Finder's Keepers
Name: Garth Cameron Graham
Email: FK@gcgstudios.com
Website: GCGStudios.com
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Before Finder’s

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

So, you may be wondering why no new page this week. Well, I’m in the middle of moving. Finishing up, really. I thought that I’d be done with it all in time, and truth be told I managed to pack up my entire life and relocate it in about 3 days. However, unpacking and sorting through the riff-raff has proven to be far bigger a chore than I imagined it would. And with, Animazement this weekend, I just don’t have the time to get a properly finished page done. There will, however, be a new page next Tuesday, so minimal interruption to our story will occur.

In the meantime, I found some awesome drawings from half a decade ago amongst my papers when I moved. These drawings, and what turns out to be about a paragraph and a half of text give me a brief glimmer of an idea for a story I apparently had before I dreamt up Finder’s Keepers. This story was ominously given the working title of “Project Jericho” and followed a priest/hunter/mage apparently named Malcolm Connelly. This project never went very far at all, as all the notes and memories I have of it are brief world outlines rather than anything resembling plot. Malcolm apparently could see and interact with Angels and Demons who played their unknowable games for the souls and fate of humanity in a city somewhere in Europe that I had code-named “Wall.” Obviously I had just read Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and was using “Wall” as a placeholder to tell me how the city was a crossroads of the real world and a world beyond and was super important. I’d come up with a better name later.

I’m not sure what all the tattoos on Malcolm’s skin are. Possibly they are magic seals or circles necessary to work his magic. Perhaps they are brands. Perhaps they just look cool. I do seem to recall thinking that the elaborate ones across the twin scars running down his shoulder blades might be seals to bind his own angelic properties, having perhaps fallen from grace. Who knows? The girl Rachael, I think was supposed to more or less play the part of being a familiar face for the audience to connect with, but the story (whatever it was) was Malcolm’s and not her’s specificaly.

I remembered the drawings of Malcolm that I did. This man who is somehow a cross between the brothers from the Boondock Saints and Harry Dresden (though I had not read the Dresden Files at the time). And I remember thinking how he was kind of a prototypical Cardinal. Not Cardinal, but enough of the vague ideas that made up this man were ideas that went into the creation of Lord Cardinal, Aspect of the Primary Directions. But what shocked me was the drawings of Rachael and the creature. I had forgotten I had done those drawings. While Rachael doesn’t look particularly like Cailyn, there’s something very much like her in Rachael’s expressions I think. And then there’s the three words that were written next to the drawing of that creature:

Torment of Darkness

I mean, wow. A whole year before I had dreamt up the Umbra I had drawn them for a completely different project. And then forgotten I had ever done it! I know I’ve been obsessed with monsters made of shadow for a very very long time. I personally find the dark quite terrifying if I let my imagination contemplate what might be just out of sight. I have a very vivid imagination. Yet I had totally forgotten I had drawn this thing, this thing which is so very much like the Umbra.

It’s really amazing how you have ideas that lurk in the back of your head, desperate for a chance at getting out. And perhaps the first time is not the right venue. Perhaps they need to noodle around in your subconscious a bit longer before they become the awesome things that they are meant to be. I think this is super cool, and I wanted to share it with you guys.

I hope to see you at Animazement this weekend!

Panel Panel Panel

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

A quick hello to everyone visiting from Three Panel Soul. Hi.

In other fun news, do you guys remember my brother Cole (last panel)? Yeah? How could you forget? Well TJ learned bass and now truly rocks out. Check ‘em out, maybe you’ll like ‘em. Right now, the band Seven Days Past, is part of the Battle of the Bands and is striving for a shot at performing at Warped Tour. So, VOTE for them! Clicky Clicky!

I’ve also finally given into demand and in addition to the Twitter feed I started up a while back, I now have a Deviant Art account. Why? Because everyone asks if I have one. Chicken and Egg. If things go as planned, you guys should start seeing more sketches and doodles of mine in addition to my finished pieces and, of course, comic pages.

I need to go pack now. Moving. More news as it develops.

Not Dead

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

So, I’m very much alive and well. I know some of you have expressed concerns over this. Obviously I need to update this blog bit more frequently. So, MTAC was really awesome despite all the rain, and no it affected me almost not at all. I did not get trapped, or rained out, or submerged, or drowned, or anything like that. I cannot say this was true for everyone else in Nashville that weekend, but I was pretty damn dry despite the weather. I really should get one of those wicked awesome Bladerunner Umbrellas or something. All the flooding seemed to be primarily located to the west/north/south of us, but to the east (where I was headed back home), the roads were still open and passable. Though the road the con was on was flooded out down the opposite direction, so it was a little dicey. But chance and fortune favored me and I got out of there perfectly safe.

By the by, if any of you guys can help out Outland Armor I know they’d really appreciate it. As an extremely small business (like myself) crap like this is utterly devastating. It’s devastating to anyone, but when literally your entire livelihood, everything you’ve ever built washes away like so many tears in the rain, it’s just… impossible to imagine. Now, I believe that most of the Outland crew have day jobs (unlike yours truly) but still. Also, they rolled up in a bus, and that’s just fucking amazing.

In other news, Iron Man 2 is pretty slick. It was borderline on the “excessive number of important characters” that comic book movie sequels seem prone to, but it handled all the personalities (many of them very scene-stealing) quite nicely. Kudos! Marvel is seriously pimping the shit out of this Avengers movie though. I worry slightly. Anything pimped this hard has a difficult time delivering.

Trailer wise, it looks like a lot of cool stuff is coming out. I hate to say it, but the Last Airbender Movie looks pretty awesome. Despite being a huge fan of the cartoon, and being very wary of Hollywood doing anything with anything I love, AND being taken vaguely aback by the darker tone and questionable casting job, the trailer looks like an awesome movie. It probably will let me down, but I can hope that it’ll be just as excellent as the show. Though I doubt we’ll have enough time within the 2 hour time constraint for the characters to show us why it’s as amazing a tale as it truly is.

Last note for this update: I have T-shirts again!

Chapter 4 Starts Friday

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Hey guys, I got back from Katsucon a little earlier today and the weekend was a blast but I am dead. There is something indescribably exhausting about being on the way you have to be at a convention. It’s not an act, or a fascade, but you definitely end up exerting yourself in interesting and unusual ways when at a con. Particularly if you’re an introvert like myself. So, I realize that despite having been away for some 3 weeks I’m going to have to push it just a little further. Friday we’ll see the first update of Chapter 4 which’ll be the cover art, however I won’t make you wait a full week before we get into the story. I’m going to punch out the first page and have that posted for you all by Tuesday. After that we’ll return to our now standard Tuesday updates.

I have other grand plans for the near future. Not only will we be kicking off Chapter 4 this week, but there will be some marked upgrades all around. I’m going to overhaul the Finder’s Keepers website in the next couple of months. The new format and navigation of the site has proven to work quite well, but there are always things that can be improved. As such I’m going to make said improvements, to bring you guys an even better reading experience.

As for what I’ve been up to in my absence from the web, the last three weeks have been amazing and exhausting all at the same time. Ohayocon proved to be an amazing con, despite the ridiculous cold. Columbus also surprised me by being the once city I can think of that I didn’t automatically hate when I drove into it.

What the Hell?! Con reminded me of why I like college conventions: they’re fun beyond reason! I also got auctioned off like a slab of meat (sexy sexy meat) at the geek auction, and I would not be surprised if the event was covered in some regard by the Devil’s Panties in about 2 months or so. It was also really great to see Kel and Ursula aka. Lol Wut? Pear Lady again. It’s amazing how long it sometimes is between meeting up with friends.

Katsucon was epic this year. I’m not sure there’s a better word to describe it. The Gaylord convention/resort is an amazing (if labyrinthine) and Katsu really stepped up it’s game in spite of the snowpocolypse of twenty ten. Despite the multiple feet of snow, the airplanes that didn’t make it off the runway which delayed essential convention supplies (i.e. badges) Katsucon brought its A-game and rocked the national harbor. Katsucon also played host to what I would call the greatest Super Art Fight ever. Three amazing bouts between amazing artists, yielded the best show I have ever been to, and I’ve been to most of them. Michael Brocco and Nick Borkowicz put on a spectacular spectacle in the first round, the second round in which I defeated Jamie Baldwin was probably the loudest I think I’ve ever heard a super art fight audience be, and Jamie Noguchi was brave and bold but ultimately got his ass handed to him by the insanely talented Jo Chen who proved to us all that the only way to art fight is with a brush.

Katsucon also made me do something I never thought I’d do. The convention was so amazing that I broke down and started a twitter account. You can now follow me between updates at GarthFT. Maybe I can keep that updated better than my old livejournal.

New comic Friday

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

I’m not quite dead yet. I sometimes wonder at that, considering perhaps that I’m actually a zombie… some kind of zombie artist risen from a graphite grave. Anyway, the important news is that there will be a comic this week, it’ll just be Friday (the 8th) instead of Tuesday. The remaining two pages will go up on their scheduled Tuesday release dates, and then there will be a short break before we delve into the fourth and final chapter of volume 1. I’ll also be opening the pre-order for issue 3 shortly, so make sure to check out the store.

Starting at the end of the month I will have a convention extravaganza! Starting with my first ever trip to Ohio since I was wee. (I used to live in Xenia) This will be exciting! I hope to see a bunch of you there as well as a bunch of new faces.

Needs mo Pow-ah, Cap’n!

