Greetings Dieselfunkateers! The Dieselfunk Train keeps on a-chuggin along ladies and gentlemen. Media work is in FULL SWING as we approach The 2018 Schomburg Black Comic Book Day.
TOMORROW MORNING January 9th 6-8 AM The Dieselfunk Crew will be interviewed on:
Pacifica Radio is known for doing cutting edge content showcasing the progressive ideals inherent in intellectual and progressive thought. Tomorrow morning, I, Tim Fielder, will be interviewed on WBAI about all things Matty’s Rocket. TUNE IN!!!!
and btw, FIGHT!
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! The Schomburg Black Comic Book Day happens this coming weekend. Part of life is a continual assessment of one’s goals. We rate, compare, retool, and strategize steps based upon our past , present and future. Our present thought, based upon past experience: No company can survive without content in the present and future. Thusly, right out the gate, Dieselfunk Studios is committed to DELIVERING PRODUCT, no matter how large or small.
ANNOUNCING: Matty’s Rocket 2018 Art Calendar. Keep your daily and monthly schedule while viewing wonderfully painted spaceships and world building to enjoy along the way. Premiering at The 2018 Schomburg Black Comic Book Day January 12-13th.
I’ve always loved the fully painted Calendars of the early to mid 20th Century. Whether the subjects ranged from naval, aeronautics, or Santa drinking a coke, I respect the craft and detail that each artist put into the work. Further, such a product extends the world-building of the primary Matty’s Rocket Story.
Consider the month of January: Matty pilots her Strato-capsule into Earth Orbit.
Or perhaps, June: Duke, the famed Jazz composer, comes to the Harlem Sector’s Apollo Pavilion. What sort of ride would Duke fly in look like? (Closeup below) Check out the Matty’s Rocket 2018 Calendar to see.
Matty’s Rocket 2018 Art Calendar HEREhttp://dieselfunkstore.com/product/mattys-rocket-2018-calendar/
Matty’s Rocket: Book One HERE
Back to It!
Greetings Dieselfunkateeers! 2017 has been a BANNER YEAR. While the two prior years were all about being visible, this year continued that trend buttressed with a lot of behind the scene work. We began the year capturing footage for The Dieselfunk Show at The Women’s March and Inauguration of Donald Trump. Diametrically opposed activities I assure you.
Then we would go into a bout of travel. We quickly moved into working with Professor Reynaldo Anderson’s BSAM at Texas’ Prairie View University COMM Week sponsored by the wonderful Professor Toniesha Taylor. We joined BSAM again at Harris Stowe University in St. Louis. We would close out the first half of the year at The Electrik Revival at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center. The Motherbox/Black Kirby Crew was in full effect.
The Dieselfunk Show, featuring our Glogging technique , would premiere on Youtube! High John Conqueror, the Comatic, would closely follow.
Summer hit, and it was off to the races. The Dieselfunk Show Road tour begin in Jackson Mississippi, moving to New Orleans, then to Los Angeles, then up to Seattle, Tacoma, down to Portland, then to San Francisco. We made a quick dash back down to San Diego for SDCC, then back to Los Angeles. Our travels had us interviewing folks such as Ben Caldwell, our sponsor Isaiah Coberly of New Pencil, maker of the FLIPSTEADY, and the kind souls at Wacom Technologies.
During that entire period, time was found to work with the writer Brandon Easton on a short story for George Takei’s NEW FRONTIERS, whom we also had the chance to Glogg as well. We would end the summer at Blerd City and Afropunk in NYC.
The fall was spent focusing on the completion of ‘Matty’s Rocket: Book One’ which came out in November. It’s 120 pages of hard work, pure heart, and focused joy. Writers, Junot Díaz, Valerie Boyd, Comic Gods John Jennings, Joyce Brabner, and Dawud Anyabwile and more graced us with contributions to the book. This was all made possible by the setup of our own in-house PRINT ON DEMAND operation.
Here is wishing you all the Happiest of Holidays and the brightest of New Years.
If you think 2017 was nuts, just wait till 2018!
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! LIGHTS, CAMERA, REFERENCE! Lighting in film and videogames is essential to storytelling. Meaning it’s a requirement for entry. But in comics, lighting is often a victim of technical limitations and time. Of course, masters like Eisner, Steranko, Gulacy, and Miller, have used cinematic techniques that derive from film. Lighting, what you can see and what you cannot, is all about communication.
Can you imagine Citizen Kane without the cinematography of Greg Toland?
Or more recently, Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Arrival’ would not have worked without Bradford Young’s lensing (Hey, cat’s on Ron Howard’s ‘Solo: A Starwars Story so don’t sleep on em).
