Red Flag #redflagcomic Process post!

Comics, Process

If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Instagram the last few months (and you should!), you’d probably noticed that I’ve been working furiously on my new comic, Red Flag, which I will debut at MeCAF this spring. Here is the official description for Red Flag:

Red Flag is about the lengths we go to pursue our dreams and ambitions, the degree to which we’ll tolerate hardships to hang on to those dreams, and the breaking points that can force someone to give up on them. The hero of the story lives in the near-future wants more than anything to live and work in space. Once she’s in orbit in a decrepit and barely-functional spaceship, she slowly realizes that the condition of the ship and the violent tendencies of the ship owner are putting her life and sanity at stake. She has to make the decision—her life or her life’s dream?

I’m really excited about this project and can’t wait to share it with the world.  For real-time updates on my work, please follow the hashtag #redflagcomic on Twitter and Instagram.  In the meantime, here are some photos and thoughts on the process:


Here’s the hero of our story, Cassie, in a character design sketch, looking very concerned!

Some background characters as well. Randy by name, Randy by nature.

I thumbnail really really loose. Some people have their thumbnails as gospel for their actual layouts, they just enlarge their thumbnails and work off of that. I think I’d like to get to that point someday in my process, but for now it’s just me arranging main elements on the page and the flow of panels.

Here are almost all of the completed Red Flag pencil pages hanging up in my studio. I have them up on display just like magazines do for galley reviews — lets me get the bigger picture, find any issues with flow, and of course I go in there with my pencil and correct mistakes as I see them.

I finished my pencils last week and will be starting inking soon, so these pages will start to look a bit more interesting very soon. I’ve also started painting the cover design — I’m keeping that under wraps until it’s done, though. Want it to be a surprise!

Still – stay tuned.

… And since you got this far, here are two of my preliminary sketch cards that served as inspiration for this comic. I drew them back in October 2013 and have been using them as guideposts for this comic:
Red Flag comic - Maria Photinakis

Red Flag comic - Maria Photinakis

Podcast interview on “Maybe I’ll Be Back” with Corey Hodgdon


I met Corey at last year’s MeCAF – he was literally the first person I introduced myself to when I walked through the doors of the con! And we’ve basically been friends ever since. Corey has a wonderful comic series called “The Capture of Bigfoot” — which you can buy right here:

He also recently launched a podcast called “Maybe I’ll Be Back: Tales from Artist Alley” and kindly asked to have me on the show. I had a bad sinus infection at the time and sounded/felt absolutely awful, but I still had a great time speaking with Corey and hopefully you’ll enjoy giving our conversation a listen:

Make sure you subscribe to his podcast if you liked what you heard! And maybe I’ll be back on the show as well!

Interview with Michael Dambold on his blog


Recently webcomic artist extraordinaire Michael Dambold did an interview of me on his blog — lots of interesting process questions here — take a peek!

And of course, make sure to give Michael’s beautiful comics a look right here:

Thoughts on Doodle at the Somerville Nave Gallery Annex


I was honored that my work, For My Boston Strong, was chosen to be a part of this fantastic show on cartooning in a great new art space in the middle of Davis Square:

(Happily in front of my piece at the opening reception.)

A lot of the Boston-area cartooning and comics community came out for the opening reception. It was a packed house (in the dead of winter no less! no easy feat in New England!) and it was truly wonderful meeting new people, putting faces to names and talking to people about my work.

(Discussing my work and process with a fellow community member and artist.)

Comic-making can be very isolating – a lot of visual arts are, but a lot of us comics folk feel like we’re slaving away in our caves, and then we scatter our work to the four winds and hope someone sees it. Generally you don’t get to submit your work to any kind of fancy reception-ed show, since comics aren’t “fine” art (pshaw, whatever). So it was as genuine thrill for me to see my work on the wall, and watching the reaction of people as they stopped by to read and take in my work. I remember watching a couple standing together, reading my pages, and I watched as they fell silent and reached for each others’ hand as they moved from page to page. It was a powerful moment, a beautiful reminder of the reaction that people can have to something that I’ve made. It was a thrill.

Of course, it was great to bring my family to see the show as well so they could finally understand a bit of what I’ve been working on all this time:

(My parents!)

(And my husband, who has been my number one supporter and fan. And a guest-star in the comic on display.)

If you came by the show while it was happening, I hope you enjoyed seeing all the fantastic talent and wide range of styles and themes on display.

If you’d like to see my comic again, it’s online here:

Some of the press for Doodle:

My new studio home: Mad Oyster Studios in Somerville, MA


I’m really excited to announce that I have a new art studio, and it’s in the fantastic Mad Oyster Studios in awesome Somerville, MA.  I used to live in Somerville (back in the day) and it has a very active  art scene, so I’m excited to be officially a part of it.

I just moved in last week, so I’m still setting up my space, but here’s a little preview of what it’s like:

My new studio space at Mad Oyster StudiosAfter my initial move-in, I turned off most of the lights so my husband could nap on the couch. It’s not really that dark in here! (Though admittedly I do like to work in a cave-like place…  can’t be good for my eyes though.)

My setup

Since my walls are mostly masonry (great for fire-proofing, not so good for nailing stuff up), I rigged up a not-very-elegant-but-very-useful pine board rig to hang up frequently used tools, as well as a mirror for checking expressions and all that.

All moved in (and kind of pooped)

Here’s me looking terrible and exhausted after finishing moving in! It’s pretty much the worst photo… why did I post this picture again…?



See you tonight at Doodle!


I’m getting really excited for tonight’s opening reception of Doodle. Will I see you there?

Doodle at the Nave Gallery Annex, 53 Chester Street, Somerville, MA (right in Davis Square).
Opening reception tonight, 6-8pm! Meet and greet the artists!

More info on the show-

PODCAST: Ep. 3 – Recovery and Audacity


Happy new year! We’ve been away for a little while – longer than we meant to be. For that, we do apologize. But we explain why we’ve been gone for a while, and I think you’ll agree that we had good reasons. This episode is all about recovering from major setbacks, fighting to overcome our fears. Being audacious.


P.S.  Apologies for sound issues about halfway through the ep – I had to switch mics and that caused a little sound buzz.

Links Of Relevance:

Find us on iTunes – subscribe here:

If you like our podcast, we’d LOVE to hear from you! Drop us a comment or tweet at us — @photinakis for me, @kimitru for Kimbo!

Upcoming Art Show: Doodle at the Nave Gallery Annex in Davis Square in Somerville, MA


bostonstrongI’m excited to announce my work for Doodle, an upcoming art show at the NAVE Gallery Annex in Davis Square, Somerville, MA.

My work, For My Boston Strong (Between Sleeps #2), will be on display with a number of other artists in this curated show devoted to all things cartoons, which will run from January 10-26, 2014.  The opening show will be on January 10th (a Friday), 6 – 8 pm, and I will be there!  It would be great to see you! Here’s the Facebook event for the opening show if you’d like to officially RSVP.

So, if you are in the greater Boston area, please drop on by the NAVE Gallery Annex (directions here) to see all the work on display, especially if you are a fan of cartoons and comics.

Sketch cards


In between some major projects, I’ve been working on 5×7-inch sketch cards as a stress reliever. I’ve done about 15 of these so far, mainly in Copic marker and in a few different styles. I worked on these yesterday—Team Rocket from Pokemon, and then an original character of my own in a scene from the story I am working on: