Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Honeycomb Hideout Episode 5: "Occupy the Hideout!"

Alright, y'all, the boys are back and they're coming out swinging! Joe, Mark and Nik are covering the whole gamut this time around; the Occupy movement, Frank Miller's fall from grace, the economy, the climate of politics, the popular obsession with cell phone pics and even trends in mainstream rap! There are no punches pulled and no quarter given this episode! Also, we have the debut of a new installment for the show, "BEEF w/ Sanjay". So come on down and hear the fire fly! They break the 2-hour mark on this one, so trust me, there's plenty to hear. And remember, folks, this is an 18+ adult counter culture podcast, so if you ain't over 18, you shouldn't be listening to it! Download this episode (right click and save)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tools Of The Trade Part 2

Last time we talked I mentioned a tool called Celtx. Celtx is a script writing software that is free to download and use, but also allows networking features so that your and your collaborators can work together on the same script, for a nominal subscription fee.


In lieu of the subscription fee service provided by Celtx, we here at Imaginos Workshop, opt to use Dropbox, the file archieving and sharing software I spoke about in the last T.O.T.T post. Dropbox and Celtx allowed Nik, who is currently in Chicago, and myself to finish revisions on act one of a script we have most recently been working on. 

One of the coolest things about Celtx is that not only is it formatted for film,play and a number of other types of scripts, outlines and screenplays it also has a very competent COMIC BOOK script format. 

This is a boon for comic writers in that I haven't seen to many other softwares that do as good a job at tackling this format as Celtx does. It allows you to choose and place dialog, pick the type of word balloons and captions and much more.

If you want to give Celtx a try you can download it here.

There is also a cript writing book that I have got to talk about. The first is the J. Michael Straczynski's

THE COMPLETE BOOK OF SCRIPT WRITING!



This book goes in depth, not only concerning the script writing process but also gives a huge amount of insight concerning the business aspect of film, television and animation.


Next I will talk a bit more script writing books and later about digital  imaging and painting tools like Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro and Corel Painter as well as some really cool Japanese image softwares such as Paint Tool Sai and Manga Studio. 

Mark

Friday, December 2, 2011

Adaptation

Before I go any further, I'm going to state outright that I'm referring to adapting properties for different mediums. This isn't anything new. Over the years, there have been tons of different forms of adaptations: novel to television, novel to film, novel to video game, video game to film, film to television, film to video game, film to comic, comic to film, comedy sketch to film and likely even more than that.

What got me thinking about that was the fact one of our favorite novels here at Imaginos is "The Strain" trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan and that series has been adapted as a comic book series by Dark Horse Comics with David Lapham as the writer and Mike Huddleston as the artist. Now we are certainly hopeful that the series is going to faithful to the series, especially considering Guillermo Del Toro is involved in its production, but some early promotional artwork made us a bit weary of it. Now thinking about that, I realized that there's a ton of scrutiny that adaptations are put under as a result of them being developed from established properties and thus come with an established audience on top of the new audience they're striving to appeal to.

Now, there are numerous people that would consider adapting an established property as "taking the easy route" in terms of creative development but I think that there's a great deal of difficulty involved with taking a property established in one medium and adapting it for a different medium. And while I prefer making my own properties and developing those, but I can still understand the desire to expand a property beyond it's established medium.

Now, don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that there aren't any bad adaptations; god knows that there are likely WAY more bad ones than good ones. But, I will say that I believe that when it's done well, there should be at least some kudos for it, 'cuz it's not an easy task in the least.

-Joe

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Collaboration


Some creative minds don’t need to collaborate with anyone. There are and have been artists that work best (and only) by themselves, unhindered by competing voices or creative partners.

These are the minority.

They are the J.D. Salingers, the Jackson Pollocks, the Thomas Pynchons of art. Their imaginations are world-creating, their influence is inestimable and their media presence is zilch. Let’s not mince words: they are freaks of nature. With the benefit of hindsight it’s tempting to claim that they became artists because that was how it must be, and despite the funny way life unfolds it seems there was nothing “Syd” Barrett could have done with his life besides music, nothing on this earth for Vincent Van Gogh but the pen and brush. It’s not a coincidence that many of these people were obsessive about their work, idiosyncratic to the point of strangeness and tortured by personal demons. Edgar Degas acknowledged “the moods of sadness that come over anyone who takes up art,” and said further that “these dismal moods have very little compensation.” Maybe it is that art is too revealing a reflection, that by creating art one is looking too staunchly into the abyss of oneself. But this has become a slippery digression:  I want merely to point out that many of these artistic powerhouses lived out their personal lives as quietly as possible, not seeking out collaboration or praise from their peers or audience.

Let’s get something else clear: I am not one of the people I am describing. And I can say with some amount of confidence that the guys I work with aren’t, either. In fact most people don’t fall into this category, and that’s not a bad thing. If everyone was Harper Lee we would all pump out one kick-ass product and then disappear forever. Nobody would be around to design infrastructure, or educate our young people, or craft important political policy.

That last one is a bad example.

My point is that the majority of successful creative endeavors thrive on collaboration, and some exist only because someone decided they needed a fresh angle on an original idea. It is not just that collaboration is good but that sometimes it is necessary, especially when the artistic and business spheres overlap. Anyone who’s ever produced a film did so with the help and talents of a crew, anyone who’s published a graphic novel did so with the aid of writers, inkers and editors. That’s what we at Imaginos Workshop are: a collaboration of creative minds, viewing the same sculpture from many different angles. What I see in a project is not necessarily what Mark sees, but somewhere in the middle might be a stronger story than either one of us had imagined. Sometimes there are clashes, sure, but ultimately collaboration keeps you honest. Get bricks thrown at you long enough and eventually you start building better walls.