This even extends to videogames. Take for instance the cut scenes from the Starwars: OLD REPUBLIC games. The level of detail, and to be frank complexity of story, largely dwarf the actual movies.
But for the monthly comics schedule deep lighting is a difficult task to do. Which is why I have a preference for the more methodical intricacy of Graphic novels. Take the beautiful example of Canales and Guarnido’s ‘Blacksad’.
Comics and graphic novels are all sequential art of course and, oddly enough, it’s where all of the mediums of animation, storyboarding and film meet. In fact, I’ve had film students that have limited drawing skills, who refuse to believe a rough stick figure or crude image can reveal all sorts of dramatic information. In the climax of those lessons, I take their “crude” drawings and add simple coloring overlays to demonstrate that any image is capable of evoking emotion through light. Photoshop MAGIC Baby!
ARTISTS!, Don’t let ANYONE tell you your work has no value or style, regardless of polish or crudeness. The fact is, light can illuminate even the most mundane of drawing.
Furthermore, I cannot state the importance that reference has played in my work as of late. This can be in the form of a photo shoot, images from the internet, or even stills from advertisements and film stills. You see a cool lighting scheme in a photo, steal…err, USE it. Also, consider using newer online tools that are utilized by photographers to bring dramatic narratives to form. I’ll speak on those tools in the future.
I try my best to take advantage of light. YOU should too.
Check out Matty’s Rocket here
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! I hope your holiday season is off to a bang. Work is still ongoing throughout the holidays in the lab. There’s been some quite fascinating discussion online regarding the state of black comics and how best to market and sell them. All very helpful and useful ideas. In the discussion, it occurred to me that all cartoonists of color could in theory hack the marketing of the upcoming Schomburg Black Comic Book Day and Black Panther Movie to spread awareness about how individual works and the body of work in general. Thusly, I wanted take a moment to formally send out a notice for the following hashtag phrase:
“ #blackpantherblackcomix Checkout www.yoururl.com @SchomburgCenter #Blackcomicbookday#ipfreeforall Won’thurt2tryit & other books:-) “
So for me this post would go:
blackpantherblackcomix Checkout www.dieselfunk.com @SchomburgCenter #Blackcomicbookday #ipfreeforall Won’thurt2tryit & other books:-)
Feel FREE to use it to your hearts content. Back to it.
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! We are pushing so very hard to deliver the best of expansive narrative and content. We recently covered the idea of how concept design is utilized in Matty’s Rocket. One way to look at a Design Challenge is applying what can be called a Design ‘Solution.’
This solution has to strike a balance or bridge the chasm between not just conveying informational content, but also the emotional arch of the narrative. One might possibly think that ideas come in a chronological order. Sometimes they do. But sometimes, they absolutely don’t. If anything, ideas and the action of creating ideas, are very much a ‘non-linear’ process. For the average person, ideas come when and where they are ready to come, based almost purely on experience. The DESIGNER, as craftsperson, has to call on ideas at will. Their style, not to mention very often, their livelihood, is dependent upon it.
Thusly, I had to decide, what was it I wanted to convey about Matty’s Rocket? I wanted the audience to take a feeling of nostalgia and sentimentality based in the American and African-American past. But I also wanted to pay homage to the masters of cinematic movie and book posters. It would be an homage to the Struzan style of movie poster.
To be clear. I’m a huge Drew Struzan…
James Bama, …
and Jim Steranko fan.
So I wanted the book to feel like that. Frankly, the sketches came very quickly.
I then moved on to color, which I felt good about compositionally. The decision was made to not have the cover be fully painted. Inked characters would be integrated within a painted environment in line with the graphic novel. I felt the technical aspects were on point. However, even after rendering, something didn’t feel right. The feedback from folks I trust ranged from “its great” to “one aspect of the painting was too dominant over another.” I would spend days doing color correction and re-rendering to see if I could make it work. But still…
It wasn’t until I expressed to my wife that I didn’t feel right about the cover. What could possibly be wrong? She looked at me and said…”It’s too Dark”. That hit me like a ton of bricks in it’s clarity. Despite the technical proficiency of the illustration, it was the wrong design solution I was applying. All of the elements; the dominant klansmen on fire, the horrified family, Matty being overwhelmed. I was selling Matty’s Rocket as HORROR.
MATTY’S ROCKET IS ALL ABOUT HOPE!
I pulled out my iPhone and quickly drew with my thumb in Autodesk Sketchbook. The drawing was super rough. Done in less than a minute. But it provided the crystal clear color and composition.
Once a direction was in place…in MY HEART, everything went very quickly from there.
Check out Matty’s Rocket: Book One at www.dieselfunkstore.com