smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

APE2015 Table Layout

APE2015 Table Layout

Things have been hopping here as we prepare for the Alternative Press Expo 2015 next weekend. The new books, 'To Kill a Dragon', have arrived and in glorious color. We will also copies of 'The Keeper's Warrior', as well as complete runs of 'Bureau of Mana Investigation' and 'Liberty from Hell'.

If you at the show, come by the table and say "Hi". I'll be there with Baron, and James from Fox Den will be helping out as well. We'd all love to see you!

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Woot! ‘The Keeper’s Warrior’ is now available for sale!

Published by our good friend over at Fox Den, this book is now at Amazon, Barns & Noble, iBooks, and Lulu with other outlets slowly coming online, in both physical and ebook versions.

The Long Road is long indeed.

But even the most traveled of rolling stones needs a respite. And that’s exactly what Warrior, a half-Elf sell-sword, finds when he stumbles into the seaside village of Echo Cove. It is there that he gains a renewed faith in his Goddess Euseeda, a quiet, deep-trusting friendship with the shrine’s Keeper, and a chance to rectify the worst, most devastating blunder that he has ever committed.

88 pages, Black & White, Perfect-bound Novella Trade Paperback

ePub, 4.05 MB

Retailers, interested in some copies via wholesale? Drop us a line and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction.

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

Sorry things have been quite here lately. Mostly it’s due to having our noses to the grindstone.

Baron’s been working hard getting commissions done while getting work together for FC next year. Will post new stuff on that, hopefully, Monday.

As for me, Smudge, Fox Den and I have got ‘the Keeper’s Warrior’ edits in the can and hope to have the proof copy from the printer any day now. ePub version will also be released at the same time so you have your choice of digital or dead trees. Oh, and I was able to include all the art in the digital version too. It was a pain, but I think it will be well worth it in the long run.

To ‘Kill a Dragon’ is still chugging along. I’m in talks with MadeFire, a comic app, to have it posted there.

And last but not least, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Mostly to try and kick me outta my mental block when it comes to writing. This past few years have not been good to me stress wise and it means that my writing creative juices are not only not flowing, but acting like molasses… in Montana … during winter. And before you ask, ‘To Kill a Dragon’, story-wise, has been sitting on my desk complete for nearly ten years. But with luck, and a little nudge, now that the worst of the stress is off me, I can get things not only going again, but completed.

I’ve decided this year, I’m going to get Dis’ tale done. Right now, it’s under the working title of ‘the Inn of the Cat’, but I am hoping to find something better. After all, the current title, while descriptive, is pretty dang common. Wish me luck!

the Inn of the Cat


Dis was a wanderer, but not by choice. All he wants is a place to call home. And he finally thought he’d found it, in a small inn run by Edio within the bustling trade city of Daleport. Yet, politics, the coming of a new lordship for the city and fear are threaten to, yet again, force him to flee. After all, it’s hard to be a magical being in a city that faces any magic with torches and pitch-forks.

SmudgeDragon on NaNoWriMo

Current word count: 1770

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

The Keeper's Warrior CoverThe Keeper’s Warrior Cover

Keeper and Warrior discuss the practicalities of a wooden amulet they have made. It maybe small, but where Warrior is going, it might mean the difference between wining and loosing.

Woot – and now the cover’s done for “the Keeper’s Warrior”. Just need to do a last bit of proofing, and get the cover and interior layout finalized and off to the presses it goes.

Prints: Available on DA COMING SOON ~ Available on Zazzle

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

I just put the finishing touches on illo #8 of 9. Woot! One more to go, then the cover. After that a final proofing and off to the printer it goes. So close… so close….

Still looking for ideas for grass roots marketing/advertizing for the book. If you have any ideas, drop them in the comments. ^.^

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

The Keeper's Warrior - Illo 6

The Keeper’s Warrior – Illo 6

Warrior sits and talks with the Wavespeaker, Head Priestess of the temple of Tempest. And yes, she really is that tiny. Doesn’t help he isn’t exactly small.

This is the last illo that I’ll be LiveStreaming. Mostly because I feel the last three pics will be spoilers, and that just ain’t cool. ^.^

I still have no idea what to do for a cover. Don’t know if I’ll be able to stream that or not since I’m unsure on wither to do it with my traditional watercolors or digitally. While I can stream my desktop just fine, I don’t currently have the equipment (ie. web-cam) to do so for more traditional work. I figure I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Oh ~ and here’s something for discussion: I am looking for ideas for getto advertizing for this novella. If you got any ideas – post them here! Thank!

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

All that, for this piece of broken glass? Dungeon delving doesn't pay as well as Warrior hoped.

And that makes 5 of 9 illos done, and I'm now officially at the half-way mark. 4 more to go. I probably won't post the last couple as they might contain spoilers. ^.~

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

The Keeper's Warrior - Illo 3 (Smudge-0014)

The Keeper’s Warrior – Illo 3

The Warrior, passes by a bread stand on his way to visit the shire of Euseeda. Maybe he should grab a couple of rolls for the road….

Moving right along with the Illustrations for ‘The Keeper’s Warrior”. 3 down, 6 to go!

Getting better with Manga Studio. Got a longs way to go though. Tried in this piece to use the perspective ruler. Could not grok it so I just did the perspective the old fashioned way. Find my point of view, find the horizon-line, then start dropping in diagonals where they meet. I think it all worked out in the end.

mmm fresh baked, hot piping bread…

Great. Now I’m hungry.
smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

The Keeper's Warrior Illo 2

The Keeper’s Warrior Illo 2

The second illustration for ‘The Keeper’s Warrior’ is done. The Keeper nervously steps away from his tree.

