writing exercise #2

so, our next assignment was to write another page of script, this time using a lot of new stuff that we learned in class: how to describe panel layout and format, verbally describing art direction and mood/tone, different visual cues, etc. and thusly, its a lot less dialog heavy than the first one. but a good step, i think.


[As continued after assignment 1, a few days later.]

1) [Establishing shot. A wide shot on a mostly deserted city street, made up of rows of dingy looking brownstone apartments and bodega style stores. Its early fall, heavily raining and cold. This top panel should be unframed and run the full width of the page, right to the edge. The background while they're out on the street should be fairly drab colors: blues, grays and browns. The few colors on the page should come from street lights, traffic lights, and neon store lights.]
[XX and XY are walking down the street, on the far right of the panel. XX is wearing a fully-buttoned jacket with the hood over her head. Her hands are held in her pockets with her shoulders shrugged tightly around her neck. She has a satchel style bag slung around her neck and shoulder. XY is wearing a scarf and jacket with the collar pulled up around his neck. He has a black umbrella held low in front of him with one hand obstructing his head and upper face from the reader and any prospective observers on the street.]

2) [They're both now walking towards the camera. XX is looking surly. The top of XY's face is still covered; you can see he's holding a small slip of paper with an address on it in his free hand.]
XX: I'm really glad you made me come to the far side of town in the freezing rain...
XX: ...AND you take my umbrella.
XY: Look. I really can't help that I have this extremely conspicuous branch sticking out of my forehead.

3) [From the side again. The door a few steps in front of him has the address that he's looking for scraped into the paint.]
XX: And I don't have any hats that could cover it. An umbrella was the only... (He stops himself when realizes he's right in front of the door he's looking for.)
XX: We're here...

4) [They're standing in front of the door next to each other; their backs to the reader.]
XY: I can't believe you're actually doing this.
XY: You scoffed when I told you to go to a doctor...
XY: ...but jumped at the opportunity to go to a some gypsy voodoo priestess.
XX: She's not a voodoo priestess...

[montage of small panels overlaying the main panel; all are views from inside the shop. The color palette should be much warmer, but still slightly dark.]
5a) [small square in upper left: Several small, irregularly shaped and sized bells jingle as the opening door hits them.]
5) [main panel: XX opening the door and walking in; pseudo-bird's eye view, as if looking down from the rafters.]
XX: (continued from last panel) ...She's a psychic.
5b) [small square along the bottom right: Jars of different shapes and sizes are up on a shelf on the wall; a series of cut jewels hangs from the shelf on strings.]
5c) [small square along the bottom right: Several brass scientific-looking instruments are on top of a console-style table with lots of tiny drawers on the front; a cat is asleep and partially hanging off the edge.]
5d) [small square along the bottom right: open books, news papers, and cards are strewn on top of an old wooden table; a cup of tea is sitting on the table near a chair, still steaming; there is a doorway behind the table with a fabric panel/curtain covering the opening.]

6) [Wide-angle panel, XX and XY (only shown from the shoulder up) are facing away from the reader, with their heads quickly spinning around to look the other way; both have expressions of apprehensive surprise.]
Voice (from off panel): Have a seat. Don't touch anything.
Voice (from off panel): ...damn kids...


ambur had some really good input that i need to name them... which i know is completely true. i have trouble writing and and keeping track of the xx/xy, let alone someone who is just reading it. but i think this is really a story that i want to continue writing (and drawing at some point), and i don't want to just slap names on them. i'd be afraid that they would get stuck in my head and wouldn't be able to see them as anything else. maybe i'll do some character studies (which i think we're learning about in class tonight) to flesh them out a bit more. maybe then some names will come to me. anyone have any suggestions?


mas holgas

a few shots from my last two rolls...


writing exercise #1

so, i turned in my first homework assignment for my comic writing class tonight. in the first class last week we focused on script writing and how a comic script should be formatted. which resulted in the below 6-panel script. the idea for the story started out as just a picture i had in my head, we'll see if it ends up going anywhere.


XX is in her early-to-mid twenties; a bit of a tomboy; medium height and build; she has medium length, straight dark hair with blunt bangs. XY is in his early-to-mid twenties; tall and slender; with medium length, tousled brown hair covering his forehead. They are roommates and have been friends since middle school. XY just awoke up to find a thin, foot long branch growing out of his forehead.

