The mind with 1000’s of thoughts

Creating and thinking on paper

The business of comics is a journey especially if you are the writer and the thought behind the story. 

I do not draw my own comics, I hire other folks to draw my vision. My task is to describe in words how the character should look on paper or other media formats. 

The last artist that I had for the original comic was Lee Oaks. He was pretty good. I imagine he has gotten much better at his craft and done great things. 

Back then my need was real due to this incredibly long story that I will make short. 

Long story / short version:

The first artist that I had for the comic was ok, but nothing great. I paid him $2500 I think and I had him make my comic. 

Kyle Anderson – oil of Judgment

Well, it was not that good. But I had to do what I could to make it work. But in the meantime, I was connecting with FREAKS like Kyle Anderson. Kyle was working for Microsoft on gaming backgrounds. Kyle and I met through a mutual friend in Austin at a now-defunct company called Red Echo (amazing company). I hooked up with Kyle to do my cover art of Judgment.

I took my cover art, slapped the comic together at a local printer in Laramie, Wyoming (ugggg …Laramie) and sent it off to Diamond Comic Distributors to hopefully be picked up. 

I got a response. They told me, “..if your comic art was to look like your cover we would sign you for 100,000 copies. Fire your artist, see if your cover guy can draw it and resubmit.”

Wow, Diamond said they liked my stuff. So, I went and asked Kyle Anderson how much it would cost.

Reality Check:

Ladies and Gentlemen! When asking a serious A-Level artist to do some work for you, please be prepared for a price that will resemble a small used car or truck.

Kyle emailed me back and said (from what I remember),”…hey Lance. Man, I am pretty wrapped up at the time but it would be around $5,000 or more. I paint a lot of my art and it’s just me and my time on the concept. Let me know what you if you want to do something?”

Cried like a fat kid

I cried that day. I cried like a kid who just lost his dog. I cried like a kid who got his candy stolen by a gang of angry toddler kids who said you can’t have candy on their turf without paying a price. I cried like a fat kid who just learned that his favorite ice cream flavor was discontinued. I cried hard that day.

I called Kyle (still crying) and told him I had to move on. Still upset about the sitauation I hunted down a local guy named Lee Oaks and the rest is why we are here.

End of a long story made short

The Freaks come out at night

But, over the course of the years, I met another FREAK artist named Hank Jiang. Who hooked me up with the Sentinel pieces and the Warhammer art. 

Hank was very cool about it and he was and I imagine is a really cool guy back then. But, the control of the lines is what I like and it is what helps me with my ideas when I can see significant line-art artists. 

I have a lot of art that is in my portfolio that I have not been released yet. I am thinking that it may be the time one day to put all that out in a sketchbook and let others know of the thoughts and original concept art. 

As time goes the story grows

Over the course of a number of years, I became a better storyteller in regards to the comic. I would actually read various forms of text in order to get an idea as to how the author would describe a subject.  

But, the problem was/is, I am not a huge fan of reading books. When I was younger my mom would hear from the teachers that I needed to read more to help out with my lack of reading level and so on. Yes, I was that kid who could not read that well, could not spell for crap and stuttered and had a nasty temper. But boy did I have an imagination.

So, to assist with my imagination and reading ability, I started to read comic books and other graphic types of art media to help me grow in my imagination and vocabulary. As I grew, I read more but they still leaned on the books with pictures. Sports magazines were a big one and comics and art stuff. 

When I write now, I like to paint the picture with a canvass that starts in the corners and bleeds to the middle but never gives the full picture. I like to describe details and use foreshadowing to build in a richness and depth to the characters. Or, lots and lots of details that allow the reader to connect and know that character and feel that character’s pains and joy. 

Storytelling

Judgment is my idea of what a 4th dimension or heaven and hell comic is about. Along with that, I am trying to open the eyes of people to understand that the world they live in could be more alive with things they can’t see vs. what they perceive in front of them.

I think we have all heard or know of a story from a faith-based book or a cultural tale that talks about something that has been handed down throughout time. Now my question for you is, what you would put a twist or a different perspective on it? What would make that story so unique? 

