Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Time FLIES...


....when you're having fun! I can't believe it's September already. Progress on Starfish is steady...It's almost like time is much slower around my drafting table while the universe around me speeds ahead. I'm on the last leg of production on the graphic novel... 15 pages to draw and about 60 pages to color... My hope is that I can finish by December... but as John Lennon once sang, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

I'm excited, though, the book is really shaping up to be everything I wanted to be. Hopefully, once I'm finished working on the actual book... I can give more attention to promotion, update this blog and work on ways of getting the word out once the book goes to print. So, I WILL be back. until then I leave you with another cover concept of Starfish in full battle gear.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Azures

Whoah! ...have not posted in a while. I've just been so busy working on the actual book. The story and art are coming around nicely...I am absolutely thrilled with the results so far--3/5ths of the way done!!!


I wanted to go into a little more detail about some of the characters I've been postring on the Facebook page.


Recognizing I needed more characters to relate to the widest audience and because the story demanded more possibilities for future storylines, I created the Azures. The Azures are kids with special powers and abilities being studied by the government. Towards the end of the first graphic novel, Starfish uncovers a secret government plan to harvest the next phase of human evolution, known as Project: Azure. The program studies kids who are born with paranormal abilties like pyrokinesis and telepathy. These "orphans" have become wards of the State and are kept in a special facility where their powers can be controlled and monitored.


Of course the idea is similar to Marvel's X-Men and Heroes on NBC. But, I was mostly inspired by true events surrounding the New Age discovery of Indigo Children. In Starfish I've termed them Azures because of the connection they have with the Aeon, the energy that powers Starfish's jet pack, which is a bright shade of blue.


The first book only introduces these characters of which there are about 30 or so. I'm hoping, if things go well, I can write a 2nd book that will use the Azures as its central plot. Below are posted the character shots of the first six Azures appearing in the first graphic novel, STARFISH: Fight the Dark!












Monday, May 3, 2010

Ahhhh progress!

After wrestling with certain story points for a little while with a mild case of writer's block, I've finally nailed it down and begun to script out the rest of the graphic novel.

Some cool things to come, including a brand-spanking new uniform for our hero to wear which will soon debut on this blog.

Suffice it to say, I'm a third of the way through with the art with about 80 odd pages to go.... yikes!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spin Cycle!

Mike Perridge over at http://mpd57.wordpress.com decided to put me through THE SPIN CYCLE! He's a Zuda watcher since the early days and a commentator on all things COOL! Checkout the mini-interview!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

STARFISH: FIGHT THE DARK graphic novel 5-page preview

The following are the first 5 pages as they will be published by Arcana Studios. The first two pages are brand new and will serve as sort of an epilogue/prelude to the book... the last three pages were seen before as they were previosly meant for the first issue of the comic series.

These were turned in and will be published on Arcana's web site soon... will report when it happens!





Friday, January 8, 2010

The Plot thickens...

Finally, decided on the plot the graphic novel will take. It's very strange trying to turn a whole bunch of ideas you had for individual storylines into one large plot for a complete story. I mean, I have all these scenes and characters and moments I wanted to see, but didn't really know how they were all going to come together and more importantly, in what order they would be introduced to the reader. I think that's the biggest challenge a writer has that I was alluding to in my last post. As a creator you have all these jumbled ideas in your head...threads to a story, but not exactly the complete quilt. How to weave it all together--to beat the metaphor to death--is probably the toughest thing for me to do.

Of course, I'm not going to give away the story completely here... I gotta save something for the book, after all. I will say that every character I wanted to introduce will be introduced and you'll see Starfish doing some pretty heroic things.

Next step is starting to hammer out the script as I draw the pretty pictures. It's full steam ahead and now that I have the direction I want to go in, it'll be easier to flesh out all the specifics.

Next post will be a little about the process I use.

Until then, it's back to the drawing board.
-M

Sunday, December 27, 2009

First thing's first...

For anyone coming in late to the party, I'm starting on a STARFISH graphic novel to be published by Arcana Studios. This blog will chronicle my progress for posterity's sake.

