We just hit 15000 visitors.
This is the time to say some final words for this year.
Thanks for the readers who discovered us in 2005. And to those who remained from the previous years. and for those who are yet to come, thanks in advance.
I'm six pages into the zombie story, Ba is in full swing doing Casanova. Since it's the first time we try anything in a monthly schedule, we're yet to find out how it will affect the final look of the pages. So far, it looks great and it's only getting better. Not without it's bumps on the road, but that's pretty much every story. Creating is a complicated thing.
We never made so much comics as we did in 2005. And so far, 2006 looks like a pretty busy one.
One can hope, at least.
Thanks for watching and see you all next year.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Posted by Fábio Moon at 5:56 PM
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Run down for the next two weeks.
We have been working crazy around here. On an feature animation project. All to be delivered by the end of the week. It's a lot of work.
And then there's Christmas.
And in between Christmas and New Year's, there's that zombie story I was warming up to do. The script was a little late, but it came, and I"m having fun doing the thumbnails. The actual pages should be equally interesting.
And then it's 2006.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 2:51 PM
Monday, December 12, 2005
Kind of sad looking.
More new characters. That's the only thing we seem to be doing these days. At least, that's how I feel. And the hardest part of it is to make sure all these characters - regular people, all of them - don't look generic. They're not the crowd, they're it. Once you see them surrounded by other people, they're the interesting ones, the ones you're suppose to look at, the ones who actually have something to say, even if it's something uninteresting and boring.
Because boring people say boring stuff.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 4:47 PM
Thursday, December 08, 2005
No sitting around.
We have been really busy. Which is good, if you ask me. I rather have one hour of free time every day than just one hour of work done. I can really enjoy my free time if it's a rarity. And I really love my job.
So we have to finish some pages for next week. Ba has, not me. But we're a team around here, so I'm using the plural to keep him happy. To keep us happy.
Also, a cover needs doing.
Out of thin air as of right now.
I'll try to help as much as I can, but it's his show and I'm only enjoying the show from a safe, yet near, distance.
We're planning on drawing some 80 pages before the end of January, between him and myself, and some of it in color!
Right now, we're just happy that ROCK'n"ROLL is out and about in this world, meeting new friends. It's like we had a big baby to go with our smaller brazilian baby, and now we have twins. One is a bit bigger, but they're both beautiful.
It's a nice way to finish the year, and a great way to start on the next one. About the latter, it's going to be a killer.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 8:02 PM
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
It's time to face the music.
Let's Rock and Roll.
This is the proof that we can make our dreams come true. We wanted to make comic books, and here's one. We made it on our own and, just by looking at it, the publisher decided to publish it.
Maybe if you look at it too, you'll decide you must have it.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 7:58 PM
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
From sad to happy in one day.
I guess this one looks kind of sad, but sometimes you're not always feeling your best, are you? Yesterday was a sad day, for me, so I liked this one for that.
I saw the Image version of ROCK'n'ROLL today. Had to approve the printing for the final binding thing to happen.
It looked beautiful.
It arrived early this morning from Canada, so it was just a great way to begin my day. I actually woke my brother up and showed him the comic book. If he was having any second thoughts about getting up early, they were instantly gone at that time.
Now I have to go back to my sketch book, and Ba has to get back to Casanova.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 5:45 PM
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I really like to create the background for my stories. It's fun to build the world, imagine the houses, the streets, the cars and everything else I might want to ad to it. I don't need to draw every little detail of it on every single panel, but I know it's there and I can choose what to show and what to hide.
As much as I can, I like to plan ahead, and do all this creating before I actually have to start on the pages.
Some panels are all about the detail. All about the background. Others might be about one gesture, and no background is needed. Balancing this is what creates a good page, and a good story.
I want to create words when I tell stories. I want the background to be as much a character as the people living in this world. Every place has a history and the way we portray this world let the reader know where they're going.
A want to create characters people will like to meet in real life, and so I want to create places people will like to go and visit.
