OilCan Drive is now on TopWebComics.com!
You can vote for my webcomic here:
And so it begins again! The second chapter of the OilCan Drive web-comic, Track Two, begins today!
Head on over to the OilCan Drive website, subscribe to the comic, like them on Facebook, follow the blog, and enjoy the fun!
On October 31st OilCan Drive will launch its first ever Kickstarter Campaign!
Printed Comic Books, Music CDs, T-Shirts, Posters, Over-sized Hardcover Books, and Original Art are just a few of the items that will be available!
With your help, we'll bring the comic book band out of the internet and into the real world.
The OilCan Drive Kickstarter Campaign will begin on Thursday, October 31st at 2pm EST.
Make sure you get in line early! You wouldn't want to miss the first song!
You can check out a preview of the campaign here: www.oilcandrive.com/kickstarte…
Sixteen weeks ago, around the end of January, I knew I'd have a table at the second Denver Comic Con. At the time I was doing around a page a week of OilCan Drive and I had about twenty pages left to go to get the book done. With sixteen weeks left I knew I'd have to step it up and, for at least a few weeks, I'd have to complete multiple pages. That kind of made me nervous. But, once I accepted it, I went even further. I made a list of all the OilCan Drive things I wish I could bring to a comic book convention. It included not only the comic book but a CD of music, postcards, trading cards, banners, t-shirts, and stickers.
And then I wrote out a schedule to make all of those things possible.
I knew it would be a crazy schedule and might drive me nuts but, in the end, I thought giving up sixteen weeks of my life to complete a lot of the things I've always wished I'd done wasn't too bad at all. And, yes, it did make me crazy, but I got most of it done.
In the last blog post (almost two weeks ago now...sorry) I had finished mixing the OCD music album and had sent it off. I was exhausted but there was so much more to do. Not only did I have to completely finish the comic book in less than a week but I also had to finish some client work as well. I took Tuesday and Wednesday off and went and saw the new Star Trek movie. On Thursday I spent the day inking and scanning the client work and prepped it for color. All that was left now was the OCD book.
All the art on the book had been done and all the pages were scanned into the computer. More than half the book had been toned and ready for zip-a-tone patterns. I had about eleven pages left to tone which wasn't too bad. The problem was that I had only scripted and lettered the first three pages of the book. I still had twenty five pages with no dialogue and no lettering. And it was Friday night with the book needing to be done and ready for print by Monday morning.
I stayed up late Friday scripting and toning. I woke up Saturday and did more of the same, at least getting the script all written by dinner time and prepped before I went to bed. Both Friday and Saturday night I went to bed when I heard the birds outside waking up.
Sunday was my last chance to get it all done and I wasn't going to fail. Not that close to the finish line. I woke up at 11am, ate come breakfast, and sat down to work at around noon. I had more lettering to complete and more than a few pages left to tone. I know I stopped for dinner around 8pm. The clock seemed to be moving so fast and I had no way of slowing it down. When all was said and done I put in an 18 hour work day on Sunday, stopping only to eat once, and finally called the book done and ready for print at 6am Monday morning. The birds and the sun put me to bed.
Five hours later I woke up, went and worked an eight hour shift, and then spent four more hours printing the book and getting it done. I got home around 2am.
But, it was done. The last and most important part of the OilCan Drive project, the actual comic book, was done. And it looked good.
By Tuesday, everything I had hoped to achieve four months ago was finally done. All the postcards, trading cards, business cards, t-shirts, and banners I had ordered over the last month had shown up and looked great. By Thursday the CDs arrived. And the books were already in hand and ready to go. The only thing that didn't show up were the stickers I had ordered over six weeks ago. They were the first things I ordered and the last things to arrive. Even now I am waiting for the stickers to show up but I am hoping they come tomorrow. While they didn't get here in time for the convention I'm still hoping they look great.
On Thursday night my good friend from college, Thom Zahler, showed up at my door and we took a drive down to Denver for a pre-show signing at one of Mile High Comics' large warehouse stores.
