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Monday, December 31, 2012
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Posted by Chris Schweizer at 3:41 AM
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Well, it's taken me FAR too long, but I'm finally finished with a Crogan Adventure short story that I've been working on. It's called "The Black Brigade," and it'll be out next year as part of the GRAPHIC TEXTBOOK,
a compendium of comics designed to be used as part of a standard core
curriculum. I'll have some available for sale on the website when they
come out, I think. In the meantime, here's your first taste of what Crogan's looks like in color!
I hope you feel the cold here.
I find myself drawing the backsides of horses more and more these days. (click image for bigger view)
An action scene. 'Cause there's gotta be at least a LITTLE action.
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Posted by Chris Schweizer at 5:28 PM
Monday, November 19, 2012
Work on Crogan's Escape has been on hold since mid-summer as I've been swamped with other work (some of it Crogan-related) and school prep, but winter break is finally here and I'm finally back to business. A number of upcoming scenes take place in a village that has a temple in it, and both the village and the temple itself are pretty important parts of the plot so far as their layout is concerned. I'd been fiddling with the designs for the temple for the last week or two, filling up half a sketchbook and slowly getting closer to a design that I could be happy with, which I've posted here. The building draws from a number of architectural inspirations (including some Taiwanese stuff, given the story's proximity to the China/Taiwan border), but it's not based much on any one place. It had to conform physically to allow for a number of story elements, which is why it gave me such a headache. Click the image for a full-sized version
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 1:35 PM
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
One of the courses that I'm teaching this quarter is an animation preproduction class (Character Design and Storyboarding), and the students are doing a storyboard assignment for their final. I did these as a demo in class to show the level of detail expected, and the amount of time it should hopefully take you. Simple and quick, but hopefully clear in what they’re meant to communicate.
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 5:13 PM
Monday, October 22, 2012
This week's paper figure set... Sixth Gun creators Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt!
Click HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR OWN SET AND THUS HAVE YOUR OWN TINY CULLEN AND BRIAN AROUND, WHICH IS KIND OF WEIRD
Now you may just be asking yourself "who are these guys? Why didn't Chris put up characters from The Sea Hawk or Scrubs or something?"
To which I say, "how in the world have you read MY comics and not THEIRS? That's like saying 'Oh, I really dig Alexander Kent" but you've never read Patrick O'Brian or C.S. Forrester.'" Not that there's any real equation there, just that it'd be surprising if you knew the former but not the others, which is how surprised I'd be if you'd read Crogan and not Sixth Gun. Read it. Seriously. I can't tell you how not disappointed you'll be.
I mean, come on. The sixth gun has undead cowboy minions attacking a train with a mummy on board, AND it's drawn like this:
Look at those guys holding on as it takes that turn! Man, I wish I could draw like Brian Hurtt. And I'm doing my best to move in that direction. He's been a HUGE influence lately, artistically, and I'm glad of the changes my own stuff has seen as a result of studying his.
And to be perfectly fair, colorist Bill Crabtree has brought a LOT to the book. His colors are fantastic. But I've never met him (at least in the context that I knew he colored 6th Gun) and as such don't really know what he looks like; thus no figure. Sorry, Bill, and I love what you've been doing on the book!x
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 5:28 PM
Monday, October 15, 2012
(as always, click the images for full sized version)
This week's paper figure set is certainly the most grandiose: there are fifty-five figures total. Presenting, the characters of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, for you to download, print out, and assemble yourself! Absolutely free, of course. Click here to download the file. Depending on your browser, you may need to right click and choose "save link as." It's big - 66mb, I think - so don't do it on your phone unless you've got a heck of a data plan.
I put a new figure set up every Monday. Feel free to check out the other ones.
Except in the cases of the Defense Against the Dark Arts professors, each of whom is depicted roughly during their tenure as a teacher, everyone is more or less circa the sixth Harry Potter novel, The Half Blood Prince. 'Cause I wanted all the kids in their school clothes. It's just more iconic to me.
