Color!!!

Shameless plug for the old webcomic

Click to enlarge.

Since it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I thought I’d take the opportunity to mention my little webcomic, Rose Madder, my weekly serialized graphic novel. In about a month or so Chapter Four begins, which introduces a bunch of new characters and is a hoot to boot. So this is a good time to catch up on the previous installments if you haven’t already.

Would you like to get a cool picture and help Japan at the same time?

bid item

Right now, the good people from Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology are auctioning off various items, including the artwork above by me, for Japan relief. 100% of the proceeds from the eBay auction goes to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. The drawing features Haruko Haruhara of my fave anime FLCL on her Vespa, inked with permanent markers and colored with Dr. Martin’s dyes on 11×14, 140 lb. watercolor board.

The high bid for the above artwork also gets a bonus drawing of Haruko with the characters of my webcomic Rose Madder, Rose, Tarpit LaBrea, and Lucy Purr the cat, also in full color on 11×14 watercolor board:

bonus item

Here is the auction link.

It’s for a good cause, and again, 100% of the bid goes toward the Japan relief fund. So bid high and bid often, and you can get some nice artwork in the process. I rarely work non-digitally these days, so as far as art from myself goes, this is a rarity. Go on, you know you want to!

The Magician From Mars

After a stretch of being too busy to contribute anything to the Whitechapel forum in a while, I managed to squeeze this in for a new installment of Remake/Remodel, reinterpreting vintage public domain comics characters. This week, it’s the Magician From Mars:

In the future, Jane Q-X 3 Gem, the Magician from Mars, is born to a Martian father, Jarl 6EM35, and a Earthling mother, Jane Faro. When she was a baby, she was accidently exposed to “cathode” radiation, which is deadly to humans but which Martians are naturally immune to. Because she was a hybrid of the two, the radiation had an unexpected effect of boosting her brain power to the point where she was capable of changing reality with a thought..

At 16 years old, she lost both of her parents and was raised by her Aunt Vanza, who refuses to allow the girl to travel to Earth. Eventually, she found life on Mars too boring, so she escaped from the “Supersteel Room” prison her aunt locked her in and took passage on a ship to Earth. There, she decided to use her reality-warping abilities to fight evil and oppression. Eventually, she came head-to-head with the Hood, leader of an evil organization with the goal of “Universal Domination.”

I rushed a bit through the drawing, so it’s a little sloppy in places, but overall I’m happy with the end result. As usual, drawn with Sketchbook and Photoshop. Click on the image to see it at full size.

So, what’s been going on in the world while I was away?

Between working on Rose Madder and my day job on Futurama, I needed to pull back a little.  So, sorry for the silence.  But, I’m back, and will try to post a little more regularly from here on out.

A couple of brief announcements:

  • I won’t be at the San Diego Comicon, but my friends at Icecat Books were nice enough to be willing to pass out my promo postcards for Rose Madder.  So, if you’re at Nerd Prom anytime this weekend, please check out their booth (#O-05) and get a free postcard!
  • And speaking  of Rose Madder, there are just a few more pages to post of Chapter Zero, the re-presentation of 2004’s “Ozymandias”.  The all-new, all-color Chapter One of Rose Madder starts the week of August 30. Here’s a preview page:

Rose Madder preview page

Rose Madder is © 2010 A.L. Baroza

Rose Madder is here

rose_dance

I’m launching my Rose Madder webcomic, at www.rose-madder.com (don’t forget the hyphen!).  It’ll start with a re-presentation of my prologue, “Ozymandias”, and then roll into the new material.  A page a week, I hope I can keep that schedule.

The third and final part of my History of Rose Madder series will be up here in a few days, as soon as I write it.

Rose Madder is © 2010 A.L. Baroza

A History of Rose Madder, Part 1: A Love-Gone-Wrong-Song

Rose2 color

OUTLINE-ROSE MADDER-“Is That All There Is”
ACT I
1) New York City-The Present
a) Open on the white, wintery sky. We hear “Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vendellas. Pan down to reveal the city in snowy splendor.
b) More of the city. Visible holiday decorations and displays. End on the apartment window of Rose Madder. The alarm clock is buzzing. 1) Rose is a woman in her mid-twenties; out of school, overeducated, unemployed and somewhat adrift.
c) Inside her bedroom. Rose is face down on the bed, asleep. Rose’s calico cat Sienna (short for “Burnt Sienna”) sits on her back, licking the back of her neck. He’s hungry. Drowsy, Rose is at once amused, annoyed, and slightly aroused by the action.
d) Rose forces herself awake. Montage of Rose’s morning routine: shuffling around in pajamas, she feeds the cat, pees, takes some medication, smokes a cigarette. Emphasis on the mundaneness of her ritual.
1) We see a little of her apartment. It’s underfurnished, yet cluttered with books, magazines, newspapers. A few storage boxes, as if Rose has just moved in (she hasn’t). Rose is a little slovenly–not a slob, but unconcerned with the idea of “presentability”. A cello in its case sits in one corner of her bedroom. Ashtrays are everywhere.

About ten years ago I began developing what would become Rose Madder. Originally intended as a graphic novel that would never be noticed in the over-steroided world of comics in the ’90s, Rose Madder has, over the decade, morphed into an animation series pitch, a manga-fied short story, and a fictional blog, before it went full circle and back into graphic novel form–all without actually ever being published, more or less (more on that later).

(The above excerpt is from a treatment I wrote for the above-mentioned series pitch, by the way, from around 2002-3.)

Loosely based on some real-life events and people, my initial idea was to come up with an anti-romance, or, as Thomas Dolby once put it, a love-gone-wrong-song. A story about two people who are perfect for each other, which is why they are utterly wrong for each other.  I wanted, in a way, to reinvent the romance comic for the 21st century, but not in that indie comix, navel-gazing “I’m a loser, so why don’t you kill me” style.  I wanted to do something with all the high drama of mainstream entertainment;  clever, but accessable, that might appeal to a smart adolescent or teen who wants to read about relationships. But, because I’m not a sentimental person, filtered throughout with a healthy amount of skepticism and cynicism to keep me from going into a diabetic coma during its creation.

Keep in mind, this was ten years ago, before manga broke big and created that market that was a pipe dream just a few years earlier. Before the the advent of very capable western creators like Bryan Lee O’Malley who hit the ground running with romances like the Scott Pilgrim series, full of youthful energy and humor that I certainly couldn’t match, and wouldn’t dare to compete with. Before webcomics broadened the appeal of different genres to a new generation of readers.  All of this started to happen while I sat on my story and kind of lived with it for a long time before ever committing anything to paper.

And somewhere along the way, as I was meditating over Rose Madder, it began to mutate into something a little weird.

In Part 2, I go manga.

Below: chiibi Rose and Tarpit, from 2005.
RoseTarpit2A RoseTarpit2B
Rose Madder is © 2009 A.L. Baroza