Jon 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Imaginos Wiki is in Beta

Hey faithful Imaginites.
Thanks for your patience. Tonight we got our first entry up on the Imaginos Multiverse, our wiki which we are using to let you guys know about the who's,whats, whens, wheres and hows of the different multiverses of Imaginos Workshop.

Now remember we are still doing work on the place but we would love your input while we get this thing moving towards finalization. Also don't hesitate to let us know what you guys think about the characters.

Here you go, the first entry. We thought it only fitting to start at the beginning, with our oldest character from
our oldest universe JUDA FIST!!!

http://imaginosmultiverse.wikispaces.com/AMARU+JONES

Mark

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tools of the Trade

Over the next few weeks I have decided that I need to talk about about what creative tools are at our disposal.
I want to talk about the most basic of tools first and move on to other, more, demanding applications.

The first thing that usually happens here at Imaginos Workship is one of us will have a light bulb moment.
No matter if it be a comic book moment or a feature film moment, we get a creative moment. At this point one of us will call the other, or if no one is around  we put the idea on physical or digital notes, using the Sticky Note or Wordpad functions in Windows. If we can connect with another of our crew the Riffing begins, sometimes at ungodly hours.


WORDPAD


STICKYNOTES (WINDOWS 7)


At this point we are using MS Word  to jot down our ideas. After we have an appreciable amount of ground work done, our work goes up onto our Dropbox account. It allows everyone in the crew to take and look at the idea and in most cases add something to it.

 DROPBOX


Wordpad comes with windows, however, If you need a copy of Stickynotes and only have Windows XP then download a copy for free at 

For Dropbox go to https://www.dropbox.com.

The key is to stay organized and these tools can help with that and the collaboration process. 

Next we will talk CELTX and the process of  condensing that idea into an outline and then a script. 
I will also talk about some of the books that are helping us to become better writers. 



Mark.



Sunday, November 6, 2011


Inside the Laboratory: Behind the Scenes at Imaginos Workshop

Part III – Laying out the Thumbnails and Layouts

Once we have the idea and the details fleshed out for the story, the world it inhabits and the characters then it is off to the thumbnails.  This is the hardest part of the creation process for most of us…except Mark.

The reason is that now we have all this material to play with but the key is to organize it into a good story.  This is where we often have the greatest creative differences but not in a bad way.  This is where we really try to make sure we have no holes in the story or commit the same creative sins that others do.  Having four sets of eyes on each project goes a long way towards making sure that we’re not being lazy and keeping each other honest when it comes to story details.

Mark is always the first person to ask “Why?” for anything that Joe, Jon or I bring up on a particular project.  He does this to make sure we put the work into that specific point and if we can explain it properly then he’s in full support of it.  There are times where we cannot explain our points and we end up realizing that damn we need to put more thought into this. 

A prime example of this process involved a project that Jon and I have been working on.  I wanted to give one of the characters a set of brass knuckles and was completely infatuated with the idea.  Mark simply asked why and when I couldn’t properly explain it he had managed to demonstrate that I was falling into the same traps that other creators did.  I was putting things in the story just for the ‘cool’ or ‘sweetness’ factor and that is a cardinal sin, at least for us.  He was pretty patient in listening to me argue the point until the light bulb went off in my head.  We then went back and worked on the idea and found a proper way to introduce it, which meant a lot to us.   There are times when we pose the same question to Mark and he appreciates the fact that we ask because it keeps him on his toes as well.

The thumbnails and layouts are very important to any story whether it’s a comic, movie, video game or a book.  Well for movies they’re called storyboards and we only do that for ourselves since we can’t directly produce them yet.  Here we get an idea of how the story flows and what areas need to be emphasized in order to tell a good story. 

I’m notorious for using 3x5 note cards and drawing stick figures (since that’s my skill level) when it comes to layouts and thumbnails.  Mark, Joe and Jon take great joy in ridiculing my Luddite ways but all in good fun.   The fact that we all work well together is because we don’t hold back.  If one of us sees something that doesn’t make sense or we don’t like we simply say it.  Ego and pride always go out the door for us because we don’t have time for it not when we’re in the business of creating they simply get in the way.  Joe, Jon, Mark and I take turns rotating on the one voice of dissent which helps because this way it doesn’t feel like one person is constantly playing ‘Debbie Downer’. 

 All serious creators go through the layout & thumbnail process but where we try to excel is making sure that we do not create or allow any holes in the story to make it to the final process.  By the time we’re ready to write the final script for a particular project we’re confident that all the major flaws have been corrected.  Now we can focus on the writing and refining process so that we’re ready to deliver a story that people can truly enjoy.  The one key thing we emphasize at Imaginos Workshop is that while not everyone will like our stories no one will ever be able to say we were lazy or didn’t think our stories through. 

Ok everyone now you have a basic idea of how things work at Imaginos Workshop and this way when you see us releasing things you’ll know what went into it.  Please stay tuned because I’m sure we’ll have some behind the scenes videos coming out soon too.  Take care everybody!

