Tuesday, January 29, 2008


THRILLING DETECTIVE, the internet's most popular crime-fiction site, put together a pretty slick profile of HIGH MOON's Matthew 'Mac' Macgregor for their fantastic and totally comprehensive website.

You can check out the full profile here and read why Mac may have some shades of Dashiell Hammett. While you are there, be sure to check out the exhaustive, but awesome resource that is THRILLING DETECTIVE.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Steve Ellis on art for HIGH MOON

Wow, Busy Times

I have to apologize to those guys who wanted some art up here showing how I do my process. Literally this week I was moving from my former home in Syracuse NY to my new home in Brooklyn. This entailed three days of actual packing and moving as well as a day rebuilding a kitchen. That said I was almost late with my High Moon pages.

So here I am excuse in hand, the dog ate my homework. Here is a sneak peek into how I do things:
First I pencil and ink( I can get more into layouts and such in another post because that's pretty fun stuff) then I scan this into the computer. on some pages I do a lot more drawing in the computer, but this page was mostly figured out in the original pen and ink. The next step is to scan it in and tone it. Notice on the black and white piece there are a lot of scuffs and pencil scratchings along with the cleaner ink. I like keeping those. Being left handed I always smear my pencil and make a mess of the originals and have to go in with a big eraser to fix stuff. with High Moon I wanted to turn a negative into an asset. I thought that if the world is supposed to be dark and gritty lets keep the grit in the art. One way of doing this is to keep the pencil marks in the final work.
After this step of toning the art ( which is done in photoshop with photo filter and color adjustments) I make this a top layer and create an under layer which has all the color fields on it. Color fields are simple color shapes that when placed under ink lines pull together to create the colors for the artwork.
When placed under the toned inks, it will create the desired colors and mood.
The last step is to add color on top of the art on a new top layer.

Without the other layers under it this layer doesn't look like much, it's mostly just highlights and such which add depth to the art. But this is the last step before declaring the art finished...

Any questions?

Steve E

Friday, January 25, 2008

HIGH MOON: A Sneak Peek

Some of you may have seen this piece in our recent Newsarama article. No, I'm not telling you what it means, but you can post your guesses down below.

And if you haven't had a chance to check out the new HIGH MOON pages, you can do so now!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

HIGH MOON Returns (and a surprise!)

That's right folks, HIGH MOON has started it's regular run on Zuda!

Fortnightly, you'll see new pages, new twists, and new surprises for Matthew Macgregor exclusively on Zuda!

But, as an added bonus, HIGH MOON is also re-running on MySpace, with an exceptional cover you won't find anywhere else!

Go check it out HERE!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Reminder: Web Cartoonists Choice Awards

Just a reminder that the nomination round for the Web Cartoonists Choice Awards ends Wednesday, January 23, 2008.

If you have a webcomic, and like awards, now is your chance to send in your nominations for the upcoming Web Cartoonists Choice Awards. Any webcomic that was active between February of 2007 up to the present is eligible to win as many categories as they qualify for.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

HIGH MOON begins Tuesday, January 22nd!

Grab your wolvesbane and silver bullets and check us out at ZUDA!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Steve Ellis on High Moon finally

I've been moving back to Brooklyn( my hometown even though I wasn't born here) for the last month and so things have kept me from keeping up with the blog.

I'd like to make the offer that If anyone has questions about art,design drawing comics or drawing for the web, to please feel free to ask here and I'll do my best to answer with pictures...

here's an image from my HM sketches to get the conversation started....

HIGH MOON Influences: Werewolf

Starpulse has named 'Werewolf' one of "Five Television Remakes We'd Like To See, But Probably Won't." I was 12 years old when this series first aired on FOX back in its halcyon days. Featuring Chuck Conners (of 'The Rifleman' fame) and John J. York, the show told the story of Eric Cord, who was searching for a way to end his horrific werewolf curse.

I was forbidden from watching the show, like the troublemaker I was, I saw it anyway ... and it forged a very vivid impression on me and what would become HIGH MOON.

I have included for your edification a Werewolf promo clip:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wanna Make A Webcomic?

Laura Milligan has an excellent collection of online resources to get you started making you own webomics! So, whether you are thinking about Zuda, Drunk Duck, ACT-I-VATE, or simply going out on you own, these links will help you get there!

