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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spaceman Jax Comic Book - Story Sketches


Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

We always do multiple passes on our work and the Spaceman Jax comic book is no different.  Here are some of rough sketches I did during the story meeting, we recently had.

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Spaceman Jax comic book - story board sketch - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - comedy, retro design

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Spaceman Jax on Buncy Ad - by Curio & Co.


Spaceman Jax on Buncy fake soft drink ad from the 1960's appears on Spaceman Jax comic - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and co. www.curioandco.com - illustration and design by Cesare Asaro - comic book to debut at xdcc (San Diego Comic Con) 2014

EXPENDING THE CURIOVERSE!

Here's the official debut of Spaceman Jax and Buncy together.  This fake ad was planed for a the past two years, at the concept of joining the two brands together, the circumstance were never right to bring the idea to a visual form, but the Spaceman Jax comic book is a perfect vehicle for this.  It matches, not just the time period but also the spirit of what we intended to do with the product and Jax as a character.

As far as ideas goes, we tend to work months and year in advance, unfortunately we only have two hands and production can only move so fast.  We keep on hoping for little elves to come and do the work in the middle of the night, but that's yet to happen.  We keep on hoping.  And, yes we believe in eves, otherwise how would santa make all of those toys?

Curio & Co. will be debuting the Spaceman Jax comic at the San Diego Comic-Con 2014 at booth #2102

Friday, April 04, 2014

Spaceman Jax Comic Book by Curio & Co.

Spaceman Jax comic-book (action, adventure, comedy) - Through the Mantagon Minefield - Ringer Comics - Created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - Design and illustration by Cesare Asaro


Just added the comic book to the Curio & Co. Shop.  If you place your order now you will receive a discount on an early release copy shipping on September 1st, six weeks before the regular sales are due to ship (October 15).

PSST!
There's an other way to get an even earlier copy of the book but that will require some foot work on your part, namely you'll have to make your way to the San Diego Comic-Con 2014 booth#2102 (July 23-27) and say hello to us in person, we'll be happy to sign the book for you.

We'd be happy to sign any of the the pre-order books as well, but please mention it in the note at check out time.  We don't break character on the site so unless you make it a point to tell us that you know who we really are… Curio & Co. will have the face the of Mr. Druthers as the CEO of the company.  An other option is to use our personal email address and place the order that way but if you have my personal email, give me a call I'm always happy to catch-up with friends.

Keep on checking back, there'll be sneak peak material that I'll post regularly until SDCC 2014.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Double Scoop by Sunnington Morn - Created by Curio & Co.

Double Scoop - Sunnington Morn "Double the Fun at Breakfast" ice-cream cereal - created by Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco. Design and illustration by Cesare Asaro

And, Ta Da!

Here is the fake ad as it will appear in the Spaceman Jax comic that we (Curio & Co.) will debut at Comic Con 2014.  It took a while to develop all the assets necessary to make the ad, from the logos to the cereal box and the character, and rendering the ice-cream and cereal.  I love doing these type of projects I always get to learn new things, and challenge my skills.  Rendering was never one of may strong points but I think I can hold a digital brush fairly now a days, Kirstie printed out the ad in black and white to check and rewrite the final copy, and it really looked as if it was a photograph of ice-cream cereal.  That was a good sign.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Cudwoth-Hooper Memo - By Curio & Co.

Cudworth-Hooper Memo - Gadabout TM 1050 Time Machine Users Manual - Curio and Co. Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Developed by Cesare Asaro (design) and Kirstie Shepherd (text)

We take our "real" fakes seriously at Curio & Co. and if we can help it we build supporting material to go with our publications in order to make things even more real, and establish more to the back story of the products.

Some time back we met with an agent for one of the major creative agencies worldwide, and we were asked to put together a package for Gadabaut TM 1050 Time Machine.  We pulled all the production sketched I made for the manual, gave them a quick aging look, and created this Cudworth-Hooper (C-H) memo to go along with them.  For those of you who aren't familiar with C-H, they are the manufacturer of the Gadabaut TM 1050 Time Machine in the Curioverse.

We went for the look of old stacked drawings gathering dust, held together by a thin rope with a paper tag, and stored in an old archive for more then 70+ years.

Needless to say I had a blast designing the letterhead, the signature of J. P. Cudworth, and with my partner at Curio & Co. (Kirstie Shepherd) developing more of the back story for C-H.  Kirstie is the one that oversees text while I handle the visuals, we work really closely and we constantly go back and forth with the material during production.  The end result is always a level or two better because of our collaboration, we definitely work well together Curio & Co. would not be able to produce what we do without her.

Hope you enjoy the memo.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Double Scoop cereal box - making the fictional real at Curio & Co.

