A peek at something new in development. We’ve completed a test batch of Koi Girl T-shirts with excellent results. Koi Girl is a new centerfold in the updated “Sketchbook 3.” We were so happy with that image that we thought she was a good candidate to launch a few new products. We’re currently taking a poll to gauge what shirt sizes we should produce and in what quantity. If you might be interested in purchasing Koi Girl when we go into production later this year, drop by our poll and log your personal shirt size preference! Thanks!
Seeing as it is Monday, I thought I’d show you all a few more production photos from our Nimue statue run. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things in the world is to see things being made. Whenever we print a new sketchbook I always visit the press a few times during production. Ostensibly to approve the print proofs, but really it’s to see the huge machines working and pages piling up, lining up. etc. In this case there aren’t machines doing the work, but in some ways I think this is even cooler. Much more like Santa’s workshop, which is appropriate for this time of year.
Well, as the holiday season is officially opened and all, I wanted to catch everyone up on that swell mermaid statue. Things at the factory are going well, and the first wave of Nimue is nearing completion. Everything has been running smoothly and on time, we’re happy to report. For everyone who got in on the pre-order, your statues will be the first to ship when completed. We did the whole pre-order so that we could gauge what ratios we would need of the different versions – blonde and green. Once we understood those ratios we closed the ordering and went into production. As soon as every last mermaid has been painted, numbered, boxed, and the pre-orders have been delivered, we’ll open up ordering again. By waiting for completion we’ll know exactly how many statues of each color remain in stock and we’ll be able to load those numbers into the store’s inventory.
When that time comes we’ll notify everyone through our Facebook page and this blog that ordering has opened again.
Anyway, here are a few photos of the work in progress. Happy Thanksgiving!
I’ve always loved Mermaids, and I’ve always kept an eye out for a great mermaid sculpture wherever I go. Particularly when I show up in places like San Francisco, Seal Beach, or the Outer Banks, where mermaids abound. I’ll always run across a couple in little shell shops or maritime bookstores. But I’ve never found the one I’m looking for – the right combination of fluid, cute, sexy, and hopefully with some sea friends nearby. But you know what? I’ve never found her. The ones I stumble across are always lacking something – they’re sorta stiff, or have rather dire faces. Sometimes they’re pretty good, but attached to a lamp or a wooden sign that has beachy witticisms like, “In dog beers, I’ve only had one.”
So I’ve never found my mermaid. Till now.
For all of you who may have had a similar experience, I proudly introduce Nimue, the mermaid sculpture I’ve been looking for.
Nimue (“Nim-way”) is the first collaboration between myself and Anders Ehrenborg (www.andersehrenborg.com), who sculpted her. Anders works in New Zealand, which means he’s beset by mossy trolls and tiny glowing sprites that play tricks on him, stealing his coffee mugs and enticing him with bewitched objects that if touched, will enslave him to the fairy kingdom for a thousand years. Imagine. Even with all that distraction and danger, Anders created this object of fluid beauty that, as far as I am concerned, finally got it right.
How many sailors would have given their last weevily biscuit to capture such a creature in their sea-chests? Anders based this sculpture on a mermaid drawing from “Sketchbook 3.” However, credit for this goes entirely to him; translating a sketch into a dimensional sculpture is the realm of genius and witchcraft, if you ask me.
Also, I owe the creation of this to Jessica Steele, who is also a creature of the deep. She spends most of her time with dolphins and sharks, and was sick and tired of my whining about the failings of seaside shell shop mermaids, and thus pushed me to find a way to produce one that will keep me quiet. Her notes and advice were invaluable as Nimue took shape. Jessica knows all things in the ocean, and kept me properly focused on fins and scales and hair that maintained fluidity.
Nimue is a limited-edition resin. She is 7.25 inches tall, and comes in four versions. Blonde hair with blue tail and blue shark, green hair with green tail and grey shark, and a topless variant of each, for those that like their mermaids without shells. The baby manta ray is a slightly darker blue on the green version. Jessica named the fat baby shark Clarence.
So that makes four versions to choose from. I’ll post the topless variants tomorrow. The ones pictured here are the prototypes, and they will be in San Diego if you happen to pass by our booth (which is #5534, just like last year). We will be taking pre-orders in our online store. Statues will ship starting January 2014.
Good morning! Well, a lot’s been happening since I last posted. Croods is zooming along (more on that later) but on the home front the interesting thing is that our mugs have been selling well, and all have been arriving at their destinations in good time. Meanwhile, I’ve been scouring the country buying up as many of the Indian Red Polychromos pencils that I can, because I discovered during Dragons that I like drawing with them. The brick color is easy on the eyes and I think it blends nicely with the colors I might wash on afterwards. Unfortunately I ran out and after trips to three art supply stores I came up with only five pencils. So I began searching the internet and found that they seemed to be missing from the planet in general. There didn’t seem to be a lack of green or blue pencils, leading me to wonder where Indian Red ones were coming from. I have several theories, ranging from dried reddish lemur dung to a deep mine in Mojave run by a smallish tribe of night dwelling trolls. The latter theory would explain the sporadic supply, as trolls are lazy and only trade their precious red minerals for bags of uncooked black beans and lengths of the manilla rope that they favor. It must be especially harrowing for the art-supply employee, elected by the choosing of a short straw, to drive into the desert at night and sit by the entrance of an open shaft with his bags of beans and coils of rope to listen for the scrabbling and scratching of troll claws as they come out of their terrible holes, offering handfuls of red mineral by moonlight. The skittish pencil salesman would allow his pockets to be filled with the precious red dirt and endure the occasional exploratory bite on his hands, then bid farewell to the monsters as they drag their rope and beans underground, chuckling and burping.
Thanks to the bold and adventurous men and women of the art supply industry I’m happy to report I received several boxes of the rare Indian Red pencils yesterday. So now I’m drawing again, and will be for many months before my stock is gone.
I’ve been writing Kiskaloo, preparing to start drawing again in late December. I always try to have a backlog of comics written before I draw, as my greatest anxiety is the writing. Once that’s done, the drawing and inking is fun.
Okay, so I tweeted about this yesterday, but I wanted to get this out on my Blog and DA as well. There were two batches of the Ogo mugs made before the Con. The first one had some rather large defects, and so a second run was ordered. This was the first, defective version.
The second batch was perfect, and it promptly sold out in San Diego.
I was surprised then, when an Ebay seller suddenly had more than ten Ogo mugs for sale. On closer examination of the sellers photo we saw that it was in fact, a mug from that bad batch. Note the similarity. The easiest way to tell is that the eye patch is solid black.
I had considered destroying that batch, and now, in retrospect, I really should have spent an afternoon in my driveway with a beer hat and a hammer. But now those defective mugs are out there. About a hundred of them. Curiously, in the description, this seller decided these mugs were originally sold at the 2007 Con. Why they chose that one is a mystery, as I would have to have been so bumbling that I would sell badly made mugs of my own character, but I would also have to be so clever that I could build a time machine and instead of going back to Dallas so I could wait at Dealey Plaza and yell to JFK that his shoe was untied, causing him to lean over and thus saving his life, I instead opted to travel back to San Diego to distribute coffee mugs.
Anyway, I Tweeted about the bad mugs, and magically the Ebay picture updated itself with this one -
Now, I guess it’s possible this seller got busy last night and fixed the mugs with White-Out and a really small brush and then went to my kitchen and shot a new picture. But I think if you buy this mug you’re still gonna get the other one. I’m not mentioning the seller or their location because, you know, finders keepers. They can sell the mugs if they want to, and anyone can buy them. Especially people who like cats with solid eye patches and black tails.
So this whole thing has prompted us to order another run of the correct mugs, and get them up on the net as soon as possible. The run will take about two to four weeks, and as soon as they arrive I’ll offer them for sale. Until then, beware the Ogo mug – there may be good ones for sale that came from the San Diego Con, but batches of over ten are unlikely as we sold no more than three to any one person. So, note the picture on this Ebay page – it’s the same one I shot and posted on this blog. If someone is selling the genuine article it’s likely they’ll shoot a picture of their own mug sitting on their own desk.
Enough about that. On to other things – have a great day!