(Tip of the hat to Tom)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

HIGH MOON: My First Notebook

What you see here is my very first HIGH MOON notebook from way back in 2004. This is one of three notebooks, that details the origins of HIGH MOON. It's filled with a whole lot of really bad sketches, some of which I've posted previously.

And, these are some of my original scribbled notes from HIGH MOON. As you can see, a whole lot of what is in these notes never made it to the printed page the web. I did 'white out' one little bit - but there is no way I'm telling you what that was.

So, there you go .. just a very tiny taste of what might have been.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

HIGH MOON: Yet To Come

So, here's a little update on what is yet to come for HIGH MOON.
  • Above is a very mysterious sketch that Steve Ellis did for HIGH MOON.

  • Yes, we have a release date for the HIGH MOON launch.
    (Sadly, I can't tell you when that is either, but it is in January - and it will be awesome!)

  • In the near future, the awesome Steve Ellis will be popping by to answer your art-related questions for HIGH MOON. So, if you have any .. now is the time to ask them in our comments section.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

HIGH MOON: On the first night of the full moon

On the first night of the full moon, Matthew Macgregor sits in his rocking chair, with a pistol in his lap and a bottle of moonshine.

I wrote that sentence over three years ago now. It was the first line in what would be the very first HIGH MOON plot synopsis. Since that time, I've accrued more research on Texas, The Wild West, and Werewolves than I ever thought possible.

And, HIGH MOON is better off for it.

To tell you you truth, I was never a huge fan of westerns. That is not to say that there aren't some fantastic stories of the old west, but for the most part, I found many of the tales of the old west a little too simple for my tastes.

The man who changed that perception for me was a writer by the name of John Meston. John doesn't get a lot of credit these days, but he was the principal writer behind the radio series GUNSMOKE.

Simply put, GUNSMOKE was the story of the violence that moved west with young America…and the story of a man who moved with it,” Marshall Matt Dillon. Often referred to as the medium's first "Adult Western," this exceptional program set the standard for all of the shows that were to follow.

Meston thought that few Westerns gave any inkling of how brutal the Old West, and he was dedicated to destroying the cherished archetypal Western hero. Raised in the remnants of the old west, Meston was notable for the use of parsed dialogue and lack of 'purple prose.' Unless it was for effect, Meston never wrote speeches, preferring the 'less is more' school of thought.

"I don't phony stuff. And, I knew a something about the west ... the way people are and the way they talk and the way they behave. And, I never liked heroes much," Meston said in the GUNSMOKE biography.

Writing down every tired cowboy troupe they could think of, Meston, along with producer/director Norman MacDonnell, decided to break every single one.

Which brings us back to where we are now. HIGH MOON started as a simple werewolf western, a straight-up old-style-shoot-em-up, but as it has developed over the years, it has become something more. As I get ready to type out the next several scripts, I am fascinated with how HIGH MOON has developed. We've set up the pieces, and over the course of the next 52 screens you'll see them all move in some very interesting and unique ways.

Writing HIGH MOON is something that speaks to my fondness for pulps, mythology, history, and old-time radio. It is a story that you won't need a PHD in Comics to read, understand, and enjoy. I owe quite a bit of its success to John Meston and Gunsmoke.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Web Cartoonists Choice Awards

If you have a webcomic, and like awards, now is your chance to send in your nominations for the upcoming Web Cartoonists Choice Awards. Any webcomic that was active between February of 2007 up to the present is eligible to win as many categories as they qualify for.

While it'd be swell if you nominated Zuda strips like Bayou, High Moon, or Night Owls ...
Here are a few other strips that I think are equally deserving of your your attention as well:

  • James Hatton's IN HIS LIKENESS for Outstanding Comedic Comic
  • Molly Crabapple's BACKSTAGE for Outstanding Character Rendering
  • Kevin Colden's FISHTOWN for Outstanding Dramatic Comic
  • Chris Arrant's series, ONE WAY TICKET for Outstanding Character Writing

These are, of course, my suggestions ... I think the above strips certainly represent some of the webcomics in 2007, check them out ... and I think you'll agree.

(Sadly, there is no 'Outstanding Use of Concept' category, if there was, I'd suggest Dave Flora's Tales of the Revenant strip ... it's got ghosts with guns!)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

High Moon: Unfinished Preview Art

Behold, unfinished art from the next installment of HIGH MOON.