22 January 2012

As always, I've got a sh*tload to do!

I have been working hard for the past month, becasue I have a supertight deadline with everything I want to do!
Here's a quick review of what I've achieved so far and how much I have left:

A Sword Princess Tale
I have been working on the 40-pages long first chapter of this fantasy shojo manga since December, but started drawing in January. Finished the fine drafts of 23 pages so far and almost done with the action scene. This project will be fun, it will have a lot of action in it, and that will be interesting since I havn't done an action manga before. I have a bunch of nice reference books though, so I will be fine, i think.
My plan is to have it finished by March, and I hope I can make it!


A Song For Elise: Remix - Memories
This 13-pages long short story manga is based on my manga A Song For Elise (Ein Lied für Elise, TOKYOPOP 2010, Germany). I have finished the inking of all the pages, and right now I'm doing grayscales on them. Why not screen tones, you might ask. Well, because this one is going to be a part of an anthology with several other artists, I want to slow down the reading and make the reader stay on my pages and not just flip through it. Screentones are so one-dimentional so they make the reader speed up. Grayscales with details and shades make the reader slow down. At least I think so...
Have finished 6 pages so far. Deadline is end of January, so I'm doing my best!

A W.I.P. of page 8.

Hooked On You
This 32-page one shot is both for Nosebleed Studio's next anthology, planned release in April, and also my next entry to Ribbon's rookie competition. It need to be done in mid-February for the anthology, and I hope to send it to Ribbon in March.
So far I have 18 finished fine drafts done, so I've got lots and lots of more work to do!!


This is what I feel like right now:

At the same time, I'm also working with the editorial work on Swedish Comic Sin 3, e-mailing and booking the print shop etc. And did some economy paper duty for Nosebleed Studio the other day too, I feel so responsible!

Ok, back to work with me! No time to lose!!

12 January 2012

2012 - The year of new beginings!

Ouch, my but hurts... I think I might have broken it when training in the gym yesterday.

I want to write about my coming year, because I love to make plans and daydream of fullfilling them~

But first, I shall do what I have done the past years: evaluate my New Years resolutions, and proclaim new ones!
My resolutions for 2011 was:
  1. To create a new longer manga project (preferably for TOKYOPOP in Germany)
  2. To stop defining my self with what I do, and find my own strenght and worth

The first one went...ok, I guess. I didn't fininsh the first chapter like I really wanted, but I have not ever stopped thinking about my next big project that I want to pitch for TOKYOPOP. I even collected research material during my vacation for this project! And now, after working on it for a year, it feels more solid than ever.
Sad part is that most of the connecting with the characters is made when you draw them, and I have had no time and energy to do so... So if I should put a grade on how well I fullfilled the resolution, it might be a 3 out of 5. It could have been better, but I guess I should be happy with how much I got done even though I had loads of work on other things to take care of.

About the second one, I think I did better accually. This might sound corny and weird, but I accually kinda feel like I found my self this year. I feel more comfortable in my own skin than ever, and I have taken time to enjoy myself, doing things I normally not take time off to do, like take a walk in the forest, climbing, playing with my kitten Hilda and so on. I have also, the past couple of weeks, started getting to bed in time, so that I get up early, which I think has boosted my energy level a lot. So, I get an 4 out of 5 for fullfilling parts of the resolution, I think.

Now, let's talk about my resolution for 2012:
This year, I'll take the chance while young and energetic and go to Japan!

I want to go back to Japan, and this time stay at least 2 months. For that, I'm looking for funds and scholarships that might get me there. Sent off an application yesterday and will send three more before 1st of February.
If you know any, please give me a tip! I would be very very gratefull for any help.

I want to be over there, because last time was so inspiring and gave me so much knowledge and insight. I want to go there now, while I'm young and can do it, and I want to do it because I'm affraid I'll regret it when I'm older if I don't.
So this year, I WILL go to Japan again, and stay longer than last time. Make my self at home over there, if so just for a month or two.

So, that's my New Years resolution for this awesome new and exciting year. I will also keep on working on all of my mangas and go to a bunch of cons!

