Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Hey guys! So the script is progressing nicely and should be done a few weeks after Christmas. Once that's finished I'll get right to work on drawing. I'm hoping to have the whole book drawn by summer.

Above are spot-blacked thumbnails for the first few pages and designs for the BullDogs, monsters that will be appearing in the first book.

I know updates are scarce these days. I don't want to update pointless information so months end up going by. But I've come up with a solution. If you guys want to be told when there's an update, send your e-mail addresses to Renard at He'll send out a mass e-mail everytime something important happens to let you guys know. Peace!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Hey guys! So work continues on the script, but I figured you might want to take a look at some of the work I've been doing designing the Ondine Foundation, the resurrected city that the first story takes place in. During the first book it's being used as a museum, much like a publicly owned castle in Europe. The Ondines are meant to have a godlike mystique, so it's only fitting that they have some religious influence in their architectural choices. Here we have drawings of a Russian church, a Tibetan temple, and a Hindu temple facade. As I work on the designs I'll use other sources to build this ancient civilization.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hard at work!

Again, no images for the moment. But I can tell you guys a little bit about what I'm thinking.

While I'm sticking to my guns about the story itself, I've been starting to give some thought to the look of TR. For this I've started thinking about what comics and video games have always grabbed me in terms of design. I arrived, eventually, at three video games: Final Fantasy IX, Shadow of the Colossus, and the Jak games from Naughty Dog. If I put these three together, I get a detail oriented look with a lot of old masonry, rusty metal, ancient temples and a steam punk edge. I've started looking at a lot of old Cambodian temples from the Khmer civilization and referencing and sketching them- I'll scan some of the sketches next week, and you guys can follow as I begin putting together some cityscapes.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

More coming!

Through page 45. I've got some designs to show you guys but right now I don't have a working scanner, so bear with me. Further updates as warranted!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


So, given that I'm working on the script it's hard to hand you guys direct updates without giving away the story. You should know I'm about 35 pages in.

Renards birthday party was today, but he's requested that nobody share any pictures- I can't imagine why. Everyone else had a lot of fun. Whatever he wants, I'm sure that the pictures will find their way out eventually.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back in business!

Hey everyone! Summers over and Troublemakers is officially back on full production!

While the second prequel chapter was supposed to be finished by now, I've made some modifications to the long term story that unfortunately render it obsolete. I think the changes to the story are for the best as they simplify things significantly- but it means I have to go back to the drawing board on a few things for the last time. This isn't the first time this has happened, I know. A lot of the past few months have been spent taking the raw material I've got and editing it down to something clean and manageable- this has been a valuable learning process for me, but it means that sometimes I have to double back on myself. I've already gained a lot in the course of this project and I'm excited to put it into action, so don't go anywhere.

I'm in the process of writing the script for the first full length graphic novel, which is going pretty fast at the moment. As designs, thumbnails and such pop up, I'll relay them to you. The official update day will return to Sunday.

While the second prequel chapter doesn't have any affect on the story, I'm still very proud of my work on it- so I'll continue to work on it and put it up when finished. Stay with me! -Zach

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Sunday!

Okay, folks. Time for yet another slight change to the nature of the update schedule.

I'm not going to update on a weekly basis for the rest of the summer. Instead I'm going to update on the day when there is something to update.

Those of you who've been following this diligently deserve an explanation, so here it is. The truth is that summer provides me with much less production time than the school year. During the school year I spend a lot more time in front of a desk than during the summer- not because I go out a lot (I don't) or because I work a lot (I do) but because my work time is spent in a house with three other people who all need a desk or an internet connection that we all share. Rest assured that I do get work done- I chill in coffee shops and take pages to work with me- but there simply isn't as much time to devote to TR as I have during the rest of the year. And I'm not going to update the story on a page by page basis, because it's not that kind of story.

This is part of why last week passed by without update- there have been other factors as well, but this is an issue that cannot be changed between now and the end of the summer.

