Monday, July 20, 2009

Messages from a Klingon


A few months ago this very cool & interesting woman, Gennie Summers, contacted Judith Hunt through Judith's agent, Wilkinson Studios, remarking on on her appreciation of Judith's artwork for Evangeline.

Gennie's letter forwarded from the agent:

Hello, Judith!

I am an 84-year old woman who wanted to be a professional artist, but never made it too far. I never got all the professional training I should have.
Drawing and writing became a life-long hobby. During the 50's I wrote and drew illos for 404 science-fiction stories, some of which I am now posting on the Internet, along with other art I've done.
I ran into Evangeline while reading Blogs; I remember it from years back but never really saw it before. It's just the type of thing I've always loved, sci-fi and fantasy. The art is so beautiful, I wish I had been able to develop my skills as well. I will send you an invitation to see some of what I've been up to. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Gennie Summers
Exeter, Southern MO

At first we thought that someone was pulling our leg but as it turned out Gennie Summers is very real, an artist who loves Star Trek, writes and draws comic strips that are very interestingly retro. She also does some really nice pen and ink portrait work of the Star Trek characters.

Judith's resulting correspondence along with Gennie's response (in red) :

Dear Gennie Summers,

Dear Judith,

Thank you for writing me such kind words! My agent forwarded me your letter. We thought for a moment that someone was pulling our leg when we first read it.

I guess one can never know.

My son Ben, the studio assistant and now writer of Evangeline, did a Google search and found your Picasa web album. Then we were very impressed.

Nice portraits! Ben, who is an avid fan of new and old science-fiction too, especially enjoyed your Van Trixon and MESO-The Prehistoric Planet. I believe his words were "That is so AWESOME!"

I cannot possibly tell you what this means to me! I am thrilled beyond words to know that you found my stuff even looking at.

I had to leave my formal training early and had to raise two sons alone with no assistance. It is hard to be an artist full-time when you are working to pay the bills.
I totally understand your concern over not having that education. Your work is beautiful and I think you have nothing to be concerned about. You obviously are talented and work very hard to create it.

Thank you so very much for your kind words.
I was first inspired to become an artist by the old Flash Gordon strip, by Alex Raymond. He also inspired the fantasy/sci-fi in me. I love Ricardo (?) Villagran's art, btw.

Ben would like to know if it would be okay to place your e-mail message on the Evangeline site's blog with a link to your Picasa web album?

I would be very pleased! I had intended to send you an invitation, but I had sent my email from your site and didn't write it down. I have Google web albums there, and a blog, and also a blog at MNS Live. My latest work is there. I'll send invitations; not sure if I made that public.

Thank you again for making my day!

It is YOU who made my day--and the rest of my life!

The best to you or should I say....
Live long and prosper,

That will do fine, if you don't allow my Klingon companions to know. I belong to a group called the KLINGON STRIKE FORCE. I used to run it for five years.
http://ksfcn.com/index2.htm
Gennie Summers

Thanks for the compliments, Gennie! Qapla'!*

For more great Star Trek portraits and retro scifi comics check out Gennie Summer's Google Web Album & Her MSN Blog


*Klingon for Success!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's time to introduce...


Got any questions, comments, concerns, rantings, raves, demands, and/or requests?
Then send in your fan mail (or hate mail) to 00120vc@gmail.com
I'll put your fan mail up at the The Confessional and I'll even answer your questions!

Now to kick off this shindig we have our very first fan mail:

Hello, I was very pleased to find your online version of Evangeline this weekend; I remember the comic back from the 1980s (unfortunately, I was only ever able to find the first issue; I wandered away from comics shortly after that.) Welcome back. Thank you for making the older comics available again, and I am looking forward to reading the new stories.

Do you have any plans to include the background/equipment pages from the back of the first issue in the archive?

I'm also particularly curious to see if there were similar background/weaponry info in the later issues, like there was with the first. Just call me a gearhead, but I always loved those little bits of crunchy goodness after the stories ("Tigers of Terra", for example, was great for that.)

Sincerely,
Rod B.

Hi Rod!

Thanks for the comments!

It's nice to see that fans of Evangeline are rediscovering the series now that its online!

And for thanks for reminding me about that equipment page, Rod. For those of you who have just started reading Evangeline online, in the first printed issue of Guns of Mars there was a page at the end of the first issue called Evangeline's Guns.

This page has some very cool stuff. Sadly, Evangeline's Guns did not show up again after the first issue.

But rest assured Evangeline fans! Evangeline's Guns will make appearances in the future releases of Evangeline! As a big fan of technical gadgetry and firearms, I've always enjoyed seeing this kind of stuff in comic books. My personal favorite were the Punisher Armory issues.

I used to dig through the dollar bins every week at the local comic book store
in the hope of scoring an issue about a vigilante and his passion of popping boners over giving detailed descriptions of firearms.


Ahhhh...The days of my misspent young!

So without further ado allow me to present:

TA-DA!
Disclaimer: This is only a high-res scan from the above mentioned issue
with a bit of graph paper texture thrown on top.

I have not found the original art. Yet.

The reason why I have not made this available until now is because of the some of technical descriptions that Chuck Dixon had written for these guns.

Chuck has always been awesome when it comes to writing hi-tech comic book weaponry and hardware. And he really shines when it comes to the topic of firearms!

While this has some that Chuck Dixon shine, it also has a couple of unpolished details that I disagree with.

Browning-Marata


Special Safety Load. Hmmmm... I think Chuck was tying describe a heavy duty Glaser Safety Slug.

Which would've been fine except for the gold jacket. Gold is soft. A gold jacket would fall apart the moment the round was fired. The load that it failed to contain would end up doing more damage to the inside of the barrel then to the bad guy.

Savage C600 Lever Action Rifle


Now here's a rifle that I'm sure that Blondie would love to have! And the ammo in a sabot configuration is excellent choice!

For those of you aren't avid gun nuts, a sabot is a specially shaped, two-stage cartridge. It has an outer jacket sleeve that partially envelopes a bullet that is smaller than the bore diameter.


Bullets and their sabot sleeves

The advantages of this is:

-The life of the gun barrel is greatly enhanced as the sabot resin material causes less frictional wear against the rifling. Therefore, the barrel rifling would not build up copper or lead residues from bullets due to the fact that there is no physical contact with the barrel during expansion.

-The
muzzle velocity of the bullet is substantially increased due to less drag during expansion of the barrel.

-
And lastly, the bullet will travel longer distances and a flatter trajectory!

Great for target shooting, small game hunting and shooting up bandits on
Mars!

Styer-Daimler Sting Pistol


Hide-away guns are traditionally last ditch, but in the right hands they can be pretty lethal. And the ammo for this hide-away would easily spell trouble for any baddie wearing Kevlar armor. 100 Stainless needles? Ouch! I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that gun anytime soon!

But teflon coated? Um, yeah... that's like thee worst subject to drag into anything gun related next to the Chauchat.

Try doing a Google search on Teflon sometime and see if you can get a straight answer on whether or not the Teflon coating on anything will or will not penetrate Kevlar armor. And good luck with not letting your head spin!

However these needles would be just has lethal (if not more) if they were made with a little tungsten carbide. Armor or no armor, that would ruin a bad guy's day for sure!!

I realize most of what I have pointed out in this post is from hindsight and reliable sources on the internet. A very unfair advantage considering to what resources Chuck Dixon had in the 80's which were gun shops, books, and firearm enthusiast magazines.

Back to work! Thanks again for the email Rod. Stick with us because I can guarantee that you'll love the new hi-tech gadgets and firearms in new upcoming issue of Evangeline! I plan on making the weaponry in the book a combination of the gadgets from James Bond and the Bourne Identity flicks...really nasty and really cool! You'll wish it was available at local Gun shop or Radioshack!

-Ben Dixon

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Behind the panels of Evangeline

I'm sure that some of you readers wonder as to what it takes to get a comic page up onto the site.