Look at the three little pigs. We all know the story and know how it ends up. But, how many times have we heard the wolf’s perspective

Or how about from the Raven that is sitting on the telephone pole watching it. Or what about the perspective of the animals and other creatures of the Little Red Riding Hood Story. What would their version be?

This is what I am doing with Judgment, trying to take what you have learned and heard as a child, teen, and adult and to give you another perspective, another version and other viewpoints of the world and the spirit world of what we think we know of it.

Judgment Redux

Updating Judgment is one of the main goals that I have for putting this thing out onto social media, the Internet and letting people know about it. 

I have added so much to the comic since it was first written back in 1996 that it is a totally different animal. The shell is pretty much there, but the guts are really different. 

Example: 

The Judgment Universe is set in 2055. The cities are vibrant futuristic and human-kind has figured out how to move beyond the old world oligarchs. There are still remnants of their dark past of former fossil fuel century machinery and older world technology, but they are relics of this era. 

Rob Brown – Artstation

New Detroit is a planned city in the comic that is big, urban, green and vertical. In this story


The cities have incredible architecture; AI, colorful walls, 100’s of languages and people from all walks of life. There is a wealth of culture and a smorgasbord of people from all over the world communicating and working and living all over the world. It is not a utopia, but the cities are more aligned for world and inter-colony (exoplanets) commerce than just national interest. 

In addition to the cities, I wanted to bring in an aspect of Lily Pads and how they would look in this world. 

A Lily Pad is a floating city that houses either businesses, neighborhoods or whatever you can imagine. 

Internet resource

Now add anti-gravity machines, huge pyramids providing electricity, and trash turned into building materials, the cities are amazing.

Kickstarter

The one thing that I realized about myself is that I do not need to or should try to do everything. Meaning I have to use other people’s talents to help me to achieve my goals accomplished.

The Judgment Redux is the goal and at the level that I want it at, it is going to cost more than self-funding project budget can handle. 

So, I am leaning towards the Fiverr.com and Peoplebythehour.com sites to help me make this thing come true. I am connecting with folks who know how to set up, write, promote and organize a Kickstarter campaign for me. 

Is it a challenge? Hell ya. Doing anything that is against the grain is going to be a struggle. Making something out of nothing is a task, a monumental task, but it has to be worth it.

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DON’T COMPETE WITH THE BIG GUYS ON THEIR PLAYING FIELD…CREATE NEW ONES

Technology is the equalizer when dealing with David vs. Goliath

Like many of us who desire to create our own brand or to make something unique and special, we are sometimes limited to the avenues that we can use. 

If it is comics and you are trying to get it printed and use the distribution channels of Diamond, Marvel, Image and all the other Goliaths out there, well then you are going to have to be something that is so unique that the world rushes to your door and breaks it down or kidnaps you.

Basketball

Think of it this way, we will use basketball. There are 1000’s of great basketball players in the US and around the globe. In the big cities and in the industrial places of the world, kids hone their craft for a shot at success to either get into college or make it to the next level as a pro.

Lose Yourself

Eminem rapped about it to a “T” when he came out with his Lose Yourself title. There is one particular part of the song that made me go…”damn!”

…success is my only motherfuckin’ option—failure’s not

Mom, I love you, but this trailer’s got

To go; I cannot grow old in Salem’s Lot

So here I go, it’s my shot: feet, fail me not

This may be the only opportunity that I got…

Whoa! Man, if that does not make you wanna listen to this dude’s song again, not sure what will. 

This is how many young men and women feel with their craft in basketball. They get one shot and they have to kill it when the lights are on if they want to live their dreams. 

Freaks

Look at Kobe Bryant, Zion Williams, Kevin Garnett, Len Bias, Stacey Augmon, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Jason Williams, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, Sherly Swoopes and the list goes on and on.

They had to shine any and every chance they had in order for someone to take a look and a chance to live their dreams. 


