Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hello again! It's been over a year since my last post. 2012 was that kind of year for me, and from what I've heard, it was that kind of year for everyone.

Now it's 2013, and I've got a lot of comic stories to get out of my head. First, of course, is Silk & Honey, which is playing right now. Then there's Trinity, a three-way crossover with Barry Linck and James Riot that's been pushed to the back burner more than once. And, of course, Slip, which is the comic about Spook's daughter. First issue's written, but I'm still fiddling with issue 2.

Today's post is about math, or more specifically, numbers. Because numbers define the universe and everything in it. Everything has a numerical value, and most of us have quite a few. From mundane things like age, height and weight to the more fundamental values such as mass, volume and velocity, we are all defined by numbers.

Numbers in themselves are interesting things. Almost magical. Take repeating numbers, for instance.

We only have 10 because of the way we count: the digits 0 through 9. A finite number of digits means a finite number of sequences of these digits. Now, a very large number is just a string of digits, and an infinitely-large string of digits will have places where the numbers repeat.

I can't explain it as well as you can experience it, so let's experience one of the universe's coolest number, pi.

Pi is 3.14159blahblahblahforever. Seriously. The decimal portion of pi goes on into infinity. In this infinite string of numbers, there are digits that repeat themselves. One repeats itself almost right away, but you can find larger strings of numbers. If you click here, you can search pi for a sequence of numbers. Your birthday is in there, as a matter of fact! Seriously. Type it in. Doesn't even matter what format you use.

That site will only show you the first time the sequence appears, but if you download a text document with the first four million digits, you will find your birthday repeated over and over again. I found mine five times in that document.

What's the point of all this? First off, it's to have fun with numbers, but there's also a storytelling angle to this.

Imagine the universe is a wavelength. Imagine all the atoms and all the orbiting (and free) bodies form one big overall wavelength. This could be a wavelength of sound or energy or marshmallows...doesn't matter. It's a pattern of numbers, essentially.

That wavelength/pattern of numbers will inevitably have spots where it repeats itself. Earth and our solar system have their own wavelength (in this theoretical universal model), and somewhere OUT THERE IN SPACE, that wavelength repeats itself: another Earth is out there somewhere. And, seeing as how the universe is infinite, there are an infinite number of Earths out there.

This also applies to the Realms of the Dead in the Locus Universe. If you've seen the map, you will know that the Worlds of the Living and the Realms of the Dead are all joined together in a three-pronged fractal pattern. Each "world" is a dimension, and each of them is habitable to human life. Essentially, they're spots where the "humans can live here" pattern of the Universal Wavelength repeats itself.

Is any of this true? or real? or even provable? Yes and no. There are scientists who are pursuing similar ideas, and they're a lot better at this sort of thing than I am. I'm just taking a behavior which all numbers possess and applying that behavior to an imaginary unit of measure: The Universal Wavelength which exists in the Locus Universe.

In short: Math is fun. Get better at it! You'll be glad you did.

Thanks for reading! I may or may not do more math-related posts. It all depends on time this year. Also: check out the cover to the first issue of Slip!


I should point out that this cover is based on one of my favorite covers to one of my favorite comics: Issue 30 of Whisper:


Whisper was written by Steven Grant, and this cover was done by Steve Epting. If you've never heard of Whisper, check it out! Whisper was a big inspiration for Locus.



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Locus Issue 18, Page 12

Dreamhost's SQL servers are down and/or the hackers have finally gotten in.

Whatever the reason, here's the page that is scheduled to be published November 4, 2011:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Close-up!

If you've been following Locus lately (and I'm sure you have), you know that each and every page is now available for sale. I decided to do this because I've had some private collectors approach me in the last couple of months, asking if they can buy original art from the comic. I'm working on a system where anyone can buy their favorite page or First Appearance and have artwork in their hands within a week or two. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm about a week or two away! Here's the deal:

Every page of Locus is hand-drawn on acid-free 2-ply bristol board with a brand of permanent ink I'm buying from China that's blacker than shit. I love it. Sometimes I use 11"x14"; other times I use 11"x17". It all depends on page layout, subject matter, and time at hand. I then scan the art into Photoshop and color & letter it.

Every collector who gets a page from me gets the following:

1. The original black & white artwork,

2. A full-color, full-bleed glossy 11"x17" print,

3. And some other goodies. Sometimes I include pages from my sketchbook, if I sketched out thumbnails for the page in question. For the Kiss fans, I throw in some Kiss 4K Lithographs I still have in the studio. If I'm in a goofy mood, I'll throw in something weird.

Total price: $150 plus shipping. I will be streamlining the shipping in the next month or two, too.

If that's too expensive, you can buy a print of your favorite page. This is the print mentioned in point 2 above. That will be $25 plus shipping.

