Browsing articles tagged with " The Beginning"

Nick Concept: by Brad Heitmeyer

Sep 12, 2013   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

In a previous post, I mentioned a buddy of mine from back at the start of my video game carrier, Brad Heitmeyer (don’t think I mentioned his name before). Anyway, Brad is the guy putting together some So-Called Living pages for his portfolio.

He sent me the picture you see here, about a week or so ago. It’s his first concept of Nick, one of SCL’s main characters. Brad’s style is a lot more realistic compared to the artists that have tried this in the past. It’s not what I expected, but it’s still a nice piece. I’m interested to see where he goes with the rest of it, and how it fits in with the mood of the SCL world. It could be just the thing SCL needed… or not. Either way, we have a new piece of artwork to enjoy.

Good work Brad, I can’t wait to see more. I do hope this works out ;)

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Illustration by Brad Heitmeyer 2013


Untitled Project

Sep 11, 2013   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

Ray has put together a 2 page spread for the story we’re working on together. He’s not completely done with it, but I thought I would share it anyway. You might remember this robot from previous posts of ray’s “work in progress”


Project Update

Sep 6, 2013   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

So-Called Living

First: A buddy I use to work with (in the video game industry) is drawing up 6 pages of my SCL script to add to his portfolio. If I feel his style matches the story I’m trying to tell, we’re going to use those pages to submit to Image… pretty cool eh?

Second: I’ve been talking to Corey Reid (writer/creator of Reform School Ninja Girls, and crowd founding guru) about auditioning artists to work on SCL. I’m a little tide up at the moment, so it might be a few weeks before I get to this part.

Third: I have to get around to changing the front page of Still have Jamie listed as artist on the project.

Unnamed Project (A book me and Ray are working on)

First: I’ve plotted out a story that I like… kinda. I like certain parts, but there seems to be something missing. I got to go back to the drawing board on this one. Anything worth doing is worth doing right.

Second: Ray has been putting together some art work for our little project (which I’ve shared some of in previous posts), but he’s unsatisfied with the outcome and will be headed back  to the drawing board as well.

As soon as I have more info to share about this project I will.


A Style Deserving of it’s Own Story

Aug 29, 2013   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

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So, Ray Zhang… I’ve mentioned him before. He’s an artist who wants to do a comic and is looking for a writer. Lucky for Ray, I know just the guy… me.

Now that I have Ray on the team, the first thing I do is hand him the So-Called Living script, and see what he can do with it. The outcome was both good and bad. You see, Ray’s style isn’t really suited for SCL, it’s got an old Japanese anime style to it, which is cool, just not a good fit for this script.

When I tell Ray what I think, he tells me he understands, and wants to learn how to draw a little more “Westernized” style of comic (FYI: He’s from China), to which I replied, “Don’t you dare!” I love the old school anime Ray brings to the table, so I tell him that I’m going to write up a new story that would best suit his style and interests, and that this can be a story we collaborate on.  Ray’s all excited.

The images I’ve attached are some rough samples of Ray’s work.

From Endings to New Beginnings

Aug 27, 2013   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

I’ve got some sad news :( As it turns out, Michele and I may not be working together on So-Called Living after all. Why you ask? Well, for two reasons.

1. An opportunity for her to work on storyboards in Thailand has turned its ugly head (ugly for me that is, great news for her).

2. The cost for hiring Michele was a little more than I could afford at the moment. I am willing to pay an artist to draw So-Called Living, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that… well, when it comes to the finances, I need to go back to the drawing board.

So what do I do now? Do give up is what!

After my meeting with Michele, I had a talk with a few people at FanExpo in Toronto, namely Jim Zub, creator of Skull Kickers, and Corey Reid, creator of Reform School Ninja Girls. Both were very informative.

Before FanExpo I had a script, and no plan. I was floundering , no idea what to do next, but now I have a direction. Where will it lead?… I’ll keep you posted.

Using 3D to Direct my 2D

Jan 30, 2013   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

So here’s the plan.

Now that I’ve completely rebuilt So-Called Living issue 1 to be a little more “artist friendly”, I’m taking it to the next level. Using Maya (the 3D software package), I’ll be storyboarding pages for Jamie myself. I’ve downloaded some pre-rigged characters from, so that I can pose them, and position the camera where I want, to achieve the scene that I want to see in the final product. Each rendered scene will then be taken into Photo Shop where I will be laying out the comic pages, panel sizes and word bubble placement. After which I’ll hand it off to Jamie and have him draw the scene I laid out. Not sure if anyone else does this, but I think it could work out pretty cool.

In case I wasn’t clear… The final pages will be all hand drawn, no 3D art will be used in the final product.

New concept art for Jack!

Jan 16, 2013   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

Jamie is back on the drawing train!

He just sent me this new concept for Jack. This is concept number four actually.

Is this the final look for our hero?… Stay tuned to find out!


Revising So-Called Living Book: 1

Jan 4, 2013   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

It’s 2013… time to get my shit together!

Now that both my Top Cow Talent Hunt submissions are sent off, I can get back to working on So-Called living.

After showing Jamie my Top Cow script, he asked if I could format our So-Called living scripts the same way. You see, what’s different about my So-Called Living scripts, is that my descriptions were vague, on purpose, for two reasons. 1: I see Jamie everyday and we talked through every panel in person. 2: As an artist I assumed he would want the freedom to express himself, and not be tide down to my vision of things. So here’s where I went wrong…

Drawing a comic is a lot of work and according to Jamie, he would rather me break the panels down for him, so he has “less thinking to do” (his words not mine); Thus allowing him to focus more on creating the art asked of him, and less about directing the story itself. Fair enough.

Also, I never broke the story up into pages (panels yes, pages no). I did this to put less constraints on Jamie’s creativity, but now I see the errors of my ways. My panels were labelled, PANEL 1 – PANEL 90. Not a good idea.

So that leaves me with my latest task. I have to go back to book 1, expand on my descriptions and break my panels up into pages. So far it’s taking me longer to do that than it did to write the story in the first place.

FYI: I’ve never written a comic before.

Talent Hunt Script Submitted!

Dec 24, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

I did it! I finally sent in my Top Cow Talent Hunt submission, and it feels good. I can breathe again. Writing that thing stressed me out man. I started doubting everything I wrote. It gets to a point where you’re so close to something you have no idea what you’re even looking at anymore. The worst part is… when you reach that point, a single negative comment, can easily drown out any amount of praise received.

I figure once the deadline passes, I’ll post my submission here. That way you guys can take a read and let me know what you think.

Top Cow Talent Hunt

Dec 12, 2012   //   by Mark Maia   //   So-Called Living: The Blog  //  No Comments

Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins are looking to give an unpublished writer a chance to break into comics. It was about 2 months past when I read about the Top Cow talent hunt on Twitter, which baffles my mind. I mean, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve gotten anything really useful out of Twitter. To say I was excited about the opportunity would be an understatement.

For the first month I was in research mode, reading as much as I could get my hands on. Let’s not forget I have a full time job. 15 year old me would have read through that many comics in a single sitting. After the research was done, it was time to start writing, and write I did. Currently I’m in the final stages of my script, waiting on the last bit of feed back to come in.

What does this mean for So-Called living? Good things I hope. The talent hunt rules, limit me to work with a select few characters, so this is NOT my So-called Living submission, what it is, is a chance to get noticed. Even if I don’t get picked for the 2 slots available, I hope my script will at least make an impression. And who knows… maybe that impression will carry on to people’s opinion of my So-Called Living submission… whenever that happens of course.

The talent hunt ends Dec/31/2012. Here are the details: