25 January 2013

Walk down the memory lane

These past weeks has been just that!

While also working on the next short story manga for Nosebleed Studio's next anthology this Spring, I've also been working on these two:

Yup, it's time for new collected editions of my mangas A song for Elise and Mjau!
So I've been rebuilding these books in InDesign and planning them. It's both fun and nostalgic but also a little embarrassing... I've become a better artist (not only my own words) and sure, I would like to fix everything that I think looks wonky and weird, but...

I won't. Why? Because I'm personally against redrawing old works. I don't do it if I'm not forced to. Because old works stands for them selves, and redrawing them might hurt the initial feeling that it had the first time. Sure, it might look better, but style is not all.

Also, I love to see progress in an artist's works, so I assume my readers does the same. So when I get my next works out there, these oldies need to look OLD. Hahaha...

More about these books later this Spring!
The release of both of them is planned to Stockholm's International Comic Fair (SIS) and Small Press Expo.

14 January 2013

2013 - Let's draw!

Here it comes!
Time for my New Years resolution and plans for 2013.

First, let's check in with my 2012 New Years resolution:
This year, I'll take the chance while young and energetic and go to Japan! 

Hm... Okay, this will be pretty easy. I superfailed.
I really tried though! I applied for at least 7 or 8 funds or scholarships to try to get money to go there, since my own economy is not Japan-trip-friendly so to say. Since I wanted to stay there for at least 1-2 months, it would probably be around 40 000 sek (4000 euro or so) and that is not in my personal budget. But nope, no money recieved.
Also, to be fair, I have shifted the focus a little. I do see I can make manga here and send it there if I want to (like I have with Ribbon) and also that I have a possible career here. I'm thinking; how about make myself big enough here, and then export myself to Japan with a C.V. that will impress them?
I'll try both, I guess.
So, if I shall grade my self based on this resolution, I get a smashing 1 out of 5! Hahaha. At least I tried, E for effort!

Now over to the New Years resolution of 2013.
This year I will be working on my longest project ever!

That means, before this year is over, I must have beaten my longest manga so far with a new ongoing project. Since my longest manga is Mjau! with 250 pages, I need to have made at least 260 pages before this year is over. Yep, crazy. But I promise you I will!

And that project will be A Sword Princess Tale, which I have a Swedish and a Danish publisher on. More info soon!
The plan is to have the first volume (out of 3 or 4) in Swedish released in September, so my work is cut out for me.

Here's my plan for the year:
❂  January: Make the layout sketches for the 150 pages long first A Sword Princess Tale-volume, and also finish the 32-pages manga for Nosebleed Studio's next anthology.
❂  February-June: Draw the 150 pages of the first volume (about 30 of them just need some minor changes) while also working as a teacher 2 days a week at Serieskolan in Malmö and at Malmö Univerity.
 ❂  July-August: Perhaps some vacation, but also start making the layout sketches of the second A Sword Princess Tale volume!
❂  September-December:  Drawing the second volume.

Hopefully I will have made over 260 pages of the manga before the year is over, That will be so cool!
There needs to be some changes done though, i.e. on the armor of Amaltea, the main character.
After reading this article:
"Why do you hate the shape of breats in plate armor so much?" - martwhim at tumblr

Okay, so it isn't the most practical solution... Let's change it a little:

What do you think?
(Yes, the waist is not proportional, but I'm
talking the boob-plate, nothing else!)

I will also go to a couple of events this year, here's some I hope to attend:
➼  J-popCon in Copenhagen, Denmark
➼  KodachiCon in Lund, Sweden
➼  SIS and Small Press Expo in Stockholm, Sweden
➼  Japan Expo in Paris, France
➼  NärCon in Linköping, Sweden
➼  Gothenburg Book Fair, Sweden
➼  London MCM Expo in UK
➼  Confusion in Gothenburg, Sweden

Hope to see some of you at the events!
Well, I better get back to the work now... as I have put up a very very optimistic goal for my self! 

