Browsing articles in "So-Called Living: The Blog"


Mar 30, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

There are a trusted few people that I allow to read my script, and in return I want their honest feedback. I don’t want to hear how “awesome” it is if you don’t like it. I want the truth, because if something sucks, I would rather it suck now than out on store shelves. Thus far the feedback for book 1 is really positive, although the feedback for book 2 is less than positive. Some of the feed back I’ve received tells me that I don’t have anything in book 2 to entice people to buy book 3, which is a problem. Clearly I need to fix this problem, but how? One thing I don’t want to do is cram in a fight scene or introduce another plot line in an attempt to “spice it up”. After some informative discussion with my trusted circle, I’m leaning toward the insertion of foreshadowing that will tie into events of book 3 and 4, not so much that it would distract from the current events of book 2, but just enough to keep people wondering… “what’s in the hatch” (Lost reference, for those of you less hip… or too hip, depending on how you look at it)

The Image Route

Mar 29, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

After talking it over with Jamie, we’ve come to the conclusion that submitting to image comics might be the best route to take. I’ve checked out their submissions guidelines and I think I got a good handle on what they’re looking for. They stress the importance of looking professional, and I think that’s where working in the video game industry gives us a leg up. But I won’t be submitting anything to Image until we have this first book completed.

Aside from that… I’ve started working on the final script for the 3rd book, but really it’s only “final” till I re-read it, hate it and write it again. Jamie’s been tide up with renovations at home so I have no new art to show you, but maybe if we pray really hard, he’ll take pity on us and throw down a scribble or two for the blog ;)

The Plan So Far

Mar 27, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

So I’ve decided that So-Called Living will have a limited print release, and that we’ll be focusing on digital distribution for the most part.  I’ve been checking out, a distribution site for digital comics, not exactly sure how good they are, but the price seems about right, $150 plus their cut of sales (if I read that right). But before all that, the plan is to get a promotional print ready to hand out at FanExpo. The actual release date of So-Called Living won’t happen till we have at least 3 of the issues completed. At which point we will release 1 a month for the next 3 months, which should give us enough time to complete the 4th and final book of the mini series.

Looking for a Printing House

Mar 26, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

It’s Monday! Jamie tells he had some time to work on art this weekend (awesome news), although I did not get to work on the script :( This week my goal is to buckle down and get the script for book 3 nailed down. On a side note, Stan (The Man) Lee is going to be at FanExpo this year in Toronto and I’m hoping to hand him off a copy of our completed first issue. I think I’ve found a place that will print our book, although I’m having a hard time ordering a sample from their site, If anyone out there has a better suggestion for a print houses I could check out, please let me know.

Jamie’s 2nd Step

Mar 23, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

Hello! Today I’m going to introduce you to the Jamie way of drawing comic pages (for all I know this is how everyone does it, so bear with me). As you saw in previous posts, Jamie had roughed in a few story board pages based on my script (example on left), which is a great way to plot out your pages and work out the visual timing of your story. Now that Jamie is done making scribbles, it’s time to get things cleaned up. This is his first phase in the clean up process (image on the right). It’s not much, just a bunch of boxes on a white sheet, but it helps get a better sense of the space he has to work with.

When asked “Why do you do all the pages in boxes first? Why not just draw a single box and fill that up with your pretty pictures as you go?” Jamie replied “Just not how it goes“… so there you have it. ;)

Oh wait… this just in, Jamie has expanded on his answer. “...allows me to jump around. It’s like when we make a game, why don’t we start with the title page and loading screen? Movies are done the same way, they don’t shoot it in sequence.”

For those of you not up to date, me and Jamie make video games for a living, and this conversation I’m having with him is via MSN and… Oh wait there’s more!

…especially when you’re doing a new book with new characters. It allows you to jump around with that character and work out a lot of his style and expressions”…ok I think that’s all he’s got.

Good answer Jamie! I know you didn’t know this was an interview question when you answered me, but you do now. ;)

More Facts

Mar 22, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

You might have noticed a bunny or two in yesterdays post. You might have even noticed that there was a bunny on the back side of our little promotional cards. Now you’re probably asking yourself “what’s with the bunnies?” Well here’s a few facts to get you through the day

Fact 1: Bunnies are everywhere and they’ve become a global concern.

Fact 2: People in So-Called Living know why they should be afraid of bunnies, but you’ll have to read to find out.

Now that you’ve had your fill of obscure bunny facts, let me get you up to speed on where we are with the series.

As far as the script goes, I’ve written 2 of our 4 issue mini series while Jamie has started cleaning up his pages for the first book. I’ve started on the third, and had a sit down with Jamie to address some concerns he had about continuity, panel layout and length. For the most part we saw eye to eye. Some of Jamie’s concerns were valid (appropriate changes were made), and the other stuff was the result of a lack of clarity on my part. So after a 30min talk or so we got everything cleared up, and the story is all the better for it.

Nuff Said

Mar 21, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

The Facts

Mar 20, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

Yesterday was suppose to be the day that Jamie read my script for book 2 and I got started on book 3, but neither of those things happened. Not sure what Jamie’s excuse was, but for me… I fell asleep. If you’re a writer, and you’re that tired, go to sleep. I’ve tried to write while sleepy before, and it never works out. I’ll always come back the next day and rewrite any of the gibberish I wrote in that zombie like state, because if you force it, you’r not going to be happy with the results. Speaking of zombies, lets get to today So-Called Living facts

Fact 1: Zombies exist in the world of So-Called Living.

Fact 2: It’s not an outbreak, just an every day nuisance that people have learned to deal with. This isn’t the Apocalypse, this is Tuesday.

…still, just the tip of the iceberg ;)

More Than Only Human

Mar 19, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

So-Called living takes place in a world where anything is possible, and follows the life of Jack, an ordinary guy dealing with everyday problems is a world that is anything but ordinary. From time to time I’ll drop a few facts about the world of So-Called living, to give you an idea of what to expect. It’ll be something like this…

Fact 1: Vampires exist, and live among us (us being the people of So-Called Living, not us “us”).

Fact 2: There are very few vampires in existence, and those that do exist are separated into two types.

Forest Fairies: Your overly emotional, frilly, cloak wearing brand of vampire,  pulled from the pages of an Ann Rice novel.


Bulls: Emotionally distant with total disregard for authority, and rough around the edges (your bad ass cool guy).

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, trust me.


No More Storyboards

Mar 16, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

Our illustrious illustrator feels that I’m divulging too much content with these storyboards, and maybe he’s right, so no more storyboards for you! But I can bring you up to date on our progress. I’ve finished the script for book 2 of our 4 issue mini series, well… kinda. The first pass is done and it’s a little long, and according to Jamie’s storyboards, book 1  is to short. We’ve talked about taking the beginning of our long book 2 and splicing it on to the end of our short book 1, which should equal a normal sized book… we hope. To give you some perspective, I plotted out  60-ish panels in the first book, and thus far I’m over 120 in the second… see the problem.

Jamie also suggested that I let you guys know what the book is about instead of letting you guys think it’s just a story about people buying fries? Now as awesome as that would be, So-Called Living is not just about buying fries, but you’ll have to come back to the blog on Monday to find out.

Have a great Saint Patty’s weekend!