Some Action

sample_sketch_dialogues_30_08_2016I think that the Apple Pencil is one of the best things the company has produced in a very long time. It’s good for both writing and sketching, and so is especially useful in all aspects of my work. I got one back in the Spring when the regular-sized iPad pro came out and it has been a joy to work with. I thought I’d share with you a video stroke by stroke logging of a quick sketch I did with it this morning on the subway on the way to work. The sketch itself is above and the video showing how I made it is embedded below. Yes, it’s another version of the people you saw here.

This is typically how I produce some of the rough work for the book, by the way. (I still also use good old fashioned pen and paper too.) Since some of you have asked, the answer to whether I […] Click to continue reading this post

But Does That Really Happen…?


Sorry I’ve been quiet for a long stretch recently. I’ve been tied up with travel, physics research, numerous meetings of various sorts (from the standard bean-counting variety to the “here’s three awesome science-y things to put into your movie/TVshow” variety*), and other things, like helping my garden survive this heatwave.

I’ve lost some time on the book, but I’m back on it for a while, and have […] Click to continue reading this post

Kill Your Darlings…

dialogues_process_share_7-7-16(Apparently I spent a lot of time cross-hatching, back in 2010-2012? More on this below. click for larger view.)

I’ve changed locations, have several physics research tasks to work on, and so my usual work flow is not going to be appropriate for the next couple of weeks, so I thought I’d work on a different aspect of the book project. I’m well into the “one full page per day for the rest of the year to stay on target” part of the calendar and there’s good news and bad news. On the good news side, I’ve refined my workflow a lot, and devised new ways of achieving various technical tasks too numerous (and probably boring) to mention, and so I’ve actually got […] Click to continue reading this post

The Red Shoes…

Well, this conversation (for the book) takes place in a (famous) railway station, so it would be neglectful of me to not have people scurrying around and so forth. I can’t do too many of these… takes a long time to draw all that detail, then put in shadows, then paint, etc. Drawing directly on screen saves time (cutting out scanning, adjusting the scan, etc), but still…

This is a screen shot (literally, sort of – I just pointed a camera at it) of a detailed large panel in progress. I got bored doing the […] Click to continue reading this post

More Hands…

panel_sample_handsI realized the other day, while on the train constructing more hands, that in this book I’m saddled with drawing lots of hands – almost more than any other single thing. Why? Well, this is a set of ten separate conversations, and most of the conversations take place when the people involved are sitting together. They’re not moving around so much, not flying or fighting as in an adventure or hero comic (sorry if you’re hoping for that) – they’re relatively still. As you might have observed about people, when they are sitting, they mostly adopt the same one or two poses for long stretches. The changes from moment to moment are not so great, and then they mostly cycle from one position to […] Click to continue reading this post

Of Spies and Spacetime

Stephanie DeMarco interviewed me a few weeks ago for an article she was writing about the science in the TV show Agent Carter (season two). As you know, I did a lot of work for them on the science, some of which I’ve mentioned here, and we spoke about some of that and a lot of interesting other things besides. Well, her article appeared in Signal to Noise magazine, a publication all about communicating science, and it’s really a nice piece. You can read it here. (The excellent title I used for this post is from her article.)


It is a pity that the show has not been renewed for a third season (I’m trying not […] Click to continue reading this post



I’m trying to make the characters somewhat expressive, since you, the book’s reader, will be spending a lot of time with them. This means constructing lots of hands doing things. Lots of hands. Hands take time, but are actually rather fun to construct from scratch. I start mine as two or three planes hinged together, and then go from there, subdividing until I’m done.

-cvj Click to continue reading this post

Gut Feeling…

gut_feeling_sampleStill slowly getting back up to speed (literally) on page production. I’ve made some major tweaks in my desktop workflow (I mostly move back and forth between Photoshop and Illustrator at this stage), and finally have started keeping track of my colours in a more efficient way (using global process colours, etc), which will be useful if I have to do big colour changes later on. My workflow improvement also now includes […] Click to continue reading this post

Close Encounter?

…of the physics kind.


Ok, I’ll share a bit during my lunch break from spending too much time doing detail in a tiny panel few will linger on. (Perils of a detail-freak….) It’s a rough underdrawing I did this morning for a panel I’m now turning into final art (the black stuff is the start of final lines). That’s the character you saw a turnaround for earlier, busy at work in a cafe when… (To be continued…)

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Every Now and Then…

Here’s a character turnaround I finished today. It is a sign that I’m about to delve into finished art on one of the stories in the book. Finally. Been a long time since I’ve done that, but I’ve been building up to it. Only 3 months later than I’d planned.


What’s a turnaround? Sort of self-explanatory name I hope. Its purpose? It is […] Click to continue reading this post

Yay, McCloud!

sketch_during_interview_10_april_2016_wide(Click sketch for larger view.) I was only able to make it to one scheduled event in the LA Times Festival of Books this year. (Family constraints.) Normally I go to a few at least, getting my tickets for the panels in advance and going along and listening to authors, writers, editors, and other book-related people having a discussion about some topic or other. If I’m honest, for about 80-85% of such panels or interviews I come away wondering why on earth I went because everyone said the standard things I thought they’d say. But that 10-15% can be great, and you never know where it’ll show up – which event, which writer, during which Q&A… So for that reason I come expecting to get good extra value from listening to the conversations around me in the line and in the audience, and of I course bring my sketchpad and try to see if there’s someone interesting to sketch while I listen.

As usual, for panels involving graphic books or comics, there’s almost always someone in the audience who is working on a sketch of some sort. People who appreciate that form often find value in sketching and often do it (or some sort of doodle) themselves as a pastime, and that’s a great thing. If I’m not the only one and if I’m sitting at the right angle, I often get the fun opportunity to sketch a sketcher, and that is what happened during the interview of Scott McCloud on […] Click to continue reading this post