Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spotlight on Legends of the Guard contributor: Ben Caldwell:

David Petersen: Ben, You have worked in animation, toy design and how-to-draw books, and also in comics, what keeps you coming back to sequential storytelling?

Ben Caldwell: While character design and world building are fun -- and easy -- at the end of the day you only get to know these characters and worlds through the stories that revolve around them. When I design characters etc, I’m instinctively building stories around them. Who is the person? Why are they dressed like that? How did they get their hands on a giant cannon made out of butter?
So I always come back to telling stories, although I’m perhaps not as good at it as I’d like. There’s just no
substitute for the visceral connection that you make with your audience through a story.

As for comics specifically, there are so many unique ways you can play with storytelling in comics that you just can't find in, say, prose or film-making  Of course the opposite is also true, but I’m a visual person and when I try to write prose, I find myself trying to describe everything in ridiculous detail. As for film, comics are a unique medium where you can create something with the same bombast, without a budget of millions or limitations of special effects, actors, etc.
The downside is that you are trying to create something without a budget of millions and special effects, actors etc. 

David: You tend to work on all-ages material, Your own series Dare Detectives is in the spirit of a great old Saturday Morning cartoon, is the choice of tone a purposeful one? Or is it more a reflex that comes naturally?

Ben: I have a lot of stories stuck in my head, and a lot of them are definitely NOT all-ages. One particular story I’m doing right now is way too cussin' and violence and anatomically correct drawings to be kid-friendly.
But the all-ages stuff is a lot of fun. Of course, I’m also very contrary, so the fact that so many people are so contemptuous of all-ages books probably motivates me as well. A big part of it comes down to the fact that certain types of stories are, well, not necessarily childish, but certainly not "realistic". So I like to skip the superficial veneer and let ridiculous things be ridiculous, and that makes a lot of adults uncomfortable.*

*These people are stupid. Avoid them.

David: The story you created for Legends of the Guard, can you talk a little about the subject of the story and where the idea came from?

Ben: I knew I didn't have time for a long story, so I wanted something short and sweet.  Or at least short. One thing most of my stories feature is the glory of unintended consequences -- wait, the two things most of my stories feature are the glory of unintended consequences, and a bit of unnecessary theatricality.
One of my favorite bits of mouse guard (outside of the world building) is the intimate nature of the characters, so I wanted to do a small story. So I worked both all that one story by watching my insane twin daughters, and thinking what sort of stupid antics they would come up with to stop villains. The story pretty much wrote itself from there.

David: How do you proceed with a story after you have an idea, what is your process? Script? Thumbnails? Voodoo Magic?

Ben: I used to do full scripts, but I realized no matter how many revisions I did, I would always make further changes at the thumbnail or pencil stage. The fact is that the brain processes information in prose/manuscript form differently than it does images, and comics are essentially a visual medium.
So I usually start with a general breakdown of a plot, punctuated on the one hand with scraps of scenes or dialogue that just pop into my head and work, and on the other hand with a very calculated look at the characters, how they should act/react/interact, and what that means in terms of getting them from the beginning of the story to the end. As I get older, I find my stories being less driven by a pre-ordained plot (except maybe the loosest conceptual idea), and more with getting the characters nailed down, then turning them loose and seeing what happens.
Procedurally, once I have an outline of the overall plot, I will break it down into scenes. I've done enough GNs and had enough experience with building up and cutting down scenes to fit pre-allotted page counts that I have a pretty good idea of how many pages a particular scene can take without overwhelming the rest of the story. it sounds inartistic, but I like to break things down as hierarchical information. That is, what is the overall gist of scene x?  Then, what is the gist of each pair of pages (in comics and children's books, pages should always be worked in pairs, since that is inevitably how the viewer will experience them)? Finally, what is the most important idea for each individual page?
From that I do thumbnails, usually doing a whole scene's worth on a single sheet, so I can see the scene as a whole. Usually I put a note under each page(s) like "Toby punches goons", "he misses, falls into cotton candy machine" etc, before making any drawings. I’ll often drop balloons with rough dialogue in at this stage, just to account for the space that will be needed for lettering later.
IMPORTANT: I try to pop out the thumbnails as quickly as possible, without over thinking them. First off, it's just too easy to get paralyzed at this stage, and it's important to keep momentum. Second, it's much easier to do something concrete and say "oh wait, the butter cannon sounded awesome, but now that I’m looking at the drawing on the page, a PUDDING cannon is much more logical", instead of staring at a blank sheet and trying to guess ahead of time what will work or not. At this stage there is no such thing as bad ideas, just ideas that can be improved.
As I get older, pencilling gets harder because my drawing has improved like a mazillion percent, but I’ve become even more sensitive to the nuances of expressions, body language etc. cartooning makes it even worse -- if you have a drawing with a hundred lines and one is out of place, who cares? But if you have a drawing with three lines, one out-of-place line is really going to stand out. 
Even at the pencilling stage I will find myself reworking certain panels or even scenes. It’s not the sort of thing that makes editors sleep well at night, but at every stage of the storytelling, as you get closer to the final page you might notice new problems that weren't apparent at earlier stages; or to put it more positively, you notice new opportunities to tell a better story.