I won't have this in place until next week or maybe even the week after. I will announce it here (and everywhere I can) once it's ready to go.

Until then, keep in mind that the page you see on LocusComics.com is a very low-res JPG (or PNG) that doesn't show much detail at all. The original and full-size print are much better looking. For example:

Today's Comic Page lost some detail. I've zoomed in the first two panels here:

Panel 1 in color:



and in black & white:



Panel 2 in color:



and in black & white:



I hope that shows the brushwork and coloring a little better. Any questions, suggestions or comments, feel free to comment!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stryper!

It's Stryper's fault. All these monsters and tits I draw...they're because of Stryper.

Look, it was the 80s. None of us in our teens had any real taste in music. You had to be there.

And you had to be there in the PMRC days. The "D&D will send you to hell" days. Back when W.A.S.P. was singing about "Tie you down-down, I come steal your love...like an Animal!" Between the long-haired rockstars and the Goddamned Communists, if you were a parent in the 80s, you were scared. Because there was a lot of evil shit going around, and your teenaged kids were right in the middle of it!

My parents were scared. I drove my Dad nuts. All I wanted to do was look at pictures in the Monster Manual and listen to heavy metal. I got into D&D, but spent more time drawing the things in the game than actually playing the game. And in my version, there were lots of monsters and tits, because I was also sneaking peeks at neighbors' Heavy Metal magazines and my Dad's Playboy/Penthouse/Hustler collection. Those were the years of Barbi Benton's return, and they were good years. Barbi Benton was dreamy. That was also the magical time between 1979 and 1986-ish, when Heavy Metal magazine was the most amazing comic book on the planet. These were wonderful things to expose yourself to when you were between 14 and 16.

(Pre-internet, kids. Pre-internet...in rural North Idaho. Imagine the 1950s...except someone in the neighborhood had HBO.)

My Dad was all about John Wayne and the Beach Boys and Old Glory and things like that. And why not? Those are fine people and things to be a fan of. So (despite the fact that they were HIS titty magazines), I was taught to not let any filth in the house. The D&D was tolerated, but the heavy metal music was absolutely-no-way-over-my-dead-body-son. And that really sucked. But my Mom talked him into allowing Stryper, because that was Christian metal.

This was not the Christian metal you kids have nowadays. This was all "Jesus is the way" and "rockin' for The Rock" shit. The kind of shit that got your ass kicked at school--or at least the schools I attended. And, because of that, I fucking hated it.

I have nothing against the band or its members, or its fans. I have nothing against the message in the music. Oz Fox plays some ass-kickin' guitar solos, and Michael Sweet hits some seriously high notes. But the fact remained: Stryper wasn't cool in my school, but that's all I was allowed to listen to at home. I'd go over to friends' houses and listen to the metal I wanted to hear (W.A.S.P. and Motorhead and Twisted Sister and Priest and all that shit), but when I was alone in that magical attic I turned into my first studio, I listened only to Stryper.

And I hated Stryper so badly that the things that came out of my pencil were terrible, horrible things. My Mom told me a couple years ago that she'd found all that artwork--all the gory battles and naked women and monsters and pretty much all the shit I draw nowadays--and made damn sure my Dad never set foot in the attic. Thanks, Mom!

We're all older now, and I give my Dad hell because he listened to more drugged-out musicians than I did--Linda Ronstadt and Rick Nelson and the aforementioned Beach Boys did waaaaay more drugs than Kiss or most of the bands in my tape deck back then. We laugh about the whole experience, and Dad admits the real reason he didn't like the music was the way it sounded, and that's just fine. I can't stand some of the "Cookie Monster chases a drum kit down the stairs" shit my kids call metal. But I let them listen to it anyway. It's just music.

26 years later, and I have this weird love/hate relationship with Stryper. Because there are days when I get severe Artist's Block, and only Stryper kills it. Stryper and the old red light from that attic studio. I've put it in a dozen different lamps, and the bulb's still working. It's my Muse.

The above was very, very rambling, and I hope it made sense. It's way too late at night to go up and edit, and I shouldn't be telling you these things anyway. But you had to understand where pages like this came from. And this and this and this and this. And pretty much every single page of Locus.

Cool thing is: I've got an upstairs studio again. The red light bulb was the first thing I set up. Year Three of Locus should turn out very well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Update, and some artwork!

Locus Year Three is in full swing, and I've never been busier in my life. Not because of Locus Year Three, unfortunately, but because real-life things have all decided to come to a head in my life. Many things going on right now. Most of them good; all of them time-consuming. It barely leaves me time to get Locus pages done on time, let alone actually sit down and give all these commissions the attention they deserve.