And then be back again.
Today I received word that ROCK'n'ROLL will be in stores on December 7th. Our wait is almost over and soon we'll see what the impact, if any, our little comic book will have. But that's now the talk for next week. This week, it's all about reading.
I have three scripts on my hand. One that I want to draw but I'm not sure if I can, and another that I know I'll draw and I'm excited about it. And then there's the third one, which I don't want to draw, but I'll wait until I finish it to decide (even if, in my mind, once you think you won't do it, you won't no matter what).
And I'm expecting another script this week for some work for hire experience.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 1:33 PM
Monday, November 28, 2005
Show your SFist.
Mimi, our beloved Ursula and Smoke and Guns editor, looking good.
The SFist finds out Smoke and Guns was written by a local, which means there's another batch of nice words on the net about the book, and about the art as well, even if I don't live, or never visited, San Francisco.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 7:26 PM
Out of character.
So, this is pretty much what it looks like when I'm creating a character. I make a bunch of drawings of him, and none look alike. This is the plague from the days when I did not know how to draw, this "unevenness" in my sketches. The problem of course is the fact I like it this way. It has this "drawn from life" quality, where you're always a hostage of your own state of mind and your emotions, hence never really knowing what will come out of your hands.
Left hand, to be exact.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 11:57 AM
Friday, November 25, 2005
happy little fellow.
Here I am, stretching my artistic skills for the lovely undead. I have a friend who love zombies, and I immediately thought of him when I did this.
. . .
Ba is working on Casanova today. It looks good, but so far I'm the only one who can see it. I hear my villainous laugh echo on the distance as the puny little humans desire something only I can achieve.
And then I fall from my pedestal and go back to work.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 6:51 PM
Thursday, November 24, 2005
The real Kelsie.
This is Kelsie, the lovely character of ROCK'n'ROLL, the one-shot coming out this month by Image Comics.
I created Kelsie in 1997. She was an homage to a Kelsie I knew that year who was the kid sister of a friend of mine, about 10 years old at the time. She lived in a very small town in Minnesota called La Crescent, just across the river from La Crosse (which was the nearest town with an airport). I actually created another character inspired by my friend, Annie, but in the story I told Kelsie and Annie weren't sisters at all.
As time went, we kind of lost touch, and the last I heard Annie (who was the Apple queen that year) went to college. She probably graduated already.
Now, my comic book is coming out in the United States and I remember I never told then they became characters of my stories.
Maybe I should track them down and let then know the good news.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 7:27 PM
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
So, the script I was writing began with a church bell. That's a very graphic way to start a story, if you ask me. I had the entire first page in my mind and I only had the sound of the bells written down.
Then, I wrote a page of dialogue and decided that was not the story I wanted to tell. The dialogue was not bad, neither was the beginning with the church, but that's the beginning of a story which I don't want to finish right now.
I think I might rush it. I want to do a story in a certain amount of time, and for that purpose I need the script as soon as possible, and for that I either have a great idea that's pretty much complete, or I will just ruin good beginnings with crap endings just to have a story.
"That story will have to wait." I concluded.
Then, later that night, I had another idea. It had a beginning, a middle and an end. It was visual, it had a lot of room for dialogue, and it dealt with a subject I wanted to address on the story: the future.
And the future became the present became now.
It looks promising.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 6:31 PM
Monday, November 21, 2005
I had another dream with Diana Schutz. Again, we were talking about the new Dark Horse book, and this time around we were talking about the cover I just did for it.
As most of my dreams about serious conversations regarding professional matters, it took place in a bar. We were all drinking heavily, and there was smoke on the air.
We were both very pleased with the cover, so I woke up with a smile on my face.
I was late for work, of course.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 11:56 AM
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Red light means STOP.
Today, I'm writing a script. I should have finished it some months ago, but other things kept calling my attention and, when you see, all this time have passed and you've done nothing.
Well, you did a lot of things, actually, but not the script. And if there's no script, there's no story.
