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(Cross-posted from my Personal Journal)

Today, I'm proud to announce the launch of my new monthly column on MakingComics.com, called Just Make Comics. (Read it to see what that simple title is all about.)

In the first installment, "Get the Project Started" I practice what I preach by doing two important things-- Doing some actual writing, and starting to look for an artist collaborator for the column.

Yes-- as announced in the column, I am looking for an artist partner for short comics and illustrations to complement the written portion of the column every month. Just to show how dedicated I am, I'm conducting the whole process before your eyes. If I fail, the second installment won't have any visual component, so I'll live or die by my own advice here.

I'll be writing advice on just making some damn comics, and I'd like to work with an artist to illustrate my points and show sample short comics. Some installments may even be purely in comics form. If you're interested in a regular monthly gig, never more than two pages a month (often less) hit me up with your portfolio and a clever comment.
I was recently able to put together the last important piece of reference material for my upcoming comic, Rooftop Lily. (I have also outlined the first issue and detail, and am beginning on the rest of the first arc.)

With this milestone, I think the world is ready to see Lily. (I know I am!) So if you are interested in sketching the character, or doing a pin-up, please drop me a note with the best email address to send you a Google Doc!


Rooftop Lily - Lily has a heart so light that her feet barely touch the ground--  and she's starting to spread that feeling. A series of very light, peaceful, romantic vignettes tell the story of a singular and beautiful girl with a very simple "power" and the refreshing lightness she breathes into the lives around her. (European romance or Good Girl style, some nudity and sensuality. A series of 2-6 page vignettes building into a larger story.)

Now that the story is coming together, I want to give more people a chance to fall in love with Lily like I have. To make that happen, I'd like to open the door to people doing pin-ups, portraits, and fan art of this unique girl. Are you interested?


So, who is Lily?

Lily is a very slender, graceful girl, with a natural and effortless beauty. She has long natural light-red hair, pale skin with freckles, and light blue-grey eyes. She's painfully gorgeous, but completely unassuming. She has one in a million face and body-- she's a supermodel who doesn't know it, or just doesn't care.

She doesn't wear make up, and she loves loose clothes and short summery skirts. She has cute glasses, and is almost always barefoot. She also doesn’t have one single 'costume'. She dresses appropriately (or inappropriately) for the occasion. Everything about her is effortless and natural, never stark or modern.

She doesn't carry any metaphorical weight on her shoulders, and her outlook leads to acts of kindness that make the people around her feel the same. More incredibly, her light heart makes her literally as light as a feather. She's quick witted but quiet, calm but clever, and sweet without being saccharine.


If this sounds fun, drop me (IanStruckhoff, not the group) a Note with your email address and I can send more info and reference!
I am looking for pencillers for a number of one-shot comics I have begun writing-- single issues, 20-48 pages each, telling a story that's complete in one issue. These comics will be featured stories in my "Black Label Comics" anthology, and where possible pitched to publishers.

The good news is that three of these books are now getting geared up, but I'd like to keep the others moving. I'm looking for a penciller for each of the following stories.

Flee the Greywood - (48 pages, outline complete) A bloody and terrifying, low fantasy take on the classic "orphan kidnapped by elves/faeries" trope. Elves are horrible sharp-toothed creatures at the heart of a great forest, who "adopt" orphan children to feast on their terror and blood. In the isolated village of Valdowne, orphans are traditionally adopted by the majestic but alien elves of the nearby forest kingdom. When Tomas' parents die, and he is sent into the heart of the Greywood, he discovers a nightmare of cruelty and brutality. Along with his fellow prisoners-- the young Josef, dwarven girl Dreyva, and a half-elf slave warrior Helegiel-- Tomas escapes the living castle of the Elves, only to decide to remain in the Greywood to turn the tables.

The Undertaking - When medical examiner Jennifer O'Hare comes across a body that isn't dead, or at least hasn't stopped moving, she sometimes has to work with disgraced mortician-turned-detective Abraham Crane to unearth why and how.

Vitus Hale - Sheriff Vitus Hale keeps the peace in Pyride Gulch, California, with nothing more than hard work, stern words, the threat of violence, the trust of the everyday folks in the town ...and a laser gun. A time traveller from the distant future, Hale is stranded in a tough time and place.

G'rana Mankin - G’rana has an unfortunate origin, in the eyes of her people. She’s doomed to be an outsider, because she is a disgusting half-human! Seen another way, she’s surprisingly pretty, and almost human-looking, for a goblin. In the right light, she might inspire a human male to consider making some (ugh) quarter-goblins.

