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.
Things have been so busy around here lately that I totally forgot the month was changing and I needed a new header for the blog. I'm glad i finally remembered even if it is a few days late.
The OilCan Drive project has been going well but there still feels like there's too much to do and too little time to do it. I got a bunch of the merchandise art done for the project done so all I'm left with now is about three and a half pages of the comic and mixing the album. I got the vocals done for the album done last weekend and now I'm trying to put all the puzzle pieces together and make some decent songs out of them. It's been a bit frustrating and, to be honest, I've thought about chucking the music side of the project altogether, but I still find myself sitting down and playing around until something almost sounds good. So, I'll keep going and see what happens.
And, since it is May 3rd the cover to the new OilCan Drive "TRACKS" story was posted today. You can go over to the OCD website and check it out HERE. The site still needs a lot of work done to it to get it back to where it was before the crash but I've put that on the back burner so I can get the rest of the work done first. It feels like just one more thing to do but I am glad I got it back to a point where I can post new pages and tell the story I want to tell.
With all the work I still need to do chances are the blog will be quiet for just a little while longer. I'd usually draw out showing off all of this art but since I know I won't find the time in the next few weeks I thought I'd bombard you with all the merchandise art I did for the project that I'll be rolling out at The Denver Comic Convention on May 31st. Geez...only four weeks to go and still so much to do.
The pieces below are the business card, postcard, four foot by eight foot banner (yes, it's going to be HUGE), t-shirt, silk screened vinyl sticker, and trading cards.
Enjoy the artwork, enjoy the spring days of May, and I hope I'll see a few of you on the weekend of the 31st! Be good!
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...
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!
Once again I got ahead of myself and started inking this piece before I remembered to snap a photo of the pencil sketch. But, as soon as I remembered I grabbed my phone, clicked off a few pics, and went right back to inking.
This illustration has been a long time in coming. Somewhere in the middle of this crazy schedule I've given myself I hit a point where I was drawing stuff but nothing seemed to look right. It's the reason there are so many variations of the Ryan Burke trading card and this piece (which will be used for the new book cover, sticker, and banner) took about three times to get right. But, I think it was worth the wait because I absolutely love the way this piece is coming out and I'm happy to say I feel like I've finally gotten my mojo back and the art seems to be flowing freely again.
I'll keep inking this piece and try and show you the finished illustration later this week.
Here's a sneak peek of the new OilCan Drive trading cards directly from my computer screen. They'll be printed and available at the Denver Comic Convention which I'll be attending on May 31-June 2nd at the Denver Convention Center.
And, as you can see at the bottom of this screen shot, there is a bit of the back design of one of the cards showing as well. I finally figured out a place to put those silhouette pieces I did of the band oh so long ago. Now I need to write out some copy on the back of each card and I can put this part of the OilCan Drive project in my rear view mirror.
As they say, all that's left to do now is everything. Time to get back to it.
Here is a bit of color added to the newest Ryan Burke piece.
I also finished up the fronts of all the trading cards but am still struggling a bit with the backs. The layout and design are done but I still haven't decided what kind of text I want on the back of each card. If anyone out there has any ideas throw them at me. I'm open to anything.
OK, back to work. I have a few of the interior pages to finish up before I call it a night. And then Week 10 starts tomorrow. I can't believe I'm already halfway through my schedule and there is still so much to do.