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!


or write to. . .

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



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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. . .
Connect with me on Facebook!
Mini Mysterious Theater. . .

Jen Jacobs, aka, "Regular Jen" is in her student apartment.
 
She has just returned from a successful shopping excursion to the local thrift store. She found cute skirt and a flashy pink top for which she paid altogether only $8.59. —An unbelievable steal when compared to the average sticker price common in any modern fashion boutique. —And neither article of clothing bore any defect or trace of having been worn by previous owners. Jen wonders how this is possible and suspects the local thrift store might be involved in some kind of racket.
 
Now, a skirt and top like these are by no means the sort of saucy ensemble Jen would normally feel comfortable wearing around town, (though Ashelle had been so excited that she had managed to convince her to wear them home from the thrift store. A daring and somewhat anxiety-hued bus journey was the result). So no, not regular day clothes to be certain, but they will compliment nicely her on-stage persona.
 
Jen Jacobs is the lead guitarist in the super-cool, all-girl 80's punk rock band, "The June Rocks!".
 
The fact that both the 80's and the mass popularity of punk rock have long since faded into fond and slightly embarrassing memories in the collective human awareness before Jen was even out of junior high is of little consequence.

 
scene 1 scene 2

 
 
   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. . .

Virtual Button Bar (Undo) for Photoshop, Paint Tool Sai, Manga Studio 5

 

March 31, 2014
UPDATE*** / Now works for MangaStudio 5

PS_MS5_bar.zip

This bar toggles between Photoshop and MangaStudio 5

It ought to work with your MangaStudio 5 setup right out of the box, except for some reason the "Rotate Right button wasn't activating with the factory setting keyboard shortcut. To get that to work, in MS5 change the keyboard short cut to "_" (they call it "Shift+-").


 

March 12, 2014

UPDATE*** / bug fix - PS-SAI-Bar_version4.zip.


 

Updated and better than before! The button is now a button bar, featuring a selection of the most essential tools for drawing and inking in Photoshop but without the native side-panels which normally take up a quarter (or more) of your screen canvas. In this new world of tablet computing, on-screen tools like this are becoming very useful indeed.

Download the new bar here.

Unzip to a folder of your choice, and execute by double-clicking the file, "PS-SAI-Bar.exe" That's it!

(The only thing is that the button bar will send keyboard shortcuts for Sai commands which are set to my preferences, and will probably only activate random tools in your copy of Sai. Straightening that up is pretty easy; I've created a list of instructions and all the associated shortcuts in this document).

Features: The top Right blank square is used to grab and drag the bar. The up-arrow hides and shows the bar, and the little logo in the top-Left switches the bar between Photoshop and PaintTool Sai functionality. (Sai is a great little art program I find myself using frequently these days.)

The little transform button, (the one with the two curvey arrows) will initiate the 'Free Transform' function on a selected area, and when clicked again, will commit any changes. The Hand tool toggles, and will un-toggle when you select any other button. (It can sometime get stuck if you use this bar in conjunction with Photoshop's native tool panel. It's a bug, but if it happens, just click on any of the other buttons in this tool bar to un-stick it. I might try to fix that sometime, but for now it's pretty easy to ignore).

In PaintTool Sai, the buttons are linked to specific keyboard shortcuts, so they may not match up with the shortcuts you have set up. If you are interested and need help getting it going, please feel free to email me and I'll be happy to help you through it.

A huge thanks to the guys over on the Tablet PC Forum who made this possible. (Thanks guys!)

If you want to play with the old Undo button, it's still available below.

Cheers!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On-Screen Undo Button for Photoshop-Executable ~ Version 1.3
Right Click to download.

 
The above link allows you to download a little program I wrote which puts a transparent virtual "Undo" button right on Photoshop's screen. It can be tapped with a stylus or clicked on with a mouse pointer to undo the last action in Photoshop.

I made this for the Tablet PC I've been working on because it's nice to be able to just tap a spot on the screen and activate the Undo function without having to use the keyboard. This become particularly useful when I happen to be away from my studio tablet, (which is mounted to a drafting board and has a keyboard within easy reach.) My smaller, portable computer, when it is set in tablet mode, has its keyboard covered up by the screen, rendering all of Photoshop's keyboard shortcuts useless.

It seems pretty astonishing to me that nobody else had made an on-screen tool like this for Photoshop before, an oversight which was apparently left up to yours truly to address. óGiven my (very) limited programming skills, this seemed to me all the more astonishing, but what can one do? Luckily, as things turned out, a bit of research and lots of brain squeezing led me to this little invention which I now find really quite useful, so I thought I'd share.

This program will run in WinXP, and while I've not tested it, I don't see why it shouldn't also run under later versions of Windows.

For those of you who want to tinker with the guts of this program, you can download the original script here. . .

Undo Button Script
(Download and open with a text editor.)

This program was created using the Open Source utility AutoHotKey. To use it, download AutoHotKey and install it. Then download the Undo Button Script and put it in a folder or on your desktop.

If you open up the Undo Button Script file in a text editor such as, "Notepad" you will find that I have included extensive comments and instructions explaining how the script works. This should allow you to adapt it to your own needs; you can place it in different spots on the screen as well as make different buttons for doing other things. I hope some of you find it useful!

Cheers!

 

-Mark Oakley
July 4th, 2011

 

 

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