The work of getting all the OilCan Drive stuff done was over. But, the real work was only just beginning.
Tomorrow, I'll tell you all about how the actual convention went, complete with photos. For now, enjoy these photos of all the stuff I created. Sixteen weeks to realize a dream even though it almost drove me crazy? Yeah, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Have a great day!
Here are a few links to photos of all the things I've done:
Apologies once again for letting so many days go by between posts. But, you know I've been busy working on all kinds of cool stuff so I hope you forgive me.
The inks have been laid down on the back cover illustration I showed off last week and it's already been scanned into the computer and toned for final printing.
There has been so much stuff that has been flying off my art table these last sixteen weeks that it's been really hard to keep up and show off everything that I've been working on. But, here is a piece I did a few weeks ago for the cover of the first ever OilCan Drive EP album.
The good news is that I finished up the album late last night and submitted it for production at 1:04 am. This means I should have CDs in hand for the Denver Comic Convention on May 31st and, after that, they will be available to the world.
You can't hear it yet but you can see a cool preview of what the finished album sleeve and CD will look like HERE. After working for so long on it it is really cool to see something like this brought to life, even if, for now, it's just on the computer screen.
After recording the songs for the album for weeks and weeks I knew the drop dead deadline I had to get everything complete and in my hands by the convention was approaching quickly. I originally planned to have it all done by the end of April but I could never seem to find the time and mixing the album wasn't going as well as I'd hoped. I finally got some decent mixes earlier this week but I still needed to make them as perfect as I could. I would be mixing songs, listening to them, and mixing them down all while jumping back and forth between the music and sitting at my art desk drawing either something for OilCan Drive or for a client. It was multitasking at its finest.
Finally, last night, after multiple mixes and sending files to a friend in Nashville who kept telling me they needed a little more work, I finally got everything almost buttoned up. I kept going over and over the album, listening to all the songs in sequence a bunch of times. I knew I was on to something when I could listen, not hear any of the mistakes (which I'm sure there are still a bunch of), close my eyes, and see the band in my head playing the songs. When the song took me out of seeing the band play the songs on stage I knew there was a problem. I was trying to make the four songs sound like a set played in sequence to an audience or on TV. I really don't know right now what the hell it came out sounding like but at 1am last night I pulled the trigger and sent the sucker off.
I took a bike ride at 2am, got home, drank a glass of milk and watched an episode of Dawson's Creek, and then passed out.
It feels surreal waking up this morning knowing what I accomplished. I've been wanting to do something like this for ten years. It's something I've dreamed about since I came up with the concept of this band and the first time I picked up the guitar again at age 32 to learn more than three chords. Getting on the radio with the one Bob Dylan cover song years ago was great but really scared me at the same time. Now someone was saying I was good and now I felt I had to be good and wasn't just goofing around anymore. Someone out there was listening. I think that might have done more harm than good, even though it was cool. So to finally break out of that fear and finally get it done is a huge thing for me.
Now, all that's left is the book. And I have one week to wrap this sucker up.
Right now, I feel like I can do anything. There is a lot of work still left to do bu there is no longer any fear or nervousness. I can do it. I didn't believe that until last night. But, wow, I can really pull this off.
One more week left. Have a great one!
Have a great one!
Well, this is it, the final stretch. When I wrote out this crazy schedule I've been on back in January it seemed to make sense. I knew it would be thought but I figured if I could stick to the schedule I'd be okay.
I am now on the fifteenth of sixteen weeks I've given myself to get all of the OilCan Drive project done. I'm happy to say that almost all of the merchandise has been completed and is still either out at the printers or in my hands.
The album has been recorded and I'm in the middle of doing the final mixes now. I need to finish the songs up, get them mixed and mastered, and get all the art done for the packaging this week. Unfortunately one of the songs had to fall by the wayside since the deadline is so tight. So, while I did record all the parts for the cover song of The Outfield's "Your Love" I won't have time to mix or master it before the deadline. I'm looking forward to tackling it again and giving it out as a free download once the convention is in my rear view mirror.
