SCP Horror Ink Drawings

I spent the month of October 2018 (or #inktober2018 if you will) doing a series of ink drawings based on stories contained on the SCP website. If you haven’t come across them yet, they’re a treasure-trove of cooperatively created weird fiction and horror. I may do another SCP series one day: the stories are always being added to.

Below is the entire series. The first one is a kelpie or river horse, another favorite creature/monster of mine but not drawn from a specific SCP story. Continue reading

BOO! October 2014 Sketch Challenge Surprise

sketch of Chica duck from the terrifying 5 Nights at Freddy's video game

Haha YES, I’ve chosen the day I’m at both Night Gallery and Nomadic Views to unveil a secret…I’m doing the October Sketch Challenge again! If you’re in Evansville, IN feel free to stop by The Ahh Spa between 5:45pm and 9pm and say Hi!! If you’re in Nashville, TN look out for original drawn-on pigment prints of my pieces DIVE and City Eye at the Corvidae Collective Gallery in the Arcade!!

That’s right, one scary sketch a day, for every delicious spooky day in October. BOO! Here’s my first four sketches, I’ll attempt to do something close to a one-a-day update after tonight. You can watch the updates roll in over at http://sandpaperdaisy.tumblr.com!!

sketch of Golden Freddy from the terrifying  5 Nights at Freddy's video game

sketch of Foxy the Pirate from the terrifying  5 Nights at Freddy's video game

sketch of Bonnie Bunny from the terrifying  5 Nights at Freddy's video game

If you don’t recognize these creepy beasties by the way, they are animatronics from the amazing horror video game 5 Nights at Freddy’s. I fell in love with this chilling and creepy game after watching Markiplier‘s youtube videos of it. I can’t get enough!! Don’t be surprised if there’s more Freddy in my sketches over the month.

As with my 2013 round of sketches, I’ll be updating this website after October with a massive gallery of the entire month’s sketches for you to enjoy.

My new mini-comic.

I debuted this at Cincy Comicon 2014, it collects “The Ruby Machine” and “The Stone Squirrel.” I did a little cover for The Stone Squirrel and messed with the ending pages until I liked them slightly better, it ended up being a 20 page comic. I’ll be offering it for $3 and The Killing of Dreams 45 page horror comic for $5 at Night Gallery 2014, along with some new prints.

Oh and here’s the back cover. Shingo again! That sneaky guy. If you want to see a couple of internal pages there’s three in the COMICS section, as well as a link to The Ruby Machine.

A monstrous daisy hovers facing machinery

The Fox’s Wedding

paper mixed media tableau of two kitsune spirits in kimonos getting married

In Japan, I am told that when the sun is shining brightly through the rain, they say “Today is a good day for foxes” or “Today is a good day for a fox to get married.” Such days are supposed to be dear to kitsune, the mischievous fox spirits of Japanese legend.

A couple of years back I determined to try and do a piece based on the idea of a kitsune wedding. But all my efforts to make a digital painting or drawing left me unsatisfied. Finally, I hit upon an unusual idea. I would make paper dolls from origami paper and stage a diorama where the foxes marched in their wedding procession. A red candle served as the curved red bridge that so many of us think of when we think of Asian imagery, and a rippling blue and gold scarf made a lovely river. I folded origami trees, painted a sunny yellow background and placed old soapstone fish in the river beneath the bridge. My paper foxes were aided by pipe-cleaner skeletons to stay upright, and one bold little fox held aloft a ribbon banner fixed to a chopstick. And so my fox wedding was born!

I photographed my fox dolls in different situations, doing another series of photos of two girl foxes carrying a lantern through a dark forest. I’ll post more photos of my fox photo-session later, along with this other series “Enchanted Forest.” But for now, I hope you enjoy my wedding foxes on their special day! …a sunny, and rainy, day.

The Balance: Resurrection Field

a sinister man stands alone in a field of flowers.

Here we have a character of mine, Burke, standing in a field of chrysanthemums. This was originally intended to be the front cover of the first comic in The Balance series. The back cover would naturally feature my other Resurrection Man, Hare. I picked chrysanthemums simply because I love the movie Curse of the Golden Flower and so I will always associate this flower with sinister and horrible things.

The Resurrection Men pop up again here and here are my other old Balance art posts: More old comic art from The Balance || The White Robe || The Balance sketch001

O-Iwa and Iyemon

from the first big kaidan, a noh play about a faithless murdering husband and his vengeful wife.