So far one of the decisions I've had to make is how to reformat the story which was intended to be a comic series in the traditional "floppy" format. I had outlines for individual stand-alone chapters which would have been serialized. The first story arc was going to be told in five issues. But now that I'm doing the story in graphic novel form, I've had to retool the story a little bit. This has given me freedom to re-imagine the first storyline as more of a movie rather than episodes of a TV series. The hardest part for me in writing a story has always been how and WHEN to reveal various story elements to engage a reader more effectively. How do you present the story in a way that will hold a reader's interest. So you play around with the chronological order of events, foreshadowing, and changes in narrative.

Some of the pages already posted in this blog will be included in the graphic novel when it sees print but may be changed somewhat to better affect the difference in format change. I've decided to start the book off with a bang and get involved in the story right away in the middle of that action. I want to go against the traditional origin story. The main thrust of the book will be Starfish, the heroine herself, discovering her own origin as the reader does. This will incorporate a little bit of a mystery into the story where it really had none before. I also have figured out a nice little twist ending that'll serve as a little bit of a shocker in the end.

Arcana wants me to put together a pitch package that will consist of the first five pages, a synopsis, and the cover image so they can post on their site. So that's what I'll be working on in the coming week.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Great things are in store for Starfish in 2010 as production begins on her very first Graphic Novel to be published by Arcana Comics. I hope to post here with production updates as the work progresses! Truly exciting!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

STARFISH BEGINS!


Well it's been a long time coming, but the first issue of Starfish is complete. Now a little journey begins as I try to find a publisher for my little slice of the universe. You all won't have to wait until then to read this first chapter, a little gift for all my friends and family. I will be posting about 4 pages at a time on a weekly basis starting this Wednesday, October 28th, 2009. This is a special anniversary for me as I would like to use it to dedicate this comic to Poleth Viridiana Salinas -

"Don't wake me cause I'm dreaming,
Of angels on the moon,
Where everyone you know,
Never leaves too soon,"

Until then, here's the cover again to tide you over...
thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy... and stay tuned to my progress!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bad Starfish

Every hero needs a an evil doppelganger. "Lily" is created by the Triumvirate to psychologically attack Starfish.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Instruments of Destruction


Above is a sketch of two more Starfish baddies... They are brothers Warrhead (right) and Bomblast (left) and founding members of an organization called The Instruments of Destruction or IOD, terrorists for hire. They eventually become a recurring bane to Starfish's existence.

Starfish: A Modern Myth

I've always been intrigued by the idea that superhero stories are the myths of the modern era. We like stories. Furthermore, we like stories that reflect a struggle. I doubt any of the ancient Greeks fought the many-headed Hydra creeping around in their backyards, but I feel they could relate with Heracles' battle as he chopped one head only to see another one grow back in its place. This concept is not new, we see it everyday trying to handle our own problems as we solve them and more appear just as we think we're done. This is the power of myth and almost all storytelling, we are entertained by seeing ourselves in our heroes.

This is what I'm attempting to do with Starfish, tell a modern myth. It's not a completely original idea, but I'm hoping it will be an interesting take. My hope is to have a layered story and try to explain what the modern concept of evil is through images and metaphors that fit our times. How would a young person, given immense power, deal with the world around us. When evil takes the form of cancer or terror, natural disaster, or even fear, how do we fight. This is Novie's challenge as she grows to realize saving the world isn't as easy as punching holes through jet airplanes.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bring 'em on!


Presenting The Triumvirate of Evil....

from left to right:

Zeitgeist: A fiery entity able to influence the darkest corners of the human psyche on a mass scale.

Metastasis: A bogeyman-like demon controlling disease and decay.

Cataclyst: A demi-god able to create and manipulate natural disasters.
These three make up the crux of Starfish's adversity throughout the series. Their power originates from a cancerous dark energy ripping its way across the cosmos. Their goal is to unravel all of creation and snuff out the light of the universe. It's Starfish's mission to put a stop to their plan and find the connection to the power that fuels her jet pack.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

#2 @ ZUDA!!!

Thanks to everyone voting! I'm really amazed at how much progress has been made in just a few days! I'm thrilled to no end.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

And the name that said on him was ZUDA!!!!