1) We open on them in mid-conversation; XY sitting up in his bed still under the covers. XX is sitting cross-legged at the foot of the bed facing him, looking curiously at the branch. He is tenderly touching one of the sparse leaves growing off of it.
XX: So...
XX: ...you woke up, and it was just sticking out of your head?
XY: Its not sticking out. Its growing out.

2) She looks flippant and rolls her eyes.
XX: Yeah... sorry. GROWING.
XX: So, what the hell did you do last night that resulted in the sapling growing out of your head?

3) We now see XX face-on with the branch growing out at the viewer, going slightly out of focus.
XY: Its gonna sound retarded... but I had this dream...
XX (from off panel): ...here we go...

4) We see XX's black silhouette on a red background. His arms are outstretched, with his head split vertically from the crown down to mid-torso. Growing out of the split is a large full-grown tree with thick branches.
XX speaking in caption: It was so messed up. All I remember is having a headache that got worse and worse. And then my head felt like it just ripped apart and this HUGE tree just shot out of it...

5) She is flipping through a magazine, looking bored, not lifting her eyes while she speaks. He is still sitting on the bed looking up at the branch.
XY: ...I know there was more to it, I just can't remember.
XX: You know how boring it is to hear someone recount their dreams?
XY: Great. Thanks for the support...

6) She gets up, tossing the magazine on the on the bed as she leaves the room. He's scooted to the edge of the bed with his legs hanging off, ready to get up.
XY: Will you please leave so I can get dressed and figure out what the hell I'm going to do about this thing?
XX: Fine. You do have to give me some credit though...
XX (looking back with a smirk): ...I did avoid all of the the obvious "morning wood" jokes.


posting this actually makes me nervous. its odd for me to share something that i'm unsure of. i have no problem posting crappy sketches, but this, for some reason, feels different. hopefully that feeling goes away. my teacher will be reading it this week and returning it with comments. sort of anxious to see what he has to say...


gettin' my learn on

tuesday nights through october at the muse

Introduction to Writing Comics course description:
"Graphic novels, manga and comic books have become a major sector in the field of literature and a principal source of inspiration for other media. T Campbell presents a set of exercises designed to familiarize writers with this exciting and challenging form. We'll move from simple games like "fill in the word balloon" and word-balloon matching, to the basics of character design (for a visual medium) and page design (panel-count and other elements), to story breakdown (what happens on each page?) and script criticism, and end with one to three pages of full-fledged comics scriptwriting, reviewed in the class."

hopefully inspirational and entertaining.


playin' around

so my mom asked me to illustrate/draw each of her students to use for stuff in class. since there are 24 little rascals, i've been trying to find a quick and easy way to do it without drawing, scanning, tracing, coloring, etc. so i've been playing around tonight with tracing directly over an image with my wacom tablet.

its not exactly the look i had imagined for the kids, but its sorta neat, i guess. i used a photo i had taken a while back using the little camera on our mac. i didnt realize how much older i look with a beard...


exTRAVELganza: holga shots

so we got a holga camera when we went up to richmond for our anniversary. we shot a roll when we were up there, and none of them turned out very well. we took it with us on our journey back home, and shot almost 3 rolls. i just got 2 of them developed (still a few more to take to finish off the last roll), and there were a few that weren't too bad, if i say so myself! sure, they're not great, but at least some of them are partially in focus (although some of them are pretty dark, but i guess you'll have that with a camera like this)... here are a few:

a rusty metal dinosaur in downtown waynesville:

margaret and krystal chillin in downtown waynesville:

my wifey sittin on a picnic table:

krystal and margaret dancing at the wedding:

here's one of waffles sun bathing before she got her cast off:


exTRAVELganza #3

final leg: waynesville, nc to norfolk, va

travel stats:
depart: waynesville, nc @ 10:15am, 8/17
arrive: norfolk, va @ 5:00pm, 8/17

total distance: 445 mi

states driven through: 2

most hated road: highway 58 east

feeling: really fucking tired


exTRAVELganza #2

Leg #2: union mills, in to waynesville, nc

travel stats:
depart: union mills, in @ 7:30am, 8/15
arrive: waynesville, nc @ 5:00pm 8/15

total distance: 615 mi

states driven through: 4

book on tape completed: the subtle knife by phillip pullman

accidental turn-arounds: 3

worst bumper sticker: "Drill here. Drill now. Lower prices."