O-Iwa, the woman with the bird skull, and Iyemon, the terrified man drawing his weapon, are a diptych I did for my Patchwork Dragon solo show at Winzerwald Evansville Wine Tasting Room. I decoupaged origami paper, typing paper and joss paper (ghost money) on wood. Incidentally, while I wanted to use “ghost money” paper in a piece about an Asian ghost legend, I did NOT use the actual ghost money itself, white paper with a silver square in the middle. It can be insulting or alarming to use those publicly as some people think it is ill luck to look at them. Finally, I augmented each piece with black and white ink and comic zipatone. Below the images is a short description of the story these pieces are based upon.

O-Iwa and Iyemon are an iconic husband and wife from Yotsuya Kaidan (四谷怪談), the most famous Japanese horror story of all time. The story is rather long and complicated, but in short Iemon/Iyemon, the husband, became tired of his devoted and loving wife O-Iwa. Wanting to marry a richer and more influential woman, Iyemon poisoned O-Iwa shortly after she bore their child. O-Iwa did not die but became horribly disfigured, and ultimately took her own life. At Iyemon’s wedding, her vengeful disfigured ghost appeared right in front of his new bride. Enraged, he drew his sword to slay the spirit, and in so doing ended up killing the bride.

I created the ghostly O-Iwa with a bird skull as a substitution for her horribly disfigured face. Many of the pieces in Patchwork Dragon involved skeletal imagery, so I wanted to retain the theme as well as portray O-Iwa in a way she’s hopefully never been seen before. Ghostly blue flames (kaika) creep up the side of the screen next to her, while threatening black flames hover on either side of her and swarm around Iyemon’s scabbard, foreshadowing the horrible mistake he is about to be led into. The screen on the two pieces lines up perfectly so that when hung together, O-Iwa is clearly seen as advancing on the horrified and guilty Iyemon.

Sadly, this couple was separated! I only have Iyemon left now, frozen in the eternal fear his abominable actions have condemned him to suffer for all time. If you wish to have him, contact me and we’ll talk.

Darkness, plate one

the wildest brutes Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd And twin'd themselves among the multitude, Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food. Lord Byron, Darkness

Back in 2001 (yes!! the Stone Age) I illustrated the poem Darkness by Lord Byron. I made and bound a single book that contained a series of linoleum block prints, copper etchings, and monoprints illustrating each scene in the poem.

This linoleum block print, on the inside front page facing the title page, is a man eating a serpent. It is in reference to these lines from Darkness:

–the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl’d
And twin’d themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food.

I am currently revisiting this series with new works which I will eventually make the subject of a solo show. As the book’s creation was in 2001, the pieces in this solo show will all be dedicated to my wonderful father, who introduced me to this powerful poem.

The print looks curved because this is a photo of the book page. I have no other copies of the print and no good way to photograph it again, as it has been damaged in a flood. The exploding planes at the top of the picture were achieved by me physically cutting the top of the linoleum block apart and then printing from the pieces!

More old comic art from The Balance

An unfinished splash page from my comic project The Balance.

I forgot to post this yesterday, whoops! Anyway, I’ve got plenty of old drawings and concepts from The Balance so I’ll just go ahead and throw another one out there. At the bottom I have a larger version since it’s a wide picture.

I’m deep in the middle of a bunch of contract work at the moment, but I plan to try and do one of my more detailed blog posts soon. Lots of shows to cover and review for example, and I have some animation projects coming up.

Related posts: The White Robe || Resurrection Men || The Balance sketch001

An unfinished splash page from my comic project The Balance.

The killing of Dreams now available IN PRINT

the killing of dreams by heather landry on indyplanet

Here it is! http://www.indyplanet.com/front/?product=109508

44 pages printed, all color, with pin-ups, $5.99. I am incredibly thrilled about this and pleasantly surprised. I FINALLY have it in print, online somewhere for people to buy. Who knows what approach I’ll ultimately end up taking with my comics, but I finally took my first big step getting this one out there!!

A note about the IndyPlanet digital download pricing:

You may notice a $0.99 digital download option. That was entirely my fault, I didn’t notice the “digital download” field when I set up the listing. I actually intend for all digital downloads to be $2.99 to be in line with the Kindle listing, where a comic of The killing of Dreams’ file size can’t be listed for such a low price. However, several comics have already sold at $0.99 so I’m in a rather interesting position at the moment! The only solution I can think of that will confuse the least amount of people (hopefully) is to honor this price mistake until my comic goes off the front page of IndyPlanet. So feel free to take advantage of my mistake! Don’t worry I’ll still be making a bit of money so you’re not ripping me off or costing me money.

tkod on INdyPlanet

Phonetasia 2: Candy-colored comic life

More weird things you can do with phones! I like to mess with the Sketch filters on the Camera360 app to make weird comic-book panel looking still-lifes of the otherwise mundane objects in my house (all of which have been stacked in odd and disconcerting ways to try to keep them from my two-year-old).

