Friday, March 31, 2017

script to page comparison

Happy Friday, everyone! This week, for our next delightful installment of The Switch production blog (Trademark and Copyright Keith Champagne and Tom Nguyen), I thought we'd do a little script-to-page comparison. It's been a while since we've done one and it's always interesting to me how the images I try to describe in the script are interpreted by Tom (or the other artists I'm lucky enough to work with). So up first, here's the script for page 34...


Same night.

A worm's eye view looking up the base of a skyscraper. A MAN is standing on the ledge, tiny from our perspective.


A different angle on the man. We see that he's a Wall-street type. Suit and tie but disheveled. Crying. Everything is un-tucked. Hair a mess. Being buffeted by strong winds at this height.

The Switch's SHADOW is stretching along the roof towards the fellow.

ELECTRICIA (off): You're probably thinking the world will be better off if you jump, right? All the pain will just STOP?
ELECTRICIA (off): You MIGHT be onto something for all I know.


From behind The Switch, seeing her from about the waist up. About ten feet in front of her, the man on the ledge is turning towards her.

MAN: Stay back! I'll do it!!
ELECTRICIA: I doubt it. People who want to jump just DO it. You're more the “I want a hug” type.


Same angle, still behind The Switch. She's lifting her top, showing the jumper her chest.

ELECTRICIA: I've got your hug right here.
MAN: Huh?


Reverse angle on Electricia, still seeing her from the torso up. Electricity is firing from her chest.

The energy blast is almost completely obscuring our view of The Switch (and is completely obscuring our view of her chest, sorry, Tom).

Point being, she's hidden behind the energy radiating from her, we're still saving her in-costume reveal.

ELECTRICIA: I know. I've got a killer rack.

Angle on the man, now slumped unconscious on the roof, maybe leaning against the ledge. Tufts of smoke wafting off him. The Switch's shadow is being cast over him.

ELECTRICIA (off): When you wake up, you'll be in the hands of people who can HELP you.
ELECTRICIA (off): For both our sakes, let's hope it's never too late to make the most of a second chance.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, the artistic stylings of Mr. Thomas Edward Nguyen (I actually have no idea what Tom's middle name is so don't take that one to the bank)!

I always feel like six panels is a lot for one page, it doesn't leave a lot of room for anything to breathe but this page doesn't feel that claustrophobic to me. I think Tom probably enjoyed this page because 1) he almost got to draw some nudity and 2) it was a fairly simple page to layout and draw. Minimal backgrounds and he's composed it to draw as little figure work as possible--but still did quite an effective job of telling the story from panel to panel. 

In general, production has continued apace this pace week. Our new Switch team member Robb has been killing it, in particular, turning my flatted pages around and getting the coloring of the project on track.

That's a wrap for this week, people. Join Tom next Friday as the adventures of The Switch continue!

Thanks as always for your support.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Why I Hate Windows' Mandatory Updates (Tom)

The above photo of my Surface Pro 2 shows exactly the biggest fear of digital artists.  I walk away from my computer for a juuuuust a bit (approx. 20-25 minutes) and this happens.  I was inking a page from The Switch (more than halfway done), and then *poof*--a mandatory update with no chance to save my work.  And really, it's my fault in a way; I've made it a habit to save my work fairly constantly whenever I have to step away from my table for a bit.  But of course this one time--!  >:(  So here I am re-inking this page that I teased earlier this week on my Instagram.

Anyway, enough ranting.  This past week has been a bit slow for me production-wise (just ask Keith who is awaiting pages from me to flat), but I do have a few sneak snaps to share :

Just who is this handsome, mystery man??

Upside-down Dr. Hate
Speaking of the above pic of Dr Hate, here it is colored by the newest member of The Switch team, Robb Miller:
And another sneak piece with Robb's colors....
 Finally, you backers should have received the update yesterday with a link do download the free Death Valley graphic novel book by Keith, Shawn Moll, and a little bit of me, even. Here it is again just in case:

Until next week--!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A day late and a dollar short

Hey everybody, sorry for the delay in updating the blog this week. I was racing the clock yesterday on an assignment and by the time I finished, I was just out of gas and needed to get out of my office. 

I got an email from Kickstarter this morning notifying us that today is the one year anniversary of the end of The Switch campaign. Hard to believe it's been a whole year already, I'd never have imagined we'd still be working on the book at this point in time. In hindsight, it was probably a bit arrogant to feel like we were just going to cruise through this thing and leapfrog over any problems that arose in the production, which have been many.  It's been a definite learning experience on many different levels and now, with the help of our new Switch team member Robb Miller, the finish line is closer than ever. I definitely won't miss the ever-present pressure of the project on our shoulders once it goes to the printer. 

