Comics

Putting the "Web" Back in "Webcomics" by J. Logan Carey

It occurs to me that for calling my comics “webcomics,” they’re not actually available to read for free on the web. So I’m going to change that.

If you head over to the Comics page, you’ll find links to read each of the Zodiac comics for free.

There are also links to Gumroad where you can purchase PDFS of each comic. Now, you don’t have to purchase anything. If you want to support to comics and help me make more…then there’s the easy way to do so.

If you haven’t seen the Zodiac series yet, I hope you check it out. If you have, thanks for reading and stay tuned for new content!

Zodiac Tarot Illustrations by J. Logan Carey

Here’s the full sheet of tarot illustrations I created for Zodiac: Leo.

ZodiacTarot

For the process of making each card I chose the title of the card first, then brainstormed the design, thumbnailed some ideas and settled on the final drawing.

This was pretty challenging for some of the vague concepts like “Foulness” or “Darkness” especially considering I was going for symbolic designs rather than heavily detailed illustrations.

You can get the full comic on Gumroad

Pages From Zodiac: Leo by J. Logan Carey

Here are the first three pages of Zodiac: Leo.

For this comic / illustrated poem I decided to do singular illustration for each page. I suppose you could say that I’m still nervous about my abilities to render a full page illustration so I wanted to do something that would let me inlay an illustration over something like a physical object. That way I can focus on a smaller illustration and practice some textures.

 
 

I settled on a series of thirteen tarot cards. Once I got the basic card shape, design, and texture, I could go ahead and start brainstorming each illustration. The tools largely inform the final product, so when I started using Procreate’s default Dry Ink brush and saw what an interesting woodcut-like drawing it created, I ran with it.

 
 

The lettering on the cards are all hand drawn in Procreate. I wanted something that looked like an old handmade type set of some kind. So after I created a letter, I duplicated it for each other instance, that way there was a consistency in the type.

Drawing with white ink on a black background makes for an interesting hurdle in that you’re basically drawing shadows as highlights. So there’s a bit of reverse thinking there so you aren’t trying to shade your drawing with what are actually highlights. It’s confusing.

 
 

The dialog boxes with the poem in them were added with Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro. Designer is a program akin to Adobe Illustrator and I’m looking forward to learning more of the ins and outs so it will improve my overall comic book design.

So those are the first three pages from Leo. I hope you guys enjoyed them. You can see the rest on Gumroad!

Zodiac: Leo is finished by J. Logan Carey

Well I buckled down over the holidays and said I have got to finish the next chapter of Zodiac and I did!

For this chapter I played with a different kind of style. The story is told in poetic form with accompanying illustrations for each of the thirteen stanzas of the poem. Part of doing this series of comics was for me to experiment with different styles and ways of telling a story. It has been a hell of a learning experience.

For this latest chapter, I did the artwork in Procreate and lettered it in Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro, my first go with the program. I really like the end result and have picked up the Affinity Designer Workbook to learn more about how the app works so it will enhance my comic book making skill.

I hope you guys check it out and let me know what you think!

Stan Lee, Long Live the King by J. Logan Carey

I almost couldn’t believe it when I saw the news today although we all new this was coming. Stan Lee, legendary comics king of Marvel passed away at the age of 95.

What a life, what a personality, what a legacy.

I got to see Stan in person for one brief moment. My wife’s grandfather, Mart Nodell, worked for Stan back in the heady days of comic book lore. We met up with Stan at Heroescon in Charlotte and snuck past the photo line so Jacque could get a quick hug and catch up with him. I took a quick snap of the moment here...

IMG_0591.JPG

 

He was as warm and charming as I had always kind of hoped he was. I’ll never quite get over having seen him in real life. Wow.

Here’s a quick tribute I did in Procreate to commemorate such an awesome guy who helped bring about so many of the stories and characters I love today. 

IMG_0590.JPG

Thanks for everything Stan! Excelsior!

Zodiac Update by J. Logan Carey

It’s been a few months since the last issue of Zodiac, Cancer, came out and I just wanted to give a quick update.

