Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Silence

So, yeah. It's been quiet here.


I've been working a ton on various projects, and have only really been updating my Facebook page.

Which can be found here.

That's sort of become the go-to place to find new artwork from me, and updates on other things (like conventions and appearances).

So if you want that, go there.

This blog will become a more personal thing soon -- still art-related, just not as much with the comics and stuff. The year began on an incredibly shitty note, and I've had to cut ties with people I thought were good friends (but instead were either crazy or spineless). It's sad, but I still have some real close friends, incredible supporters, and a loving family.

This blog will reflect that hurt (ironically created by people who once said they'd never hurt me, people who never wanted me to be sad - but ended up causing one of the biggest hurts in my entire life. Lesson in that, there. Probably about trust, but fuck trust, that seems an illusion now).

The only good thing that has come of that is it's pushed me to be even more vocal about my pain - but not just with plain words, but poetry, writing, and illustration.

So stay tuned, but tune in more on Facebook and the like if you want the cheery, business-only, comic books and sunshine Blair.

"Holding Lines" will still refer to the black lines in drawing, but will finally serve it's double meaning; I'm "holding the lines" here against the storm outside.

Stay safe.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Quantum Moment Before the Closure, 2013

Only a few minutes left, so I'll edit this with more later. For now, thanks to all the wonderful fans, supporters, friends, family, and other wonderful people I met in 2013.

Haters can burn for all I care.

Love and respect to those that deserve it. No second chances for everyone else.

2013 was hopefully the start of something new for me. My second chance. Not wasting it.

… for some reason I'm reminded of the last line from a game I used to love in high school; Marathon. Specifically, the last chapter, Marathon: Infinity, where this AI, Durandal, having exhausted all methods of escape from the end of the universe, ruminates on the true nature of the protagonist of the game. And as I know with limited time left there are so many people I'm forgetting to thank, consider this odd little quote a THANK YOU to all who have supported me not only this year, but since I had this crazy idea of doing this comic book thing...

"Now, in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time. I know who you are. You are destiny."

Friday, November 22, 2013

I Don't Want To Go

On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of the start of Doctor Who, I have a something I'd like to say.

"It's the end… but the moment has been prepared for."

- The Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, "Logopolis, Part 4", March, 1981.

The Doctor had just defeated the Master's latest plan to rule the universe, and had paid for it by falling from the Pharos Project Dish Tower to the ground below. Before he would merge with The Watcher (long story) and begin his fourth regeneration, he'd see visions of the enemies that wished his death, and the companions with which he shared his life.

Nowhere left to run for that Doctor.

I didn't see Logopolis in 1981 when it first aired. I wouldn't see it until the mid-to-late-80s when it was being run for the first time on Vermont ETV, our local PBS station (one of the two channels we got - no cable, no dish). It was during a pledge drive, so the station made a big to-do about this and the following episode, Castrovalva, the Fifth Doctor's first.

It was the end of the run of my first Doctor, the Tom Baker's portrayal of the fourth incarnation of the Time Lord. I had began watching a year or two earlier when "Robot" had been run, as the first Doctor Who episode ETV aired. I was hooked. The smile, the eyes, the scarf, the sonic screwdriver, the TARDIS, the running away from, and eventually towards danger.

And I ran with him.

In elementary school, I found a twelve-foot long length of fabric my mom had left over from a sewing job. It was pink and faux-silk, but that didn't stop me from wearing it around like the Doctor's scarf. I used a tire-pressure-monitor as a sonic screwdriver. My room was the TARDIS and the outdoors were the other worlds.

Of course, me being me, I tried to draw the Doctor(s). I even tried writing my own Doctor Who stories. One was a video I wanted to film, which I called "Silver Sally and the Silver Robot" (I was more than a little influenced by the "Making of" short shown on ETV featuring the Seventh Doctor story "Silver Nemesis"). I had friends in fifth grade sign up to play parts (I got my crush at the time to play Silver Sally). Granted, nothing was ever filmed, and I only wrote the scene where the Seventh Doctor (played my best friend at the time) regenerated into me, the Eighth Doctor. But it would've been filled with cardboard box robots, refrigerator box TARDIS, and death rays.

