comics

400 books sold Comic Con!

We thrashed our sales goals!

I hate worrying about business stuff, but it's necessary if you want to stay in business! We had a goal of 300 books sold and we blew it out of the water! Over 400 sold averaging a book every 3.5 minutes.

That's about as fast we could talk!! 

Check out our photos!

Check out all our photos on our Facebook page! >>

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Me and my friend Griffin. He runs a dance venue in Provo @ Enliten Bakery & Cafe on Friday nights.

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Ronita with Jack! Ronita is good with money. I am not.

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The amazing duo - er - trio: Matt, Gollum, and Maria!

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Me talking to a crowd of superheroes. We sold an average of a book every 3.5 minutes.

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Better picture of the booth coming soon! We had a pro photographer friend drop by and take some.

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Yes that is a dinosaur walking down the aisle folks!

How Are Books Made?

I learned a bunch about printing this past week. All I really knew before was how much it was going to cost me to turn my digital files into a book, as well as how to prepare those files. I didn't actually understand how all of that happened.

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Maybe you will find it interesting as well!

Presses vs Printers

Books are made on printing presses not printers. A "printer" denotes a digital printer and is basically a glorified inkjet. If you have a print job of less than 1000 units, a digital printer isn't a bad route to go. I went with a digital printer last summer when I was created Issue #0 of From the Dust. But presses are a completely different beast.

Presses

From the Dust #1 is of course being printed on a press because we have several thousand units (units = books). A printing press uses giant plates to "press" the pages of your book with the colors of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (also known as CMYK color). The combination of these 4 inks creates all the beautiful books in your book store.

The first thing I had to do was approve the color.

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PRINTING

THE PLATES

The plates used to "press" the ink to the paper are laser-etched.

THE INK

Both the top and the bottom of the press has 4 of these rollers - one for each color of ink. There are constant warning beeps informing these workers to add more ink...no falling asleep at this job, folks.

THE PAPER FEED

POST-PRINTING

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Then it gets sent to the publisher, from the publisher to the distributor, from the distributor to the retailers and from the retailers to you!

Talk about complicated.

You'd think we'd have in the digital era some cool new way to deliver content to people that wasn't so complicated and expensive...

Oh wait...that's next week's post.

:)

Ack! Another Delay! Release is now after Christmas!

From the Dust has been delayed (for the second time!)

It will be after Christmas and possibly after New Year's before

From the Dust  #1 will be released.

What's up with these delays?

Great question!

From the Dust is a side project of Spider Comics. We're a small boutique animation studio and when we get client work that's what we do. The more client work we get...the more

From the Dust gets delayed. We apologize for this but we do have bills to pay. We were really hoping to get From the Dust released in time for Christmas so all our fans could give (or get) it as a Christmas gift. Please be assured we are doing the best we can.

Is this delay thing going to be normal? 

No. We are learning how to balance our client work with

From the Dust. Please be patient with us. We will be more careful with publishing release dates in the future and again, we apologize for any inconvenience these delays may have caused. Look for From the Dust in the very near future!

Some things are worth the wait!

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Lemuel reads his scriptures.

If you simply can't wait you can buy the collectible

From the Dust #0 in our First Fan Kit

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Release Delayed!!!

From the Dust #1 Release Delayed!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the release has been delayed! Our original release date was today, but expect a delay of up to two weeks. We will post the new release as soon as we are able!

Why?!?

Great question! First, it's because the book has an additional 10 pages of content! It's now over 107 pages long! Second, it's because it's looking AMAZING! Jam-packed with very high quality artwork. Pictures truly are worth 1000 words...which makes From the Dust #1 worth something like 200,000+ words!

What this means for Christmas.

If you want From the Dust #1 as a Christmas present it means you will need to order it online or plan on picking it up the week before Christmas.

Donnie Morris of Confetti Antiques and Books can help you out with pre-orders and online orders. 801-798-0137

Here's a few spreads from the character section to tide you over during this short delay. The entire book looks like this! (Except for a sneak peek section that is in black and white.)

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New www.bookofmormoncomic.com

New website!

