Tag Archives: comic books

BlackGuard Returning for 2015!

30 Apr 15
Jerrod Smith
, , ,
No Comments

Sup. It’s been a while since we gave you all any updates on the comic. We apologize for the silence, but we promise that it’s because we’ve been mad busy, not lazy.

So, as we said a few months ago, BlackGuard will be changing slightly with the next upcoming story arc. We’re basically abandoning the webcomic format and going with a traditional comic book style. This means larger panels and a slightly slower pacing of the story. It’s fitting that we’re making this change for the next chapter, currently titled “Ghosts of Sins Past” (GOSP), as it will have a slightly more emotional tone than past arcs.

Speaking of GOSP, Will and I are excited about this arc because it explores a topic we’ve been asked about since BlackGuard first launched: What are the back-stories of the BlackGuard? In the past, we’ve hinted at aspects of each character’s past (most notably in The Hero Plot Trial), but avoided giving away too much info. GOSP will be the start of exploring their backgrounds. I say “start” because honestly, between the seven members of the team, there’s too much back-story to fit into this storyline.

One last thing I wanted to mention. If you’re following us on Twitter and Facebook, you’ve probably seen updates from us over the past few weeks with #IndiePower. We became part of the new Indie Comics Power network. Basically, it’s a group of independent comic creators and publishers that have all come together to share our audiences by sharing each other’s content through social media. If you have a comic and want in, try visiting this page, and let the guys in charge know about your book.

That’s all for now. Peace.

-Jerrod

BlackGuard to Be Restructured Soon

14 Nov 14
Jerrod Smith
,
No Comments

We’re approaching the end of “The Hero Plot Trial” in BlackGuard. Once it’s done we’ll be taking a quick break for the holidays. The next you’ll be seeing from us will be updates on the developments of the next story arc (currently title “Vendetta” but not for certain). These will most likely be new outfit and character designs.

Once we start the chapter though, pages won’t be posted the way they used to be. Instead of doing a page a week and posting them one at a time, we’ll be posting multiple pages at a time. We’re doing this because we want to move away from the ‘strip’ style with BlackGuard. In the beginning, BlackGuard was supposed to be a blend of a comic book and a comic strip. Lately, we’ve begun to see it more as just an online comic book. The strip style, though fun and good for bringing in new readers, limits the amount of true storytelling we can do, and considering the next chapter is going to be doing a lot of character and relationship developments, we decided now was the time to make the switch.

You can expect to see this change, and possibly a few others, in the next few months. In the meantime, here’s today’s new BlackGuard page.

The Hero Plot Trial P56

SUPPORT BOSC AT

New Post Schedule, ComiXology, New Web Design

26 Mar 14
Jerrod Smith
, , , , ,
No Comments

A Change to Our Weekly Schedule

So let me start by saying first of all, we’re not posting a new page today. If you’ve been following us for the past month or so, you’ve probably noticed we haven’t been sticking as strictly to our schedule lately. This year we’ve been moving in a different direction. We’re beginning to see BlackGuard more as a comic book (that’s available online) and less as a webcomic. Because of that, we’ve been putting more energy into areas other than having a new page every Wednesday and Friday.

That doesn’t mean we’re going to start ignoring the site though. We’re still going to try to post two pages a week, but from now on, they won’t have set days and will most likely be posted between Monday and Thursday. We’ll make announcements the day before each post so you’ll know when to look for a new page.

New Web Design

Going along with the new direction we’re heading in, the website’s about to get an updated design also. I plan to have it done within the next week, so if you stop by sometime in the next few days and the site is down, it’s only because I’m updating things

And yes, I did just redesign our site just last year and also the year before that, but I’m still searching for that right blend of usability (ease of reading pages and navigating site), professionalism (looking like a site you would trust to buy products from) and personality (not looking like every other webcomic site out there). I’ve pretty much wrapped up the main page, which is the most essential part for a site of our nature. Now it’s just a matter of updating the sub-pages to match the new design, something I never got around to doing the last time I changed our homepage’s look.