If you're wondering how far the next mini has gotten, it's two thirds done. It'll be out by the end of the summer- for me, that's September 31'st, so let's plan on the release date being September 20'th for now- I want to allow time so that I can make some nice extras for the mini and organize it on

Check ya later, folks.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


This will all be appearing in the back of the next mini. Enjoy!

The Index City LIBRARY is known and feared throughout the world of literary catalogouing. Known for it’s stubborn staff, it’s rigid rules, and it’s support of corporal punishment, the LIBRARY is quite literally a prison for books. It is the responsibility of the Librarian Agents not only to ensure that books are returned on time, but in many cases never loaned out, lest the tomes wear out from exposure. Many of the books in the LIBRARY are extremely rare, ranging from the magical (such as the Telecomnicon) to the scientific (Supernatural Physics as described by Metaphyscial Math.) Most are either the last of their kind or the only copy ever printed.

There is absolutely no speaking in the library during library hours, on pain of expulsion, fine, or in extreme cases death. Sometimes all three.

All Librarian Agents are required to have their own coffee mug in the employee lunch room, be capable of 200 words per minute on a word processing program, have experience in information organization, and must have mastered a form of physical combat. Fugitive tracking skills and a can-do attitude are also a plus.

Librarian Profile-

HEATHER- Head Librarian Agent.

Number of Cats- 37.

Number of friends- 0.

Heather has worked for the Library since she was 16. The organization first noticed her usefulness when she sent a classmate to the hospital for keeping an overdue book for more than a week. She is widely known as one of the greatest of all catalouging minds in our time, and is also commented on for her strict discipline. She learned her style of fighting, which she has not named, from watching her cats fight over milk.

Heather sleeps upside down with her legs crooked around a long iron pole, with her arms folded over her chest. She says it helps her back.

Secretely an avid reader of the Edmund Eriathfaers line of romance novels.

Librarian Profile-

HORWITZ- Librarian Desk Agent

In charge of vhs/dvd section and also handles the books on tape.

Cannot read.

Horwitz was an awkward kid who grew into an awkward adult and then grew into an awkward late-middle aged man. His self esteem survives through a constant delight in small evils, which include levying large, invented fines against late library books and randomly shutting down a borrowers card every day for kicks. Horwitz hates Heather, but is forced to do what she says because his mother always told him to be nice to girls.

He fights with a gigantic, old school circular stamp. Since stamps are not used as frequently today and are often shaped differently, people often ask him just what the hell that huge thing he’s swinging around is.

Horwitz responds to anything embarrassing by hiding in the bathroom and listening to the Edmund Eriathfaers romance novels on tape until he thinks everyone is gone. Would never admit to his addiction in public.

Librarian Profile-

HALSTEAD- Librarian Volunteer

Covertly authors several romance novels under the pen name Edmund Eriathfaers.

The last name is an anagram for faerie trash.

Halstead is only fifteen years old, but is widely considered a prodigy amongst Librarians. He mastered the Dewey Decimal System at age five, and had in fact suggested several ways to improve it by age 7. There are high expectations for him as an archivist.

However, his secret passion has left him crippled with self loathing. Mortally afraid that anyone will find out that he is the creator of the widely acclaimed but much maligned Edmund Eriathfaers line of bodice rippers, he lives his life in a state of constant social paranoia. His computer has enough encryptions on it to rival the LIBRARY itself, and he writes his manuscripts in code, claiming to be writing to his dear old grandmother.

He mastered the art of paper battle by playing with old, thrown away scribblings for his novels. Because of this, he never leaves anyone he fights alive, in case they read the notes he killed them with.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


The t-shirts got fastracked! If you want a copy of I'm so excited, go here. I’m So Excited!
Check out the other shirts too- they aren't related, but one of them is being sold as a hyperspecial this week and is cheaper than normal. $12.99. Not a bad deal, right? See you!

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I'm going to temporarily move the update day to Sunday, since for the moment it makes more sense for me. It'll remain this way until the end of summer when I return to school.