A new website has launched with a new commercial! We've completely redesigned everything and have gone for a much simpler, much more professional look to the website. Let us know what you think!

New commercial!

 And don't forget to watch our commercials! Love you guys and thanks for supporting the project. My deepest gratitude to everyone who has ever said a kind word about the project or helped it in any way! Let's make this the big thing this Christmas season! I'm getting to work on a slew of 20-30 paintings to do in the next few weeks and then I send this baby to the printers!

Happy Holidays! And yes Halloween counts!

Click the image to visit the new website!

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BOOKSIGNING @BYU bookstore

Evening with the Artist and Booksigning!

I will be at Confetti Antiques & Books next Friday, October 19  from 6pm - 8pm to show people a glimpse into the future of From the Dust, sign From the Dust collectibles, and give free drawing lessons to interested parties (perfect for kids!). I will also be available to provide free drawings either on your From the Dust merchandise or in your sketchbook. Gonna be a party! Come out and see me! I will have the iPad app available for interested parties.

From the Dust

in the BYU Bookstore!

Starting next week you can purchase From the Dust @ the BYU Bookstore. Look for it!

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Women in the Scriptures

First, watch this video.

I made it for my friends that I met at LDSBA Convention in August, Heather and Felice. It is the beginning of a new series of informational speed paintings! This one talks about the Rub al Khali, or Empty Quarter, one of the world's most deadly landscapes. Be sure to watch it in HD!

Now go to this website.   

Women in the Scriptures - From the Dust Giveaway

Now read the following:  

Special thanks to the women at Women in the Scriptures for putting together such a wonderful article together! If there's one thing I know, it's that women don't get enough credit in the scriptures. I made the following pieces of artwork for Women in the Scriptures. If you are a follower of theirs (and you should be!) you can use these for your blog buttons on the sidebar.

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The challenge is to read the Standard Works focusing on the women in them.

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This is a fun badge that Heather had on her website.  It's sized perfect for blog sidebars (200px wide).

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If you click on this it will be 2x the size of the others...use it for whatever you want!

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Sariah and the Rub al Khali, or Empty Quarter, one of the deadliest deserts in the world.

More artwork coming soon!

Start to Finish!

This digital realm is pretty intimidating. It has so much that you can do! The biggest step for me in the next few weeks and months will be getting acclimatized to producing videos, which is one of the iPad's greatest strengths. To start us off, remember this image from last week?

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Original concept, maybe 3 minutes of quick sketching. I finished it. You can watch the vid, too! I got some freelance work for the next few weeks, and even though From the Dust has been doing fine financially you can never have too much money! One thing I've learned is that when you are starting out you always take the good opportunities that present themselves to you!

Have fun, y'all! I will try to post another video next week!

Final image: about 5-6 hours.

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For those interested, this is a cobra that these archers are riding. The smaller, less athletic Chaldean on top is the driver/reloader for the archer, who obviously gets the best vantage point. Mounted archers are some of ancient warfare's most deadly warriors.

The Babylonian Empire stretched into Persia and across Mespotamia (and ultimately into Egypt as well.) Cobras were a regular danger of the peoples of these lands.

Detours and Course Corrections

Two weeks ago I announced the website's comic story would be updating once a week in countdown for the next comic. However, a lot has happened including the LDSBA Conference, and I'm taking Spider Comics' business model a very different direction -- From the Dust is taking leaps and bounds towards the digital realm, in particular, the iPad. While we will always be publishing print comics, the future of the print industry is tablet devices and their multimedia capabilities.

Any wise business owner will know that when you create a new product you have to craft that product for its distribution medium -- in the last 4 months I've created a beautiful print comic that is being enjoyed by many, but now I'm having to re-envision the entire thing for the iPad.

So far a few of the aspects that the iPad allows me to do:

  • have large introductory material and "extras" sections
  • not have to worry too much about page counts
  • I can now do videos and music
  • all the imagery can be interactive
  • I can now deliver my product to a much broader audience

I think this digital route will be the way to go for

From the Dust

. It really helps to sell that From the Dust is more like a TV series than a graphic novel.

