Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Daily Quick Sketch: Gabby the Rooster

Few people wrote saying that they like seeing the pencil sketches because it shows the thought process to the final drawing.  I'll start tossing a few pencil sketches and sometimes show the pencil-ink-color comparisons from now on.

Below is Gabby, a rooster character I've been thinking about for some time.
I want to do a collective book of short tales that follow in the steps of Rudyard Kipling's "How the . . . " tales. (e.g. Elephant's got his trunk, Camel's got his hump, etc.)

In this particular story, it will answer the question, "Why does the Rooster crow in the morning?"
Gabby with his beak taped shut

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Daily Quick Sketch: Skreetch

While working on a new owl costume, I sketch'd this baby owl.

A Tip O' the Hat to Print Ninja

Things are happening fast now.

I must take time here to thank Print Ninja's staff: Paula, Dak and Daniel for helping me get this book to final print. These people have answered my insane amount of questions and have taken the time to make this book look the way I envision it. I highly recommend their printing service; not only because they have a great quoting system on their website with great pricing -- but they have been the friendliest printing staff I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

So . . . The book's proof came in this week. It's looking good. They did a fantastic job making a hardbound proof.

I had several issues, such as the yellow coloring on the cover and the title page, the cover's background color not hit the fold lines and several of my own coloring errors inside the book. Most errors were minor issues and easily corrected.

With the revised work sent, the book is officially ordered to go to final print. The expedited shipment should arrive in about a week or so for me to get out the books to you KickStarters who funded $25 and up. The buttons are also here and ready to go. The bookmarks should arrive with or around the time the book shipment is delivered. So all things seem to be on track.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bobby's Biggest Bubble Button (say that 3 times)

Here's the artwork for the book's button, showing two styles:

I'm still playing around with the artwork, trying to figure which would look better when in button format. I like the lettering looking more "blown out" on the left, which is similar to what I did on the cover. The image on the right: the lettering reads cleaner.

I also don't know which size of the "Bobby character" I want to use yet.
The smaller I make him, the bigger the bubble becomes, (which is the main idea.)
But if Bobby's image is too small on a 2.25" button, it will be harder to see and figure out what he is doing. I'
m going to test out a few samples to see what works best for a 2.25" button.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Daily Sketch: Pumpkinhead

It's that time of year again, where all focus is on Halloween. I usually do Halloween designs from late August and well into November.
So today, I did a quick little warm-up sketch of a pumpkin headed character.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bobby's Biggest Bubble: Bookmark

Below is the artwork layout for the bookmark for BobsBigBub.** Note there is a .125" bleed area on all sides of the artwork (you can see the thin black lines in the corners of the artwork.) That's the area that will be cut off so that there's a nice clean edge of the bookmark.  Everyone who pre-ordered the book via KickStarter will be getting several copies of this bookmark.

Later on this week, I will post the BobsBigBub button artwork.

** That's my new shorthand for Bobby's Biggest Bubble, which I have typed too many times in the past few months.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Ol' Gum Promotional Gimmick

Talking to my cousin Cindy about Bobby's Biggest Bubble, she mentioned that maybe I should consider sending gum when trying to promote the book. Funny thing is, I did try something like that long ago at my first attempt to get the book published.

So I did a quick search on my archive drives. There, among the many archived files of rejection letters, I found the old gum wrapper design used to promote the book. I would send the redesigned gum packs with my dummy book submissions to various publishers.

The plan was simple:
  • Buy several packets of Trident gum. 
  • Measure the size of the gum packs. 
  • Redesign a wrapper that featured Bobby and promote the book.
  • Print the wrapper on high gloss film.
  • Remove the Trident wrapper.
  • Use double sided tape to attach new wrapper design around the trident gum.
It looked really good, but apparently it didn't work.

To be honest, I don't think many of the publishers I submitted to even looked at my book. In fact, I know several publishers never even cracked open the book's cover, because I placed very tiny seals on the edge of the books. When those books were returned - those seals weren't broken.

This is still a good idea.
I think I'll update the artwork and info and try this again.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bobby's Biggest Bubble: Off to the Presses

After so many months/weekends working on the book, it's finally out to the printer.

In celebrating, I thought I'd post one of my favorite images from the book:

One of the many things Bobby does with his bubblegum winnings.

Below is the final dust jacket artwork that was sent today: 
Pictured above is the full length of the dust jacket wrap. (Plus Note: the book price was reduced down to $15.)

And below is a sample of the inner lining of the book:
Pencil sketches line the inside of the front and back of the book.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Last minute changes - KickStarter Tribute Page

Below is a copy of the KickStarter Tribute page in the book, Bobby's Biggest Bubble. If anyone wants to make a change to their name - this is the final day to do so. The book goes to the printer tomorrow. WOOT!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Final Stretch

Well, for the holiday weekend, I've been at the computer non-stop doing final changes and corrections to the book. Still a way to go . . . keep finding small things that need changes. Being my first book, I'm constantly worried about the layout, especially with the cover and dust cover artwork. This is where all the Algebra from high school finally comes into play. Figuring out where to place the artwork while measuring the surface distance that is created by the spine of the book, (which is figured out by the thickness of the paper and the amount of pages) - I'm sure figuring this all out gets easier with experience . . . but right now -- I'm FREAKIN' OUT! (hehe)

Here's the finalized dust cover wrap - seen below. I'm giving the inner flaps about 3.5" inches inside (hope that's enough to keep the dust cover attached to the book while reading.)

The final price has been reduce from $18 to $15, figuring this will help get the book out to more people. I will also have a free shipping code which will keep the final price to $15 per book.

Well, back to work . . .

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Grocer Sketches

Been quite awhile since my last post, was away with family for our vacation in Iceland. Such a clean, beautiful and different country; I highly recommend it.
Back to the bloggin'Back in March of 1999, my brother Tom called me asking if I could do a few cartoon sketches of grocery store owners for his Internet design company The Chopping Block. So I quickly sketched out these guys in one evening.

I think these characters were far too wacky for what my brother needed. But I had fun drawing these guys. Don't think I'd ever purchase fruit from any of these guys . . . 

Probably the most normal looking one of the grouping. 

Knowing this was for the Internet, I gave goatees to all the grocers.

I noticed giving them a hutch back look made them wackier-looking. 

This one was inspired by Scott Gordon of the old Uncle Floyd Show.