Nik

The Honeycomb Hideout: (New) Episode 4: Culture Shock

Alright, homies of the underground, we're doing things a little bit differently this time around. This episode... we get political and cultural! The gang (Joe, Mark, Nik AND Jon) are all here to weigh in on the topic of lack of cultural definition in the youth of America. Past that, you gotta hear it to believe it! So come on down and learn something!
Download this episode (right click and save)

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Honeycomb Hideout: (New) Episode 3: Halloween and "Horror"



What's up, guys? We're back with another dose of analyzed insanity just in time for Halloween! This time, Joe, Mark and Nik go over the current state of horror; domestic and foreign films, the unfortunate trends, and new crops in literature. Also, they go over what really qualifies a horror film as a horror film and some of the best examples of them. For those of you out there not trick-or-treating (and considering this is an 18+ podcast, that should be most of you) or partying it up tonight, now you got a place to hang out; right here in the Honeycomb Hideout!


Download this episode (right click and save)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Introducing Cobra Red

Hello again Imaginoids
It'[s time for some more art.
This week I started back doing the art for the sourcebook and Wiki entries.

Today's character, COBRA RED is part of the supporting cast of Juda Fist: 7 Deaths of the Yobi. She works along side our protagonist Amaru Jones in the Bounty Killing business.

The character has a biosynthetic clone body which has a lot technologica and bio enhsncements. The character is a Psychic with the ability to see 3 seconds into the future. Cobra Red has a very shadowy past and has connections all over the place. If she needs it and can't get it they haven't made it yet.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Honeycomb Hideout: (New) Episode 2: Fanfare, the audience and us!



Hey, y'all! Here we are back in the 'Hideout! This time around Nik and Joe recount the events of Detroit Fanfare (and the hilarious events leading up to it!) and the patrons' reception of us. It was a hell of a time! Plus, they've got a lot of serious advice for any up-and-coming creative types out there. So come on down, the boys of the Hideout aren't gonna leave you out in the cold.



Download this episode (right click and save)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nik Joe and Jon......

I gotta tell you, just when I think we are sailing along ok another ideas pops up outta nowhere.
Yesterday Nik and I were doing some work on a spec script we are trying to pitch. He showed me some ideas that I think worked out very well, but then he showed me something else.

I can't get into the particulars but suffice to say, the idea is funny as hell and
1. I never saw it coming
2. I never saw THIS coming from Nik in a million years.

That just made me realize what a talented crew of dudes I am working with these days.
All the lessons we have learned and continue to learn are crystallizing these days.

Take Joe Cain into account. I have been working with him on his drawing for a few years now
and I saw some real progress this last week in his understanding of certain Key concepts. He is
opening his mind now to the fact that if one wants to be better at a skill, one must put in the work.

I also like to see Jon Ross, taking an active roll in pushing  his ideas and being passionate about what he believes. Jon is also a very critical guy, which I appreciate immensely.

I think these guys along with my own evil and curmudgeon like approach are headed for massive success. We are 4 different people who happen to balance one another out, and in the midst of any serious endeavor that is all that is all that you can really ask for. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Honeycomb Hideout: (New) Episode 1: Brand New Bag!

What's up, y'all? The Honeycomb Hideout is back and with a new flavor! As the official podcast of Imaginos Workshop, you're not only going to get discussions centering on the ins and outs of counter culture, but you'll also get the latest on the comings and going of the Workshop as we set the world on fire one idea at a time. So, fans of old, y'all aren't getting gypped, you're getting more! So come on down and join the fun!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Imaginos Multiverse Wiki!

Over the last few months we have been honing our storytelling abilities as well as our artistic ones.
We have been able to put together some really great stuff and we wouldn't mind sharing it with our fans.

We wanted to do something kinda like the old Marvel Universe books, so we concocted a scheme. Most people don't put out sourcebooks until they have gotten a pretty decent amount of buzz concerning their properties. We are doing it DIFFERENTLY.

We want to use the technology at hand to put out a virtual sourcebook, on our wiki Imaginos Multiverse.
We believe that after the users have read the wiki entries, they will decide a lot better whether to give our work a chance.

I am happy to be able share with you guys a near finished profile page.


This profile is filled with information which will start the readers down a journey with this character. It is important to us, that you kind of know the character when you delve into the comic. Also the Wiki is going to have information on all of the pivotal happenings that make up the worlds of Imaginos.

We welcome any feedback we can get. Thanks

Mark

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Honeycomb Hideout and "Age-appropriate" content

In this day in age, the idea of "age-appropriate" content seems to be enveloping more and more mediums. I mean, let's be honest, there's nobody here that didn't read or watch something that they're parents explicitly told them wasn't "fit" for their eyes at that point in time. Does this mean that because someone doesn't produce content fit for children that they don't care about them? I'd say 'nay' to that assertion.

I was actually sitting here working on editing the latest episode of the Workshop's podcast "The Honeycomb Hideout" (stay tuned, new episodes coming soon), of which I'm the host and that's what got me thinking about it. Now, for our new audience members, "The Honeycomb Hideout" is where you get the inside scoop on lots of counter culture content and our opinions on the happening in our corner of the universe. We don't set out to change minds, just get them to think. Most of our fans would tell you that we can get pretty raucous on the Hideout so we always state that our show is strictly for listeners "18 and over ". Now, on that tangent, I got to thinking and realized that I personally don't really work with content that isn't for audiences "18 and over".

Now, don't misunderstand, it's not an active choice or decision. Simply, most of the stories I want to tell are intended for adult audiences. That's not to say that it may not change later. Hell, I may even write a children's book somewhere down the line, but right now, that's not where my inspiration is leading me. But just because I don't produce content for children, that doesn't mean that I don't care whether children read/listen to my work or what they are exposed to, in general. Most people don't know that I used to work in a comic book store and I always made sure that the patron was the correct age for the material they were buying or that if the parent that was buying for the minor knew what they were buying. Yeah, I was that guy.