So...happy anniversary, everyone!  We appreciate all of you. 

I'm going to be sending out a proper update through the Kickstarter early next week with a download link to the Death Valley graphic novel stretch reward, I've got all the files collated into PDF form and ready for your use and enjoyment. So keep an eye out for that although we'll also be posting a link to it here next week. 

And for your sneak peek this week, it's been a while since I've shared any script with you so I thought I'd go in that direction this week. 


Close on Electricia's hand, resting on the hood.

Tendrils of electricity are sparking from her fingertips and coruscating across the hood of the car.

SFX: zzzzz


Pull back to show--

The car comes to life.

Headlights beam. Hazard lights blink. Interior lights click on. Tail lights shine. Basically, every possible light or glowing surface suddenly says, “HOWDY!!”

Electricia still has her hand on the hood. The couple are still huddled in fear inside the car.



Close on Electricia's face, genuinely happy, as she leans in the driver's side window.

She's transforming into pure electricity here, the first time we've seen her do this.

ELECTRICIA: No need to thank me. Just pay it forward.
ELECTRICIA: That's what people say at times like these, right? This is all NEW to me!


Electricia, now a lightning bolt in the shape of a woman, flies off.

ELECTRICIA: Have a better night!

That's all for now, my friends. Thanks as always for your support.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Spring Break Update!

Well, it still might be too early for some to begin Spring Break, but I can't think of any other title for this update.  Plus, Spring really is around the corner!  Not much has changed as we're still on the June publishing schedule.  I know some are still asking when their reward commissions will be sent out, and it will be the first priority after we're done with the book.  We're pretty sure you understand that we have to get the book done and out of the way first before we tackle the rest of the stuff.  We're picking up steam on the coloring of the book, and I'm dabbling in the last "issue's worth" (an "issue" meaning 22 pages) of the entire 90-page book.  Finally!  And speaking of coloring-- Keith and I have been doing the coloring all ourselves on this book so far.  But I'm happy (and relieved) to announce the addition of our friend Robb Miller to the Switch Team as he will lend some of his coloring skills to not only help bring the book to life, but to help keep us on schedule.  The 3 of us will be appearing in May at MSP Comic Con in Minnesota, by the way...(as well as Doug Mahnke, the alternative cover artist)!  Keep an eye out for a special Switch print for that show so that we can all sign it for you ;)

And now, some typcial sneak peek art:

This and the previous pic makes Jen seem like a whiner! huhu!

Hero shot

The Truth looks like she's talking to someone on her Apple Watch

New character...?

Friday, March 3, 2017

some more Switch madness

Sorry for the late update today. I've had a crushing week finishing a rush job for Marvel and have been a brain dead baboon for most of the day. Which isn't much different from how I am any other day, really, so I don't know why I'm bringing it up now.

In Switch news, I was thinking earlier today that this blog has existed now for much longer than we originally anticipated. As production delays have pushed the publication of the graphic novel back, we've had to continue updating long past the point we had planned on. Yet throughout all these updates, all the art and story stuff that we've shared, you've still seen such a tiny portion of the project and even then, what you have seen has been mostly out of context. I guess I'm trying to say that I think it's cool the readers will still have so many surprises left to uncover.

I forgot to mention that about a month ago, I finally nailed down the ending to Electricia's story. If you'll recall, I had been juggling between three possible endings but eventually, settled on a fourth that kind of hit me in the head out of nowhere yet fit really well. It's nice when that happens, especially on a project like this that evolved so much from original concept through the execution.

Speaking of things that evolved, did we ever mention that when the book is published, it will be titles The Switch: Electricia? Turns out there was another project called The Switch so we had to differentiate. The tweaked title works out well, though, because by subtitling, the next two volumes will have distinct identities while falling under the overall Switch umbrella.

Anyway, enough rambling from me. Here's some art this week.

First up is our friend Edgar Salazar's great reward sketch of Elvira which will be winging its way to the reward winner very soon. HUGE thanks to Edgar for helping us out! He's good people and a great artist.

An Electricia reward sketch that I did a couple of weeks ago for a backer. This'll find its way into the package when we ship the books out.

Your first look at a fully lettered, fully colored page. What what what???

That's all for this week. Thanks as always for your support and we'll be back next week with more zany Switch madness!