Kid Universal Concludes

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Well, I finally wrapped up this Kid Universal short story but fear not, Kid and the gang will return. I learned a lot about making comics from doing these few pages. Soon I’ll repost all of them together along with a self critique. After all , you can’t grow as an artist if you can’t see what you need to work on.

Next week it’s watercolor portraits of Monsieur Coulon and his cat. Now that I typed that I realized there is a typo on this page and possibly on other pages.

A big thanks to everyone who’s been coming back month after month. I’ve been watching the stats and they keep going up so, again, thank you and please spread the word. The Little Dog Comics anniversary art giveaway is still going on. All you have to do to be entered to win is post about Little Dog Comics on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #ldcftw14.

Inktober is in full swing. Follow me on instagram to see what I’ve been posting.

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Kid and Sherman

kid and sherman   I’ve been getting back into watercolor this past month. For practice I painted a series of portraits of characters from Kid Universal. Since Kid and Sherman have already been revealed I posted them firs. Next week I’ll post the conclusion to the first Kid Universal story and the following week I’ll post the rest of the portraits. (They’re my favorites.) You can win one of these or a Squirrel Boy print if you promote Little Dog Comics on Facebook, Twitter or Intstagram. Just make sure to include a link to littledogcomics.com and the hashtag #LDCFTW14. For more info go to the blog post titled Win Original Art. Facebook Twitter Instagram Don’t forget Inktober is coming!

Rock’Em Sock’Em

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Kid Universal, the pint-sized powerhouse vs. Sherman, the titanium titan. Two robots battling it out in the Rock’Em Sock’Em match of any century. Kid flies in with a haymaker -and wait- Sherman goes down. The match is over already? Guess the the notorious time disruptor isn’t as bad as everyone thought. The story concludes in the next installment of Kid Universal.

I’m sorry to leave everyone hanging but the final page won’t be ready to post until October 2nd but please check in next Friday for some watercolor portraits of Kid and Sherman.

Next month I’ll be participating in Inktober, a daily drawing challenge started by Jake Parker. You can follow my progress on Instagram and Twitter @hellopinello for both accounts. Also, I’ll post the daily drawings on the Little Dog Comics Facebook page. To see other people who are participating check the hashtag #inktober on all of your social media sites. Inktober begins October 1st and runs through the whole month.

I have one last announcement to make. October 27th is the first anniversary of Little Dog Comics. To celebrate I’m giving away a bunch of art and prints. Come back Wednesday September 24th for details on how you can win.

Kid Universal Issue 1 Panel 2

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After hurtling through the time bleed Kid comes face to face with the side of a mountain. Time travel is not so easy and he’s still getting the hang of it. E-mail littledogcomics@gmail.com if you have a guess as to what mountain range that is. First person with a correct guess will win a sketch card of Kid Universal.

Kid Universal Issue 1 Panel 1

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After last weeks recap we “dive” into the story. In this panel Kid mentions the time bleed. I don’t plan on spending much time explaining what that is with in the story as context should help with that. Since there is only one panel so far and no context I feel I should explain. The time bleed is what allows Kid to travel within time/space. That’s all I want to say about it for the moment. Pay attention to the colors used in this panel as they will appear again and begin to represent important things in the story.

For now, I plan to post one panel a week. I’d like to post full pages but until I build a larger back stock of pages I don’t think I can maintain a weekly posting schedule. I’ll keep a running archive of full pages here so you can check that every 3-4 weeks to see the pages as I intended them to look.

And who’s speaking off panel? Might be a while before you find out!

Kid Universal Recap

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When I was eleven years old my mom brought  home the best garage sale score ever. It was a foot and a half tall stack of comics from the eighties. There must have been a hundred or more. The first thing I did before reading them was to organize them alphabetically by title then by issue number. That’s when I noticed something was off. For example, I had Green Lantern 188 and 189 then there was a gap and I had issue 200. All the other titles were like this too. The collection was full of holes! Each gap in the story was a mystery to me that I might one day solve if i could only come across those missing issues. With Kid Universal I want you to have that same experience I had when I was eleven so I created this recap page. Currently there are no previous issues but maybe someday I’ll get to those missing issues. Next week we dive into the middle of the story.

If you haven’t already, please take a moment to visit my Etsy shop. There you can find prints and original art for the site. Follow Little Dog Comics on Facebook to stay up to date on posts and other news.

The Making of Kid Universal

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An early attempt at “Kid Universal” from 2011

It was 2009. After a year of making poor choices I was broke, with out a car, without a place to live. I was couch surfing from friends house to friends house and occasionally crashing with strangers. Fun for a while but not a sustainable lifestyle. All of my mistakes were forcing me toward one inevitable outcome- it was time to move back in with mom and dad until I could straiten out my life.

I had good reason to believe this would work. Previously my parents had moved 1,000 miles away to a small town north of Cincinnati, Ohio. I had only been there once so I didn’t know anybody and it was far enough away from all the distractions I had let lead me to this point. Also they had a a dog and dogs are therapeutic for people who are down on their luck. I’m sure there is research to back up this claim but I don’t have it at hand. If you don’t believe me you can Google it.

So that fall I moved to Ohio. By this time I hadn’t finished a drawing in almost two years.

My parents were renting a small house with a detached garage that they used for storage. The garage was damp inside from a crack in the foundation that let in water when it rained. Spiders took up residence in the unfinished ceiling. The electrical outlets were so old that if you turned on a space heater and the lights at the same time it would overload the circuit and the power would go out. Despite its flaws it was the only space available, and I desperately wanted to draw, so the garage became my studio. It was bitterly cold but a heavy coat and a few blankets later I was ready to work.

This is where Kid Universal was born.

He started out as a sketch of a kid in a super hero costume. My nephew had been born earlier that year. I hadn’t met him yet because I was too broke to travel but I kept his picture on my desk. The inspiration for Kid Universal came from thinking- when my nephew is old enough to read, what kind of stories would he like?

I wrote short scripts that were terrible. I made more sketches that were terrible. It turns out that if you don’t  make art for a long time it’s very hard to get back into it. But I stayed with it. I would work on KU until I realized something about the story didn’t work. Then I’d take a break for a few months until I came up with a better idea. In 2011 I managed to draw two pages. By 2014 I got the character to they point where he deserved a story and then I drew that story.

If you want to do something that is hard, that seems insurmountable, if you keep at it, you will make it happen.

I wanted to share this story and drawings because Kid Universal starts tomorrow and updates weekly and I wanted you to see how he started and how he changed by now. He’s just the beginning of a much wider Little Dog Comics universe. Please keep following and tell your friends to as well.

Quality Over Speed

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Back in January I had a humbling experience as an artist. I had a table at a local comic convention and, as I walked around the con floor, I noticed that there are two types of artists, those who take their time and produce quality work and those so excited to create that they rush and their work suffers for it. I knew which artist I wanted to be and, unfortunately, I knew which one I was. In my excitement to publish a weekly web comic I rushed and created something that didn’t match my vision. After the con I decided to take a break and re-evaluate what I was doing. I took that time to rewrite Agent Pickle which will soon be released on the site as a short story titled A Cupcake To Die For. As I’m finishing that I’ll be posting art and short webcomics every Friday.

Today’s drawing is of my dog, Bucky, as a lumber jack. This drawing started as a ball point pen sketch back in 2011 that became two failed paintings before I came back to it with brush and ink. Sometimes you have to stick with an idea for a few years before you find the best way to get it out.