Friday, July 29, 2016

Nasty Cat and Doctor Hate (Keith)

Hey everyone, Keith here. That magic moment you've all been waiting for has arrived. It's time for the weekly blog update!

Super quick, if anyone is curious about my health status this week: yep, I'm still a gimp. But I'll be able to walk by late September/early October.

So to start out this update, I thought I'd share another one of my down and dirty character sketches, this time for NASTY CAT, another member of our group of villains, MURDERER'S ROW.

There's a little bit of history to Nasty Cat. I've carried around the (kind of corny) name in my back pocket for a lot of years now but never really had a clear idea of who or what the character was. I didn't want her to be a rip off of Catwoman or Black Cat or even Tigra. So when it came time to populate this book with villains, I figured the moment had come to figure it out.

So I combined my vague ideas for Nasty Cat with a jokey idea Tom and I had five or six years ago about a bikini model with the head of a gorilla grafted onto her neck, the freakish result of alien experimentation. I swapped out the gorilla for a house cat and the below sketch is Tom's starting point visually for the character.  She's got the power to control all felines, whether lion or tiger or kitten.

And who knows? Maybe there's a house cat with a human head running around somewhere too. 

And speaking of human/cat hybrids, one of my favorite characters to play around with has become DR. HATE.

Dr. Hate is an 80-year old criminal mastermind whose mind has been trapped in the body of a house cat as punishment for his crimes. He lives with Electricia and, like most cats with their owners, sometimes even seems to like her. Dr. Hate is equal parts evil, wise, selfish, and overbearing. He may also be susceptible to Nasty Cat's control.  I love the way Tom gives him so much personality and movement whenever we see him.

So here's Dr. Hate in action below. This page is waiting for Tom to color render on top of the flat colors I've laid down. I'm as curious as anyone what the final result is going to look like. It'll be a lot nicer, that's for sure.
And that's about it. We'll see you next Friday with some more hot Switch action. Have a good week, everyone!


Friday, July 22, 2016

The Bionic Man returns (Keith)

Hey everybody, Keith here. 

Sorry for being absent from the blog. As some of you may have heard, I was in a serious accident while hiking in the White Mountains a few weeks ago.  I underwent (successful) surgery last Friday to insert a plate and waaaaay too many screws into my leg to hold the stupid thing together. It'll be a while yet before I'm able to walk but I'm happy to say that the worst of this experience is behind me. Today is actually the first day I almost feel human again, I've cut  down the amount of pain meds I'm taking by half and hope to be off this stuff completely in another few days. I don't even have caffeine in my life so Morphine, Percocet and Oxycodone have say the least.

Anyway, this is the Switch blog, not the "Keith complains like a bitch" blog so let me just throw out a HUGE thank you to Tom for taking over while I've been down and out and also for setting up a gofund me campaign to help take some pressure off while I haven't been able to work. As you can imagine, I've fallen really far behind schedule on one project and lost a second outright. Because of the way my leg needs to stay immobilized in a raised position, I'm still unable to sit behind a drawing table. But we're getting there, day by day. 

This is me right now, by the way, if you're curious. I'm like this about 23 out of 24 hours per day, every day.

So the big news behind the scenes of The Switch is that Tom and I have come to terms with a publisher to work with us in getting this project out. We're still ironing out a few wrinkles, dotting a couple of last I's but it's very exciting to have the backing of a major publishing house behind us. For one, it'll enable us to reach a much larger audience, including international territories, that we wouldn't have had access to. It will also enable us to INCREASE the page count from 80 to 96 pages and give you guys the best all around reading experience we can. I'll have all the details and will name the publisher soon but this is a really great thing for our book and it completely frees Tom and I up to focus on creating The Switch. 

If you're curious, it's a company that both Tom and I have worked for before, maybe even together.

And for show and tell this week, I thought I'd share a couple more of my rough character sketches. If you recall, I do these super quick roughs to give Tom a starting point. They're not polished or pretty but the basic info and look is there for Tom to pull in his own artistic direction. There's a LOT of characters in this book, most of them only seen briefly but hopefully when you read the book, you'll get the sense that Electricia inhabits a fully-formed, fully textured world. She's far from alone and there's tons of stuff that Tom and I can explore further in future volumes set in this world or even a companion website at some point.

So first up is THE TRUTH. During the Kickstarter campaign, this character was called The Answer but I changed the name to bring it more in line with the reward winner. The Truth is based on Mackenzie True (whose brother is 'playing' the evil character Interstellar.) While physically, she appears to be only about 12 years old, The Truth is actually more like 1,200 years old. She's more or less Electricia's primary foe, the Superman to her Lex Luthor. Although it could be argued that Electricia is clearly her own worst enemy.