Just know I'm hard at work making the next big thing! All this is to say we will be holding of on the Tuesday story updates. I'll update the website soon to reflect this -- in the meantime, thanks for your patience as I get

From the Dust off the ground and flying! Lastly, I don't want to leave you hanging with no new artwork! From the Dust will shortly be going to war. Here's a sneak peak at some of the Babylonian armies. Keep in mind that Babylon was a plains city, and Ur (of the Chaldees, this is where Abraham was from) was a swampland/delta city kind of like Egypt, but over in Persia. Yep...Abraham was Persian, y'all! Surprise! Anyway all that happened many thousands of years prior to the time of Jeremiah, but these landscapes are what sculpt the peoples of the of the areas. I've also been researching war tactics so that the armies reflect the actual war tactics of the Babylonians.

Keep in mind these are just quick thumbnail sketches. Most of my art starts in the black-and-white stage.

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Grand Opening Sale! Fan Kits Only $24.99!!

Huge Sale! To celebrate the Grand Opening of From the Dust's Online Store (and website) we're putting the Fan Kits on Sale! Only $24.99 and you get all of our products in one neat package. It's the perfect gift for anyone that loves comics, games, or the scriptures.

I know it might seem like I've been launching for awhile now, but that's how it goes when you're the only one doing all the work. However, finally I can say that From the Dust, with its parent company Spider Comics, has launched!

To celebrate, we're taking a new and very aggressive price stance. I've dropped the retail price on all my products substantially  so that even the most modest of incomes will be able to afford From the Dust products. I also want our readers to know that we are absolutely committed to making our pricing as low as possible and to giving you the best possible value for your money. I hope when you look at our new prices and read our comics that you'll agree it's a steal!

In addition I'll be giving away a FREE "Hope Whispers" poster to EVERYONE that purchases a From the Dust product (limit one per person).

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Let's throw ourselves a party this August!

DONE!

I am now officially done with

From the Dust #0: Things to Come!

I sent the project to the printer last night and I should have the comics by Saturday, July 28. I am *very*  pleased with the product. You're going to love it! To purchase a copy you will have to meet me in person. I can be found each week at the Provo Farmer's Market, Saturdays 9am -2pm @ Pioneer Park (intersection of State and Center, Provo).

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Solomon the Wise looks over his kingdom in From the Dust #0: Things to Come Now, on to cooking up some other recipes you will love...

Like the new website!

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Coming Soon: www.bookofmormoncomic.com

Things are really starting to ramp up! The fan kits are going fast! You better pick one up before I launch the website. I have a feeling it will take

From the Dust's exposure to the next level, and based on the attention I'm getting at the market I am starting to wonder if I am at all prepared for it.

We'll find out in about two weeks. See you next Tuesday! (If not at the market this Saturday!)

Prophets of Old...

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Jeremiah blesses Nephi as a kitten.

Most people think of prophets as old guys. History doesn't support this concept. Numerous prophets have been called in middle-age. Others still were called while in their youth.

Jeremiah is one that was called while still youngDanielEzekielDavid, and others--these people were young when they performed much of their work. Why do we insist on giving them big gray beards all the time? In reality most of these people that have interacted with Deity were middle-aged or younger, including Jesus and John the Baptist , and if you're Mormon, let's not forget Joseph Smith. Get with the program people. Being young is cool. People over 30 are boring. The "laying on of hands" was an established practice for blessing or conferring authority during Biblical times. Moses and numerous other prophets and patriarchs are recorded having done so.

The Melchizedek Priesthood

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Lehi prays fervently for the welfare of his people.