When I started writing this entry, I think I planned on going a different direction with it, but hey, sometimes you learn as you go. There are some messages or stories that children aren't ready to hear, and on the inverse, maybe there are some types of stories that you're not ready to tell. In so many ways, it just depends on what you have to say and knowing who are the best equipped to hear it. So don't just spout that "you don't do 'kids' stuff'" because you never know when your message is going to change or if the world changes enough that kids are ready to hear your message. Things are constantly changing... YOU are constantly changing, so nothing's set in stone. Even the most stubborn of us are susceptible to it. So stay in tune with the audience as a whole, not just your part of the audience. You never know if who may be a good fit for what you have to say.

Now... time to get back to working on my "18 and over" content.  LOL

-Joe

Monday, October 10, 2011

Inside the Laboratory: Behind the Scenes at Imaginos Workshop

Part II – Creating the Details

Once we set an idea for the story then we get into the really fun stuff – we start to create the world of our story.  And when I mean create the world sometimes we literally do that – especially if it is a fantasy or sci-fi project.  We create the geography, the wild life, the cultures of the various civilizations which includes the religions, the structure of the societies and the histories. 

A couple of us will sit around the table and start with simple things like what do the people look like?  If Mark is involved he’ll give us a quick reminder to not limit ourselves and this is very important.  Sometimes we prematurely set boundaries for our story before we are truly done fleshing it out.  Joe has made a mention of this in a previous blog entry – Never set the limits to your world until you’re ready.  We do our best to be cognizant of this at the Workshop.

When it came to Candy Coated we gave ourselves as much leeway as we could within the parameters of the world – For Instance giving Siege a set of skills that would allow him to break the law if needed gave me a lot of options in how to play out the story arcs for the character.  This also gave Mark more to work with while establishing the framework for the story.  That approach was pretty much adopted for the rest of the characters and it allowed us to come up with some outlandishly hilarious and exciting twists in the overall plot.  Jon took full advantage of this by making his character a male gigolo whose sexual escapades often had a jilted lover pining for his blood which put the rest of the Candy Coated characters in danger – he’s loved some scary bitches. 

At the Workshop no detail is too small because you want to treat these characters as if they’re real.  For Siege I created an iPod Playlist, found a way to weave his favorite dessert into a side story regarding his history.  You never know when those little facts will become important in a story and for me it helps make them more relatable.  These details will help prevent that character from becoming static – a fact that is echoed by many of the professionals such as Robert McKee, J. Michael Stracyznski, etc. 

We also found that the more we knew about the characters the easier it was to create stories and write the scripts.  Mark introduced me to the concept of creating from the ‘Top-Down’ – this involved spontaneously picking a detail (like favorite food, weapon, and movie) and then seeing how that shaped the personality of the character.  The scary part was picking the first detail but once that happened, the process became much easier and more fun.

But even when we create these details we always make sure to never lock anything down because even in real life very few of our tastes are ever permanent - as time goes by people end up liking music from a genre they never considered – lose tastes in particular foods they once loved – realize their views on certain topics are not as ironclad as they once thought.  Alright next time we’ll either go into sample scripts or see if we can bring you a video entry of ‘Inside the Laboratory’.  Later Everyone!

Nik

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Importance of Inspiration

I was doing my morning commute to the paying job this morning and the drivetime D.J. was putting together a RUN D.M.C mix. As I listened to the various songs from their catalog, I just thought about how long I have been involved in hip hop culture in some fashion or another. 

Hip Hop, African and Asian Culture, Sci Fi and Comics have helped to weave the fabric of my creative life, so they are all INFLUENCES. I uses as much Octavia Butler as I do Rakim to spark those creative flames and help me to codify my own voice. The key, however, is to use inspiration to point you in a direction not as the destination in and of itself. 

I tend to look at my influences like a stew, with each ingredient adding a new and welcome flavor to the whole. The stew has to be added to the main ingredient which is THE STORY, and properly seasoned with dialog and character to create something truly magical. This process cannot be CANNED, FAKED OR APED. Like cooking, this process is very ORGANIC. 

At Imaginos Workshop, I often challenge the guys I work with to look just a bit beyond what they think they know. I like for the guys to stretch and take risks to see what they can come up with. Often as creators, the financial considerations often dictate how far we step outside our comfort zone. Big business often equates the reason a piece of work being financially successful with ancillary considerations such as big name stars and special effects and similarity to other successful projects. However, I like for us at Imaginos to try to dig and find out what Kernel of the basic idea of something was its genesis or spark. If you can find that in other things then you can find it in your own work and build on it. 

So I challenge you guys to find your inspiration and use it to spearhead your creative process. Don't use it as a dogmatic map, use the essence of the things that inspire you as more of a guide posts to give you an idea of the general direction you want to go in. 

Go forth and Create!!!

Mark


Sunday, October 2, 2011

And So It Begins!!!!

Hey I am very excited to have finished the first of many pieces of art for the k -Imaginos Multiverse Sourcebook Imaginos Declassified. Since he is the 2nd oldest of Imaginos' characters it is only fitting that we start with the image of Amaru Jones aka The Yobineteru. I created this guy back in 9th grade, circa 1983. He was created in the Palladium Books superhero RPG.

While transitioning the character into sci-fi comics, I have had a  great amount of fun crafting his world and that if his supporting cast.Story is the most important element of anything that we do here at Imaginos. As with any group of creators we glean a great deal from what we watch, read and hear. Thus it should be of know surprise that though physically oriented, I realized recently that Amaru has a great deal in common with The 11th Doctor Who. In particular, the Doctor as portrayed in the "Demon's Run Episode".

