Monday, February 22, 2021

Artist's residency in Iceland

Last year, from October 28 through November 16, 2020, I participated in an artist's residency in the beautiful city of Reykjavik, sponsored by the Centre Intermondes, the Maison des Écritures de La Rochelle, and the Alliance Française de Reykjavik


For three weeks, I stayed at the magnificent Gunnarshús, the home of the Writers' Union of Iceland, and was able to make a great deal of progress on one of my future projects, a daily black and white comic strip, like those that began appearing in American newspapers towards the end of the 19th century (such as Peanuts, Terry & the Pirates, The Phantom, etc.). Thanks to this residency, I was able to develop and refine the script, define the final format of the project, and finalize the characters.


I also had the pleasure of teaching a week-long workshop on the theme of character creation at the Visual Arts School of Reykjavik, (Myndlistaskólinn í Reykjavík). Each student produced detailed character sheets (descriptions, preparatory sketches, final drawings) of his or her character, as well as two short, four-panel comic strips featuring an important aspect of the character's personality. The workshop allowed me to discuss different drawing techniques with the students, as well as different techniques of comic book narration. Every country, every culture has a unique way of telling visual stories, a unique voice of its own, and Iceland is no exception; I sometimes felt like I was learning as much as I was teaching.

I had the opportunity of exhibiting a series of my original comic book pages at the Alliance Française, where I also taught two drawing workshops for children aged 11 to 15, in addition to giving two conferences (on Zoom) for Icelandic students taking French lessons. These exchanges were particularly meaningful for me, because it was an essay contest sponsored by the Alliance Française in 1995 that allowed me to come study comics in France, to deepen my knowledge of the French language, and to immerse myself in this culture that I love so much.


Here is a link to the guided tour of the exhibition at the Alliance Française:


I was honored to be interviewed for the Morgunbladid, Reykjavik's morning newspaper, during my residency. Here is a link to the article, which appeared on November 7:

Due to the current health crisis, the tourism industry in Iceland has pretty much come to a complete standstill; as a result, I wasn't able to go sightseeing and discover the country's wonderful, unique landscapes. That didn't stop me from walking through the streets of Reykjavik and go running along the coast (in -2° C weather!) several times.






I would like to thank everyone who made this residence possible and so enjoyable, and for all the Icelanders and French folks who were so kind and welcoming; it was an unforgettable experience and particularly beneficial for my projects. I look forward to going back when the conditions are better.

In the meantime, I've been working on a (top secret) short story, which I will be publishing online very soon. News to follow!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

INKTOBER 2019

After spending several weeks on the fence, I finally decided to participate in this year's Inktober art challenge: 31 days, 31 ink drawings, posted on social media with the hashtags #inktober and #inktober2019.

For the past year or so (ever since I finished drawing Archer Coe and the Way to Dusty Death, in fact), and despite having tons of ideas for projects and stories, I've had a particularly difficult time getting back to drawing comics. I felt that maybe, just maybe, this year's Inktober might be what I needed to get me motivated to draw comics again.

And it was.

I've never followed the official Inktober prompt list, and I wasn't in the mood to draw a different comic book character every day (as I had done in my previous Inktobers), so this year, I opted to tell a story. I'd been itching to draw a daily newspaper strip for a long time, and thought that this might be my chance to practice telling a story in that format.  I had a few false starts, but eventually came up with the idea of an action/adventure story starring Black Jack, one of the characters from my PARANORMAL comic book trilogy.

As I drew the comic, I tried not to think ahead about what was going to happen next, and just let the story unfold, from panel to panel, before my eyes. It was both a challenging and exciting experience.  Thanks to everyone who encouraged me and sent along good vibes and kind words, I managed to finish a drawing every day (even though I ended up posting one or two of them a couple of hours after the daily deadline, because sometimes, there just aren't enough hours in a day).