David: A lot of talk on this blog is about process & materials. Can you share with the readers what art supplies you use for each step of the artwork on a story like this? (paper, pencils, ink, digital program...feel free to list brands.)

Ben: I use generic #2 mechanical pencils, because I hate to pause and sharpen them. At first it was just a matter of convenience, but I found that after I became used to them, I could get a huge range of line weight and sensitivity. But I am obsessed with drawing on laser print paper, particularly Xerox digital Xpressions. So the thumbs were done on that paper, then I printed them slightly larger in blue line (on more laser paper), to do the final "clean" art. In this case, the trick was to keep the final pencil art somewhat loose.

In any case, I was surprised at how closely the final art followed the thumbnails in the MGL story. There are usually a LOT of changes during finalization, either tweaking poses or, as often as not, completely rewriting pages.

The coloring was all digital (photoshop). I tried to keep the process simple, partly so that it could be standardized and quickly replicated throughout the pages, partly because the simpler that stage is, the more time is left for working/reworking the actual drawings and storytelling that are the guts of the comic. I laid down an antique paper texture for ground, then colored with flat colors at 66% opacity. This way you can easily create solid color with a few strokes, but since it isn't full opacity, there's a certain organic buildup. In a few places, I also used levels to create surreal color shifts.

David: What does Ben Caldwell like to do when he’s not making comics?

Ben: That’s between me and my parole officer.

David: Thanks for a really fun story Ben. I’m excited for the fans to read it. Where should people go if they want to know more about you and your work?

Ben: You can always follow me on twitter (@bencaldwellart) or my blog (purge theory.blogspot.com), and, when the stars align, you can visit my website www.daredetectives.com. Those are good places to start, because I update them regularly, and I’m going to be making some announcements for future projects soon!

If you want to get your hands physically on my work, short of burgling my house you can buy my sketchbooks online, or find my classics comics, "dare detectives" comics, and how-to-cartoon books at fine bookstores everywhere. I presume shady bookstores also sell them.

Ben's story A Bone To Pick will appear in Legends of the Guard
volume 2 # 1 along with stories by Stan Sakai, Nick Tapalansky & Alex Eckman-Lawn

Watercolor Wednesday:Here's another look at last week's two watercolor pieces I offered up for sale. For inspiration I looked up images of old men for fun expressions and wrinkles. First up is a blind gnome...with dandelion puff balls in the background.I went with the Rien Poortvliet costume and colors for this guy.

The other piece from last week's offerings is some manner of small Fay with a cracked teacup for a hat and a set of his-size silverware ready for a meal.

Upcoming Appearances:
San Diego Comic Con: July 17-21
Boston Comic Con: August 3-4
Baltimore Comic Con: September 7-8
New York Comic Con: October 10-13

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Legends of the Guard Storytellers:
For Volume 2 of Legends of the Guard (Which starts in issue form next Wednesday), I needed to design 12 new mouse storytellers - one for each of the contributors. A few of the artists had already turned in their stories when I started on the mouse designs, but not all, so instead of trying to match most of the mice to a particular story-tone, I just made a variety of characters that seemed interesting and matched them up later.

Here are the twelve storytelling mouse characters. Even though this art wasn't required until the Hardcover collection extras were being produced, I wanted a solid character model sheet to use while doing my pages for the series. Not only does each mouse have it's own marking (nicked ears, missing limbs) they also have their own fashion, details, palette, and tankard. For this blogpost, I'll talk about a few of the character's designs.

