sunnuntai 21. joulukuuta 2008

Merry X-mas 2008!

So here's my on-line X-mas card for the year 2008 as promised. I've had this idea in my head for some time... and since it's 20th anniversary of The Sandman, I thought "Aw, what the hell! Let's do it." Hope you like it.

It's called: "His Master's Laundry"


PS. I think I should also mention just for the record that The Sandman was created by Neil "Scary Trousers" Gaiman and Sam Kieth. And all the characters are trademarks of DC Comics and Warner Bros. Right.

torstai 18. joulukuuta 2008

I feel pretty. Oh, so pretty...

Yes, I checked the Coraline-site.


Countdown to X-mas...

This year I promised myself that I won't waste time doing a X-mas card illustration..., the problem was that I had this idea of a four panel (Sandman related) comic strip going around in my head for some time... and it kinda had this X-massy feelin' in it.

So I did it.

And I'm going to post it here on Monday 22nd.

In the mean while, here's my online-X-mas-card-thingie 2006.

I't called: "Mo(o)re* about the origin of Santa Claus"

*But seriously I love Alan and I really hope he'll be gentle upon me and doesn't turn me into anything cold and slimy if he happens to see this...

Now, if you don't understand any of this you might want to check out this video interview of Alan, but as far as the joke goes, I'm afraid it will be ruined for you... jokes don't work backwards ( "Oh, THAT'S the reason why it's funny... hardy-har-har")... IF it was funny in the first place.


keskiviikko 17. joulukuuta 2008

Miyazaki can solve any problem...

I once read from an interview of some Pixar-studio guys that whenever they have big problems in their animation projects, they gather to this auditorium and watch animations by Hayao Miyazaki... and they always find the answers they need.

I have quite similar thing myself. Whenever I'm stuck with an illustration, I sit down (usually on the living room floor) and read (or just leaf through) Miyazaki's amazing comic "Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind". Many times I find the answers I need... and sometimes it just makes me to forget the problem... but always it makes me feel happy.

If you don't believe me, try it.


I'm still doing other things too, you know...

Ok, there's awful lot of hype about the "Saucers" poster right now (and that is a very good thing indeed), but I'm still doing other things too... like "Odd" for example.

Now, while I'm stuggling to find time to color the remaining three pages of chapter 1, I'm also doing tests to find a illustrating style that would minimize the time needed for coloring (cause I'm still going to continue doing this online-Odd-thingie) and get me back on track with the story.

Here's one of those test-panels... now, as you can see, the style is bit more sketchy and the coloring is a lot more simple (basically just one shade of grey and white)... This might work. Any opinions?


sunnuntai 14. joulukuuta 2008

The truth is out there...

OK, it's a bit lame joke, but I just couldn't resist it when I got a message from Cat saying that "The Saucers" poster thingie got linked in Gillian Anderson's site. That's cool.

Awful lot of links for such a short text.


lauantai 13. joulukuuta 2008

Stroll down memory lane... Babycakes from 2002

When Neil mentioned in his blog that I have every now and again illustrated his stuff, I started thinking about the first time I did that. It was in early 2002. My wife had given birth to our first child the previous summer and I was learning how to be a father. Then I happened to read Neil's short story called "Babycakes"... and it hit me HARD. I had read it before and thought if was great story (in a really disturbing way)... but reading it as a father of a tiny baby, the creepiness took a whole different level... and I IMMEDIATELY decided that I wanted to do a comic of it... and I did.

That was also the first time I ended up in Neil's blog (April 10th and April 12th). Ah, those were the days. I also checked if the comic is still up... and guess what... it IS... thanks to Tara.

But in order to save you from some unnessessary clicking, I decided to show the comic HERE.

Hmm... Actually it's not that bad.


torstai 11. joulukuuta 2008

"The Mystery Project" revealed...


I mentioned WAY BACK I was doing this "thing", and now it's finally out.

The story was that I fell in love with Neil Gaiman's poem "The Day the Saucers Came" and I got the idea of having this one picture in the beginning, and then just "zooming out" of it so that there's more and more stuff visible. I did couple of pictures and sent them to Neil and he really liked them. Then I did the rest of the pictures and was really happy with myself... and then Neil asked me what are we going to DO with the illustrations... and I had no idea.

We went back and forth with various ideas (basically anything and everything between... let's say from set of postcards to T-shirt printing to illustrated picturebook)... and then Neil was busy with stuff... and then I was busy with some other stuff... and then we forgot the whole damn thing for a little while... and then we remembered it again.

Now, at some point we added Cat Mihos from NeverWear to the "brainstorm" and we came up with an idea of a poster. So, I did a backround image and put the illustrations on it... and that was it. Everybody was happy.

Here's a picture of the poster.

Go buy it from here. It's a nice poster... and a great poem.


torstai 27. marraskuuta 2008

Odd and the Frost Giants page 12 (chapter 1)

See? It didn't take as long as the previous one... I told you.

