Friday, August 19, 2011

Sanctus Sanatoriun Pages 9 & 10 and The Woman in Black

I have not seen the original Woman in Black, but from the trailer below I am not only eager to see it, but the original as well. I love creepy toys.

Also pages 9 & 10 of Sanctus Sanatorium are online now the links are below.

Page 9

Page 10

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sanctus Sanatorium Page 8 is up

To view the story from the beginning, Sanctus Sanatorium
The whole process of laying out a graphic novel page has taken me back to school in so many ways. I would be the first to admit some of my attempts have been clumsy and awkward. Yet as Sanctus Sanatorium continues I am hoping that my story telling skills visually will evolve.

Right now the first 8 pages have been rather text heavy. This is not intended to be the case throughout the rest of the story. I needed to build a back story as well as develop some atmosphere. In fact Chapter 1 is in this way almost a prologue.

Sanctus Sanatorium is being done in a rather unconventional way. It is penciled out first then digitally colored in Photoshop. My Photoshop skills are mostly self taught through tutorials and such and just playing with the software. If I traditionally inked my work then I would never finish due to the fact I am a meticulous inker =). I find that pencil and digital colors go hand in hand and also help move the process somewhat efficiently for me. I also like the way the finished pages look.

I recently joined the group Serious Comics, [link] and have been very impressed by the work going on there and also very humbled. There is a lot of great stuff there.

I know that many do not see comics as a serious art form, yet it is one of the oldest outlets for illustrators that remains alive today. I also learned and was inspired by comic book artists in my youth. Artists like Jim Steranko, Barry Windsor-Smith, Bernie Wrightson, M. Kaluta and others had me breaking out pencils and pens when I was a lad trying to emulate them.

In fact growing up, all I wanted to be in life was a comic book artist.

That never happened.

Yet the desire to tell a story in a visual medium such as comics never left me though often I would discard the idea due to the amount of commitment required. That is until now. So in my own amateurish way I have come full circle. Queue Harry Chapin's "All My Life's a Circle."

I am enjoying doing Sanctus Sanatorium and also I am learning again. Not just in the area of visual story telling, which I am a novice at, but also humility in realizing that what I am doing will not strike a chord with everyone but most likely a select few. Trust me, I am totally alright with that. I would rather have a good impact on a few then a minor one with the many. I also have an ace in the hole in respect to this. I am not being published so like a corporation that has to play to the share holders, I can be rather true to my own creative vision.

I never was good at marketing =)

So to those that are enjoying Sanctus Sanatorium, its for you.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Page 7 of Sanctus Sanatorium is now onliine

Page 7 is up, below is an unlettered panel from page 7. To view the completed page click here.

To read the story from the beginning, click here.

Feed back is most welcome =)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Page 6 of Sanctus Sanatorium is online

I am actually quite happy with the progress I have made so far. I have been able to update weekly on Sanctus Sanatorium despite having a job and other obligations. I cannot promise however, that this will be the norm. But I can promise that it will be updated at least twice a month.

Below is a panel from page 6

The site, Tales of Obscuro now has its own news section here.

If you have found Tales of Obscuro on the web then you have found somethings rather odd and obscure.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I am doing it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tales of Obscuro now has its own domain

Tales of Obscuro has moved to here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sanctus Sanatorium

I have just completed the first page of my online graphic novel and am currently penciling the second page.  The banner below is the entrance to the site once it is fully functional. I don't intend to upload the first page there until the first chapter is completed. This is the link.

Here is a preview of the first page:

Below are some questions and answers:

 How often will it be updated?

I work full time and am putting a lot of energy into this. I cannot make any promises on how often it will be updated but it will be a completed storyline.

How long will this story be?:

Pretty damn long. It does have a definite ending already worked out in my head. But I will say this, if this project goes well and I am happy with it then there will be other stories told about the town Obscuro.

Where is Obscuro?:

In my head.

What time period do things happen in Obscuro?:

Victorian/Edwardian times

Your tag line states that there are as many tales as there are cats in Obscuro, are there a lot of cats?:

Unfortunately many of the cats that dwell in Obscuro are not "fixed", so yes, there are many.

What is Sanctus Sanatorium?:

It is an asylum fashioned off the old Kirkbride Buildings that were built in the mid-1800's to house the homeless and insane. Sanctus is Latin for Holy but right now there isn't much that is Holy in the asylum right now.

Will children be able to read this?:

I would advise against it, there will be mature themes in the story line, as well as horrific entities.

Are you going to be doing other artwork while working on this?:

Unfortunately no. This is my only project right now. I pray I grow to love it.

Yes it is copyrighten.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Several years ago I toyed about with an idea for an online graphic novel that I was going to entitle "Asylum".  Though I really liked the concept, the story never did evolve into anything that took hold on me creatively. It ended up in the unfinished project stack and became forgotten.  Last year I started writing a book for young readers having to do with a library in an imaginary town called Obscuro.  I had actually cranked out five rough chapters but once again I hit a space in the story where I couldn't make everything "gel".  It also got placed in my unfinished stack.

Lately I have had some of what I would call ominous comments from folk who seem to think I should do something in a graphic or illustrated format. I resisted the idea heavily. I had attempted to do it once before and it just never seem to either gather the audience or attention I thought it should, so I let it go.  That was some years ago and since then I have run from the idea as fast as I could. Then I saw something that a friend at work shared with me and it not only adjusted my attitude, it inspired me. I suggest you give it a view before you read this entry any further.

This teaser for MARWENCOL actually hit me on a deeper level than some I share this video with. In fact one person I showed it to said, "Ok, a movie about a man playing with dolls." Then I understood, not everyone is going to get it but I caught something humbling about my attitude towards doing an online graphic novel compared to an individual that suffered an horrendous injustice and turned to a creative outlet to cope with life. I could see no difference between this man and say Tolkien's  elaborate Middle Earth or say Dr. Who's universe. It was simply all about the act of creation and its therapeutic value.  Perhaps the need to create is validation enough.

Then ideas started to fall into place like tumblers on a lock being turned by a key and I felt an inky black, furry muse curl up into my lap like a wisp of ether and start telling me a story. Not really, but it sounded good. Actually I began to see that Obscuro was my MARWENCOL, and in this imaginary town that existed in some Victorian/Edwardian era had more than just a library but also an Asylum and funeral parlor and much more including supernatural infestations and mysterious esoteric avenues of self discovery.

The process of building Obscuro and inhabiting it will be a long and laborious one but hopefully a rewarding one as well. If it gathers no interests other than myself and if it does end up being a project that seems like creative masturbation, perhaps the therapy will be fruitful.

The first entry will be the story entitled Sanctus Sanatorium. It is an ambitious tale but also will introduce Obscuro and some of the players that hopefully will lead to another story about a fat, black cat that sleeps heavily in a Library in the center of town.