They all started as rougher sketches that I tightened up as I found a particular design I liked. Some of the characters started as 'What type of mouse hat haven't I drawn?" or "is there a material I haven't shown a mouse wearing often/yet?". Here is a scan of doodles on printed light blue 'mouse maniquins' and at the top and bottom are the versions I decided to tighten up and pursue as characters.

I had a bit of trouble as I was roughing out new clothes or details to make sure each character would read as a unique mouse and not easily mistaken for a different patron of the June Alley Inn. I knew I'd done a few commissions  in the last year (colored for the 2013 sketchbook due out at SDCC this year) that had some character/clothing designs I liked, so I opted to pull those up and re-use them:

These two I did on my London trip at the start of 2012. Each were inspired by architecture and sculpture I saw while there. So these two became Holton (on the left, who tells Nick Tapalansky & Alex Eckman Lawn's Story) and Alton (on the right, who tells Bill Willingham's story) I sat these two close together in the tavern, but only because of their London design connection 

This commission was to celebrate the engagement of some fans of mine, in fact, originally the ribbon-flag had the date of their happy day. The ladymouse on the balcony I thought had a nice dress that I'd like to draw again, so she became Odella (who tells Justin Gerard's story)

"A mouse guarding a pumpkin patch" was the request for this piece, and I took not only the design, but the 'guarding' bit as an occupation for him. For Legends of the Guard, he is now Orwin (who tells Ben Caldwell's story)

On two occasions, I used the main character from one of the contributor's stories as the storytellers, so it was a matter of drawing my interpretation of them:

For Stan Sakai's story, I felt the story might have more impact if the mice would be hearing it directly from who the tale happened to...it added a sincerity to my part of the book that was needed to do justice as a bridge in and out of Stan's story. She was un-named in the story, so I gave her the name Mira.

Lastly, Rick Geary's story is all told in the first person, so I had no choice but to have the main character also the mouse in the tavern narrating. In this case, Rick supplied me with the character's name: Edwy (as well as a background for his bio for the Hardcover extras page: The Storytellers.

To help me, I also made a floorplan chart showing where each character would be seated the majority of the book (as well as where each cover painting is hanging in the tavern). The floorplan is a top-down photo of my June Alley Inn model with the characters listed below and assigned a number/letter. The numbering was just to identify the mouse, the letter stood for which issue they told their tale in...this helped me distribute the characters around so we never spend too much time in any one corner of the bar.

Watercolor Wednesday: 

From last week's Watercolor Wednesday paintings: Here is the Knight Gnome. The sketch started life as a carved chess piece, but kept progressing towards 'character' rather than 'inanimate object'. I played off the standard gnome hat as a peaked & studded helm for the diminutive fighter. And now every time I see the final image, I think that he'd make a fun Christmas Tree ornament (though I don't know what connection he would have to the holiday).

The other piece from last week started as the idea for an 'ugly' mask...but felt like more fun if it really was a character's face. And besides having an unfortunate visage  I also don't think he looks too bright...so I dubbed him 'simpleton'

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spotlight on Legends of the Guard contributors: Nick Tapalansky & Alex Eckman-Lawn

David Petersen: How did you both get in to working in comics? (Nick writing and Alex drawing)

Alex Eckman-Lawn: We actually got into comics together. Nick found a few pinups and art samples of mine on the internet and approached me with a script. We did some preliminary art and a test page or two and the rest is beautiful romantic history.

Nick Tapalansky: That's not how I remember it at all. I'm pretty sure your mom put you in my cab and I drove you to your uncle's place out west after you got in one little fight while playing basketball outside your school in Philadelphia. Your mom tends to be panicky. You were singing the most annoying song on the way, but somehow we came up with a few good ideas and kept in touch.

David: For folks unaware, you two are the creative team behind Awakening. Tell the readers a bit about that book.

Alex: AWAKENING is a zombie noir story, set in the small town of Park Falls. I tried to use my experiences growing up on the playgrounds of west Philly to inform my portrayal of the streets.

Nick: Yes, little-known fact: AWAKENING is a philosophical exploration of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, set against a heady science v. religion debate.

In all seriousness though, AWAKENING is, like Alex said, a zombie noir. We tossed almost all of your basic zombie tropes out the window and started fresh, giving the story room to breathe with a slower pace. We wanted time to explore questions and ramifications without the constant pressure of SURVIVAL placed on the characters from the beginning, so we began at the start of a year when the first zombies appear. They don't infect with their bites and they don't multiply dramatically by their own doing. It's an inexplicable trickle that slowly builds up as people begin to drop dead and "awaken" in this new, undefined state. That's where the story starts, following a retired cop as he tries to put the pieces together, both for the town and his own life.

