Vultures and warthogs and jet skis, oh my!


This is Extreme

More than Words

Why write words when I can show you awesome stuff? Last update you got a first look at the concept sketch for the primary cover of By the Time I Get to Dallas #3, in production as we speak. Since then the team has crushed this cover and I want to share the whole process with you.

Also, if you don’t have “More Than Words” by Extreme in your head yet, please proceed here. Thank you, Boston’s 47th greatest band, give or take.

First up is that concept sketch again by Juanfran Moyano, along with the covers from books 1 and 2. Those covers had apocalyptic horror themes, and I was ready to go for something different this time. In #3 our heroes get on the road and into trouble, so I wanted to showcase adventure more than dread. Trinity Project artist Greg Woronchak says it’sNorth by Northwest meets 80s action flick.” Which is cool cause that’s the sort of thing I was hoping for.



Next come the inks, also by Juanfran. If you’re wondering why comics need inks, this is a pretty great example showcasing what inks do. they make sharp clearly defined art that will take color and pop out on the printed page. It is cool seeing how much of this image Juanfran leaves up to the colors, knowing that color techniques can fill in the water, the sky, and the gunfire effects without line art getting in the way.

And here it is with that fantastic color work by Jay Moyano. I think this cover pops like crazy. It keeps the “something is wrong with the world” apocalyptic sky of the previous covers, but gives us full-on action, with our heroes front and center. Jet skis vs. an A-10 Warthog?? I’d pick up that comic for sure.

And for extra credit, we need a Kickstarter Project Image. That’s the image featured everywhere on Kickstarter, and it must be 1024 x 576 pixels. It is natural to want to snip art from somewhere in the book and use it to save time, effort and money. It rarely works though, it weird dimensions and the odds of finding a great image in your book to fit this panel are low. And having a great project image is the single most important key to Kickstarter, so no cutting corners! Juanfran, Jay and I played around with compositions and settled on a new image using elements from both the cover and interior panels, composited together by Jay. Killer project image? Check. 

How will it look on Kickstarter? Great question! Click on the image and check it out. And for extra credit, click “notify me on launch” to get a notice the second the campaign launches on October 12. By getting early access to the campaign you’ll be able to snag the Early Bird reward! All Early Bird backers (including digital levels) earn #3 in the collectible By the Time I Get to Dallas postcard series, personalized with a note from me. I love sending these postcards all over the world to say thank you for backing us early. We’ve already almost 100 followers; this bodes well for the campaign. Make sure you don’t miss out!

How I’m staying sane today

Bird watching. Sailing was too exciting, we needed to settle things down. For one week per year on vacation on Cape Cod, Ethel and I break out the binocs (she hates that word), spotting scope and bird guides to become avid bird watchers. In fact, I just got interrupted while writing this to chase after an enormous bird flying over head;  we think it was either a Turkey vulture or less likely an immature bald eagle. How’s that for exciting! It takes a few days to remind ourselves of the various gulls and egrets we see on the coast here in Massachusetts, but then for three days or so we are experts. This year we’ve been aided by technology with the Merlin Bird ID app, which includes both a bird call identifier (Shazam for birds) and an automatic photo ID (ie, cheating). We also recommend the Peterson Field Guide. When the week is over we’ll return to the city and forget all this knowledge for another year, but then we’ll return and relearn it again. This makes us migratory nerds. *Drops the binocs*


Because you asked. Clockwise from left are a Great Blue Heron; a Red-tailed Hawk; and two osprey living happily in a nest (look closely) in the infield of a frigging go kart track with super loud motor vehicles circling them constantly 8 hours a day, along with dozens of people yelling, and stench of gasoline and exhaust. Osprey are weird.

Colin is an emergency physician in Boston, Massachusetts. The seeds of his comics project were sown when he took a sabbatical from the ER for creative writing. His creative non-fiction has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.