A couple days ago, I actually woke up and decided I'd take a day off. I'd just sit around and read comics all day or something. I like to research comics of the 50s, the Comics Code Authority, Seduction of the Innocent...all that crap. I came across the iconic Phantom Lady #17 cover:



And I decided to remake this cover with Silk in it instead:



I hope you like it!

In fact, I hope you like it enough to buy it. For $150, I will give you the original artwork (brush and ink on 100 lb. vellum, 11"x17"), a nice glossy full-color 11"x17" print (like you see above), and a surprise. Or two or three.

I will ship to anywhere on the North American continent for five bucks. For other continents, we'll have to talk, but it's mostly so I don't cause you any import troubles.

Here is a scan of the inks:



Good for dorm rooms, bachelor pads, Man Caves, Basements With Bars and Pool Tables...whatever. Can be hung from ceiling over crib of baby boy to insure proper testosterone development.

It really has a thousand and one uses. Get ahold of me!

Send an email to indigoshift at gmail dot com if you love Silk and want her in your house forever.

And you know you do.

UPDATE: This image is sold! Thanks to everyone for checking it out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Locus, Year Three

At the end of October, Locus Year Two will draw to a close. The end of Issue 12 is the end of a lot of things, and the beginning of a lot more. To understand this fully, you need to understand Locus from Day One. If you've been a fan since the beginning, this is all review to you--although I will be telling you behind-the-scenes stuff I've never told you before.

If you're a new fan, take a moment to look busy at your Day Job and give the following a read:

LOCUS YEAR ONE

The mantra from the beginning of this project has been "Locus Is An Experiment". Any scientist will tell you that the early experiments always end in failure and/or disappointment. Experimentation is, essentially, the process of fucking up until you can't fuck up anymore. I know that everyone likes a success story, and I know that everyone loves an instant success story full of triumphs and devoid of failures.

But that's not the way the world works, and you know it.

Locus Year One began because I was the first person in history to write, draw, color and letter an official Kiss comic all by myself. I may hold that record for a long time, although I'm sure I won't hold it forever.

Kiss 4K was a good gig. It was a fun gig. I didn't do as good a job on it as someone else would have, but I will always be grateful for the learning experience. K4K was an experiment, too. An experiment in reader interaction. And it was fun to work on a comic promoted by Gene Simmons. It was also fun to walk right up to Paul Stanley and shake his hand. That man is Living Cool. He is The Breeze.

When the Kiss gig dried up, I found myself with a hole in my life. A M/W/F schedule with nothing to update! So I relaunched an old title called "Locus". My friend DJ Coffman put in a good word with me over on Keenspot, and his friend Chris Crosby agreed to host Locus for her first year.

Locus Year One ended both in mild success and mild failure. That wasn't Chris Crosby's fault. Wasn't Keenspot's fault. Wasn't Locus' fault, either. It was the fault of the ad networks.

I live in a country run by loud, belligerent, lily-livered assclowns who think it's their right to tell everyone what is acceptable and what is not. Some of these assholes run ad networks, and they want nothing to do with Boobs, Blood and Bad Language (tm). There is a line you quite simply Do Not Cross, and that line is called "PG-13".

And if you're in agreement with that mindset, fuck you. You're wrong. Here's why:

These morons will tell you that nudity is evil. Breasts should be taboo and hidden. Ladies, what do you really think about someone you've never met insisting that a natural and life-giving part of your body is dirty and evil? Your breasts have been taboo-ed to the point where you are treated like sexual objects every single time your breasts are even slightly noticeable. I think it's fuckin' retarded.

These are the same idiots that tell you stoners are more dangerous than alcoholics. It's the same fear-mongering and the same flawed logic. For fuck's sake, people! One of the first things you ever saw in your life was a tit. And not just any tit...this was your momma's tit. And what did you do with this tit? You put your mouth over it and sucked for all you were worth.

Tits aren't evil. Humans are mammals and mammals are amazing because mammals give nutrients from their own bodies to feed their young. It's a miracle of life and a crown of evolutionary achievement.

And that (believe it or not) was Locus Year One: The Crusade for Understanding. The fans got it. The Crosbys got it, too. But the ad network ass-wipes were too afraid. Anything that robs those penny-pinching dickheads of even a dime scares the hell out of them.

They took it out on Keenspot, and Keenspot was forced to push Locus to the back of the room. I couldn't live back there, so I left.

LOCUS YEAR TWO

Locus Year Two is when I moved over to my friend Matt Jacobs' comic site, Needcomics--which later became Wevolt.

Matt's a bright guy. He and I met in the Platinum/Kiss 4K days, and he's still a good friend. Matt said he wanted to make Locus a success, and he busted his ass night and day--every day--for a whole year.

I know a lot of you guys didn't like Wevolt, but Wevolt's problems were also Keenspot's problems. Namely: Locus vs the Ad Network Assholes. Believe it or not, everything unfortunate that happened at Wevolt was (directly or indirectly) the fallout from Ad Network Assholes balking at Locus.

