Kody’s Production Blog

  • A guy running with an umbrella. Mostly just a color test for some pages. 

  • Scrambled

    For whatever reason, I love the textures created when the TV signal scrambles.
    Anytime I see it happen, I try to quickly grab my phone and snap a photo. It’s like a disease and I can’t help myself. Here are some I found stashed in a folder earlier today.

  • The Hateful Eight

    Some thoughts on seeing Hateful Eight yesterday.

    The Tim Roth role was written for Christoph Waltz. I could tell. Roth was fantastic, though. 

    Channing Tatum’s accent was him practicing a Cajun accent for Gambit. It worked well, and surprisingly better than most other attempts I’ve seen on film.

    Great to see Louisiana’s Craig Stark in there. Curious if he helped Tatum with the accent.

    Can’t figure out a place for it in my Tarantino ranking just yet, mostly because I’ve only seen it once and my primary litmus test for favorite movies is wether or not they’re rewatchable.

  • The scene

    One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite films. John Carpenter’s THE THING. 

  • Self-imposed Limitations

    Most of the limitations in comics are self-imposed. We’re still making comics the way our grandparents did, with many of the same tools, and often with the very same characters. Animation doesn’t seem to have that mindset, and in many ways, they’re starting to leave us behind creatively. 

    That’s not to say modern comics aren’t fantastic, because they are. The tools are also fantastic, I use most of them myself. Tradition and legacy are important and lineart will always have a prominent place in the comic book industry. But why are we applying tradition as a limitation to what is otherwise a limitless medium? Why do we have such a narrow definition of what a comic should be? How a comic should look? What genres are best?

    When I hear someone say they can’t make comics because they can’t draw, my reaction is always the same: Who says comics need to be drawn? 

    Animation fans happily embrace the construction paper cutouts of Southpark, the action figures of Robot Chicken, the lumps of clay in Wallace and Gromit, the miniature stylings of Laika, the classic collage animation of Terry Gilliam, and yes, the 3D renderings of Pixar. Much of these stylistic choices benefit greatly from drawing, design, and storyboarding, some more than others. But that’s not the point. The point is that if you want to make comics and your excuse involves drawing, it’s time to scratch that one off the list and make some comics. 

  • comixology:

    brianmichaelbendis:

    some Daredevil artwork by John Romita, Jr. and Al Williamson.

    John Romita Jr. and Al Williamson, the perfect visual partnership, were perfectly paired with the material from this run, written by Ann Nocenti.  As much as Frank Miller and Klaus Janson and others brought to the table before them, and as much as folks like Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev and Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have brought to it more recently, it’s really the Nocenti-Romita-Williamson run that represents not only the full potential of what a Daredevil story or superhero story can be, but what a fully creatively realized comic book can be.

    Just look at this stuff

    Greatness. 

  • Never Herd of It

    The phrase “Never heard of it” seems to be the default position these days. It’s a phrase used to discredit just about anything unfamiliar that finds its way to the marketplace. The implication is that if it’s not popular, it must not be any good. The Never-Heard-Of-It mentality is all about waiting for something to become popular first, then we allow ourselves to enjoy it. It’s a perfect representation of the herd mentality.

    The problem with this is approach is many great ideas get overlooked or fail in the marketplace because not enough people are willing to give them an honest look.

    Yes, it could simply be a shortcut to try and avoid bad stuff, but I’ve found popularity to be among the worst ways to judge the quality of anything, and it’s an absolutely pointless test for something all-new that’s just entered the marketplace. I’m not saying popular things aren’t good, because they often are very good. But using popularity as a gauge of quality is a highly flawed approach. In many cases, we’ve simply fallen victim to clever marketing efforts. A well managed brand seems like it has popular appeal when it’s likely just a creative illusion constructed by advertisers to help position things in the public consciousness. When/If a test is needed, I’ve found a personal reference or recommendation from a single individual I trust is a far better test than the collective judgement of the herd.

    I think the most likely source of Never-Heard-Of-It is that we’ve come to doubt our own ability to judge something honestly. We’ve put the approval of the herd over our own tastes. Everyone wants to feel like we fit in, and that’s always been one of the most powerful motivators. Maybe that’s it. 

    But what’s on the other side of the Never-Heard-Of-It approach? Is it embarrassment or becoming an outcast? I doubt it. It’s guaranteed to help more than it hurts. Great leaders usually have the ability to see what others haven’t yet seen. They have a strong sense of discovery and can see potential when others can’t. Think about that key Hollywood producer that buys a script everyone else passed on, and it later becomes a blockbuster hit. They saw a quality there that no one else saw. They trusted their judgement about the quality of the writing or the ideas within. Everyone seems to have that one friend that finds the best new music long before anyone else. This approach is so rare and unusual, it almost seems like a superpower. It’s as if they’ve invented this new thing, because to us, they’re the source. 

    Duke Ellington said, “If it sounds good, it is good.” Why can’t we use that mentality as our litmus test? All it requires is for us to embrace our own sense of discovery and to step away from the herd now and then. 

    Learning to follow threads is one of the most practical ways of discovery. If you love a movie, find out who wrote it and who directed it and track down some of their other works. Find an interview of your favorite comic artist where they mention their biggest influences, then buy those books. Trust a close friend instead of a celebrity testimonial. Instead of using terms like, “guilty pleasure,” just own it. Boldly enjoy more of the things you love, and share those things with the world.

  • Draw From The Elbow

    Artists sometimes struggle to make relatively straight lines freehand. A trick you might try is to completely lock the wrist and fingers, and instead, rotate your arm only at the elbow. You’ll quickly find that there’s a diagonal area that averages out to a mostly straight line with a very slight curve, just spin the drawing around until the placement of the line matches up with the movement of your arm. Once you get used to it, try bending the wrist in and out sightly while you draw that line, and if done properly, you can actually remove the very slight curve and straighten out that line. It won’t ever be a 100% perfect line, but a hand drawn line is fast, convenient, and I tend to prefer them over perfectly ruled lines because each and every one has a bit of character and originality to it. 
  • Your thing

    2015 was the year of too many people telling me about a thing they want to do someday. A comic, screenplay, childrens book, novel, I’ve heard it all.

    Someday…

    ?

    Let’s be honest. Someday is probably NEVER. Give that thing a deadline or it’ll never get done. THIS is the year you do it. 2016.

    Your deadline is Jan 1, 2017.

    I’ll answer questions and give advice when I can, but the only way to finish something is to start it.

    What’s your thing?

    —–

    Here’s the first lesson: Whatever you’re doing is probably going to SUCK, and it’s going to suck badly. It’s all right because no one is going to see it, just you, so keep going. Every instinct in your body will tell you to stop because it’s never going to work. Believe me when I say your instincts are WRONG.

    It feels like that because we’ve got to make WAX before we can make art, and we’d rather make art. We want something beautiful and powerful and moving, but instead we see a lump of wax. It’s lumpy, brown, ugly, and sticky. If you get too close, it kinda stinks. Still, without that wax, we’ll never be able to sculpt. It’s one of the biggest mistakes aspiring creators make, they start sculpting before they’ve got any wax. They spend their time trying to polish a turd. Instead, go make some wax. Fill your notebooks and sketchbooks with ideas, insights, observations, insecurities, fears, and memories. Eventually, you’ll have enough wax to start that sculpture. You’ll refine it, move things around, and eventually you’ll fire that wax sculpture into BRONZE. It’s important to remember that the bronze is for the audience, the wax is for you.

    Go make some wax.