And of course, lots of running.

When Doctor Who went away in 1989, it would soon die off on PBS as well. And I'd forget about it.

Until my birthday, 1996, when the Doctor Who TV movie, the first (and for years ONLY) TV appearance of the real Eighth Doctor graced my TV screen. Granted, I was confused by some apparent retcons in the story, but enjoyed it well enough, and looked forward to seeing more TV movies featuring my favorite time traveler.

That never came to be.

Fast forward to 2005 where only months after the fact I learned there had been a restart to the series, and that it essentially continued from where I last saw. Being in the US, I couldn't watch it legally… so I resorted to less legal means for a low-res copy of the first episode, "Rose." And I was hooked all over again.

And for the first time since the late-80s, I drew the Doctor again.

Understand, at this time, I was only flirting with illustration again. I graduated from The Kubert School in '99, with hopes of becoming a comic book artist. But after a few frustrating rejections, and bad indie creator experiences, I resigned myself to odd jobs and eventually design jobs. Figured that was it. Those jobs eventually dried up as well, and I flirted with screenwriting while doing everything from selling computers to selling cars.

Then I started working on spot illustrations for a local publishing company. My first legit published illustration work. I also took very low-pay work on sketch cards, just to say I had drawn comic book characters for money.

Then I discovered IDW Publishing was making Doctor Who comics. "What?" I thought. "Why am I not working on these? Oh… that's right. I'm not a comic book artist. But why not now?"

So I started my first illustrations of the Tenth Doctor, using a style similar to the cartoony one I used in those spot illustrations.

Then I moved on to page samples.

And more fanart posted to my relatively new deviantArt page. And one of those pieces caught the eye of not only deviantArt (becoming a Daily Deviation - or featured piece), but catching the attention of Charlie Kirchoff, colorist of the Doctor Who comics.

Between him putting in a good word for me with Doctor Who editor Denton Tipton, and both Denton and publisher Chris Ryall liking my samples, I landed my first official, mainstream comic job.

At first pitched as a two-issue arc, it became a four-issue run.

And run with it I did.

This was my first page I drew that featured the Doctor;

And my first official comic book cover (and another Daily Deviation);

I'd go on to work on the 2011 Doctor Who Annual;

And a host of Retailer Incentive/Exclusive covers;

But that cover also represents something sad.

And the true point of this post.

In December, IDW Publishing and BBC Worldwide will have a Parting of the Ways, with the license for Doctor Who comics going elsewhere. I don't know where, but I do know that the cover you see above, the Hot Topic Retailer Exclusive Cover to Doctor Who #14, is my last official Doctor Who work for IDW Publishing.

It's been an incredible journey, one that my grade-school self could never have foreseen.

I've met some incredible people inside and outside of the comic book industry, met people whose work I admire in various industries, been to places, to conventions, to events, people and places I never would've met and interacted with the way I did all because of the my connection to Doctor Who.

Freema Agyeman, "Martha Jones"
John de Lancie, "Q"
Felicia Day, nearly everything

Jonathan Coulton, musician, nerd god

Amy Okuda, "Tinkerballa"

Molly Quinn, "Alexis Castle"
And, as you see above, even my family, my wife, my three kids, have taken a liking to the Good Doctor.

And my comic career only began with the Doctor. It didn't end there. I've worked in the world of the Wizard of Oz, the Ghostbusters (have I mentioned that here? I'll have to mention that sometime), the Guild. I've put down zombie hordes, danced with mystical teenagers, stolen treasure from after the apocalypse, and even run across rooftop with my own costumed vigilante, The Raptor. And there's much more to come.

All because of my run with the Doctor.