I tried to stay away from the movie's visuals as much as possible, but was unable to do so in the case of Voldemort. The book's "red eyes" combined with the green of the Adava Kedavra curse made him look way too Christmasy, and the film design was so, so good. I gave him snake lips and longer fingers/toes, but otherwise it's pretty much the movie version. Likewise, Sirius Black has a mustache rather than a bear, another nod to an excellent film design decision. Otherwise, though, I think the choices are mostly my interpretations of Rowling's descriptions,
Oh! There’s an exclusive figures that you can’t get here! Moaning Myrtle is at School Library Journal’s GOOD COMICS FOR KIDS section.
• EDIT: The file I posted on Monday, October 15th didn’t have Buckbeak… another site was going to run it (I thought), but didn’t, so it’s in the main file now. If you DIDN’T get Buckbeak before, but downloaded the rest of it already, here’s that file.
• Also, I totally misspelled “Weasley” on the twins and Ginny (though got it right on Ron and the parents). I’m terrible at spelling names, especially by hand (no spell check), but luckily these two were on the same sheet. It’s fixed in the main file, but if you’ve already printed these then here’s a single-sheet replacement.
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 4:31 AM
Monday, October 8, 2012
click the image above for a full-sized version
Click HERE to download you own paper figure set. This week's paper figure set comes from John Wilcox's FONTHILL novels, a historical adventure series set throughout the British Empire in the late 1870s and 1880s. I read the first book, Horns of the Buffalo, to get a flavor for the Zulu Wars that would serve as the backdrop for the upcoming Crogan Adventures audio drama "The Kimberly Pit" (coming May 15, 2013) and kept reading because, well, I liked 'em a lot.
There's a Four Feathers-esque narrative arc in the first book in which the protagonist is afraid of being afraid, and the stiffness that this creates (while essential for the longer series development) makes it a little hard to invest oneself fully in his exploits, but the supporting character/sidekick Jenkins 352 is one of the most enjoyable characters to read that I've ever happened across, right up there with Rooster Cogburn and Captain Good, and he gives you reason enough to care about what happens from the get-go. From the second book onwards, Fonthill himself does a fine job of carrying the narrative, so Jenkins is pure bonus. Anyway, if you've the slightest inclination towards meticulously researched colonial Africa yarns, like I do, I recommend them. They're also available in audiobook form, so if you've got an audible account, give 'em a go.
As with the other paper figure sets (available to download here, and always free), you simply download the file (on some browsers, you may need to right click and choose "save link as"), print it out, and cut and assemble them to either display or play with. The characters aren't mine (unless they're from the Crogan Adventures books); they're the intellectual property of their respective authors. I just make 'em as a hobby, because I like the properties. Click HERE to download you own paper figure set.
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 6:51 AM
Monday, October 1, 2012
(click image for full-sized version)
(Click here to download the print file so that you can make these yourself for free)
If you're using Chrome or some other applications, right click and choose "save link location.
This week's set is an admittedly small one, with just two figures: lead-booted physician Stephen Maturin and obese sanguinite Lucky Jack Aubrey, complete with battle-lost ear.
If you haven't read the Aubrey/Maturin books, you should. They're truly incredible, though in truth I've only read the first four. Reading them was getting me excited about doing another nautical book, this one putting much more emphasis on getting the rigging right, but my editor told me that it was "too soon to return to the pirate trough" having done the pirate-themed Crogan's Vengeance only a couple of books ago, and so I must wait. I'm holding off on reading the remainder of the Patrick O'Brian novels until that time.
Just a reminder that I post a new paper figure set each Monday, and that other paper figure sets can be found here.
(Click here to download the Master and Commander print file so that you can make these yourself for free)
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 5:26 AM
Monday, September 24, 2012
(Click here to download the print file)
(click the images for full-sized versions)
When it comes to Miyazaki movies, everyone has a different favorite. Mine is Porco Rosso, the story of a former WWI flying ace who takes up bounty hunting amidst seaplane pirates in the Adriatic Sea in the 1920s. Oh, and he's been turned into a pig, because it's a Miyazaki movie. I mean, really, what else could you want?
I'm always surprised at the number of folks who haven't seen this one, even though they may love other Ghibli films. Well, consider this an invitation to get to it, friends!