second worst bumper sticker: "NObama"

text messages between our travel companions: 34


exTRAVELganza #1

leg #1: norfolk, va to merrillville, in

travel stats:
depart: norfolk, va @ 11:30pm, 8/11
arrive: merrillville, in @ 3:00pm, 8/12

total distance: 859 miles

states driven through: 4

deer sightings: 9

shooting stars: 4

cups of coffee: 3

best music to stay awake to: chromeo


the daily figure

i found this blog for artist/illustrator kyle t. webster today. he's doing a daily figure drawing, and they are freakin' awesome.



i heart pirates

in fact, i heart two kinds of pirates:

1) the adorable and hilarious cartoon kind.

cartoon network has a new show called "the misadventures of flapjack". Its got a pretty neat style (the backgrounds are a sort of water-color-esque style that i've been really drawn to lately. the waves are really flat and layered... and its really genuinely funny. i even find myself yelling "ADVENTURE!!" like innocent little flapjack. i highly recommend you check it out.

2) the kind that come bearing gifts of free software.

'nuff said.

next project

i've been sort of inspired by the elliotts' determination and stick-to-it-a-tiveness with their month-long art-a-thon. i had an idea for a little portrait series. sort of inspired by scott-c and nathan stapley (more based on subject matter than style, but i guess we'll have to see how they turn out when they're done). i started the backgrounds of 7 6"x6" canvases this past weekend (i'll post pics to those later this week), and honestyly, i wasn't totally sure what i was going to actually paint the portraits of until this week. famous stereotyped villains. i did some sketches at work...

(sorry for the poor quality scan)



my mother-in-law often sends forwards to krystal and i. normally, i just junk it... its typically stuff like animated gif's of puppies or photoshopped images that she thinks are real. but i opened one she sent the other day and thought it was really cool.

its a herd of sheep made entirely of rotary phones and phone cords. i think its extremely clever. i also have a think for sculpture anyway, so clever sculpture wins every time.


(insert sigh of relief here)

a co-worker cleansed krystal and i with white sage. it was dark and she couldn't read the correct spell (yes, i said spell), so she made up a little chant that rhymed "bad luck" with "fuck"... i was worried that would make things worse. its been about seven weeks of unwanted stress and hemorrhaging bank accounts. in retrospect, i feel like its all taken a larger toll on me personally than i thought. i don't think i've drawn a single thing since it all started. not that i've been so distraught that i couldn't draw. i just haven't felt like it. which sucks. i'm hoping to force myself back into it this weekend. but seriously...

broken doggy: no longer broken.
bothersome father-in-law: no longer in the country.

things are turning up. let's all keep our fingers crossed.


grey skies clearing?

not quite yet...

back story: going down to pick up krystal's dad from the hospital, we loaded up our car with a bunch of stuff out of his van to bring back with us (in hopes of selling it). among some of his clothes, personal documents and other little stuff, we grabbed a fairly large tv and a huge chest of tools. both very heavy. they've been in the back of my car because, as i said, they're very heavy and we weren't quite sure what we were going to do with them or where to put them until we did. no worries though, they're heavy and securely tucked in the back of my car.

fast forward to today: everything is all well and good. driving home from work and POP! i look in my rear-view mirror and the tv had shifted and broke out my back window. it didn't just crack, oh no. it put a hole in it. and i hear the crackle sound of the rest of the window breaking. great. so, so stop tiny pieces of glass from raining down on the road behind me, i push the entirety of my window (in tiny, tiny pieces) into the back of my car.

hooray for life.


are things starting to turn up for the werners?

so, basically, things have been pretty shitty. everyone knows that. waffles breaks her leg. extreme family drama with crazy hungarian inlaw. someone breaks into my car (in my own driveway no less) where my ipod is stolen. stress at work.
yeah. shitty.

well, i dont want to curse anything (even though kim offered to de-curse us by burning white sage), so i'll knock on wood. but this week has been really nice!
last night, sarah and justin invited us over for dinner. well, we get there, and they planned this whole, amazing ninja-themed dinner planned just to raise our spirits! sarah was wearing a kimono. they made their own placemats with ninjas on them. there was bamboo and lanterns. and then, another girl they work with (who turns out was, at one time, the tennessee state marshal arts champion) came out, dressed as a ninja and did this whole nunchuck show and brought out grilled meat served on sai! it was amazing. and! sarah, the best dessert maker ever, made banana spring rolls with honey and vanilla ice cream. absolutely hilarious and great evening.