The last thing that needs to be done is the OilCan Drive comic book itself. The whole book is penciled but I still need to ink two and a half pages this week. Once that is done I need to gray tone about half of the book, write the script, and letter the book next week. It's tight but I think it will be okay. I don't know if I have a few sleepless nights in my future but, knowing me and the way I work, I know it will get done.
Some of the pages from the book have already started appearing on the OilCan Drive site so if you want a preview of what is to come head on over there and take a look.
As I said in a previous post the website crashed and burned a few weeks ago so I've been rebuilding it from scratch. It's still not exactly where I want it to be but I am putting it back together when I find the time. Hopefully, once the book and the album are out of the way, I'll have a little more time to tackle the problems of the site. Right now I'm hoping it will be all back up and running by the time the con rolls around.
Add all that to a bit of client work this week and it looks like it's going to be a busy last two weeks for me. I'll get it done but thinking about it all at once right now makes my head spin. I just need to take it one task at a time and everything will be good.
Above is the pencil sketch of Ryan for the back of the OilCan Drive book. A little ink and a little color and I'll be able to cross him off the list.
Sorry the blog has been so quiet lately. As you can read I've been a bit busy. I'm almost there. No longer is the only thing left to do everything. Now the only things left to do are a few things.
I'm getting there.
Have a great day.
I meant to post this on Saturday. I wanted to share with the everyone that all of the old OilCan Drive art and comics had been shown on the OilCan Drive web comic site and it was now time for some new art and stories. It felt like an accomplishment that I had run the site for a full year and this "coming soon" piece of art would mark the next chapter in showing my favorite cartoon band off to the world.
But, then the weekend happened.
Everything was ready for the roll out on Friday. Wednesday marked the last day of pages that I had in the archive and Friday would show this new piece. I uploaded the piece and was working a bit on the site on Thursday night when, all of a sudden, I lost my connection to the site. I rebooted my router to see if that was a problem but I still couldn't make it work. It was weird that I couldn't work on the site but it was even weirder was that I couldn't even view the site. I could see it on my phone and I could see it when I took my computer to a nearby coffee shop but, at home, nothing.
After a few emails back and forth to the people who run the servers that OilCan Drive resides on I found out, somehow, my IP had been tagged and I was being blocked from my own site. A few more emails back and forth and I was back up and running. Problem averted. I was still ready to roll. I added some things to the site and went to bed.
Saturday morning I checked the site to make sure everything was still working. I noticed there was an update to the web comic theme I was using to make the site work the way it does. I clicked on the update and that's when it happened. Everything on the site still looked the same but every comic and page I had posted in the past year was totally gone. I panicked. I clicked some buttons, tried to fix it, and then something even worse happened.
I clicked the link to get into the administrative page of my site and all I got was a blank page. Nothing. I didn't know what to do. And that's when I freaked out a bit.
I need to learn to take a step back and take a breath sometimes. But, in situations like this I usually try and do too many things at once as my mind is spinning and I wanted to do something, anything, rather than sit back and do nothing.
So, in my freaked out wisdom, I completely tore down the site, uploaded a fresh copy of WordPress, and began to rebuild the site from scratch.
In retrospect, I liken this move to finding out the window in your car doesn't roll down and, in response, you tear the car apart and begin to rebuild it from the ground up. Probably not the best idea. But, it's what I did.
I do wish I could go back in time and stop myself from hitting that "update" button but I am now playing the hand I've dealt myself. And, as much as I wish I could blame this whole thing on some cyber-hacker terrorist attack on my WordPress site I think I am really the only one to blame.
The good news is that the site is getting back to where it was. The designer of the Inkblot theme I am using on the site, Michael Sisk, has been absolutely awesome in helping me with the questions I have as I rebuild the structure and make it look like the site I know and love. I highly recommend Inkblot to anyone thinking of starting a web comic site. It's easy to use and how often is it that you can reach the actual designer of the program by email and he writes you back right away to help you out? Thank you, Michael! You are the best!