So, print these out and assemble 'em yourselves. Play with them. Put them on your desk at work. Give them to a child whose love of animation, anthropomorphism, or aviation you want to foster. The print file download is, of course, free.
Also, feel free to check out the OTHER PAPER FIGURE SETS I'VE MADE. I'll be putting a new one up every Monday for the rest of 2012.
And to keep in the giveaway spirit of last week's post, any tumblr reblogs will be entered to win a prize: TWO professionally printed copies of the Porco Rosso figure set (one for you and one to give to a friend). Reblogs only... "likes" don't count towards the giveaway, though they are appreciated. The winner will be announced October 8th. You don't have to follow me to win, but be sure to check back if you're not following to see if there are prize updates.
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 5:51 AM
Saturday, September 22, 2012
I took my daughter to one of my local comic shops today. We have a few, but it’s my favorite for a few of reasons: • They have a really good selection of comics in general, but they have a big strip reprint section, which is usually a good indicator of the variety a store will have • They have a pretty impressive kids’ comic section, and it’s right in the front of the store. I consider this hugely important in a comic shop. There’s another shop in my area with a great selection, but the very first thing you pass walking in is a dvd rental area with lots of superhero and anime porn. Hardly a setup that invites any but the most dedicated readers, and a real turn-off to parents. I know I wouldn’t bring MY daughter into that one, though I’ll shop there myself. • The staff has always been AMAZING. Well-informed, extremely polite and friendly, and eager to recommend new titles based on what you like. Whenever I take my daughter to this shop, it’s a big event for us. I get her excited about it in the morning, and we talk about it all day. We go over the behavior that’s expected of her (not picking anything up without permission or help from an adult, being quiet, that sort of thing) and the things that we can expect to see. She’s not yet three years old, and going to the comic shop is one of her favorite things that we do together. Generally, we go about once a month. I was behind on my purchases, so I had (for me) a pretty big stack of floppies – The Creep #0 and #1, the most recent five issues of Lobster Johnson, and Rocketeer #2. I told Penny that she could pick out a toy and a book. She chose a plush of Smiley Bone (she already has a Fone Bone, and really liked Smiley’s vest) and the first volume of the new Fantagraphics Carl Barks collection, which I’d been meaning to pick up myself. One of the store’s staff helped me find a couple of the floppies, and was as helpful and friendly as he always is. We weren’t yet finished shopping, but Penny asked if we could look at her Donald Duck book. We squatted down in the kids’ section and she rested on my knee, and I started reading her the first few pages of Bombie the Zombie. She was captivated. She loves being read to, and this was another part of the comic shop experience with her that I always love. That the store itself and reading are so intertwined. That she'll remember the first time she was introduced to a character or a story, and associate it with a shop. What could foster a love of comic shops more than that? We were interrupted by an employee whom I’d not ever met before. “Excuse me,” she said. “Are you planning on buying that? Because we don’t want people reading the stories if they’re not going to buy them.” I was taken aback. “Yes, I’m planning on buying it,” I said. She turned and walked off. I took a moment to reflect on what had just happened. I was clearly upset by the experience, and it must have shown on my face or in my body language, because my daughter hugged me and said “it’s okay, Daddy, don’t be sad.” We walked around the store and put back our (thus far) seventy-something dollars worth of merchandise, and before leaving I told the employee that I would henceforth be taking my business elsewhere, as I strongly disagreed with the policy, as I considered it antithetic to the whole experience of going to a comic shop. “I’m sorry you feel that way,” she said, “but we’ve had people read whole issues before and not buy them.” OF COURSE YOU HAVE. YOU’RE A COMIC BOOK SHOP. It’s far cheaper to buy trades and graphic novels on Amazon, and to get floppies through companies like DCBS. So why even go to a comic shop, if doing so is not the cheapest option? One of the reasons that people go to bookstores of any stripe – and I include comic shops in this equation – is that they have the opportunity to peruse the books that they might buy before doing so. I often read the first chapter of a book or GN before picking it up, especially if I’m unfamiliar with it. And, in the past (especially when I was in college) I would read entire books at Borders and not buy them. But you know what? Despite those occurrences, Borders ended up with