Star Beasts Lands in Lawrence, Kansas!

Guess what?!? You can now get your FREE copy of the Star Beasts mini comic in the free state city.

Check out these awesome Lawrence comic book stores that put Star Beasts on their shelves!


Boom Comics

2429 Iowa Street

You’ll find Star Beasts in their kids summer reading section.


Astrokitty Comics @Game Nut

Upstairs at 844 Massachusetts

As you can see Archie is guarding the Condor Crew in the kids section!

Thanks Boom and Astrokitty for giving Lawrence Kansas a chance to meet our Crewcreatures!

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Let’s Make Comics: Zayd’s Design

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I’m not afraid to admit that Zayd is probably my favorite character from the Star Beasts crew.  A cool, easygoing guy who just wants everyone to get along and have a good time – who wouldn’t want to hang out with him!? Plus, I love dancing, and Zayd is the right creature to have around for providing stellar galactic beats.

But when it came time to design his look, I had a little bit of trouble getting him to look quite right… Here’s how he looked the first go-around:

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I finished the sketching process and wasn’t 100% happy with the results… but I didn’t quite know what I should change about him. So when this happened, I decided to just let it sit, and move on to the next character. Zayd was among the first few characters I designed, so I was still working out the kinks of the overall look of the comic, and hadn’t quite gotten into the groove of things yet. Throughout the next few weeks, I would pop open the file and take a look, wondering what the problem was. The look just didn’t quite jive with my mental image of the character.

Then I realized that whenever I thought of Zayd, I had a real-life person in mind. My drawing was not quite reflecting the qualities of that person, so it didn’t feel right! My IRL muse is a tall, somewhat lanky dude, and the original version of Zayd was a bit bulky. So with a few adjustments to the face and head, and after shedding a few pounds from the chest, the true Zayd finally came to life!

Get to Know the Crew! Zayd

ZAYD

Zayd believes goodwill is good vibes. For this Condor Crewcreature being a DJ and a Zoorb Ambassador is one state of mind. Music is the zig to his zag and Zayd often uses tunes to solve the crew’s space problems.

He’s deeply inspired by the cosmos, the stillness of the universe, the controlled chaos of the sun, and of course, the music of the planets. Zayd was chosen by the Zoorb council to represent Earth in all diplomatic matters. He takes this responsibility seriously and is devoted to building creature friendships across the universe.

Originally from the Serengeti, Zayd misses his home from time to time, especially his girlfriend Zahra. She’s the Princess of her Dazzle of Zebras and devoted to her creatures. Every night Zayd spins songs out into the stars just to honor her.

 

Let’s Make Comics! Eleanor’s Design

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When I started doing the initial drawings of all the characters, I was very excited to design Eleanor, because I love to draw birds… they come in so many varieties – many colors, sizes, markings, different beaks, etc. I knew from the start that Eleanor should be a Parakeet. But even just ‘parakeet’ doesn’t narrow it down! have you seen how many different parakeets there are?

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…And those are just the Australian types! In the end, I decided to go simple… I imagine Eleanor as a yellowish green parakeet with a orangey-pink cheek mark.

As simple as she was, however, Eleanor was probably the character that gave me the most trouble once I started on her. Everything I drew just looked wrong. It turns out, anthropomorphizing a bird was a little trickier than I imagined. Finally, I decided I needed some inspiration. I tried to think of a cartoon bird that I liked the look of… Where else did I turn, but one of my childhood favorites, Disney’s The Three Caballeros!

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Jose Carioca, the green parakeet from Brazil, was just the bird I was looking for! The beak on that guy is amazing! Although it may not look like it, studying the way Jose’s beak was drawn really helped me figure out how to draw Eleanor’s. Her beak ended up a lot daintier than our caballero here, but he definitely helped me get there.

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Get to Know the Crew! Eleanor

ELEANOR

Eleanor is a talented artist and problem-solver. Her job on the Condor is to help understand the universe through art. Crewcreature La works in several mediums: painting, pottery, drawing, sewing, graphic design, paper mache, bedazzling, and the occasionally performance art. The classical arts aren’t her only talents. She’s also an excellent escape artist.

Chosen from the Zoorb Academy for her imaginative thinking skills, Eleanor’s figured out that problem solving isn’t always formulaic. Highly innovative and optimistic, she’s the kind of Crewcreature you need when your space mission goes off the rails.

Eleanor loves spending her free time organizing her craft supplies and imagining creative ways to save the universe and her Condor friends.

Let’s Make Comics: Laying out the story

When the story has been written, and it’s time to figure out how everything looks on the page, Crewcreature Steph and I put our heads together and plan it all out. We go through the script page by page, and make sure the pacing is right, and there is room for everything we need to show.

I make a VERY rough sketch of each page, as you can see below:

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Sometimes, as we are going through, we find that there is too much action in one page of the scrip, and we need to let it have more room. This is where working together so closely comes in handy. Steph can just make an adjustment in the script, and we can give the scene an extra page, or let it smoosh into the next page a little bit.

Once we are all done walking though the story page by page, (which takes several mornings over pancakes – In this issue, we spent a whole morning figuring out how to show a handful of characters entering a room. An unexpectedly tricky scene!) I have a completed board of thumbnail sketches of the entire issue, with notes and sketches where needed. I then use this when I’m working on the first draft of the sketch, and it makes things soooooo much easier!

Here’s our crazy door scene (looks so simple, right!?):

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Horbue? A gold shooting star to the person who can translate that bottom left frame! And what character is that?? Is it a Sea Lard from Ooo?

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Anyway… this part of the comic-making process is a true example of the value of teamwork and cooperation. I don’t know how others are able to make great comics without this step! If you are working on a comic with a friend, we highly recommend the layout huddle. Give it a try!

Let’s Make Comics: Captain Bandit’s Design

Ok, so last time, I told you that Maria was one of the first characters I designed for the comic… But Bandit was the very first. Not surprising, as he’s our crew’s fearless leader. Here is the first sketch ever, drawn even before the script was written…

BANDIT_000

Pretty recognizable as the Captain Bandit we know and love, eh? A little bit squattier, slightly puppyish, maybe. The uniform is a little different… but pretty close to how he ended up!

However, I took a little journey to return to this design. I’m not usually one to second-guess my first instinct when it comes to creative ideas, but when I do, I typically come back around to that first thing I came up with in the end. Sometimes, though, it’s a good idea to explore other options in order to feel really great about the final piece.

After the script was in process, and I began designing all the characters, I came back to Bandit. I decided to try out some different dog breeds, not sure exactly what type of dog Bandit should be… here is my first round:

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There were definitely some of these designs that I liked. I polled some friends, and there didn’t seem to be any, in particular that rose to the top. Every person had very different favorites. To me, that was a sign that I hadn’t yet arrived at the right one. So I drew some more:

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But still, no consensus on a collective favorite. I thought and thought, and after I had finished designing almost all the rest of the characters, I realized that how I was imagining Bandit looking in my head, was basically the way I had drew him at the very beginning. So I went back and found that sketch, made some adjustments, and that’s how Bandit’s look came to be! I don’t know exactly what kind of dog he is… a mix of a few loyal breeds for sure. A mutt – an every-dog if you will. I think it’s fitting for the leader of such a diverse crew.

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