Starfish is live on Zuda comics!!! http://zudacomics.com. Vote early, vote...uhhh... once. Last July they announced this whole Zuda thing.... about June, the month just before, I was a little fed up by submitting to normal print comics and never actually seeing anything materialize. I decided to self-publish Starfish on the web. I was starting to gather information on what dimensions I should reformat my pages so that they would appear better on a computer screen when the launch of Zuda was announced and the now famous 4:3 aspect ratio was put into place... it was really strange how all of that worked out. Anyway, some retooling and I finally got to submit just before New Year's... pretty soon after, I was accepted and informed I would be competing in February's contest. Here it is...now it's official. Starfish, she be published!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Why Starfish? Part II

Even though I had abandoned submitting a proposal to the Epic line over at Marvel using the Rogue character. The idea of a youthful and rebellious female activist superhero stuck with me. I've coached Individual Events Speech at the local high school for almost 15 years now where about 75-80% of the team are always girls. In competition, I get to see a side of girls not reflected in most of popular media. In comics especially, heroic women are almost always portrayed as cutesy power puffs, voluptuous sex-starved vixens, or at the very least, some derivative of a male superhero. I've hardly ever seen a heroic girl take the "hero's journey" with a sense of strong ambition to do what's right or even a sense of responsibility to the world around her. I began to take the best attributes I found in coaching these young women, their ambition, their work ethic, their desire to win, and build a character around them. I used the name of a girl who I had nicknamed Starfish for a reason I can't even remember now. Starfish had recommended a song to me at the time, Jet Pack by Eve 6, and like most music, it inspired a story.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Concept Art

Below, in the previous post, is a fancy slideshow with music depicting some artwork already produced over the last couple of years developing Starfish. Some of it was aimed to be published as a printed comic book, other stuff is just doodling. Some images may be reworked for the webcomic. You'll see glimpses of the supporting cast and maybe a villain or two, enjoy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Why Starfish? Part 1

I'm going to use a series of these posts to talk about how the character of Starfish came about, probably more for my own posterity, but it may be interesting trivia for those who want to know how ideas are often formed. It all pretty much started when I wanted to make a pitch to Marvel's now defunct Epic line for a Rogue solo series a few years back. I was getting a little frustrated at how her portrayal was shaping up ever since she and Gambit became an item over in X-Men. She went from being this southern rebel baddie fighting on a good guy team to this simpering lovestruck belle always bemoaning to touch her beau. I wanted to get her back to her namesake. WHY is she called Rogue? I constructed a story where she rescues a terminally ill child from a hospital fire. The girl turns out to be a mutant too, a once powerful mutant with Carol Danvers-like powers. The girl's last act is to touch Rogue before she dies, in a hope she will in some way live on. Because Rogue totally absorbs her powers and personality, it restores her flight, superstrength, etc... It also restores her sense of youth and she goes on a spree to right the wrongs she sees in the world around her. This is, after all, how a child sees the world, black and white, good and bad. It's why we like the idea of superheroes in the first place. The conflict comes in that it's not a black and white world. If there was someone flying around, and you know, stopping wars and such, you'd have a problem with The Powers That Be, those interested in keeping the status quo. A superhero would be besieged by governments, they might even be labelled a terrorist.
Alas, the pitch never came to be. But the idea of a rebellious teenager flying around upsetting "the way things are" kept buzzing around my head like the sound of a jet engine.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Starfish Rising

Welcome to the Starfish Lighthouse. In this blog I plan to document Starfish's journey from the initial sketch on lined notebook paper to what I hope will one day reach iconic status in the eyes and minds of people everywhere. It's been a lifelong pursuit of mine to tell a story complete of my own imagination. I've been doing it since I could first make marks on any flat surface. When I was five, my mama gave me a portable chalkboard. I would draw Superman (in stick-figure fashion) looking through a wall with his x-ray vision as a distressed Lois Lane sat tied up in a chair at the hands of the evil Lex Luthor, the just released Superman Movie's Main Title March pumping through my vocal chords rather amateurishly. When I finished rendering the scene, I'd erase it and start drawing Superman busting though the wall. At the time I wasn't aware I was constructing my first comic book panels. As I get ready to start this adventure with Starfish, I find myself humming along with those opening trumpets.