I keep telling myself that, after I finish the last touches on the projects I already finished (which still require so much attention after I'm done drawing it), I'll focus only on the writing.
The ideas keep coming, but I just don't seem to have the free time to sit for hours until I can organize and write everything down.
Maybe I should do it now, I often think, but then I remember I'm already skipping some work I should be doing (drawing) to write something here.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 6:04 PM
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Pulsing in our veins.
Jennifer Contino loves rock 'n' roll, but then, who doesn't? It's such an international language of music, one that attracts the young and the bold. Just like comics, right?
Anyway, she did an inverview with me at the Pulse, to know more about our ROCK'n"ROLL one-shot being published by Image Comics this month. If you're not sure yet if you want this comic book, check out the new preview pages at the interview and get excited.
Get very excited.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 2:21 PM
Monday, November 14, 2005
I guess I can blame art school for that. All through history, artists have made portraits of themselves.
Then there's this very strong autobiographical tradition in brazilian comics, one that certainly influenced me while I was growing up. The fact that, at a very early age, the first characters my brother and I created were various versions of ourselves is a proof of that.
How much of yourself do you discover when you do a self portrait? What is the image you have of yourself? How much of it represents the image and how much, the personality?
Posted by Fábio Moon at 2:34 PM
Friday, November 11, 2005
Girls in comics are sexy.
Hey, do you want to know more about woman in comics? Diana Schutz talks about her new anthology, Sexy Chix. You can check out some artwork from the female authors, and try to learn something about this very strange job of bringing the girls to the world of comics.
When I was doing my fanzines in college, I had a lot of girls reading it, because art school is full of girls. But the girls were also the ones who gave more feed back regarding the work, what they had liked and what didn't work for them. Maybe that made my work go to a more girly direction.
That, and the fact that I tell love stories.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 3:19 PM
Progressions on Fell.
For those interested in the process of making comics, Ben Templesmith shows how he approaches the covers and the pages of Fell, his new comic book with Warren Ellis. And, as he is behind all the art, from pencil to color, it's a good example of how an artist leaves a lot of stuff out of the initial penciling to keep the work from getting too repetitive, and how it changes from one step to the next.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 12:19 PM
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Sketching and warming up.
Sometimes, I miss the exchange of e-mails from Larry Young while I was doing Smoke and Guns. The fact that I did two thirds of the book in one month resulted in one very intense month, with two pages a day, e-mails late at night and some "behind the scenes" pencils I'd send him every now and then because I just had to share the progress of the book. I was so excited.
Compared to that month, I'm now sailing on very calm seas.
And today I missed the storm.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 4:58 PM
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
One week away.
Next week, our brazilian independent comic book will see a bigger release as it will be published by Image Comics. So here I am talking about it some more.
Artwork by Gabriel Ba. Click on the image for a bigger version.
Our brazilian version of the comic book was self published. We did a print run of a thousand. The fact that we sold out of it's initial print run in Brazil had already left all the creators involved happy, even if we were sad we didn't have the comic book in our hands anymore, but we know the size of our market and how our readers behave regarding independent publications, so we knew that it wouldn't be worth it for us to do a second printing of the book.
Out of that initial run, we brought a hundred comics in our trip to San Diego in 2004 to use as a "exotic" comic we made, and to use as a "portfolio". I can't tell you how much more impact our portfolio caused on every editor that looked at it. Much more than any other time we showed them our work. I believe that when you present a complete comic book, you can really see if your work can tell the story or not. It's there, ready, and there's no excuses.
Like all comics should be.
Artwork by Fabio Moon. Click on the image for a bigger version.
Take a look at these preview pages from ROCK'n'ROLL and see if you like it. And make sure to check your local comic book store next week when the comic hits the streets. If you're feeling bold, you can even leave some comments. I won't bite, you know?
Posted by Fábio Moon at 4:36 PM
Monday, November 07, 2005
Does your face shows your heart?
