Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hella News

So January is up and I’ve already nailed two New Year’s resolutions: new job + haircut. I’ve got a full-time gig as a concept/3D artist with a game company. There’s little room for happiness yet because I’m just so filled with relief! With the job search out of the way and steady pay in the near future, I can finally concentrate on the things that matter most to me: working on my graphic novel, attending more concerts and galleries, being social, and moving to San Francisco. Not to mention how awesome it’ll be to be doing something for a living that I believe in and enjoy. This is my first career-job ever and I'm so excited. Thanks 2009!

Originally, I hadn’t planned on sharing this project in its entirety online. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, right? But, what the hell. Enjoy:

Being the well-organized neat-freak that I am, I wasted no time in waiting a mere 3 months, following APE, to finally clean out my car and address the box of leftover comics for which I no longer have space. My car (Esteban) is at critical capacity… god help me if I ever have to have a passenger. So I’m putting the leftover copies of "Hella Days" up for sale for a mere $8 a pop (shipping included). I also promise an original, sweet-ass drawing in each book, to sweeten the deal. To buy a copy, just send $8 via Paypal to halloween_moon [ at ] (lame-ass, old email address… don’t laugh) along with your name and the address you would like the book mailed to. I’ve never tried to sell anything online before, so I guess this’ll be a learning experience. I am currently only selling domestically… international readers, I love you but I’m just not equipped to do business with you yet. Much appreciation! Esteban thanks you too.

While I’m on the topic of comics… I will soon be moving forward with a print version of my former graphic novel, “Of Rogues and Robbers”, of which Jack was also our heroine. A recap for those new to ORAR or new to the blog: I started writing/illustrating a comic back in 2003 that ran for a few years (it’s still on my website) but due to the increasing demands of school and work and trying to find employment post-graduation, I was forced to put ORAR on hold.

The comic itself was not originally conceived for print and when I began having thoughts of publishing it, it became apparent that I was going to have to redraw and rewrite it. My style wasn’t consistent, I grew a lot over the course of the comic, and I didn’t know nearly as much about story construction at the time I started it as I do now. I’ve had years to “what if” the hell out of the story, get to know my characters and I’m ready to rework it and also develop a set look for the series. I’ll post plenty of production work here once I get the ball rolling on the visual development and actual illustration. Right now, ORAR is an ocean of story notes that need to be fleshed out, sewn together, and fine-tuned.

I’m hesitant to give away much of the story even though the entire (WARNING: HELLA OLD!!!) exposition is online. I’ll try to summarize the story briefly without giving too much of it away:

It’s about a ring of pickpockets who stumble into a much larger criminal agenda, get in way over their heads, and have one hell of a time trying to find their way out. Jack (short for Jacqueline) is a master pickpocket. When a talented rookie named Warren joins the ring, they accidentally become involved in a high profile murder and… well, you’ll see. There’s mystery, murder, poignancy, revenge, conspicuous pasts, friendships, difficult choices, coming of age… all that juice. It can best be described as “The Godfather” meets “Oliver Twist”. Subversively epic.

“Hella Days” was a departure from the sort of stories I normally create. ORAR is characteristic of my usual style… definitely darker, more introspective, and adult. If I had to place it in genres, it would be Mystery/Human Comedy/Thriller, in that order although comic stores will label it "Alternative". And if the story doesn’t break your heart a bit, I will have no choice but to consider it a failure. The heart of the story is in the relationships between the characters. Although there is a large story arc, it will be broken into several books for easy consumption and more manageable creation.

I haven’t been able to justify working on ORAR (until now) amidst applying for jobs, doing paid work, and updating my portfolio. However, the occasional ORAR drawing or note does find its way to paper. I think this is what I’m going to do with Jack’s hair for the novel:

And finally, I updated my website for the first time since July '08! It's pretty much all stuff I've posted here but if you're a new visitor to my blog, a look at the website is like a quick recap of the goings-ons here.


RAWLS said...

BEAUTIFUL work my friend!!! Love the characters and the expressions! Great stuff!

Bobby Pontillas said...

Congratulations on the new gig! Great way to start off the year I'm sure, AND you're working on a short story as well? You and Rawlsy here are workhorses!

Jimmy Lam said...

congrats charlene on the job! perserverence.... i need me some of that.

professeurcheveux said...

great stuff here!

Ivan's blog said...

awesome work on your blog! Ill add you to my links if thats ok. Congrats on the job.

Charlene Fleming said...

Thanks for the comments and congrats, guys! Yeah, definitely keeping busy. It's funny how the busier I get and the less time I have to work with, the more work that actually gets done. It's actually good for the comic that the amount of time I can devote to it is so limited.

And thanks for the link, Ivan... that would be awesome!