So, after the con I was galvanized to greater levels of work. The first mini is now available on the Lulu marketplace for 11.84- here's the link.

The second is taking longer to complete than I thought, but rest assured I'm working on it. Also, I've submitted the shirt, along with two other unrelated designs, to They've been approved and are now waiting in the Designs: Waiting for Liftoff section, which means they need to be voted on before they're actually put up for sale. Go vote for them! The shirt titles are Minisaurus, Karaoke Rockstar, and of course, I'm So Excited!

See you soon!

Monday, June 30, 2008


The previous entry was all the great character designs from the con- check them out! I'm personally very fond of Dale (who's description was not pg13 and had to be fudged)and the mammoth- Dale is courtesy of Neil Lalond and the mammoth was courtesy of Pam Bliss. Also, Matt Tichenor drew Knuckles the Echidna. Unfortunately Knux is copyright protected (dammit) but as some of you may know, the Knuckles comics were some of my favorite things growing up, so this is just awesome as far as I'm concerned. You'll also find Rodger down there- he was put together by Alex Tichenor.

Also, this entry is a shout out to Chris "Banky" Sanchez, for deliving the amazing fanart you see here! You can find Banky at Check him out, he's awesome.

More to come, people!

Con Characters!

Back from Wizard World!

Hey everybody!

So Wizard World was an awesome experience. While I didn't sell that much, I did meet a lot of really cool people- many of which filled out the Design Your Own Character pages. Those will be on here shortly. For those of you visiting the blog for the first time, welcome! It updates every Saturday (except when conventions happen!)

Also, TR is officially going under the artist collective label Rebel Star, along with Mia 'Rocketshoes' Palluzi's awesome book Cross+Check! We hope to have more than just the two of us in the future and a web site- I'll let you guys know the details.

The next post tonight will have the Character Design pictures up, and some shouts to all the badass people I met at the convention!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wizard World!

So the fabulous Rocketshoes and I will be, as I have mentioned many times, appearing at Wizard World Chicago this weekend! 3906 in the artist alley. If somehow you've wandered your way onto this blog and, by serendipitous happenstance, will be at WWC, you'd best come check us out! Chapter one will be available for purchase, along with the t-shirts, and both of us will be open for commissions! RS is selling a one shot from her Cross+Check series, a story which features a character based on yours truly, and is also awesome just because. She will also have excellent t-shirts available for sale as well. So if you can, come check us out! I'll be waiting.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Proactive Interactivity!

So I mentioned a few months ago on here that one of my goals for TR was interactivity between you and the story. Here's the first example of that. It'll be free with a book purchase at the con, and anyone who wants to can send me three words and a sketch to be put up here on the blog! If I really like your character, I might put them in the story somewhere! -Z

Saturday, June 21, 2008

First the scanner, now the camera

Like the title says, first my scanner went wonky and now my camera isn't transferring images. The plan was to take a picture of me wearing the t-shirt, so you guys could see what it looks like. As soon as I have this figured out, I'll post it. In the mean time, check back tonight after 9:00 pm- I have work, but I'm going to put together something cool I'm doing for the con on my break. I'll scan it and you guys can take a look! -Z

EDIT: Okay! My sister helped out with a temporary solution! Thank goodness for camera phones. The pictures were taken in low light, but they'll do to let you guys know what you're getting.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Late but great (I hope!)

Thanks for being patient with me, guys. As promised, here are the first three pages.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Heads up!

1:30 in the morning is still technically Saturday.

This is (obviously) a heads up for this week. I don't have anything to show today due to unforeseen technoillogicalities, so I hope you guys can be patient. As soon as I've sorted everything out, I plan to put up the first three pages of chapter 2. I'm proud of these- I've dropped the tones for this issue and I'm giving hand lettering a shot. Just like any other experiment there are hiccups, but overall I think it's looking really good and I'm excited to show it to you. We just both have to control our frustration until I can make my robotic friends work properly again.

Look for it Sunday or Monday on the outside. You and me, kid. We're off to great places. Today is our day.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

T-shirt design and birthday!

