Tag Archives: updates

Abbey Road

Even More Promo Art!

09 Sep 15
Jerrod Smith
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It’s been a few weeks since the last update but the artwork’s still coming.  Before we get into that though, I just wanted to let everyone know we will be making major changes to the website soon.  The home page of the blog will become the main home page, and the blog will become our main place for news and updates.  The BlackGuard comic will still be on the site, it just won’t be the first thing you see anymore.  We’re also going to separate the comic into issues instead of story arcs when the change happens.

Anyway, we have two more entries in the Famous Fours series, starting with one of the most commonly remade pictures, “Abbey Road”.

Abbey Road

The BlackGuard walk Abbey Road

Also, the front cover of Fantastic Four #1

Fantastic Four

The Blacktastic Four!

Other than that we got some more duo shots, featuring the semi-friendship of Darius Doome and Jonnie Staples…

Doome and Staples

The “buddies” of the BlackGuard

And the only two responsible people in this messed up team, Eli Mercer and Sequoia.

Sequoia and Mercer

The Logic and the Leadership

New BlackGuard Height Chart

21 Nov 14
Jerrod Smith
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In preparation for the upcoming Vendetta story arc, Will’s going to be doing some updated height charts for both old and new BlackGuard characters. Here’s the first. Expect more over the next few weeks.

BlackGuard height chart - Crucial, Odan, Staples, Melanin, Doome, Fro-bot

In other news, the next BlackGuard page will be posted on Monday. After that, we’re taking a short break for Thanksgiving. Hopefully, we’ll have enought time to wrap up “The Hero Plot Trial” before Christmas break.

See ya soon,
Jerrod

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New Post Schedule, ComiXology, New Web Design

26 Mar 14
Jerrod Smith
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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

What We’ve Been Up to Lately

10 Jan 14
Jerrod Smith
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Since reaching the halfway point of “The Hero Plot Trial”, we’ve been a little quiet. I just wanted to do a real quick blog to let those wondering know what we’ve been up to.

Will, first of all, has been doing a lot of chibi-style drawings. You can find some of those in our artwork page here. The reason for this is that Will and I have been wanting to launch a second title on the BOSC Comics site that is more like a traditional webcomic or comic strip, but we don’t want something that looks too similar to BlackGuard. We feel there should be a clear distinction between the two titles. Will decided that using a chibi style would help make that distinction, so he’s been working on drawing characters in the style for practice. The new title (which we were advertising to come out last year) is called The Great Purging. Hopefully, we will finally start these strips this year.

Meanwhile, I have been spending a lot of time re-lettering old BlackGuard pages. For many of these pages, this is the third time, they’ve been lettered, but recently I learned of a few more professional lettering standards that I didn’t follow back when I first began doing our lettering. Since we are planning to start selling our books in larger numbers this year, I thought it would be worthwhile to go back and try to make the books look as professional as possible. As it turns out, this task is taking me much longer than I planned, but I still plan to follow through with it. For now, I’m taking it one issue at a time.

Speaking of which, I am almost done with issue one, the first half of “Monkey See… Monkey Free?!” Once that issue is finished, we plan on submitting it to Comixology to be sold as a digital comic. For those of you not familiar with Comixology, it’s the leading distributor of digital comics. They sell everything from Marvel and DC to indie creator-owned comics. They even have apps for mobile devices so you can read your comics anywhere. We suggest you check them out.

Last, “The Hero Plot Trial” will resume this month. Since it’s been a while, we invite you all to go back and refresh your memory on what’s happened so far in this chapter starting here.

Peace.

-Jerrod

Back from Vacation

10 Jul 13
Jerrod Smith
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We’ve been a little quiet for the past week, but now we’re back. We actually took a short vacation up to Myrtle Beach last week to see our parents. It was nice to get away from BOSC Comics for a couple days. We needed a little break before jumping into The Hero Plot Trial. Speaking of which, here’s what Will’s been up to:

These are thumbnails of a few pages of the upcoming BlackGuard chapter. We know it’s been a long time since we posted anything new, but we plan to take our time with this one. We plan for the next two issues to surpass all our past issues in all areas. That includes artwork, storytelling, action and comedy. So be patient, there’s a reason for the delay.

While Will’s been storyboarding, I’ve been slowly making my way through our business plan. I’ve also been looking at a printing service called PrintNinja. They actually have a price calculator that you can use to try out different printing options to see how the overall price varies. You can change cover type, paper quality, binding, dimensions, page numbers, order number and more. They also have various categories from books to magazines to comics to graphic novels. Also, they do their printing overseas, so the prices are pretty cheap. Even with the cost of shipping and handling, it’s still cheaper than printing with Ka-Blam, especially with large orders. They also seem to be known for their support in guiding you through the printing process. Right now, Print Ninja looks like who we want to print with.

On another note, you may have noticed the website was down for a couple days. We apologize for that. Our domain name expired. I’m not sure how it expired since our account was set to automatically renew and there was more than enough money in my account. But whatever, I paid manually, and now everything’s back.

We hope to have some more info on The Hero Plot Trial soon. Until then, peace.

