OMG! 100% in less than 24 HRS!

100 Percent

Wow.

Seriously…wow.

I figured that the goal I had set for myself was a reasonable one ($1,500). And I believed that I had enough readers who enjoy Blink enough that the campaign would be a success… but—wow.  I never thought that I’d reach the goal so fast.

Jeepers.

Thanks everyone! You guys are the awesomesauciest!

Spring Cleaning (in the late Autumn)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been rocking through pages of comic book art like nobody’s business.  I had mentioned that I was planning on getting 3.5 pages complete per week.  That was November 21--eleven days ago (1.43 weeks); or about 5 pages ago.  Since then, I’ve put down over seven new pages. Yowza.  If I keep up at this pace, I’ll get the whole shebang done before the new year (it’s not going to happen).

Anyhow… being as I had a little “free time” on my hands (and oodles of energy), I spent a few hours yesterday digging through my cluttered studio and tossing out loads of stuff.  In the process of digging/tossing, I happened upon some old Blink-related artifacts.  Many of which have never seen the light of day outside of my (no-longer-quite-so-cluttered) studio.  So here’s a little treat for any of you long-time readers… the rough layouts for the first story that appears in BLINK: SO FAR, back when the chapter was titled “Don’t Leaf Nostalgia Behind.”  Ugh.

You can expect more updates like these here and, if you friend me on FB, or “like” the Blink FB page,  you can see even more “mini” updates & sneak peeks of new stuff (as well as some cool old stuff). 

Heck—here’s a double panel “secret Blink history” sneak peek from page 12 (I’m currently working on page 17).  Even though I’m a non-smoker, I like it when I can have Sam smoking.  There’s something to be said for how a character can express themselves with a cigarette that accentuates their thoughts/emotions.  And drawing the wispy trail of smoke is cool, too.

12 WWK - [panels 3-4]

Progress!

For your consideration--

Here is the “So Far”cover—pencils, inks & colors:

SO FAR Cover [Final Pencils]    So Far Cover [Finished Inks]    SO FAR Cover [Final Colors] 

And here are the 9 stories that will be included in the book:

Autumn's Playground

Time An A Few Words

A Brief, Hopeless Case

Snow Day

Barefoot In America, Breakfast In The Park

Beatnik Picnik

Space To Breathe

A Spark's Desire Is An Ember's Deed

Rain In The Evening, Rein In The Mourning

 

Now, I still have an interior drawing to complete and my “Creatorial” to write—and then it’s off to the printer!  Can you believe a week ago I had no clue that I’d be having a book to sell at S.P.A.C.E.?

Carry On

One morning

I woke up

and I knew

You were really gone

A new day,

a new way,

and new eyes

To see the dawn.

Go your way,

I'll go mine and

Carry on…

                                                           ~Stephen Stills

                                                                             CSNY Déjà vu (1970)

 

 

See that little colored drawing up there?  That’s the rough color sketch of the cover for my very first BLINK  COLLECTION (collecting 9 stories between two covers)!!!   This collection is titled “So Far” and if all goes according to my hopeful plan, I shall be selling these 96-page books for $10 a pop at S.P.A.C.E. in two weeks! 

I am SO ready to move forward and carry on. 

Seriously…

With all that’s gone on during the past few days, what IS so damned funny?

Excerpt 4 (Rosie)

 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Arizona Shootings Reaction
www.thedailyshow.com

Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

The Holidays weren’t all so ho-ho-ho for me.  These things happen.  So it goes.  I am grateful for what I do have and after a few choice conversations and revelations over the past few days, I have recovered and will continue on.  I’ve many many more robots to draw and funny stuff to write.

Rise of the Robotoids!

I’m up to choreographing the first “battle” (such as it is) in my “Robot Story.”  Kevin’s RPG character, Kwan-Ji, goes toe-to-toe with Robbie the Robot (Forbidden Planet) and B-9 (Lost In Space) and doing a sh*t-ton of research (because that’s what I do). 

I can honestly say that I never knew (or really cared about) the history of these two 50’s/60’s robots.  But being as they’re gracing a page (well, part of a page) in my story and I want to make they’re appearance authentic and enjoyable for those of you who do have fond memories of these guys, well—I’m trying my best.

Here are my (very quick) sketches of the robots in question…

 

B-9 SketchRobbie Sketch

 

…and here are a few funny videos of these mechanical muttonheads.