I was recently accepted to be a contributing cartoonist on the French webcomics site GrandPapier, and have posted the entire 31-page story over there if you want to go check it out, (instead of reading it by scrolling up and down my Instagram page).

I hope you enjoy reading The Delivery as much as I did drawing it! Here's hoping I'll have some more comic book news to report soon. Stay tuned :)

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Joe Abercrombie's THE FIRST LAW


 Back in 2016, one of my favorite artists, Daniel Krall (One Plus One, House of Night, Doom Cannon) , posted two incredible drawings of characters from Joe Abercrombie 's THE FIRST LAW trilogy, Ferro Maljinn and Logen Ninefingers. I was so intrigued (to say the least), that I went out and bought the books the very next day.
The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and Last Argument of Kings were the first sword & sorcery novels I'd read in over twenty years, and they reconciled me with a genre I'd all but turned my back on, in spite of my love for rpgs (MERP, D&D) and a handful of fantasy novels (Michael Moorcock's Elric, David Eddings' The Belgariad, Weiss & Hickman's Dragonlance Saga, etc... sorry, I haven't read George Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire yet, and I was never a Tolkien fan. Once the only character I cared about died at the end of Fellowship of the Ring, I kinda lost interest in LoTR).
I was immediately captivated by Mr. Abercrombie's characters, universe, and unique writing style, and I promised Dan I would try drawing some of my favorite characters. Three years later, I finally got around to keeping my promise. A couple of weeks ago I posted some daily drawings on my Instagram and Facebook pages, to get me back into the swing of things for Inktober (if I end up deciding to throw my hat in this year).


Logen Ninefingers, the Bloody-Nine

Ferro Maljinn

Inquisitor Glokta

Jezal dan Luthar

Yulwei, the Fourth of the Magi

Yulwei (pencilled version)

The finished, inked drawings

What I used to draw everything: 
Yasutomo Sumi ink, a sketchpad of Danish paper( from the local Flying Tiger), and a Winsor & Newton Series 7 #2 sable brush

Now go read the books! :) 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

POSTCARDS


A few sets of postcards featuring some recent comic book covers & selected Inktober drawings (from 2016 and 2018) are now available on my BigCartel shop. Feel free to swing by and take a look if you feel so inclined :)

Featured art:

RIPOSTE (cover)
ARCHER COE VOL.2 (cover)
PARANORMAL (Rat Face illustration)
BATMAN
THE JOKER
IRON FIST
THE MAN IN BLACK (from Princess Bride, not Johnny Cash)
ANA (Overwatch)
GENJI (also Overwatch)
EAGLE (fan illustration of Neil D Vokes and Jack Herman's fantastic character)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

RUN


A few years ago I had the pleasure of writing and drawing RUN, a wordless, 21-page comic book story in issue 5 of David Lloyd's comic art magazine Aces Weekly (see original blog post here). 



The story is still available in Aces Weekly, but I've decided to offer it as a pay-what-you-want PDF download on my Gumroad shop as well:

RUN

RUN will be available this Friday (June 7th) at the stroke of midnight, but you can pre-order it this very second if you feel so inclined. A seven-page preview episode is also available on Webtoon. Feel free to go take a look.

Thanks for your continued support and for stopping by. Hope you enjoy RUN!

Monday, January 14, 2019

PARANORMAL


A little over a month ago, the first issue of my daily online webcomic,  PARANORMAL: THE OGRE, ended. Since then, I've been hard at work putting together French and English versions of the complete PARANORMAL trilogy via the online self-publishing website Blurb.



Today, I'm very happy and proud to announce that the 150-page, remastered, definitive edition of PARANORMAL is now available for purchase, in both paper and digital formats.

If you would like to order a paper copy of the book, there are two ways to go about it: you can order PARANORMAL directly from my BigCartel shop (each copy comes signed with a personalized sketch), or directly from Blurb.

If you prefer digital, you can purchase a copy from my Gumroad shop. I'm also working on making PARANORMAL available on ComiXology as well, and will let you know as soon as that happens.