hundreds of my dollars each year. The kids that would sit and read manga in the aisles? They also BOUGHT manga. Part of the joy of going to a store that sells reading material is the freedom to consume the goods, provided that you are careful to keep the book/comic in the same shape as when you pulled it from the shelf. Take that away, and you take away the ONLY tangible benefit that a shop offers over mail-order service (one COULD argue the social considerations, but the shop counter’s monopoly on comic book discussions is one that, like its former monopoly on the products that it sells, died with the internet). This shop doesn’t offer me a discount (I’ve never asked), as do others in town. A truly wonderful store in another city gives me a discount of fifty percent (or cost, if cost is more, as is the case with IDW) and mails things my way. I can get books on Amazon for much cheaper than I can find at this store. And yet I still come to this shop. I get floppies there. I get books there. I get toys for my daughter, and I even pick up the odd big-ticket item (an IDW artist edition, for example). Why? Because I like to support my local shop, and this one is the closest one to my house, and therefore the most “local.” I love comic shops, and I want them to succeed, and so whenever possible I make sure that they’re the ones who get my business. But being made to feel guilty over reading books in the store? That drives away readers. A kid dropped off by his mom while she’s running errands is probably much more likely to catch ire than an adult customer with a stack of books waiting at the counter, so if I get that sort of individual attention then I can be SURE that the kid does. If that kid is made to feel unwelcome, then he or she will be far less likely to grow into a habitual customer. That kid may leave off comics entirely. It’s poor business and extremely poor stewardship of the industry, and so I'm going to be making my purchases at other shops. Luckily, I'm in a city, and have that option. But unluckily for any comic shop proprietors, EVERYONE has that option now. The internet, the discount comic services, they've killed the monopoly. Make your customers feel unwelcome, and they'll leave. I’d like to think that this was just the (I assume) new employee acting on her own inclinations, but in truth I’d actually heard of it happening there before: another dad who’d decided to take his business elsewhere for the exact same reason (though in his case, they’d confronted the kid directly). Every employee I'd ever dealt with there had been a dream, so wrote it off as a fluke, or a mistake, but I guess it’s store policy. That’s a shame, because otherwise it’s the best comic shop our city has got. But I guess it doesn’t offer anything that I can’t get from Amazon.
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 5:10 PM
Monday, September 17, 2012
So I’ve been making these paper figures for myself for a while (they’re lining the walls of my studio), and I thought I’d make them available to everyone else. For free. Every Monday. Print the figures out yourself on your own printer, or you can take them to your local print shop (that’s what I do) for the best quality.
I figured I’d start with a set of figures from the BBC show SHERLOCK. If you're one of the few folks who haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and fix that!
I don’t usually do backgrounds, but this set comes with a Baker Street diorama, because come on, Baker Street.
Anyway, click here to download the print file. It's a little shy of 27MB, which isn't HUGE, but it probably better suited to a laptop or a desktop than a phone. If you want to get OTHER paper figure sets, just go to the paper figure page at CroganAdventures.com and pick out the set(s) you want.
Also, keep in mind that I'm doing a big
on tumblr. You can read the details here, but know that one of the prizes is a free paper figure commission. I know, I know... you may not be ON tumblr. I'm sorry, if that's the case! You can always sign up - it's free - if you want to enter this contest.
Anyway, enjoy the figures, and check back each Monday!
As always, collectors can find the original art for this and other things on my original art page.
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 5:11 AM
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Well, Dragon*Con is in just a few days, and I realized that I haven't filled my commission list yet! I don't have time for many between now and when it starts, so I'll only be taking twenty. Here's the deal:
You get an original 5x7 piece of art (ink and watercolor) featuring one character for twenty-five dollars. I'll do it ahead of time and you can pick it up from me at the show. I'll be taking commissions at the show, too, but in a limited number given the time and working condition restraints, so if you want a commission, this is the best way to go about it.
Special: get five pieces for a hundred bucks. That's a $25 dollar savings! And great if you want, say, all four ninja turtles and April O'Neil, too.