Double Scoop by Sunnington Morn official sponsor of Spaceman Jax (a creation of Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com) design and illustration by Cesare Asaro, cereal box, retro, aged, vintage

The best part of doing my work for Curio & Co. is when things come together, specially when I too get fooled by it.  Every-time I work I constantly ask myself "Do I buy that?", not in financial sense but visually and conceptually; even though in this case if there really were Double Scoop ice-cream cereal in the store I just might have to give it a try.

I'm happy that I was able to pull together the elements for the cereal box: the Sunnington Morn logo, the Double Scoop logo, the illustration of the kid, and the digitally painted (from scratch) ice-cream and the cereal.  I get to laughing when at the end I give things a last pass with aging, then things really fall into place.  The aging pass is multiple layers of painted creases, textures, and stains.  Rather then taking existing ready made element I tend to paint these details individually so that I have more control on the design.  It took some years to get the handle on what works best, but I got the process working for me, and as I keep on learning more about printing process and studying original prints with every project I'm able to add a little more to the image.

Below is the box without vintage aging layers.

Double Scoop by Sunnington Morn official sponsor of Spaceman Jax (a creation of Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com) design and illustration by Cesare Asaro, cereal box, retro, aged, vintage

Now, onto the Double Scoop ad for the Spaceman Jax comic.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Double Scoop (ice cream cereal) by Sunnington Morn for Curio & Co.

Double Scoop (ice cream cereal) by Sunnington Morn Created by Curio & Co. - www.curioandco.com Curio and Co. - work in progress design and illustration by Cesare Asaro - Retro Ad

Work in progress.

I've been busy doing an ad layout with the assets (logos of Sunnington Morn and Double Scoop) I've designed.  At the moment I'm illustrating character, painting ice cream, and cereal flakes for the fake ad that will be on the back cover of the Spaceman Jax comic (debut at San Diego Comic Con 2014 - Curio & Co. booth #2102).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Double Scoop of Sunnington Morn by Curio & Co.

Double Scoop by Sunnington Morn - Spaceman Jax sponsor - Curio and Co. Curio & Co. www.curioandco. - Design by Cesare Asaro

Double Scoop the flash frozen ice-cream cereal by Sunnington Morn, I'm presently designing the advertisement that will feature in the Spaceman Jax comic.


Monday, March 24, 2014

ROOTY-TOOTS candy by Oberfaffendorfer of Curio & Co.

Rooty-Toodys candy - Oberfaffendorfer - Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - Spaceman Jax comic - design by Cesare Asaro

Rooty-Toodys candy - Oberfaffendorfer - Curio & Co. Curio and Co. www.curioandco.com - Spaceman Jax comic - design by Cesare Asaro

Yet an other product that is joining the Curioverse, this candy is allegedly produced by Oberfaffendorfer. I presently working on an in character add for the candy that will be part of the Spaceman Jax comic debuting at SDCC 2014.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spaceman Jax Illustrations

Spaceman Jax & Dekkin - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - illustration by Cesare Asaro


Here are some fun illustrations, based on my studies of old 1960's comic books.  I scanned, and I looked and researched, and studied.  I figured it was about time I got to have some pencil fun.  I thick there just may be some new Spaceman Jax prints at Comic Con 2014 July 24-27.  Curio & Co. will be exhibiting at booth #2102

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - illustration by Cesare Asaro

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sunnington Morn Logo


Sunnington Morn - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Spaceman Jax sponsor - Design by Cesare Asaro

SPACEMAN JAX AND THE GALACTIC ADVENTURES was first broadcast in 1961, sponsored by Sunington Morn Breakfast Cereals.

Well its a joke, like everything we do it's pure and simple fiction, but we make it real creating the ads and products that help materialize the Curioverse.  In this case Sunnington Morn was originally mentioned when we first introduced Spaceman Jax and the Galactic Adventures back in December of 2010, and now we are making thing more real.  The new comic of Jax which Curio & Co. will debut at SDCC 2014 will include fake advertisements in particular one of Double Scoop an ice-cream cereal produced by our Sunnington Morn.  More to come on the Double Scoop ad and the comic book in the works.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spaceman Jax Comic Book Cover in the Works

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Cover Sketch - illustration: Cesare Asaro

Here is the work in progress for the upcoming comic of Spaceman Jax and the Galactic Adventures which will debut at SDCC 2014. 

Obviously the 12¢ price is to stay in character with the idea that the comic was published back in the 60's. 

