Making a Splash

Water is hard. I don’t mean in the jump-from-too-high-go-splat sort of way, either. It’s hard to draw. Fluid, in general, doesn’t like to be constrained to two dimensions.

The latest pages from the Miller’s Daughters see the ultimate demise of poor Ophie, and that meant some water needed to find its way to paper. It turned out pretty nicely, and will be even better when I add shading later this week!

The second page shown is the Rake, sauntering off out of the woods, his murderous mischief quite managed.


I’ve been trying to get a page a week finished on the Miller’s Daughters, but it’s not going quite as assertively as I would like. No bother, really, progress is still progress. Here is the newest page:


The whole series can be found here… There are still some edits that need to be done to the long-form story, but it’s still a pretty entertaining read!


The Crystal Ball Predicts…

This week’s look at the workbench is for an upcoming storyline in Grimmleigh’s Morbid Tales for Dreadful Children. The story is called the Night Circus, and it only draws a ton of inspiration from Something Wicked this Way Comes. In this story, the circus comes to a new town during the new moon, and when the sun rises all of the adults of the town are gone. The hero of the Night Circus is a little girl who wakes up during the night, and realizing her mother is gone decides to take matters into her own tiny hands. Here are a couple of pages of concepts for the story:

The State of My Union, part One

It’s been a roller-coaster of a month. Sales on Grimmleigh’s Beastly Oddities are still clocking in at a better than (I) anticipated rate, which is really super exciting. The down side? Well, I really need to get more work done on the follow-up book, Grimmleigh’s Classic Monsters.

I have two completed pages, and I am applying lessons learned from the first book to these images. First off, I’m drawing the backgrounds separately, which is allowing me to experiment with the sizing of the characters on the finished page. This should cut down on characters getting clipped during the print process, since I am going for a full bleed on the layout.

Here’s the background for a daycare center:

Messy Room

Now, with the Vampire Brides from last week:

Vampire Brides

Concept sketches are done for another 8 monsters, so I will be spending the next few weeks getting those ironed out, backgrounds rendered, then layouts. I aim for 23 coloring pages in each book, plus stories, so it’s a bit of a process!

Progress on Grimmleigh’s Morbid Stories for Dreadful Children is coming along nicely, with page 23 posting to Tapastic last night, and pencils for page 24 and 25 in the rough stage. I am hoping to get back to a weekly posting schedule with that story!

Going back through previous pages, I realized that I need to go back and re-work a number of pages. Some of the previous pages are formatted differently, and I need to get a unified font size in place. Luckily, that will just make everything flow better, so I am happy about that. I also realized that I forgot to even introduce the Miller, which is probably just a smidge confusing.

The real challenge for this next week is going to be Salt Lake Comic Con. I have a ton of panels, three live recording sessions of Geekshow, and a role playing game scenario to create. That being said, I’m setting a personal goal to keep daily posts going here!

Video: The Miller’s Daughters, page 23

The other big project around the labs has been Morbid Tales for Dreadful Children, which has been nearly a year in the making. The most recent page finds the Rake taunting little Ophie Miller; breakdowns of the pencils for this page, as well as the script, were posted earlier this week.

Once I have my pencils done for a page, I scan the image in and do the inks and shades on the iPad Pro. With this page in particular, I took the time to add some atmosphere to the shading. I really want to add a sense of beauty to the setting, even though it is full of mayhem and murder.


Here’s a time-lapse video of the process, I hope you enjoy it! Just a word of caution, though: I uploaded the video in HD, so it might take a moment or two to load!

Comments and questions are more than welcome!

Workbench Wednesday: Sewer Edition

Odin’s Day again? Time for another look at what’s on the workbench!

Work on Morbid Stories for Dreadful Children continues, with Volume One: The Miller’s Daughters about two-thirds finished. Here are the pencils for page 23:


I am laying in digital inks now, and will feature a time-lapse film of the finished art on Friday! For a look at the scripted breakdown of page 23, take a look here!

The next coloring book is underway as well, with pencil concepts making way for some background art. First up, a Nosferatu who has the unfortunate job of Sewer Inspector:


Here’s the finished inks for the sewer:


Rough concept for the Phantom of the Opera, who landed a terrible gig as a Karaoke DJ:


These will be featured in Grimmleigh’s Classic Monsters (with terrible jobs), which I am expecting to have available in late September!

And these two are super rough speed sketches that I put together while watching old Hammer Horror movies the other night. The tree scene will probably be used with a vampire or in one of the fairy tales, and the graveyard will be for a Slavic grave goblin:

IMG_0136  IMG_0134

I really am drawn to floating apparitions in the woods…

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Have a great one!






Breakdown: The Miller’s Daughters, page 23.

Over the last year I have been working on a long-form graphic novel, which will eventually comprise a collection of original Fairy Tales and macabre morality plays. The first of which, the Miller’s Daughters, is about half way done.

The villain of the story, a wandering Rake, has embarked on a killing spree. As you can see, the story gets pretty grim:

Miller Page 11 High
Page 16 of the Miller’s Daughters

The hardest part of the story, frankly, has been that I am now at the point where the Rake is murdering the protagonists of the story. I really don’t like writing about kids getting killed, but it’s a ghost story… So I have to get through this part.

Here is the script for page 22, in which the Rake confronts Ophie Miller.

Page 23

Top Panel: The Rake is perched on a branch, several baby badgers are sitting around him, staring curiously. The Rake is clasping his hands together, looking up like a man at prayer.

Text Box:

The Rake, seeing his quarry treed in such an unfortunate manner, sat down to taunt his prey.

Panel Two: The Rake’s head and hand fill about 2/3rds of the panel. He is looking up, menacing. Little Faeries, stars, and flowers are flitting about his head.

Text Box:

“You, with your hair so dark, in that tree so high, remind me of the fairy stories, young miss,” said he.

“Of lost spirits in the wood, of sylphs, sidhe, and baine,” said he.

“Won’t you join your sister, dear?” he asked, as sincere as a jackal at an abattoir.

Panel Three, lower left hand corner: Ophie is incensed, in a defiant pose she is clutching one tree branch for support while gesturing at the Rake with her free hand. She is yelling.

Text Box:

Ophie replied only with a string of newly-catalogued curses, the depth and vivid imagery of which would have changed the nature of naval operations for centuries if they had been heard by any other ears.

Panel Four: The Rake looks shocked, eyes wide open…

Text Box:

Some so boldly vulgar as to give even this calloused Rake reason to blush.

Final Panel: Text:

Fancying up a new demise for so skillful a vulgarian, the Rake rummaged around in his rucksack until he found a decent sized package; all brown paper, grease stained and wrapped in twine.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the preliminary pencils for this page as part of the Workbench Wednesday update.