I’ve largely been focusing on my art studies and doing a lot of sketching and improving my skills There’s also been a lot of wedding / honeymoon planning so that has taken up a lot of our energy as well. You wouldn’t think an elopement would be work to plan, but a lot of the same things have to be in place as a traditional wedding, a hot tip for you guys.

 
Lion_Skull_Sketch.PNG
 

But I’m ready to start working on it again. I’ve been going back and forth over what kind of style I’m going to play with for the next story. I had originally chose Taurus as the next story, but I think I’ll be going back to Leo which is the next zodiac sign in the order anyway.

The poem that makes up the Leo story was originally adapted into a short comic called Nachtmahr by my friend, Trevor Denham. My version will be narrated by that same poem, but it will be visually much different.

I’ll be posting in progress bits and pieces as I go. See you guys in the next post!

Making a Webcomic - Part 6 by J. Logan Carey

I just wanted to thank everyone for checking out the second chapter in my comic, Zodiac. It's gotten a lot of reads and positive feedback so I feel like I'm moving in the right direction.

But we've still got ten...TEN?!...ten chapters to go on this project. Holy crap.

I've been taking a bit of time between chapters to work on more drawing fundamentals and getting in a consistent weekly habit of drawing every day, getting up earlier (trying though, by Crom I am trying), and filling sketchbook pages. I'm feeling pretty good about jumping into the next chapter of Zodiac because there ain't no time like the present.

With that I wanted to announce that the next chapter will be...Taurus! This was highly requested by my better half because that's her zodiac sign and she really enjoyed the feel of the story so that's what we're gonna do.

I've started a Pinterest board of inspiration for the story that I think will help influence the overall tone and feel of what I'm going for. I've never really used Pinterest too much, but I've REALLY gotten into lately as an inspiration and reference collection.

Next step: putting the prose story into comic script form

 

Making a Webcomic - Part 5 - The Next Chapter Begins by J. Logan Carey

Welcome back to my continuing series on creating a digital comic book!

For a brief recap, earlier this month I finished the first chapter of my comic book; Zodiac. Chapter one, Gemini, was uploaded to Gumroad as a free or pay-what-you-want download. From beginning to end, it was a huge learning process and I’m anxious to get bring that to the next chapter...Cancer! 

Alright, I know that doesn’t sound quite right, but we’re talking about the constellation here. Stay with me. 

So right off the bat, as I was creating Gemini I realized I skipped a vital step: creating page layout thumbnails!

I just winged it as I went through and as a result I feel like I lost a cohesive panel flow and wasn’t really sure about the general look of things. But as I’ve said before, this is a learning experience and I want to be honest about all the shortfalls and speed bumps along the way.

After creating the comic script for the next chapter, I came to a page count of eleven and sketched out some roughs... 

IMG_0311.JPG

Coming up with different panel layouts for every page is clearly another whole skill set And not one that was natural to me. If you get stuck like I get stuck, it’s a great time to pull some inspiration for other comics you enjoy. People much cleverer than myself have already come up with great solutions to this question.

Another good piece of advice I was given by Kevin Mellon , storyboard artist on Archer and generally awesome dude...

If you plan on printing it, try doing your thumbs so that the even pages always fall on the left of odd (mimicking a spread) so you can make sure the layouts work next to each other. 

Excellent advice and something to seriously consider in the future for possible to-be-printed comics.

The pages above represent my basic ideas for what I want each page to look like. If it looks all a bit “sci-fi”, that’s because the Cancer chapter takes us a long way from the ancient deserts of Gemini, into the far reaches of the unknown universe!

Now that I’ve got a basic idea of what I need to fill each page with as far as imagery, I need to sketch some concepts for my subjects. A lot of concepts. ALL THE CONCEPTS. Planets, stars, spaceships, supercomputers, oh my! Here’s where the fun really begins. I’m going to play around and let my imagination go nuts.

To see what happens, follow me on Instagram or Twitter