Monday, September 5, 2016

"SolForce: Toons of Tomorrow" Covers & Summaries

Hope everyone's three-day Labor Day weekend went cool & blissfully! Mine was... rather hectic, but at least now I can preview the six -yes, SIX- episodes in my next graphic novel project, SolForce: Toons of Tomorrow!! There are the unedited covers & story summaries! As for the completion date? I'll simply say that it'll be before Christmas. Without further ado, read on!!

Episode 4: My Special Little Oyster

Welcome back to Sunshine City, USA; land of Prism Skies. Feast your eyes on the many beauteous tourist spots through the walks of SolForce Medical Lead & nursing major, Martha Clue, as she dodges through the zany bustle of her fellow SolForce members and their 22nd news coverage of the week! -so far-

Episode 5: Shade on the Shale

After his bombastic rampage through Naturopolis in the episode The Witty Kitty, Nitro awakens in a hidden base located in the arid and shady corridors of Shalestone Valley. Here, he undergoes an investigation of his own to discover what -or who- truly made his mind fry up that night!

 Episode 6: Deck it like Denim

SolForce head honcho John Clue and revered fencer Lyre Harper hear rumblings from Manny Q. after a game of tennis that a band of robbers plan to ambush the rich and techy at a highly headlined showcase during SIFW (Sunshine International Fashion Week). The entire crew is not aware, however; Geraldine Archer, the resident fashionista and top detective, is one of the star attendants. 

Episode 7: Catsylvania (& other dead blogs)

At Naturopolis Technical High School, -NaTech for short- only the best and brightest students like Revenda Delgatta can roam the halls to traverse through the Robotics and Chemistry labs with its majors conducting bizarre rituals on the Athletics club for 'lack of attention from the P.E. instructors.' It also gives her a reason the revive her blog!

Episode 8: Ice Cream & Coffee

Small- town redheaded photographer Stephanie Monroe can't catch a break. When she heads to Wona's Coffee & Tea once a week after a hectic day at her new job at the Daily Sunrise, she gets a small glimpse of the Sunshine Chronicles graphic designer and breakout psychic of SolForce Ceasar 'A.C.' Southermire... who's at Wona's everyday after work and training. Once both attend the same mixer hosted by the same newspapers they work for, the two constantly avoid contact with overly joyful coworkers and the inevitable bachata dance- off.

Episode 9: Freshly Squeezed Doom

Months after the attacks from Goosome and the Shadi, Robert Miles and the rest of the SolForce detectives work with the SCPD to find proof that Oscar Sheffield, mayor of Sunshine City, is not behind the sighting of government- sponsored drones! The company who created them? Salazar Technologies, headed by acclaimed -but mostly failing- civil engineer, Ivan Salazar.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Strawberry Dough Full Course Dessert

Here below is the evolutionary chart of Squishy the Sugar Glider, from his inception in 2009 to his current recreation in 2014!
The image is provided thanks to the Strawberry Dough series' 2nd anniversary coming tomorrow!! On the fateful day of August 12th, 2014, I stepped into the waters of independent book publishing with this 40- page graphic novel based on my lime green, doughnut obsessed sugar glider and his Outback Posse. Below is my 4- page essay-of-sorts about the origins of the character and the series.
Have fun reading!

Even better? This essay is a part of the full compilation of Strawberry Dough and Season's Sweetings called Strawberry Dough: Full Course Dessert!! It's 160 pages worth of delicious comic goodness with my group of outback animals developed within the past two years and I'm happy to share the whole collection with new readers and those looking to complete the series. (for now)
Head over to the shop to purchase and share it with others! Thanks, as always, for the support.

Monday, July 25, 2016

I Hate July

Ah, the summertime! This is a time where I should rave and roll around the grass like a golden retriever back from the vet, but I'll put it briefly:
I've always hated July.
And in 2016, Even More!
Between my resistance towards playing Pokémon Go until the Johto Pocket Monsters are available-

-Furret's my boy.-
To the festivities of Comic Con and pop culture at large swooping over my radar, thanks to profound sickness, stomach aches and headaches- 

I've never been much of a fan of this much anticipated summer month. July and I were always budding enemies with much to reel over. -summer camps; ex- romances; excessive sweat glands- A month of patiently waiting for creativity and art teaching work to spark back up again is never too healthy, but there's one thing we both can agree on...
There's always a silver lining on the horizon. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Sentinels of Justice

RaiStar: Evil comes in all shapes & forms! But we'll be there to light the way-
John Clue: TO JUSTICE! It's the SolForce way.
RaiStar: I- I was gonna say that.

Happy 4th of July from SolForce!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The "SolForce" Retrospective

Fun facts: June 21st is the first day of summer here in the States. It's also the birthdate of my incomparable first mascot, RaiStar Twinkle!
And for the last fact that brings us to this blog post: People, it is the one year anniversary for the release of SolForce Vol. 1: Wave One!!

Speaking with a few parents about the development of these characters since my preschool days, this was the main takeaway: If Strawberry Dough was the establishment of my graphic novel style and publishing, SolForce was the upstart. While I could spend an entire blog post chronicling the creation of ALL OF THESE TOONS, I'll start at spring 2013 when I began the true development of the graphic novel! Let's start with this image.

In the image above is what many followers grew accustomed to between 2013 and 2014 as the main cast -or as I called them since high school, the Originals- of SolForce. The reason I bring this image to your viewing attention is because many of you who have seen or read Wave One will notice a big difference in one thing:

Before the ink-on-watercolor rendering style was acquired in October 2013, I painted everything on the computer! These character designs where drawn and painted between February and April of that year and if there was anything that was going to define my fate when it came to my work on SolForce and my burgeoning art career at the time, it was this:
"It seems that you already have a style set in place with what you're trying accomplish! I'd say... just keep drawing. Go to model workshops so you can polish up your designs. Try mixing other mediums, too. You really don't need the college courses." -Anonymous Grad School Director
Hearing that from an already accomplished Visual Development director blew my mind. There I was, some wide- eyed, cold-as-ice New Yorker over in San Francisco wondering what was I doing wrong the whole time. In retrospect, nothing.
Need proof of the polished designs? Look below:

Past 2013, watercolor pencils became my best friend! It was portable, easy to use & challenging to master. When I was slowly devising my plan to create the first Strawberry Dough book that fabled New Year's Eve, I decided on using watercolor since I wanted to ease into printing a 40- page book. Fast forward a year later, I took advantage of SolForce: Wave One's covers utilizing my mix of watercolor and digital painting.
Cover for "Episode 1: Taste the Sunshine"

Cover for "Episode 2: The Witty Kitty"

Cover to "Episode 3: Psi- Wave"

Looking back at how this all played out at the various book fairs, it was clear to me that I made the right choice by switching up my mediums tenfold! Had my characters ONLY been rendered on Photoshop, the appeal wouldn't have leapt off of the comic pages onto the audiences' eyes. With pages like these being some of the highlights to many of my readers:

The first episode, Taste the Sunshine, was perhaps the most difficult story to pin down, because I was on the verge of slowly introducing readers to a new world of fiction and the characters of Sunshine City. I lost a good amount of sleep over this story more than the next two, but one thing I DID know: the Detectives John Clue, Robert Miles, Geraldine Archer and Martha Clue were going to have some fun fighting off a giant monster of slime!


To quote a few of my Cartooning students: "The Witty Kitty's my favorite to read 'cause Revenda's a kitten girl, and she's a geek! I quote her to my friends, sometimes." With that said, The Witty Kitty was definitely a lot of fun to write and read through since this second episode branches the path between seasoned hotshot detectives and a new teenaged recruit. Revenda also talks most like me, only second to another SolForce character.


The book was rounded up with Episode 3: Psi- Wave. For those who read all through it, they were able to tell me that this one seemed to be the most personal, yet action packed story of the three. I couldn't agree more. With the Psychics of SolForce being the most loved yet feared toons of the land, it's easy for any one who feels simultaneously ridiculed and special to relate to them. In the beginning pages, I made sure to have the seasoned and grizzled astronomer Walden "Waldoo" Doolittle summarize the backstories of the company mascot and tough-as-a-cookie wishing star RaiStar Twinkle, the never- aging Golden Age Animation actor Manny Q., and SolForce intern and graphic designer Ceasar "A.C." Southermire. It gave readers of all types enough context to what was then and what may come in the future!

With a year passed, I think it's safe to say that SolForce has a pretty promising future ahead! To reiterate from the intro, Strawberry Dough was the establishment while SolForce was the upstart. It helped me prove to many parent, teacher, librarian and book fair organizer that my original independent cartooning can have an assured place on their all-ages graphic novel shelves in the future!
Oh... and speaking of the future...
All the while, during a short wait for my Cartooning students to show up one day in May, I was armed with a piece of tracing paper and a trusty ink pen. This was the result:
Tune in for many a preview blog post over the summer! And stay sol-ful!!