All-ages friendly comic books

All-ages friendly comic books. What does that really mean? Well, it means parents and kids alike can enjoy them, much like a classic Disney movie. Granted, The books found on this site are a pinch more mature than your common Disney movie with their writing, but they’re still a lot of fun for parents and kids alike. There’s no swearing, sex, blood or seriously over-the-top violence. There’s fighting, sure, but it’s just exciting enough that it’s fun for all. A balance of fun and violence that makes the stories more character-driven instead of driven by the fighting.

Add in the realistic CGI art (which is constantly improving!) and you’ve got a fun, engrossing, enjoyable, playful and charming story that’s worth reading time and time again. These stories have wit, a good pace and a lot of interest. Why should you care? Well, if you’re a parent that values classic morals and ideals, you just might. The idea of friendship, loyalty and will to overcome hardship is central in these books. There’s even a pinch of romance.

Like many others, I grew up with the common morals: friendship, loyalty, the joy of helping others – yes, I was a Girl Scout, too. Though that didn’t last long, I still live by the Girl Scout Law which, if you want the truth, is pretty much exactly the same as the Bible’s Ten Commandments. There’s no harm in faith and those commandments ought to be common sense, but so many don’t follow such simple ideals. Well, getting away from any political implications, I favor using these classic morals within the stories and despite the heart-pounding action (particularly in the Wyvern Wars story arc of Dream Angel) you’ll still find characters fighting cleanly and in a respectable way. This keeps the story family friendly and enjoyable for everyone. Characters offer playful wisecracks while they’re battling to help ease tension.

 

 

New Character Plush Action Figures Coming Soon!!

With Dream Angel #22 on temporary hold, I’ve been busy at the sewing machine. Well, it’s pretty easy to guess what that means: New character plush action figures are coming soon!

Who they will be is yet to be seen, but even as they are, they look very good! I’d share some images, but this site’s still having difficulty with those for the time being. Hopefully, the site hosting manager can get the problem straightened out soon and things can return to normal.

Now, here is where I very much want you to chime in(politely, mind you!).

  • What first attracted you to Dream Angel, Techwarrior or both and why?
  • What do you like about the series and why?
  • Do you like the idea of bundling the character plush figures with signed books and would you buy them if you could/they became available?
  • Do you have a favorite character?
  • What do you think would make these stories better (excluding blood, sex and violence)?
I’d appreciate honest but polite thoughts that are preferably constructive. The point of asking is to learn.

Signed books available right here?

I’ve considered it for a while, and I’d like to hear thoughts on having signed books available right here in the shop. I know people have reported having trouble with IndyPlanet’s checkout system or would rather get a signed copy from the artist, so I’m opening the idea for discussion.

To clarify, I’d have to markup the price of the books even though I can get them at cost, which is a little over $6, generally. Including shipping to me, that’s not bad. Now, think about it this way: to break even, I’d have to markup the books to about $12 on individual sales. To make a profit, we’re talking $18 – before my own shipping cost is added on. Fortunately, if I can order a bunch at a time, the cost is driven down for me.

This would mean I could do an unsigned book for about $6.50-$7 and a signed book for $7.50-8. A fair price, all things considered. Individual shipping to you via flat-rate (My preferred method because it’s insured!) comes out to $5.75. So, we’re talking $12.25-12-75 and $13.25-13.75 with shipping. Still pretty fair, all things considered.

Why would I reveal the prices? Well, I like letting people know what they’re paying for. I was taught early on “Honesty is the best policy” and I’ve stuck to that consistently for years. I’m being honest with you concerning the prices of these books, but for those who want printed copies and don’t want the hassle of IndyPlanet’s checkout system or want it signed by the artist, well, this would be a golden opportunity, don’t you think?

The other consideration I’ve put out before for discussion is doing a signed book and plush action figure combo pack for $25. I’ve had people agree that would be an extremely good deal, but I’m opening it for discussion again. I really do want as much input as possible on these ideas.

New book!!

The first new book of 2016 has been released! Dream Angel #21: Guardians of the Tower is a breathtaking example of how much has been learned in the last year! Even how much has been learned in the last week.

I’ve learned that for the moment, I can’t put more than maybe 10 characters in a scene before DAZ Studio simply closes on me. This was especially problematic yesterday as I had a scene that called for over 40 of my characters to be in the scene. So, I had two options: Buy the $100 Decimator plugin from DAZ that simplifies the 3D models or render 2D images and put them on primitives. (Yes, I’m sharing a secret here!)

Since I’m saving up to get tables at local comic book conventions later in the year, the plugin was pretty much out of the question at this point, so, I started rendering posed characters with the same lighting I used for the scene so it would be consistent.

I wish I could show you some of these character renders and the process, but the site’s media library is on the fritz, so you’ll have to be imaginative as I describe this.

Together with a transparency map, these 2D renders on primitive planes got to play “stunt double” for the regular 3D characters. Seen from above, they’re like cardboard cutouts, but since they’re lit and seen from the front, they seem lifelike and appear to belong. All day yesterday I was rendering the characters and creating those transparency maps. The result made the effort worth it as the 2D plane characters played their parts very well and created the illusion that they are full 3D characters – which technically, they are, in a way.

