New Baxter Colour Character Art From Jak Phoenix!


 

Here is the colourized version of the new Baxter character art! In the Jak Phoenix Adventures you’ll find Baxter keeping Jak’s head level and their ship functional. Keep watching for more new Jak Phoenix art…

Matt

 

Baxter Character Art from the Jak Phoenix Space Adventure Series

The first book in the Jak Phoenix adventures is available free at SMASHWORDSB&NiTUNES/iBooks, and KOBO.  It is also available in the AMAZON KINDLE store, where the price fluctuates.

Jak Phoenix 2: The Markazian Deception is available at a super low price on the AMAZON KINDLE STORESMASHWORDSKoboB&N, and iTUNES/iBooks.

 

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New Baxter Character Art!


 

Here is a new character card showing off a black & white version of Jak Phoenix’s good buddy and co-pilot, Baxter Milligan. Pop in next week for the colourized version…

Matt

Baxter Character Art from the Jak Phoenix Space Adventure Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first book in the Jak Phoenix adventures is available free at SMASHWORDSB&NiTUNES/iBooks, and KOBO.  It is also available in the AMAZON KINDLE store, where the price fluctuates.

Jak Phoenix 2: The Markazian Deception is available at a super low price on the AMAZON KINDLE STORESMASHWORDSKoboB&N, and iTUNES/iBooks.

 

New Jak Phoenix Character Art


I’m happy to reveal the colourized version of the new Jak Phoenix character art! In case you’re stopping by for the first time, Jak is the main character in my space adventure series, Jak Phoenix.

Many consider him a space pirate, although he hates the term, preferring something along the lines of ‘unregistered independent space pilot.’ Through the odd shady dealing and space shenanigan he makes his way through the Azore’s Crown galaxy, occasionally upheaving the odd super-villain’s regime along the way.

Stay tuned next week for the new art featuring Baxter – Jak’s co-pilot, partner and friend.

Matt

Jak Phoenix Space Adventure 2016 Character Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first book in the Jak Phoenix adventures is available free at SMASHWORDSB&NiTUNES/iBooks, and KOBO.  It is also available in the AMAZON KINDLE store, where the price fluctuates.

Jak Phoenix 2: The Markazian Deception is available at a super low price on the AMAZON KINDLE STORESMASHWORDSKoboB&N, and iTUNES/iBooks.

 

Jak Phoenix Update


To say time has been tight doesn’t begin to explain how busy I’ve been, which is the reason for my lack of updates, and new Jak Phoenix material. But the Jak Phoenix adventures continue to be on my mind every day and are certainly not something I’m letting go.

I have Jak Phoenix 3 plotted out and about a third of it is written, so it is something I am plugging away at when time allows. I have recently been going through a creative upsurge so some good progress is being made.

I’ve also been developing some new artwork for the series. Below is the unveiling of some new Jak Phoenix character art, which also happens to be number 001 of the new Jak Phoenix Virtual Trading Card series. Collect ’em all, as they say … or just look at them all on your screen.

Thanks for hanging in there!

Matt

jak phoenix line art promo photo web

New Art – Jak Phoenix vs. the Scoparian Dragon!


Jak Phoenix vs. the Scoparian Dragon in the sands of Scoparia - a Scene from the first Jak Phoenix novel.1

Artist Jeff Thomason just presented this amazing portrayal of a crucial scene from the opening of the first Jak Phoenix novel. It is a beautifully rendered illustration of Jak and Baxter facing off against an unexpected foe in the sands of Scoparia. If anyone out there is looking for artwork for your project, I urge you to visit www.skyfitsjeff.com and contact Jeff. He’ll be more than happy to bring your ideas to life with his unique graphic style.

Characters Page – Just Added!


Jak Phoenix of the Jak Phoenix space adventure novel by Matt D. Williams – art by Jeff ThomasonBaxter of the Jak Phoenix space adventure novel by Matt D. Williams - art by Jeff ThomasonLook up top…you’ll see a “Characters” tab! Check it out for an appetizer on the main characters in the space adventure novel, Jak Phoenix by Matt D. Williams. As always, a super thanks to Jeff Thomason for his character artwork!  Or click here http://jakphoenix.com/characters/

How has technology affected the illustrated story? – A Guest Post by Jeff Thomason


Jeff Thomason stopped by for a great guest post about what he knows best. Take it away….

