Family Night Revisited!

Back in 2010 I created a comic strip called “Family Night” and recently I decided to re-draw a few them just for fun. But also I wanted to apply some of the things I’ve learned since then, and share with you some of my early mistakes as a cartoonist. Not necessarily as a tutorial on how to make comics (I’m certainly not qualified to do that, I’m still learning how myself!) but to maybe give others a few examples of how we grow as artists, and how it’s all part of the process. My jokes are still LAME, of course. But I think I’m a bit better at telling them now😉 Bob the Builder

Back then I wasn’t inking my pencil work because I was stubborn and I believe my artwork suffered for it, as you can see from the difference between the comic above drawn in 2010 and the one below drawn in 2016. I think this is a good example of how inking your line work can make your art pop, and simply give it a more finished, polished look to it. I still use my pencils to give some grey tone, but I think inking makes the art look more bold.

FamilyNightBobTheBuilder

The next comic is another example of my massive failing as an artist early on, and that is: BACKGROUNDS. Or rather, my complete LACKING OF. I was lazy, and it showed in my work. FAM00701

This comic was muddy and dirty, but with a little ink and the addition of some simple backgrounds, I think it polished up nicely🙂

FamilyNightJamesBond

My third comic is yet another example of my early failure as a cartoonist in that I often used WAY too much unnecessary dialogue. I took an already not that great joke, and ran it straight into the ground. Booooo! Not funny!FAMN0601

But thanks to the counsel of my friend and fellow artist Stephen Johnson, I was able to learn from my mistake. He pointed out to me that this comic should’ve been a 3-panel strip, period. The punchline was in the third panel, the entire fourth panel was completely unnecessary, and he was absolutely right. FamilyNightSerendipity

Boom. Done. Much better. And lastly, I have this comic. Note the fact that I didn’t even bother to draw the white part in my eyes back then. Just black dots. My laziness apparently knew no bounds…FAMNPB01

I didn’t really add a whole lot to this one, but I think the addition of the inks, and the subtraction of even just a few unnecessary words made it just a little bit better overall.

FamilyNightJif

Well, thanks for reading! Hopefully I didn’t bore you too bad, and maybe even helped you in some small way to improve your own comics through my mistakes. I definitely would like to re-do a few more of these old comics and archive them in a book someday… but for now I’m off to my next comic project! Stay tuned!🙂

TMNT Sketchbook!

TMNTSketchbookCoverGreenIt’s true that I’ve been drawing since I was able to hold a pencil.  But if you were to ask me WHAT I was drawing during those early formative years as an artist, my answer would definitely have to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Back when I was a Teeny Meenie Ninja Turtle myself, there was nothing that inspired me more to draw than those Heroes In A Half Shell!  And so recently my friend Mark and I decided it would be fun to revisit our childhood a bit, and put together a book of brand new TMNT sketches!  This book will soon be available for purchase at my etsy shop, but for now you can enjoy my contribution to the book right here at Mind Circus Comics🙂

TMNTDonatelloDonatello (always been my favorite of the squad!)TMNTLeoAndSplinterLeo & SplinterTMNTAprilAndCaseyCasey & AprilTMNTShredderShredder & his Foot ClanTMNTBebopAndRocksteadyBebop & RocksteadyTMNTKrangKrangTMHipsterTJust for funTMNTWrestlingCostumesAfter their first comic book hit the shelves in 1984, TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird briefly considered changing their heroes costumes to the ones above.  I like the designs, they were fun to draw!  But I imagine things would’ve been a lot different had they decided to go that route…img_20160518_134129.jpgimg_20160518_130300.jpgSome of my original TMNT drawings back in 1991. I was 11 years old🙂

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more updates soon at Mind Circus Comics! -BruceTMNTSketchbookCoverGreen

Havoc Force Villains!

HFVILL01

So as promised in my previous post, here they are… the villains of HAVOC FORCE!  (Vanquish, Dr. Delirium, and Snake Woman!)

I wanted all the baddies of this book to have really wild hair, and I wanted to use a color scheme similar to the golden days of comics where the villains predominately wore green, purple, and orange (while the heroes were typically in red, blue, and yellow).  Might be hard to see, but Dr. Delirium’s eyes are purple, and I also wanted the character to have kind of a continuing purple theme as well.  I don’t know if its true or not, but I read somewhere that purple is the color of madness, and for whatever reason that just stuck with me.

Looking forward to introducing these characters in upcoming comics so stay tuned for more HF updates, and thanks for reading!  :)

New Characters!

HFFOUR01

With the only exception of Deadman (a character I created for another comic but I liked him so much I wanted to use him in this one) it was always my intention to grow Havoc Force by adding these four characters to the team along the way.  Unfortunately, I never imagined it would take this long to finish the first issue.  But I’m back in the swing of things, and these characters above and who they are will be introduced in upcoming issues of Havoc Force!  Also I’ll be posting sketches of my 3 main baddies of the series next, so stay tuned for a sneak peak! Thanks for reading!😉

Havoc Force Re-designs!

Yeah so here’s the deal: I started working on this comic book called Havoc Force 4 or 5 years ago. Originally I wanted it to be for kids, and much like a Nickelodeon cartoon series. Very silly and light-hearted.  But 20 pages into it (only 4 pages left to draw) I just lost all my steam. My story was just one big joke, and I wanted it to be more than that.  I really loved my characters, and I felt they deserved better. Nothing wrong with doing a kid’s cartoon, but I realized that I wanted to be able to tell more serious stories, as well as the light-hearted ones.  And if I was ever going to pick the ball back up on HF, it was time I took my characters more serious too.  So I decided to ditch silly caution-striped costumes, and give them a fresh, new look!  So here it is, folks… the ALL NEW Havoc Force!!!

OUTBURST

Outburst

GRANITE

Granite

FRACTIONFraction2016-03-23-20.18.16.jpg.jpeg

(Decided I liked all black underneath the jacket the best)

For the record, I don’t plan on scrapping my first HF comic.  I plan on finishing it, and slowly building a more serious future for my heroes from that point.  Havoc Force is never going to be as dark as Batman or as brutal as the Punisher.  That’s not really my style.  (There is still going to be plenty of humor and fun in my books!)  But I do have a lot of ideas I’m really excited about exploring in future stories, with lots of cool new characters and villains to introduce! And the only way I can do all that is to stop treating Havoc Force as a joke, and start takin’ care of business!  So stay tuned for some serious HAVOC coming your way soon!😉  Thanks for reading!