ABSTRACT STUDIO COMICS – JOURNAL

New Art For Sale

We just posted new pages of original art from Motor Girl 2 & 3 in the store. These pages are ink on 2-ply Strathmore Bristol, size 11 X 16 inches. Sometimes you can see edits and changes on the page, done with white out or removable labels that I redraw or re-letter onto. This stage of the process is wonderfully old fashion and I enjoy it so much. Once a page like this is done though, it’s all state-of-the-art steps to finish: scanning the art on a large hi-res scanner into Photoshop for tweeking and cleaning, then putting the pages together in InDesign for the book, save the book as a hi-res PDF that I then FTP to the printer who sends me a PDF proof within a couple of hours and I approve via email and BAM! it goes to press on a large 1 million dollar machine, is stapled on an old fashion machine, boxed by hand, trucked to Diamond Distributors warehouse in Memphis, sorted by hand for orders, then trucked to stores all over the country where wise comics folk with good taste lovingly put the new issue on the shelf and recommend it to every person who enters the premises. So each of these pages has quite a history. Offering them back to the people who read my stories is magic in that these pages end up in homes all over the world. How wonderful that is to think about, and it assures me that the pages will survive, that they won’t ALL be in one place when a fire breaks out or something (lots of artists bios have an awful studio fire story).

So, I love my pages but I want you to have them. Like a violin maker and his handmade instruments, my pages are my creative children but I have to let them go out into the world because that’s part of the reason why you make art to begin with. So check out the Motor Girl original art listings and see if one my kids speak to you. It would be my honor for you to have one.

Motor Girl #2, page 4.

Artists, You Can Do This

I was a teen drawing comics with a Bic pen on notebook paper when I walked into a Half-Price Book Store and saw a page of original comic on the wall for sale. I didn’t know the artist or story but it was professional, old-school stuff for a horror story like a 1970’s Creepy magazine. It was hanging at eye level and I could stand right up to it and study a pro page for the first time. I must have stood there for 15 minutes with my nose 12 inches from the page studying it from corner to corner. It was the first time I’d ever been able to see how a pro uses a brush and pen on paper, the skillful draftsmanship, the extensive use of white-out for corrections and effects, the blue pencil ruled lettering, the paste-on’s… even the size of the page was something I’d never seen before, a proper 11 x 17 inch bristol page. I studied that page and thought, “I get it. I could do this. I WANT to do this.” It sort of changed my life. Looking at original art close up is WAAAAAAY different than looking at what is in print. A lot of what I know was learned by studying the originals of other artists.That’s what they mean by standing on the shoulders of those who came before you. So try to stand on the shoulders of the best, the giants. They seem to be in another league when you first  look, but the more you look the more you see and then you get that break-through, the “Aha” moment.
 
So, I thought I’d post some close-ups from Motor Girl 3 for any young artists out there interested in the craft of comics. Look closely and you’ll see, “it’s just lines on paper” (R. Crumb). You can do this.
Click on the 3 art selections below to open them in their own page, then click again on the art to enlarge it fully. 
 

Motor Girl 3 Is Out!

Run to your local comic shop or head straight to our webstore and grab the new issue of Motor Girl 3. It’s a helluva ride!!

Zen Hulk

Reposting this Zen Hulk drawing because you may need it during these tense times. Print it out and pin it beside whatever you like to smash daily, like a TV or work computer or that fax machine you wish would die.

 

Motor Girl 5 cover art

Here’s the cover art to Motor Cover #5. And then the color version by master colorist Steve Hamaker. I LOVE how this one turned out! I can see my Japanese and European comics influences in the art and layout. Can you?

This beauty should hit the stands early April.

 

2017 Conventions

Here are the dates we have so far for 2017. I can’t wait!

March 31 — April 2   Dallas Fan Expo

April 21-23   Chicago C2E2

May 27-30   Munich ComicFest (finally a return trip to Germany!)

July 19-23   San Diego ComicCon

Sept 30   Canton, Ohio’s Hall Of Fame City ComicCon

October… we’re hoping to add an east coast show but we don’t yet have confirmation.

