New comic: Have a Good Paradise

Comics

I completed a new comic last week called “Have a Good Paradise.” This is a new direction for me as it’s strictly autobiographical, about growing up in the Greek-American diaspora and my relationship with my maternal grandmother. I’m really proud of this story and hope you enjoy it.

The first three pages are below, and you can read the entire comic (for free!) right here: http://photinakis.com/portfolio/have-a-good-paradise/

Paradise - Maria Photinakis

 

Paradise - Maria Photinakis

 

Paradise - Maria Photinakis

Read the rest of this comic: http://photinakis.com/portfolio/have-a-good-paradise/

More of a Tumblr person? You can love or reblog the comic here: http://merakimou.tumblr.com/post/140573826535/my-new-autobiographical-comic-have-a-good

While working on this comic, I really pushed myself to slow down and add more detail and texture to my panels. The magic of comics and graphic novels is when you can just get lost in a great drawing and feel like you jump in the panel and explore.  A great sense of place and real atmosphere lingers with me long after I’ve put the comic away. That’s a feeling I’d like to capture in my work more and more with each comic that I make.

 

I need to say a HUGE thank you to Heide Solbrig and the Boston Comics Roundtable, as I took the BCR’s class on autobiographical comics that Heide taught, and her edits and crits were crucial in making this comic come to fruition. Heide’s experience in telling fantastic stories through film, comics and other media was so crucial in helping me understand how to tell an effective story here.  I came to this class feeling quite “blocked” and now I feel a lot more confident in knowing how to move forward, how to find the key elements of stories I want to tell, and being brutally honest with what edits need to be made!

And if you are thinking of taking a class via the Boston Comics Roundtable, I say YES! Jump in and DO IT! My classmates were all incredible and I learned so much from each of them. Honestly I’m going to miss seeing everyone now that class is over (though I suppose this is even more motivation for me to show up to the Thursday BCR meetings 🙂 )

I hope to take what I learned from this class and apply it to even more stories — I think I have enough stories about my experiences growing up that I can make a full graphic novel from this.  I’m thinking of calling it Benedictions. So if you hear me referring to Benedictions… this comic is just the first chapter, so to speak 🙂

Hourly Comics Day 2015

Comics

For my third year in a row, I participated in Hourly Comics Day, the first day of February, where you create a comic for every (waking) hour of the day. This year I wanted to make my hourly comics quickly and on the spur of the moment, so my style is even more un-restrained than usual. Please note: Some salty language is in there, if that’s a concern.

You can see the collection of all my off-the-cuff hourly comics below. (It happened to be Superbowl Sunday, for reference.)

Red Flag: Now on ComiXology

Comics

My one-shot scifi comic Red Flag is now available on ComiXology here:  http://cmxl.gy/1Fvcl36

Red Flag

Red Flag
Written by: Maria Photinakis
Art by: Maria Photinakis
Price: $4.99
“What’s most important is now I’m living my dream. I’ve finally done SOMETHING with my life. So everything is going to be okay.”How far would you go to pursue your dream? To what degree would you tolerate hardships to hang on to those dreams-and what’s the final breaking point that would force you to give up on them?

Cassie wants more than anything to live and work in space, and has ever since she was a little kid.

But once she’s in orbit in a decrepit, barely-functional spaceship, she soon realizes that the ship’s poor condition and amoral owner are putting both her life and her sanity at stake.

She has to make the decision: Her life, or her life’s dream?

Buy Red Flag now on comiXology!

Cosplay SubCulture comic now available: Devotion in Every Stitch

Comics

I’m excited to announce that the SubCultures Comic Anthology, edited by Whit Taylor and printed by Ninth Art Press, is now available for purchase — and my six-page cosplay story called “Devotion in Every Stitch” makes an appearance.

Here is the first page as a teaser:

CosplaySubcultureComic-Photinakis

Those of you who visited me during Somerville Open Studios may remember seeing it on display in my studio space. Cosplay in America also shared my work on its Twitter and Facebook recently, so if you found me from there, hello!

The official book description:

36 indepenent cartoonists explore the various and varied worlds-within-the-world we know as “subcultures.” from Star Wars conventioneers to bigfoot hunters, from goths and gamers to record collectors and cosplayers, these stories reveal the rules, rituals and relationships that define these infinite and intricate subsets of humanity. Contributors include Sam Alden, Liz Prince, Alex Robinson, Darryl Seitchik, Noah Van Sciver, MariNaomi, Box Brown and many others!

I am happy to be one of those “many others” and really excited to share my cosplay experiences in comic book form.  This book made its debut at SPX this year and now it’s available for purchase to the general public: Buy SubCultures here from Ninth Art Press and let me know what you think!

And a special bonus just for you, dear blog readers — here are photos of me in the cosplay outfits I mention on my comic:

Nanny (Rose of Versailles)

Me as Nanny (Rose of Versailles)

 

Me as Kefka – photo by Amanda of Elemental Photography (elemental-photography.net)

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

For My Boston Strong – Between Sleeps #2 now online

Comics

002-2-boston-strong-between-sleeps-photinakisI’ve posted the second installment of my diary webcomic, Between Sleeps.  This installment is called “For My Boston Strong.”

I’ve been previewing the comic on the blog here for a little bit, as it’s the one about my experiences in the aftermath of both 9/11 and the Boston Marathon Bombings, and on being a resident of both NYC and Boston during and after both events (yes, really).

I’m happy to say that my comic been out for about 24 hours now and I’ve received some lovely feedback on it.  Thank you for reading.

(If you’re more the Tumblr type, I also posted the comic here for your liking/reblogging.)

Still roughing things out a bit here, but I'd done a lot of thumbnailing work previously and knew generally were things were going to go.

Update on short submission for In A Single Bound #3

Comics

Work continues for the short I’m submitting for Ninth Art PressIn A Single Bound #3. Yesterday I completed some rough pencils for the first page – I need to define some of the figures a bit more and REfine the details on the complicated establishing shot (a crowd shot, no less! Why did I do this to myself?). But there were some REALLY fun panels on this page – I don’t want to give too much away though, as I really want you to see it when it’s in print (hopefully :))

Here’s a poorly-photographed preview:
fire-vampire-pencils

Tonight I’ll do the pencils for the second page, probably alternate a bit between that and refining the pencils I already did. I need to figure out a good balance between going nuts on the pencils and making sure I don’t leave areas of mystery for me to try to navigate while inking (because that’s never good).

As noted in previous blog entries, thumbnailing was SUPER crucial on this. I spent a good amount of time scripting and then playing around with layouts in the thumbnail phase. I can’t even imagine how I would have approached this comic if I hadn’t done that — I’d probably be curled up in a ball of anxiety in some dark corner, weeping quietly…

Working on a short for In A Single Bound #3

Comics

The call went out in April but I only just started on this yesterday – I’m working on a cute new short for Ninth Art Press’ In A Single Bound #3.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I met with my main collaborator yesterday. She had a lot of great ideas that I’m excited to put on the page.

Oh, and she’s 4 … 🙂

I’ve got a month to get this done. This should be a lot of fun! Also, probably kind of stressful! But that’s art!

Silent Fluency – MECAF minicomic progress update

Comics

silentfluency-process-5

I printed 40 copies of my minicomic (too many?) and folded them up this evening. Pretty painless when you zone out and watch some Arrested Development reruns while doing it.

Tomorrow it’s staple-and-trim day. And then, hopefully… I’ll have a nice photo of a stack of minicomics to show you! If you’re going to be at MECAF, I’ll be giving them away to anyone who’d like one.