Legacy of Light - Miss Raya was America's first super-heroine, and left a great legacy behind. America’s Super-Sweetheart helped turn the tide in the Second World War, thanks to her super strength, invulnerability, and atomic-powered lights-- until she met her fate at the fall of Berlin. Two decades later, as a new generation of heroes arose, a worthy successor took on the name for a time. Now, the grand-neice of the original Miss Raya has announced on her 18th birthday that she had somehow inhereted the powers of her famous relative. Could Rayana be the hottest celebrity in living memory? Her early appearance as both a presumed-hero and as a celebrity could mean too much pressure. So far, she hasn’t shown herself to be as courageous as her role-models. Perhaps there's still time for her to prove herself.

Dark Matter - Over the ages, various space-faring cultures have encountered the mysterious “Nebula Sirens," beautiful and strange black-bodied beings that live unprotected in space. Early explorers are said to have believed the creatures to be predators of a sort, tempting men to space-walk into the nebular clouds. Every now and then, someone finds out.

---

The following one-shots are currently unavailable, having been offered to artists. (They may become available later.)

The Deathlings: Bloodsuckers - (Written as 8 pages, can be expanded to 22 pages) A group of archaeology students and their professor encounter vampire mosquitos, changed from long exposure to a nearby vampire. They are temporarily rescued by Ani, who teaches them the only real cure for Vampirism.

---

The following one-shots are in production or have art teams assigned:

The Deathlings: Ghost Town - (20 pages, in production) A Deathling, The Nameless Cowboy, returns to a ghost town that holds some strong memories, to fight the undead. While tracking the source of the infestation, he also faces the ghosts of his memories, especially a lost love. Line art by eltondias, color art by SMachajewski.

The Elements: From the Earth - (22 pages, outline complete) Since the dawn of time, four heroes have stood together, chosen by the elements to be the heroes of our world. Earth, patient and strong. Air, enigmatic and swift. Fire, beautiful but dangerous. Water, malleable and nurturing. When they all fall, another four are chosen from among the ranks of Mankind. Centuries ago, three met their fates, but Earth survived buried deep underground, and the mantle could not be passed on to a new generation. Until now. (Art team to be announced later.)

Kiki Marquis: Lost in the Everywhere - (22 pages, outline complete) Kiki was always a bit hyperactive, but after stealing a mysterious silver key that allows her to travel between infinite worlds, her life has become even more frenetic-- and she's loving every minute of it. But how does she get home? Art by jurithedreamer.


---

Because I get a surprising number of responses to these things, I should clarify a few things up front to save you some time:

- Pencillers Only: For now I am only looking for pencillers or penciller-inkers. I build teams around the penciller.
- Only pencillers with comics pages in their portfolio will be considered. Being able to do a gorgeous portrait doesn't translate to good storytelling. (If your best pencilled pages aren't here on DA, email them to me.)
- If we have spoken before, and you're interested in one of these stories, please contact me! I don't want my fear of pestering people directly to mean the perfect team doesn't come together!
Check out this great review of The Deathlings: Anne's Story #1, over on the Month of Indy Comics at Comics Should Be Good on Comic Book Resources.

I got home late last night after D&D and dinner with friends, to discover that the review had been posted over the weekend. I had sent them the book to review, but had no idea if it would be included-- or that they would say such nice things. It was definitely a great way to head onto a new week!

I hope this will mean some good exposure for the book, and the rest of the team. For my part, reviews like this are the only way I can validate that my writing isn't terrible. I have a real fear that people reading my stuff, especially this book-- the first comic script I ever wrote-- don't even think of it as a real comic. From the review, it sounds like I shouldn't worry so much.

Again, you can head here to check out the review! Feel free to leave some comments over there.

:iconthedeathlings: :iconblacklabelcomics:
It's a new year, and change is in the air.

A quick history of the focus of my writing work:
2009 - Comics Series (starting up)
2010 - Comics Series + Short Comics
2011 - ?

Well, once again my focus will be shifting, continuing to work primarily on the ongoing series, and finishing the short comics that are in progress, but beginning to write full length (22-48 page) single issue comics in place of writing new shorts.

These comics will appear in my Black Label Comics anthology as featured stories alongside the shorts, probably starting with Black Label Comics #3. We'll also work to get these published elsewhere, and some of them could lead to extended series-- but the important thing is that each of these stories is written to stand on its own. It's a chance to complete some projects and learn from the experience, and tell complete stories. Each story will have an ending, and people won't need to wait for the next issue.