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

A’ight! That’s it! I’ve had enough of this fickle AC power. You’d think it’d be pretty regular, but apparently not so much where I live. I have a UPS that’s supposed to keep Alice running in case of power fluctuations, but apparently the 550va system isn’t enough to keep the mighty Alice running. So! I’m getting her an early Christmas present. I’m getting her a 1500va UPS! Give her a WHOLE 12 MINUTE OF BATTERY RUN TIME! Never again shall we be working only to lose all progress due to a power failure or brown out! As such I’m dedicating this month’s wallpaper to everyone’s favorite computer gal: Alice!

November wallpaper

Donations this month will go to keeping that delightful hardworking PC running smooth and solid. Without her, Finder’s Keepers simply could not be brought to all of you fine folks.

Speaking of bringing FK to you all, I’ll be in Arlington this weekend at Anime USA meeting and greeting fans, answering questions, and in general doing that whole public appearance thing. If you’ll be in the area or attending the con, do try to find me on the mezzanine and say hello. It’s always great chatting with folks and getting feedback live. Anime USA will also be my last con of the year, so lets make it an awesome one, eh?

October Wallpapers

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

I said I’d post ‘em, and so behold! The wallpapers for October!
if FK were an anime
special anniversary edition
As always, any donor of over $1 will receive both wallpapers in a variety of sizes in both 4:3 and widescreen formats. Donors of over $15 will get both the wallpapers as well as one of the signed and numbered prints of the cherry blossoms as well as a bonus print of the anniversary wallpaper.

And don’t forget about the super sweet deal we have going all month on Finder’s Keepers related artwork!

Things going on this Week

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Hey folks just a couple of quick notes:
-This week’s update has had to be shifted to Wednesday instead of it’s standard Tuesday time slot. This is mostly due to having had to spend a lot of time putting together a portfolio to
-apply for an illustration position with ThinkGeek. More on that as things do or do not develop.
-I’ll be at
Tigercon this Saturday. So all you local folks should check it out, stop by, say hell and check out the Super Art Fight.
-There should also be a new wallpaper up sometime this week.

In unrelated news: thems some happenin’ cats.

I am a Master of Self Injury

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

So I’m back from Animazement which went really well. It was really good to see everyone, new faces and old. I was ready to call it a con and finish packing and go home when my banner fell out of the back of my car and onto my foot. There was a lot of swearing, or at least a lot of “Truck! Motherfu- Truck!” I’ve been yelling at trucks ever since I played Mirror’s Edge. Anywho. My foot proceeded to develop a swollen lump about the size of an orange. Thankfully I was traveling with people so I didn’t have to drive home. It’s mostly the right size and shape now. Nothing broken, just some lingering swelling and some attractive bruising. Just when I was almost 100% pain free (earlier today) I developed what I can only think of as a migraine. Stress or something, I dunno. Anyway, I’m going to go to bed. I trust you all will understand if no new pages show up until Tuesday. This is honestly starting to drive me batty here. June will simply have to have us back on our intended Tuesday/Friday update schedule. I appreciate your folks patience with me.

Some Quick Awesome Source

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Hey guys. I wanted to direct your attention to a pretty sweet resource for all you artistic types out there. One Jamie Noguchi of Erfworld and Angry Zen Master now runs a most excellent art blog: Monster Cutie

I highly recommend checking it out if you’re an artist, illustrator, or just happen to like that kind of thing. He’s got a lot of good tutorials, insights, and interviews with other professionals. And no, I’m not just telling you to check it out because he’s asked me for a few insights.

-Edit-
Oh, duh. I also wanted to tell you guys how I spent Saturday. Saturday, among other awesome shenanigans, I hung out at my local comic shop (Painted Visions in Lake Ridge, VA for those of you in the area and not in the know) because it was freaking Free Comic Book Day. Didn’t get any free comics, but I almost never have interest in those anyway. However, it was a grand excuse for me to go and actually buy a bunch of books. I picked up another batch of Fables which is freaking awesome. Always love fairy tales with a twist. Picked up Umbrella Academy which is deliciously twisted. And I also picked up Hunter-Killer, which I had started reading and has turned out to be far more than my most recent Top Cow guilty pleasure book. All in all, it was way good. Remember to support your local comic shops. I hope to be on their shelves one day soon.

Also. These are freaking awesome. I simply can’t decide if I want the Photoshop, the Illustrator, the InDesign, or if I need to break down and get the whole set. Not that I have ever used After Effects. Still… I feel like I must have.

One last thing. In addition to the pre-order for the super-sweet new Death T-shirt, I’ve also made the entire size spectrum for the ever popular Guitar Nero available. Most sizes are not currently in stock, but we plan to be re-ordering soon. Since these suckers sell out pretty quickly, I recommend getting an order in ahead of time.