

While I’m writing the script out I keep my sketchbook next to me so I can thumbnail out the pages as I go. I know a lot of artists are really detailed in their thumbnails, I’m obviou
sly not one of them.

I just use thumbnails as a way to get my base idea for the panel layout down and to help me remember what I was talking about in my description of the panels in the script.

Step Three- Penciling

After I’ve finished scripting and thumbnailing out the entire book I start in on penciling pages. Again I work from the first page to the last in concession.
I’m not a slave to my thumbnails tho, so sometimes things will change as I draw them. In this case I changed panel 2 because I ended up cut
ting the main character’s hair in the previous chapter. Something I hadn’t taken into account when I was thumbnailing out the pages.

Step Four- Inks

Most artists I know pencil out their whole book and then go back and ink it. I prefer to work page by page, so after I’ve penciled out a page I’ll go straight to inking it before I pencil out the next page. It’s really just a personal preference, I just find it easier to work that way.
I tend to do the majority of my BG work and details straight in ink in this step.

Step Five- Tones

I don’t do this step! HOORAH!! I have an assistant, Catarina, who tones my pages for me. So after I have a chapter’s inks done I send them off to her, along with notes on how I want the tones done, for her to add them in.

Step Six- Text

After I get my pages back from Cat I add my word balloons in Illustrator. Again I know the majority of artists draw them by hand. I don’t, once more it’s just a personal preference. After I’ve added the word balloons my finished pages and final script get sent off to my editor who hands the pages off to another assistant who drops in the text since they prefer to handle that in-house.

And that’s that!

Generally I finish about 2 pages penciled and inked a day, some days I manage more if the pages aren’t too complex or if I’m feeling especially art-y that day. I very rarely do less than 2 pages as that’ll throw my whole schedule off and I hate to fall behind.

Comics are fun, but they’re still work yo!

Friday, April 6, 2007

First post time~

For those of you who know me I’m sure you’re wondering why the heck I need yet another blog.
Well, I’ll tell you why.
Because I need a place where I can talk about comics and work and not have to bring people into my personal bizniz in order to do so.

LJ is great, but it’s hard to keep work separate from life there, so that’s what this blog is for.
It’s so even if you don’t know me personally you can still keep up with what’s going on in the Land O’ Comics.
Make sense?


So for a first post here I figured I’d bring everyone up to date on the status of my current series~

Right now I’m about halfway thru Volume Two, I just finished up Chapter 4 last night and will be starting in on Chapter 5 today.
After talking to my editor I found out the street date has been pushed back once again. It was originally due out in Dec of 07 but now it’s being moved to March of 08.
Long time away, I know, but at least the wait between vol two and vol three wont be as long as between one and two since I’ll already be a couple chapters into vol three by the time two hits the stands!
That’s…something, right guys?

Also, because I don't think a lot of people realize this, the street date is something that I have no control over. I get a lot of e-mails lamenting my decision to release the books so far apart...yeah...that's not me. It's all up the publisher, the artist has little to no say in it.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m no longer publishing Next Exit under SLG. We split a couple months back and I’m currently in the process of moving the series over to a different publisher.
The split was amicable and there was no bad blood or anything, SLG just wasn’t the right publisher for the comic and we both knew it.
While SLG is a great company to work for, and I can say nothing but positive things about my experience there, it’s just not a publisher most people turn to for “manga”. And since that’s the heading most people seem to categorize my comics under, it wasn’t a good fit.

That being said when Next Exit does return I think readers will be more pleased with the presentation and format of the book and hopefully it'll reach the audience it was intended to reach this time around.
I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated on the situation of the series and when it’s expected return to shelves will be~

So that's where I stand right now, I have a few other side projects I'm working on, and I'll be sure to update here about them as soon as I'm able!