 

Oh, the 50’s future… how things have changed!

 

I bet this was the first time I saw the “live” Robbie”

 

 

Daleks!!!

 

So there you have it—a tiny robotoid preview.  Beware-- the Robot Skelton Army is on the rise! 

There will be robots…

Hanks' World Awesomesauce logo

Ta-Daah!!

Here’s the logo for the “Robot Story” that I’m working on for Allen Freeman’s SLAM BANG comics anthology and as you can see, the title is "BLINK & SAM’S AWESOMESAUCE ADVENTURE.” (If the logo/design/layout is confusing to you, PLEASE say so now!)

It’s going to be an 8 page Hank’s World story and feature Blink and Sam joining in a sci-fi role-playing game session with Hank and his friends Amy, Kevin and Joshua.  (Think of Hank’s World as a spin-off series of Blink.) The group will be playing an old space-opera action-adventure game called “Star Frontiers” (I played the game in the 80’s and it’s although it’s officially out-of-print, thanks to enthusiastic fans, it’s still available to play).   The “Awesomesauce Adventure” will be split between the “real world” (at Hank’s house with everyone sitting at the table with plenty of paper, pencils, dice, soft drinks & snacks) and the “gaming world.” (with plenty of rampaging robots).

Here’s what Amy, Kevin & Josh look like in the “real world”:

Amy Sketch 1Kevin head sketch Joshua Trimble sketch 1

And these are their “game world” characters:

Hanks' World Gang Sketch

I also have the outfits that Blink and Sam will wear in the “real world:”

Blink's Awesomesauce Adventure --Real-- outfitSam's Awesomesauce Adventure Outfit

 

Blink is going to “get into character” for the game, but if/how that’s going to differ from her “real world” persona is still to be determined.  Sam, however, could not care less about “getting into character.” 

~::~

I’ll be posting the work here as I complete it (in its various stages).  Please feel free to comment and make suggestions.

The BLINK Bookshelf Store is NOW OPEN!

Do you see the new “Blink Bookshelf” widget to the left?  That hyperlink leads to my ALL-NEW online shop!  I’ve tried using a few different online selling options in the past, but they’ve rarely worked out to my satisfaction.  I’m hopeful that this eCrater web store will actually WORK.  As far as I can tell, it’s actually FREE for me to use (big plus for a cheapskate like me) and hopefully it’s easy for readers/purchasers to use!  I can accept PayPal,  Money Orders (and I think credit cards).

I’ve just got a couple things up.  More to come!

Payin' The Rent [Fun(d)raising Awareness]

This was NOT the drawing that was auctioned... (But I'll redraw it and auction it later)

There's something about auctions (which raise money for worthy causes) that make people spend money on art that they might not/probably wouldn't buy if they weren't being pressured to do so by the whole "auctioneering" vibe.  Well, be that as it may, I'm very happy that the auctioneering vibe and about a dozen pieces of art  (including a drawing of Blink) helped to raise $650 for purchasing art supplies and games for the Prairie Norton Elementary School in Grove City and other participating mentoring programs sponsored by Big Brothers and Big Sisters.  The event wrapped up a few hours ago (Saturday night) at the Kafe Kerouac (I took my damn sweet time getting home, thanks to the Columbus bus system*).  The auction was organized months ago by local writer/artist/"organizer by day" Patrick Roach and the actual auction was officiated by local funny guy Zachariah Baird.   There were paintings, photographs, screen printed t-shirts, a knitted purse, and my little pen & ink & pencil drawing.  I also threw in some copies of the Blink books (because I couldn't expect the purchaser to know who the cute blonde was in the drawing).  The seats were pretty well filled up in the back room of the Kerouac, where the auction was being held, so that was comforting-- and every piece of art was bid on at least twice (nothing went for the "starting bid").

Ooookay...  So, it's mighty damn awesome that a significant chunk  of change was raised for BBBS and the Praire Norton Elementary by selling art.  The amount my piece went for surprised me quite a bit (in a good way); I felt well compensated for the time I spent drawing the picture.  On the ride home--or, maybe I should clarify: as I waited and waited and waited for the bus* to arrive, I got to thinking,  "Sure, I sell plenty of Blink books (at the low price of $3 for one or two for $5), but why am I not selling more original art/sketches (for a high price)?" and  "Why am I not selling lots of prints of my art (for a medium-sized price)?"   I guess it's my stupid/crazy/silly nature to not try to make money and just try to make people happy.  Further along my "ride" home, I thought, "Wow.  That was pretty cool seeing all that money being spent for a good cause and all that art being purchased in order to people happy... I should do that--for myself."