I'm looking for artists to work with on each of these stories. I'm only looking for interior pencillers (or penciller/inkers) who have experience doing comics pages. I'm open to different levels of experience, as long as you have comics pages you can show me, and your artwork matches the style of one of the stories. Unfortunately, I won't be looking for cover artists, colorists, or inkers-- Those roles will come from people I already know.

Notes for Artists:
- Pencillers or Penciller/Inkers only at this time
- You must have a portfolio of finished comics pages to show me
- No requests from inkers, colorists, or cover artists now please
- New artists are welcome!
- Artists I have worked with before are welcome!
- Schedules are flexible, as long as we stick to what we agree on

So, if you're interested in working on one of these comics with me, drop me a comment, a Note, or an email. We can talk about further details from there. Now, on to the story concepts.

Flee the Greywood - (48 pages) A bloody and terrifying, low fantasy take on the classic "orphan kidnapped by elves/faeries" trope. Elves are horrible sharp-toothed creatures at the heart of a great forest, who "adopt" orphan children to feast on their terror and blood. In the isolated village of Valdowne, orphans are traditionally adopted by the majestic but alien elves of the nearby forest kingdom. When Tomas' parents die, and he is sent into the heart of the Greywood, he discovers a nightmare of cruelty and brutality. Along with his fellow prisoners-- the young Josef, dwarven girl Dreyva, and a half-elf slave warrior Helegiel-- Tomas escapes the living castle of the Elves, only to decide to remain in the Greywood to turn the tables.

NEW - The Undertaking - When medical examiner Jennifer O'Hare comes across a body that isn't dead, or at least hasn't stopped moving, she sometimes has to work with disgraced mortician-turned-detective Abraham Crane to unearth why and how.

The Elements: From the Earth - Since the dawn of time, four heroes have stood together, chosen by the elements to be the heroes of our world. Earth, patient and strong. Air, enigmatic and swift. Fire, beautiful but dangerous. Water, malleable and nurturing. When they all fall, another four are chosen from among the ranks of Mankind. Centuries ago, three met their fates, but Earth survived buried deep underground, and the mantle could not be passed on to a new generation. Until now.

Vitus Hale - Sheriff Vitus Hale keeps the peace in Pyride Gulch, California, with nothing more than hard work, stern words, the threat of violence, the trust of the everyday folks in the town ...and a laser gun. A time traveller from the distant future, Hale is stranded in a tough time and place.

G'rana Mankin - G’rana has an unfortunate origin, in the eyes of her people. She’s doomed to be an outsider, because she is a disgusting half-human! Seen another way, she’s surprisingly pretty, and almost human-looking, for a goblin. In the right light, she might inspire a human male to consider making some (ugh) quarter-goblins.

Legacy of Light - Miss Raya was America's first super-heroine, and left a great legacy behind. America’s Super-Sweetheart helped turn the tide in the Second World War, thanks to her super strength, invulnerability, and atomic-powered lights-- until she met her fate at the fall of Berlin. Two decades later, as a new generation of heroes arose, a worthy successor took on the name for a time. Now, the grand-neice of the original Miss Raya has announced on her 18th birthday that she had somehow inhereted the powers of her famous relative. Could Rayana be the hottest celebrity in living memory? Her early appearance as both a presumed-hero and as a celebrity could mean too much pressure. So far, she hasn’t shown herself to be as courageous as her role-models. Perhaps there's still time for her to prove herself.

Dark Matter - Over the ages, various space-faring cultures have encountered the mysterious “Nebula Sirens," beautiful and strange black-bodied beings that live unprotected in space. Early explorers are said to have believed the creatures to be predators of a sort, tempting men to space-walk into the nebular clouds. Every now and then, someone finds out.

The Deathlings: Ghost Town - (Written as 12 pages, can be expanded to 22 pages) A Deathling, The Nameless Cowboy, returns to a ghost town that holds some strong memories, to fight the undead. While tracking the source of the infestation, he also faces the ghosts of his memories, especially a lost love.

The Deathlings: Bloodsuckers - (Written as 8 pages, can be expanded to 22 pages) A group of archaeology students and their professor encounter vampire mosquitos, changed from long exposure to a nearby vampire. They are temporarily rescued by Ani, who teaches them the only real cure for Vampirism.

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