Monthly Archives: October 2010

New Books!

I recently received some copies of my latest comics, the second issue of My Sister, the Freak and my Halloween comic Frosty the Gourdman. I have them printed through the company called Ka-Blam. They look super!

Take a look:





If you are interested in getting your own copies, you can order them through IndyPlanet.com.

I’m also sell them in my own store as “deluxe” editions. They come signed with an original pencil sketch. There is a limited number available, so grab ’em while you can.

Some examples of the pencil sketches I package with the deluxe edition Frosty books:

Make Stuff (or What I’ve Learned By Creating Comics)

I was chatting with some fellow artists while painting on my Ustream show, and some interesting points came up. There was a lot of talk about self-publishing and strategies for independent creators. It’s got me thinking about my current work habits and what I’ve accomplished over the past year.

At the end of last 2009, I decided to make a comic. It’s not something I’ve done before and it’s still an industry that is very new to me. There are certain attitudes and strategies that are very different from my home in children’s illustration, and I have benefited greatly.

The most important lesson I’ve learned by creating comics:

Make stuff.

Comics are driven by independent creators. Artists in this field are constantly writing and drawing their own stories, printing them, taking them to conventions, and distributing them on the web. They don’t wait for publishers to acknowledge them or an agent to pick them up. They go out and create and make an audience for themselves. They make stuff in spite of day jobs and lack of money and hectic schedules. There’s a passion for creation that comics creators have that I don’t see very often in other circles.

I’ve never had such a rush of creativity and productivity than what I’ve had over the past year. I launched an ongoing webcomic (My Sister, the Freak) and made a short story (Frosty the Gourdman). I’ve come up with new picture book ideas and brushed off the old dummies that were collecting dust in my files. Making comics gave me the itch to make more stuff, and for that I have progressed farther than any other period in my career thus far.

My experience in the picture book industry was always an attitude of struggle. There’s constant talk of how to find an agent, what to put in a query letter, how to find the right publisher, wondering if the economy and technology is going to kill the industry altogether, etc. etc. I think children’s artists can take a page out of the comic artist’s book and concentrate more on the content.

No marketing trick is going to help you if you have nothing to show people. No publisher will pick you up if you don’t have a quality product. No amount of social networking saavy is worth anything unless you’re a creator that people want to network with. And the industry isn’t going to get any better if no one is making art and stories that the public can connect to and be willing to shell out hard-earned money for.

I’m definitely going to continue with the momentum I’ve got going, make more comics, and take what I’ve learned into my picture book goals as well. And for all you creators out there, I want to see more quality stuff being made. For that, you only need two rules:

1. Make stuff.

2. Show it to people.

The end.

Continue reading

Random Comic Art and Commissions

Here is a mish-mash of some recent sketches and paintings that I’ve been making for fun for various projects.

These are some original watercolor paintings featuring characters from my comic Frosty the Gourdman:

Frostywc Frostyandlilywc

And also some smaller sketch cards, painted with gouache:

Frostyintherain Happyfrosty Halloweenlily

Some of this original artwork is available for sale here: http://store.danidraws.com/frosty-the-gourdman

I’ve also made some paintings featuring characters from my other comic, My Sister, the Freak.

The following paintings were made as donations for the UP! Fair. If you haven’t heard about the fair, it is a new convention/conference for independent comics creators and fans. It is taking place next month in Lexington, Kentucky. If you are anywhere near the vicinity, go check it out! Admission is free.

I packaged each painting with signed copies of issue 1. They will be auctioned off in support of the fair.

Upaliens Upseavers Upart

I also just finished a commissioned piece featuring MStF characters in Hawaii. Very fun! It was very Lilo-&-Stitch-ish.

Mstfhawaii

And finally, these are a few sketch card commissions I made. They have nothing to do with my comics, but I’m a fan of the characters.

Scifiladies

The cards are Chiana and Aeryn Sun from Farscape and Janet Fraiser from Stargate SG-1.

If you’re interested in getting a commission, go here for info and pricing: http://store.danidraws.com/commissions

FROSTY THE GOURDMAN Debuts!

Frosty the Gourdman, my newest comic project that I announced a few weeks ago, is now available to read online!

Frosty is a spooky tale about a monster who comes alive in the pumpkin patch on Halloween night. It was co-created by me and my sister Nicole.

Read it here: http://www.frostythegourdman.com/read/

If you enjoy the comic, please help us spread the word by sharing it with your friends or buying books and art. We appreciate your support!

Happy Reading!