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How has technology affected the illustrated story?

 

Case study 1: Pulps vs. Comic Books

 

Jeff Thomason artist on Jakphoenix.comSince the beginning of recorded history, people have had some form of illustrated stories, whether they were carved in stone by hand or printed on paper by a machine. While the essence hasn’t changed (still words and pictures) the technology used to create them has and this has brought about changes in the stories themselves. One of the best examples comes from the early twentieth century: Pulps vs. Comic Books.

Pulp Fiction refers to inexpensive magazines and books printed on cheap paper called pulp (hence the name) from 1896 thru the 1950s with their popularity (and sales) peaking in the1930s. They cost a dime (and are sometimes referred to as dime novels) and featured an exciting, full color cover, a quickly written story, and a few black and white illustrations. They were wildly popular and sold well even during the depression. Characters included Tarzan, Zorro, Buck Rogers, Doc Savage, The Shadow, The Spider, Fu Manchu, and many others. They covered every genre from adventure to science fiction, action, romance, weird tales, exotic travels, and spicy fun.

Comic books began in the 1930s as reprints of the Sunday color comics section printed on cheap newsprint at a quarter the newspaper size. They quickly introduced new materials and a new genre: the superhero (who was originally called a costumed character or costumed hero) and included Superman, the Bat-man, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Captain Marvel. They usually included several stories with each lasting anywhere from one page to 8 pages and sold for a dime.

These two forms shared a lot during the 1930s and 40s. Both were on cheap paper. Both sold for the same price on the same newsstands. Many of the same people were involved in both pulps and comics. Both used words and pictures to tell stories of adventure, action, romance, terror, heroism, vigilantism, and salaciousness. But technology changed the possibilities of form and, as an unforeseen result, the content of the stories.

When pulps started in the late 1900s, color illustrations were difficult and expensive to print. So the pulps were mostly text with a great cover and a few poorly reproduced black & white line drawings. The stories were novel length and featured characters with simple garbs. But by the late 1930s, color illustrations were commercially viable, so comics could be full color with more picture than words. This meant the simple trench coat of the Shadow or the bronze skin of Doc Savage wasn’t enough for pictures. Comic heroes needed bright costumes and colorful foes. Because the stories contained so much illustration, the stories become much shorter and much simpler with several in each issue.

A paradigm example is the comparison of the Doc Savage pulps of the 30s (one of the most popular and successful series) with the Doc Savage comic of the 40s. In the pulps he was strong, smart, and wore regular clothes and traveled in planes and boats. In the comics, he gained a costume and super powers and basically became a completely different character.

Technology also produced another unexpected result: the death of pulps. The four-color adventures proved too exciting for the text heavy pulps to compete with. When readers were faced with a choice between 64 full color pages of costumed clad heroes or 80+ pages of black and white text both for a dime, they chose the one more visually exciting.

You may be wondering what a 60-year-old example has to do with us today. Ah, here’s where the big question comes in. How will technology shape illustrated stories today? The eBook revolution (sorry big publishers, there is a revolution going on whether you like it or not) provides new opportunities and new limitations for stories. Here are just a few:

  • Cost & Length – To make selling a story worthwhile (and to make the binding practical) stories have to be at least certain length, but can’t go over a certain length. Digital files don’t have this limitation. An author can sell a one-page story or a 4-million-page story. The usual limitations don’t apply. This opens up new possibilities for new forms. It also may be the salvation of comic books, which are pricing themselves out of existence due to high printing costs.
  • Layout – eReaders offer flexible layouts and font sizes, which means you can’t guarantee how a page will display. The picture may be on its own screen, or you may have a two page layout showing several pictures and a healthy chunk of text. The play between images and pictures needs to be simpler and more flexible.
  • Size – Comic books have had a hard time going digital, because the text is hard to read on a small screen. Many solutions have been tried such as breaking it into individual panels (which gives you odd shaped pages and loses the effect of one panel interacting with another) to cropping the page to just the essential elements (robbing you of beautiful artwork). In the 80s it was common for toys to include mini-comics. These mini-comics were meant for a small page and work well on eReaders and other small screens if only comic book producers could break from their current template.

 

Of course, eReaders and eBooks are new, so we have yet to see the real possibilities this new technology will open up and the effect it will have on illustrated stories. I, for one, am excited to see what will develop.

Jeff Thomason

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