The end of the year is coming pretty fast. About six months ago I thought that this point I would be doing chapter 3... but life has that tendency to take a perfectly good plan and screw it up totally and completely. Ah, well... that's good ol' life alright!

Right now the bottle-neck in this project is the coloring-thingie. I actually have two inked pages (and one pencilled) just waiting for the coloring, but the problem is that I currently have considerably less "computer-time" to do these fun projects. I'll try to figure out something... but in the mean while... if there's a colorist aching for a project with ABSOLUTELY NO money and VERY LITTLE publicity involved, email me, OK?


maanantai 17. marraskuuta 2008


Here's a picture I sent to Neil as a birthday card. Cute, eh?


tiistai 21. lokakuuta 2008

Odd and the Frost Giants page 11 (chapter 1)

Yup. It sure took it's time... but I promise the next page won't take so long.


tiistai 14. lokakuuta 2008

The Graveyard Book

So, I've read (and listened at Neil's new book... and I loved it.

Once again Neil tells us stories filled with ghosts and ghouls and monsters. And once again those creatures are described with such accuracy and clarity that they seem more real, more HUMAN, than most of the empty-faced strangers that you'll see walking down the streets in the REAL world.

And once again the most powerfull parts of the stories are not the scary bits (and there are those too), but the more silent and gentle parts where you can almost taste the joy, or sadness, or longing, of the characters... and you can most certainly feel it.


keskiviikko 8. lokakuuta 2008

Blinking at the sunlight...

It's been awhile (and certainly longer than I anticipated).

Right. The past six months have been pretty rough. Nothing dramatic though. More like a slow avalanche of work- and family-related stuff that really needed my attention. But at some point during that time I realized I was wearing myself out, and decided to put all the "extra-stuff" on hold for awhile. Now, few months later, I'm still not ready to go full-speed ahead with Odd, but the "itch" is slowly getting unbearable and I've even done some drawin' during the past couple of days.

So. I'm still not out from the woods (and neither is Odd), not really, but I'm getting there (and so will he). There's just too much cool stuff already sketched or visualized in my head to quit at this point.

Be seeing you.


keskiviikko 4. kesäkuuta 2008

Odd page 11 inks

YES, I'm still doing things you know...


tiistai 3. kesäkuuta 2008

Be patient...

(taking a slightly apologetic face)

Just wanted to drop by and tell you that I'm still kinda trying to catch my breath after last weeks disasters (computer breaking and both of my kids getting the chicken pox)...



keskiviikko 21. toukokuuta 2008

No updates this week I'm afraid...

Two days back my office G5 rolled over and died (with a sharp SNAP!-sound and the smell of burning electronics stuff). Fortunately the hard disk was not damaged (so nothing was lost), but it meant that A) I'm currently working on a Macbook and I don't have access to the Odd files and B) instead of actually doing anything I'm paid to do, I've used many hours with mobile on one hand and a screwdriver on other, talking to a repairman and pulling things out of the deceased G5... which means I have shit-loads of things to do before I can even THINK about continuing Odd.

So, no updates this week. Sorry.

torstai 15. toukokuuta 2008

Odd and the Frost Giants page 10 (chapter 1)

Here's page 10. I can feel the end of Chapter 1 (slowly) approaching... and it's a good feeling.


torstai 8. toukokuuta 2008

Odd and the Frost Giants page 9 (chapter 1)

And here's page 9. If it looks familiar, it's because I posted this page earlier without the text here. I fact this was the first inked page I did for this project... kind of a test page.


Odd and the Frost Giants page 8 (chapter 1)

Right. So... back to work.


keskiviikko 30. huhtikuuta 2008

Odd and the Frost Giants page 7 (chapter 1)

Finally had the time to finish this page. Woo-hoo!


perjantai 25. huhtikuuta 2008

Let's try again: Odd page 7 inks...

There. Finally Blogger managed to do it.


Good news, bad news...


The bad news is that I've had ridiculously busy week at work, so I haven't been able to finish the next page.

The good news however is that I've finished inks on page 7 and 8 and page 9 is almost finished (both inks and colors... I did it actually before page one as a test, and it only needs small modifications)

I would post the inks on page 7 here, but for some reason the Blogger is unable to upload the picture. I'll try again bit later.


PS. Went to local movie theater to see Porco Rosso, and liked it enormously.

sunnuntai 20. huhtikuuta 2008

Page 6: baby steps

Ok. As promised, here's some stuff about how I do the pages... First of all I naturally cut the story into page-size chunks (before I did a single page I had divided the whole chapter one, and I think I will continue doing this one chapter at a time). At the same time I do small "matchbox-sketches" of the pages to get some rough idea about the size of panels and overall composition of a spread (yes, even though I post these one page at a time, I'm designing them as spreads)

Then I start pencilling single pages. First I do the panel outlines and then place the textboxes (or speech bubbles) at this point I write the text by hand to get an idea about the size of the box. Then I do pencils. After that, in order to save time, I do inks on top of the pencils. (normally I would scan the pencils and change the lines to light blue... well, light cyan to be more exact... print the colored pencils on a heavy stock paper and ink on that... that way if I make a mistake with ink I can just print another copy and start over without screwing up the pencils)... sorry about the crappy photos. I took them with my phone.

