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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Mark’s sci-fi Web Comic!

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

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or write to. . .

I Box Publishing
#1 - 614 Main St.
Wolfville, NS  B4P 1E8
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   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. . .

Pen Lag Solution for Photoshop on a Tablet PC
(or Cintiq. Or any tablet input device)

 

 
This is a post for others out there who are exploring digital illustration using Photoshop and draw-on-the-screen Tablet PC, or Cintiq systems.

The Tablet PC I'm currently using is a Tecra M4 made by Toshiba. It is equipped with a very large screen, 14" at 1400 x 1050 dpi, one of the very biggest in the field, making it a great choice for graphic artists of all stripes. I've written elsewhere about my experiences with using that tablet to make comics.

The problem, however, is that the Tecra M4 is an older machine. It has a single core processor which is not altogether super-speedy. The demonstration in this video was done on a machine with a CPU clock speed of 1.73 GHz and a RAM capacity limited to 2Gb. Now, while this doesn't render the machine worthless by any means, (it's still pretty darned quick on its toes), it does pose some speed limitations when working in Photoshop on very large graphics files. That is to say, when I'm doing two-page spreads, I run into some speed problems. And by 'speed problems' I mean, Pen Lag. (Brr!) This will affect any older tablet PC, and even the latest models when they happen to be pushed to their respective limits.

Luckily, there are some fairly simple work-arounds which I have discovered that effectively negate pen lag problems and allow an artist to squeeze the most out of his or her system. It boils down to working on the background layer and using non-transparent layers in a way which still allows for the benefits of transparent layers.

I hope the video I've made helps anybody else out there who is experimenting with Photoshop and digital comics. 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 25th, 2011

 

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