I only found this out two days ago, otherwise I would've told you sooner!

Matt had a lot of sweet ad revenue lined up for Wevolt, but every time those ad dicks saw that Locus was the flagship title, they all got wide-eyed and scared and rubbing their hands together all sweaty and shit. They backed out, like the chickenshit idiots they are. I have no respect for people like that. Fuck them all.

I have nothing but love and respect for Matt. In fact, Matt wanted to redesign the whole Wevolt business model to accommodate Locus! Can you believe that? A hell of a guy, Matt Jacobs.

But that's not something I thought was a good idea for him or his project. There are plenty of great comics on Wevolt that would benefit from standard ad revenue options. Why piss in everyone's punch just to keep Locus around? That's no good.

So, as Locus Year Two draws to a close, I would like to announce that Locus will be moving again. And I don't wanna hear no griping this time! Here's why:

LOCUS YEAR THREE

Starting November 1, 2010, Locus will be on her own site. I will have total and direct control over everything, and the things I have planned will be the things Locus fans have been asking for throughout Year Two.

There will be pinups. There will be a fan club. There will be cool little extras and sneak-peeks into my studio, my working process, and my previous attempts at Locus--some of which date back to the mid-90s.

Lots of this will be free. Some of it you will have to pay for. But every penny you spend will be worth it, because I'm not going to go with some generic Webcomic Fan Boy template. The only way for Locus to succeed is for me to pick and choose everything carefully. I will be building a custom experience here. You will get this treatment nowhere else. Your time spent on Locus will be unique.

Ads, for instance. There are people and businesses that would love to advertise on Locus. I know that's true. I've seen like-minded people and kindred spirits all over the internet! They're other artists, musicians, writers, tattoo artists...people like you and me are everywhere. We're all sitting around wishing that the world wasn't dominated by Disney and McDonald's and family-friendly and all-ages and all that kiddie bullshit. We're fuckin' adults! We want monsters and tits and blood and suspense and violence and sex and action!

I will be searching for these kindred souls as potential sponsors and/or supporters of Locus. So even the ads will be part of the Awesome.

You can help me, too...the way you've always helped. Bring more like-minded people to Locus. Spread the word! Not to everyone; just those who Get It.

Speaking of like-minded kindred spirits...

I won't be doing this alone. There are other webcomic-makin' people that I will be in cahoots with. Others who don't fit the standard "fat, bickering nerd" (FBN) stereotype of webcomic creator. Let's leave the Scott Kurtzes of the world to their own little corner of the intertron. That shit is working great for those guys, and more power to them. Good for you guys! You Made It.

But fuck that scene. Locus is all about tits and blood and beer and flame jobs on hot rods and extra jalapenos on EVERYTHING. And I will be in cahoots with other webcomic artists who are also sick of that sad old FBN scene. That shit is ten years out of date, at the least. None of that old shit for Locus! I'll be working with DJ Coffman and Raven Perez to make Locus Year Three the ass-kickinest year ever.

Now, I'm not going to be collaborating with them on shared projects here. When I say "working with", I'm not talking about what you think I'm talking about. This is all behind-the-scenes stuff that will make all our comics standalone successes. Raven has a great property in Raven's Dojo, which I feel is the sister comic to Locus. And DJ is launching something big very soon--as with everything related to DJ, it will be exciting. You will be hearing a lot from me about Raven's and DJ's projects, and they will be talking about Locus as well.

IN CONCLUSION (FINALLY)

Wow. That was a lot of talk. What does it all mean for you, the Locus Fan?

It means that I'm at a point in my experimentation where the test tubes don't blow up the whole lab anymore. Those of you who have been around since the beginning will be happy, because this is the year all your waiting for me to get my shit together finally pays off. Haaa!

I have big things planned for Year Three. I have a new and interesting way I'll be doing things, and much of it will be new to webcomics in general. I will be introducing these ideas slowly, and I will be giving credit where credit is due, because a lot of these ideas aren't mine. I didn't sit down and magically dream up the Be-All and End-All of Locus Success by myself. I've been fortunate enough to have friends in this field who are willing to share ideas behind the scenes with their friends, and I will be taking the ideas that are the best way to give you guys the Locus stuff you've been asking for all last year.

But I'm just telling you this. Stick around and let me show you. It'll be fun, I promise.

Whether or not you stick around is up to you. I'm glad you were here as long as you were. When I said my fans are my friends, I meant it. The Locusts, The Locultists, and the Howlin' Monkeys.

You are all my friends, and I love you all. Thanks for sticking around up till now, and I hope you dig Year Three.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Locus Issue 12, Page 19

Wevolt's down again, so here's Page 19. Sorry, guys.