Thanks all who came to my Livestream. After the stream was over, I realized I forgot to add the tree’s markings so I quickly added them in. I’ll start the next one soon, like today or tomorrow. There’s going to be nine illustrations all together for the book so there’s plenty of chances for you to drop by and check out what’s happening.

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

The Keeper's Warrior Illo 1

The Keeper’s Warrior Illo 1

Got the first illustration done for the Keeper’s Warrior; Warrior’s first arrival to the Village of Echo Cove via ship.

I’m really happy in how it turned out. Admittedly, I probably spent too much time noodling on it. And since it’s been a while since I’ve really worked in Manga Studio, I think I spent more time trying to remember where all the tools I used were than anything else. lol

Thanks all who joined me for the LiveStream. I’m hoping to LiveStream all the illos for the novella over the next week or so. Also, I’ve left an archive up and it will remain up for the next month or so in case you missed a stream but wanted to check it out. I do warn you, they are very dry, since I can’t talk nor ready any chat messages as I’m working.

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

Been fighting some pretty bad depression this last couple of months. A lot of it revolves around stress over money, or lack there of. But no small part is also due to my allergies and this past winter flu season. The flu shot this year did not help. To fight it, I’ve been nose deep in busy-work.

Currently I’m stalled with SM-EW due to a delay in Sunnyvale sending us our business license. Without that, we can’t get the DBA. And without both of them we can’t set up the bank account. And everything else revolves around getting the bank account. GRRRR! Maybe complaining about it here will mean it’ll show up in the mail today.

I’ve also been busy coloring an older, unpublished project for a new outlet. It’ll be a 4 issue, roughly 12 pages, bi-monthly comic called “To Kill a Dragon” (working title, org. “Hand of the Dragon”). Right now, I’m coloring page 13 of the first issue. Will post some sample pages once I get the re-lettering in. While I still need to rewrite the ending (was unhappy with the first version), all the other art and writing is done. It just needs a little more polishing and some color. Only problem with this is that it’s really beating on my hand. After about an hour, I am really feeling it. This is all being done digitally. I guess me and pure digital art just don’t mix. But I will see this through, one page at a time. I have no idea how good, bad, or indifferent this will do. But if I don’t try something new I can’t move forward. After all, all the old ways and channels are no-longer working. Adapted or die time.

I’m also deep in getting the illos done for the novella I’ll be PODing soon. Hopefully, I’ll have a couple I can post online soon for all to see. I’m nervous and excited about it all at the same time. Nervous mostly because it’s had very few beta readers, and as par typical, they were good with basic edits, but not much useful criticism. I miss Gerald. He’d rip my stories to shreds, making the paper bleed red. I have yet to find a beta reader who would do the same. So, I’m sending this off into the wilds hoping I’ve prepared it for the best that any one person can, praying that others like it as well. After all, I’m pretty fond of Warrior and Keeper at this point.

So where does this leave Ebin & May? Kind of up in the air actually. I need to focus on stuff that has the possibility of making some income. At this point Ebin & May has no chance of ever doing that. I do want to finish it, but if I have to make the choice of working on a project that can bring some much needed income in vs. one that has none, guess which gets pushed tot he bottom of the “to do” pile. There’s a lot more here than I can really go into nor talk about. For now, Ebin & May has to be squeezed in around the edges and that’s the best it’s going to get unless something radically changes.

One of the other ‘projects’ I’ve been trying to work on is getting my bicycle repaired. It seriously needs some TLC, but the money has been lacking and this whole house (including myself) suffers from “we’ll get to it later” syndrome. Today, I finally got off my butt and went down to the hardware store and bought a single inner-tube and a bike pump. It was all I could afford atm. But it will allow me to check that I have the wheel size correct. Maybe next month I’ll have enough to buy a second tube. After that, new road tires (the ones currently on the bike are permanently pancaked on one side), a new chain, headlights (they ticket you mightily if you don’t have them around here come dusk), and a cheep bike rack so that I can use it instead of the van to get groceries and stuff. Should get the seat and shifter looked at, but those are much more low priority things compared to the wheels and chain.

Anyway, that’s all I can really go into at this time. Lots of things happening behind the scene that I can’t talk about, unfortunately. But I am trying to forge ahead.

smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Spit & Polish)

Mirrored from Smudge Marks & Engel Werks.

As most of you might remember, I actually sat down and sort-of/kind-of unofficially participated in NaNoWriMo this past year. While I didn’t follow the “must write 2K words a day” mantra, I did try and do something everyday until I felt the stories were done. The result was ‘The Keeper’s Warrior’ Novella, a fantasy romance between a half-elf Warrior and a Keeper, a male dryad.

Warrior in armor with weapons
Warrior in armor with weapons

Warrior Sketch (not final)
Warrior Sketch (not final)

Keeper Sketch (not final)
Keeper Sketch (not final)

After completing a series of three short stories, I was in a quandary of what to do with them. I don’t really know the writing market at all anymore, and the only publisher I do know, Sofawolf, would probably not be interested in them since it really isn’t “furry”. But now that I’ve gone though a 2nd draft after proofing, I really want to get it published/out there so that I can stick a fork in the project, call it done, then move on to other things; like back to Ebin & May.

This leaves me with one choice. Print on Demand/self-publishing. I can tell you after years of experience of putting graphic novels and comic books together, there is nothing like holding up a printed copy to feel like you’ve completed something. It’s something I don’t get from pure internet stuff like web-comics. It’s a tactile thing. And a since of closer. Something I’ve been missing in my own work for some time.

So, unless some publisher jumps outta the woodwork saying “Send us the manuscript!” I’m moving forward with printing up the short story series “The Keeper’s Warrior” as POD. I’m looking at two versions, one trade paperback with back and white interior art, the other will be a text only ebook. I have no clue how good, bad or indifferent this self-publishing experiment will be, but it’s worth trying.


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July 2017



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