I've been drawing comics for over 20 years, but have never quite made what's called "a profit" in all that time.  Maybe it's about damn time I begin turning this thing around.  Well, as I'm thinking about doing that, my computer is breaking down a piece at a time.  A few months back, the machine stopped recognizing my scanner (so I've had to use my roommate's computer to scan drawings) and now--last week-- the damn thing won't even recognize my printer! On top of that, it's running slower and slower and so on and so forth and boo hoo hoo.  (I bought the thing about a year and a half ago, it's a bottom-of-the-line machine and needless to say, it does not age well.)

SO!  The first "Max Ink Fundraising Event" will be to raise the funds necessary to buy me a new computer.  (If anyone who reads this has a deal on a good, reliable used computer, I'd be fine with that, too.)

I don't have any plans worked out for how this "Fundraising Event" is going to work yet (I just had the idea a few hours ago...gimmie time...), but I think the way I might go about this is to draw some swell doodles of Blink and the gang (maybe a half dozen or so to start) and make the original art available for auction on eBay (possible starting bid at $50?) and after the winner has purchased the original, sell prints of each piece to all the losers/ non-participators.  (The whole idea is for me to raise money here...)  I'll need to utilize as many of my Facebook friends (I'm approaching the 700 mark!), my real friends (I think I have about 7 of those...) and anyone else out there in cyberspace and real space to help promote this idea.

Say.... speaking of Fundraising Events, my friend, Shawn Schulte, is having a fundraising situation of his own (for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)/Lou Gehrig's Disease).  As his weblog states:
Since my mother’s passing in 2006 it has been my passion to try and bring hope to those who are suffering and my efforts while steadfast to finding and end to ALS do not end there.  This site is an attempt to give life to a project that I hope will unite Ohio in an effort of compassion, to celebrate the lives and the stories of families and individuals who have battled against this disease, and to prove that such action is the birthplace of healing.  I welcome every voice and every effort in this fight.

At the end of July, Shawn will be one of the many athletes participating in the ALS fundraiser, TRI-STATE TREK-- a 270 mile, three-day bicycle ride from Boston to New York.  Shawn needs to raise a little more than $1,000 in the next 4 weeks to make it happen.  I think to kick off my "Drawing for Fun'Raising" challenge (or whatever I'm gonna call this ongoing Max Ink art auction thing), I'll draw a nice picture of Blink and Sam bicycling and auction THAT off first.  With whatever money I make going to Shawn's worthy cause.  Then I'll get going on my own needs (selling prints of the drawing to all the "losers/non-participants").

As the great Mohammed Ali said, "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."

FREE COMICS DAY Flyer for Max @ Jeni's



Come out and see me sometime.  (The mini comics are free, but the ice cream ain't.)

Also: check out the free comics available at THESE great comic shops in Central Ohio on Saturday 1st!

4258 NORTH HIGH STREET

COLUMBUS, OH

(614) 267-6473


(I'll be here from 3-5p)

-::-



1249 MORSE ROAD

COLUMBUS, OH

(614) 262-5006


-::-



3872 LATTIMER STREET

HILLIARD, OH

(614) 527-8450


(I'll be here from 12-2p)


-::-




5505 WESTERVILLE ROAD

WESTERVILLE, OH

(614) 901-3963


-::-



1915 STATE RT 256

REYNOLDSBURG, OH

(614) 577-0220


-::-



1538 BRICE ROAD

REYNOLDSBURG, OH

(614) 751-5008

FREE COMICS... and ICE CREAM!!!

Guess what? FREE COMIC BOOK DAY is SATURDAY, MAY 1st!  I'll be pedaling around Columbus to various locations to spread the good word of FREE BLINK (mini) comics (and I'll also have some books for sale, too).