In the meantime, to celebrate the launch of the trade paperback, I will be publishing a five-page preview of PARANORMAL: SHADOWS OF THE PAST, the second book in the trilogy, as a new episode at the end of my PARANORMAL: THE OGRE webcomic (on Tumblr & Webtoon). It launches today at 3:00 P.M (Pacific Standard Time) or at midnight (in France).

I appreciate your support and encouragement, and sincerely hope you enjoy PARANORMAL. Feel free to spread the word and let me know what you think!




Thursday, November 1, 2018

INKTOBER 2018 & PARANORMAL

I wasn't able to participate in the Inktober art challenge in 2017, but this year I was determined to throw my hat in. 31 days, 31 ink drawings, posted on social media with the hashtags #inktober and #inktober2018 is a lot tougher than one might think. I have to admit that I went through a couple of rough spots and had a case (or two) of cartoonist's block, but thanks to encouragement and kind words from friends and followers, I was able to finish a drawing a day up until the end.


 Day One: Robin


Day Two: Maria, from Rick Remender & Wes Craig's DEADLY CLASS


Day Three: The Spider


Day Four: Magik


Day Five: Daredevil


Day Six: James O'Barr's THE CROW


Day Seven: Jean-David Morvan & Bengal's NAJA


Day Eight: Teacher, from Nagabe's THE GIRL FROM THE OTHER SIDE


Day Nine: B.P.R.D agent Ben Daimio, from Mike Mignola's HELLBOY


Day Ten: Black Kaiser, from Victor Santos's POLAR


Day Eleven: Shaggy & Scooby-Doo


Day Twelve: Ana, from OVERWATCH


Day Thirteen: Stick


Day Fourteen: Maya Lopez, aka Echo


Day Fifteen: Ikari


Day Sixteen: Manji, from Hiroaki Samura's BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL 


Day Seventeen: Grifter


Day Eighteen: Marv, from Frank Miller's SIN CITY


Day Nineteen: Angelino & Vinz, from Run's M*F*K*Z


Day Twenty: Hellcat


Day Twenty-one: Ser Arthur Dayne, from GAME OF THRONES


Day Twenty-two: Tujiro XIV, from Matt Wagner's GRENDEL


Day Twenty-three: Paul Pope's ESCAPO


Day Twenty-four: Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin's PRIVATE EYE


Day Twenty-five: Ramona Flowers, from Brian Lee O'Malley's SCOTT PILGRIM


Day Twenty-six: Bruce Lopez, the One Man Gang, from Mike Hawthorne's HYSTERIA


Day Twenty-seven: The Werewolf of London


Day Twenty-eight: Azrael


Day Twenty-nine: Archangel


Day Thirty: Vixen


Day Thirty-one: The Joker


Most of these drawings are available for purchase on my BigCartel shop. I plan on adding the remaining Inktober drawings in the weeks to come as well, so don't hesitate to swing by and take a look from time to time if you feel so inclined. 


PARANORMAL


Ever since I recovered publishing rights to Paranormal back in 2016, I've been trying to decide what to do with it. I don't know whether I should pitch the trilogy to established publishers, self-publish it, launch a Kickstarter campaign...there are a lot of possibilities these days.

I'm still trying to figure it all out, but one thing is certain: I've missed drawing Ogre, Rat Face, and the rest of the Paranormal cast, telling their stories, and creating new ones with characters I introduced in the original trilogy.

I'm currently working on an espionage story that takes place in the Paranormal universe, as well as developing new stories, but while I work on them, I'd like to share the first volume of the trilogy with you.

PARANORMAL: THE OGRE will be launching tonight at midnight (4:00 pm Pacific Standard Time) as a daily webcomic on Tapas. The first episode will be five pages long, with one-page updates following every day at the same time. 

I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to subscribe, bookmark the link, spread the word, and let me know what you think. Thanks for your support!