Thursday, September 24, 2009

News from the front... SDCC report, toy progress and Hiatus again

Well hello! It's been more than a fair while since I've posted here and there have been more than a few goings on lately. I've not been idle, well not completely during the past few months, but actually really busy. But first things first - and this is going to be a fairly lengthy post - my SDCC report.

The last thing I posted before this was that I was going to be going to San Diego Comic Con. It was an amazing experience. I met so many great people from the industry and had such a good time. I have to say a huge thank you to many of the people there who took me around and looked after me while I was there. Matt Schuler, Howard Shum, Marty Ito, Cory Godby, Justin Gerard, Sean Galloway, Klim from Bigshot Toyworks, Jake Parker and many many others.





Here I am as proof that I was there. Howard Shum cannot be thanked enough as he not only split his room with me last minute but gave me his guest pass to the days I didn't have tickets for. It's a good thing they didn't look too close at the name even though I didn't know who this person was until I got home and googled it. I remember talking with someone who asked who I was, "oh, this isn't me" I said as he looked at the name on my pass, and the other guy "No definitely that's not you."


Top picture is me with my buddy Matt Schuler. A fantastic guy and good friend. He and I hung out quite a bit during my week there. I also met some other fantastic people, the Toy Break hosts Ayleen and George who took a picture of me holding the official Toy Break Hammer!
Made some new friends the Portland Studios genius's Cory Godby and Justin Gerard. Two just fantastic guys who each GAVE me an awesome print! Thanks guys!
I met a lot of really great people saw some just great stuff while I was there. Bobby Chiu's Imaginism booth was as good as his work and he was a really nice guy - if not super busy. The Flight gang (Kazu) was all really cool as well and I was also able to meet and talk with Jake Parker - just a really cool guy and an amazing talent. Sean Galloway did a sketch in the back of a book I bought from him and though he was busier than a bee I had a really great chat with him. Another genuine guy. I cannot even begin to list everyone who I met while I was there, but chances are if you received a Chuck Chance sticker or even one of the rare shirts it was more than a pleasure to meet you.

Here are a few more shots of the Con. There were piles upon piles of people there and more booths than there was even time in 3 full days to fully appreciate. One of the most noticeable and hilarious items were the costumes. It was amazing to see the work that some people put into them. Pictured here are a couple of my favorites as well as my two best friends Spidey and Bats.



Right. So next update. The Chuck Chance Toys. Well shortly after I got back, Joshua Singh - super sculptor extraordinaire - finished both the Chuck Chance and Baron Villainov sculpts. Here are the final video turn around of them:


video



video

These look so good I cannot wait to see them made up!

So now it's down the the skinny of the post. As you may have guessed by my lack of posting that I've been busy with things. If you've happened to see my other blog - which now links to my NEW BLOG and WEBSITE - then you may understand a bit. So that website has been taking up some time, but I've also had to realize that I cannot continue to develop and work on 10 different projects at once. I was getting spread a bit too thin and not getting anything done at all. So August and this month it's been tough, but I've had to decide what projects I am going to focus on first. The good news is that I'm not bailing out on any of them. The bad news is that I have to choose some to "put on Hiatus" again, and right now, Chuck Chance is one of them.

Chuck Chance is a huge passion for me, and I wouldn't really have to put it on hold, but at the same time I believe if you do something you should do it right. For Chuck that means a new website, the book and Toy. And not done erratically, but with a method, plan and purpose. At the moment I am just a few weeks away from launching my first self published kids book, as well as having just set up my websites store and now selling prints. I also have a second kids book that is currently in progress. So these projects are what I am focusing on promoting, and getting done right and in a sense, out of the way before I take Chuck to the next step.

My attendance to SDCC was not just for "fun", but one of my main goals there was to see what it took to get a booth/table and how people set them up. I am planning to attend next year again, but not as a fan, or even as a professional, but as an exhibitor. Chuck Chance is going to be a bit part of that exhibit as well if things go according to plan.

So take care, please continue to stop by my new site and blog for updates and snippets of whats coming down the pipe.

See you soon,

-Mike Boldt

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

San Diego Comic Con 2009!

