Monday, August 31, 2009

Dragon*con Sept. 4-7th!

Dragon*con, Atlanta GA. Sept. 4-7th 2009.

I will be at table #20 in Comics Artists Alley in the Hyatt Regency: Grand Hall East. I will be selling prints, mini comics, commissions, and I have goodies too.

Sunday in the Hyatt, rooms 223 & 226, at about 4 or 5pm, I will also be attending "Rusty's Day Camp" [Venture Brothers themed] as a "camp counselor." I may be doing something on "how to" -Event held by the good people at PRoV.

Also, fellow Archaia creator, David Petersen of Mouse Guard, will also be in attendance in the Comics Artists Alley!

Come out, say hello!!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

For Comic Vine~

Well hello Comic-Viners!
Wait, you probably don't call yourself that do you?
At any rate, hello everybody!

For those of you who do not know me, I'm Chandra Free, creator of the upcoming Archaia title, "THE GOD MACHINE." [The 1st issue is coming out this Oct. 28th]

Ms. Sara 'Babs' Lima asked me if I'd come and share with you guys my process & art work, and I was more than happy to accept! So expect more from me in the future!

But enough with the introductions - shall we get into the art?

For my first entry, I'm sharing with all of you THE GOD MACHINE's first graphic novel cover. [Graphic novel to come out the first quarter of 2010.]

For this particular cover I wanted to convey the feeling of the first 5 chapters of THE GOD MACHINE effectively. I took different and weird approaches to figuring out what would be best suited to do this. Like a fool, I tried "method arting" [think "Method acting" only with art.] I attempted to put myself in the mindset of my lead character, Guy Salvatore, who is a depressed 17-year old. I pulled out my old, crappy alternative CD's from my late teen years, put them on, and then tried to set "the mood" that would trigger inspiration! I failed miserably! [Like super fail!] I was in a rather good mood at the time, and there was no changing that, or "inspiring" me. With a surprise 4-day deadline approaching, I knew I had to figure out something for this cover that showed something about THE GOD MACHINE in the right light and in a hurry! So I went ahead and did what I do best - sit down, and draw extemporaneously!

I started with a Photoshop sketch.

I wasn't totally digging it, but it was a good start, and it had motion. I didn't think it was anything special, but I went with it anyway. Now, the unfortunate thing is [or fortunate in this case] was that I didn't save my last bit of work on the sketch, and lost all that work. This frustrated me. The image wasn't jiving, and work had been wasted. So I decided to scrap this image, and try a more traditional approach. Another day wasted.

The next day I got out some Blue Line comic book paper, and took the same approach. Strange that this worked. Typically, when using comic paper, I have a thumbnail of what I want to put down on the paper. Though I had done an odd sketch that you can barely make out in my sketch book that barely resembles what I ended up doing. This was a rather strange piece for me. But, I go with what works!

After an hour or so, I finally had my pencils. Well it might have been longer, time seems to fly when I draw, and I tend to never pay attention to how long. Who knows, it could have been 3 hours?
I originally drew this with the intention of having Guy at the bottom of the image, and Good God [the female obviously] at the top. I wanted to put the logo at the bottom to try something different. But, it didn't work as well as I thought it would, so I flipped the image. That worked out much better!

[It bares mentioning that I wanted an image that had a similar theme to what I had done for the cover of the first issue of THE GOD MACHINE.]

[This is the cover THE GOD MACHINE issue that's coming out in October.]

This is in keeping with that same idea of Guy Salvatore and Good God with a yin and yang kind of theme.

I took my pencils directly into Photoshop, and cleaned up and adjusted the levels to make them pop, and give them that "inked look." [I don't do inking, it drives me nuts!] I also use a Photoshop action my husband made for me that separates the lines from the digital canvas. It's easier to work with your line art with transparenies and solid lines. [You can also change the color of the line art this way too through layer options!]

Now I place down some basic colors.

