I started this graphic novel, Transient, way back in 2005.  Worked on it steadily from around 2007 to 2011, in between jobs, nights and weekends.

It became this weird obsession. I’d never drawn a comic book before, but drew more from a knowledge of cinema acquired  from watching thousands of films while working in movie rental for years as a kid.

I wrote it as I went along, not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything, but more to sort of shoot from the middle,  to take an unusual and maybe unsavory idea,  and package it to be as easily digestible as possible.

Living in downtown SF at the time made it easy to write about that world. It wasn’t hard to stay inspired, and I tried my best to channel my surroundings it into the work.

Got a bunch of copies printed, I sold some of them, and then we had our first kid, which proved to be the perfect excuse to shelve it and forget about it.

Okay I shouldn’t really blame on having a kid, it was 100% me. I’ve always been better at making stuff than selling it. I could try to hide behind some dumb “I’m more of an artist than a promoter” mantra, but truth be told I just sort of suck at it, AND it’s not nearly as interesting to me,  so I tend to ignore it to my own detriment.

We kept having kids, and with each one it put more of a damper on the notion of working on any long term personal projects, and transient just sort of faded off into darkness in the rear view mirror.

I’d dust it off and do a drawing here or there over the years, but I don’t think I was ready to truly revisit it. But recently, over the past few months,  I’ve been bitten by the bug again.

Not sure exactly what sparked this rekindling. It wasn’t really one event so much as it felt like lots of little things that all seemed to point back to the fact that I never really followed through with it, and at the end of the day I still feel like it’s a compelling concept that’s maybe even grown more relevant in the time since I made it.

This time around,  I’m taking more of an animated approach,  reformatting shots straight from the book. It’s been pretty wild revisiting stuff that’s now almost 20 years old, and sort of cathartic diving in and fixing issues that were maybe beyond my understanding back then.

old frames from the book i had to reimagine in HD format

I drew like 230 something pages of the book, so I became very familiar with the world and characters, so it’s felt like putting on a comfortable old pair of shoes getting back into it.

I’m trying to keep the art style principally inspired by the book, but also aiming for something a bit more clean and linearly driven. Not only is it easier to deal with, but I also think it communicates more clearly. here are a few of the new frames/bg’s inspired by the frames above:

using a mix of 3d and 2d for the backgrounds and elements…pretty much whatever gets it done more quickly.

It’s been slow going because I’m doing this between actual paying work/raising my kids, but I’m finding ways to work it in where I can.

Frame drawn animation takes a loooong time, but it’s so satisfying,  and it feels like I’m learning to speak a new language having to deal with the concepts of timing and movement.

couple of looping animations done in procreate

Definitely not good at it yet. But I’m hellbent on getting at least decent at it. There’s been lots of failures and do-overs, but there have also been a few victories hidden in between, and I can’t wait to show more of this stuff as it comes along.