Friday, January 30, 2015

Issue 7 sneak peek

Issue  7 is coming along nicely, so I thought I'd tease a sketch in progress from one of the panels #comics

Development Flashback - Issue 4

Of all the books in the series to date, Issue 4 was the one that  I was most nervous about.

From a writing perspective, the idea of segmenting the action sequences and interspersing them with small little stories that gave some insight to the inhabitants of Melbourne City, whilst seeming like a good idea, couldn't help but feel like a risk.

When I first set out to write this series the setting of Melbourne City was just as important a character in its own right as Gabe, Parker and co. This was the issue where I'd start to explore this. The question that plagued me though was these small snippet story glimpses: would they have enough substance to justify their inclusion.

Deciding to take a gamble I had to pick my stories. We had the food vendor in debt to a loan shark and being bullied by a thug - this gave me the angle I wanted to show how easily the little people were getting overlooked by their corporate governors. There were the fashionista women talking about their superficial desires for cutting edge accessories and cyber implants, and then we explored the technology further cutting to the mother and her young boy. The boy with his vid-console being projected in front of him by the gloves he wore was yet another insight to this crazy cyber mad culture.

The easy part was to string it all together with one big battle through the city with Gabe and his current nemesis Snare. What helped here was that both characters had their own forms of quippy dialogue and thy were easy to bounce off each other as the battle played out.

From an art perspective, whilst I felt the internal art was beginning to improve with each subsequent issue (practice makes perfect they say - or at least you start to improve), it was the cover art that I felt I was taking the biggest gamble with.

Prior to Issue 4 all of the covers had a very dark and desaturated tone to them. This one introduced white and a touch of spot color. On top of that, I went abstract with the image of Gabe made from shattered glass.

The reasoning for this was two fold. I like the title, Shards. I felt it reflected the many broken pieces the city was made up of. These small insignificant tales of people who made up the city. It also fit as in one scene Gabe actually smashes right through a floating vidscreen and glass shatters everywhere.
It seemed a good fit and after running it through a couple of people i trust with early previewing of material I decided to go with it.

Its funny that this was the issue that worried me the most, as now as I look back at it, it is the issue I am most fond of. Not necessarily because I feel it shows any amazing writing chops ( I feel I am very much still learning when it comes to writing), but this issue was important as it made me worried, it made me uncomfortable and it made me take a calculated risk. I think challenging myself in this way will contribute to my growth, and after all that's what this is all about.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Development progress Issue 7

So I am now exactly halfway through pencils on Issue 7.
This will be an interesting issue as its the first one where we delve back into the back story and origins of the story and its not exactly what you'll think.

The back story will be a little darker as obviously it sets in motion some of the events that craft the current narrative. We get to see our first glimpse of Gracie's mother, Amelia, and also see how Parker ended up on his crusade against the corporations. We also see Parker and Gabe's first meeting.

Suffice to say the origin story makes me both nervous and excited. There's a lot riding on this story arc. Whilst there will still be some of the token humor that we've come to expect in the book, there will also be some tragedy and sadness that I hope will pull on the heartstrings of the reader.

From an art perspective, I fell like I'm still setting myself new challenges. Playing with camera angles and experimenting with scene compostion to make non action conversation scenes to still be visually engaging.

Looking forward to Issue 7. Haven't felt this nervous since Issue 4 where I toyed around with the idea of interspersing the action with short side stories of the residents of Melbourne City.

From Above Issue 5 - ComiXology Feb 4

Issue 5 of From Above will be available on ComiXology from Feb 4. Meanwhile issue 6 has been approved and processed and should be available soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

From Above: The Backyard

One of the things I had a lot of fun with in Issue 6 was a little two page story "From Above: The Backyard". So much so that its something I'll be looking to include in future issues. Was nice to channel some of the influences I loved from my youth like Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, etc and translate that into something related to the From Above universe. #comics

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New merchandise available

Have a whole heap of new designs and merchandise available at the From Above Red Bubble store! You can check em out at:

Supanova Expo - Melbourne

Table has been booked for Melbourne Supanova smile emoticon Look forward to seeing you all there in April. # comics

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why we make comics

This is why we make comics smile emoticon Recently got this letter from young fan Sebastian, and his own From Above comic (which he calls From Above: Hilarious Edition). Seeing stuff like this is what makes creating comics such a rewarding experience. I am a particular fan of Gabe sitting down to a candlelit lunch with his nemesis. A massive thank you to Sebastian for his wonderful letter and comic, and also A big thanks to his parents for allowing us to post it up here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Melbourne Comics Quarterly launches January 25

Melbourne Comics Quarterly, an anthology publication in the vein of Dark Horse Presents and 2000AD, that features a glimpse into some of the Australian titles out at the moment.
From Above Issue 1 gets reprinted over the first four Issues of MCQ and shares the pages with some other stellar aussie titles.
Book Launch is being held at Gasolina (South Wharf, Melbourne), with Live bands and folks hanging around to party afterwards.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Issue 7 layouts done

Just finished the story and page layouts for Issue 7. Now its on to the pencils. #comics

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Favourite Cover (as voted by readers)

We recently asked the question on our official Facebook page, which cover is your favourite of the series to date. And the result is in. By a landslide margin, Issue 4: Shards cover is the one that has most taken readers' eye to date. A big thank you to all who voted.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Issue 7 cover

Finalised the cover for Issue 7. Ended up going with a slightly more desaturated look with the blue hue so that it sits in line more with the rest of the series covers. #comics

Friday, January 9, 2015

Ad space for Local Aussie indie books

With development commenced on issue 7, we wanted to throw the offer out to Australian Indie comic creators. Since Issue 4 we have been running ads for local books for free in print copies of From Above and would like to do the same in issue 7. If you have a book come out anywhere around April and would like to put in an ad for your book shoot us through an email to

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Aussie Comics in 2015!

It's amazing the output of local books that will coming out in 2015! 2014 was an impressive year for locally produced content and already 2015 is shaping up to blow that out of the water.
Check out this article from those crazy cats at Behind the Panels for a sample of the local material you can expect to see this year!

Reworked pages

I think Issue 6 marks the first time I've gone and totally re-inked a page before release of the print edition. Page 2 got the overhaul as I felt the inking didn't match the other pages. #makingcomics

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Melbourne Comics Quarterly

Very cool initiative by Melbourne Comics! In a similar vein to what 2000AD and Dark Horse Presents have done, they are putting together a quarterly released preview showcase book of ongoing Australian titles.
Their first issue will feature the first five revamped Graphic Novel pages of From Above Issue 1.
Its a great idea and hopefully will continue for a long time showcase the many and varied books that are being produced in the Australian scene. Serious kudos to Neville Howard - Gaining Velocity - who came up with the idea!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Issue 7 under way.

Issue 7 is now well under way with the first cover rough and also starting to do some page rough layouts.

Issue 6 out now in print. Issue 4 now available on comixology

Just a quick update with Issue 6 just being released in print, and Issue 4 just being released on Comxology. Issue 5 is also uploaded and in review on ComiXology.

Pages being overhauled for trade paperback

One of the best things about doing the upcoming trade paperback is being able to go back and tweak a few of the pages as I go. Here's an example of a page from Issue 1 that's just got a bit of an overhaul. #comics