Notice how I'm building up colors on top of my canvas' main color. I want some of the canvas color to come through parts of my image so we have the same general feel throughout. Though I'm a sucker for letting Good God's hair be untouched by any other colors, which will prove to be a challenge through this piece to make that work with our color scheme.

Next I put in a texture behind our characters and start fleshing out some more details.

Notice I start thinking of light sources, and taming the ugly base colors on that moon. [That moon was driving me crazy!]

Now I start really getting into the details, and adding what has been dubbed my "trademark" abstract elements. [Or so people tell me!]

I've added more shading here and there to our characters. Now there's also a splash of faint opaque red outside of Good God's hair. This helps integrate the reds in her hair to other parts of the image, helping it fit in with the rest of the color scheme. This also adds some more visual interest as well.

Following this, I take my first stab at finishing the image.

After more details have been placed, I lay down THE GOD MACHINE logo, and add the appropriate glows and shadows so it stands out. But there's something not quite right about this image. It looks done, and I'm ahead of of my deadline, so what could be wrong? It only took me a day to construct it, so maybe I'm rushing things. Sure I'm excited it's close, but that moon seems way too overpowering and dragging our eye out towards the left. [A big no-no!] Also the colors don't seem like they vary enough.

The solution: come in with some faint opaque greens, place it on the moon to tone it down, and put the green on our characters and other spots.

This gives it a little more balance, another level of shading, and just a better feeling overall!

Now this is the version I turned in to Archaia a few days ahead. I'm content enough with it, but I know I could do better.

Now the deadline wasn't the official deadline for the graphic novel material. It was actually so the graphic novel's cover could be featured in THE GOD MACHINE special.

So now I've had time to think on what bothers me about this image, and I've gone back and gave it exactly what it needed! [Trust me, I didn't pull a "Lucas." ;)]

First thing- that bloody moon! It's never behaved right for me.

I take out that nasty yellow, and replace with a bright shiny white! This proves more illuminating and adds an energy into the image, making our characters pop more.
I also go back to the line art layer and change its color from a black to a more dark red-brownish color, giving the lines a softer and more natural feel. I also add more little abstractions, and voilĂ ! Finished!

The piece now has a more vibrant energy and pizazz! [Least I think so.]

So if you guys happen to pick up THE GOD MACHINE special preview book, you'll be getting the alternate version of this cover inside, along with bio pages, and the first full chapter of THE GOD MACHINE!

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed that!
See you again with more art!


[The God Machine Special is coming out this Oct. 28th- Ask your local comic shop to order it for you! You can pre-order til the 31st of this month. Ask your local comic shop to order it or pick it up over at DCBS]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

1 WEEK to Order GOD MACHINE, Dragon*con + Interviews

You only have one week left to order The God Machine!!! Ask your local comic book shop to order it, or get it over at DCBS

Remember it's VERY important, [and it'll always be important] to PRE-ORDER THE GOD MACHINE with your local comic shop! It informs my publisher there is a need for my book [you know, so they keep me on for later books etc.] and also informs Diamond Distributors that it's something they want to keep solicited. It also tells them how many books to print, and also if you order through your comic shop they'll ACTUALLY have it there!!! Remember kids, I have an indy book, and comic shops don't naturally pick up these titles because they are more riskier to sell than say your Marvels and DCs. If you don't do this now, or for future books, there might not be a GOD MACHINE at your store. [this applies to all indy comics btw.]

It's a hard industry, and there is a reason why a lot of titles don't make it. It's really up to you guys to be proactive! [I know, I'm not much of a proactive person myself.. it sucks!]

AUGUST 31st is your deadline!! Go order THE GOD MACHINE: Preview!!!!


Dragon*con is FASTLY approaching!! Sept 4-7th in Atlanta, GA.

I'll have prints, mini comics, commissions, stickers and other goodies! If there is a particular piece you'd like to see as a print, please tell me! [my gallery for choices]

I can't wait to see you guys!!


