Author Archives: Nick

alone in the back room: photo reference

There are many schools regarding photo reference in comics. Some say to avoid it and others, like Alison Bechdel, use it for every single figure that they draw.

It can definitely be a trap. If you aren’t confident in a single style, then photo reference can alter the look of your drawing, making for an inconsistent page. I’ve definitely had this problem in the past. I can see it in Kit Kaleidoscope and the Mermaid in the Jar. Some panels are obviously photo referenced next to others that aren’t. My annoyance at this is part of why the style changed so much with Carnivale.

Still, photo reference can be helpful. Jesse Hamm posted that that Moebius used it all the time. And he has some good advice about it.

I use photo reference. Oftentimes, it’s to get the setting to look more realistic. Or if I want a certain item, like a certain make of car or style of shirt. But I also create my own figure reference (as above). The way I handle it is to pencil things out first and if I get stuck on a certain drawing, then I get photo reference for it. That way, the drawing fits with the others. The size, angle, etc. work with the other panels on the page so there isn’t a disruption in flow. Then I use the photo to edit the pencils. I find this way keeps me from getting into too much trouble.

But I also think I am better at simplifying. It’s something I’m still working on, but when I was younger I had trouble cutting out unnecessary details so the resulting drawing would be muddy and completely out of synch with drawings taken from my own head.

Anyway, the above photo is for another new short story I’m working on. This one will be very short. Like five pages.

Posted in art process, photos | 1 Comment

Carnivale: the numbers

date Carnivale started:
August 2, 2005

date Carnivale restarted (I threw out the original beginning 14 pages):
March 2, 2008

date Carnivale finished:
October 7, 2013

number of publishers submitted to so far:

number of responses:

date of printed version:
March 2014

number of reviewers submitted to so far:

number of reviews:

number of books sold:
1 sold on-line
4 sold at TCAF to readers
2 sold at TCAF wholesale to The Beguiling

This took me a long time and I’m bad at marketing it.
I suck.
Everyone else sucks.
I spent almost eight years on something no-one cares about.
I’m 41-years-old and I’ve been doing comics my whole life and after all this time nobody really wants to read my work.
I’m already working on new stories.

Posted in Carnivale, kvetching, my comics | Leave a comment

Kit Kaleidoscope now available at comiXology

Kit Kaleidoscope

Kit Kaleidoscope

Published by: Nick Mullins
Written by: Nick Mullins
Art by: Nick Mullins
Price: $4.99

This book contains two stories: “Kit Kaleidoscope Goes to the Masked Ball” and “Kit Kaleidoscope and the Mermaid in the Jar”. In “The Masked Ball,” Kit stumbles upon an orgiastic party, but the revelers don’t disturb her as much as a play that involves a seemingly young boy. In “The Mermaid in the Jar,” Kit has a real job working in a graveyard, which brings her into contact with two brothers, one a recently deceased taxidermist and the other an idealistic sculptor. As an artist herself, Kit takes an interest in the sculptor, but the two have very different feelings about the meaning of art. Both stories are black-and-white and completely wordless.

Buy now on comiXology!

Posted in graphic novels, my comics | Leave a comment