its been a long time waiting (and saving up funds bit by bit), but we got a playstation 3! which may not be exciting for some, but i'm a huge nerd, and it makes me happy. it came with metal gear solid 4. now, i've never played any of the metal gear games (the first of which dates back 20 years, which means its got a long, complicated storyline that i know nothing about), but it is awesome! i'm usually not a huge fan of shooters, but this is a "stealth action" game, which calls for some more strategy, which i love. and thus far, the story is so applicable to all the shit that is going on in the world with a little sci-fi twist.
and the graphics are awesome to boot. and also, its a blu-ray player which up-samples regular dvds. meaning, the next movie night we have is going to be awesome.

lets hope things continue on this up-turn...


old french whore!

does anyone remember, back when 'saturday night live' was funny? back in high school, we'd always get together at somebody's house to watch it. i was thinking about the situation with waffles, and it brought to mind an old snl skit from 1997 where garth brooks was the guest star. it was a gameshow skit called 'Old French Whore!', where they teamed up high school honor students with old french whores to win fabulous prizes... well, when they're introducing everyone, they get to Cheri O'Teri who is playing an old french whore named Babette who has a sling on. Here's what happens:

Don Barbrell: Let’s meet our contestants! On the blue team we have Kevin Rheaume of Lansing Michigan! Kevin is a senior at East Lansing High School where he’s a proud member of the marching band!

Kevin: Hey Don!

Don Barbrell : Kevin your partner today is a 48 year old prostitute from Marseilles named Babette! Babette I heard you had a funny thing happened to you, uh, on the way to the studios.

Babette : [ With French accent ] Yes, a sailor broke my arm!

Don Barbrell : Ouch! Okay. Well! Good luck today!

it makes me wish i had remembered this sooner, so whenever anyone asked what happened to waffles, i could just say 'a sailor broke her arm' and offer no further explanation.


p.s. - whatever happened to Cheri O'Teri?


waffles, the cyborg

well, maybe she's an android... i'm not sure exactly what the difference is. but now that she's got a microchip in her back AND a metal plate and screws in her arm, she must qualify for one of them.

yeah, its a very sad situation. last saturday, we were out playing with the dogs in the back yard, getting ready to go for a swim. we were playing fetch with waffles, and she, as always, was running full force. unfortunately, she couldn't stop herself before she ran into the fence. we both ran over to her and saw that her front right arm had an extra bend in it, much like this:

so krystal scooped her up (and was promptly bitten on the chin because waffles was sort of freakin' out), and we hauled ass to the nearest vet.

they did an x-ray to see how bad it was. it was a pretty clean break, but that also meant that it wouldn't heal correctly on its own. they said they would have to do surgery to put a stabilizing plate with screws in. and they couldn't do it until monday when a surgeon was in. so they had to sedate her, put her in a splint, and keep her there until the surgery monday morning.

everything went really well. she has to be in a cast for 6 weeks. she seems more frustrated than anything. shes already getting her energy back, and realizing she can't do what she wants to. but i guess that's nothing we can't deal with...


more cool design work

so we're doing a whole suite of print collateral for an accounting firm. each of the three designers in the office is doing a distinctly different direction to present to the client to choose from. mine has been deemed "most edgy". which means everyone in the office really likes it, but the client probably won't choose it...


inner spreads (which for some reason, came out a different color when i saved it):

edit: took out references to the company name... i guess you never know who looks at this stuff.



adios, moustachio...

due to an unfortunate shaving incident, my upper lip is now as hairless as... well, i can't say its hairless. its just much more like sandpaper than it is like a push broom. you may ask what a shaving incident entails that doesn't involve blood loss, but as you may or may not know, i don't use a razor pretty much ever. anyway, i was trying to clean up the lines of the 'stache, and my trimmer slipped. there went the pipes of the handlebar. i honestly tried turning it into a fashionable goulet, but it was way too creey. WAY too creepy. on top of that, i've missed like a week of photos on moustache may, and i'm picking up krystal from the airport tomorrow. i figured this would be a nice surprise for her.


funnest day at work ever? possibly.

we expanded on the characters i came up with last week. we've got a new lady in the office who is a creative writer, AND she's hilarious. she came up with some bank-themed pick-up lines that each of them will be saying, as well as names and a personality profile. it was really a lot of fun and we had total creative freedom. it was a good day.

if you're wondering what a bank-themed pick-up line could possibly be, think about complimenting someone's "bottom line" and ask to see their "portfolio".


roller derby poster

this came up in conversation last night, and i realized i should put it up here to share.


must... learn... Illustrator...

here's my second real try at using Illustrator. the cool thing is, this is actually for work!


holy crap!

i realized how long its been since i posted anything and figured i should blow some minds today. check it out:


grand ol' time in rural virginia...

...leads to fun with picture takin'