At the beginning of Season 1, we spend ample time getting to know Lehi and his family in their land of inheritance. One of the important events that happens here is Lehi's call to the ministry by Jeremiah -- in other words, his ordination to the priesthood. Lehi's experiences and visions--which are comparable to Moses'--would have merited such a call.
Lehi travels to Jerusalem to be ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood by the hand of Jeremiah. In those days very few people held the authority of the higher priesthood, and fewer still were worthy to wield its power. This being a pivotal moment in Lehi's life, he chooses to bring his four sons to witness the ordination. The older boys have been to Jerusalem numerous times and have even dwelt there for extended periods to be taught and trained by their father.
Nephi, however, has been sheltered in his family's land of inheritance during his youth. He is experiencing the fallen nation of Judea for the first time. It is a dangerous place. The land is ripe with iniquity, a dark world defiled by the many curses Moses pronounced would follow the breaking of the covenants.
One morning of the journey Nephi wakes up to find his father missing. Concerned, he searches for his father only to find him in solitude praying for the welfare of his people--and begging Yahweh for strength to live up to his call. It is a tender moment where young Nephi sees the true character and faith of his father. Nephi's true character, however, will remain hidden from his father's view for quite some time.
Come back next Tuesday for my next "best effort" at creating this amazing world! 

Wild Beasts

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Laman hunts a "wild beast."

The scriptures, both the Bible and Book of Mormon, mention "wild beasts." In reality, these beasts were probably a variety of game indigenous to the area. But From the Dust isn't reality.

These same "beasts"mentioned in scripture are rarely named or described, and as such, we're taking a little artistic license with them.

But just a little. :)

The Sons of Lehi

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In From the Dust Issue #2, we meet the Sons of Lehi: Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The Sons of Lehi are well known for their myriad talents and abilities, not the least of which is hunting. Lehi has taught them well, and he expects excellence from them in every field. They do not disappoint. Although still teenagers, Laman (19-years-old) and Lemuel (18-years-old) can outperform, outlast, and outwit (well, maybe not Lemuel…) most anyone at anything. They are physically impressive…and intimidating. Laman and Lemuel are rarely separated, but you won't see Sam (15-years-old) tagging along with them…He's just not quite cool enough to hang out with his older brothers.

One exception to this is hunting, where Lehi has mandated his sons learn to work together as a team. Hunting season is Sam's time to truly prove himself….useless. It's true, unfortunately. Sam isn't very good at hunting, or much of anything. He struggles to find his place in a family full of very talented people. Showing kindness to his younger siblings, and people in general, is one of Sam's many under-valued virtues. In fact, Sam convinces his father to let his younger brother Nephi (12-years-old) come on the hunt this year. His reasons are two-fold; first, he feels Nephi would love the experience and be good at it, and second, he doesn't want to be the only one to screw things up this time around. But Sam doesn't realize that little Nephi has an incredible destiny all his own...

In Issue #2, we witness the Sons of Lehi working together as a hunting pack for the first time. Come back next Tuesday to meet the leaders of this pack: Laman and Lemuel!

Laman - The Natural Man

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Laman is the birthright son--he leads the family when his father is away, which is often. He teaches his younger siblings to walk in the paths of holiness. He is strong physically and mentally. Everyone looks up to Laman. He has it all. Strength, good-looks, riches, intelligence, creativity. At the start of From the Dust, Laman is doing everything right, at least on the outside. But no one can hide the pride in his heart forever.

In a flashback in Season 3 of From the Dust we visit Laman in his childhood years. Season 3 covers the family's desert journey through Arabia. During this journey, Laman's control on his passion and emotion truly begin to falter. For years he has allowed his heart to entertain destructive emotions like jealousy, hatred, and anger. He feels justified in this. After all, when you are wronged, is it not the just thing to feel angry about it?

But harboring these evil emotions will eventually make you evil and Laman's "true colors" are finally revealed to his father. Lehi realizes his eldest son is not just struggling to be good, like many of us do...he's actively choosing to be evil, a fact that had never yet crossed Lehi's mind.
Laman's story is a tragic one, and it can rightly be said that From the Dust is the story of Laman's fall from grace. We watch him bit by bit, step by step, choose the wrong path. This tragic fall is the heart of From the Dust.

So if you thought Laman was going to be just another shallow, uninteresting, unrealistic stereotype of evil--think again. Laman is perhaps my favorite character in From the Dust and by far the most interesting.
You will get to see first-hand how someone can go from this innocent state as a child and become a powerful instrument in the hands of evil.
Fortunately, you will also get to see many wonderful miracles of goodness as well!