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Cover Work in Progress - illustration: Cesare Asaro

And here are some sketched from the story.
Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Story Boards - illustration: Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Story Boards - illustration: Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Story Boards - illustration: Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Story Boards - illustration: Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Story Boards - illustration: Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Story Boards - illustration: Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Story Boards - illustration: Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Story Boards - illustration: Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Comic Book Story Boards - illustration: Cesare Asaro



Thursday, March 06, 2014

Ringer Comics Joins the Curioverse

Ringer Comics is our (Curio & Co.) fake publishing hose for the Spaceman Jax comic that we are developing and we'll be presenting at SDCC 2014.  It's part of the same corporate family of Ringer Publishing and a sister company to Ringer Publishing Paperbacks which "published", in the Curioverse, our Frank and His Friend Special Collector's Edition Vol.1 (2013, 2013 Curioverse), and Time for Frank and His Friend (2012, 1979 Curioverse), the only difference is that it's an early division or Ringer, hence I had to reverse engineer the logo, and we had to expand the Ringer back story (that is always loads of fun).

As always we keep on making fake products and every fake needs the partnering graphics to make things look seamless.  So, I designed the necessary 1960's Ringer Comics logo for this project.  Fortunately I didn't have to start from scratch.  Developing a brand is time intensive and developing a fake brand is just as tedious, we approach it just like we when we design for a client.  We think of the adjectives, the emotions, the corporate goals the history, the size of the company, ext… but we have to build the back story along with it, it's corporate history and why they would produce the product in questions.  Loads of work, but loads of fun.

As as designer, I find looking for the right font time consuming and in most cases a compromise, so I tend to prefer making my own fonts when designing a logo, plus it's more fun and the image is unique in every way.  So, here is the progression.

The initial sketch I started with.
Ringer Publishing - Ringer Comics logo concept sketch 1960's style - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Design by Cesare Asaro

 This is the vectorized font for the Ringer Comics logo.
Ringer Publishing - Ringer Comics font / logo design 1960's - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Design by Cesare Asaro


And here is the final logo.
Ringer Publishing - Ringer Comics Logo Design 1960's - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Design by Cesare Asaro

These are the prior logos I did of Ringer Publishing, my starting point for the design 
Ringer Publishing Paperbacks - Logo Design 1970 & 2013 - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Design by Cesare Asaro

I figured I'd include two Ringer Publishing Paperbacks covers I illustrated in this post, to show how we are looking at graphical integration with the subject matter, and style.  Plus, I never got around to posting them, so here they are.

Ringer Publishing Paperbacks - I The Star cover - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Illustration and Design by Cesare Asaro

Ringer Publishing Paperbacks - Cavernous Night cover - Curio & Co. www.curioandco.com - Illustration and Design by Cesare Asaro

Monday, March 03, 2014

Comic Book Colors of the Silver Age.

The new project I'm working on, the Spaceman Jax comic book, is a comic that we (Curio & Co.) will be presenting at SDCC 2014.  It will look like the silver age comic from, size, colors and paper quality.  Since the 60's is the time period that we are going for, I've had to do some research on the coloring process and the tools of that time, so that I can better obtain the desired look and feel for the product.

Back then the coloring palette was quite limited.  Comic book colorist used a 64 color palette obtained by over imposing Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow using a combination of 0%, 25%, 50%, and 100% of each color and the 4th plate of 100% K (Black).

If you are interested there's a better summarized description of the process here: http://facweb.cs.depaul.edu/sgrais/comics_color.htm

When I started doing the research I was looking for a photoshop palette that would meet the silver age coloring palet, but it seemed that it wasn't out there or I wasn't able to tell google exactly what I was looking for.  So, I generated a Photoshop Swatch Pallet with these 64 colors plus 100% black, and is available here:

To add the color pallet go to the Swatches pallet on the top right of the pallet click and select "Reset Swatches…" or "Load Swatches…" or "Replace Swatches…" and navigate to where you've stored the pallet file you downloaded.  The file should have the ".aco" extension so if your downloaded file didn't self extract you'll need to unzip it.  As an aside If you are using this pallet, and planing to go to press with the file, I would suggest you work in a CMYK Color Mode, it makes things much easier specially for the use of 100% black.

Well, I hope that this file will be helpful for those of you who are creating images with a specific nostalgic feeling.   Have Fun!

UPDATE:
Here is an other link to Comic Artists Direct that expelling the coloring process quite well. http://www.comicartistsdirect.com/articles/coloring.html

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spaceman Jax - The Mantagons

Mantagon showing off his artillery - Spaceman Jax - by Cesare Asaro

The Mantagons have a bit of an inferiority complex and make-up for it with weapons.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spaceman Jax Comic coming at SDCC

Been working on a Spaceman Jax Comic which will debut at San Diego Comic Con.

This one is one of the sketches for the fictional publishing company: Ringer Comics.
Curio and Co.'s Ringer Comics fictional publishing house for Spaceman Jax Comic - by Cesare Asaro

Here are some of the initial boarding sketches, the first pass of pulling images from the script. FYI they are not sequential.



Spaceman Jax comic initial board sketch by Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax comic initial board sketch by Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax comic initial board sketch by Cesare Asaro

Spaceman Jax comic initial board sketch by Cesare Asaro