ComiXology Progress

In the last blog I posted, I said that we were still waiting to hear back from ComiXology. Well we finally got an e-mail back from them yesterday. They haven’t completely accepted issue #1 yet. There are still some problems that need to be fixed before they can accept it. The main problem being pixelation and artifacts, which apparently is the most common reason they reject user-submitted comics.

As far as I can tell, our problem is coming from our TIFF files being compressed when they are converted into a PDF file. I think I figured out how to prevent this from happening again, and, as far as I know, that’s the only major problem keeping us back right now. We’ll be re-submitting again in the next few days. Hopefully it won’t take a month to hear back from them next time.

That’s all the updates I have for you today. Peace.

Jerrod

Observing The BlackGuard Entry 9: Odan And Darius Doome

09 Jul 12
Jerrod Smith
, , , , ,
4 comments

Slowly, but surely, I’m trudging through this series of entries. Let’s continue with Odan and Darius.

I would have expected there to be more animosity between these two than I’ve currently seen. Despite his small frame, Odan has the personality of the typical bully, and from my personal experience, bullies tend to pick on the “brainy” types. however, I’ve yet to see Odan make fun of Darius. This could, of course, be due to the fact that he has me here to ridicule instead, but, somehow, I feel it’s more than that

Though Darius may be a scientist, he is to a great extent a bully himself. Before joining The BlackGuard, he earned a reputation as a notorious super-villain. In this strange world of super-powered beings, this earns Darius some “hood credibility” with Odan. Of course, in typical bully fashion, Darius is always quick to endorse Odan’s derision of others (once again, most commonly me). Darius even goes as far as attempting to instigate a response from Odan’s victims. I’m uncertain as to whether he does this in order to accomplish something or just for his own personal enjoyment.

Of course there is one trait common to both Odan and Darius: boastfulness. Both men seem to be compelled to announce their own greatness to anyone within shouting distance, and both tend to be very long-winded about it. When it comes to these two, bragging about oneself is an art-form. It’s actually quite theatrical at times.

I still wouldn’t go as far as to say Odan and Darius are friends. In fact, I don’t even feel comfortable saying they get along. All I’m willing to say right now is that at the moment, Odan and Darius are not (excuse the following colorful expression) “on each others’ s#!t-lists”. Considering these two enormous ego’s, however, it’s only a matter of time before they bump heads.

– Dr. Hugo Cranium

Next Entry: Mercer and Doome

Previous Entries


Read the BlackGuard comic here!

Now For Sale


Observing The BlackGuard Entry 8: Afia Melanin And Sequoia

26 Jun 12
Jerrod Smith
, , , , ,
5 comments

Today, I continue my analysis of the social interaction amongst The BlackGuard by looking at Afia Melanin and Sequoia.

Afia and Sequoia have a relationship unlike any other in the team due to the fact that they are the only two females. I feel that a kinship has formed between these two ladies as both try to maintain their sanity while surrounded by outlandish males.

That’s not to say they always agree with one another. Sequoia is a thinker, and Afia is a “do-er”, as one might call it. Where Sequoia prefers to analyze a situation and gather all information before acting, Afia often jumps to conclusions (and then to action). Sequoia has no qualms about pointing out flaws in Afia’s logic, something most people, especially those without superhuman abilities, would be reluctant to do.

Afia, however, does not take her usual confrontational tone with Sequoia as she does with others. It appears Sequoia may actually be capable of talking sense into Afia from time to time. Though Afia tends to value brawn over brains, I believe she may actually respect Sequoia for her intelligence. This could be due to the fact that Sequoia has a vast knowledge of African history and culture.

One thing I find intriguing is the occasional admiration Sequoia has for Afia. She may not follow her logic at times, but Sequoia is still fascinated by Afia’s dominance on not only the battlefield, but in just about every argument she ever has. I believe there’s a repressed side of Sequoia that looks up to Afia. She’s the defintion of an empowered woman.

– Dr. Hugo Cranium

Next Entry: Odan and Doome

Previous Entries


Read the BlackGuard comic here!