Alex: It’s probably worth mentioning that AWAKENING was both mine and Nick’s first comic book ever (or since childhood anyway). To backtrack a bit, AWAKENING is pretty much how we got into working in comics.

David: A horror book about a potential outbreak of zombies, I would think, is very different from writing and drawing a mouse folktale. Did the process feel different to you guys? Did you approach it differently?

Nick: It didn't feel too different for me, to be honest. Is that weird? I try to think of stories as stories, writing as writing. I'm just putting down what I see, but the process stays pretty static. So when I sat down to work on "Leviathan" I just tried to convey what I saw as best I was able, applying what I'd learned from other shorts, and even AWAKENING. It was the first time I told a story like this though, and it really was a lot of fun.

I think, in terms of process, things change a bit more for Alex, since so much of the atmosphere and tone in a comic relies on the instant visual connection a reader makes with material.

Alex: I definitely did have to approach this story differently, but that’s always exciting for me. Part of the fun of making pictures, for me at least, is getting to try out different visual approaches for different projects.

"Leviathan" was a breath of fresh air for me, especially after all the bleak and spooky stuff I usually tend to do.

David: Nick, describe the Legends of the Guard story and its origins.

Nick: "Leviathan" was the product of me being a sarcastic pain in the ass! Back at some old con or another, may have been New York, right when MOUSE GUARD was really just going insane, I joked that I was going to do my own animal guard to ride your coattails to stardom. Somehow we settled on a Whale Guard, and I distinctly remember your sweet, sweet whale impressions. Then you ripped off a piece of cardboard and drew the quick sketch (pictured) signed with your blessing. Pretty sure you also bit it to sign off with your slobber-DNA. I still have that cardboard and fully expect it to buy me a sweet house one day, not to mention produce my own stay-at-home-Petersen clone.

Then at another con, San Diego I think, you asked me to moderate your spotlight panel. During the talk I had another opportunity to chat about my great idea, Whale Guard, and sow the seeds for usurping your fanbase. It's been a slow process, but it finally paid off. When LEGENDS OF THE GUARD's second volume was getting underway, we got the call: "Nick, we want it. We want “Whale Guard.”

David: Did you ever think that joke would have paid off into this short story?

Nick: Never! Haha! I'm almost sure my first reaction was abject terror, followed immediately by excitement. Not only is it such a robust and well-loved world, but we're in ridiculously great company. I'm gonna have to start joking about more things I want to do.

Alex: I have to admit, I thought Nick was joking when he told me we'd be doing “Whale Guard” for realsies.

David: I remember thinking when I getting ready to ask you guys for a story: "With Legends, I think Nick could play up his whale guard joke and it not seem silly, but grounded and honest for Mouse Guard. Without spoiling anything, what themes or intent did you want to pursue when you started actually writing ‘Leviathan’?

Nick: I think, for me, it was a matter of scope. The Mouse Guard tend to be brave, selfless mice who stare danger in the eye to protect their fellow mice. They'll fight down other mice, snakes, owls and bats but at some point there are certain dangers even the bravest, most headstrong mouse can't face on their own. Things just get too big, sometimes literally. I wanted to explore that a bit.

I also wanted to bring just a touch of magic to the world, since this was a "tall tale" and it wouldn't impact the main narrative or the realism of your story in the main books. So that was fun, getting to see our little guy, not a guard mouse but an adventurer, in situations you might not typically get to see in MOUSE GUARD thanks to a sprinkle of some fantasy elements.

David: Did you guys work on the story ideas together or is the workload separated strictly into writing and art?

Alex: I wouldn't say it's STRICTLY separated, but Nick had a clear idea of what he wanted to do with the story so in this case it was pretty much all him.

Nick: Yeah, it does vary from story to story for us. We both try to get our hands pretty dirty in everything.

Alex: Yup, we do a fair amount of back and forth about actual layouts and visual stuff, but I think this story was 100% Tapalansky.

David: Nick do you write scripts with page breakdowns (each page’s panel count described with what goes in them) or do you leave a lot of the pacing and layouts to Alex?

