Friday, December 30, 2016

New Year, New Projects, New Format! Happy 2017!

Happy New Year everyone!

I want to thank everyone who had supported me and my work in 2016! Your $upport is the only way I can spend so much time creating grOw/cOmics and grOw/stOries!

2016 saw the wrap-up of grOw/cOmic#6 "Milking the Plot", the 8-issue, 154-page cOmic that celebrated grOw's 10th Anniversary (grOw/cOmic#1, "Milk Farm," being released July 2005). It was the completion of the first decade of grOw! (Note: I said "first" decade — hopefully, there will be many more in the future!)

With 2017 right around the corner, it's time for a new year and new projects. The first new project will also be a new format! While I don't have a definitive name for this format just yet (still mulling it over between 4-5 possibilities), it will join the grOw line (currently "cOmics" and "stOries").  More on that later.

This new format has arisen partially from the many inquiries into whether I would ever make more of the continuing, pencil comic strips from my old BEArchive days. These strips were either the "Busting Out" or "Wishful Thinking" series. These were done roughly, and years ago, and were never originally planned to be viewed by anyone outside of myself.

Many people liked the on-going adventures of the hero, constantly getting into expansive encounters with multiple beauties. I never wanted to recreate these strips, having to start a new; but the idea intrigued me, none the less. If I would do something of this nature, it would have to be a new idea, new story, or a new take on the concept. 

I have also been mulling over coming up with a better way to design an illustrated story/comic for an onscreen presentation. In fact, I experimented with this idea in the beginning of the grOw/cOmic#5 series. In issue#1, the story begins with widescreen images, representing a movie that was being shown to the main characters. Each frame was in the standard 2.35:1 ratio of a Hollywood blockbuster, and not the varying sizes of overlapping panels that constitute your average comic. Furthermore, if you look in the Appendix of this particular issue, you will see that I also separated the text from the image by placing it outside the frame and showed 1 frame per page.

Well, I have taken these two concepts (on-going comic and new format) and will be combining them into a new grOw series!  It will be the continuously-expanding adventures of our hero not unlike some of the storylines you may see in the Addventure (at the BEArchive).  It will be the "succulent dessert" to the "gourmet meal" that are the grOw/cOmics and grOw/stOries.  

I plan to release a few issues, and then, sporadically release more in-between other grOw releases. The current working-name for this new format is "grOw/cinema", as it takes on a movie screen format, is ongoing like an old movie serial, and focuses on imagery (with all text outside the frame). There will be only 1 frame per page, so that you can view it fully onscreen as if you were watching a movie, or still-frames from a movie.

The working title for the story is "The Ever-Expanding Universe". While I will be sticking with this title and storyline for a while, there are always possibilities for more.

I have been experimenting with new methods to drawing, inking and painting as well, since the last grOw release. This new streamlined method will be using the the new format, in hopes that I can release an issue in much shorter intervals than the cOmics (which have taken between 90 and 118 days per issue recently). I am still honing my skills with this new method, and hope to increase my speed with each new panel.

So far, I have written the script, planned out each frame visually for the entire first issue, and built a few background sets in my 3D program. I have also completed the first 4 frames. Unlike the other grOw formats in which the initial drawings are done in pencil and then scanned in, the entire process for grOw/cinema will be digital. Normally, each issue will probably be the same amount of panels as a grOw/cOmic (about 55-65). But this first issue will probably come in around 78 panels, as it also sets up our initial storyline. 78 panels is nearly equivalent to the recent 23-page grOw/cOmic#6, issue 8.

As a teaser, here is a low-resolution preview of one of the frames from this new series in its entirety. It may change before release (as noted above, I am still working on this new method). But it will give you a clear idea of what I have described above.

Happy New Year 2017!