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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Back to the Grind

Hi, my name is Mike and I make comics.

Robyn added me to the list last week, but I haven't had time to introduce myself because I've been either making comics or eating turkey for the last week. Now that I'm back at work I have some more free time.

My name is Mike Tomasulo. I live in the Boston area, and I have a day job as a software engineer. My immediate comics goals are to produce some science fiction web comics. I'll get to the status of that later.

I figure a lot of us fall into one of two camps this week. Some people, like me, were able to use their vacation time to really get some comics done, and now have to make the effort to find time to work on it around their day job. Other people weren't able to get anything done over the holiday because of travel or guests or whatever, and now need to get back on the horse.

(Other groups of people include those who don't get time off for U.S. Thanksgiving and those who don't have day jobs.)

So, chime in with when you are going to work on your comics next, and if you got anything you want to crow about done over the Thanksgiving break!

I will start:

I'm definitely going to get at least an hour of work done tonight, and I have most of the evening to myself tomorrow, so that'll be a couple of more hours.

I was off from last Tuesday until yesterday, and I was able to get a really solid start on a web comic I'm working on. I scanned in thumbnails and did placeholder lettering for all 16 "pages". I tightend up pencils on about 6 pages, and did first pass at painted colors (in Corel Painter) for 3 pages. It's looking alright. I'm improving with every page, so I expect I'll go back and touch up the early pages once I've been through them once.

And you?


At 9:10 PM, Blogger Mal Jones said...

Mike! Welcome to the blog man! Sorry everyone, I met Mike ages ago and haven't talked to him in going on like 3 years I think....

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Don MacDonald said...

Hello Mike. It's always good to see another Boston cartoonist. There aren't many of us, and we are solitary and suspicious of one another, but we make up for it in quality. Anyway, I never got away from the grind this past weekend. I have 120-odd pages to do by next October, pencilled, inked and painted. No rest for me...I only worked about an hour tonight, though.

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

Morning, Mike. Glad to see people keeping the blog going, and to hear someone got something done this holiday.

My second job is at a grocery store west of Cleveland, OH, so I only managed to get Thansgiving day off. And even after we got snowed in Wed. night and Thurs. morning, I didn't accomplish much. My Rage over that wasted time has actually been a good thing, I think, prodding me into work this week. I finished inking a full page spread last night, AND laid out two 4-panel funny strips.

"It's just a wave, man, and you've got to ride it."

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Mal -- Yeah! Long time, no see. I haven't been able to get my hands on Passenger, yet, but I'm loving your koi paintings.

Don -- Your portraits are great, and Machiavelli looks very impressive. 120 pages in that style is a tall order. How large are you working?

L.B. -- Good morning! I'm pretty excited about this blog, and I'm glad to be able to contribute. Sounds like you got a good night's work in. I did get my hour in last night, but it wasn't super productive. I redrew a panel that didn't come out much better than the first time, drew a decent looking space ship and slapped down color for a sky and a horizon.

Tonight, I want to update my blog with some more process stuff and some sample images, and probably lay down some more color. For some reason, after a full day of work I can ink or color, but I'm useless at working out drawings. Not enough brainpower left, I guess.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Mal Jones said...

And now to answer Mike's question:

Last night I worked on page, in preperation to launch my online comic site in January. I will have four stories done by the time it launches (one brand new, two older ones, and one older one that hasn't seen the light of day), so that'll be four months of updates ready to go.

Tonight I plan on finishing that page and starting another. I'd like to be in to the fifth story by the time I launch.

I force myself to do some illustration work everyday to make my brain work differently then the web design/day job mode.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Dr. Syn said...

Greetings Mike,
In response to Don's comment, while Boston cartoonists may be few, there are even less out here in Silicon Valley. Pneumonia has sidelined me for a few weeks, the holiday came & went (as did the in-laws!!), with little fanfare from me. Until last night......My dear wife (a back office nurse), and the nudge doctor decided it was time for me to get a shot of steroids, to help the breathing. So I go along with it. They neglected to warn me that I might not sleep! So, lets just say that I made up for the past two weeks in the last 13 hours !

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Josh Ferrin said...

Hello Mike,

I hear you. I can't wait for the Christmas to arrive as I am taking a few weeks off ofand am hoping to dedicate some time to my fledgling comic.

At 9:08 PM, Anonymous don MacDonald said...

"Don -- Your portraits are great, and Machiavelli looks very impressive. 120 pages in that style is a tall order. How large are you working?"

I work 6.5x10. It's pretty small, but it works best for me. When I am going at full speed, it takes me about a week to complete 2 pages; pencils, inks, and watercolor wash. Which is my goal: at least 2 pages a week for the next year, with a "vacation" planned during the summer in which I do more.

I don't do portraits anymore because the book demands all my available time. I never really liked doing it anyway, but the pay is not bad...

Now Syn and I will fight over whose cartoonist community is more fractured and marginal.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Well, head cold put me out of commission last night, so I didn't get any work done at all.

I have just updated my website with some more details on my process (w/ pictures) if anyone is interested.

Mal -- The webcomic site sounds awesome. Are you writing stories yourself now?

Dr. Syn -- Glad to hear that worked out for you. I hope you are feeling better. My head is all a-stuffed.

Josh -- I'll tell you, the couple of days I was able to take off from work and work on comics were great days.

Don -- I'm trying to work smaller on this project to increase my productivity, too. What else can you do? Your pages are looking great.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Dr. Syn said...

Don, fractured and marginal describes most of the people that we know! Sorry, couldn't resist tht one. I do have a question.....In my area, many of/most of the small publications use left coast cartoonists. What's it like out there,do they use local work,or do they "import"?
Michael, the meds wore off & the drawing area will be collecting dust for a few more days. However, I may not be able to draw, but I can still write up th "gags".
cheers, to all

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Mal Jones said...


One I wrote myself, the others I'm calling in favors and friends. I'm working on writing my own book, and it's a slow process so I don't want to hold back the site for my own artist's qualms.

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Don MacDonald said...

"I do have a question.....In my area, many of/most of the small publications use left coast cartoonists. What's it like out there,do they use local work,or do they "import"?"
Syn, I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean small publications like alt-weeklies? I'm working exclusively on my book right now, which leaves no time for freelance work, so I'm really not the best person to ask. There are a few alt-weeklies here in Boston and I don't see why they wouldn't use a freelancer from CA, if that's what you're asking. But again, I'm relly more in the book end of things, I could be wrong.

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Leia Weathington said...

Hey Mike!

The grind starts up pretty quick after thanksgiving as I'm an art student right now. The good news is that I can draw comics for most of my classes...the bad news is that the time I have to do them is so short that they won't look as polished as I'd like. Bleh.
So until I get that glorious month off for christmas my personal comic has to be put aside.
Either way though I am getting work done!


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