More interviews!!!

I was on Comic Geek Speak recently talking about The God Machine, Photoshop and Star Trek?

Episode 882

Go listen now!!! <3

And a new Interview over at CBR:
"Archaia Unleashes THE GOD MACHINE"

That is it!


Monday, August 24, 2009

New CBR interview

New Interview over at CBR:
"Archaia Unleashes THE GOD MACHINE"

Also kittens, one last week to order The God Machine!!! Ask your local comic book shop to order it, or get it over at DCBS

that is all...


Saturday, August 22, 2009

PODCASTING: Comic Geek Speak

I was on Comic Geek Speak recently talking about The God Machine, Photoshop and Star Trek?

Episode 882

Go listen now!!! <3


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Interviews and Features!

Lots of Interviews coming in from yours truly,

+Comic Monsters: INTERVIEW

+Jazma Online Interview

+First Early Review-ish of The God Machine @ The Furnace

More to come! Including a podcast interview with the boys at Comic Geek Speak! [which should be online this Friday.]

As a friendly reminder don't forget to order THE GOD MACHINE before August [this month] 31st! Show your love and support! It's super important!

Print this out-
by =SpookyChan on deviantART and take it to your comic shop! Help give them an idea that this is the book they need to order for their shop. [please!!!]

If you don't have a comic shop or you're international you can go over and order it at DCBS right now! [*note you'll still be getting the book in October.]

And Dragon*con is coming up!! Sept 4-7th in Atlanta, GA.

I'll have prints, mini comics, commissions, stickers and other goodies! If there is a particular piece you'd like to see as a print, please tell me! [my gallery for choices]

Still no official word on THE GOD MACHINE being available for Dragon*con as of yet.

At any rate, come see me!!! [and apparently the "Shat" will now be at Dragon... ouuu Denny Crane!!! XD]

lots o' love my kittens!


p.s. I hear rumors there is supposed to be a GOD MACHINE street team? hmmm...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Go forth and order THE GOD MACHINE + Other Archaia Comics

Heads up! The God Machine is finally making its way to the presses!
This October!!


BUT! In Order for it to make it to your comic shop, you have to tell your shop you want it!!! [and that you need it!] Please don't expect it to just show up, because sometimes comic shops don't order all comics. I know, It makes me sad to. :(

Print this out-
by =SpookyChan on deviantART and take it to your comic shop! Help give them an idea that this is the book they need to order for their shop. [please!!!]

Now don't be fooled by the "Preview" title. I assure you that there is a full issue full of lush colors and bonus pages! [With never before seen bios!] None of that sample page dealy stuff. This will satisfy your God Machine cravings!! Think of this as just a "preview" of the main course, the GRAPHIC NOVEL!

What will you be getting in this-
The God Machine; "Preview"
[includes first full chapter, and bonus art work/bio pages]
48 pages
Previews Code: AUG090638
Publisher: Archaia
Coming: October
Mature Audiences

So there ya go! It's finally going to happen!!
Go forth and order! I'm counting on you guys!

Also! If you don't have a comic shop, or you're international [or whatever the case may be] you're in luck! You can go over and order it at DCBS right now! [*note you'll still be getting the book in October.]


Wait? What's that? Need More comics... Yes, yes you do need more comics!!!

Me best matey, Mr. Patrick McEvoy [artist] and my other very good friend Dave Rodriguez [writer] have a hard cover coming in October as well!!

Starkweather : The Immortal [from Archaia too!]
They have a Order ticket as well-

Starkweather preorder coupon
by ~PatrickMcEvoy on deviantART
[same deal as my book, print it, take it to your local comic shop, and order! Also their on DCBS as well!]

Still not enough? Need something NOW?

Well why not the ultra sexy Awakening Hardcover? It drips with the amazing talents of my dear friends Nick Tapalansky & Alex Eckman-Lawn!