What started out as a whisper in the wind is now actually happening. Late last Friday I managed to snag a ticket to the sold out Con for this Saturday. I've wanted to go for some time and see what all goes on. Next year I am planning to have a table if all goes well with the comic and toys and so going this year will be invaluable.

To be honest I have to give some HUGEMUNGONORMOUS "thank you"s to Howard Shum, Marty Ito, and most of all my friend Matt Schuler. These three guys who barely know me have done so much to help me out in all sorts of jams, from hotels to tickets! These guys are amazing!

I have even done some mad scramblin' and I am going to be handing out free stickers to anyone who would like one or taps me on the shoulder and says "hey eh". If all goes well tonight I also hope to have a few Chuck Chance T-shirts to give away to a few lucky random Con-er's. Here are the designs for you all to keep your eye out for:










Also, I want to thank my family who has really come together to help me make this in such short notice, from finding flights to cutting out stickers and cards, to my ever supportive wife who has done so much to help me out. Even my son who can sing the old Spiderman cartoon theme song (that one almost brought a tear to my eye ;) I love you guys!


Rock Rock On at the SD Comic Con yeah!

-Mike


PS. I'll have some more new's on the Chuck Chance toy front next week too! Let's just say Joshua Singh is my hero!

Monday, June 08, 2009

First dilemmas

Hello again!

So I've run into my first two dilemmas with the Chuck Chance toy. Size and Colors (there's actually a third dilemma, but I'm waiting on posting that one as of yet).

So give me your feed back on these. Originally I had thought to create a toy line that ranged in size from 4-8 inches. So that
puts Chuck around the 4-5" mark and the Baron on the other end of the scale at around 7-8". The end toy will most likely not have the base/pedestal either. If you think those sizes are too large, or too small even let me know!


Secondly, the color. This problem is not as big a deal for me as the size, but something I would like to settle quickly so when it does come up I don't have to deliberate for ages and can just go to production. So I've PS'd a couple versions here. The Eisner and Tracy versions are probably a no go as I just wanted to tribute some of my influences in comics, but the rest are pretty close I think. As for the sepia and noir versions, I had thought about choosing on of those for a more limited release possibility, but who knows. Just gathering opinions at this time. So here are your choices:



So let me know you're thoughts. I'd love to hear them!

Stay tuned for more,

-Mike


Step 2: The Sculpting Process

So the sculpt was off to a great start, and I had sent Josh some of my comments and thoughts on the first version and this was his return answer:



Again I didn't think it could improve as much as it did being how I loved the first version already. We decided to tilt his "swooping cheeks" back slightly as well as shrink his hands a bit. Also flatten out his feet and move his belt line up. There were a few other things but they were all minor. Oh and we made him a little more nonchalant rather than angry.


Again I sent him back my comments with some final thoughts on the sculpt and he implemented them and started on the pose. Then he sent me this:


Awesome! I loved it even more. The gun looked like it's slugs could be potatoes and I loved that! In this version we sculpted the back of the head down slightly from what it was so the swoops were not interfered with in 3/4 views.

At this point I barely had anything left to say about the sculpt and started to really focus on the pose. I really wanted it to say a lot about Chuck's attitude and character and so I made some suggestions to Josh of how I thought we could increase the "life" he was showing. Now to give Josh a little credit he pretty much gave me the exact pose I had drawn for him in my limited and sketchy versions of a turn-a-round. He had done an absolutely amazing job thus far.
And those comments resulted in this version:


WOW!!!! I remember getting the email with this version and just staring at it for hours. I probably had those glittering effects in my eyes like those cartoons get in sappy moments. Josh basically just took away a little of the symmetry the character had and added bends, leans and some life to it. He also shrunk down the gun a bit. It was basically perfect. I had one last thought to turn the head slightly more and so the final result of the sculpt is:



I love it! Josh did such an amazing job on this and it was such a pleasure to work with him. I cannot wait to see what he comes up with for Baron Villainov!

Stay tuned for more!

-Mike

Step one: How on earth do I do this?

After finally deciding to make I toy I was quite excited, but I really had no idea how to even get started. I started perusing the internet for steps and samples and examples and ideas and about everything I could find that had to do with toys and toy making. I found a number of really good sites and references. It seemed my first step was to find a sculptor.

