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Dark Art gets published

Dark Art is a short horror comic I wrote and Adam Sward drew back in early to mid 2010. Originally slated to appear in a horror anthology in 2010, Dark Art went into limbo when that anthology stopped publishing. A second anthology emerged from the ashes of the first and Dark Art was going to appear in its pages but that anthology never saw the light of day. This was frustrating because I thought Adam and I did a great job on this piece and I wanted everyone to see it. When I hatched the idea for The Grim Collection in the summer of 2011 I knew Dark Art was going to be one of comics published soon after the launch. And it was. Dark Art was published on The Grim Collection in September 2011.

But Dark Art was also accepted into the 2011 Halloween edition of IF-X. I received my 30 copies of that edition today. It’s a great looking book and Dark Art looks fantastic within. I will be selling this issue of IF-X at Central Canadian Comic-Con in October 2011.

It took more than a year, but it feels good to have Dark Art available to the public.

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Dark Art: Lettering Finished

A little taste for you: This is detail from the last panel of page 1 of Dark Art. Artwork is by Adam Sward.

The Acts of Violence promotional campaign kicks into high gear tomorrow so all posts for the remainder of April will be related to that project even though I have other comics in development. Updates on those projects will return in May; but, I do want to sneak in an update about Dark Art.

The lettering is finished and the comic has been submitted to Mike Colbert, publisher of Tales of the Supernatural, a horror comics anthology. Mike saw the pre-lettered pages and liked them a lot, so I am confident he will enjoy the lettered pages as well. That means there is a very good chance Dark Art will appear in a 2010 issue of the anthology.

Stay tuned for more information.

Dark Art update

My previous post about Dark Art generated some enthusiastic response so I thought I would provide an update. Artist Adam Sward has been working on it and I am very pleased with the results. He started with a series of thumbnail sketches to show how he would approach the story. After some back and forth discussion, he got started on pencils, and then moved onto finished pages. As of earlier this week, I’ve seen seven of the eight pages. I thought you might like a look into the creative process…

All art by Adam Sward

What you see above is the evolution of page 2 panel 2.

(top left) Adam began with a series of thumbnails, small sketches to show how he would approach the artwork. These thumbnails were small and accompanied by notes describing why he did what he did. For page 2 and page 1, he sent more than one thumbnail.

(right) Pencils were next. Comparing the thumbnail with the pencils you can see Adam changed the perspective. I didn’t want the doorway to be so prominent in the panel so he came up with the concept you see in the pencils. I really like the positioning of the characters. This panel is the establishing shot that introduces the reader to the characters and the setting so it was important that he include all the key things I wanted shown. He nailed it.

(bottom left) A low resolution look at the final panel (without lettering and with some minor cropping). You can see that not much has changed from the pencils.

If all goes according to plan, you’ll be able to enjoy the completed Dark Art some time later this year when published. Stay tuned to this blog for more info.

Meet Adam Sward, the artist for “Dark Art”

2009 was a great year for me in regards to writing and comics projects. I was published in IF-X and A Thousand Faces; I had two short fiction and one comic published on bohemian-zen.com as part of the Special Edition project; and was hired to write Black Salt, a six-issue miniseries that is my highest profile project to date. Black Salt #1 was released in September, issue #2 should be available before Christmas and I have started writing issue #3. Feedback on my published work has been positive and I hope to use the successes of 2009 as the foundation for an even better year in 2010.

Adam and I discussed "Dark Art" in some detail via email. He did some sketches, one of which was this critter. This type of collaboration between writer and artist is one of the reasons why I love working in the comics medium.

One of the projects I have planned for next year is “Dark Art”, an eight page horror comic. The success of “Cutter’s Reward” kindled an interest in horror comics. I have always liked horror as a genre but was not well versed on horror comics, especially in the short form. I turned to the Creepy and Eerie Archives published by Dark Horse Comics to learn from the masters. I was amazed at the detailed artwork and how those artists used the space available to them, but from a writer’s perspective what was most valuable was what I learned from paying attention to the dialogue and narration crafted by the writers. I wrote “Dark Art” with these classic comics in mind. I feel the script is in keeping with the style of those horror greats, and have high hopes for the finished piece.

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