I've been praising this book forever, and it's finally in a hardbound edition that's amazingly beautiful. mmmm existentialistic zombish noir! Go get it over at Amazon, or your local book/comic store. Or yell at the book store to order you a copy!

And even more gratifying for getting something right now, we have my new friend,
Josh Fialkov and his Kindle comic, Tumor! You can get it on Kindle, or read online. See Josh's page for details!


Don't forget!

DRAGON*CON!! Sept 4-7th! I'm a guest! Come see me please! I'm working hard on getting advance copies of the God Machine for this convention! [you heard me right.] But I can't promise anything... but sources say- more than likely!!

That's it kittens!

Love you guys!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

SDCC 2009, the aftermath of Epicness!

And so... another Comic-con has come and gone. What a delightful time it was too! I saw many of my dear friends & colleagues [some whom I only knew online], connected with fans, and added to my collection of hyper cool convention stories.

It must be said, that the Archaia group is just amazing. I love all of those guys so much. Even with a restructuring, it's still the same family. From our creators, to our staff, to our lovable interns- there's so much to love!

I have to keep this brief due to the fact that writing is hard on the hands.

The panel I was on, was a surprising success! I wish there was video of the first half with Nick Tapalansky & Alex Eckman-Lawn [Awakening], Josh Fialkov [Tumor] , and myself [The God Machine], but sadly no one has found this yet. :(

After all of us we're done, Zachary Quinto and his production company “Before the Door Pictures,“ came on to present their 2 new books, Mr. Murder is Dead and Lucid. [Which they are doing with Archaia.]

After they presented their books it was time for Q&A... uh oh! ^_~
All questions were for Quinto and Co.... minus one. A dear sweetie, by the name of Kat, who is a fan of mine did the ballsy-est things I've ever seen. She did not ask “Before the Door” guys anything, but her question was pointed towards me! I had no earthly clue til that moment. I was floored! Mr. Stephen Christy [Archaia] encouraged me to come up and answer in front of everybody. This also happened to be the perfect opportunity to give Mr. Quinto my little print of Spock

by =SpookyChan on deviantART

So before I took the question I gave the print, and turned to take the question. You can see it all here-
[I come in at about 4:40 mn]

Anyways, as you can tell I was very dorky. But no one said I was a good speaker, I just make pretty pictures and write stories away from the public. It was super cool to meet Mr. Quinto that way. [I adored him as Spock, since i'm a big Star Trek fan throughout, hence my answer.]

A big thanks to Kat for getting up there, and making my convention a memorable one! -You rock girl!
Other bits of news, me best matey, Mr. Patrick McEvoy did some interviews at SDCC for the incredible “Ninja Mountain Podcast”, which features yours truly, and featuring Steranko, Alex Eckman-Lawn, Dave Rodriguez, Mark Smylie, etc. Go listen to it! [pst! This link is a direct link to the show]
*also I apologize for being so giggly and inapt at talking... did I mention I don't get out much?

ALSO! The biggest announcement to come out of this trip, was to find out that OFFICIALLY my book, “The God Machine,” is coming out this October!

ORDER IT! [pretty, pretty, pretty please!!!!!]

by =SpookyChan on deviantART
[see image, and under it for more info]

More follow ups on this to come!

Last, but not LEAST!

DRAGON*CON!! Sept 4-7th! I'll be a guest. Come see me please!
Also I have 2 tickets for sale [both are for 4 days , @ $100 a piece] I need to sell these!!! I bought them before I knew i'd be a guest. :( If anybody is interested contact me at – I accept paypal. This is the going rate for tickets right now. But you'd be helping me out if you purchased them from me!

Thanks guys!!

I think that's it... I wish I could go into all the wonderful moments and all the incredible friends and talent I got to pal around with. But this will have to do.

Thanks to all who stopped by, bought a print, mini-comic, or just stopped by to chat!

Also, a few photos over at myspace.

Love you guys!