In the world of comics, it is no different. There are so many talented comic artists, writers, inkers, Adobe Software personalities and so on. But, how do you fish out the next Eminem, or Barkley, Shaq or Jordan? So, what do “they” look for? What were they looking for when they discovered diamonds in a see of gold and bronze?

Not sure if you can care

I do not know and I cannot care what they were and are using as a criteria to make their selection of talent. But, I can almost guarantee you that they saw something that was so unique that they had to take notice and tell others about it.

I truly believe that the before mentioned people decided to grind out their own story and let their talent speak for itself. The workouts, the tournaments, the competitions, the endless late nights of therapy on their bodies and the continuous grind to perfect their craft and to prove that they were better every time they took the court. 

They stood out amongst their peers and they were able to compete at any level regardless of the competitors, they were there to win.

Technology and success against all odds

As a creator and a guy who sees comics differently, I have to come to the table with my “A Game” every time I sit down and write and or dream something up. I have to have my skills and craft on laser focus in order to stand up against the giants of the comic world. But, I have to not care what they think and say when it comes to conforming to the traditional comic norms. But, I have to be able to hear and be humble enough to accept criticism and use it to my benefit.

The only way I know that I can compete, to be able to get in the game, or move my vision is through the use of technology of the Internet and the developers that live off of it. 

Internet technologies are the equalizer for me and I imagine for a lot of people who grind their desires on comics. The Internet has made it so that you can be seen, discovered, be followed, make money and have the opportunity to be successful from your couch.

Back in the day

I remember when the Internet started with 56k dial-up modems and AOL, and Netscape were the biggest things on the market. Then DSL was the next game changer and companies like 3Com and Bay Networks were industry names and now you they barely register on the remember meter. They are meere shells of what they once were due to technology speed and the Internet and the pace of development.

Okay so what is my point

In order to move and be seen and or to have others appreciate your craft then you have to use the technology in a way that will increase your product, introduce your vision and to allow others to comment through the Internet. 

The best way that I have have had any success is through the services like WordPress, Capital Numbers, Fiverr, Pinterest, PeopleperHr and other developers to assist my vision. 

But, I really believe if you want to be more than just another comic or artist that is lost in the shuffle, your vision has to be bigger than the masses. You have to think and dream the impossible dream and make that dream unattainable. It has to be gross and almost insane enough to warrant you to get clinical help. 

I have started to think like this about 10 years ago and I said, “..if I want to be more than what I am now, then I need to strive to do more than what I believe I can do.” I could not do all the things that I wanted by myself, so I reached out to those other talented folks that could do what I could not and asked for help.

This is nothing new. We have all heard this same crap from Tony Robbins, Steve Harvey, Edward Nightingale, Dale Carnegie and all the people who have inspiration type of programming.

But, why do some make it and others do not?

Don’t know. But, the Internet and the technologies that capable developers can utilize is immeasurable as you pursue your vision, desires and fame. 

For me, in order for me to be anything with my dreams and visions, I have to come to the table every time with my “A” game. I have to put out my best every time I write, create or ask for a product to be done, and when it is complete to introduce it in a way that makes people take notice. 

By using the leverage of the talent service through some of the portals of the above mentioned organizations, I can put a product out that is on par with the Goliaths

Motion Comic

Recently , I went out to Fiverr and asked the talent from there to help me on a Motion Comic idea that I had for my story. I worked with a developer Chris Gooding to take my idea and see what he could do with it. 

Well, the results came back and they fricking scared me. It was better than I thought it could be. In fact, the results were so good, it altered my thinking on how I was going to use, distribute, develop and then monetize the comic for my site. 

I am a newbie at the Motion Comic world. I know there are other titles that do serious work and that some of the A list stars have comics out there, but this was my first attempt as a producer and with the help of a developer who has the skill to work with the necessary software, he took my product and placed if on the same shelf space as there’s. 

That’s the point. I was able to leverage my product with the Internet talent in order to develop a package that could garner the same shelf space as the larger companies.

Leverage

Do what you love and use as much leverage from other talent to get the product that you want and desire. The Internet is the place where this talent lives and the portals of talent and services are indispensable in your companies growth.