Let's draw!

06 January 2013

New cover for A Song for Elise!

Dear friends! I need you help!
I have finally sold all my 400 English copies of A Song for Elise that I made back in 2009. It has been an awesome adventure to draw, print and sell my own book. I've learnt alot of things on the way, and also gotten some good attention for the book.
Thank you, everyone who've bought, read and enjoyed my manga A Song for Elise!

Now I would like to make a new edition. I want to remake the cover while I'm at it. For this, I need some feedback help from you, my readers!Which one of these two do you think would be the best?

The one to the left has a nice shape to it, but the one to the right have big eyes (which often drags the viewer in).
Please, help me, what do you think?

02 January 2013

2012 - in retrospect

2012 was a little bit disappointing... Well, not now that I look back on all the fun things I managed to do this year, but when it comes to all the things I was hoping for but didn't achieve. To defend myself I want to point to the fact that the things that I hoped for that didn't come true was because of others, not me. Sometimes in your life there's things that can't be done because other people don't give you the chance to do them.

I don't blame them though, I blame myself. One day, when I have become more well respected within the industry, I might get all things I hope for. Today, I have to live with the benefit of the doubt from others.

Time for a look back on the milestones of the past year, as I usually do this time around!

Milestones of 2012:

  • In January I worked hard on finishing all three major comics that I made that year. Good way to start off the year, haha!
    A Sword Princess Tale - chapter 1 (fanzine made for SIS/SPX in Stockholm in April)
    Hooked On You (published in Nosebleed Studio's Seaside Stories anthology)
    A Song for Elise - REMIX: Memories (published in the Boy's Love anthology GUYS!)
  • February came with a small achivement: my entry for the Japanese manga magazine Ribbon's monthly manga competition resulted in an honorable mention, a prize called もうひと息賞 ("Mou hito ikishou" = one more try-prize). My manga was mentioned in issue #2 this year, you can read the full review here.

  • All through Spring, Summer and Fall, I applied for several artistic funds but recieved null. This was quite dissapointing. I know I can't expect to get any, but it's still heartbreaking every time you get a letter from one of the organizations saying "...you application could not be approved."
    Well, they won't get rid of me that easily! I'll keep trying until I get some!

  • I was aslo teaching at Malmö Univeristy in their English comic course Comics, International Perspectives, specializing in the Japanese manga market. Very nice and fun, I like teaching at the University because it's so professional and enjoyable!

  • In March and April, the main focus was to finish all the projects before Small Press Expo at Stockholms International Comic Fair (the biggest comic event in Sweden) in the end of April. Nosebleed Studio's book Seaside Stories was to be released, as well as the latest edition of Swedish Comic Sin (book 3) that I'm the editor of.
    Chapter one of A Sword Princess Tale was also sold at the event as a fanzine, and I also began my search for a publisher in these months, both inside and outside of Sweden. Most publishers take some time to think over things, and even though I had a Swedish publisher and a Danish one that was quite interested I wanted more. Back then, my goal with this project was to have at least three or more publishers working with me on this, to make the best out of their collected feedback, and also to get enough pay to have an assistant working with me on this.

  • In the beginning of 2012, my childrens manga Mjau! also got an International deal with Portuguese NCreatures and their manga magazine Banzai.

  • May and June was mostly waiting for replies from the publishers. I had also sent in my second entry to Ribbon in March, and got the results in June: the same honorable mention in issue #6! Read the full review here.

  • I used all the spare time to work with my friend and colleague Elise Rosberg on the coming site NonstopCon, a Swedish community for Asian-fans of all sorts! During Spring and Summer, we worked on the layout, putting up a crowdfunding page (and recieved the full amount in the end!) and planned all the features of the site. Our webb developer Rick worked his ass off all Fall and Winter, but still didn't get it done until December which was our plan. The site is a little late, but it's all becasue we're not okay with just any crappy community site, we want this one to WORK!
    For our Swedish fans, follow the work on our blog.