I think that it wouldn’t be at all difficult to use a quick snapshot with one of these filters to stage and plan an actual comic background or composition. I’m always saying “at some point…” but at some point I do indeed plan to make a hybrid comic or art piece of some sort starting from one of these bright line-heavy photo/drawing chimeras.

Photos from the Big Lebowski in Little China movie mashup show

big lebowski and whats opera doc imagery combined in this fanciful paper sculpture

As usual, please forgive my horrible digital shots. There are many more fantastic pieces in this show than what I have pictured here, it was painful to create just a sampling! But the show is still on, and if you want to see all the stunning pieces you gotta get down to PG Gallery and Cafe! Show ends May 17, 2014.

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1424815697773134/

Incidentally, I wrote this post while drinking a White Russian.

Phonetasia I: Several months of a small child’s abstracts

I always save my little son’s phone doodles simply because they’re so bright and cheerful. My goal was eventually to make a big gallery of them so I could view at them all at once and enjoy the feast of random colors and shapes that emerged. (Kind of like Jodie Foster listening to washing machines in Contact.) After seeing the finished gallery, I actually think it would be fun to try a “redraw” of some of these sketches where I took an interesting form or idea from one of Paul’s pieces and then actually tried exploring it in one of my own drawings. I might try it!

With due credit to the original artist of course.

I’ll be making more “phonetasia” posts exploring the weird things you can do with various phone apps and filters. Paul’s art below was made using Kids Doodle.

Everything I did wrong when I tried to make a digital comic file

As promised! Wow, where to begin.

First off I will start off by saying this is referring to creating a .mobi file with the Kindle Comic Creator to be used as a kindle book for sale on Amazon. I made digital files for Comixology and IndyPlanet as well, but all that involved was sending them a .zip file of nice huge .tiff images and they do they rest!

…not so with Kindle.

Now, before I dive in to the comedy of errors that has been my past two days, let me share some links:

And now on to my list of gaffes.

1) I tried to use Kindle Panel View.

Now, this might be a good idea for some comics. What I didn’t know is that if your comic needs to use double-page spreads (say you have splash images that take up 2 pages) YOU CAN’T DO THIS.

Other problems with Panel View: you have to manually drag to select all your panels because panel detect ONLY works if you have black bordered panels separated with a clean white gutter. If you have a black or dark gutter, or a background image behind your panels, or inset panels, forget it.

Worse yet was the dragging functionality for selection: After selecting my panels I had to then go back and re-drag to specify the “zoom” area of every single panel. So I had to do the same thing twice, for every panel…otherwise when someone used Panel View they would get tiny little arbitrary slices of each panel and that was it.

And if that weren’t bad enough, it’s incredibly hard to drag those panels in the first place…they constantly keep snapping back into place if you don’t click outside them in the exact right way, and half the time it won’t even let you drag at all anyway because the drag area is so incredibly small. My wrists after a 42 page comic are SHOT.

2) God help you if you need to change Panel View on/off after you’ve started.

Because…you can’t! You’d better darn well know whether you want to do Panel View or Double Page Spreads (and remember this is EITHER/OR) before you start. If you end up having to change this, you get to start a whole new file! Lucky you! (Lucky me after I found out you can’t have double page spreads with Panel View.)

3) FILE SIZE

Turns out that even though you’re technically allowed to use PNG and TIFF files for your images…no. No, it must be JPG/JPEG and only JPG. Because your images can only be 800kb or smaller and your mobi file had better darn well be under 50mb if you don’t want Amazon to slap a big ugly (well it’s not big I guess, but it looks scary and foreboding) warning on your sales page saying “Due to large file size, this book may take longer than usual to download.” YUCK!

Worse, for those of you selling a comic for $1.99, you can’t do this unless it’s 50mb or less. (I’ve also heard that $0.99 books must be 3mb or less.)

The only way to achieve this is pretty much to use JPGs. I, of course, tried non-lossy file formats like TIFF and PNG first…can you say 2GB file??

4) …Except the cover file is different!!

Yes, the cover file and only the cover file can be larger in dimension than all your comic page files…and you actually NEED to use the dimensions they give you [1563×2500] because otherwise it’ll look all jacked up on the device. Well la~de~dah!! …at least you can update the cover image without making a new .mobi file, but I suspect you have to delete the old cover image from your folder or it may refuse to keep the update.

5) How in heck do I get my double page spread???

After I was on my second or seventh or eightieth new mobi file (had to remove panel view, then had to reduce the size of individual pages) I did the whole “double page spread” thing and thought I had it made. But when I went to preview it, it was still in portrait only displaying single pages!! Now, to go back a bit, when you start making your file in Kindle Comic Creator, you have to pick Portrait, Landscape, or Unlocked. …except, no matter what you say, you have to pick Unlocked if you want your double-page spread to work at all.

kindle comic creator dialog box

The good news is, if you selected Portrait or Landscape instead, this can be changed.

