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  • The Guild Companion - Home of the online Symka scripts
  • Mutants and Masterminds - The best superhero RPG around
  • Comics Continuum - The best place for comic book news
  • Superhero Hype - The best place for your favorite comics on the big screen

  • Credits
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2006
  • The last issue
  • Well, folks, it looks like we've hit the last issue. March will have the last installment of the series. It's been an amazing 3 years working with the Guild Companion. They've been incredibly nice and encouraging to me all this time. They've been gracious to host the stories in their original form, which put some people off, but was an experiment in itself. I will be back at the Guild in the future, but right now it's full bore into the full comic.

    The plan for the comic, starting with Issue 2 is to increase the amount of releases per year. Putting it together takes a lot of time. The longest stage is by far the art. As mentioned before I will be taking up the pencils as well, working closely with the other artists. We will all be working simultaneously on different issues to try and speed up the whole thing. Keep your eyes peeled here for news.
  • as told by: McGinitys at: 5:30 PM

  • Tuesday, January 10, 2006
  • Symka Issue 35 online and The happy road to Symka 2
  • Well, the January edition of the Guild Companion is up and of course, Symka Issue 34 comes with it. Check it out and let me know what you think, either directly here or drop me a line at blinshriek@hotmail.com. There's only two issues left for Symka. Get it while it's hot.

    I also wanted to fill you in on what's happening with the publishing of Issue 2. As I've stated before, I have plans for when this will come out, but having watched the car wreck of other projects that had promised dates, I'm not going to promise when this will happen. What I will promise are some previews very soon. I have a couple of places to host the images. Once I upload those, I will have the link here for you to check it out.

    I've made some progress on my own art, but have been inundated with other work, on CST, Watchman, and two other projects. Not including everything else like life, the universe and everything, I've been busy. I've made myself the promise to be more dedicated to Symka this year and really learning my craft. Quality instead of quantity. I have some plans on getting there and you can follow the road with me through this blog.
  • as told by: McGinitys at: 10:44 AM

  • Thursday, December 22, 2005
  • Working on my own art Part II
  • So, with Joaquin I set some parameters. It may not look exactly like the model I used, but it would be an easy guide to follow to consistency.

    Joaquin's eyes drooped a little towards the outer edge of them. His nose was big at the tip and scaled up from there to the eyebrow line. His eyebrows were full, bit not as wide as his eyes. His jaw tappered down from his ears to a nice even jawline. His chin was a little prominent coming down and off from his bottom lip. His lips were a little fuller, almost like a woman's lips. His hairline was very distinct, with no recession whatsoever. With some people the hairline boxes the upper half of the face, but with Joaquin, there was a narrower box at the top, that tapered away as it came down to his ears.

    So I followed this a few more times, drawing Joaquin over and over, a different angles. And it finally clicked.

    So I moved onto Stick. it took a couple of tries but I established his looks. He had higher eyes, a nice oval, slitghly over the eye line. He had more of a button nose, narrow. His jaw, which I had never noticed before was very wide, almost creating a box effect to the bottom half of his face. And his chin upturned slightly, almost giving him a snobbish look. His eyebrows were fine and almost feminine. His hairline, unlike Joaquin was a box, almost parallel to his jawline, giving him a square-like appearance. And his lips were very, very distinct. They had no shapeliness to them. They looked bloated, collagen injected like. And they were very red.

    In early drawings, they looked the same, but after several applications, now they were completely different from one another.

    Gideon, who I could draw in my sleep, matched the basic look of the common hero out of any super-hero art book. His eyes, nose, jaw... everything was in generic locations. His only distinction was his goatee and longish hair. So even if I made a mistake with him, he was easy to identify.

    With those three in the bag, I tackle the biggest challenge... Silver. Drawing women had always been my greatest weakness. We will see if I can overcome that hurdle.
  • as told by: McGinitys at: 8:57 AM

  • Working on my own art
  • I won't promise to know my way around blogs, websites, or any of that stuff. I can surf with the best of them... but I haven't taken the time to really... really learn web design. I know I could do it, but time is such a fleeting thing.

    I have started drawing again. I stopped drawing full-time about 14 years ago, when I started university. Decided to "grow up" and "be a man". I know it's all bullcrap now but at the time, I was trying to impress people.

    So I was a little scared getting back into it. I mean I started drawing from day one and was making my own comic books (drawing them, writing them, coloring them) by age 5. By the time I hit my teens I was a pretty decent artist. I stopped drawing around 18-19 years old. So I have NOT been drawing for about the same amount of time as I had been drawing.

    So the past few weeks, I've been doodling, drawing out Joaquin, Stick, Gideon... trying to remember techniques I used and referencing "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" and "Drawing for Dummies". The first doodle I did was fantastic. I was really excited and sure I could get right back into drawing my own stuff again. It was a side angled shot of Joaquin, based off of the model I used for him. And it looked just like the model. And I drew it in record time. And it was easy.

