Featuring the Webcomics and Graphic Novels, Fantasy and Sci-Fi by Mark Oakley!
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What is, Thieves & Kings?

“Thoroughly engrossing self-published black-and white fantasy saga. [. . .] This is a story for fans of Bone, Elfquest, Nausicaa, or Harry Potter to fall in love with; highly recommended for teen and adult fantasy readers everywhere.”

   -The Library Journal

Learn about Mark Oakley and his work!

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Read a 25 page
sample chapter!





Mark’s sci-fi Web Comic!

Stardrop! Featuring the space Princess Ashelle living on Earth.
Bi-weekly webcomic!

Email Me!


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I Box Publishing
#1 - 614 Main St.
Wolfville, NS  B4P 1E8
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Articles of Note:

Response to Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing


Art Software Review - OpenCanvas 6


Why Facebook is an unreliable tool for the Self Publisher


Three Questions from a Beginner Cartoonist


Comics in the New Media ~ How to Publish Comics on Tablets and eReaders Without Getting Ripped Off


Mark at the Movies:Superman, Man of Steel. Propaganda to dim the spirit and fan your fears.


Mark at the Movies: What do, Mirror Mirror, Hunger Games and Cabin in the Woods all have in common? More than you think!


Drawing Democracy


365 Days of Digital Cartooning - Drawing Comics on a Tablet PC


UPDATED!
Tablet button bar Button for Photoshop / PaintTool Sai / MangaStudio5


Photoshop CS4 vs CS5 Speed Comparison for Tablet PC


Photoshop Speed-Up Trick for Digital Art


Portable Drafting Board - Drawing Comics Outdoors

 

 
   Stardrop. . .
 
 
   Jenny Mysterious. . .

First Day Back

Webcomic Jenny_Mysterious by Mark Oakley www.iboxpublishing.com

 
 
   Thieves & Kings. . .

Sample Chapter from, Thieves & Kings, Volume 3, "The Blue Book"

Thieves & Kings, page from the graphic novel series by Mark Oakley www.iboxpublishing.com

Thieves & Kings is not a webcomic. It is an all-ages fantasy/adventure graphic novel series which I've been working on since 1994. It is nearly done; I hope to wrap up the story in the 7th volume, (currently in production). The chapter featured here offers a good example of what it's like to read Thieves & Kings. --It's a peppy sequence, and it contains both regular comic pages, and some text pages. It doesn't show much of the title character, (Rubel) and none of the Shadow Lady, but Heath and Varkias carry the show quite nicely. I hope you enjoy this sample of my work!

 
 
   The Walking Mage. . .

The Walking Mage webcomic #2 - Fired

The Walking Mage is a complete story. Originally it was done in black & white, (which you can check out here, if you like). I wanted to experiment with color and so began by using a computer to color the Walking Mage for its print release. After a few panels I decided that it would be a lot more fun to paint it by hand, and so switched to water-color around episode six.

The story itself is quite a good little yarn; funny and pointed in many places, as political satire ought to be. I was actually quite surprised to learn this! I found myself laughing out loud in several places. --I don't know why this story in particular was so hard for me to accept, but it was. I avoided reading it for several years after it first went to press. The ending is rather abrupt, but it was a serial strip, after all.

So anyway, after having let this web-comic languish in the digital attic, I've decided to pull it out and post it again for all the world in its full-color glory. This is the first time the Walking Mage has been available in full color on the web. I hope you enjoy the adventures of Quinton and Varkias. Cheers!

 
 
   News From the Studio. . .

Photoshop CS4 vs CS5 Speed Comparison for Tablet PC Artists
 

 
I made this video expressly for others who are also exploring the whole digital art. . , movement? I think we can call it that. Draw-on-the-screen tablets are game changers, and it's possible with these older tablets to experiment with these remarkable tools for not very much $$.

This drawing demonstration was done on a 1.7 Ghz Toshiba Tecra M4 Tablet PC running a comparison between Photoshop CS4 and CS5, testing for speed and stylus responsiveness.

I should note that I turned off all the bells and whistles, and did everything to maximize performance on the trial version of CS5 I was using in this comparison. In spite of this, CS5 = Fail, whereas CS4 continues to impress me. This doesn't mean that the latest Photoshop is a dud; it's not. It's a fine piece of software, but it just doesn't run smoothly enough on older hardware.

I should also note that the reason I'm using an old tablet like the Toshiba in this video is, very simply, that they just don't make 'em like they used to. That is to say, the screen size and pixel density are bigger numbers than can be found today in more modern machines. The problem is that, being an older tablet, the Tecra M4's processor is also slower, a single core chip, and the memory is limited to a maximum of 2 Gigs. This doesn't mean that the computer is useless; far from it. The Tecra is an excellent art machine capable of pro-level work, but it does mean that you have to choose your software with its limits in mind, and Photoshop is just such a case.

I hope this video proves useful to anybody else out there who is experimenting with Photoshop and digital comics on an older machine. The older machines are a low-cost way to experiment with digital art, but if you use the most current version of Photoshop, you'll be disappointed in the results.

Please let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions, please post them either in the YouTube comment section or over on the Tablet PC forum.

Cheers!

 

-Mark Oakley
July 27th, 2011

 

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