The cover for the new book is moving forward. I sent Diana eleven sketches and she really liked one. It's the first time I had to send the cover ideas for approval, and I was wondering what would happen if none of my ideas were accepted. Maybe they would do a cover using images from the interior art. Maybe they would do a "designer's cover" with clever lettering and no art. And maybe they would just tell me to keep thinking.
But I really like the cover idea Diana chose. Now it's the same old thing all over again: making sure your finalized piece retains the energy it has when it was a doodle the size of your thumb.
The two cover ideas I'm showing she did not like. Or just felt were not the strongest ones. Either way, the were rejected for this particular book, which is not to say they would have been bad covers. Maybe someday I'll use them for a completely different book, or maybe for a monthly series, as they seem to carry the same idea and would work well month after month.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 11:41 AM
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Thinking about my time at the saloon.
This year, I worked on Smoke and Guns and on a short story for the western anthology Gunned Down. I saw both printed at the same week, when I was in San Diego, and both turned out to be beautiful books.
My brother also worked on Gunned Down in a story 41 pages long.
Also, the western anthology has stories by Kako and Bruno D'Angelo, our partners in crime on ROCK'n'ROLL.
It's funny how we first did ROCK'n'ROLL as an independent comic book in Brazil, and it was picked up by Image Comics and is now being published in the US in two weeks. Gunned Down, on the other hand, was first published in the US, even with an all brazilian cast of artists, and just last month was published in Brazil.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 10:38 PM
Sometimes, things go wrong.
Don't expect the ride to be perfect. You'll find a lot of bumps on the road, and you will fail more than once. Sometimes, it will be your fault. Sometimes, it won't. We always learn when we make mistakes, and we're probably going to do a lot of them, 'cause there's always so much to learn.
When we were drawing Roland - days of wrath, we tried to get "real" publishers to publish it. For two years, we went to conventions and talked to editors but, as much as they liked the artwork, it was not what they were looking for at the time.
Luckily for us, when the time came for us to self-publish the mini series, we won the Xeric Foundation Grant, and that helped a lot, but I can see from our initial sales that it wouldn't be worth it for a big publisher to publish us at that time.
And, at that time, the american market didn't have all this small press publishers that started out after, or at the same time, we published our first issue.
Maybe things would have happened differently.
But we learned a lot from our mistakes.
Nowadays, I see comics very differently from the way I used to. I say at lectures and panels that at first I was a big fan of comics, so I was trying to tell the stories I liked to read as a fan, but not the stories I wanted to tell as an artist. I actually remember saying to people that I wanted to draw WildC.A.T.S., and that it was such a great comic book (I'm talking about the early Jim Lee issues). I also remembered admitting to a friend when I started liking Mark Silvestri more than Jim Lee, and how strange it was to start to change the way I saw comics (even if it was, at that time, such a small change).
The type of stories I like to tell have nothing to do with the comics I read as a fan. The style I now finally have, which took years to come to me, is very different from the style I wanted to have when I was a fan. I blame going to college for my personal style, as I learned so much art history that I just had to put something of it in my drawings, so my style had to have all this history in it, and that went on a very different path than the one with the super powers.
I love telling stories, even more than I like drawing. The art, for me, is just part of something bigger. It's not just a pretty image, it's a sequence of choices, of moments, that tell a story of memories.
Memories we are about to acquire and that may not leave our minds after we're done with them.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 6:23 PM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
It's strange how, at first, we think color is very important for our comic book. Maybe it is, but I think it's very common to start thinking that good colors equal a lot of them.
All of them, if you can.
Then, you have your work with all those colors and you lose that impression you had when you did your black and white image, that notion of background, foreground, light and shadow, positive and negative. You had to make all this choices when you were making your black and white image, and then you made no choice at all while coloring it and just put all the colors you saw on your rainbow in every page.
What a mess.
Coloring, just like drawing, should primarily be about personal style, personal expression, and the choices you make so your work looks constantly yours.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 4:19 PM
Monday, October 31, 2005
Some things have changed.
