Tag Archives: graphic novel

Two Machines Graphic Novel Now Available

The Graphic Novel Two Machines  debuts today at Comixology.com for .99 cents.
The 89-page  full color story is available to read on the iPhone, iPad, Android Devices, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8.
Two Machines is  the story of a small group of anarchists set in a dystopian future where humans are ruled by a technological deity.

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Download the App today to read the exciting epic story.

 

Tell us about your graphic novel, Two Machines

Two Machines is an 89 page graphic novel that depicts the story of three main characters, Invo Helter, Hector Inferno and Song and their mission to destroy a technological deity called The One Who Sees. It is set on earth about 100 years in the future. The story alludes to a dystopian society.
The main character, Invo, a mysterious anarchist-turned-prophet goes on a quest to discover the source of the world’s enslavement, and to come face to face with this god. On the way, he encounters a goddess, a cannibal tribe, demons, corrupt police, and a necromancer.

Where can I buy your comic?
Two Machines is available currently on
Comixology.com, and is delivered via a digital copy via it’s app which runs on iPhones, iPads, Android Devices, Kindle, and Windows 8. Buy it here.

What about the minor characters?
There are two assassins that aid Invo on his quest, Hector Inferno, an ex-detective, and Song, the Nightingale, who uses her seductive powers and strength the overthrow a gang, known as The tang Triad. Both Hector and Song team up to take down the gang, enabling Invo to find the source of the evil influence.
Song was inspired a great deal by my attraction to Kung-Fu movies, and strong female leads like Bridgette Lin. I was exposed to this cinema when I worked at a movie theatre while attending art school.
There are numerous villains, such as the demoniacs, who are dreamt into existence by the One Who Sees. All of the enemies in the book are agents of this higher power, and hence the need to exterminate  them.

What genre is it?
This would be  considered fantasy and science fiction. The world that this story occupies is not so unfamiliar as the one we have today, populated by corrupt political puppets, however they serve a much higher power who has aims of his own.

How did you come about creating this?
I was really inspired in my youth by the work of many artists, such as Moebuis, Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri, Heavy Metal magazine, and the moody, beautifully illustrated comic Arkham Asylum by Dave McKean. Films also had an influence such as Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, My brother introducing me to The Wrath of Khan, Shanghai Triad, and The Last Temptation of Christ.  Traveling to Europe in the late 1990’s also had a strong influence on me. I was exposed to some truly epic, grandiose works of art there.
Some of these influences can be seen in this work. I didn’t realize some of them at the time, but upon reflection, I could see them more clearly.
I have also researched a lot of world religions, and wanted to incorporate some of those existential questions into the story somehow. There is a marriage of occult mysticism, eastern and western religious ideas, synthesized into a more holistic mythology.
If one follows Invo’s character arc, it is similar to that of Christ or Buddha, but if those prophets were armed and dangerous.

 

What mediums did you use?
The comic incorporates the use of traditional art media such as watercolors, pastels and ink. It was then scanned and edited with photoshop. I used the digital medium much later, primarily to embellish some of the panels that required more dramatic tones with  photoshop and a wacom tablet.

I started this back in 1995, and really wanted to keep the initial feel of the graphic novel. My drawing style has changed considerably since then. However, for the sake of this particular story, I wanted to keep that original freshness, and imperfect hand drawn style.
If I were to start all over today, this book would be a lot less violent, and more stylistically cohesive. This is a part of my past, a labor of love, which took many years.
When I began this, it was a basic concept, and really permitted me to experiment with different drawing styles and media. It eventually evolved into a more structured story.

Another medium I explored with this is video. It inspired my short film Sister Vengeance. If you read the comic, then watch the short film, you can see some of the parallels are very evident. Sister Vengeance takes place in contemporary times, the storyline is a bit different, but the soul is there. You can watch it here.

Is this going to be serialized or an all-in-one publication?
Two Machines an all in one publication. This is the first edition that was created from the years of 1995 through 2013. The surviving characters could have a life of their own outside this story, which is a thought I’ve entertained, and I am open to the possibility of exploring in the future.