Well allow me to present to you the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes details of what goes into a Evangeline page:



Here are a couple of original pages of color art for Dinosaur Farm. The page on the far left was part of a three page recap of Hate Boat. Now while a recap of Hate Boat for Evangeline online is unnecessary, the three last panels with Cardinal Szn were essential. So I decided to combine those panels with the page on the right. More on this later.



To the Left: A hand painted colored page minus ink lines.
On the Right: A transparency of the ink lines.



When I first started working on Evangeline, I found that the 26 year old transparency had shrunk slightly. Because of this, none of registration marks on the inked page would line up with the markers on the color page.

So in order to line up the black line art with the color, I have to eyeball it until it lines up. Then tape the transparency to the color page.
I have to do this to each page. 28 times per issue.


All three issues of Evangeline were hand colored using water and Dr. Martins dyes.
However, certain colors have either faded or darken over the years so I now have to adjust these errors using Adobe Photoshop.

It can be a little overwhelming at times depending on the page, but I don't let it get to me.

Judith: Hey! Why is there a zombie being eaten by a dinosaur on page three?

Me: GAH!

Yes, a couple errors have made it past me. But not to worry. I'm going to go through all three issues with a fine tooth comb and correct these errors before I go to print.


It's photoshop time!
The first three panels were adjusted so the colors are brighter.
Notice the last panel with the dinosaurs? I hadn't even touch that yet!


Some more photo adjustments.
I decided that Cardinal Szn should show up in the corner in the second panel.
And I added some computer images on those blank boring monitors in the third panel.


Finished!
Added warning lights to the Vactican City's Dome in the first panel. The second panel's background is darken. The final panel colors are adjusted. The new dinosaur farm logo is placed. A new sky is painted in. Jonny Six's line is change.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another one bites the dust

The Studio Computer
December 2008 - January 2009

"We hardly knew you"

Well, the motherboard on the studio computer died shortly after the last update. No warning or nuthin'. Just turned it on and POW! A fried motherboard!

So while the studio's hard drive data was slowly being transferred back onto my personal computer and I had to install (again) all the necessary software and drivers in order to continue work on the Evangeline series... I decided to get creative and give Judy's computer an overhaul!

I combined all the best parts from the studio computer and Judy's computer and mashed them into a big ol' Zalman GS1000 case! With a little assist from an IT friend of my brother, who took the time from his busy schedule to lend me hand.

Judy now has a super fast monster computer! Thanks Tom!

Now back to work on paying stuff.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

...And now here's some coal for your stockings

The new Evangeline (issue #4) is going to be delayed until 2009. January 25, 2009 that is.

Why? Well, for starters we ran into too many delays over the past month. This last one was the clincher:

About two weeks ago, a huge ice crusted branch from the big pine on the street splintered off taking the lines to the house down and blocking the entire road. Luckily, the lines weren’t broken. But when we called the police, a road crew came out and cut the branches and our phone line/internet! It took almost a week before we could get someone to come out and repair the phone lines/internets.
Oh, Ted Stevens!

Because of all the previous explosive action packed string of disasters, the timetable for Hate Boat, Dinosaur Farm, and the new 4th issue of Evangeline were completely thrown off track.

By setting the timetable back at least a month will keep me from disappointing Evangeline fans with a rushed and unpolished version of Evangeline. In the meantime, check out the third issue Dinosaur Farm.

Seasons Greetings!

~ Wishing you a Happy Holidays ~
From Judy and Ben!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

UPDATES!!

It's been a difficult couple weeks here at the studio.

A windows update went awry and decided to corrupted the OS files. Our studio's 11 x 17 scanner broke down. And during all the excitement, the computer repair guy decide to join in on the fun and break a few hundred dollars worth of computer equipment.

Oh yeah, it's been a quite a party. But not to worry. I've taken a few those magical "no-hangover" pills from the local 7-11 :)

During all the chaos, Judith and I re-evaluated our zombie preparedness and it turns out that we need to be up-to-date on our local zombie property/business code.

So we've moved our studio/panic room upstairs and I've rigged the stairs with dynamite.

The Studio:


Judith's workstation


My Workstation...wait...is that groaning I hear?


OH SHI-


I'm sorry, but there's no more room up here.