And, here are a couple of nice graphics I saw while checking on the sites:

Black Friday Brush Sale

 

The brush sale this morning went down like the Black Friday Sale on South Park. A crowd hit the site early before the brushes were to go live at 10 AM, and froze it up. People showing up at 10 couldn’t get on the site, the yelling started, we scrambled to contact the site host Westhost, bodies kept stacking up at the site wanting in and there was nothing we could do to help them. Westhost turned out to be no help so we were considering moving the sale to eBay when orders started showing up, which meant people were getting in one at a time, so we stuck with it and here’s where the most heartbreaking thing occurred: we had the sale limited to 30 units, but instead of limiting transactions to 30 carts, the limiter was apparently on the checkout register. Maybe that’s how it always works, I don’t know. But when there’s a run on something like this, the people managed to get an order in a cart but then they were waiting with their cart for a half hour or more as other people slowly checked out one at a time through an intermittent register. When the register hit 30 sales, it left a lot of waiting carts in line and they arrived at the register to find the product was sold out. It was awful! 

Most people were understanding and good natured about it —Bless you!— but it was understandably frustrating for everybody. So my most sincere apologies for what turned out to be a scheduled web riot. If you got a brush, you are damn lucky. If you didn’t, I’m sorry. I’ll try to offer something very cool for you soon. And I won’t try another sale on our site until I’ve upgraded the server. I think my current package must be dial-up connected to an Apple iiC. Thanks Westhost, we’re all very impressed.

PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST ON MY SITE. THE MAILING LIST WILL GET FIRST CHANCE AT THE NEXT SPECIAL OFFER.

And it goes without saying, I’m blown away by your support. Thank you!

30 For 30 Brush Sale

I’ve used only 30 brushes to ink every page of comics I’ve ever made. How do I know that? Because I saved the brushes. Since the first page of Strangers In Paradise, I’ve inked with a #0, 1, or 2 watercolor brush, either Windsor-Newton or Raphael. One brush would last about a year, which comes to 30 brushes for 24 years, so far. And here they are:

One of these brushes inked the first issue of Strangers In Paradise, another inked the last issue 14 years later. One of them inked Rachel rising from the grave, another inked Annie flying over the desert in her Phi suit. And, one of these brushes even inked the first two issues of Motor Girl. if you’ve ever read one of my books, it was inked by one or more of these brushes. These brushes inked Katchoo and Francine and Julie and Rachel and everybody else in the Terryverse. Now I’ve decided these little creative pals shouldn’t be retired to a box in my studio, they should be with readers who appreciate what they’ve made, and they should be available to anyone who wants one at an affordable price. So I signed and numbered the brushes, 1 through 30, and made a Certificate Of Authenticity, and a little video to explain the idea and let you know this is all for real.  Tomorrow, Jan 7, we’ll post the brushes for sale. Price is $30 each. First come first serve. The first order will get brush #1 and so on. Good luck and, if you decide to adopt one, give it a nice home because it did something wonderful in its past. These things have very good karma!

Here’s the video explaining it in full.

A word about shipping: Each brush will be attached to its Certificate of Authenticity and sealed in a comic bag and board and extra boards will be added on either side. Will ship in a sturdy USPS cardboard envelope.

30 For 30 Is Coming Soon

Today’s mystery: I have 30 ____ I have signed and numbered and will offer for sale soon at $30 each. “30 For 30”. Can you guess what they are?

Clue: You can see one in my header.

Happy New Year 2017

If you can read this, you survived 2016 and that’s saying something. Happy New Year!

2017 is all about Motor Girl, which is good because I’m really enjoying the lives of Sam and Libby and the wild life around them. Who would ever have thought so much life happens in the desert?

We do have a few trips confirmed already and I’ll post the schedule in the next few weeks. this past year was a lot of traveling, even for us, so I’m happy to be home for the next few weeks and watch the sunsets from my studio window. It’s hard to write when real life demands all your attention. I need the quiet days to let my mind wander and hang out with imaginary friends.

So, I’ll do my best to write and draw the best stories possible this year. I’m very grateful for my career in comics and I have you to thank for it. So, thank you and have a wonderful 2017!

—Terry

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