How did you come about choosing this method of publishing?
Discovering Comixology was really an exciting prospect for me. I’ve really wanted to find a bigger audience for my work, and with their Comixology Submit program, it makes it much easier and instantaneous to reach that audience. Having the graphic novel available for The iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle, and Windows 8 allows me to reach the largest audience I can. I think the internet in general has really opened up to the world to us, enabling us to have audiences we never would have, say 20 years ago. It’s a fresh, instant, and accessible way to digest media.

Is there a print version available?
Currently, no. However, if there is a demand for one, I will explore those possibilities.
I have the original panels which I scanned and modified, and the final version is available to be printed if the time comes.

 Is there a larger message in this story you wanted to convey?
At the time I created this, technology seemed to be this really frightening thing, and it still is in some sense. We as a species have made equally amazing and horrible things that came with it’s advancement. Technology allows us to do great things, but we have to be responsible and accountable for what we do.
This story is one of searching, questioning, and the struggle to find meaning. It is about coming face to face with our maker. In this case, it is a false and malevolent one.
Ultimately, this is a story of destruction and renewal.

 

Making Art




A short film of time lapse sequences demonstrating my art making process. watch the video above.

Two Machines Progress

Two Machines Graphic Novel
Currently making a good amount of progress on the graphic novel, Two Machines. Spent the last several weeks embellishing the panels and now just solidifying the cover art and hoping to add some more descriptive narrative to the story. A calendar plotting my progress has definitely come in quite handy. The above image shows the line drawing to the initial watercolor paint base. A few more layers, then some digital manipulation. Once this is completed it is time to move on to new things.
# Wacom cintiq 12wx

Revisiting Two Machines

Two Machines Graphic Novel

Over the past few weeks I have been working intermittently on my graphic novel Two Machines. The original story began in 1997 on the way home to the States after living for a month in  Aix-En Provence, France. The story started as I began drawing the books first panels on the airplane ride home. Many years later, I completed the hand-colored graphic novel using watercolors, pastels, and pen and ink as a medium. Looking at it now, I see a multitude of things I would change or do differently. However, I am attempting to stay true to the original idea, to keep it fresh as it was then. Additionally, I have too many other ideas I want to explore that are more valid to me at this point.

As time passes, one’s ideas of beauty and art changes dramatically. In my case, I value the simplification of line and color. When I look at the book now, the quality of the work still lacks the graphic punch that it needs to be worthy of a publisher to look at. I have been methodically going through each page in photoshop with the Wacom Cintiq 12WX tablet. Each panel is being embellished by adding stronger contrast to the original work, while retaining it’s integrity. While it is an improvement, the reality is that it still has a way to go. I spent a solid 6 hours last week on 8 pages, simply adding to what was already there. At times I feel as if I am merely dressing up a window. This can be discouraging, but immersing oneself entirely in the project once again adds new life and vigor to the work.

The plan is that is will have a much more cohesive look to it, as the continuity is important to the story. While changes of style and medium are prevalent, I want to make it less jarring for the reader. This is one of a few projects I hope to finish by this year, and put out into the world. This graphic novel also served as an inspiration to the short film Sister Vengeance, which I shot in New York last year, and I am still editing.

With both of these projects, being so personal and precious to me, I keep striving for this ideal of perfection. What I have learned from all this is that nothing is perfect. There will always be some inherent flaw, and one must come to terms with that. In a way, those thoughts are liberating. I do not see this an an excuse to create sub-par work, quite the contrary. The medium defines ones ability to accurately depict their vision and make it manifest on the page or canvas. Another aspect of creating anything is to give yourself a bit of time to take step back from the work and give it a few days (or weeks) to allow other ideas to germinate. I find it good to look at a project again, more objectively as time has passed.

I am wary of seeking too much criticism at the beginning of any project, as my belief is that you should first focus and complete the work, or make a sizable dent before showing it to others.  Getting criticism and commentary from the ouside work is essential, yet should never dictate the final product. I had one person suggest I should re-do the entire book, and make an oil painting for each panel. If I took that advice, I would be working on this for the next ten years. While it was a good suggestion, it was not realistic for me to do that, nor did I want to invest my life in one singular project.

Criticism can be good, if you try not to involve your emotions in what is being said. It is there to make your work better. Criticism is also based on the viewers own personal concept of aesthetics, which may differ greatly for your own. That being said, one must stay true to their vision without compromise, and make adjustments and changes as necessary that make the work resonate.