Greetings Dieselfunkateers! Just getting back in from our most recent stop on The #mattysrocketbooktour. Just before leaving, I was honored to be interviewed by the Legend, Calvin Reid, Senior News Editor ofPUBLISHERS WEEKLY. I was recently having a conversation with a colleague about how important Calvin’s work is with regards to the medium of comics and graphic novels. The medium has in this gentleman, an ambassador and town cryer; something every industry needs in order to survive. Everyone has that thing that they do well, do with passion, and would do for free. Calvin LOVES COMICS.
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! The last week was a MASSIVE WEEK for Dieselfunk Studios.High John Conqueror and The Dieselfunk Show have now premiered. We have now moved on to the intricate and long term work of building a brand, audience, and market for our content.
CLICK THE LINK BELOW THE BUTTON. VIEW AND SUBSCRIBE!
I’ve kept a Journal for decades and used to writing down the occasional thought towards processing events. It’s been a very useful exercise. To that end, I’ve decided to take some time to write down my ideas on comics, media, and the REALITY that is the INTERNET. We’ll call it say; THE DIESELFUNK JOURNAL. I’m sure there are far more knowledgable and experienced folks in this area than I. So if what I’m stating is old hat or irrelevant then simply ignore me.
In REAL NUMBERS, the mainstream comic book readership maxes out at 100-200 thousand readers give or take a few thousand. Spread proportionally over the level of strength and size of each publisher, access becomes a matter of life..and more often…Death.
So how does the one man/woman or independent shop, like DIESELFUNK STUDIOS, get in the game? Not just the comic game, but the game that goes beyond that. Well that’s what this journal series will be about. We will investigate a lot, learn a lot, make mistakes…A LOT, and hopefully have the occasional bout of SUCCESS, a LOT:-)
Lets begin with the Thesis: IF…YOUTUBE has over 1 Billion users, INSTAGRAM is at 7 Million users (pushing to reach 1 Billion by the end of the year), Facebook is virtually at 2 BILLION USERS!, and other networks are massive as well, would it not make more sense to GO ALL IN ON COMICS EXCLUSIVELY IN SOCIAL MEDIA. Completely different Paradigm Right?
Greetings Dieselfunkateers! Alex Simmons’ BLACKJACK is back in two upcoming side by side adventures, Blackjack: Trial by Ice & Blackjack: Trial by Fire. My long collaboration, this time in the form of cover art, continues with writers Alex Simmons (Creator of Blackjack) and Chris Ryan (Creator of City of Pain, City of Woe, City of Sin). Blackjack, aka’ man of action Arron Day, is featured in stories that defy the imagination, yet put him within a definable time and place.
This began as an over the phone description by Alex of the basic cover design. But in this case I took it further by wanting to do a double cover. So the sketch was literally done in five minutes.
From a personal point of view, I’ve taken to doing the character as a way of imprinting my take of classic pulp covers while hopefully adding something new. This can often appear in the form of a homage. I’ve always loved the Greg and Tim Hildebrandt cover of Blackjack. I decided this would be my inspirational starting point
I’m not the most accurate of artists. But after spending time with an illustration, I take a break and go back to an image with fresh eyes. This can be repeated over and over again until I end up with an acceptable design. In this case, while the initial idea was fine, the cross handling of Arron’s colt handguns obscured his face.
I tried different poses. Admittedly, this was a fun diversion but I knew the asymmetry would not work for a double cover.
Ultimately, the decision was made to go back to the original idea but have Arron hold the colts side to side allowing the emotion in his face to communicate properly. I preferred this as it took the spirit of the original homage and went in a slightly different direction. I collected reference for lighting and design. Each job is different. The deadline was tight because the stories were being written as I was working. Thusly, the basic composition of Arron dominating the double image yet being off to the side in the split images was the direction. I would fill in the background later. I began with a relatively tight pencil rendering.
Then work proceeded towards doing a tight rendering of Arron. Taking the fire and ice motif would suggest light and shadow. This was further aided by making sure I had ample reference.
At this point Alex and Chris had provided story elements so I could go into filling out the background space. One of the stories takes place at the Olympics with Russian elements. The other story takes place in the snowscapes in Europe. So a google search run was most definitely in the cards. Several hours, photo shoots, and layer blending later I had a finished image.
Standby for more information on these new stories. Very proud to have provided cover art.
Also, It’s been a good long while since I’ve posted an update. Please know that MAJOR CHANGES are afoot in the way and mode that Dieselfunk Studios does business. Standby for further news.
I had the historic and honored privilege to present Ms Nichols, Esteemed Actress and aka ‘The Godmother of AfroFuturism’, with Matty’s Rocket (and Alex Simmons’ Blackjack: There Came A Dark Hunter). I have been very public about the tremendous influence Ms Nichols (and Gene Roddenberry’s) work had on Matty, my art, and the way Diversity is moving our society forward. Heck, visually speaking, Matty is directly modeled after the smart and elegant Lt. Uhura (albeit with diesel fumes:-) I recall the story of Dr King encouraging Ms Nichols to continue her role as Lt. Uhura. Thank Goodness she took his advice. Moving from her work with STAR TREK, NASA, and STEM initiatives, we ALL owe her a great debt.
Now we will Endeavor to make Matty Aspire to the same Heights.