So thanks to Denton, Chris, and all the other incredible people at IDW Publishing. Thanks to Matthew Dow Smith, Charlie Kirchoff, Tony Lee, Joshua Hale Fialkov, JK Woodward, Robert Hack, and all the other incredible people I met and worked with along the way.

And a huge thank you to the AMAZING fans I've made on this run. Who knew I'd even ever HAVE fans?

I don't know where the Doctor Who comics will end up next. I'll knock four times on their TARDIS door, for sure, and hope to be let in. It will be with a new Doctor, I'd imagine, but that's okay. With my fans behind me, and the experiences I've had to back me up…

…we'll dematerialize to our next adventure, and you watch…

~Blair D. Shedd

Snowy Vermont
November 22nd, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

oneGemini Studios Gallery at deviantArt

Some of you may have noticed my typical gallery pages here at oneGemini have gone away. I'm in the process of redoing them, and during that process, they're unavailable.

That makes seeing my work on the quick hard to do, unless you go to my Facebook page, and even then, quality is reduced by a bunch.

So, for now, if you'd like to see pure art less blog, you can point your browsers to my deviantArt site, located here -->

I'll get a button up on the main oneGemini page as well soon.

Hope this helps anyone looking for just the art, less chat.


PS - More news about everything soon!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

GraniteCon 2013 - Pre-Orders for Commissions!

Hey, y'know what's on September 28th and 29th? Granite State Comic Con!

I'll be at table 716, but I'll post more on that later, but I wanted to focus on one particular thing.

I will be doing head/bust sketches at the convention, but if you're already planning to be there, I am currently offering ten (10) pre-show commissions!

How it works is this - you pay (via PayPal) now for a piece at a price lower than what I'll charge at GraniteCon, I'll do it up for you in the time running up to the show, then, at the show, you give me your name, and I'll have the artwork all done for you! No waiting at the show. Just show up, get it, and go. And save a few bucks as well.

I must insist on being paid up front, as I've done this in the past, and had a lot of no-shows, and oddly specific pieces that I had trouble selling after the fact. In fact, I held off doing this at a few different shows/events because I got burned. So we do it this way, and everyone is happy, and no one asks for artwork they don't actually want to pay for.

Also, if you want a likeness (say, a Doctor) I do MUCH better when I'm not at a show, as I don't have to find a medium between accurate likeness, and not taking forever drawing it.

So, what kind of sketches can you get?

Grayscale Head/Bust Drawings - $40 (at the show $50)

These are on 8.5"x11" heavy stock. Ink, grayscale marker, colored pencil, China marker (read: not in full color). Like it says, head/bust (head, shoulders kinda thing) of just about any character. Minimal, usually designy background - my choice. One character per image, please.

Grayscale Full-Figure Drawing - $60 (at the show $70)

These will be on 8.5"x11" heavy stock. Ink, grayscale marker, colored pencil, China marker. Full body of just about whatever character. Minimal background. Additional figures are $10, with a two (2) figure max.

FULL COLOR Head/Bust - $70 (NOT available at the show)

These will be on 8.5"x11" heavy stock. Ink, marker, colored pencil, China marker. Like it says, head/bust (head, shoulders kinda thing) of just about any character. Minimal, usually designy background - my choice. One character per image, please.

FULL COLOR Figure Sketch - $175 (NOT available at the show)

Also on 11"x17" BlueLine Comic Board. Pen, ink, color marker, colored pencil, China marker. Full figure of just about any character. Minimal background. Each additional figure $20, with a two (2) figure max.

All pre-show sketches will be clear-bagged to keep them safe.

If you'd like a sketch, please email me at info -at-, with the subject "Pre-Show Commission" and let me know what you want. If it all sounds good (ie, PG-13, please) I'll send you an invoice, you pay, and next weekend at GraniteCon, you stop by the table - #716 - and pick it up. Simple as that!


And here are a few examples of past commissions of this type.

Spread the word to GraniteCon goers, and I'll see you there!

More on the upcoming show soon!