Beth Wagner's Work Log (Isaac & Lee, Space Trucking, Sam Hawke, A Grotto of Poppies)



  • @DinoCaruso ;Thanks! After work I just came home, opened up Photoshop and then went to bed. I think that I will be working in baby steps until I'm over this infection.
  • In the interest of organising myself I'm writing down a list of the conventions that I am attending and planning on attending this year:

    Vancouver Fan Expo (April)
    Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo (April)
    Northwest Fan Fest (June)
    Portland 'Zine Symposium (July)
    Word on the Street? (September I don't know if it's still going on)
    Rose City, SEE or Edmonton Entertainment Expo?  (September depending on availability)
    Canzine West

    After writing everything down, I find it amusing that there are clusters of conventions in April and September. It really will come down to budget versus how quickly tables book up. In an ideal world I'd go to everything of course. But there is a thing called over extending one's self and in my fatalistic mind I will only be able to attend the ones I was meant to.
  • I got an offer from an artist to do a cover for one of my books. Actually, he is wanting to redo the covers for my entire series in order to "update it" So why am I writing here instead of in the Jump for Joy thread? Because the last time he was doing covers for me, I would wind up having to hold off sending my comics to the printers because he was late and the style isn't what I was hoping for.

    His attitude towards getting the covers done was what made me really understand the difference between someone who is a hobbyist and someone who is actually just an extremely small time self-publisher. (insert small rant about being a self-publisher vs being a hobbyist)

    Yes, it's an easy thing to simply tell him no, I was just hoping that after years of his lack of interest, he'd move on to other things and not leave me in this awkward position.
  • I feel like I've gone completely off the rails. Right now I'm trying to get back into some sort of schedule that balances day job, exercise, social life and comics. Somehow something is always losing out. I'm pretty sure that a good part of this has to do with the weather effecting my moods, but I really need to get back into some sort of regular routine.
  • I know one reason why I am frustrated. I have a new project that I really really want to get started on, but I need to get this book done. I'm almost finished. Of course the closer to completion I get, the more irritated I get. It just seems to be an unfortunate bi-product of my creativity. It's just that this book won't get done fast enough. grrrr.....
  • Here's list of projects that are in various level of development.

    Currently working on:
    1. Isaac and Lee (inking and pencilling)
    2. Grotto of Poppies (story development)

    Back Burner:
    1. Space Trucking
    2. Sam Hawke
    3. Isaac's Run
    4. Halloween Anthology

    In the Ether:
    1. Captain Midnight
    2. An Adaptation of The Fairy Books
    3. An Adaptation of the Secrets of Dr. Taverner
    4. Melvin the Monster

    On Hiatus/Abandoned:
    1. The Guardian
  • I just got back from Victoria yesterday. I feel ready to get back to work now. In November, I'm seriously thinking about taking a weekend to do a writing retreat there. I think that I could seriously get some writing done if I was left to my own devices and no interruptions. I'll see how the year progresses and how likely a trip like that could be.
    Now that I'm back, I'm ready to settle back into working again. Today I'm reviewing story outlines and then I'm going to flesh out more of the story. If I'm lucky I may even get to write out a scene! But I don't want to get too optimistic there. :)
    At some point I also need to get some comics posted on the websites...but that can be done tomorrow or the day after.
  • My aunt and uncle live on/in Victoria. That has to be the most beautiful place I've visited anywhere in North America.
  • I love the place. I know that I probably couldn't live there...but I could likely retire there. I love old architecture, so the city really speaks to me.
  • Last night was such a waste of my time. Tonight I want to use my time much more effectively. I want to get some writing done and finish the comic strip that's sitting on my drawing board so that I can get on to the comic that is scheduled for this week (yes I'm a week behind).

    I've cleared my cork board so that I can start pinning up my story plots, but on some level, I feel as if all of this planning is keeping me from actually getting the writing done. However, I've already had to start this story over from scratch because I just wrote it out from stream of consciousness and I was told that there were far too many plot holes. I really need to find a balance with this. Although a bigger part of me is simply wanting to tell everyone to eff-off and I'll just write out the script from the outline I have so far and my editor can deal with the fall out.

    (I'm off to download some scriptwriting software onto my iPhone now)
  • I know how you feel in regard to planning-more-than-working.  i've caught myself doing that more and more lately.

