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Welcome to the world of Shawn and Octoberson Design!

I'm a graphic designer who's finally starting to branch out into other areas of art and interests. I've been a graphic designer/production manager/graphic/production director for a local magazine. While I like designing ads and helping to produce a magazine every month, I also love to draw.

My hope for this blog is to post all sorts of new things that I've created, from sketches to finished works. I want to put my name and my work out into cyberspace, maybe it will end up making more creations to put into my digital portfolio! Please feel free to contact me if my design skills could be of use to you.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ghostly Comics #2

Over the weekend I finally put the finishing touches on my contribution to local writer, Troy Vevasis's Ghostly Comics #2 comic series. My six page story is called The Doomed Souls, a story about a space scavenger pilot who finds an old prison space station and gets more than he bargained for. There are other stories and artist at work on this issue, too, one of which is my friend Sharon Berger who's making her comic book illustration debut in this very issue with Troy's short story The Helmet. I've seen Sharon's pages and they are full of detail, energy and gorgeous linework. I'm proud to be in the same issue as her, though if you ask me she's slumming it showcasing with me. This time around, Troy asked me to draw up the cover and I have to admit it's probably my favorite piece of the artwork I created for the comic this time around. The book is headed to the printer soon and will be out around Halloween. Drop by Comix Connection in Mechanicsburg to pick up a copy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ghostly Comics and other updates of note...

It's been quite a while since I updated the old blog. Needless to say, between the normal full-time job, some freelance work, illustration jobs and, probably the biggest and most important of all, being a father to a 2 year old little lady, blog updates are a little low on my priority list unfortunately.

So the biggest news from me in the last few months is that the comic anthology, Ghostly Comics, written by Troy Vevasis was released earlier this month. It has a 4 page story illustrated by me called The Tour Guide, as well as other stories illustrated by my friends and coworkers at Comix Connection, Jesse Arnold and Joseph Hare (Manager Joe). It's my first real published comic book art ever so I'm pretty proud of the fact that I managed to accomplish something in the field I'm passionate about. Like most artists, there's stuff I'd still love to tweak and make a bit better than I could at the time, but all things considered it's just fun to say my work is out there for public consumption.

Troy's got me working on two more projects. One's a sequel to Ghostly Comics where I'll be working on a 6 page story called The Doomed Souls as well as illustrating the cover, which I'll post here when it's finished. Also in the mix is a comic that I'm illustrating from beginning to end for Troy called The Town of Doom. That one will take a bunch more work, though, so I won't have much to post on that for a while, I'm sure.

Troy also has another book coming out called Hermes and The Cursed Planet that's worth a look, too. He's set up an Indiegogo page to promote the book so if you'd like to contribute in helping this book become a reality, just click here and take a look. To check out other work Troy has created, check out his website. You'll find Ghostly Comics there as well as lots of other books he's published. You can also head over to Comix Connection Mechanicsburg where the book is on sale, as well.

As far as any other news, I'm hoping to be at the Baltimore Comic Con once again this year, but I probably won't be able to have much available to buy (even less than last year which really is depressing since I didn't have a huge amount to offer outside of two prints) so I'll probably be more in a fan capacity than in artist alley unless something crazy happens where I have tons of free time between now and August. Sorry, that was me laughing like Renfield from the old school Bela Lugosi Dracula movie.

I'm also trying to work in time on my own book, the years in the making Failsafe. Originally my plan was to have it finished for this year's comic con but it looks like next year might be a better goal. Since this is an idea I've had for almost a decade now (I can't believe it's been that long honestly), what's another year? My hope is to create a book that is worthwhile to anyone who picks it up and sometimes it just takes time to make sure that's the case.

Well, back to it. I'll leave you, dear reader, with a glimpse of what I illustrated for Troy's comic.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ghostly Comics

After Baltimore Comic Con, I got a message from a local writer who wanted to see if I'd tackle 4 pages in his horror anthology comic. The writer's name is Troy Vevasis and he's prolific enough to already have 3 issues of his own creator owned comic, Tales of Trolik, as well as another anthology, Mysterious Comics. Check out this site to get more information on his work as well as contributing donations to help fund Ghostly Comics' publishing.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Baltimore Comic Con

What did you do, Ray?!

Jesse and me shortly after set up on the first day of comic con!
So this past weekend I was a first time, legitimate guest in Artist Alley at the 2013 Baltimore Comic Con. The more I think about that, the more crazy it seems. Jesse and I might have failed in our first Kickstarter attempt to get Counter Monkey Comics off the ground, but the second one came through and then some. And while I had been a naysayer about Kickstarter, I have to admit that Jesse had the right idea going into this convention, otherwise personal stuff that came up in the last month financially would have knocked me out of the running for the con entirely.

The dream is becoming realized, though.

The "Authentic" print I did to promote
J.R. Broadwater's novel writing endeavors.
A portion of the proceeds from this print
go to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
On the first day of the convention, it was so surreal to see the before show activities and set up. Even more surreal for me was walking the floor before anyone else got the chance (including VIPs) and get my bearings. I also got a chance to run into current He-Man and the Masters of the Universe artist Pop Mhan at his table. He had issues of the comic with him to buy, but what really grabbed my attention was 3 prints: one of He-Man, one of Skeletor and one of Teela. I couldn't resist and bought them all just because I would have had my OCD kick into overdrive for not taking advantage. Then the craziest thing happened. He asked me where my work was. I brought the few prints I managed to finish in time for the con along with two of Randy's books that I illustrated the covers. When Mr. Mhan saw them he asked if he could give me a detailed critique of my work, to which I basically replied "YES PLEASE!"