– Jerrod

Touching Up Old Pages

24 May 13
Jerrod Smith
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I’ve been wanting to go back and clean up some of our pages for a while now. Originally, I was going to ignore them, but once we started looking towards seriously selling BlackGuard as a comic, I decided it would be a worthwhile investment of time. Some pages are going to require more changes than others, but there are a number of things that have been bothering me.

First of all, the lettering needs the most attention. I knew nothing about comic book lettering when we started out. Even now I consider myself to be far from an expert at it, but a few amateur mistakes I made stand out to me. One example would be improper use of the letter “I”. There are times when the crossbar form of the letter appears in the middle of or at the beginning of some words. The crossbar form should only be used for the word “I” and possibly the beginning of a sentence.

Also, I’m thinking of changing our primary font altogether. I’ve always been confused about what the exact rules are for using fonts found around the internet. The majority of the fonts I’ve used come from Blambot Fonts. I’ve been fairly comfortable using them up to this point because the most exposure we had was online, which doesn’t seem to be a problem. Even when we were selling printed issues to friends and at conventions, I didn’t worry much about it. Now that we are trying to distribute on a larger scale, I wonder whether I should look into paying to use fonts or just create a custom one. If we were to go the custom route, I wonder whether we should use Will’s handwriting or mine. My handwriting is neater, but Will’s is more artistic.

Another thing I want to change is the way the early pages were narrated. Starting with “Psycho Therapy”, we found ways of minimizing use of the generic anonymous narrator voice. At some points, it’s unavoidable, but we really over-used it in the first few pages. I even feel like it hurts the flow and pacing of the start of issue 1. I think we could replace some narration with internal monologue from Sequoia.

The last change I want to make addresses a problem that isn’t noticeable unless looking at the pages in printed form. In the past few months alone, I’ve learned more about using photo editing programs to bring the most out of colors in an image. I used to darken the blacks on our pages using a method that created tiny black specs on the pages. They look fine on a computer screen. It just gives the comic more of a gritty look, but in print, the pages look just a little too dark. Sometimes, I find myself looking through issue 1, having to try just a little too hard to distinguish where certain things begin, and others end.

Making all these changes will cause things to move slower, but in the long run, I think it’s worth the effort. Peace.

-Jerrod


Read the BlackGuard comic here!

Cola-Con, Blackguard Issue #1, and More…

16 Sep 11
Jerrod Smith
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So this is probably the first blog I’ve written in a few months. I’ve gotten behind on my work ever since I took on a second website (I’ll talk about that later). We had to push a few pages back over the past couple of weeks due to our packed schedules. I’ll try to catch you all up on everything the BOSC have been up to lately.

Cola-con

First of all, we went to Cola-Con, a hip-hop and comics convention, about two weeks ago in Columbia, South Carolina. Nothing but dope comics and dope music. We handed out a few prototype versions of the first printed issue of Blackguard and got a lot of good feedback. We also got to sit through two panel discussions, one of which was about the connections between the hip-hop and comics cultures (I couldn’t help but think of Odan and Dirk Sanders the whole time). Oh yeah, and did I mention Talib Kweli and 9nth Wonder were there? We saw them perform live near the end of the event.

Blackguard Issue #1

The original plan was for us to have the first issue of Blackguard (the first 24 strips) printed to hand out at Cola-Con. Little did we know how much work it would take to make each page print-ready. It also didn’t help that I had no idea what I was doing (I still don’t quite understand margins and bleeding). After fumbling with the files on and off for about two weeks, we realized the only way the issues would be ready in time for Cola-Con was if we payed about one and a half times the original price and had submitted it a month ago. That’s when we made a last minute stop by Fed-Ex and made about six sample printings.

The upside to this is that we originally would’ve printed those first 30 or so copies without printing a test issue. But because we’re not in a rush anymore, we did print one, which arrived in the mail just a few days ago.

Blackguard Issue #1

This copy looks good, but there are a few changes we’d like to make before printing more. We also plan on looking into making this issue available for fans to purchase online.

New Sketchcards

If you’ve been following our artwork updates, you’ve probably seen the images from the “Sketchpad” series. Well we’ve got three new additions to that series: Geronimo Jones, Crucial Da Ape, and Dirk Sanders. You can find these at the Artwork Page

Overflow Festival

So what’s been keeping me so busy the past few weeks that I haven’t been able to keep our audience properly updated? I started working on a website for a local event here in savannah called Overflow. It’s a festival designed to showcase the many artistically gifted people in the area. The event will have something for people of all ages and is being setup as a family event. For those of you in or near Savannah, Georgia, it takes place October 9 at Daffin Park. Check out the website here.

Blackguard’s “Monkey See… Monkey Free?!”

We’re approaching the finale of the MSMF story arc. We posted Part 42 last week, and Part 43 should be up by next week. The storyline will be wrapped up within the next few pages, and then it’s onto the second chapter, tentatively named “Group Therapy” (That name’s Probably going to change).

That’s all I can think of right now. I’ll try to use this blog a little more frequently to keep everyone updated on the weekly activities of The Brothers of Spontaneous Combustion. That is what it’s here for after all. See ya.