Now I thought this was going to be easier than it was. There are not a lot of really good websites out there for these services. Now that I've delved a bit deeper into the process I've discovered a number of different people with very high skills, but at first this was really difficult. Then out of the blue I found Josh Singh, as I explained in an earlier post. He explained about a relatively newer tech of 3d printing and prototypes from a 3d model. He showed me a couple of different companies and even a model that he and designed and the "print out" version of it. It was amazing and I was instantly decided.

S
o I briefly explained what I was looking for and I sent Josh a couple of turnarounds just in very sketchy form and let Josh cut loose.


We talked a bit and knew there were going to be a couple "tricky" areas - Chuck's cheeks are very important to his look, but how do you translate that into 3d? I threw a couple ideas at Josh and knew he would find a way. So here is the first result:



Josh's first version blew me away. I knew this was going to turn out good, but I had no idea. It was a real confirmation for both my wife and myself that we were going in the right direction.

As good as this first version was there were a couple areas that needed some revisions. So I sent Josh a couple of new ideas that I thoughts and waited to see what he would send back.

I'll share those next post, so stay tuned!

-Mike

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Hey everyone! Here is the first preview of the nearly finished sculpt by the super talented Joshua Singh of Chuck. I am going to post the progress from the beginning of this journey but I wanted to just share this tiny preview just to start off, and only had time for a short post anyways.



Stay tuned!

-Mike

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

He's back baby! After a long "on hold" the Chuckster's getting back on the case, and in more than one form I hope. I am polishing up the storyline and planning on re-working the comic for print. I would love to have it as a finished large edition comic similar to those old Tintin and Asterix comics, but time will tell how feesable that is. As well I have some other really cool news that I am super pumped about. I've always loved those little sculptures that Disney had done of all their characters (Maquettes I think they're called), and recently I saw a long time artist that I really respect and admire (Sean Galloway) took his IP and made a vinyl collectable of it. It looks amazing, and check it out for yourself!

So in light of a lot of recent direction searching I've decided to take the plunge into this Vinyl collectible world and see what comes of it. My goal is to have the whole Chuck Chance line of characters done but for now I am going to start with what I hope is a pair. Chuck and one of his arch enemies, Baron Villainov. Chuck was an obvious choice because he is the main character and all, but Villainov was tougher because I like a number of the other antagonists as well. In the end I had to go with the rabbit eared villain because he was the original baddy from Chucks humble creation a long time ago. Sort of Superman's Lex Luthor. There are a lot of details yet to work out during this process to reach the final product, but the wheels are in motion.

The first step for me sort of fell into place and has been a huge blessing so far. A while back I had been searching for a 3d artist for another project and Joshua Singh was one of the guys I was hoping would be available. I had seen his stuff on CGTalk before and he is more than amazing and a really great guy. Very talented dude. Well, that other project hit a standstill and so we had to put it on hold. So while explaining this to Josh I shared a bit of the other stuff I had going on in my head and he just dropped a recent example of a project that he did for another guy that was exactly what I was looking to do. I looked into it a bit more and it seemed like a perfect fit. Joshua was super keen to get to work in this as well which only added to my excitement. I had and have total confidence in his ability to translate my characters into 3d.

So here are the poses that I shared with him:






I will be posting the progress of what Josh has been sending me so far over the next days and weeks. I would like to share the steps I am going through to have this done just for the sake of it.


Take care and stay tuned!

-Mike

Friday, May 29, 2009

Guess...




and




Stay Tuned!

-Mike

Monday, January 29, 2007

Chuck Chance on hiatus

Well I know it's been more than a while since the last episode of Chuck Chance and I don't want to let you think that I have forgotten or abandoned the story or comic. I was not that happy with the way that it looked at the time and I was also asked to join the Legendary project. Now that I have finished that short comic I have returned to thoughts of Chuck Chance again and what I want to do with it. In fact I have decided to redo the comic for print. It won't be done imediately as I am still doing it between other projects, but I will still post some pages up on here and more concept work to keep you in the loop as things get done. So until then here are some of the new designs for some of the characters in the story, some of the characters you know (well all 2 of them) and the others will be revealed in the story.

So take care for now, and sorry for the long wait,
Mike