Here's the first t-shirt design- I've scrapped the second since I don't have the cash for two. Also, I threw together a birthday pic for Zass. See you guys next week!

Friday, June 6, 2008


The stencil designs and pages are still forthcoming- this update is just to give everyone a heads up on Zasters B-day! It's tomorrow. You can wish her a happy one on facebook or send an e-mail to See you tomorrow!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wizard world!

As I may have mentioned, Mia Paluzzi (AKA Rocketshoes) and I will have a table together at Wizard World Chicago, June 26-29. Thinking about production and shipping time, that gives me roughly ten days to knock out this next chapter and maybe some t-shirt designs. However, I have run into financial troubles, so the t-shirts may or may not happen- I'd really like to get some up and running, though. Expect to see the t-shirt stencil designs on Saturday, if nothing else. Hope everyone's summer is off to a great start! -Z

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Sorry! I don't have an update for today. I just graduated college!

Grad school, here I come!

Friday, May 23, 2008


So I couldn't wait for tomorrow. Here's some news- first, I'll have a table at Wizard World Chicago with Mia Paluzzi at the end of June, so if you're in the area come by to see a new mini of the chapter I'm working on and maybe some swag! Second, between now and then I've set up some stuff to keep everyone busy while I work on the chapter.

The sibs now have facebook accounts! You should be able to find them if you search for their names. Give it a shot!

They don't have any photos up yet, but they will. Oh, they will. They also have e-mails included on the accounts (kinda hard to avoid that.) Badrick is, Renard is, and Zaster is I can't promise they'll answer every e-mail or even do it promptly, as they have busy schedules. Also, they're on the road often, so they don't always have internet access. But still, feel free to say hi! I'm sure they'll enjoy the attention. Especially Renard.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

More flavor text!

Editors day was chill. I left the minis with all the editors I was interested in. I'll be printing bee&dubs for all the people here in Savannah who've supported the project.

In other news, I've made more flavor text! One of them describes the world we're dealing with, and is kinda cheesy. The other is what you'd read on the back cover of a TR published collection- again, cheesy. Because cheesy is fun.

Thumbs progress. I hope to be well into chapter 2 by the end of this week.

The world:

This is a world without a name, where most of mankind has moved into the sky on floating islands held up by flying trees. The ground is feral mountain wilderness with a few human outposts, uncharted, untamed, where ogres raid human farms and humans raid ogre farms. Glaciers drip from the sky, lakes sometimes fall upwards. Here, a man could go on vacation and never be able to find his way back home. There are no nations, only cities. There are no wars, but there are many battles. History is a matter of choice. The only thing that holds mankind together is the Universal Etherwave Network, through which all people communicate.

This is a world where you can go to sleep and wake up to a completely different horizon. This is a world where stability can save your life. This is a world permanently in transit.

This is the world.

The Story:

This is the story of three siblings as they try to find the scattered pieces of the Total Cumulative Equation, the physical description of everything. Whoever finds the Total Cumulative Equation will possess all knowledge, and therefore all power. In other words, this is a story about three kids trying to become gods.

Badrick, the oldest, stuck in a child’s body with a superpower that’s more handicap than handy.

Renard, the second son, who can only fly as high as his limited imagination will let him.

And Zaster, the girl of the family, who’s lackadaisical attitude is expressed only in her massive powers and never in her lost voice.

They must face opposition from a whole world of organizations looking for the same thing, overcome their personal setbacks, do the impossible and break past all limits to achieve their ultimate goal.

Also looking for the Equation is their progenitor, Goddard, who’s vision sees past right and wrong,

And their brother, Jason, the perfect son in an imperfect world.

Embroiled in the conflict is the last creator of the Equation, Noa Ondine, who is charged with defending it from the wrong hands- that is, everyone’s.

This is a worldwide race for godhood in a world where everyone is always lost. It features fights, ‘splosions, robots, ogres, martial arts, magic, super-science, romance, superpowers and a flying four legged cephalopod. It’s a story where baseless confidence can win over smug superiority.