The first renderings of the characters
who will make their debut in the pages
of my creator owned series, Failsafe!
Mr. Mhan went into the color theory I used and felt I had a decent handle and good use of it throughout both prints. He pointed out a few things I could improve on, focusing in on the Clay Colt cover illustration I did over a year ago now. Then he moved to talk about the Authentic print I created for the convention where he pointed out that the problems he saw on Clay Colt weren't prevalent on that piece (which made me happy since it showed I learned, applied, and grew in over a year). Still, to have a professional actually take the time (which meant a lot considering he didn't have to do a critique or even ask to see my work) to look at some work I accomplished meant more than most things that could be found at the convention that weekend. Plus, hearing that what I did for the con is "rockin'!" was one of the coolest compliments I could have asked for. I've told many people about this chance meeting and I'm sure I'll be talking about it a year from now. Once again, thank you, Pop Mhan, for taking the time to look at my work!

Me, Jesse and the lovable Squatch, Matt, manning the booth.
Beyond that awesome start to the convention, it was definitely a new experience to be on the other side of the table at a convention. I loved it, honestly, and felt at home there, like I should have been doing this for so long but always coming up with reasons why I shouldn't bother. After this weekend, I can say stepping out of the comfort zone is a satisfying experience on a number of levels. In some ways I wish I would have done this sooner. In other ways I can honestly say I doubt I would have appreciated this first attempt as much as I do. I'm in no way a comic art god, but I do feel a bit more confident in my skills to actually say I have potential now compared to almost a decade ago when I first started going to the convention.

Now the planning begins for next year already and the con's whopping 3 day schedule, rather than previous year's 2 days. I'm going to start working on more prints because I realized how much it would help to have more and more art out there since there were many people passing by our table who asked "so who's the writer and who's the artist?" When they found out that Jesse was both writer and artist for his creator owned comic, Sock Drawer, most people looked at me with a "then why are you even here?" look. Honestly, I expected that a lot this year because I wasn't 100% ready to start hitting the convention circuit like I would have hoped. Still, if you keep waiting around until you have enough time to do everything you want to do, you end up with a lot of time wasted. While I did get some good feedback on my work, quantity is definitely a must for next year (without forsaking quality, mind you).

So, here's looking to September 5, 6, 7, 2014 already! To any who came out to see what Counter Monkey Comics cooked up this year, Jesse and I both thank you for showing us some love during your convention pilgrimage. We hope to see you all next year!

And a special thank you goes out to my fiance, Heather, and daughter, Evyn, for putting up with me working crazy hours and taking off all weekend to give this a try. Love you!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Counter Monkey Comics... THE LOGO!

Another step closer to Baltimore happened today with the finalizing of the Counter Monkey Comics official logo! Jesse and I are planning to have some t-shirts made with the logo and we already have requests, so if anyone out there is in the mood to go bananas feel free to let us know! In the coming weeks we'll have more stuff in the pipeline but for now it's just good to have the logo finished and ready. Also, Jesse and I will be working on the new home for Counter Monkey Comics at, amazingly, where you will get updates on our Baltimore plans!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Another Baltimore Comic Con try...

So a few years ago I wanted to make a go of hitting Baltimore Comic Con and exhibit work in Artist Alley. For many reasons (including a rejection letter from DC Comics which I still look at as a "cool, I tried and here's proof" email) I couldn't get my act together well enough to hit the con as anything but a fan like years before. This year I'm hoping to change that once again.

With the incredibly enthusiastic and motivated Jesse Arnold, we hope to hit Baltimore Comic Con in the form of something we'd like to call Counter Monkey Comics (thanks once again to Mr. Bill Wahl, owner of Comix Connection, for giving his blessing to use his beloved title to all of his employees as our moniker). Jesse has a list of things he hopes to have ready for the convention and I'm sure will definitely be worth anyone's hard earned money once they see what he's accomplished. On my side of things, I'm going for a modest first showing, both due to time constraints and due to not wanting to rush prematurely into revealing a story that I hope to share with everyone before it's given some well needed love and attention. So my contribution will be some prints as well as representing for Randy Broadwater and our Authentic Productions Entertainment venture by having copies of each of the books we've produced so far.

In that vein, I kicked around some ideas for a branding/marketing idea using the word Authentic to promote Authentic Productions Entertainment. My first print attempt is part of that branding idea and will be available at the Baltimore Comic Con (as long as Jesse and I do make it down there!). I decided I'd post a glimpse of it on here. Please, check it out and feel free to make any comments/critique.

Also, keep a weathered eye to the horizon. Jesse and I will have more and more news to share as things move forward, including a website/blog to update anyone interested in our progress to get to Baltimore as well as glimpses into our offerings for the con!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Just Super cover

"There is something very different and very special about Keith Green - he has “super powers.” Keith Green also has only six months to live because those powers are slowly killing him. This is the story that reporter Sam Daylin is hired to chronicle, as Keith spends the last six months of his life trying to use his powers to help people and change the world as the its first “superhero”. However, the more that his illness begins to affect him, the more erratic Keith begins to act. The world’s first superhero could become the world’s greatest threat, and Sam Daylin may be the only person who is in a position to stop him."

Randy's got another book offering just in time for spring! We hope you'll take a chance and try out Keith Green and Sam Daylin's tale. You can purchase the book here. Try out the first chapter for free here. And don't forget to check out the Authentic Productions Entertainment website here.