Amaru grows a lot over the course of his adventures and tends to look at his friends as his family, and like the Doctor in that episode, will rain hell on anyone who tries to use them to get to him.
|
So without further exposition, here is Amaru Jones aka THE YOBI!!!!!

Mark

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Down the Rabbit Hole

When the idea came up to start a multimedia company that combined aspects of writing, art, video and idea generating my response, put simply, was why not? I met Mark, Joe and Nick in a seemingly haphazard way, in the same way that all coincidences seem more like fate (or is it the other way around?) After all, we are talented individuals who possess certain skill-sets; who's to say we couldn't make a real go at this thing? And by "this thing," I guess I mean entertainment (to put it vaguely), whether it's movies, comics, shorts or some combination of them all. We already participate in these various entertainment mediums, so why not start creating them? The Hollywood prototype is a shambling and dusty monstrosity, and the comic world is facing the same technological shift that has already claimed the lives of Blockbuster and Borders Books. We are not looking to reinvent the wheel, only to make sure it rolls more smoothly. This is entertainment created by the fans, for the fans.


So why not? The talent is there, and so is the desire. Anybody who's ever made a living doing what they love will tell you that above all you must want it so much it hurts.Of course it takes more than talent and desire to be successful. All your desires will amount to nothing if you don't put in the work, and that to me is the crux. Work, work and then work some more. Do it insatiably and never give up. Like Guru says, "put in work, and watch your status escalate." You will be disappointed, rejected and put down. You will look at your own work and be dissatisfied. All of this is good. It means you're on the right track. Think about it this way: the worst case scenario is that you fail. Once you get over that thought you are completely fearless. Go and do it.


Jon

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Inside the Laboratory: Behind the Scenes at Imaginos Workshop

Part I - The Idea

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that anything worth a damn begins with an idea.  Now that doesn’t necessarily make it a good thing because the idea could be a terrible piece of shit…but we try to avoid that here at Imaginos Workshop.  Let us begin…

September 21st 2011

                Mark met me at the Bloomfield Township Public Library and we were going over updates for our presentation at Detroit FanFare later that weekend.  During that meeting he mentioned the possible stories for our second sampler which was to be released during summer 2012.  There were a couple of stories that were already slotted for the sampler but then he turned to me and said “I want you, Joe and Jon to come up with an entirely new comic idea.” 

                When he said that I stared at him for a couple of seconds and then realized he was dead serious.  I wasn’t scared just pleasantly surprised that he wanted something new.  Mark was asking Jon, Joe and I to act upon the basic principle of Imaginos Workshop which is to create and develop a new idea.  When I told the news to Joe and Jon their reactions were in step with their personas – Joe had a mildly surprised look and Jon had the same neutral mask on. 

                We immediately started brainstorming ideas – Joe and I talked about one idea that would encapsulate the action/fantasy/horror genres during a car ride from Ann Arbor.  Mark placed no restrictions on us – basically telling us everything was on the table as far as genres.  At the time of this blog entry all three of us are currently brainstorming.  Since we know that the other two stories in the second sampler are of the religious and sci-fi futuristic types we wanted to offer something different – this would give the sampler a nice balance.

                There are times when Joe, Jon and I will each come up with a different take on a specific genre in which case we sometimes mix & match certain details that work while editing out the ones that do not necessarily fit – we never completely discard any details because you just never know when they’ll come in handy.  We all have different processes as well – I usually enjoy opening up a Word Document and just typing while listening to my Pandora music. 

I’d like to say I know how Joe and Jon go about their madness but I prefer the mystery.  Sometimes I resort to the ‘Brick Method’ which is named after the delightfully moronic character Brick from the movie ‘Anchor Man’.  This involves me looking around my surroundings and cobbling together words – I kid…sometimes.  In the end though we’re usually able to construct a premise for the story from our ideas and then we move on to fleshing out the characters which consequently helps fill out further details to the overall story.
Stay tuned for next week’s installment where we’ll go into details of fleshing out the ideas going from character development to plot points.  Thanks everyone, I’m out.
Nik

Detroit Fanfare

I have to say as our first outing together as IMAGINOS WORKSHOP, we met our goal of getting the word out and then some. The day started out rough but we pulled it together quite nicely. Our table was constantly getting attention and people were asking plenty of questions about the characters. This week we will start populating the blog or maybe a small webpage with the character profiles.

Then we will start to show parts of the page work as we lead up to our launch next year.
I just wanted to thank everyone of our friends for showing up and giving us the support that they did. I made all of the difference. Alexa and Anna really did a great job on a very hard day. They knew their stuff ( better than I did) about the products and people saw that and were impressed. GOOD JOB EVERYBODY!! Next up C2E2.


Mark

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fanfare Business

As you all know, Imaginos Workshop will make it's official debut as as company this weekend at Detroit Fanfare. I pulled an all nighter and got the Poster that we will be giving out done, I also got our banner done.


I still have to get back to the entries but as we are doing them on the net now We just need to get 6 color ones done, 5 inked and 5 penciled to show are process. Good Job everyone, we are learning and getting better. Keep up the good work.

Mark

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Hey Everyone,

         We're four days out from Detroit Fan Fare 2011 and getting close to unveiling our first project.  While Joe, Jon and I have been working hard towards our launch, nobody has put in as much work as Mark Dudley.  To give you an example as to how hard he's busting his ass, the man's been putting in 32 hours of work in a 24 hour day.  He's also balancing a 9 to 5, family life and Imaginos Workshop projects while budgeting a few minutes of sleep and food somewhere in there. 

         Mark sets the tone for us and when he's working through the day & night it motivates us to work harder.  Of course the general forfeiture of sleep we all endure contributes to our creativity at Imaginos Workshop.  Naturally this adds a tinge of madness to most of our ideas but its a welcome consequence.  Despite all the hard work, speaking for myself, this is a lot of fun and Mark has been a big part of that by leading by example. 

Nik

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's been a rough couple of weeks for us guys here at Imaginos Workshop. Understaffed and Overworked, we are bringing our A GAME to make sure that you guys get as much information concerrning our products as can during the 2011 Detroit Fanfare.

So far we have the poster inked and being flatted right now. We still need to get a number of entiries done for the source book, colored and inked.

We will most likely be setting to portfolio up in sections anyway, some colored, some inked and some pencilled so as to show the production process and an appreciation for what goes into the work.

I will be putting up a piece that Joe Cain flatted later today. Good Job Joe Cain.

Under pressure but not sweating it
Mark

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Inks Inks and more Inks!!!!

I have been inking boatloads of stuff this week. I have currently finished 9 pages of a 10 page run on Detroit Tradecraft's THE DOOR. I also just finished inking her SIEGE PENCILS. Nik should be flatting those as we speak. Today is going to be the wrappup for page 10, I will ink the WARWITCH ZEE pencils and probably in another piece.

Here is a shot of the finished inks on the SIEGE, YOBI pieces which I also pencilled(drew). as well as a few pages from THE DOOR that I recently inked, drawn by my colleague Marco Evans.

Mark
                   
.

Monday, September 12, 2011



Here is a mockup of a Candy Coated show opener I did for my video editing class. I am gonna refine the heck out of this thing using anime studio as well as Power Director and maybe even Aftereffects.
Let me know what you think.

Mark

Friday, September 9, 2011

Coming Soon

Hey Everyone,

              Mark's been kind in his praise but to be fair he showed me how to 'flat'.  The toughest part was actually picking the colors but otherwise the overall process is not as time consuming as I originally thought.  As long as you follow a couple of simple rules it is not too complicated but then again I was only instructed to do base coloring.  Its a lot of fun and it makes you feel involved in the art process of the project.  I also feel like its a good skill to learn especially if it will help Mark out since he's essentially our only principal artist right now. 

             'Flatting' also helps me in the writing process because as I'm adding colors sometimes I'll get an idea about that particular character stemming from a strange symbol on their armor or just seeing them for the first time (which was the case regarding the Villains file you see below).  I was lucky enough to practice what I learned on some of Mark's work from his deviant art page so that gave me confidence.  Once you get the hang of the basic functions the whole process really flows smoothly.  If a luddite like myself can do it then trust me all of you can do it and probably with better results.  I was making up colors as I went along praying that I got some of them right.  But really there was no pressure because Mark was there to help make sure I didn't pick something too crazy and not to mention Joe and Jon would also catch any mistakes.  That's the fun part of having a crew to work with - it creates a nice safety net which eases the stress.

             Stay tuned because very soon we'll be launching a weekly installment on just how we work on projects here at Imaginos Workshop - starting with the concept of a story and then going through the process of fleshing it out, creating the world and finally making it ready to present to the world.  It'll be a nice little window into our creative mad-house.

              So  until next time take care and.....ok look....I'm not good with ending blog posts...I got no fancy catch phrase or cool parting words....just a whole lot of awkwardness.....yeah...now its weird too...damn it I need to come up with a sign off.

Nik

This is how it's done!!!

I praised Nik for his fast learning in the realm of digital color flatting in the last post. I also promised to show examples."Flatting" is the process of apply flat colors to artwork so that it can later be "rendered". Rendering is the addition of shadows and highlights to create the illusion of shape, form and mood in color pieces.

 Good flatting and having someone else flat help the person rendering the color are by saving them time in having to mask of sections of the art. 

Nik just flatted this piece for a video we are doing for Detroit Fanfare to showcase our superhero comedy comicbook Candy Coated. This first piece is a shot of the villains.


Nik did a great job keeping things within the inked boundaries here. He also did a great job with color selection, in my opinion. Next is a shot of our heroes CANDY COATED!! I included this shot to show you the beginning of what I do with Nik's flats.


Notice the big guy. He was originally a flat color brown. I added the details to created an "animated cell style look. As you can see below we can also so other things with Nik's flatted work. Like comic book style colors; 

notice the characters top. I have rendered it using the gradation tool in photoshop on a screen setting.

I just wanted to show you guys what good flats mean and how Nik seems to be mastering the concept in such a short time. Good Job Nik!!

Mark





Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getcha Grind On!!

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Time management is the operative term for the next week and a half, as we enter the home stretch as it relates to getting IMAGINOS DECLASSIFIED done and ready to go to the printers. So far I am swamped with school and finishing inks and graytones on the Detroit Tradecraft book THE DOOR issue 2.

Thus I am going to have to really hall ass on Imaginos stuff just to make sure it gets done, on time and properly.
I have to say that asking Nik and Joe to do color flats for the characters in the book is probably the smartest thing I have done in a while. Nik showed me flats for two things he did yesterday and I gotta say that for a beginner, I WAS HIGHLY IMPRESSED!!!. Nik's flat work is very tight, tight enough to post one of the pieces later tonight.

Joe and Jon have coordinate now and get some of the odds and ends done, like new business cards and ads and the like but overall,, I am really confident about this book. I cant't wait until it is in you guys hands as it is one hell of an introduction to the IMAGINOS MULTIVERSE!!