I already spent too much time redesigning the site, so here you have it. It has a bunch of information, some pictures, some history, and soon enough it will have some more fun stuff (fun for who is a question for another time).
I'm behind on the schedule for the Dark Horse book cover, so that's what's ahead of me for the week. Also, I have my final rehearsal for the dance show tonight, and the actual show tomorrow.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 5:05 PM
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Another step, and the new breed. - another Rock'n'Roll story.
Rock'n'Roll was the first comic book my brother and I wrote together that others worked on the artwork as well. Before that, we only wrote for ourselves.
When we started self publishing our stories in Brazil, which basically means doing the "xerox, fold and staple" kind of publication, we did some fanzine with other artists, and we soon found out that everybody has a different attitude towards the work. We don't all work the same way, commit the same way, talk about your comics the same way and sell your work the same way. Sometimes, we felt we were working for others, and not with others, when we did a collaborative fanzine. And the differences between everybody involved was the reason all the fanzines we did with them stopped being made.
At that time, everybody did "everything": I wrote and drew my own story, Ba wrote and drew his, and so on. We were all complete creators, for good and for bad.
When we started the next fanzine, in 1997, we decided to do everything, and be responsible for everything, so we would not have anybody to blame. We kept doing everything, but we were the only ones in it. It was our comic, our name, our fault. It worked much better. And we really developed the working relationship between ourselves that to this day we can't find anywhere else.
But things change. We have grown into professionals of the comic book form, and professionals will eventually work with others, so we started talking about it with our friends. And then we made Rock'n'Roll.
Now, there's another thing about working together that's not as bad as different attitudes towards the work: you create an environment and a vibe that you share and that helps your work, that improves your work. We were all excited to be working together, to be seeing the other guy's artwork, his different view, his unique approach. We all wanted to do good, and it shows when you're reading the comic book.
. . .
Now this is something completely different, but since I mentioned it this morning to talk about my journey, here are other people in their journeys:
The Xeric Foundation has announced its most recent grant recipients. They'll receive a bunch of money and some free ads at some important comic book related magazines, as well as a good spot on the PREVIEWS catalog, and will get the attention to publish their independent comics. Let's hope they do well. Here they are:
Catherine Hannah - Winter Beard
Lance Christian Hansen - Don't Cry
Melody Shickley - In the Hands of Boys
Albert Benjamin Thompson - HUSK
And congratulations for Melody, for actually having a website for people to go to in this internet age.
. . .
And to finish up for today, I notice some strange visitation coming from Image Comics' website, which just re-openned, and so I had to check out and discover they already have us listed there with both the Rock'n'Roll credit and the Casanova credit. Now I'll have to tell you all the stories about how I discovered Image Comics when I was a teenager reading comics. But that's for another day.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 7:16 PM
The ball drops- a Rock'n'Roll story.
I just realize that my Rock'n'Roll comic book is coming out from Image Comics in twenty days and that I haven't been talking about it non stop as I should be. I wonder why that is?
I know that, in the issue of previews it was solicited, it had a big preview (at least that was the impression I was given, as I never really saw the previews catalog), so it clearly should have grabbed people's attention there, mostly the retailers'. Hopefully, those retailers will order a good bunch of the book and everything will be alright, but it's never 100% safe in this world, is it?
Rock 'n' Roll is the closest thing my brother and I ever made to a perfect one shot comic book, it's the most fun idea we could come up with, with the most interesting characters we wanted to use, with the elements we all loved to read in comics as we were growing up.
It is also a big tribute to how much Mike Mignola changed the way we understood comics.
We came a long way since we saw the first issue of Roland - days of wrath go out into the world. Back then, we were completely unknown artists, self-publishing with a completely unknown writer from Santa Barbara, there was no big internet world to spread the word on your work, but since we had won the Xeric Foundation Grant, we had our share of media attention and we got some five thousand orders for the first issue, which to this day I think is a great start.