Troublemakers is about getting in trouble. And loving it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Here it is!

I couldn't wait for Saturday. Here it is!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My wallet is crying

The minicomics will be very expensive to make. They're ready, but they'll each cost seven bucks a pop plus tax. I am already a very poor little monster, so it's good that the quarter is ending.

Script 2 is past the first edit and I'm going to wrap it up tonight. Hopefully you'll see work on that by next week.

Just to keep you interested, here's one of the pieces that started all this. The very first one will come up here some other time- you can find it on the devart site if you're really curious.

Here you'll see early incarnations of the characters- Back when Badrick was Captain Bad Guy, Renard was The King of Swing, and Zaster was The Master of Disaster.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Hey everybody! Work progresses on the minicomic- these are a few extras I'm throwing in to catch attention at Editors Day. More importantly, I've completely overhauled the story. Up until now it's always seemed as though there was something off about it- but now I think I've figured it all out. Once I have an official synopsis put together I'll post it up here for you guys to see.

The website is going to have to be this, right here, for the moment. I hate to do that, but I can't change timetables. The chapter will be uploaded editors day weekend. Be ready! -Z

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Good news, bad news.

Hi. Good news: FINISHED! Chapter one is ready for showing. Bad news: I'm not sure where to put it yet. The original plan was to use comicpress, but there's a hitch- wordpress, as some of you might know, is a program as well as a site. And I don't have an internet connected computer on which to save my settings. That might change in the future, I'm not certain. So for right now, I hope you guys can wait a few more days while I figure this out. Any recommendations for other venues are welcome- this will not be a long term site, so it has to be free. I'll update in the middle of the week to let you guys know if anything changes. Stay out of trouble!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Finished page!

This should give you an idea of what a finished page will look like! I've finished page 7 out of 19, so hopefully that'll be everything by tomorrow. After that I'll print some test minis and I'll look for a venue online. Sunday is also outline day for chapter 2.

I'm thinking an easy, simple free site to start with. Hopefully by the end of summer I'll have enough cash to buy a real domain name, and then things'll really get started.

Also, I'm going to change the official update day to Saturday. The week is too busy for me to get anything truly substantial done by Friday- at least, anything I can show you that you want to see. Really, the only change is that I won't be updating in the wee hours anymore. So I'll see you guys next Saturday! I hope you're as excited as I am.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I owe you guys an apology. I'm sorry the rest of this post is two days late. The internet went down at the lab, and I was in bed for a lot of yesterday due to illness. Still, better late than never! Here's Zasters description and some information on Ether Trees.


Age: 16
Hit: Poetry, her brothers
Miss: cruelty, hurry
Self-Description: Fun
Described by others as: Fun and very kind.

Superpower: Ether manipulation through the use of martial arts and dances- invulnerable to ether attacks
Superproblem- mute, easily fatigued

Despite being mute, Zaster can be the most obnoxious member of the family. With a prankster nature and an old soul, she has the patience and the forethought necessary to pull off truly legendary practical jokes. Easygoing and loyal, her friendly exterior belies her observant interior. Very protective.


A lot of creatures in the world live on ether or use it for survival. Ether trees have found one of the more efficient ways to use it. An Ether tree actually bears more biological resemblance to a lily pad than to a tree. After powerfully rooting itself in the surrounding soil, the tree uses its wide leaves to lift iself off on Ether current, which carries it closer to the sun. Trees typically can't go above the cloudline, so that the earth they carried with them can retain water. Ether trees drop seeds from their roots.

Because a mature trees roots can extend for up to two miles, and ether trees are frequently a dominant species wherever they're seeded, floating islands are common. They do present dangers- those who live on them are always traveling as the island floats on ether currents, and when the trees die, the island crashes to the ground. All floating islands are city states. Some of the richer of them can afford gardeners or pressurized ether tubes to keep the island afloat even after the first trees are dead.

