Archive for November, 2007

Writing/Designing Frenzy this weekend

So here’s what’s going on.

I’ve been consulting for Virgin Comics for a while now — basically, I get paid to do what I already do for free on Gutterzombie, but a little more extensively — and when we first discussed this consultancy, two of the main perks were (1) a book about coloring and (2) a workshop in Bangalore, India, where their coloring department is. I jumped at it because I wanted to go to India, and the consulting part sounded easy.

Fast forward to…uh, roughly August-ish. Boss told me he wanted me to create an outline for a series of 22-page tutorial booklets, which would be paired with DVDs, featuring me, yapping about coloring and creating homework assignments and whatnot. So, I drafted up the outline, sent it off, waited for a few weeks for approval, and forgot about it.

Fast forward again to right around November 6. Bossman says, “You’re coming to NYC on December 5 to present a mini-workshop for us here, kind of a sneak peek at the big workshop in India. We’ll be recording you for the DVDs. Oh, and we want to see copies of these 22-page tutorial books before you get here, so we can proof them.”

Oh goody.

So, for the last two weeks (I was uberbusy from the 6th to the 16th), I’ve been scrambling to learn enough about color management to not sound like a twat; find all the bits and pieces of old tutorials and outlines that I’d done over the years; learn InDesign (which is pretty intuitive) and dredge up memories of graphic design from ten years ago when I last did a layout; read Virgin’s entire catalogue and find images that can be shoehorned into concepts like hue-value-saturation and mood-depth-focus; and write and design four books. Luckily, the editors know that the books will be ROUGH DRAFTS (and boy, will they be rough).

It’s pretty insane. And it’s a little weird writing a four-issue miniseries about coloring, and I can’t use any of my own work, because I’ve only colored six covers for Virgin. So I’m having to basically fake my way through it, guessing what the colorists’ intentions were. It’s very strange.

The first drafts are due on Monday and I haven’t completed a single booklet. Hell, I haven’t even finished bullshitting writing the copy for the fourth segment.

Oh, and Thor’s due next week too.

My hope is that the rough drafts will be generally approved, but I will be given the time to finish them, polish them up, make the design work, and edit everything so I don’t sound like I’m plagiarizing Chiarello’s book. I’m nervous about being in front of a small crowd of Virgin bigwigs for four hours straight (and being recorded! Maybe I’ll suck and they won’t use any of that footage.) I am flat out of time on the books, have no time to practice my speaking or prepare files for a live tutorial. In short, I’m screwed.

So, that’s it in a nutshell. That’s been my life, my acid reflux, my caffeine addiction for the last month.

Wish me luck.

I wish I was in Thailand.

– Laura

Happy Birthday James!

Although, I am not sure he has ever been to this site.



We’re leaving tonight (Friday the 30th) for a few days of R&R and sightseeing. Wish we could hit more places, but this time around, it will just be Bangkok and its surrounding area. Actually hooking up with my mother who has already been there for the last couple of weeks traveling with friends we’ve known since I was young; they’re Thai, so she’s getting a nice, local tour. We’re doing a normal tour, but most of our schedule is free. Just the first day will have “tour activities”. Will post pics upon return.

Hiragana Artwork


Clean and approachable (ie. commercial) uses of this genre of design really knocks my socks off. Each of the images spells out “Funazen” (the name of the shop).

Batter Blaster

The last time I was in the states, I saw a commercial for pancake mix where you just poor milk into a plastic container, like the large Tropicana Orange Juice containers, evidently filled with batter and shake it for a few minutes. Then pour and eat. I thought, “God, can people get any more lazy?!” Well, evidently they can….Introducing, Batter Blaster!

You thought spray cheese was scary? The website says it’s “Amazing!”. I think what’s amazing is that they’re claiming it’s “organic.” Hmmm…something tells me their full of shit. But hey, the demo says it all…Mm-mmm-good! Watch and be amazed!

Proof of Life
Proof of Life

It was a looong time in the making, but yes, it does exist. Finally got a couple of copies of League: Dark Dossier. Turned out pretty good. I would send you guys free copies, but I had to ask for these. Oh, I did get 10 comps, but DC sent them to my mother’s home. I have no idea now how my near 70-year-old mother is going to get a large-ish box of these to me; which makes no sense since they sent Absolute Volume 2 directly here. Thanks DC!

Well, if you are nice enough to pick up a copy, let me know what you think. Between page 1 to the last page (of colored stuff) is about one year or more difference. I can see stuff I’d like to redo in the earlier pages. I hear there’s going to be an Absolute version, too, which is nice because Kevin really did put a crap load of detail in these pages, especially the double-page spreads. Oh, and the 3D? Yeah, it actually works pretty well. Kudos to Ray Zone.

There’s an interesting interview with Alan Moore about the drama surrounding the making of this book. I want to link it to you, but he pretty much gives away the entire story while he talks. I’ll send you the link when you guys have read the book.

Are you smarter than a Raiders fan?

This is mainly for James. It won’t sting too much since the Raiders beat the Chiefs this past weekend.


You can bypass the “Name,” “Email” and “Website” fields and go straight to the comment box. Should speed things up a bit.

Helloooo choad!

Welcome everyone! Here is where we can freely talk about all the stuff we usually fill up our mailboxes with, from the cool and creative, to the mundane and asinine. A big round of applause goes to Kiko for hosting the blog. Thank you Kiko. Everyone can write posts and comments, but Kiko and I will be administrating it. If you have any problems, just let us know.

Some things about the site:

  • It can only be seen by registered users of this blog. You’ve been given your User Name and PW obviously because you are reading this. This also means we are the only ones who can comment. This should prevent outsiders from interfering. Knock on wood.
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  • I have created some initial categories for things we usually talk about, but if you find these don’t suit what you’re writing about, let me know and I’ll add it.

If you’re unfamiliar with writing blog posts, email me (or Kiko, but he’s busier than me) and I’ll show you around. Basically, just type away. You may want to format some of your text. You’ll find that on the top of the visual editor; it’s just like using a word processor. If you know some code, choose “code” to get you into a purely HTML writing mode. Otherwise, just choose a Category for your post and Publish. You can edit your own entries later if you wish.

Anyway, I think it’s about time we had a place to discuss, joke, post works and critique, etc. Enjoy!