Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Two Thumbs Up!

The reviews are starting to pour in! Just taste this morsal from one of comics finest: TONY MILLIONAIRE!

"Troy Little's comics are beautifully drawn, charming and personal. They have a very sincere quality. They are also very funny."

Now lets hear from Steven Grant over at comicbookresources.com:

CHIAROSCURO: PATCHWORK Book 1 by Troy Little (No price given)

"Life's weird sometimes. On the very day that I suddenly wonder, for the first time in I think years, whatever happened to this great independent Canadian comic called CHIAROSCURO, what arrives but the first trade paperback collection? And it's still strangely compelling, mostly a picaresque slice-of-life dramady about an artist/slacker named Steve, but the story abruptly right-turns on twinges of propinquity, synchonicity and quasi-paranoia. (Creepy, bizarre events occasionally leak into the narrative, and drive it by their absence.) Good storytelling (a lot of both Eisner and Sim in there, I think), well-drawn characters (in both senses), just the right dose of poignancy; it's not so much that Little makes it so entertaining, it's that he makes it look so effortless. Find it, get it, read it, love it. All these years and Little hasn't dropped a step. "

Thanks Steve, and don't think I don't appreciate getting lumped in with Will & Dave!!!

Still not convinced? Here's a couple of pages to push you over the edge:


But hurry, there's only around 30 books left!
Just scroll down and click the BUY NOW button!

Friday, December 15, 2006

FOR SALE (finally)!!!!


Okay kiddies, time to feel the love! The long wait is over for those lucky few in the know. This is the Signed and Numbered Limited Edition of the first Chiaroscruo graphic novel!

This beauty is soft cover & square bound, containing 234 pages of B&W bliss! At a mere $18.99US (+S&H) you can't go wrong!


You can order through Paypal (Buy Me), certified check or money order:

Troy Little
C/O Meanwhile Studios
P.O. Box 848
Kensington, P.E.I.
C0B 1M0
Canada

(Just drop me an email and I'll put one on hold)

There are only
100 copies in existence and over half are all ready out the door! These are not available in comic shops, only straight from Meanwhile Studios HQ

Sorry, sold out!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Possum Lives! (or does he?)

In a clever slight of hand I convinced Blair Kitchen, creator of The Possum to do a comic swap. I probably should have sent him money for his book, I know how profitable self publishing can be. Well you should pick up where I slacked off and buy a copy of this man's comic, it's worth every penny!

A superhero with the power of having no vital signs? He gets beat to a pulp, the bad guys check him over, "Yup, he's dead" and POW The Possum springs into action! And with the promise of midget Mexican wrasslers in the next issue you can't go wrong. I'm a long time Groo the Wanderer fan, Blair's loose and expressive cartoons remind me a lot of Sergio Aragones Mad drawings, especially the convention scenes chock full of little people.

Congrats Blair on a great book! Now go buy a copy. Tell 'em Tony sent ya.

PS: All the Chiaroscuro GN have been mailed you as of yesterday, the rest are going up for sale very soon, so check back if you want one!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Chiaroscuro!


You said a mouthful Beatrice! The Chiaroscuro graphic novel is here!!!


Now before you all start breaking into a cold sweat and reaching for your pocket books let me remind you that this is a promo edition. There is a grand total of 100 signed and numbered copies in existence! Most of these will be heading out the door in search of a publisher, some will be sent out as review copies and some will be given to family and a few close friends.

Once I have all that worked out, the rest are up for grabs! Details on when and how to get your very own copy will appear on this blog in the future sometime, but likely not until early 2007. The books will be offered on a first come fist serve basis at that time.

I must say it's incrediably satisfying to see the work collected as a whole finally. A big shout out to Jodi and Logan over at ComiXpress for doing a great job on the printing!

Monday, November 13, 2006

4X6


Jeremy Vincent Adolphson Had the brilliant idea of sending out little 4X6 cards to hundreds of comic artists and asking them do sketches. If memory serves me correct I had done one for him once before (I'll have to hunt that up later and see what I drew...). A little while ago he contacted me again to see if I was keen to contribute another, and here it is.

Like the "Worlds Finest" and other great cross-over team ups, the irrepressible Beatrice from Angora Napkin partakes in a cup-o-joe with the ever chipper Steven Patch of Chiaroscuro fame. Can't you just feel the magic? I'm soon to be inundated with fan mail demanding a new series about this off the wall scenario. But alas, only in 4X6 land will you see such a pair sharing paper space.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The "Other" Blog

Since I took down the "Official" web site for Meanwhile Studios, this here Blog has served as home to all the news relating to my comic and animation work. It will continue to do so until I can get around to building a new site (don't hold your breath), but to be honest things are going pretty slow these days as far as drawing is concerned.

So for those friends, family and voyeurs of all ages who simply must know how I exist beyond these shallow postings I have started keeping an online journal as well.

UPDATE: If you're in P.E.I. this weekend (and I'm sure you will be) I will be at the Three Oaks Craft Fair in Summerside hawking my wares November 10th - 12th. Stop by and get a sneak peek of the Chiaroscuro graphic novel and the new Angora Napkin book in progress!

Friday, October 13, 2006

So tired I can't sleep...

I've been trying to sleep for hours now without any luck. Go figure, it's one of the few nights where the girls went to sleep rather early (3am).

I can't seem to get my mind to settle down, so I figure I may as well get up and do something.

Life has been taken over by these cute little monsters as of late. They're 7 1/2 weeks now and quite a handful. They've even got a blog! (See links).

I'm on the night shift, so all I do is try and get them to sleep and I watch movies. I've started watching "Lost" while waiting for "Battlestar Galactica 2.5" to show up on DVD. I finally got to watch the "Kill Bill" movies and a ton of other flicks I've missed out on over the last few years.

Aside - (I feeling like serving up a heated rant about the state of what passes for "animation" on late night Teletoon (Canada) but lack the will to point out the obvious. It disturbs me to the core and those responsible should be shot).

I'm reading Stinebeck's "Grapes of Wrath". He's one of my favorite writers. "Winter of Our Discontent" and "East of Eden" are just incredible.

As for my comics, not much has happened since the last posting. I have a limited number of "Chiaroscuro" TPB on order, hopefully I'll see them soon. I'm sending many of them out to publishers, reviewers and such, but I had enough printed to offer a few to the hardcore fans who've stuck by the book for so long. Details to follow once the books arrive and I assess how many I have to sell.

Also, anyone looking around for the old website is out of luck for the time being. It sat there in limbo so long I decided to drop it until I can build a new one. In the meantime, this blog will serve as the temporary HQ for Meanwhile Studios.

Guess I'll go put on some coffee and see if I can squeak in a half hour to draw, wish me luck!

Monday, September 04, 2006

My Girls!


Here they are world, meet Alicen and Hayden Little!

Proud mom and the girls.


Sure they've got their days and nights backwards and we get no sleep, but I defy you to try and have a bad day after seeing these:



It probably goes without saying we've got our hands full, but we're having a great time and couldn't be happier! Thanks to everyone for the emails, cards and well wishes. We really appreciate all the support our friends and family have heaped upon us!

So I think I'm going to take a little vacation from the blog thing and enjoy my new family (and hopefully find some time to do a little drawing). See you in a little while!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Buy John's Crap


LISSIN UP. John commands you to pick up the Ren & Stimpy "Lost" Episodes. I had the happy-happy-joy-joy oppertunity to work on the show back in Ottawa and it was hands down the most fun I had working in animation. I primarily worked in the background department but managed to squeek in a few sequences of key animation and clean up animation here and there.

And here's a new Mygrain for you all to chew on.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Angora Napkin comic: Page Creation

My process in creating the Angora Napkin graphic novel is very different from how I approach Chiaroscuro, both by choice and necessity. Chiaroscuro: Patchwork Book 1 is a 230 page monster of crosshatching. Here's a fairly tame segment from issue #7:


Back in 2000 when I began Chiaroscuro, my idea was to do a comic in a style that would be simple enough to do in my spare time. Ha ha.

So upon beginning the Angora Napkin comic, I put my foot down: Keep It Simple Stupid. Angora Napkin is a breather for me between Chiaroscuro hand cramps. On top of that I'm working a full time day job, a part time weekend job, home owner, husband and soon to be father of twins. My time is limited to say the least.

First thing I decided upon was portability. It's just not practical to carry around a portfolio full of illustration board, bottles of ink and all that jazz. Also, as I learned from doing a few 24 hour comics, SIZE MATTERS. So to solve these problems I picked up a pad of Strathmore smooth Bristol board (11X14). Fits nicely into my man purse and the actual drawing area is close to 8.5X11 instead of 10X15. It makes a huge difference.

I wrote a 3 page treatment for the graphic novel outlining the story in broad terms. This was very different for me as Chiaroscuro's storyline lives in my head only until I sit to write an issue. From the outline I chicken scratch the dialogue into a note book, fleshing out the story as I go along. This took place in coffee shops, my friend Patricks' wood working shop and in a truck while I waited for him to load up wood. I've highlighted the "text" I used.



Based on that, I do some thumbnails. I've pointed out the particular page I'll be focusing on (page 10).



Taking the drawing from here to the next phase is pretty organic. I use this as a base to work from and change things that I don't like, or adjust the composition. I may add, delete or change dialogue to fit the scene better as well. I've been roughing these out full size on basic copy paper with blue or red (whatever's handy) col-erase pencils and then tightening them up with a nice dark B pencil. I'll sometimes cut them apart and reassemble them, or parts of them until I generally like the poses and layout. This whole process goes pretty quick when I've got my head in the game and I get some nice energetic drawings.


I then transfer the drawing to the Bristol board and tighten up the drawing with a mechanical pencil, adding the panel boarders, dialogue, background and whatever's missing. For inking, I'm keeping portability in mind. My favorite tool for drawing lately have been my Pental pocket brush pen. I love it! I do the lettering with a rapido graph and fill in blacks using a sharpie, but pretty much everything else gets the brush.


All the stuff up to this point I do when I find a spare moment. I'm usually up and working around 6am until I have to go to the day job around 8. I'll try and get out at lunch, grab a coffee and work some more. Once and a while I do a bit of evening work and if it's not busy I'll do some thumbnail/rough work during my weekend job. I can manage about 2 pages a week at this pace, give or take.

I also tried adding spot colour to some of the pages. I had that in mind from the beginning, but whether or not the colour version is going to be used is still a question up to the publisher.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Baby Shower!

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who came to the baby shower yesterday! Joanne, Doris, Mom, Dad, Judy; thanks so much for all of your hard work! We had a great time!!

Our twins our now officially spoiled.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New Ultrasounds!

Here's another set of ultrasounds for the grandparents, family members and those keen on peering into my wife's womb. These were taken at 26 weeks (we are at 28 weeks right now). Normally people only have one ultrasound, but us lucky folks having twins get them more often. They're starting to flesh out nicely!

And I'll post some more comics soon, promise!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Return of cuddlecore

Wow, I've been knee-deep in Angora Napkin projects lately and having a ball!

First off, the Angora Napkin graphic novel is well under way. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've loosened up and decided to just have some fun with these characters. I'm also making every effort to avoid cross-hatching ANYTHING for a change. I'll post a couple of pages from the book in a little while.

Before I started work on the book, I dug out all the old Angora Napkin binders and took another read through one of the storyboards Nick and I worked out a number of years back. I've always wanted to make this into an animated short and now it's slowly taking shape!

Here's a few snippits from "The Day the Music Died" -or- "Abracadavar". (think: 'Rocky & Bullwinkle' when you read the title).




I also want to give a big shout out to Lisa Marr for permission to use "My Chinchilla" in the short!! Lisa was part of the Vancouver Indy band cub (92-97) and other bands like Shonen Knife really inspired the creation of Angora Napkin, so it's really super cool to have some of that music in there! THANKS LISA!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Back to the Funnies!

Behind the Scenes note:

Once and a while these Mygrains of mine have some element of reality to them. The scene above was inspired by my dad, who always keeps candy, chocolate, peanuts and licorice under the couch and offers them to you whenever you visit.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Womb Mates

Hooray for babies first pictures!
Carol picked up the pictures of our little darlings yesterday! They came in a colourful pink card labeled "Baby's First Picture". Inside were these 3 image captures from last Monday's ultrasound which resemble the work of H.R. Giger. I suggested to Carol we frame them and put them in the baby's room, but that would probably freak them out. I think they're cute.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"Expecting" the Unexpected!

"Wow" has to be the most understated expression of my life but it was all I could say for quite some time. I was planning to simply announce that Carol and I are pregnant (Carol more so than me) after our first ultrasound so I could have some pictures to post, but then "wow" happened!

TWINS!

We we're totally unprepared for the news and now that the initial surprise/shock has ebbed a bit (a night with no sleep will do that to a person) we are overwhelmingly excited and happy with the news! I can't believe how lucky we are.

Again: "WOW"!!!!!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Resurrection of the Napkin?


I'm amazed how much my drawings change over time.

Back in '97 my friend Nick Cross and myself came up with a cartoon series called "Angora Napkin". Back then we were pretty much newbies in animation with a background in illustration. Nick took to animation like a duck to water and put all to shame on a daily basis as he continues to do to this day.

Meanwhile I pursued a life in comics. The girls from Angora Napkin have had some continued life in the back pages of Chiaroscuro and last year I pitched the idea of a mini series/graphic novel to SLG and got some tentative interest.

So over the weekend I dug out all the binders full of work Nick and I did on the cartoon series and look them over. There was a point where Nick's style took off in what I thought at the time was WAY out there... I remember telling him that I thought he was deviating too much from the look we defined. Was I ever wrong! I look at his stuff now and wonder why I'm so slow to pick up on things.

Over time my natural drawing style has become much looser, thanks in part to mucking around with a brush pen and doing those odd little Mygrain comics. Having pretty much nailed down a script to the Angora Napkin comic, I'm pretty excited to play around with these characters in a fresh way. I'll post some sketches and plot the developments on this project as they happen.

In the meantime, enjoy this Peanuts strip.





Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Mygrain Returns


Because I'm some sort of sadist I've decided to add to the pile of "Things I Don't Have Time For" a return of the weakly Mygrain comics. Mostly because I need to do something creative in the hope that my brain hasn't flatlined all together. If you got a kick out of this, check out some of the others on my old web site by clicking HERE.

The plan is to add new comics here every week (but don't count on it). Enjoy!

Friday, March 03, 2006

APE show ends today!

No, not the show in San Francisco but an art show going on at the Atlantic Technology Center in P.E.I.

The original pages for the Angora Napkin short comic "Zesty Pineapple Sprig" (Chiaroscuro #6) and "Feedbak" from the February 2006 issue of The Buzz are on display, as well as one of my few oil paintings (*not pictured. The old man is a painting of William S. Burroughs I did back in '98).

Today is the last day of the exhibit, but it may become an annual event. For more info on APE, click here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Narrative Corpse Lives...

You all remember Art Spiegelman's "The Narrative Corpse" game, right? Kinda like a comic jam over long distances but with only a small glimpse of what transpired before. In this case, only one panel! Not a lot to riff on, so the outcome should be interesting.

Anyway, somtime last year (August?) I signed up with 32 other people to take part in an email version of the game. Unlimited page contribution but only a week to do the art. I managed to finish my 3 pager last weekend. A bit Goreyesque methinks, but it was fun to do. To check out the other artists involved or follow the progress of the project, check out this link.

I always think I'll do something quick and simple, then go and start hatching like a fool. James Kochalka's got the right idea.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mygrains in Colour


At some point last year I decided it wouldn't hurt to put together a pitch package of the "Mygrain" comics and send them off to the major syndicates. Knowing full well that they are too odd for any mainstream newspaper didn't deter me for a moment. The responses (from those who chose to respond) were of the form letter variety. I particularly liked the one that said my stuff was "..Not up to the caliber and quality.." of their syndication. This coming from the publishers of "Marmaduke" and "Family Circus"? Man, I'm in the wrong ball game.

Anywho, I dolled up two of the old strips with fancy Photoshop colours. Now c'mon... Wouldn't you rather read these puppies than suffer another "Garfield"???

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Weekend painting

Last Friday I was called to meet with the publisher of The Buzz and asked to do the cover art for the big ECMA (East Coast Music Awards) issue. Only catch is it had to be done over the weekend!

I've been struggling with painting for some time. It's something I really would like to get better at but that takes time, something that I find very little of as is these days. Nothing like a tight deadline to throw me into panic mode!

The picture is still a work in progress. I started out using acrylics to block in the picture but switched over to oils. I can't stand using acrylics anymore. The only drawback is the drying time, so this is as far as the painting goes for the time being.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I don't know why it never occurred to me before...

Since my site at www.meanwhilestudios.com has been inactive since April 2005 and I plan on re working it anyway this Blog has become the new home for news and updates until such time. Only problem was, how do I let people know that I'm still out here?? Then I remembered two key words: Domain Forwarding.

So "Hello" to everyone who logged on to the old site and found themselves here! The link on the side should take you to the old site, just in case you want to buy a comic or read some old online comics...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Flashing the Beaver

















Every once and a while I find a moment to work on the loooooong in the works teaser short for "Blue Collar".

Way back in 2002 I started an animatic using Photoshop and Premiere. Lately I've been trying to adapt the style into Flash to see what they look like and how it will work. These are a couple of screen shots of the "Hero" Cameron Davis (He's a beaver) rushing to get to work.