  • A well deserved vacation was made in July, to my aunt and relatives in Portugal. More inspirational trips made, and lots of photos taken!

  • In September my sister Catarina and I finally finished Nosebleed Studio's new Worppress site! It's so nice to finnaly have a professional and working webshop and also a manga reader with flip-book funtion! Check it out!!

  • I felt I needed to make a trip to some of the bigger comic fairs in the world, both for my self an my career. As I am a big fan of American reality shows (yup, one of my sins), I decided it was time to go to the big land over seas. So, Emil and I went to New York Comic Con in October and I got to talk to Yen Press, a meeting that changed my perspective on things and also my focus for A Sword Princess Tale. I'm no longer pursuing a multinational deal to begin with, but focusing on making something for a Nordic market that might work elsewhere.
    Check the full report here.
    Afterwards, I also made a report from NYCC in comic form for Bild&Bubbla, that will be printed sometime in 2013.

  • For the second time around, I got to teach at Malmö University's comic course in Swedish, Serieteckning och visuellt berättande. Yet again, so rewarding! Teaching is a great way to learn more about your own profession, it forces me to overlook my work process and put it on paper (I make handouts for all courses, I think I should put them here on my page actually).
    I was also teaching at Serieskolan in Malmö, which also feels cool and honoring (they trust me!). The week there focused on storytelling, very convenient because I had just finished a book (John Truby's The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller)  and some self-studies on storytelling!

  • Some Swedish media attention during this year:
    ✎ An interview in City Malmö (nr 2012-08-23) about nerdy hobbies.
    An interview together with Catarina in Lokaltidningen Lund on the 28th of September.
    ✎ The above shown frontpage and article of Sydsvenskan Omkretsen on the 11th of November.

  • All through the year, Nosebleed Studio visited a lot of manga/comic conventions:
    KodachiCon in Lund (May) - where we sold a lot of our books to our fans in Skåne (the Southen most region in Sweden). I also did my Yaoi presentation again, which was fun!
    UppCon in Uppsala (June) - I did a presentation on my attempts to get into the Japanese manga market, and we sold a bunch of our Swedish manga to many awesome fans, thank you!!
    NärCon in Linköping (July) - I did the Yaoi presentation here as well.
    NowJapan in Vilnius (August) - we where Internationally invited to this Lithuanian convention, cool huh? I did the Yaoi presentation there (very well attended!) and we also did the manga battle tournament, fun!
    AltCom in Malmö (November) - not a manga con, but still fun. We managed to get into the paper as well!
    Confusion in Göteborg (December) - I did the Yaoi-presentation again, and there was a line of people who didn't even get in... It was popular! We met a lot of awesome fans and gained new ones as well.

  •   In the end of the year, comics started calling for me again. I had almost stopped drawing at all during April to October, and now I not only have to make a 32 page manga to Nosebleed Studio's next anthology (sneak peek to the right) but also I need to start making the layout sketches for A Sword Princess Tale! The first 4 chapters are planned to be finished before July and the Swedish and Danish publisher are both eager to have it and so am I! Okay, let's go!!

Hm... I think that's a pretty good summary of my year. I probably forgot some small things here and there, but all in all it's pretty much like this.

This year was disappointing in some ways. I didn't get a contract with A Sword princess Tale as early as I wanted it (I would have wanted to start working on it in the Fall) and the God of funds was not on my side this year. I do survive though, thanks to all the childrens books I have made last year.

But, I'm still pleased with the victories; 2 honorable mentions in Japanese manga magazine Ribbon, the publishing of Mjau! in Banzai, a new homepage for Nosebleed Studio and all in all 90 manga pages finished (and another 60 pages in rough sketch). Not my most productive year, but still pretty awesome!

Okay, onwards to 2013! Let's make history!! ✰