Another impressive piece is the projections this part of the story called for and learning to make them glow effectively. The projection was good without the glow, but with the glow it gives the scene just the right touch!

If you want to see these tricks in action, the new book is waiting! Dream Angel #21: Guardians of the Tower is live and ready for you! You can also come enjoy the Facebook release party with its sneak peeks and teaser pages.

Tomorrow’s the big day!

Dream Angel’s come a long way and tomorrow’s the big day for her 21st book! It’s hard to believe the differences between this one and the earliest books, but a year from now, I’m counting on being even better.

As you’ve probably noticed, this site’s having technical difficulty with images. This means that for the time being the images for the new book’s page will be missing. The book itself is likely to be uploaded without incident and quite available for purchase, but the preview images on the product page won’t be there until the problem is resolved.

Getting this site on its feet 100% has been and continues to be a challenge, but the important things work – like the shop! So, while the image difficulty is being resolved, I’ll take great pains to be especially detailed and describe just how impressive this book really is without spoiling it.

Yesterday was particularly challenging. The reason is a projection that I wanted to glow. After hours of arguing, the final render with the glow I wanted turned out wonderful. If you know DAZ Studio at all, you might know of the Uber Area lights and Uber Environment lights. These were instrumental in making the projection glow the way I wanted. Combined with a fabulously devious look on our favorite villainess’s face, the scene looks exactly as I’d imagined it. Something, that even with the 3D medium I use, is not especially common. Sometimes I have to improvise and other times I improve on what I had in mind.

Unfortunately, I can’t add the render here for a sneak peek because of the image technical difficulties, but if you’re on Facebook, you can see it in the release party event and while you’re there, feel free to join the group and event! The site might still have bugs, but the group has a lot of cool fun going on!

Going to be a fun party tomorrow! Won’t you join us?

Signed book + character plush bundle?

A signed book and character plush bundled together for one price? Am I seeing ears perk up? Well, the price might even turn a few heads. The price that’s being settled on is $25, including shipping.

So, how will the bundles work? Well, Dream Angel is getting the bundling first. So, here’s how it’ll go:

  • Dream Angel #1 + Dream Angel plush action figure
  • Dream Angel #2-20 + fan’s choice character plush action figure
  • Some books between might have a particular character paired with them, but most will be fan’s choice

In other news, Dream Angel #21 will be released on Thursday, January 28, 2016! Since the site’s acting up about images, unfortunately, those will have to wait, but the product page will be live that day. I’ll also be able to order the proof copy of the printed version which soon after will appear on indyplanet with the books that came before it. As for adding Dream Angel #19 and Dream Angel #20 to indyplanet, there have been some setbacks with that process beyond my control. As soon as the problems are worked out, I’m sure they’ll be live as well.

For those still awaiting news on Techwarrior #3, that one ought to start production soon. How soon, is hard to say, but when it’s green lighted, I’ll make sure you know immediately! A small teaser for it would be that the action gets more intense and soon new characters are introduced. It’s a book worth anticipating, so keep an eye out for news on it!

Rendering has officially begun!

Rendering has officially begun for Dream Angel #21! he cover and page 1 are now done! Sticking to the usual page-a-day routine of my self-imposed schedule, January 28th appears to be the day to look for it in the shop!

I know I’m excited to be working on this book after the cool new tricks I’ve learned lately. To say I’m not excited would be a lie anyway. I love making these books! So, curious about the rough test cover that guided the final cover? Think I ought to share it? You sure? Here it is:

rough cover

It did a nice job of guiding the final cover render, which looks amazing! Think of this one as a tease cover. It looks good, but there’s definitely room for improvement.

Very much looking forward to more rendering on this book. How about you?

We’ll be back soon!!

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Bad guys have gotten the boot (quite literally, as you can see Techwarrior is demonstrating on CryptoLock!) and this site’s getting a full rebuild. You’ll notice that the pages are in the navigation, and the shop has products, but content and prices are still missing. Obviously, it’s a work in progress and pages might get missed, so help us out and report pages that are missing content still. You’ll see it’s getting added, of course, but it helps to have many sets of eyes finding flaws. You’re also welcome to suggest changes, ask questions and offer constructive criticism.

You’ll also note that it’s not yet possible to sign up for the site to make purchases, comments and enjoy the fun, but of course that stuff will be added very soon. Pardon our dust while we rebuild in the wake of repeated bad guy attacks and a move to a more secure location. Thankfully, there’s a lot of backups and other helpful stuff to make the transition and rebuilding faster than usual.

Long-time fans will recall that this time last year and the year before this site suffered crashes at the hands of faulty plugin updates. This year, as you know, the bad guys decided to attack and a complete rebuild is needed.

The good news is that once the rebuilding is done, new books will begin to appear again. A hint can even be dropped of a new series in the works. It’s in the planning stages, but just like Dream Angel and Techwarrior, it will be family-friendly. So, the new year will be starting off on a very exciting note around here, even if the first book of this new series shows up before the beginning of the year. We’ll get to enjoy lots of cool stuff together as things get started up again.

Once again, pardon our dust!