    Then came the test. Recreating that face a second time. And it sucked so bad. So I drew it again and again, trying to figure out where I was going wrong (relying on instinct I had since lost) and what I was doing right (following art theory). I tried doing different angles on the face... just couldn;t get it right.

    So I went right back to that first flawless picture and restudied the model again. I started really looking at the positioning of the nose, the shape of the eyes, the level of the eyebrows, the line for the lips and it started to make sense. I did a few more and kept the consistency.

    You see drawing comics is not easy. When you are sketching, you generally do one picture of one person and you are done. In comics, you have to draw the same person over and over again, at different angles, different moods and expressions. The reader needs to identify right away --- "Oh, that Joaquin." The reader may not know exactly why that looks like Joaquin, just that it "looks like him". But as an artist I need to know.

  • as told by: McGinitys at: 8:44 AM

  • Tuesday, December 13, 2005
  • The Symka Chronology (Spoilers included)
  • Maybe I didn't think it would happen, but here I am 34 issues into Symka and referencing past issues has become complicated.

    Trying to remember where I put this tidbit of information or that tidbit of information is challenging. Over the past two or three weeks I have been going through all the issues in detail, jotting down when each part of information came up. It also gave me some interesting information I hadn't thought of.

    I tend to write things in arcs, with a beginning and an end. Even though the Symka series was pre-plotted out, and how it would end was never in question (this was after all, based upon an RPG game I ran), there were very much chapters to this whole thing. Obviously, with 4 Symka tablets, it could be broken into 4 large chapters, one on each tablet. But as I actually started writing this, many more interesting things came up. As the plots were sometimes very thin (as mentioned before, it was based upon an RPG I ran), I added some flourishes here and there to make things more interesting. Stick and Silver had no back story. Only El Tigre and Gideon had these rich back stories going into the game. So to give each character their own weight in the series, and with Dale Turcott playing a different role than in the game, I came up with a ton of new material to throw into the series.

    And the arcs ended up working a little differently. For example, the first tablet was acquired in Issue 1. There was no buildup... nothing. The game itself started out some time before acquiring the tablet, and much before Stick and Silver were actually characters in the game. It took some a whole sweep of issues for tablet number 2 (sort of on a schedule of some kind). Tablet number 3 was gaining the tablet Katharta himself had. A slightly more important tablet to get and the number of issues around it made sense. The fourth tablet dealt with El Tigre's past and his father Lurch.

    Needless to say, the arcs were not lateral for each tablet. But they were lateral. Going through the series, there are natural (although unconscious) arcs of 4-5 issues each.

    Where I am going with this is looking down the road to having a collected edition of the comics, assembling arcs together and having some sort of natural break in the series. I plan to have these arcs broken down here once I finish up... sort of a chronology.

    The reason this all comes up too is that I found a glaring glitch in the writing. El Tigre's father is listed way back in Issue 23, even though it is later again revealed to him near the end of the series.
  • as told by: McGinitys at: 11:08 AM

  • Friday, December 02, 2005
  • Symka 34 is missing
  • I just got an e-mail from my editor at the Guild Companion and there was a bit of a slip-up. No Symka 34 for the December Issue unfortunately. It seems that it just didn't get added. So expect to see Issue 34 in January instead. Again I apologize. Mistakes happen.

    But the third issue of CST is up at the site. Check it out. Hope you like.
  • as told by: McGinitys at: 8:39 PM

  • Friday, November 18, 2005
  • Symka and the CST
  • Hello. It's been too long between posts but a few things cropped, namely working god-forsaken shifts at work that make no sense, a massive rupture in the water line at home, getting my hands on Mutants and Masterminds Second edition (yay!) and generally being as busy as snot.

    As mentioned I have submitted the next issue of Symka to the Guild (for December). Although I had written the first 3-4 issues of CST, they all require rework to fit in (i.e. the length of the story needed to be modified). I am seriously doubting I will have the time to continue with CST at the moment with the Guild
  • as told by: McGinitys at: 9:42 AM

  • Tuesday, November 08, 2005
  • Symka Issue 34
  • Sorry all,
    It's been a while since the last post. Been up to my eyeballs in alligators lately, working out the details of things. I'm just a little away from finishing up Issue 34. It's all scripted up and just needs to be broken down into panels now.

    And officially here's what you can expect in issue 34:

    Gideon's mother Marimus makes her move and Manapatapoo appears. A fight to the death will claim two of the contestants. All this and the build up for the last two issues begin featuring the confrontation between Manapatapoo and Pitawa, dealing with the two deaths and what's to become of our ragtag group known as the Defenders of the Symka.
  • as told by: McGinitys at: 5:58 PM