Here is a Sneek Peak at one of the pages for the DOOR issue 2 that I just inked!!!!!

Mark 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Delayed Greeting

Hey everyone,

This is my first entry to the iMaginos workshop blog, because I enjoy being fashionably late to everything I’m involved in. (It has very little to do with my crippling procrastination). My other excuse is a remarkable trip to South Korea, which has me just now emerging from the crushing retardation of jet-lag. In a way it is nice to be back in the States, where all my family and friends reside, and where everything doesn’t smell like fish and hot garbage. (That’s not entirely fair to South Korea, but Seoul is a large city with many smells). Enough with the rambling: I’ll tell you something about myself. I am a recent college grad with a degree in English and a Concentration in Film from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. I’ve grown up in the metro Detroit area my entire life and somewhere along the line my sense of self has become inextricably linked with this area, for better or worse. My interests include photography, film, comics, reading, writing and music, and not in that order. I’ve always been hesitant to describe those things as “hobbies,” because to me that term means something to do when you’re bored. I would say this belittles the only things in life that I am interested in doing. For me, those things are Life. And that’s why I think what we’re doing with iMaginos Workshop is so cool. We’re making something that is creative and awesome, and hopefully engaging on a level that transcends simple entertainment. In essence, we are telling stories. I’d say a pretty good motto for this endeavor, and for that matter life in general is: tell a good story. Do that, and you won’t have wasted your time here. Here’s to telling a good story.

Jon

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Building a world

You know, a lot of people love stories. Whether it be listening to them or telling them, people have loved them since the dawn of time (I wonder if dinosaurs told stories and if they did, what were they? Hopefully, they consisted of more than what they just ate.) and will continue to love them until the universe destabilizes and dies out (makes you wonder what the LAST story ever told would be). But I am reminded time and time again that so many people that love stories really don't know what goes into making a story. Hell, I used to be one of them!

One of the properties that will be featured in our upcoming books (Imaginos Declassified and Imaginos Plus), Requiem, is one that I created with Mark and HOLY CRAP has it gone through changes. When I first started working on it, it was a VERY different book and the thing that most people don't tell you is that when you create a story, you have to create certain rules for the world that story takes place in. If it takes place in a world exactly like ours, then you have to adhere to the rules that govern the world we live in. If it takes place in a world completely different from ours, then you have to create a complete set of rules for it and STICK TO THEM!! It took me a while to learn that one, but it was a necessary and worthwhile lesson that we all have to learn and stick to.

I mean, seriously, think about it. Even the craziest off-the-wall story you've seen/read has rules to its world and, if it's a good one, then they stuck to them. Don't get me wrong, it's still fun as hell, creating new worlds and characters to populate it, but what's the point unless it makes sense, right? It's a long process but ultimately, it'll improve your story immensely.

This message was brought to you by the ramblings of a storyteller seeking to assist his brood. Thank you and enjoy your day.

-Joe

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just Another Day at the Workshop

Hey Everyone,
When you have four creative minds working together it is natural to have a difference of opinions.  What really makes Imaginos Workshop unique is the way we resolve these differences.  To give our visitors and fans an idea of how we go about this process I have posted a couple of video links that most accurately represent what it’s like, for example:
This video clip in the link provided below is from the amazingly hilarious series called ‘Boondocks’ created by Aaron McGruder.  What you’re going to see is how I generally apply my diplomatic skills towards resolving any creative differences.  I would like to thank the creators of ‘Boondocks’ and the good people at YouTube for helping me express this.

This next video clip in the link below is from the classic and ever funny 'Looney Tunes' courtesy of Warner Bros.  I would also like to thank Mel Blanc for his amazing voice, much respect.  What you’re going to see is how Mark usually responds whenever Joe, Jon or I approach him with an idea that was lazy or not well thought out.  I must warn you…the images are both disturbing as they are emotionally crippling to those on the receiving end.


Yep it’s never a dull moment at Imaginos Workshop where the laughter is as plenty as the spiritual and mental trauma...Frankly we wouldn’t have it any other way.  I would once again like to thank ‘Boondocks’ and ‘Looney Tunes’ for providing the comedic genius that has inspired many generations along with the good people of Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. 
This could also explain why we dropped the ‘mental well being’ coverage from the Imaginos Workshop health plan. 

Nik

Monday, August 29, 2011

Creating a Super Hero

Hey Everyone,
Creating a Super Hero was one of the best parts about working on Candy Coated outside of working with Mark, Joe and Jon (contractually obligated to say that last part).  Creating ‘Siege’ was a lot of fun because Mark placed no limits on the actual design of him and was adamant about including my input on the actual look of the character.  That was an incredible process because all that I had to do was get within a certain range and Mark could pick up on what I wanted for the character.  One particular part that I have to give full props to Mark for is the design of Siege’s mask because originally I had some trouble picking the exact look for it. 
He comes up to me one day and proposes this skull look for the mask, literally drawing the sketch in front of me.  I took one look at it and instantly liked it.  One of the other fun parts was talking to Joe and Jon about the character.  Since Siege was the last to join Candy Coated I wanted to create a character type that didn’t exist in the group yet.  The team had plenty of crazy and funny characters but they did not have the ‘straight man’ as Joe and Jon put it.  While Siege can be funny it was in a very dry and sardonic way which I felt complemented the rest of the characters well.
I have to admit that it was very gratifying to create the back story, powers and skills for Siege.  Inventing childhood memories, personal experiences really helped me understand the character and then Mark completed the puzzle by sketching the character which you can see on earlier entries.  Once Siege was created it was fun to actually use the character in gaming sessions because to me it gave him life. Interacting with the amazing characters that Jon (Kid Voltage), Joe (Magna Red) and those created by our friends helped add a very necessary human element to the experience because now these weren’t the actions of static characters, but the insanity of real people.  It also helps that I got to play Siege as a badass while still dishing out and taking the comic hijinks of the group.  With Mark creating the skeleton of a story he let us all fill in the details with our actions which made working on Candy Coated one of the most rewarding and unique experiences of my life. 
All that I can say is that once the Sourcebook and Sampler are released you’ll get a chance to see what I’m talking about.   Stay tuned for further updates as the crazy train keeps rolling. 