And this next character is THE TRANSIENT. He's the leader of The Alliance (that name subject to change because I'm not in love with it) which is the collective of heroes in this world, like The Avengers or Justice League except our team has Bigfoot and the ghost of Ronald Reagan. 

The Transient is an alien astronaut who crash landed to Earth a handful of years ago. We seem him a few times over the course of the story but he's more or less the boogeyman to the villains. Better get out of here before The Transient shows up, that kind of thing. 

The Transient is also a reward winner, he'll be based on Matt Deangelis. When Tom and I produce the second volume of The Switch, he'll be the focus of the next chapter while Electricia/The Switch will revolve into the background. I have a really interesting story to tell with this character, there are some days when I wish his chapter was coming first in this trilogy of Switch books.

That's all for today. Thanks to everyone who took to the time to send me a note while I've been hurt. And by all means, feel free to comment with your thoughts on what we're cooking up so far. I'll see you next week with more, I'm gonna give Tom a little break from the blog.


Friday, July 15, 2016

3rd Time's a Charm

Loverboywith a new 'do/costume?

This week's blog post title is particularly fitting because 1)  it's the third week in a row that I've been updating, and 2)  "Charm" was actually Loverboy's (pictured above) original working name when Keith and I created The Switch.  One of those "Did ya knows."  

Of course, I'm not complaining at all about updating; Keith has been dealing with his broken leg the last couple of weeks, and taking care of that is much more important than fooling around on the information superhighway (if you're old enough to even remember that term!).  More on Keith's woes in a bit...

If you know us, you know we LOVE getting fan art/cosplay of our graphic novel The Switch.  So far it's been only of our lead character, Electricia.  That's understandable as she's been our poster girl for our entire campaign.  And she's hot.  But of course we will always welcome other characters--not that you've really seen too much of anyone else.  But here is a cool, sexy sketch sent to me by James Bui (thank you, James!):

Electricia by James Bui

Next up, we have an exclusive look at the generous sketch reward contributed by none other than Jerry Ordway for one of our lucky backers during our campaign:

Awesome sketch by the legendary Jerry Ordway!  THANK YOU, Jerry!

Finally, I'd like to end this with a serious note.  Last week, I mentioned that Keith had suffered a broken leg.  Today he undergoes surgery after over a week of delay while being completely immobilized and on medication to control his pain.  I have taken the initiative to set up a GoFundMe to help ease the burden of the medical expenses he will undoubtedly incur, especially during a time where he will still be physically unable to work while recovering.  So if you will be so kind as to take a look at the GoFundMe campaign and consider making a contribution.  There are actually rewards that Keith will send your way--including an exclusive, signed Switch print just for this campaign--based on the contribution.  If you can't contribute, no worries--if you consider sharing the page, that is just as appreciated!

Oh, by the way....Keith sent us a message:

Wait, what was that....??!!!!!  ;)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Oh Noes! Prayers for Keith Huhu :(

Here's a shirt I picked up from Switch fan Joey whilst in Knoxville, TN--thank you Joey!!! :)

I'm filling in for Keith for this week's update because--if you've been following his social media like YOU SHOULD, ahem-- he is out with a broken leg (tibia and fibula all in one fell swoop) whilst hiking last week.  Needless to say, he is out of commission for a while and is currently awaiting surgery.  Makes my neck problem from a few weeks ago seem like a little boo-boo in comparison.

Although it seems like the Switch team is bouncing around the DL list, have no fear.  These are just little hiccups and I assure you we've been plugging away.  And without further adieu, here's your Switch art sneak peek for this week:
What's Electricia doing here?
If you remember from our campaign, Electricia owns a cat named Doctor Hate.  Here is a closer look!

And here is a Switch/Old Man Neighbor sketch commission for a fan! :D
That's it for this week, have a great weekend!  :)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy 4th of July Weekend (Tom)!

As I still recover from last week's crazy and fantastic Fanboy Expo in Knoxville, TN, I am very excited and humbled at the in-person reception I've gotten from various fans at the show regarding The Switch!  I even got a bootlegged t-shirt out of it!  Meanwhile, Keith was at MASSive Comic Con in Worcester, MA.  

As of this writing this will be the first time this year that I'll have an extended stay at home (i.e., not on the road hitting conventions and doing photoshoots).  This will be great in the sense that I can be less distracted by road obligations and just drawing.  

I'm hopping around layouts on the first quarter of the book, and in July I'll be aiming for the halfway mark.  I'll be tight, but I'll do what I can.  Speaking of art, here are your teases for this weekend:

Have a Happy 4th of July weekend (for those in the States!).