Nick: This script wound up being the last one I wrote with panel counts, actually. I wrote all of AWAKENING that way, and the handful of shorts we followed that book with. Alex knew that my scripts were just the best way I saw to do it, not necessarily the actual best way, and played with formats and pacing if he saw better ways to approach what I was trying to pull off. That's the best part of working in comics - the collaboration.

Alex: This is why I like working with this guy. Not everyone feels that way.

Nick: Nowadays I tend to take an approach between screenwriting and full-script comics. I won't label panels with numbers, sizing, or total count on a page (except in specific instances). If an artist wants to take a "panel" and make it into two, there's no problem there. Want to combine actions? Go for it! I couldn't work in the old Marvel Style - I'd feel as claustrophobic and passive as an artist given a super-strict script - but I think this is a middle ground that works. It gives freedom to everyone, and permission to be as involved as possible in every aspect of bringing a story together.

Alex: I think the real challenge with this story was just fitting everything into the six pages.

Nick: Oh, totally! Working within a defined page count like that definitely pushed us to trim every bit of fat wherever we could. I like to think we packed each page with possibilities though, in case Tiernan ever gets a chance to pop back up.

David: Alex, how do you approach starting work on a page?

Alex: Well for this story I had Nick's script to work from, so I start by laying out panel shapes in photoshop and doing some ultra rough drawings with my tablet-- just to get placement and shapes down. When I'm happy with everything in this super-rough stage I start actually putting pencil to paper.

David: Your artwork is ultimately a blend of drawing and textures and photo-collage and digital painting. How do your ideas develop and what is the process for getting to a finished page?

Alex: This is always a hard one to answer. I tend to work a little differently on every project, depending on the subject matter, tone, setting, etc. For "Leviathan" I tried to let the pencils speak the loudest.

There is a bit of photo collage and scanned texture in there as well, especially when we start getting close up to the whales, but this is primarily just pencil and photoshop "painting!"

I suppose the more technical answer is that I start with a scanned pencil drawing, then paint under and over it, introducing photo elements as I go. It's a kind of push and pull process, until I find a balance I think works.

David: Awakening is a closed ending story that wrapped into a collected softcover back in 2011, so what have you two been working on since and currently?

Nick: We've been quietly busy, but comics take FOREVER sometimes! I just finished writing a new book, just a bit shorter than AWAKENING, that First Second will be publishing in the next year or two. Comics are tons of fun but, like I said, sometimes take a while to make it from our collective brains, through the publishing machine, and into a reader's hands. My editor and I are looking for just the right illustrator for that book, so when that comes together we'll really be off and running. 

It's a pretty big departure for me, this book, but it took on a life of its own when I was writing it. It's more of a kids/all-ages title, with a very animated, or even a manga style to the writing. A brave new world from the desk of Tapalansky, and I can't wait until it's finally out!

In the meantime, I'm working on another exciting graphic novel, which I hope to start pitching this month, and Alex and I are always brainstorming what comes next.

Alex: Yeah, I've got a few bigger projects in the works as well but most of whats actually seen print has been shorts.

I had a piece in The Graphic Canon Part 1- a collection of comic artists and illustrators taking on classic literature and poetry. There's some pretty awesome stuff in there, and I'm proud to have been a part of it!

Nick and I also did a short story for the Perhapanauts gang, which is finally up on their website *LINK*. It's a bit older at this point but it'll be new to all of you!

Nick:  And it’s free! Who doesn’t like free comics?

Alex: I also just finished working on a short for Moon Lake Volume 2, coming out through Archaia. I did a whole mess of pinups for that book as well. As always, big stuff is on the way.

David: Thank guys for a fun story for Legends of the Guard. Where can readers find out more about each of you and your work?

Alex: Thank YOU, Dave! This was a blast to work on and I think both Nick and I are pretty honored to be a part of the MOUSE GUARD story, if even just tangentially.

Nick: It was definitely a great experience! We rarely get to play in other people's sandboxes, but when we do it's always a treat. Especially when the sandbox is as vast and inviting as MOUSE GUARD.

I tend to hang around on Twitter mostly (under the creative handle, @NickTapalansky) and have a secret narcissistic internet fort at nicktapalansky.com/blog, resplendent with info about yours truly and free comics. A Tumblr is imminent, once production gets going on the new book, so feel free to bookmark/follow nicktapalansky.tumblr.com. I do not yet have an Instagram, though I take enough pictures of my food that I should seriously consider it.