The Weeping Prophet - Jeremiah 13:17

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This image is an actual page from the comic book. 2! 2 pages! Mwa-ah-ah! Only 2000 more to go.

 

Jeremiah, the Prophet

An unconventional but highly charismatic prophet that never gives up.

 

Ever.

Quirky, small, and funny-looking, Jeremiah has never been popular with the ruling class, despite the fact that he has been an advisor to multiple kings. While still a tadpole, Yahweh called him as a prophet. The weight of his assignment--to cry repentance during Jerusalem’s darkest hour--has forced him to cling to all things lively and fun just to guard from eternal depression. He is not only a prophet, but the prophet, and the remnant of loyal followers of Yahweh follow his divinely inspired lead. His patience and long-suffering are truly inspiring.

Jeremiah's fatherHilkiah the Priest, discovered lost scripture in the Holy Temple while Jeremiah was still a boy. Known now as the Book of Deuteronomy, these scriptures contained the prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the horrors that should befall the Holy City should the Covenant People fall from grace. Someone had hidden these records from the people. But why?

Now, knowing the destruction of his people (and the temple) is eminent, Jeremiah and the last few loyal followers of Yahweh dedicate themselves to collecting and preserving what is left of their sacred records, but it is not easy. Baruch, Jeremiah's scribe and loyal friend, helps Jeremiah record his own words, and others of Jeremiah's followers help him find and collect truly inspired writings. Their dream is to one day combine these sacred histories into a single volume and preserve them for future generations. They call these writings the "Holy Books."

But time is running out. Will they accomplish their task before the foretold destruction? Will anyone even survive it to read them?

Jeremiah is a European Green Toad, which is endemic to Israel. He is often referred to as a frog...a bullfrog.

Jeremiah 1:5-10

 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
 

Jeremiah 13:17

But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.

Valentine's


Dear Fans,
  1. I'm sorry--I don't have Jeremiah finished yet.
  2. I have a really good excuse!
  3. My day job is awesome and has had me working *very* hard helping to pass an important "government spending bill" through our state congress (it's meeting resistance from people that are irresponsible with state funds).
  4. Jeremiah's post would have been really sad anyway, which is not very heartening on Valentine's Day. A lot of scholars think he didn't even have a sweetheart (wife) but I don't think that's the case.
  5. I will make up for it this weekend and the posts will continue every Tuesday!!!! PROMISE!
  6. Expect Jeremiah on Saturday--and either Laman or a Sariah pic next Tuesday!
Click this link for more info about SJR22 ("The Government Spending Bill")



On a side note, it has become apparent to me that I will need to learn Hebrew to really take this comic where I want it to go.

See you this weekend!

"I will make Jerusalem Heaps and a Den of Dragons" -- Jeremiah 9:11



Nebuchadrezzar, Lord of the Chaldeans (pronounced kal-DEE-ens)


The austere Lord of the Chaldeans, the King of Babylon.

Nebuchadrezzar is fierce and ruthless in the establishment of his new empire. He drives conquered peoples into submission by banishing the ruling class to be assimilated permanently into Babylonian culture. He does not tolerate disobedience. He is the most powerful man in the world, and that power has corrupted him entirely. He is determined to rule the world--and he will, for a short time. Even the 2000-year-old Egyptian dynasties will fall to him.

In addition, he is destined to destroy Jerusalem and its people into dust. He will take the treasures of his military campaigns (including treasures from the Holy Temple) and build the Hanging Gardens--one of the great wonders of the world.

Despite his merciless politics, Lord Drezzar is a highly cultured, highly intelligent individual that respects other like-minded persons. He treats the prophet Jeremiah with dignity and civility.

Nebuchadrezzar is also known as Nebuchadnezzar.


Lord Drezzar (as he is sometimes called in From the Dust) is inspired by Desert Monitors and other reptiles of the Fertile Crescent region. His armies are famous for their ruthlessness, might, and "fierce countenance." (see Deut 28:49-51)



Jeremiah 51:34
     Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.

Jeremiah 39:11-12
     Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard, saying, take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.


I will have "Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet," done next Tuesday! See you then!