Here are a few recent 5x7s, to give you an idea as to what yours might look like:
Game of Throne's Tyrion Lannister
The eponymous Doctor Who
Doctor Who's Amelia Pond
One of Doctor Who's Weeping Angels
My own Crogan-Junichi character
Bruce Wayne Batman
Empire Strikes Back's Boba Fett
So! If you're getting one, just hit the paypal button below and write a message (or shoot me an e-mail) telling me what character you'd like. See you at Dragon*Con!
Hit the paypal button below, send me the cost, and then send me an e-mail at email@example.com telling me the character that you want.
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 11:31 PM
Friday, August 17, 2012
I've been working on a lot of stuff, I'm just not ready to show most of it yet. But I don't want to be a COMPLETE internet hermit, so here are some pencils from the new book!
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 6:47 PM
Friday, July 6, 2012
I stayed with the inestimably talented artists Brian Hurtt and Matt Kindt when we traveled to HeroesCon earlier this month, and was blown away by the watercolor commissions that they had done/were doing as a team. Well, if you're gonna steal, steal from the best, I say, so I'm going to try my hand at the same thing. The drawings are nowhere NEAR as pretty as Brian's, and the color nowhere NEAR as artfully handled as Matt, but maybe you like my drawings, and plan to be at the San Diego Comic Con in a few days time, and maybe YOU'LL want to get a commission from me. AFTER you get one from Matt and Brian, of course (if they're offering).
Here's an example of the type of pic you'd get: Han Solo! Only if you ASK for Han Solo, of course. If you asked for Krang from the Ninja Turtles and got a Han Solo instead, you'd probably be pretty miffed. I would. (sorry for the weird lines on the pic; my phone was doing something odd)
$25 bucks for a 5x7 hand drawn and watercolored character, your choice. You pick it up at the table during one of my signing times. Hit the paypal button below, send me the cost, and then send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org telling me the character that you want.
I'll be taking commissions ONLY until Monday night. If you want one, order before midnight Eastern time on Mondaynight (the 9th).
Though I'll be doing whole-body images, here are a few more watercolors just to show how I'll handle the colors.
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 5:14 PM
Monday, June 18, 2012
In a few days I'll be doing a signing in TRYON, North Carolina, a lovely mountain town situated on the South Carolina border. I'm very excited about it. Why, you may ask? Well, for a few reasons.
1. I genuinely LOVE Tryon. It's the most amazing little town.
2. Tryon was essential to the completion of Crogan's Loyalty. I walked around a lot there, sketching trees and rocks and the like, in order to get the best sense of mountain foliage. I also spent a lot of time sketching at nearby Pearson's Falls in order to get a sense of the environment for the book's climax:
3. I'm doing the signing with my dad.
My parents moved to Tryon a couple of years ago, and it's through them that I became familiar with the place. My dad is mystery novelist Mark Schweizer, the author of the Liturgical Mysteries, a series of funny and engaging stories in which the police chief protagonist is also the part-time church organist and choral director. Most of the murders are church politics-related. They've won mystery awards and are staples at most mystery and Episopal bookstores.
Seeing as we operate in two fairly different literary spheres, I never really thought a joint signing would happen. But it IS happening! Both of our new books came out this week (Loyalty for me, The Treble wore Trouble for my dad), and the town's local bookstore (The Book Shelf) decided to have us both together.
I hope that, should you live somewhere in the area, you'll consider coming by. I do a big, pretty drawing in each book sold, so I'll make it worth your while...
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 2:05 PM
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
HeroesCon is a little over a week away! This is, without doubt, my favorite show, and I hope you'll get a chance to come out. Think you might have trouble finding me? Not with this lil' map:
(click for full-sized version)
That's right. We don't even need table numbers. 'Cause we're the BEST BLOCK. Anybody else think their table block is better? Well, you'd better be ready for a dance off/knife fight. 'Cause that's how the early-mid-400s roll.
In addition to getting new books, artwork, and goodies at the table, you can also see me at the following panels/workshops:
Friday at 5pm:
We discuss what comics should and shouldn't be included in a comics canon. Be prepared to be shocked at what formerly esteemed comics I throw under the bus, and my reasons for doing so! Leave convinced!
