We are ending the year and that means to do some of 2017’s recap.
What we did and what we learned.
Some years ago I even did a detailed list of all the pages I inked.
That was before, Maybe it was as a show-off of the control I did want to show I had over my work. Nah. Not list this year, but I can say that I inked a lettered a whole bunch of pages.
I learned a lot this year. Some of the things I learned was the realization of some traditions I was doing wrong and that helped me to change or mold my professional view towards some things of my job.
First thing I learned:
Being only an inker or also working as a letterer is not economically viable. Sorry, but that’s the truth about it. Job offers are each time scarcer (Deviantart is quite closing these days; Digital Webbing is pretty much inactive; Pencijack disappeared and the Facebook job offer pages aren’t in sight). So in that environment, you should overcome your fears and jump over those obstacles.
To me, it’s graphic design and more important, penciling is my biggest fear to overcome. My constant inferiority complex was finally overcome with a little help of some pencilers that gave me their suggestions. Publishing my comic-book “In.jvsticia” was also a good move towards facing my inner demons and keep penciling. I left the dense forest of doubts I had and I am learning to grow as a penciler with each new piece. I must thank my friend and somehow mentor Danny Jiménez on that. I also took the Inktober 2017 challenge and I think I did it… well. Some pieces I like, some others not, but it was a good lesson.
Another phase of diversification is to start working beside comics and do other things. Working in comics provides not a steady income, so this year I kept on teaching how to make digital comics to schools. I also took an album cover gig.
I finally published after 22 years my first story as an integral author. It’s the first part of 3 issued miniseries. It’s weird. If there is something I claim I don’t do, but I ultimately do is to push things ahead. But this year I turned 40, and I vigorously desired to finish at least the first issue of In.jvsticia by my birthday. It wasn’t a record sale because the first and second print was small, but it was a great and eye-opening situation. The sensation that the book wasn’t mine (as closely and some sort of a leak-proof thing only to my eyes) and started to belong to some people (some friends, some truly new readers) was amazing and frightening at the same time. The message behind all of that was to do the deed. Do things, even it takes 22 years to excruciatingly finish the first issue, leave a message behind. Don’t be someone without a message to the world. If not thousands, at least dozens of people will want to hear what you have to say and that’s encouraged to my goals.
The third is patience. Which I don’t have, but controlling your impulses to rush things out has turned to me only but good things. Ok, there always are sometimes where you have to push things (for instance reminding clients to pay for my services). But the focus on this third lesson of the year is closer than the money. My lines are nervous and it takes the world to control the impulse to throw lines quickly. Sketching, penciling… actually, doing art is a state of mind, an emotional process, and in my honest opinion controlling emotions – at least those that urges me to finish things up – helps to have a clean, steadier and smoother line. It looks more professional and … uff.. it takes a lot of mental processes to deal with that while doing art. Maybe it’s the most challenging situation for me, professionally.
WELL, NUMBERS, BUT NOT NUMBERS:
Actually, this year has not been a prolific year in terms of published material.
Almost all of the current work I have been involved with – both inking and lettering – is still to be scheduled for publishing. Some of them has assigned a publisher (Scout Comics, Advent Comics, and Beyond Reality Media), but the only titles that are out are either published in Spanish (in Chile) or webcomics:
- La Senda del Errante: Calvario, for Ariete Producciones (Chile): Lettering in the whole graphic novel and inks on one story.
- Controll: 20 pp for Ariete Producciones (Chile): Jon Parrish, Diego Toro y Kóte Carvajal
- In.jvstice #1: My first creator-owned comic for Ariete Producciones (Chile).
- James Bong: Christmas Special and Medicine Man 4 part short story has been recently published in webcomic format in Stoner Days Magazine
So far pre-scheduled or about to be released are the following titles:
- Jazz Legend, for Scout Comics (USA). Inks and letters. Ongoing series.
- NowPocalypse, for Beyond Reality Media (New Zealand), Graphic Novel, Letters
- Attica Vol 3, for Beyond Reality Media (New Zealand), Graphic Novel, Letters and some inks.
TOP 5 MOMENTS OF THE YEAR:
5- Inktober: I wanted to take part years ago but I lacked confidence. This year I set some pencils in advance and even thou some of the submissions does not make the cut to my eye, I think some others had shown something interesting.
4- First official inking commission and it was inking Brett Booth! First time I saw Brett Booth’s art was in 1994 in Italy, reading Wildcats #0 in the Italian Star Comics edition. Brett’s and some other tier 2 early Wildstorm studios artist ‘s career experiences were actually what I wanted to live as an artist, so 23 years after that moment, long time Wildstorm collector Brian Hartless, contacted me to ink a piece he commissioned to Brett. It was an incredible experience it was an honor to do that. I can’t wait to have another opportunity to ink another commission.
3- Saber Vivir: I have always wanted to do a podcast, so being part of Diego Toro’s Saber Vivir was an incredible experience.
2- Inking Dheeraj Verma: 2017 started incredibly. On Dec 31st, 2016, (I swear it!) I was contacted by a publisher, Advent Comics offering me inking a penciler from India named Dheeraj Verma. I knew his art before and I was excited to see that this gig was in front of me. This was one of my best professional moments of 2017. The Comic? Still is TBA, so… no news.
1- In.jvsticia response from the readers. The incredible moment was this, (by reader James Fairlie).
What do I WISH for 2018?
More comic book related work. There are some talks, and some projects that may be aligned to be work next year, but I’d love for the experience of working for a bigger publisher (Big two, Big indie, whatever). I want to ink a monthly title, feel the deadline, or lettering a couple of monthly titles. I’d also love to keep working with most of the talented pencilers I teamed up with this year.
WHAT DO I LIKE TO CHANGE IN 2018?
Stop working on Back-end Projects, Kickstarters and that kind of gigs. I have, I must focus on paid work and I need to learn to say no to those gigs. It’s pretty much disappointing to work hard on projects that are either not published, not back in their Kickstarters and takes forever to see the light of day.
Overall it’s been a pretty hectic year.
I hope that your year has been good as well
Hello: Some of you know that I work from time to time inking and lettering a comic strip named James Bong. Just what its name suggests, it features a James Bond-type of adventurer that fights for justice and the normalization of cannabis.
It has just been released its latest adventure on the Magazine Stoner Days (original post here), so I am sharing this with you.
Created by James Longshore and Bianca Mina
Penciled by Joaquin GR
Colors by the great Luca Romano
Inks and letters by me.
Hey there, lovely readers!
I want you to have the best Christmas and a great night surrounded with family and friends!
It features three of the characters I created for my first comic named “In.jvsticia” (In.justice) and it’s an homage to the incredible good Daredevil # 263 story by Ann Nocenti, John Romita Jr. and Al Williamson.
My characters are “Daredevil type -like”, lonely hard to adapt to society people. All of them, Daniel, Victoria and the drug addict won’t have nice and beautiful Christmas, so it felt appropriated to gather them in a “lost souls” kind of bar.