I'll start out the day at Packrat Comics in Hilliard from 12-2pm (they've got a whole lot planned for the day, so be sure to stop by!), then I'll be putting in some time at the Laughing Ogre in Clintonville from 3-5pm .  That will cover my comic shop appearances for the day.  The pièce de résistance is that after a stop at home for a quick nibble, I'll be making a special appearance at the world famous Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream in the Short North from 7-10p during the Gallery Hop!  I'll have some original artwork available for viewing, Blink books & prints (of Blink's visit to Jeni's) for selling as well as plenty of mini-comics and Short North Gazettes to hand out to all the evening Ice Cream eaters.

I'm happy that I'll be meeting new readers at Packrat & The Ogre, they're very good comic shops and I hope their FCBD events are successful and bring them loads of new customers.  (`Cause that's what this day is all about!)   But I must say that my appearance at Jeni's is something very special.

Although my characters are fictional, they exist in the very real world of Columbus, Ohio.  Ever since I began writing and drawing Blink, I've wanted to somehow converge (for lack of a better term) my comic books/strips and myself with the REAL locations which we all inhabit.  I've been fortunate enough to make a few impromptu "appearances" at various locations where I've set stories, but this event at Jeni's is something that's planned out (albeit very hastily; I only had the idea to do it yesterday morning).  I love the idea of bringing my comics to the people--where they live their everyday lives.  (But it must be performed in a controlled manner (like this Gallery Hop event), because going up to people at random in the streets and giving them Blink comics is not going to gain me as many new readers as it is restraining orders.)  I hope that I'm successful at Jeni's and I hope this event leads to similar events at other Blink-related locations in Columbus.

A New Day (and all that goes with it)

I WILL stop apologizing for not updating this site more often and I SHALL commencing updating it regularly.

....starting tomorrow....

Since I've got way too much stuff to get done otherwise today. (Trust me, I'll post info about all that's upcoming in the World of Max Ink/Blink tomorrow.)   However, if you want to keep track of my every little move, then friend me on Facebook, okay?

"Stories in Four Colors: Cartoon Art in Ohio" March 26 through May 8, 2010

"Stories in Four Colors: Cartoon Art in Ohio"
The Works, Newark, Ohio (map)

March 26 through May 8, 2010

Public Reception: Friday, March 26th, 6:00 – 8:00pm

This exhibit of Ohio cartoonists & comic book creators will include works by nationally published artists David Mack, Andy Bennett and Scott Simmons as well as artists from the Columbus Comic Writers and Artists Group, “Sunday Comix,” Michael Neno, Max Ink, Russell Merritt, Matt Wyatt, Ray Tomczak and Jonathon Riddle.  In addition to contemporary works, there will be historical pieces and information on Ohio’s role in the history of comics and cartooning in the exhibit.

Gallery admission is FREE.

Open Salon, God and Me

As many of you who've visited this site over the past few days know, I drew my first editorial cartoon and posted it on my blog at Open Salon.  It was an "Editor's Pick" and got some cover real estate for the weekend and also was linked to in recent Salon.com newsletters.  I've been posting my work on Open Salon for a couple of months (funny thing-- my first posted comic had to do with Health Care, too!) and I've been drawing comics in one form or another for well over twenty years and this singular cartoon has gotten more hits than all my other work combined.   Seriously.

The thought & execution of the God/Health Care cartoon took less time then my usual work.  The words were all my own but the image wasn't original-- I used a recent New Yorker cartoon as a visual template.  I didn't trace it or anything, but there are quite a few "God looking at Earth" cartoons about (kinda like the "man crawling in the desert" or "person on deserted island" cartoon clichés).  I prefer being as original as possible and using my own characters.  So drawing this somewhat un-original cartoon and getting this sudden burst of "popularity" shakes me up quite a bit; because even though I want people to read my work,  I don't want to quit drawing my Blink comics just so that I can get more people to read "the work of Max Ink."

Being truly original is difficult; but then again, nothing is ever truly original. My roommate is a wonderful cook and I love it when he invites me to taste whatever he's preparing-- but all the ingredients already existed and many of the dishes he prepares have been prepared before.  (But it's awesome when he makes something totally new.)  I guess drawing a cartoon can be seen in a similar fashion:  I'm not so much inventing the art as I am mixing the various ingredients and cooking it on paper.  *Sigh*  Maybe I need to stop getting myself worked up so much and get myself drawing more.

Bottom line: I appreciate all the people who've checked out this site and read my online comics (and requested a free mini-comic) and I hope they'll stick around as I strive to find a balance between giving the people what they expect (familiar cartoon motifs) and doing my own, unique thing-- which is Blink.