Nik

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Color Mockups

It seems like everything looks so much better in color lol. So I have been doing color compositions for the characters that are going to be in the source book. Here is an idea I had for the colors of one of the characters.
Let me know what you think.
 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I think I just may be satisfied now!!

Another Entry almost done for the Source Book

Hey How goes it. I am almost done with yet another entry. I think I will be fiddling with this one for a while longer. Still not satisfied. Hell I may redraw it all together.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This is how we do it.

Hey guys whats up. Nik shot the video while we working yesterday. I like it a lot because it sheds some light on our process, at least as it relates to how we are attacking the source book art.

video

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wrapping up the workday.

The last few days have been very productive. We are slowly pulling together the logistics for the sourcebook and the comic. Also we are adding somethings to one of our film ideas. Also I am taking a video and audio editing class that is already off too the races. lol. So in honor of all this work, we are going to show you the faces of two of the crew at the end of the workday at our favorite spot. Bloomfield Township Public Library.

video

Hey look, it's Joe and Nik!!!

Ok Here is the first pencilled entry for the Sourcebook. It's everyones favorite gun-toting super commando SIEGE. The funny thing I think I forgot to mention is the selling point Candy Coated, the superhero comedy that Siege is a character in, is that it all comes from actual RPG gameplay. I do a lot of work for Palladium Books and I get a lot of games from them. One of those games is Heroes Unlimited. We have a big gaming group with a huge sense of humor so we actually played tested these characters to laugh after laugh. I cannot wait for you guys to see the 8 page sample comic we are doing for this. You will laugh or you are not human lol.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Imaginos Declassified Sneak Peak and Progress Report

Hey guys, I just wanted to give you guys a sneak peak of what we are going for with the Imaginos Sourcebook entitled Imaginos Declassified!! This is an entry for the SIEGE, one of the characters from our comic " dramedy" Candy Coated. This isn't the final but its pretty close to how the mockup is going to look. We have almost all of the character entries done but we still have a gang of work to do on the comic stuff and on some movie related work. We will keep you posted as to whats going on and what more needs to be done.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A step among many

So... here we are. With the momentum that we here at Imaginos have been experiencing lately, we decided that we wanted to let our fans/supporters take the ride along with us. 

I remember when we first started working together; at first, it was just me and Mark for a long time and then we were joined by Nik and Jon as our projects started shifting around in terms of priority. It was a bit of going from there because, like any group, we needed to get used to working together and that's always one of the hardest parts to any endeavors, especially one like Imaginos. But we stuck it out, we kept working and now we have you fine people following our exploits, so that tells me we must be doing something right.

Anybody that knows me knows how much of a comic book guy I am, so it's easy for me t think of this in those terms. It was the first team-up, which had it's bumps and it's hilarious moments, but then came the moment when the team-up became the team and that first mission. The mission in truth is ongoing and the hilarious moments are never going to stop (heaven help us when we get our studio), but we're all glad to have y'all along for the ride. Trust me, it's gonna be an interesting one at the very least.

Joe

Adult Swim's - Black Dynamite Anime



I am sorry for the NC-17 stuff but as an animator I have to say that
this piece deserves recognition. This is the type of balls to the wall content
that is going to get folks noticed. Very funny,very creative and a testament to
what can be done when you aren't counting on the system. There should be more
creative work like this. Salude Cartoon Network, Salude.

Persistance and Focus

I have noticed over the last year and a half that Imaginos has been more in a holding pattern than actually moving as it should be. However, I feel that that phase has now past. It seems that our momentum is through the roof right now. Through persistence and clear and realistic planning we are on the cusp of getting our comic book sampler out by early November, our Sourcebook guide to the characters of the Imaginos Megaverse is moving along nicely and will be on sale for Detroit Fanfare in September.

We have been working on a film script with a Hollywood guy we know and it seems that the review has gotten a thumbs up, so now we can proceed to write the 1st draft of the script. I have to admit that I had my doubts concerning if we would ever buckle down and make the screenplay thing happen. However, I have been pleasantly surprise by the enthusiasm that the entire crew has been showing the work lately.

Here's to keeping on keeping on.

D

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hello

Hey,
                I echo Mark’s sentiments regarding the creative bankruptcy that’s pervasive in Hollywood.  One of the company mottos at Imaginos Workshop is that “We want to make cool shit.”  As for me I’m a professional cynic, my hobby is sarcasm and I’m a Taurus.  Just kidding about the Taurus thing, I don’t really follow that gypsy talk.   Now that we’re acquainted I want to thank you for visiting our site and please stay tuned for updates on our upcoming projects.
                That’s about all I have to say right now…If you’re still reading this then we’re already into the awkward phase of our relationship and I gotta be honest I figured it’d take at least two more visits to the site before that happened.  Congratulations on upping the curve for everyone J
Nick