Trees are also used for transportation. Ether Trains are common for travel between islands, but for ground to air or vice versa, most people take Ether Cars.

Thats all for now. Later!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Friday!

Hi! Todays update actually pertains to the next chapter. I've put up some of the initial sketches to help give you guys an idea of what we might be looking at. I'll post a more detailed synopsis later this week, but for now I'll tell you that it's set in a company town for a toy manufacturer, and it has gypsies.

The character information for Zaster will show up later tonight, so check in later!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy Friday!

So I only have two new tings for you guys today. One is a small picture of some designs for Ogres- it's not much, but it might give you an idea of what they'll look like. I've decided to include little nibblets of info here and there on Fridays for those that are interested, in case I don't have too much visual stuff to show you, like today.

This world is populated by a lot of different kinds of people- so many that nobody's really bothered to classify them into specie. So there's humans of all shapes and sizes, and then there's Ogres. Ogre's are big, a little dumb in most cases, and typically considered very aggressive. In point of fact, there are a lot of Ogres out there who resent the more savage of their breed who give them a bad name. Still, dangerous Ogres are a big problem in rural areas- they can't get on flying continents, however, since they're too heavy.

Ogres are well known for their mastery of magic. Most of the population in this world favor science, but Ogres, without any small hands to operate fine machinery, have learned more ritualistic ways to air condition their homes. All human magical knowledge came from Ogres originally.

In every generation of Ogres, since they breed less and there are far fewer of them, has one single monarch, chosen at the death of the previous ruler. The current lord is King Caliban. He's relatively young, but has exhibited a lot of maturity and common sense in his position. And that's everything you need to know about Ogres.

Here's the next character description.


Age: 16
Hit: Flowers, soap operas, fine clothes.
Miss: inelegance, loneliness
Personal Description: Gentleman Lover
Described by others as: A stick who’s afraid to let loose and be himself.
Superpower: flight, exceptional speed
Superproblem: Why is his whole body covered? (Made of wood- incapable of human contact. Also very fragile and vulnerable to fire or insects.)

Even while bemoaning the Stars penchant for getting carried away, Renard himself is prone to losing his poise at frequent intervals. With a reserved stance and a gladiatorial temper, Renard likes to see himself as the voice of reason- but in the face of his equally obsessive siblings, he usually falls short.

I'm out. Peace!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mass update!

Hi, everybody. My internet's down- I don't know why yet, and it doesn't look like it'll be changing soon. So that's why there's a massive addition of stuff today rather than a gradual influx of work over time!

Thought I'd forgotten you, huh? No way! I've got three new images for you: one is some concept work in watercolor. This was especially helpful on the train. I had no idea what I wanted it to look like until I tried this. The next is another advert: this one was made specifically for forumn posts. Finally, page three has made it through inks. This should give you guys an idea for what to expect the art to look like.

Since I'm at the penciling and inking stage of the work for chapter 1, it's hard to come up with stuff to show you that won't take away all the suspense for when you actually read it. So, to make sure you're appetites stay wet, I'm going to start updating with whatever I can find every Friday- for now, we'll start with basic character descriptions, to help you guys get a feel for how things will look in the extended story. I've added some fun extra information too.

We'll start with the main character.


Age: 17
Hit: Bugs, cartoons, Mega Force
Miss: Losing, current age
Personal description: superhero
Described by others as: Someone who spends so much time staring dramatically into the distance that he misses what’s in front of him.

Superpower: Super strength and durability of varying degrees depending on how high he dials on his earpiece.
Superproblem: a child’s body- his super strength typically only translates to roughly adult strength. Also after five minutes the dial resets, which causes him immobilizing pain and is tough on his body. Dialing to 13 could conceivably kill him.

Pint sized and full of passion, Badrick makes up in determination what he lacks in common sense. A 17 year old stuck in the body of a ten year old, he retains a boys optimism, fascinations, and black and white logic. As the first of the Stars children to be made, he’s the most defective- however, his strong will seems to carry him through most situations.

That's it for now. Check in on Friday!