Now For Sale


Observing The BlackGuard Entry 7: Mercer And Staples

09 Jun 12
Jerrod Smith
, , , , ,
6 comments

I’ve allowed myself to get distracted and have been remiss in my entries on the individual relationships of The BlackGuard. Today, I resume the process with an observation of Eli Mercer and Jonnie Staples.

I noticed quickly that any interaction between Eli and Jonnie can become an explosive situation, like introducing fire to gasoline. This has mainly to do with the fact that they have entirely different comfort zones. Whenever they are in the same room, there’s a clash for dominance, as both are trying to transform their surroundings into something which they are accustomed to. Allow me to elaborate.

Eli requires order in everything he does. In fact, amongst The BlackGuard, he is order. He mandates that every member of the team wear black (with the exception of Geronimo, whom it seems Eli does not have as much authority over) to create not only unity, but order. To keep a team as dangerous as The BlackGuard under control, he must maintain a certain amount of decorum, or else he risks turning something initially positive into a disaster, which he has already narrowly avoided a few times in the short time this team has been together.

Jonnie, on the other hand, finds comfort in chaos. In fact, he relishes in it. Not to say that Jonnie is only happy when he has either a gun or sword (or grenade) in his hand, but he does seem bored whenever there’s a lack of unpredictability in a situation. When he finds himself in these predicaments, he feels compelled to create chaos, often to the dismay of Eli.

As long as these two are unable to compromise in their battle of order vs. chaos, there will always be turmoil within the team. On a side note, despite their differences, I get the feeling Jonnie doesn’t see Eli as such a bad guy. And despite the fact Eli seems to care about the well-being of his team, sometimes I feel he just doesn’t like Jonnie.

– Dr. Hugo Cranium

Next Entry: Melanin and Sequoia

Previous Entries


Read the BlackGuard comic here!

Now For Sale


“Monkey See… Monkey Free?!” Part 26

11 May 11
Jerrod Smith
, , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

So, originally, we said we would have a new page from The Great Purging this week instead of a new Blackguard page. And yet here we are, promoting MSMF: Part 26 instead of a new TGP page.

Well, there are a few reasons for that, but the main one is that the characters of TGP needed a makeover. The Great Purging was our earliest idea for a comic strip, created around five years ago. When Will first designed the characters, he was just beginning to adopt a more cartoonish look. In the years since then, he’s come up with a unique style, and the old designs didn’t fit this style. So instead of a strip, the week was spent working on the updated look of the cast.

That brings us back to Blackguard. This week we give a very brief account of how the team ended their first mission and, at the same time, lay the seeds for a few plot points to come. So pay close attention to this page when you read it. Click on the preview below to see the whole thing.

MSMF Part 26

Peace.

– Jerrod

“Monkey See… Monkey Free?!” Parts 22 & 23

13 Apr 11
Jerrod Smith
, , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

This week we have two new pages of “Monkey See… Monkey Free?!”, with Part 22 and Part 23.

We found some new fonts recently, so the lettering on these two latest pages looks better than ever. It’s funny looking at these pages and comparing them to the ones we were posting less than a year ago.

– Jerrod


“Monkey See… Monkey Free?!” Part 20/21

07 Apr 11
Jerrod Smith
, , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

We got a late start on this week’s post because we had trouble deciding on the layout of the page. Finally, Will came up with the two-page spread. The combination of having a late start and having tow pages to color caused us to have to push the post back to today. But better late than never. Check out this week’s installment of Blackguard here.

-Jerrod

Back From Megacon With “Monkey See” 19

30 Mar 11
Jerrod Smith
, , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

So Will and I went to Megacon over the weekend. With our job being a little short-staffed, we had to work extra hours Monday – Thursday in order to get the weekend off, which is why we didn’t post anything new last week.
But this week we have Part 19 of “Monkey See… Monkey Free?!” Below is a preview shot of the page.

We’ll post a blog later this week with some pics from Megacon.

– Jerrod