Here's my plans for 2012:

January-February: Work on Hooked On You and A Song For Elise: Remix -Memories and hopefully finish the first chapter of my princess manga (more info bellow) and send it to TOKYOPOP, and also send Hooked On You to Ribbon in Japan
March-April: Work at Malmö Högskola (University of Malmö) at their new comics course, and also do the editorial job on Swedish Comic Sin 3, plus work on layout sketches for chapter 2-5 for the princess manga and last but not least going to Small Press Expo (Stockholm, Sweden) with Nosebleed Studio's new anthology!
❆ May-June: Lot's of cons (see the tour list on the right) and more drawing, hopefully on the princess manga and hopefully for TOKYOPOP, and also sending Mjau! to other countries in hope of getting it out there, plus planing my trip to Japan, plus making a new story for Ribbon in Japan (so much!)
July-September: Some vacation, hopefully, but mostly drawing on the princess manga (I hope) and planing the trip to Japan
❆ October-December: Hopefully living in Japan and drawing on the princess manga and also making new short mangas for Ribbon, trying to get one published!

I see now that most of my plans is based on other peoples decisions... Will TOKYOPOP pick up the princess manga for publishing?? Will I get enough money to go to Japan?? My Fall is pretty much a big "perhaps". Well, time will tell...

So, after torturing you with a wall of text, here's finally a picture!

This is Amalthea, the main character of the princess manga.
She's a Sword Princess!

This is an actionloaded and romantic fantasy manga, mainly targeted to females 13-20 years old, but the style might attract male readers aswell, and maybe even reader 20+ if I do it right!

The tale is played out in a story-book-like fantasy world where the Queens are the ones in charge. The oldest of daughters are kept to take care of the land, while the other daughters have to go out as Sword Princess' and find princes to rescue and marry, to inherit their mothers lands. Amalthea is the second of two sisters, and thus the one to leave, which she doesn't find amusing at all. And when she finally finds a prince and rescues him, he refuses to marry her!
The story will be their jurney back to his mothers castle, a bit like an actionfilled, fantasy road-movie, in an up-side-down world and with lots of drama and comedy.

I so hope I get the chance to make this one, because I allready like the main character! She's such a subborn tom-boy! Well, not in that world, there she's just "a girl", haha. It will be fun to play with gender-roles and such, making the guys all soft and weak while the girls are reckless and cocky.

The inspiration for this story is mainly Gerd Brantenberg's book Egalia's Daughters, the TV-series Game of Thrones (because I havn't read the books... yet) and Kaoru Mori's manga A Brides Story. I think with these three masterpieces as my inspiration, I might be able to create something purely awesome!

Ok, time to let you rest your eyes. Thanks alot for reading!!

02 January 2012

2011 - in retrospect

Okay, time for some reviewing of the past 12 months of my life.
I'm kinda not looking forward to it, though...
This year have been filled with work, and it was fun, don't get me wrong on that, but I didn't get to do all the things I wanted to do, in the time I put up for my self. Well, let's start with looking over the events of this year.

Milestones of 2011:

  • I started the year with finishing the illustrations of Fly Sol, Fly!, the second of four in the children book series Häxfolket by Jo Salmson and Bonnier Carlsen (big Swedish publisher of childrens books). It was easier to work with the second book, compared to the first, because now we had settled how the characters and everything should be portrayed.

  • While Fly Sol, Fly! was going to the printers, I had a month to work on other stuff of my own before starting with the third book. Perfect timing, because Nosebleed Studio's 5 Years Jubilee Anthology was in the making, and I had my quota of 50 pages to fill! (>_<)
    So I finally started drawing the Circus manga idea that I had developed with the editor at Japanese manga magazine Ribbon that I met in Spring 2010 when I visited the country.

    The one shot manga of 32 pages
    was finished for the deadline the 1st of March.

  • But because I made Circus Romantique for the rookie competition in Ribbon magazine, I had a maximal page count of 32. So I still had another 18 pages to make to the anthology. My sister Catarina and our Nosebleed camrade Joakim Waller met up and had a 24-hour marathon session, at which the story and final drawings (before inking) for Bad Boy was made. It's a short story about Alice's two dogs, Charlie and Nebel. Sadly Charlie left us later that year.

    Rest in peace, dear Charlie, you were loved by many and will be missed forever~

  • During Fall 2010 and Winter 2011, I had a chair and a table at the comic art studio Seriestudion in Malmö. I wanted to have a real workspace, away from home, but it didn't really work that well... Frankly, I was too lazy to get my bum over there when I have a private workspace at home, with everything I need. Also, we had a little family X-mas present in january: a kitten!

    Hilda is her name, and with her around I never want to
    leave my home! So I quit my
    Seriestudion-workplace in March
    to become a
    full time shut-in, hahaha...

  • Then the terrible earth quake happened in Japan. TOKYOPOP in Germany took action, and got us artists involved in an auction of original art. The money was sent to an organization that helped out in the aftermaths of the disaster.

  • Spring arrived with a big bang! Not only did I have the sketches and illustrations for Magiska Krafter (the third in the Häxfolket series) to do, but also finishing the work as the editor of Swedish Comic Sin 2. This year the project had over 20 participants and the book reached 400 pages! So cool!!

  • And so the touring around the country began! First stop was in March: book signings at SF-bokhandeln in Stockholm and selling our books and fanzines at OkashiiCon in Malmö. April was mostly work (illustrations for Magiska Krafter) but May held Small Press Expo in Stockholm. In June, we went to UppCon in Uppsala and B.L.Y.G. in Stockholm. Last but not least, a book signing at SF-bokhandeln in Gothenburg in July.

    Nosebleed Studio's 5 Years Jubilee Anthology
    was a real hit at both SPX and UppCon!

  • July was calmer, less work and even some vacation with my fathers family in Portugal. Fun and nice with some time off~

  • As soon as I returned home, work gathered... First and foremost the illustrations for Folket Som Försvann, the last of four books in the Häxfolket series. The Fall was also filled with conventions to attend, such as Danish GenkiCon in August, Gothenburg Book Fair in September, Malmö comic festival ISV in October and Danish J-popCon in November.

    I signed the third book in the Häxfolket series
    at the Gothenburg Book Fair.

  • During the Fall, I also worked at libraries and schools as comic art and manga teacher. I usually don't have time for doing that, but some things is hard to say no to. I held workshops at libraries in Kristianstad and Lund, and in Jönköping at their film festival - which was loads of fun!
    I also got the honor to teach at Malmö Högskola (college) for a week in September, and at Serieskolan (Comic Art School) in Malmö in November. It was awesome!!
    I really like teaching comic art, so when I one day feel like I have fullfilled my own need of attention, I will probably try to get my hands on a good spot somewhere as a teacher, and use my achieved contacts and experiences to make aspiring artists reach high!

  • Finally, in October, I did the last touches on the illustrations for the fourth book of Häxfolket, and thus finalized this one year project! Phew, nice! Don't get me wrong, I loved working with the books, and the editor and author and everyone did a fantastic job. I learned so much, and it also earned me a good pay. But I was also glad to finally be able to return to making comics, which feels like my true habitat.

  • So after 1,5 year of delays, I could finally finish the Japanese verion of Circus Romantique and send it off to Ribbon. It feels almost like this project had a "slow pace" button pushed all the way through. Everything went painfully slow!! It was so frustrating!

    But as soon as it was sent for Japan, it feelt like a big burden was lifted of my shoulders.
    I got it in on time for a deadline, and thus got the results in December: not a first place (of course, it was my first time) but a runner-up spot, and a feature in the end of February's issue 2012!! OMG!!! I was thrilled!
    Just like the TOKYOPOP contract in December 2009, this was a perfect X-mas gift for me! These are the kind of achievements that makes me strive higher and higher each time!

  • In December, I immediately started working on three new projects of mine:
    ★ a new short story for Ribbon called Hooked On You (that will also be a part of Nosebleed Studio's next anthology) ~ Layout sketches done for 32 pages
    ★ a short sidestory to A Song For Elise/Ein Lied für Elise, my Boys Love manga (the short story will be published in an anthology with other Nordic BL-artists) ~ 12 pages inked and partly finished
    ★ a longer and epic fantasy shojo manga about a sword princess, that I want to pitch for TOKYOPOP in 2012 ~ Layout sketches for chapter 1 done, 40 pages

So, that was my 2011!
Well, now that I look back at it, I am kinda pleased with it all. I did do loads of stuff, all in all 58 manga pages and over 300 illustraions! Three printed books, two anthologies and even a little extra victory with the coming feature in Ribbon.

But I feel frustrated over how slow it all went. I wanted to make even more manga this year... I guess the reason to me feeling a little down is because I have been longing to get back to making comics.
What am I doing here waisting time?!?

Let's make manga!!!