After finishing the inks I scan the page, clean up the pencils and add contrast (all this in photoshop). Then I open the page in Illustrator and "trace" it to vector-format. I paste the vectorized page into Indesign where I type the texts and copy/paste the texts and the vectors back into Photoshop where I then do the colors... err greys.

Right. Someone might think that it sounds awfully complicated and why am I vectorizing the page... Well, in short, look the results below. The first panel is just scanned lineart (without any modifications), the second panel is cleaned up lineart and the last is vectorized lineart. As you can see vectorizing cleans up the ragged ink lines and makes the picture smoother... and I like that.

There. That's the way I do it.


perjantai 18. huhtikuuta 2008

Odd and the Frost Giants page 6 (chapter 1)

Right. I promised to Dan that I would say few words (and show some pictures) about the technique and the different steps from a sketch to a finished page... but when I managed to finish this page, I just wanted to post this as soon as possible. I'll show the steps in my next post. Promise.


tiistai 15. huhtikuuta 2008

Odd and the Frost Giants page 5 (chapter 1)

...and I'm currently finishing the pencils for page 6.


keskiviikko 9. huhtikuuta 2008

Odd fonts

I was asked about the lettering of Odd, and I think it's right and proper to tell this publicly....

From the beginning I wanted to have editable text so I can correct typos etc. more easily AND since I don't have Fontographer to create a font of my own (and my hand writing sucks pretty much anyhow) I took the easy way out and downloaded few free fonts from the net.

If you like fonts (like I do) you should REALLY visit...




Odd and the Frost Giants page 4 (chapter 1)

...and I'm inking page 5 as we speak.


keskiviikko 2. huhtikuuta 2008

Odd and the Frost Giants pages 2-3 (chapter 1)

There. First two pages.


tiistai 1. huhtikuuta 2008

Odd and the Frost Giants


So, ladies and gentlemen, this will be my new mystery project.

When I heard Neil Gaiman was writing another story obout Norse gods I got immediately interested... I've liked very much the way Neil has handled old gods like Odin and Thor and Loki in his past stories... and when I read the beginning of chapter three of Odd from Neil's journal, I knew I wanted to illustrate the story.

After reading the whole thing I started doing sketches and realized I was actually planning a COMIC and not just individual illustrations. The last time I had done anything in comics format was around 2002 (Neil's Babycakes), so I thought it was about time to try and sharpen my very rusty comics skills. I emailed few of the sketches to Neil and asked his permission to try this... and he said yes.

This Odd and the Frost Giants is my ADAPTATION of Neil's story. I try to change the text as little as possible, but since we're talking about two different mediums here, some things have to be changed. This is also MY adaptation of Neil's story and even though I'm trying to be true to the original story, it will be also my view of the story... and I'm sure there will be people who think that I'm getting something wrong or doing something wrong, but I also hope that there will be people who like what I'm doing'...

So. This is where it starts. I will post spreads/pages here as soon as I finish them. Unfortunately I'm doing this on my (very limited) "free time" and therefore I cannot guarrantee when I'll post the next page, but I try to post something new at least once a week (if not finished pages, then sketches or inks or thumbnails or something) furthermore I cannot even guarrantee that I'm able to do the whole story. I've estimated that Odd would take roughly 100 pages as a comic and thats quite a few pictures and quite a few hours. But one thing I can guarrantee: whether it's 10 or 50 or 150 pages I manage to do, I'll do them as well as I possibly can... and I'm going to enjoy every second of doing them.

Oh, by the way, I'll post pages 2 and 3 tomorrow. Hope to see you again then... and feel free to comment.


keskiviikko 19. maaliskuuta 2008

Odd things coming...

This is something from my new "mystery project "...

Let's see how this turns out.



tiistai 4. maaliskuuta 2008

More quick doodles...

Just amusing myself. This one's called "Floating Around"


torstai 28. helmikuuta 2008

Just staff...

Continued doing pencil-sketch thingies.

Couple days back I got my copy of Neil Gaiman's "Odd and the Frost Giants" and there's this staff mentioned in the story (and no, this is not a spoiler or anything) and I wanted to draw it. So...


maanantai 25. helmikuuta 2008

Bet ya thought I wasn't coming back, eh?

Life seems to be too busy for blogging right at the moment, but hopefully things will ease up in the (near) future.

Meanwhile, here's a pencil-drawing-thingie I did couple days back. It's my younger son Julius.