I’m making the very first Paradigm Shift animated short! Go ahead. Watch the trailer. I’ll wait. 🙂
I’m calling it Restless Sleep, and I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to be working on it! I love comics, but I can now tell you that I love making animation even more. This project has me firing on all cylinders in the best possible way by bringing all the skillsets I have to bear on it—writing, design, illustration, 3D, computer & programming skills, video editing, and music!
Bringing my characters to life through animation has been a lifelong dream, and now I have the time and technology to actually do it! It all started when I started poking around with Blender during a fit of writer’s block, and with the help from free and paid models from DAZ Studio, before I knew it, I had a fully posable and transformable version of Kate, just begging to be brought to life! And even better, using Blender’s powerful shader engine I could make her look like an actual cel-shaded cartoon.
It’s about 7 minutes long, including a werewolf transformation sequence I’ve always wanted to see animated. I’m currently in the final stages of post-production on the film. I’m hoping to have it finished and ready to release this summer. Where and when are still up in the air, but there will be an online release at the very least
In the coming weeks and months I plan to give you some behind the scenes looks into the creative process behind bringing Kate and friends to the screen!
These are the murals I painted in the lobby of the new permanent location. I designed the characters to represent the main rooms/themes—the Maker (STEM), the Yogi (Health & Wellness), the Explorer (Discovery), the Storyteller (Comics & Books), and the Gardner (Food & Farm).
I’ve just spent the last 3 weeks or so creating these murals for Peabody’s new North Shore Children’s Museum—a permanent version of CuriousCity, a pop-up that happened in 2019.
This is literally the largest painting project I’ve ever taken on. These things are huge. The mural above is over 25 feet long, and overlooks the lobby on the second floor!
Here’s what it looks like in context:
Each of these took about a week to execute from start to finish on site. That’s not including the time spent planning them, which was an additional week leading up to the project. I designed each of these digitally, and drew them in CLIP Studio Paint. Here’s what the original designs looked like:
I projecting the drawings up on the wall before painting them. I ended up using standard Behr interior paint in a set of pre-mixed colors for the major reds, greens, yellows, blues and browns, to cut down on the amount of mixing, though there was still a bit of that for the lesser-used colors. What’s really gratifying is to see the final paintings look almost identical to the digital mockups. They’re even more vibrant in person!
You can see what process looked like from start to finish in this timelapse:
I’m really excited to see this new museum happening. The new space is filled with cool rooms featuring murals by wonderful local artists like Bruce Orr and Ron LeBrasseur.
The PS Kickstarter campaign may be over, but my work has only just begun! Today, I launched a pre-order shop so people who missed the campaign can get copies, too. It will remain open until I start shipping orders next April.
I’m absolutely delighted to announce the the campaign raised an incredible $18,543 from 360 backers. I would have never believed it before I launched the campaign 4 weeks ago.
Next I’ll be putting the finishing touches on the books so I can send them off to the proofreaders. And, I’m going to be painting the cover to the new PS art book—which will also be the source for the new poster.
A few readers have expressed disappointment that the campaign didn’t reach the big “shoot the moon” stretch goal of $25K and have assumed this means the end of the road for PS. I am here to tell you that is not the case. This tremendous outpouring of support has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is a demand to see more of Kate & Mike’s story, and I’d like to tell it. Once I get these books off to the printer and the holidays are over, I can start thinking about a script for the new storyline. I can’t tell you right now when you can expect to see it, but there will definitely be a PS Volume 3 at some point in the future.
But first—I have three books to get to the printer!
Quick update on the PS Kickstarter. We passed the halfway mark this week, and it’s up to $14K and there’s still a couple of weeks to go!
Last week opened up the second stretch goal: a new Paradigm Shift art book that will collect all the full color prints, character studies, and werewolf designs I’ve posted over the years. Also, it will feature a version of the How to Draw Comics mini guide I printed last spring as a bonus.
If you haven’t backed the campaign yet, now’s a great time. If you order a book, you’ll not only get a copy of the new art book, but an original ink sketch like this:
Wow! I’m totally floored! The campaign launched on midnight on Tuesday and was funded by noon on Wednesday. And as of this morning, it’s well on the way to reaching the first stretch goal. I was pretty sure that the campaign would succeed, but had no idea that it would happen so fast!
I’m honored and grateful to everyone who has come out to back this comic. Thank you so much your support!
Kate McAllister may be one of the best detectives in Chicago, but her life is about to turn upside down.
Modern police thriller collides with classic werewolf tale in this action-packed graphic novel series. Kate and her partner are kicked off a juicy gun-running case to investigate a series of bizarre animal maulings. But as she begins to develop strange symptoms and powerful, frightening abilities, Kate realizes she may know this beast better than she could possibly imagine.
Now, her nightmares have invaded her waking life, and there’s more than just her job on the line — her humanity and the lives of everyone around her are at stake!
The story was inspired by old role-playing games, classic anime & manga, buddy cop movies, the X-Files, horror novels, and techno-thrillers to create the series. I began Paradigm Shift online in 1999 before there was word for “webcomics,” and I want to celebrate its 20th anniversary with a new gorgeous, two volume set.
• Volume Two will collect the latest storyline, Part Four: Flight into a brand new graphic novel edition with 250+ pages, including 10 new colorized pages and footnotes.
• The color pages will be on glossy stock while the rest of the black and white art will be on the creamy “pulp”-style paper similar to the original editions
• Both books will be printed at 6.75” x 10.5” (standard American comic size) will feature stitched bindings
The set will run $50 and include shipping within the US. And they will be signed and drawn in, of course! There will also be a $10 ebook option for those of you on a budget, and an a la carte option for $25 if you only want to get one of the books.
A lot of people have expressed interest in original art, so the bigger rewards will be about that. More details on that soon.
Check out this second book trailer, too.
BTW, I composed and performed the music for both of these videos.
So mark your calendars! The Paradigm Shift Kickstarter is coming!
Last weekend, I ran a character creation comics workshop at PILCON, a little comic convention run by the Peabody Institute Library that I contribute to every year. For the occasion, I decided to finally compile a bunch of the material I use in my workshops into a little mini guide.
This “How to Draw Comics” book is the result. It covers the whole process I use to create my comics, with special emphasis given to drawing characters and the thumbnailing process—which is the real heart of making comics.
This week I dropped off 4 copies of at Paper Asylum, my cool local comic shop. There’s currently only a handful of paper copies, so due to interest over the Paradigm Shift Facebook page, I’m making it available as a digital download today.
How to Draw Comics Mini Guide – $3.00
(Once you complete your purchase in PayPal, click on the “Return to Merchant” button to go to the download page. If you run into any problems, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
It was fun to put this little book together, so I may use it as a reason to return to the “How to Draw Comics” blog series. I could easily see making more of these little things in the short term.