Right now it's still a little shaky and I am still rebuilding a lot of the content but the good news is that I've set it up enough that it won't interrupt any of the new web comics' schedule. It may be a bit dusty on the site and excuse the rubble as I rebuild, but the story will go on without a hitch.
In other news I sent out a bunch of the OilCan Drive merchandise for printing this week so all I have left to work on is the book itself and the album. For once in this crazy schedule the only thing left is NOT everything but only a few things...big things to be sure... but I am getting there.
But, don't worry, it's not like the schedule is getting any lighter. I now have "rebuilding a website" to add to my list of things to do. It's always something...
Have a great one!
Wow, a week between blog posts. I am really falling behind. But, if something had to suffer given my busy schedule the blog is something I could put off for a week. And, if you think this blog has been quiet lately my plans to update regularly to deviantart have completely fallen apart.
But, the thing is, right now, no news is good news. Things have been going really well on the OilCan Drive project. All the merchandising art is done and all the designs are almost complete. Stickers, postcards, trading cards, business cards, and the giant 4'x8' banner I am designing are all done and all that's left is to pull the trigger and send them out for printing. I also have two designs for t-shirts. I did two because my first was shot down by a few friends. I came up with a new one and then other friends said they liked my initial design better. So, I figure the easiest way to settle the argument is to print up both and see which one sells better. There are worse problems to have than having two t-shirt designs to sell.
Once I get all the merchandise sent out to be printed the last two giant elephants in the room are the actual OilCan Drive comic book and the EP album. But, both are coming along well. As I show off the inks here for the art that will grace not only the cover of the OilCan Drive book but a few pieces of merchandise you can see one of the new interior pages sneaking out from behind it. I think Brick is slowly becoming one of my new favorite characters to draw.
And the album is completely tracked except for the vocals. Yes, all I need to do now is sing and it will almost be done. It's getting there. And I even penciled the art for the cover of the album this morning. So, that is getting done too.
So, the only thing I am falling behind on is this blog and keeping you all updated on what is going on. I'm at a point where I've done so much work I don't even know what I've shown you or haven't shown you. So, if there is anything you're curious about or would like to see more of shoot me a comment or email and I'll put something up.
For now, I am going back to inking a page. More to do and running out of time. But, I think I'm still good. Talk to you all soon!
I got the inking on Vincent's trading card art done today.
The story pages are also coming along really well but you'll have to wait until you either buy the printed book or when the pages launch on the OilCan Drive website. But I am a little bit ahead of schedule on the book so that's always a good feeling.
OK, off to bed for me. Color on Vincent begins tomorrow!
Have a great day!
I was hoping my third week of working on the OilCan Drive project would have started out with a bang but, for some reason, I felt like I never quite woke up today at all. I've been tired all day so many things I had planned to do were pushed back until tomorrow.
But, I did get some stuff done and, from what I can tell, I'm still in a pretty good position with my schedule.
The good news is that the recording of the band's first EP album will begin next week and I asked over on the OilCan Drive Facebook page today if I should include a cover song on the album or not. From the responses I got everyone seemed to want a cover song and no one gave me a good reason not to do one. So, I'm making a list of possible songs that the band can cover and I'll be putting it to a vote later this week. So make sure you check back and see if there's a song on the list you'd like to hear OilCan Drive play.
And things keep rolling on the art front as well. Here is the pencil sketch I did for Vince's trading card. He just needs a bit of ink and color and he'll be ready to go.
But, I'll leave that for tomorrow. Right now, Sean needs some sleep. Goodnight everyone! Have a great day!
It's been another long day as I juggled both client work and trying to get all I need to done on the OilCan Drive project. But, I've finished all I need to for today and that puts me on some good footing as I head into the weekend.