That was in 1999.
I wonder how many initial orders Rock'n'Roll will have.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 12:51 PM
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Today I did the first drawing for one of the projects I'll be working on next year. This will be the "I'm only the artist" project, as I plan to focus on writing more. I miss writing longer stories, as my last writing efforts were not longer than 10 pages of comics, but at the same time I don't want to hurry on the writing just so I have something new to draw. The artist must be drawing so his style stays fresh, so I can't stop. Not now, when I finally think that I do, after all, have a style.
Which is something I'm not so sure when it comes to my writings. I really should write more often to acquire, just as with the art, a sense of style and personal flavor. I feel that every time I start writing, it sounds and reads like the last thing I read, or just like somebody else. I remember feeling that I had a style, that I had a voice. Nowadays I feel like I mostly have a view.
That has to change.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 8:19 PM
Friday, October 21, 2005
I had plenty of ink on my brush after finishing one page today, so I did this drawing, without any preliminary pencil. It's my automatic Gunned Down drawing, mostly done on the inside of other people's copies, next to a nice dedication joke.
Not that they were any funny, my dedications.
But at least I tried.
I gotta get back to the next page. I have only two left, then the story is done.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 3:35 PM
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Spreading like rats.
artwork by Fabio Moon, all rights reserved.
Comic books are a popular medium. Telling stories are popular, or at least they should be. They should be made for the people, and for as many people as possible.
We should find ways to spread our arms and reach out.
We should always do our best to tell the stories we have.
We should always keep going.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 6:53 PM
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
No sleep, just keep on dancing.
Done between three and four in the morning, for a job I thought I would hate. I didn't hate it, but I just lost an entire night of sleep to finish it.
Some drawings are ugly. At least, they're meant to be ugly, but in their ugliness they turn into something quite interesting.
That's what you'll get after my hands ache because of how fast I had to ink.
I really need some sleep. I'll probably eat breakfast first. I really like breakfast, and I can make some mean fried eggs.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 6:47 AM
Monday, October 17, 2005
Green gun illustration.
illustration by Gabriel Ba, all rights reserved.
Here's a illustration Ba did for the biggest newspaper in Brazil. The story covered the upcoming election on whether or not selling guns should be prohibited in Brazil.
Black and white with flat colors. That's how Casanova will look like (with just one flat color instead of two), only that it will look completely different since Ba will draw stuff he never had to come up with before.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 2:13 PM
Friday, October 14, 2005
Brian, that big Khepri.com guy, just wrote me a note to tell that Smoke and Guns was his top graphic novel of September. It's also nice to see my first american work, the Roland - days of wrath graphic novel, on the same top 10 list, and at number 3 no less. I think that maybe your current work do attract attention to your older work.
Today I shall finish my first set of super-heroes pages. I got delayed by some unexpected family matter, but the pages are now getting back on track. After all is said and done, I'll go back to this first swim to tell you about the fish and the wonders I saw at the bottom of the ocean.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 3:18 PM
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Matt Fraction and Joe Casey talk about Casanova at their weekly Basement Tapes. The pitch, the bible, the choice of artist.
Ba is reading the first issue, Matt is writing the second, stuff is happening.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 5:28 PM
Monday, October 03, 2005
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Just a quick note on how cool that Riot comic book store looks. It makes a good impression on the ladies, that's for sure. My girlfriend, and my sister, would both be vary comfortable in that store, and they would even feel inclined to look at some comics.
It's not bad either that there's a Smoke and Guns poster in there.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 7:05 PM
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Almost spring time.
Unlike the drawing I did today, which i did because it's very cold today, I'm happy. I feel like I'm moving forward, even if only slowly, and that I am, indeed, telling stories.
I did a wonderful page today.
My book is almost ready.
This just in:
I didn't want to create a post just for this, but it's well worth the read: Erik Larsen urging creators to create.
Posted by Fábio Moon at 6:50 PM