    As for your story, with the plot holes... if you feel strongly about just *doing it* then I say go for it.  I was told by many that my initial concept for Bomb Queen didn't have any merit or was full of plot holes.  Doesn't matter when *you* the creator have a grasp of what it really is.  Sometimes the best approach to explain something is to do it & show it.
  • One of the main reasons I track (and publically announce) my pages written is because it's really, really easy for me to fall down the rabbit hole of planning more than working. Although my work is somewhat different than you guys'.
  • Thanks guys. I know my characters. I've been with them for a long time now. If you were to ask me a personal question about any of them I could give you an in depth answer. I know what kind of world my characters live in. I know what kind of story that I will be telling. It's time to just sit down and get it all out.
  • So this weekend I learned a lesson. Never go to brunch with two editors. I told my editor that I was going to be lunging ahead with the comic pulling from stream of consciousness and my index card gallery.
    His answer was, "Great! So where's the script so that I can read it over before you go ahead?"
    Our other friend, who has also edited my work in the past, then proceeded to agree. Then they presented sound arguments as to why I should be writing out my script completely before I move on. In addition, our friend added suggestions on how I can create a script that is going to be more "Beth-friendly" for the type of story that I'm going to be working on. (It also didn't hurt that he had read previous scripts of the story and knew how I wanted to tell it)
    As a result, this week, my goal is to get the first story hammered out into a proper script and then hand it over to the two of them so they can tear it apart. In order to make myself feel better about it all, there will likely be concept sketches. (which I'll post here)
  • I have been killing myself this week because I thought I was way behind on my not a webcomic comic. Then this morning while I was troubleshooting a problem with my scanner, I noticed a comic page that I'd forgotten in the flatbed part of the scanner (I usually use the sheet feed). It hadn't actually been scanned in yet. So now I'm waaaaaay ahead on this project. :)

    Too bad it isn't my main project.

    I'm only a few pages in to the script. It's really frustrating because I can tell the story over and over again, but taking the time to write it down. It's like pulling teeth.

    Meanwhile, because I don't have Isaac & Lee ready to go yet, I am thinking about doing up some sketches for Fan Expo and Calgary. We'll see how it goes.
  • Dear crap! I have over 700 subscribers to my website?! When did this happen? I suddenly feel.... pressure to perform!
  • Good. Especially since you can handle it. :)
  • The Internet is a strange and beautiful place.  Congrats on the subscribers.
  • Thanks guys! I know that this is because I have regular content going on to the site, but yesterday it just really hit home I guess. It's the same way when I meet fans. I've never gotten used to it and maybe that's one of the reasons why I still create. That feeling I get when someone comes up to my table looking for my newest book.
  • I am currently feeling aimless. I know that I have work to get done, but I feel like I have a million ways to jump and everything needs to get done all at the same time.
    I'm stressing out because I wanted to have a finished script to my editor last week. At this point I'm only a few pages in and I feel blocked. Which may mean that I just need to shift over to my other project that needs to get done. 
    I have a feeling that I am going to be bouncing back and forth between the two of them. Which is really nice because they are polar opposites of each other. One is an occult/horror mystery and the other is more of a goofy fantasised biography. The art work in the mystery is more of a traditional comic style while the biography is more of a cartoony style.

    Tonight I'll sit down and hold a production meeting with myself and figure out how and what I need to get done right now.
  • In light of the upcoming conventions and the possibility that I won't have a new book, I'm feeling inspired to do another teddy series. This time featuring various comic book heroes. I already have the first one pencilled:
  • "Spider-Ted, Spider-Ted, does whatever a spider did...."
  • @JasonAQuest Ha ha exactly!! I just finished pencilling a Bat-Ted and Robin the Bear Wonder picture.
  • So, here's the initial ink although I'm not really happy with the colouring and will be evening out the marker lines (one of the reasons why I never really liked markers much):

  • I have to admit, I am having a lot of fun with these Teddy Bear Super Heroes. I just sketched out Green Lantern, the Holy Trinity (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman), and Wolverine... You haven't lived until you've seen a Teddy Bear say,"I'm the best at what I do, but what I do ain't pretty." I'll be posting that everywhere once I'm done the colouring on that one. :)
  • I like those! Very cool.
    How's the writing coming?
  • @DinoCaruso Thanks! I figure that I can do a bunch up and then get them printed for the up-coming conventions.

    I'm writing a little each day. I'm using Evernote so that I can, for the most part, sync between my devices relatively seamlessly. I will say one thing, writing is a lot more portable than drawing. Of course my script looks like a scrapbook of a crazy person because I also have picture references attached for each comic page. But all that matters is that when my editor reads it I can get a pass to continue on to pencilling.
  • It really does seem that the teddy bears are the hook that works on your creative side.
    Might I also suggest using rulers for some of the straight lines in your buildings and such.
    You don't have to use a ruler on all the lines, perhaps on just the outer edges.
    This could give the buildings more consistency.
  • @Jimmie_Robinson it's more of a matter of "pick a vanishing point" really. I sometimes pencil the vague outlines of the buildings and roughly where I want them to go and then straighten them out while inking. But I only do that when I'm really stuck on how to get the buildings looking the way that I want them to. However, in this case, the more I look at the buildings, the more wrong they look.
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