I hope you’re enjoying Volume 2 of Ghost of the Gulag. Volume 1 is currently being printed and is available for pre-order through my backerkit website. Volume 1 has improvements in text, color and layout from the online version. Thanks for following the comic and spreading the word!

Pre Order Ghost of the Gulag Volume 1

  Here’s an image ready for painting from Volume 2.

Here’s an image ready for painting from Volume 2.

Season 1 Break

Season 1 Break

Thank you for reading The Ghost of the Gulag.  I just completed the six chapter and am taking a short break to prep and run a Kickstarter campaign to print the first volume of Ghost of the Gulag which will be over 230 pages.  Don’t worry there is a lot more story to come, some stuff I’m really excited to share.

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I’ll be posting some of my research and development process in the meantime. Color is really important and something I struggle with. In addition to studying paintings and reference photos I took a tiger toy all through the snowy mountains of Utah and Idaho for reference. click on the photos to see the slide show. More updates soon. 

How to Draw a Tiger

The tiger is finally in the comic. As you may have guessed he is the titular character in this comic. Here's a little "how to" video on drawing tigers. The story takes place in the Russian Far East so the Tiger is an Amur or Siberian subspecies- the largest big cat in the world.

How big is a Siberian Boar?

How big are the boar? Yes I definitely take artistic license here. But they do get large and dangerous. The Ussuri Wild Boar which inhabit the Tagia and Russian Far east can weigh up to 1,179 pounds and stand up to five feet at the shoulder. In my designs of the boar I have incorporated elements of several wild pigs including warthogs, red river hogs and bush pigs.  Later in the story there is even a design inspired by the babirusa. Here are some of my initial design sketches with some final designs.  This Thursday I'll add more pages which will finish the Prologue.

When is a Moose not a Moose?

When is a moose not a moose? When it's an elk.  In Europe a Moose is called an Elk. When settlers came to America they saw an Wapiti they called it an elk and we now know them as American Elk.  So the Moose was given it’s Native American name which means “eater of twigs.” Where’s the tiger? Just wait. I want to set the table, familiarize everyone with the world (the Taiga) and it’s major players. The taiga is such an interesting Biome, full of familiar and unfamiliar animals.

 

Here we go! Welcome to the comic

Welcome to the Taiga. This comic has been a long time coming. It started as an idea between me and Joel Crawford when we were both working on Rise of the Guardians at DreamWorks Animation. I have long since left DreamWorks but Joel has been a consistent sound board and consultant on the project. Now many years later I have toiled over two full scripts and a few rough passes of the entire comic and now I feel like I’m ready to start sharing the story as I finish it.  There are many influences on this story: Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, Sergio Leone’s Fistful of Dollar and the Good the Bad and the Ugly, Alejandro Inarritu’s the Revenant and Quentin Tarantino’s Django,  George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Richard Adam’s Watership Down. So if you have an aversion to some of these story tellers this comic may not be for you.

This was one of the first images I drew for the comic.

 The original opening I drew a few years ago is very similar. I decided to expand the moment to show the pack hunting and establish a few of the characters.

The original opening I drew a few years ago is very similar. I decided to expand the moment to show the pack hunting and establish a few of the characters.