I finally got to lay some color down on Nicole's piece for the trading card. I'm really liking the way these are coming out and, with Nicole and Henry done, that's half of the band completed and OilCan Drive's rhythm section ready to go.
Now it's time for Vincent and Ryan to get their turns. Just because I am doing good today doesn't mean there isn't a lot more to be done tomorrow.
Enjoy the art and have a great day!
Alright, as promised yesterday, here is the final inks on Nicole's trading card illustration.
Inking Nicole's figure was pretty straight forward but when it came to inking her drum kit I ran into a dilemma. Do I spend the extra time and try and ink all those drum and cymbal ovals perfectly on the illustration board and make the original art as perfect as possible? Or do I sketch them in and create some easily made perfect ovals in the computer?
In the end I decided to take the route that took less time and sketched the ovals on the original art and made them all pretty in the digital world.
So, above is the original piece sitting on my desk and below is the digital piece all ready for color.
OK, it's been a long day and there is only more to do tomorrow. So it's off to bed for me.
Enjoy the new art and have a great day, everyone!
Oops. I once again got ahead of myself and showed off the new Nicole piece yesterday before I showed off the color pieces of Henry. But, they are all headed for the same trading card set so I figure if I mix them up a little no one will be too upset.
Henry's card is now colored and ready to be popped into the OilCan Drive trading card template. Here are a few screen shots of the color in progress. Now I just need to write a little blurb for the back of his card and he'll be ready to go.
I've really been enjoying doing these pieces as I'm working on the interior of the comic book. It's been fun to focus on each member of the band individually and lay some color down as well.
Tomorrow I'll get a few photos of Nicole's finished black and white piece up so you can see how she's progressing.
Oh, and the second part of Jeff's newest Back to the Drawing Board podcast is now up and ready to be heard. You can check it out HERE.
Have a great day!
But, work has been going well and I've been moving speedily along on both the client work and my own projects.
In fact, I got so ahead of myself this past week that I totally forgot to snap a photo of the pencil sketch I did for Nicole's trading card. I was half way through the inking when I realized I didn't capture the pencil stage so I quickly took a photo of where I was in the inking process and figured that would have to do.
I'll post the finished inks tomorrow along with how the final black and white piece came out.
Until then, have a great day!
I'd have to at least double up two of those weeks if I had any hope of getting a new book done before the convention. This kind of made me nervous.
Then I sat down and made a list of all the things I wish I could bring to the convention if I only had the time. It was a dream list and included things on it that I have put off doing for years. I laid out the sixteen weeks on a piece of paper and figured out how much I would need to do each week if I was going to get the dream list done.
Then I figured, screw it, let's let it rip and see what happens.
So last week was the first week of the sixteen I had laid out for myself. And, I'm happy to say I actually got a little bit ahead. I got the OilCan Drive page completely done as well as a few other pieces of art.
One of these pieces is part of a set of OilCan Drive trading cards I plan to have on hand at my table. Here is a photo of the pencil sketch of Henry before I started inking away.
So far the schedule is going well. The only problem is that I've been so busy with the work I've laid out for myself as well as my client work that I forgot to write in my blog and keep you all in the loop on what's going on. But, I'll try and remedy that.
It should be an interesting bunch of weeks coming up. Will I get everything done? I have no idea. But, so far it's been a blast to throw myself into it and be as creative as possible as quickly as possible. I've missed doing stuff like this.
So, stick around to see if I succeed or crash and burn.
So far, so good. I'll see you tomorrow!
This week I brought fellow artist and my former "mentee" (yes, I was his mentor for a bit) Josh Thorne into the studio to talk a bit about life and art.
Josh and I first met back in 2003. As part of a program through his high school, Josh was allowed to try and find a place in the Boulder community where he could help out and be an apprentice. So, for three years, Josh would come over to the studio, learn the art of illustration and comics, and help me out on various client projects.
With how great the conversation went you can be sure that Josh will be invited back to the show for round two at some point in the future.
You can check out the newest Back to the Drawing Board podcast HERE.
Enjoy and have a great one!