Alex: You can find me work on Tumblr:  http://dudenukem.tumblr.com, read my innermost thoughts on Twitter, @alexeckmanlawn, and Check out my website here: www.alexeckmanlawn.com

Nick & Alex's Story Leviathan will appear in Legends of the Guard
volume 2 # 1 along with stories by Stan Sakai & Ben Caldwell

Watercolor Wednesday:
Here's another look at last week's Watercolor Wednesday paintings: As I said in last week's blogpost, I was influenced by being at Spectrum Live and seeing all the folklore creatures. This week's pieces continue in that tradition. First up we have "Nod Longcap" When I grabbed the scrap piece of bristol he would occupy, I thought "It would be fun to do a vertical painting where most of it is the character's hat." The fun facial hair and nervous expression and body language developed on its own.

The other little fay from last week's Watercolor Wednesday offerings is this minstrel wearing a thimble for a hat. In Mouse Guard I love playing with having them use objects they have hand crafted to their scale so they look no different than human-scale items: swords, mugs, tools, etc....while still having them use items that are raw natural materials that remind us of the mouse-scale: acorn cap snowshoes, pinecone shingles, turtle shell boats. The tiny lute and the thimble gave me that same scale juxtaposition in this piece.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Legends of the Guard Vol 2. #3 cover process

With Legends Volume 2 in full solicitation swing, I'm back with another Legends cover process post. Last cover I mentioned considering having the main character be a musician...Well, I saved the idea for this cover and made the single musician a trio...a trio that could play so well, they'd call back the dead.

The cover started with some sketches and research into medieval instruments. After looking at several pages (and even listening to some recordings of people playing the instruments) I settled on bagpipes, an organetto, and something like a rebec. I took some liberties with them and the way they are played for the sake of being from mouse culture rather than man's. The dancing ghosts were also loosely sketched in my sketchbook so I could start to digitally compose a layout.

With sketches in hand, I worried about this cover and how it was going to work. Simply pasting together the drawings would not give me a full idea of this cover's final appearance or what pitfalls I would have to watch out for. So I did a bit more with tone and effects in the digital composite than I normally would. I played with some stock photos of trees in the background to give a foggy sense of depth.

The inks were a bit tricky because of the ghost effects...and at several times while inking I worried this cover wouldn't work the way I was proceeding with it, but I just pushed through figuring I'd make sense of it all in color. I inked this on two different sheets of bristol. The first was the 'real world' inks: ground, musician mice, and trees. The other sheet consisted of the mice and some sparkly effects I inked as dots. Before I started inking, I printed out the digital composite twice: one without the ghosts and one with just the ghosts. I added a few mice that were not in my initial rough, but I drew and inked them as I went.

The flats were rather quick, but took some advanced thought as to arranging the layers of them so I could achieve all the transparencies and ghost effects. I color held the trees and the ghost outlines on different layers. After the flat colors were established for the ground, sky, and musicians, I made some semi-transparent ghostly layers for the spirits' bodies. The ghosts are on multiple layers so that where they overlap there is a density change in their color. I kept the musician color choices fairly muted to make sure they didn't seem too out of place.

Here is a look at the final colors sans-text with all the rendering finished and the effects tweaked:
Issue 3 of Legends of the Guard volume 2 will feature stories by:
C.P. Wilson IIICory Godbey, & Eric Canete

Watercolor Wednesday: 
Ever since getting back from Spectrum Live, I've wanted to play more in the world of gnomes, elves, fay, sprites, cluricauns,  and brownies. I tend to do some work in that direction anyhow, but the next few weeks of Watercolor Wednesdays will be firmly planted there. The first up of last week's watercolor pieces was inspired by my design of a Fairy creature for a Mayfair game.

The other piece from last week I built up rather slowly with lots of layers of watercolor. The worried little fay seemed to be in the middle of telling me his story as I painted him. I figure he's some sort of late night watch who keeps his eyes and ears on the moon and heavens and will-o-wisps and even the humans and their farm beasts in order to make sure the world passes at it's correct pace, in sync with prophetic charts and runic almanacs. He frets a lot, but only jingles his bell soundly when real trouble (cosmic or domestic) puts everything in jeopardy.

Albuquerque Comic Expo: June 21-23
San Diego Comic Con: July 17-21
Boston Comic Con: August 3-4
Baltimore Comic Con: September 7-8
New York Comic Con: October 10-13

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