Leon's return to sequential art

For those of you who don’t know me, here’s a little backround:

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the arts. I grew up dreaming of being a cartoonist/animator. My sytle is geared towards manga/anime and so during my high school years, I had my eyes set on going to an art school after I graduate (Seattle Art Institute to be exact). However, my parents were against it, and forced me to go to a 4-year institute. I attended WWU, had $10,000 in debt (on top of school loans), lost my spirituality, and dropped out after 2-3 years. I was a broken man. Those were the darkest years of my life. Everyday I woke up to a deep depression, and desperately wanted to commit suicide. I did some horrible things to live; things that I couldn’t say. Often times I didn’t have money for gas or food. I sold everything I had except my bike and computer so I wouldn’t be homeless.

Lesson learned: Don’t let anyone rob you of your dreams.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming my parents entirely for my misfortune. I was at fault for most of those things, but I had a passion that I wanted to pursue, and they didn’t let me. Now I’m just back on my feet after 5 years. I’m working retail and hate every minute of it. It’s a job to pay the bills and such, but I have/had a dream for a long time. I will pursue it. This time, I won’t let anyone stop me. Not even myself. There’s a long road ahead, but if I stay consistent, I think I’ll reach my goals of making a living doing something I love. And that is drawing.

I don’t want to be a cartoonist/animator anymore, as there is little creative freedom involved with being one. I put some thought into after working on my very first ‘manga’. It was more of a practice run. It was done 8 months ago, which was the last time I held a pencil, but I’m serious this time. I have so many ideas for a good graphic novel, it’s driving me nuts. For the time being I lack professional skill. Doodling every couple of months isn’t going to make one a success. So I am back for good this time. I’m going to be more consistent, drawing everyday.

This thread will be here for my own reference, but feel free to visit anytime. All of my works are going to be featured in this thread. After a few months, I hope I’ll notice a huge improvement in my precision. It’ll be satisfying to say to myself, ‘hey you are so much better than you were xx weeks/months ago’. After 5 years, I hope I’ll be good enough to really start taking my ideas, putting them on paper, and doing my vision some justice.

I know it’s silly, but thanks for taking the time out to read about one mans hope. So without further delay, here is my last known project (my first real stab at sequential art 8 months ago):

I don’t have any text because it was only 2 pages. A 3rd page was in the works, but that’s when I quit. I was planning to take this to 12 pages. Once all the paneling was complete, I was going to add the storyline. I had the story all planned out, but I lost interest.



Two of the 4 panels that were going to be page 3:




I wanted my first picture to be easy–straight forward and easy to do. I found an old picture of Ken official art, and used that as my reference. It look alot longer than I had anticipated. Something like this would usually take me 30 minutes, but it took me 1.5 hours. I am hella rusty. It was weird picking up my pencil again.

First pic is Ken reference (courtesy of the late Fighter’s Generation):


My stab at Ken:



It’s been too long since the Ken I did. So, today I just doodled. I drew a circle and to me it looked like a fat, baby elephant. And I just went with it. I didn’t want to stay rusty, so I had to draw something.

I’ve been wanting to draw these past couple of days, but I just couldn’t do it. I had a mental block. My problem is when I lack vision. I can’t picture what I want to draw. So I keep pondering ‘what should I draw?’ and never get around to it. So I said ‘f**k it’ and drew something, anything. So here’s ‘Elly’, for lack of a better name:


good luck dude. my story is a little different - i usde to be an engineering student (2 years) and quit to become an artist/graphic designer, but i was fortunate enough to avoid many of the hardships you’ve outlined.

i’m not sure how extensive your formal training or what your experience with the traditional arts has been, but if there’s a single bit of advice i can offer you, it is to draw from life whenever possible. if you’re stuck on ideas - just grab your 'sketchbook and head out to a local coffeeshop, mall, park, whatever. there’s always something to draw, and it’ll leech the maniera out of you like a sponge.

I’m not sure why you’re trying to create a “manga”. Why not create a “comic”. Without the “Japanese influences that make it look amazingly generic”.

I think this thread technically belongs in “Fan Art Gallery,” but I’m glad you posted it here because I never visit fan art.

Good luck and keep posting your new stuff. If you can’t decide on what to draw, remember that various Street Fighter characters will always be appreciated here.

I wish I had formal training, but my parents couldn’t afford it when I was growing up. I still lack alot of precision. There’s definately room for improvement. I’m still debating whether I want to go back to finish getting a 4-year degree at a University, or just teaching myself to be the best manga artist I can be.

If I don’t go to school, I’m just going to create a ‘course’ for myself. It involves working on my weakness 5 days a week for about 3-4 hours per day. And I’ll spend 1 hour on Korean/Japanese. Spending that much time drawing will probably do me the most good. The Korean/Japanese will be helpful in the long run, and I need stimulus for my brain.

I’ve never been serious, because I lacked confidence in myself. I’m in it for good this time.

I don’t think Manga looks generic. I find the black and white sequential art looks amazing. The action sequences are mesmerizing, but what attracts me the most to Manga is the story. It’s always been about the story for me. American comics is mainly focused around super heroes and villians. It’s not like that with manga. There’s manga about everyday life, about relationships, about inner struggles. Manga covers so many ranges. It’s always refreshing. Also, I don’t like how almost everything is done on the computer these days. It looks digital. Hand drawn, inked art just appeals to me.

Now, don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not bashing American comics. I’m just saying why I like Manga.

A comic is whatever the creator makes it out to be.

While I was eating some breakfast this morning, I had a great idea for a 2-3 page comic. It involves Ryu and Ken in a fierce battle, with a surprise at the end. I have everything down, to each panel, so tomorrow I’m going to get started. In the meantime, I don’t think I will post much for the next few days. Stay tuned for the face off.

you´ll probably get better feedback from the fanart section

that’s the truth.

Wow, it’s been about a month since I last updated. However, it’s not because I wasn’t drawing anything. I’ve been working on that 2-3 page comic I was talking about earlier. Good thing is, I’m still working on it. Bad news is, it’s going to be 15 - 20 pages long; roughly a chapter. I’m on page seven, so it’s going to be awhile before I’m done. cries

Anyways, here is a work in progress on the first 4 pages. Once I’m done with 8 pages, I’ll probably post those up.





BTW, I’ve decided to go all out in pursuit of becoming a comic book author. I’m not working 40 hours a week anymore starting next week. I’ll be working 25+ hours a week, and 40+ hours a week on my skills. So basically, everyday before I go to work, I’ll be spending 8 hours a day on my comic skills. On the days I don’t work, I’ll be cg-ing my pages (adding tones and text). Of course I don’t want to burn myself out, so I’ll be taking breaks here and there.

In 3 to 5 years, I should be ready to summit my work to some publishers. I’ll have no life but I don’t care. It’ll be worth it. Money is going to be a bit tighter, but I’ll do it for the craft.