Sunday at 11am:
INCREDIBLE ALL-AGES PANEL
Jill Thompson, Roger Langdridge, Skottie Young, and Me (apparently, I'm hosting) talk about all-ages comics.
Sunday at 2:30pm:
PITCHING GRAPHIC NOVELS
"Getting a publisher interested in your graphic novel is no easy task, but with the right information you'll be in a better position to do so. Chris Schweizer "The Crogan Adventures) will go over the principles of finding the right publisher, preparing a submission packet, and avoiding the problems that cause promising books to be overlooked."
Also, Crogan stuff in the news this week:
• REALLY long and in-depth interview with COMICS REPORTER. As Jeff Parker says in a very nice post, "Set aside an hour and read it."
• Audio Interview on WAR ROCKET AJAX, the Comics Alliance podcast
• EYE ON COMICS reviews Crogan's Loyalty
• COMIC BOOKED review Crogan's Loyalty
• KLEEFELD ON COMICS reviews Crogan's Loyalty
• BACK TO BOOKS reviews Crogan's Loyalty
• Hopkinsville New Era newspaper article: Former Hopkinsville resident returns for book signing, workshop
• TV feature on a workshop I did in Indiana (NBC 14)
I also did a radio interview (WKMS), but I don't think it's been posted online. If I'm wrong, someone let me know, and I'll put up a link!
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 6:02 PM
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Hey, everyone! Crogan's Loyalty is already available in comic shops and from Amazon (the distributor warehouse shipped it early!), so I figured that I'd go ahead and put the figures from that story up a few days ahead of schedule.
I'm currently working on the Crogan Adventure Society AGENTS page. There, Society agents will be able to access the older newsletters as well as download some AGENT EXCLUSIVE paper figures from the first three books! This is the last week of school. and I'm pretty swamped, but soon I'll be in full summer mode, working hard and getting things out, so keep an eye open for next week!
Around the web:
• iFanboy has some nice things to say about Crogan's Loyalty
• I talk to CREATIVE LOAFING, Atlanta's free alt-weekly newspaper
• A review of Crogan's Loyalty on GEEK SHOW INK
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 6:25 AM
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Well! I've been absent for a little while because I've been working to set up THE CROGAN ADVENTURES website!
It's got a lot of features, including:
• The chance to read ALL of Crogan's March for FREE for the next month
• Paper Figure sets (14 characters available so far) that you can print out and assemble
• A teaching guide for the new book
• An UPDATED appearances page
• Links to interviews (both print and audio/video)
and more! Go and check it out. Bookmark it! I'll still be using the curiousoldlibrary blog to post non-Crogan-related art, but will be shifting a lot of my attention to the new site. Hope you like it!
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 5:40 AM
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I was up in Toronto last month for the recording of four of the six CROGAN ADVENTURES episodes (based on my graphic novel series) that Decoder Ring Theatre is putting together for their 2013 Summer Showcase, and while I was there Gregg (the show's director, producer, and, in all cases save the Summer Showcases, writer) mentioned how he'd like to collaborate on making some paper figures for the Red Panda Adventures (possibly my favorite franchise, and certainly the one in which I'm the most emotionally invested - think the Shadow as if it were seamlessly integrated into a Tracy/Hepburn zinger romance) done the same way as my Sherlock Holmes figure series. I thought it was a great idea.
He sent me a list of the characters he wanted to see, along with short descriptions of each (descriptions that were both concise and funny; even with Gregg has an audience of one, he never fails to deliver). Based on those, my own thoughts on the characters, and my limited knowledge of the voice actors' physical appearances (with the exception of Harry Kelly and Dr. Chronopolis, who I doubt look anything like their real-world counterparts), I worked up this batch. Hope you like 'em!
I believe Gregg plans to make these available in the not-too-distant future. Check the news page of Decoder Ring Theatre to keep up with any such developments, and be sure to give it a listen! And don't forget to tune in next summer for THE CROGAN ADVENTURES Summer Showcase!
Posted by Chris Schweizer at 7:16 AM