I'm finishing up a side project tentatively called "Ralf the Destroyer: Chronicles of Xyo" Issue #1, it's a black and white, ashcan comic book (about 8"x 5") with (hopefully) a color cover. When I started developing the story of Ralf I wanted to make sure I had enough material to keep up with daily syndication for about 11 years, a daunting task. The reason for this was from Lee Nordling's book Your Career in Comics where there was a quote saying that comics didn't become profitable until this point. That was many moons ago and it seems now a days a five year contract is the norm with syndicates and 10 years is more like the life span of many newer comics rather than their jump off point. Suffice to say I may have OVER planned for my story content, so what to do? Well I am a fan of Jeff Smith's work ( Bone & Shazam! ) and other black and white pulp comics like TMNT (yes, when I read it, it was black and white on newsprint). I started thinking maybe I could split the story up a bit as there where two portions of the story; Ralf's plight with humanity on Earth and The back story of Ralf, his planet and how his decision affects the bigger picture. Ralf's trials and struggles with humanity (his own and other's) is a great set up for a daily strip but the back story seemed to need a bit more room to stretch its legs, so I suspect the comic book form would be better suited this part (though there is plenty of over-lap to tie them tightly together). I've been working on the comic book form of the story (issue #1) on the side. Posted to the left is the first page, there are a couple of other pages that can be seen on my DeviantART page. Hey, let me know what you think! :D
Here's a sketch of Ralf and an up coming character named Lexi. She's a character I originally developed for a previous strip called "Solomon Road" (syndicated through DBR Media). I modeled her off of a little girl my son played with at church. I just liked the character so much I brought her over to Ralf the Destroyer, since Solomon Road ended after about a two year run. She's a feisty little girl who is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. I drew this picture to compare the similarities in structure between Ralf and human children. If your browser has a Flash plug-in you can read more about her on the Character Page :D
Well I have to say my holiday was made just a little bit brighter when I received a note from David Reddick letting me know he posted a couple of sketches he did of Ralf the Destroyer on his "Legend of Bill" website. Dave is a great cartoonist and you may recognize his other strips, "Rod & Barry" and "Gene's Journal" as well. His drawings always look like he has a great time drawing them and this was no exception! Thanks Dave!
In the spirit of the season, I've added Project Wonderful ad boxes to the site. Well, actually it had little to do with the season and more to do with me just rounding the corner on their minimum requirements. Anyone interested in advertising, keep in mind this is an all ages site but the bidding starts at zero. So it balances out. Just click on the links to the right and Project Wonderful will set you up! Thanks guys!
Today I am adding a new category/page to the site called "Sightings". I'll be posting a variety of one off images as well as art trades or fan art as they become available. Today I'm posting this photo, it's something I've had stuck in my head. Initially I was going to draw and ink the whole thing by hand (like the comic) but I really liked the reference photos I took and thought it would be cool if I could actually put Ralf "in" the photo. So I converted it to greyscale and noised it up a bit. I liked the way it came out, so I'm sharing it with you. If you would like to send me something to post here just send the image and a note (with "sightings" in the subject bar) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anything I post (not made by me) will be credited to you and need not be a photo like this one, just your style. I only have two conditions; work should include a character from "Ralf the Destroyer" and should be "all-ages" friendly. Any fellow web comic artists are encouraged to include a link to their comic so I can post that in addition to their credit and image. Stay 'tooned, you never know what you might see!