6) What can’t be changed is the canvas size. Time for another new mobi file!

Below the Portrait/Landscape/Unlocked options you’ll notice there’s “canvas size” dimensions to pick. ONCE THESE ARE SET THEY ARE IN STONE. Thus, if you were perhaps to get distracted by a late-night episode of Perry Mason (the original black and white series naturally) and did NOT switch these babies around to reflect Portrait as Opposed to Landscape, or Landscape as opposed to Portrait, you will have to REDO EVERYTHING LATER!

This became an issue because the “Kindle for PC” I downloaded from Amazon won’t let me rotate the virtual Kindle. Thus, I couldn’t see that when you rotate it, your double-page spreads show up. I panicked. Did this mean that I actually needed my dimensions to be in landscape mode, reflecting the size of two pages, and then two pages would populate in the preview like they were supposed to???

NO.

kindle landscape capture

Nope! Kindle defaults to displaying one page at a time in your selected mode. Therefore, if you have traditional (Portrait) comic pages and you put it in Landscape, you will still only get one page displayed at a time but now there will be a VAST SEA OF NOTHINGNESS on either side. AND you will no longer have access to the Double-Page Spread option that you desperately need for your splash pages. Yeah, THAT was worth making the 10th mobi file or so to find out…

7) So in other words, preview your comic using Kindle Previewer, NOT Kindle for PC.

It actually lets you flip the blasted thing, and then you will be comforted to see your double-page spreads do in fact exist and were not just a madman’s dream. They let you download Kindle Previewer when you’re making your book! It also comes bundled with Kindle Comic Creator but you may prefer the separate version.

the double page spread on kindle previewer

It really existed after all! *SOB* …I forgot which mobi file is the right one by this point, where did I save it…?

8) Hey, so about that pricing and description…

Yes, admittedly after all that I flaked out and just slapped a random price on my book without double-checking what prices I had set in other online venues. AND I neglected to use the book description field to talk in-depth about the book or include a link back to my website. More Amazon Bookshelf edits!!!!

9) To summarize, what I SHOULD HAVE DONE.

To get low file sizes, use JPG files no greater than 1280px on the largest side. The exception is your cover, which should be 1563X2500px. Also, have a portrait-oriented cover for a portrait-oriented comic, and a landscape-oriented cover for a landscape-oriented comic, or you will run into trouble.

To achieve Double-Page Spread in order to preserve splash pages, turn Panel View OFF, select the UNLOCKED orientation and set your canvas size to the dimensions of a single comic page. Don’t save until you’re certain your settings are perfect or you’ll be making a new file!! Preview in the actual Amazon Previewer, not Kindle for PC.

If you use Panel View, remember Double-Page Spread and “Unlocked” (ability to rotate) orientation will not be an option for you. It’s best to use Panel View for comics with very pronounced, simple panels on a white background so you can use the “auto-detect panels” as much as possible. If you must draw panels, ensure that the zoom for each panel is selected properly. Have someone burly massage your wrists afterwords and offer you chocolate and spirits.

Preferably someone like PERRY MASON

 

The killing of Dreams comes to Kindle

the killing of dreams comic by heather landry is now available on amazon kindle

Yes, after two solid days of wading through the conversion and publishing process, I finally managed to slap my comic up on Amazon. And let me tell you, I had to have made about 6 .mobi files and changed my book info about a jillion times along the way. The Amazon folk (or more probably, the Amazon robots) must hate me by now.

That link again: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K1WBM3Q

Incidentally, I think my next post might be “everything I did wrong when I tried to make a digital comic file.”

In the meantime, I’m waiting on my comic to (fingers crossed!!) be accepted for Comixology. In any case I shouldn’t have any trouble getting it into IndyPlanet. Both of these offer digital comic publishing (kindle or otherwise) and IndyPlanet additionally has the option of purchasing the actual paper comic.

My digital comic is 42 pages (the back cover appears as a page), $2.99 USD no matter what site you get it from.

My paper comic is 44 pages, $5.99 USD (it includes 3 extra pin-ups you can cut out!) I’ll update when it hits Comixology and IndyPlanet!

[Edit: Available on IndyPlanet here: http://www.indyplanet.com/front/?product=109508%5D
[Final Edit: Available on comiXology here: http://cmxl.gy/1jREVom%5D

I posted wips of this comic before, here’s a couple of pages to give you a taste of the finished product. It’s horror/dark fantasy with some surreal and lbgtq/coming of age thrown in. Or as I described it once, “cannibal schoolgirls.” (Not really…well kinda?)

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