Monday, February 27, 2017

Dameon Strykes Issue #1, Page 16


This was directly behind a building I used to live in. I thought it was a great shot. Again, I’m not going to show you the gruesome, I’m going to let your mind go there. Only one of my shots has ever showed actual death:


That’s actual roadkill. I was hunting for roadkill for months. I was not going to kill something with my car to get this shot, so I had to hunt. I spent weekends driving through country roads. On my way to a wedding, I came across a dead raccoon. I decided that was not the time to take a picture of it, because it was in the middle of the day and the lighting was just all wrong. After the wedding, I went to the same location and apparently people cleaned up the kill.
I was getting so desperate that I actually asked friends that if they found roadkill in my area to let me know so I could get a picture of it.  I love my friends, because more than one responded. One even sent me a picture of their find, and I was about to use that photo.
Week that the cover is supposed to be released, I’m driving home from a camping trip. It’s dark, like using my brights dark, and I notice this dead deer.  This is a long highway with no nearby exits or turn-arounds. I need this shot though, so I take a U-turn in the middle of the highway, drive beyond the deer, and take another. I park behind it. My cameras battery is flashing low. I quickly get out of my car, and take as many pictures as I can, with my headlights, with my brights, without, with my brake lights every way I can until my camera is dead. I don’t review the photos or anything, and my camera dies. I just cross my fingers and hope that it works.
Two shots turned out, and so we get the double cover.

Dameon Strykes Issue #1, Page 15

For the full comic, go to Iron Fist Regime.


Some of my photos make me feel like I’m doing something illegal. Strangely, it is not the photographs where I’m actually doing something illegal, but a photo like this. I simply walked into an area that had a jewelry shop that was locked up, and took photographs of the jewelry from behind the bars.  There was nothing illegal about my actions, but at the same time I was worried someone would think I was staking out the place and call the cops on me.
Doesn’t help that I walked in and out of the stores three times that night with my camera just waiting for them to lock up. Yeah, not suspicious at all.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dameon Strykes Issue #1, Page 14

The full comic can be viewed at: www.IronFistRegime.com



I have an aversion to using real people's faces. One of the big reasons is if I do it once, it might be more and more expected. Then I need "actors," and actors are people who are not nor on my time schedule. It is frequently difficult for me  to find the right shot I want, but then to have people rush out to be in the photo would make this project impossible to do.

Sometimes a face is needed though. Luckily, Sheppard Douglas' artwork for the drawn comic book gets to be resurrected at those times. So now we get to meet Agent Constance Wu.

Dameon Strykes Issue #1, Page #13

The full comic can be viewed at: Ironfistregime.com




My longer term readers might remember this page from the drawn comic:'



While I may not being using any of the originally drawn pages, I am still following that story line. So, for this staged photograph, I pulled up the old and tried to replicate it. It took me a few pages to get the writing to look proper. When my artist drew this, the page looked like it had been folded up and placed neatly in the back of the Night Rider's throat, like you'd expect Buffalo Bill to do with a moth. Soulscourger is not that concerned with protecting either letter nor his victim, and would've shoved it down his victim's throat. So... I ate the page. Omnomnom. I really should have added the ketchup before I tried to eat it, would've made it taste better.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Photo Issue #1, Page 12


Unlike the prior page where I had difficulty finding the subject, images of small animals are easy to obtain. The problem was sorting through them and choosing what image I wanted.
At one time, I was considering making something like a fake arm that would also have food on it so it would attract animals. I’ll be honest, it would make the picture significantly more gruesome; but, more than a few of my readers have commented that they really enjoyed the simplicity of my pictures. That I take a simple thing, such as a picture of an empty culvert, and the language I use  leaves the violence up to the reader’s imagination. 
With the concept of simplicity in mind, I went through all my pictures again.  I decided that this image was the least complex, and allowed for the most mind wandering.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dameon Strykes Issue #1 Page 11

New page has been added ( www.ironfistregime.com ), and we’re finally going to meet Detective Thomas Hones.

It was suggested to me I start a blog about the pages. I don’t intend on adding anymore to the story in this blog as I feel it would distract from the actual pages themselves. I want them to tell the story; if I wanted this to be entirely written word I would have tried writing a novelization of Dameon Strykes.  No, the intent of these blogs is to talk about how the page was made.  Where I took the photographs, changes I made, and what not. Very few of the pages are staged, and some of them having interesting stories behind them. Hopefully this area further enlightens as well as entertains any of my readers.
Often times I find myself looking for things that one would think it would be easy to find; until you hunt for it. Police vehicles might always be lurking around that corner you’re speeding around, but finding one parked (and not currently conducting business) is a bit more difficult. Add in the number of times I found one without my camera, ran home, only to return to the vehicle gone and this one took quite some time. While I could use my phone, I find myself having to do a lot more post-work to get a lesser quality image. There’s also a lot of things I do while taking the picture that my Canon Rebel can do that my phone simply cannot. I found this vehicle just waiting for me while  I was hunting down next week’s page.  I took my time getting this from various angles without appearing too suspect. Sometimes I go weeks without finding an adequate picture, but this day I shot two of them. The other will be next week’s page.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2016: A year in review

2015 ended with the death of Lemmy Kilminster, and 2016 decided to greatly increase the number of famous artists I love dying. Starting with David Bowie and ending with Carrie Fisher, people who were influential to my life passed on.


While the world is a poorer place for having so many amazing people no longer in it, their deaths impacted my life minimally. Their deaths might have changed the conversations I had with my friends, but it didn’t change who my friends were, who my family was, nor what job I held.

Over-all for me, as an individual, 2016 was a good year. Early in the year I received a promotion at UPS. I went from a loader to supervisor. While the stress increased, I’m infinitely happier with this job than I was with Enterprise. I have new challenges every day, and I can see the impact I have on the work place. Lorena and I grew closer this year. So much so that we decided to move in together. There have been plenty of new friends, and I don’t feel like I lost contact with any of my old friends.


Only thing I’ve really lost this year was the house I grew up in. My parents decided to move closer to my brother, who lives in Vegas. I got a chance to visit the home of my youth one last time, and I was surprised how much emotion it caused me to say goodbye to that place. But it’s also a place I only saw occasionally. Saying goodbye was hard due to its symbolic nature, but its impact on my actual life is minimal. It gave me a good reason to visit my brother and family in Vegas, and hopefully something I’ll do more of in the upcoming years as well.


I also suffered a knee injury. Out of nowhere, I found myself limping one day. I learned I had microfractures in one of my kneecaps. I had to start going to physical therapy to work on it. Losing the ability to run, at least temporarily, was outright heartbreaking. One of my resolutions for 2016 was to run more, and the injury simply squashed my ability to do that.

Two of my resolutions for this year were about writing. I definitely continued writing, spending much of the year editing the novel I’m hoping to find a publisher for. I also worked on other projects, including continuing Dameon Strykes #1 and a fantasy book. I, unfortunately, did not find an agent. This wasn’t due to my lack of effort, and as such I won’t count it as me failing. I am just going to need to approach this goal in a new manner.


Another goal of mine was to do something for myself. I feel like I accomplished that with things like letting myself have some frivolous pleasures, like Everquest, as well as taking one of my vacation weeks to just do the bare minimum.


Outside of my injury, artists that I enjoyed dying, and election results I don’t even want to talk about, 2016 was a great year for me. I’m hoping I can continue to grow in 2017, and some ways I plan on doing that are:

1. I need to find a professional editor for my book. The major problem I ran into with trying to find an agent was my lack of having it professionally edited. I tried to cut corners and find others to help me edit, but that wasn’t enough. So, after my tax returns, I plan on investing in myself and my dreams.


2. Work on my physical health, specifically my knee. I want to get running again. I want to be active again. I need to watch what I do and do it in moderation, but it's something I can, and will, overcome.


3. Reconnect with friends. This is really something I need to do early on in the year, but every job I’ve had, come mid-November work becomes busier and I close up. There’s a bunch of people out there that I love that I haven’t gotten to see for awhile because of that. I’m already starting to make plans to reconnect.

4. I’d like to find a new place to live. I’d like to find a place I want to call home, even if just temporarily. I moved twice last year, and I’m ready to feel at least a little settled.

5. Be a force of good in the world. With the recent election results, a lot of bad shit is going to happen. While I might not be able to stop the potential nuclear devastation this world may suffer, I can at least stand up for fellow Americans against hate and bigoted laws that, while they may not impact my directly, impact friends, family members, and just other human beings who deserve respect.