Comic Action

… part of “Spiel” fair in Essen, takes place this week, Oct 16 to Oct 19.
I will be there with books, prints and some Gouache works, sharing booth 2A-146 with my good friend Jenny Dolfen, who will present her freshly pressed Darkness over Cannae.
At Saturday & Sunday, our friend and fellow artist Katharina Rippel will join us, too. ^^

If you want to drop by for a chat, have a look … maybe even take some printed copies home, optionally beautified by our signatures or possibly sketches, we are looking forward to meet you there. ^^

The Wolf Queen

Cheers,
Helmut

PS.:
… will need a glass of wine and plenty of meditation right ahead to get my nerves back … at least a bit … was quite an interesting experience this year at Comicsalon Erlangen, when I noted that under public/exhibition/fair conditions (a) I am not able to draw straight lines, because my hand trembles like mad, and (b) I get almost as blind as a mole after a while at small tables, under dim, diffuse electric light all day long. Shock treatment for a shy person. ^^

Ulog, Nala, Morm … aaaand: HORSES!

To be honest, I’ve always been afraid of drawing them.

But now, they just slipped in somehow, as besides Anukhai and Onoghu, there are also the Moruk, another human people living in Olveare, and they use to ride on them: horses.
As it happens, I’ve lived the last four years in immediate neighbourhood of a farm with a paddock, and I used to walk along it’s fence almost every day. Strangely, I did not pay too much attention, at least not from an artistic point of view, because when I came along it’s inhabitants, I usually had Sayuri with me, our four-legged wolf descendant companion, who likes to attract a lot of attention to herself.

However, when finally approaching the Moruk theme, I relied on the super learning effect: it would somehow just work magically, out of the box.

And, in conjunction with my relaxed digital shape finding technique, it almost did!

Hrug on his new mount

Not perfect, but hey … enough to enable me to work on the scene.
Which I did.

Still, I’m one scene behind completing the Ulog-Nala-Morm-thread, which is a bit … exhausting, from a mental point of view, because closing the gaps always tends to feel extra-tedious, and gaps magically grow larger, the closer you get on them.
However, this one is almost finished, and it once again brought forth new, cool and unplanned aspects of the story and ways to tell it.

If you want to have a look, click on the image below to open the PDF file (be warned however, it’s “lettered” manually, and it’s Pidgin English).
Ulogs Moon Wanderer

tsod_cover_movie_en

Finally Ready: the “Movie” version of “This Side of Darkness”

It took longer than I anticipated, but now it’s finished and available for download: the “movie” version of “This Side of Darkness”!

What is it?

tsod_slide_1

one step more from comic sequential art towards movie/animated picture: half an hour of playtime, the original comic pages re-edited to widescreen format, featuring a truely epic score from audiomachine including tracks from the albums Chronicles, Epica, Existence, Helios and Tree Of Life, this version of “This Side of Darkness” is as close as I could make it, towards a “real” movie flic.

It’s available for download in English or German as of now:
get your copy here (English) or here (German).

Chapter 5, Erlangen, Epsilon

Let’s start with the long-made promise: finally, chapter 5 is online, renamed from “Fire and Ice” to “In the Realm of Flies”. Enjoy: 00-intro
(btw, in order to prevent trouble with the gallery auto-scaling feature, I decided to drop the gallery option completely and use “endless” image files instead – tell me, if you’d like to have the galleries back :) )

Then, for something else:
the German print version is no longer published by me.

In the future, printed copies (hardcover, yay!) will be available via Epsilon Verlag, starting at the Comicsalon Erlangen 2014, which will open Thursday 19/06/2014 (meaning: in three days).

I’ll be there, too, at Epsilon’s stand.
If you’d like to drop by for a chat, or want your printed copy signed (or both), just drop by. :)

ulog-nala-morm

Fighting threads

The relocation is done … sort of.
Forseeably, it kept me away of T&D for quite a while, and it still continues to pull effort.

However, I fought myself back to my freshly set up working space, and actually managed to get into it again.

Book One’s plot had two (and a half) threads. Book two will feature four, if I did not forget any. One of them is dedicated to Ulog, Morm and Nala, the young Anukhai, who survived the battle of the Melondel ford.
This part of the story is my current “battlefield”. My next milestone is the completion of this thread. I’m not far away, and I really enjoy how things have evolved so far … mostly without my (active) interference, it’s more about leaving these three doing their stuff, watching and trying to make a sketch of them now and then.

crossing-the-lake-04

crossing-the-lake-07

I did not forget that I promised to publish the next chapter, by the way … stay tuned. ;)

In the meantime …

… work on book 2 continues. As it seems, the upcoming volume of Telaya & Dioman will be quite a couple of pages stronger than it’s predecessor, and will also feature much more dialog – in short, there will be much more to read. :)

It’s title isn’t yet final. At the moment I think about naming it Hrug’s War.

I don’t want to spoil anything by revealing too much, so I’m going to be niggard concerning scene scribbles, WIPs, sketches and so on. However, I think it doesn’t hurt to show you some fragmentary stuff now and then, carefully selected to keep the greater workings hidden. ;)

To make a start, here are a few:

… Cin’Thele, wearing something:
A Pinup

… a scene idea:
A Pinup

… part of another scene:
A Pinup
Humans are naked at times, too … even if they’re male. ;)

During the Seelbach exhibition, Katharina and I talked a lot about ideas finding, sketching technique and related stuff. I tried to explain my usual digital workflow for page scribbling, which is probably best described as a stripped-down digital painting style, reduced to a few discrete shades of gray, cell shading only, characters often – but not always – blocked in as shapes first, outlines drawn later.
Unable to provide a proper description of how to find shapes by gradually refining contours of color blobs instead of immediately working on outlines, I gave up on verbal explanations, and went for a demonstration via tablet and beamer instead … turned out to be a bad idea, because I plugged the HDMI cable into the wrong tablet port and immediately shut it down. :/

So when she left, I promised her to capture a scribble session … which i finally did. Here it is:

PS.:
This has not been particularly fast, about 60min to complete.
Right before, I had done my daily gymnastics routine, resulting in an exhausted and extremely tremulous hand, I completely failed in drawing smaller detail …

Darkness Over Cannae Crowdsourcing

A bit of promotion for a very good friend and her inspiring project:

today, at 18:45, Jenny started the crowd funding campaign for her illustrated  novel Darkness Over Cannae, about one of the most famous and successful military maneuvers in history, the climactic large-scale confrontation following a series of battles fought between Roman armies and the Carthaginian invasion force lead by Hannibal Barca, at 2nd August, 216 BC, in Apulia, Italy: the prototype of an encirclement battle, in which inferior Carthaginian forces managed to destroy eight Roman legions, and almost bring the super-power of it’s time to it’s knees.

It’s a very empathetically and emotionally arranged combination of narrative text and hand-crafted illustrations, which re-tells the events of that one pivotal day from the very personal perspectives of seven people involved in the battle.

Darkness Over Cannae Illustations
With friendly permissions of Jenny Dolfen

If you would like to help the first print edition of “Darkness Over Cannae” become reality, please visit her campaign, share and/or support it at

Darkness Over Cannae