Riding off into the sunset

General / 27 April 2020

“Mercy is Just My Name” has finished its run on artstation. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

“Mercy” is a mammoth, 223-page alternative history – a wild mashup of supernatural, steampunk and western.

“Mercy” has had a great response here on artstation and I want to thank all the good people on this platform that have followed the book.

 In particular, I would like to thank the following individuals:

My wife, Barbara, (A.K.A. the long-suffering “Suggy“) who has put up with me while I did all this nonsense.

Frank van Meer who supported this series since it started on Tapas, years ago. Although English is not Frank’s native language, he has found numerous spelling errors that my idiot proofreader missed. Okay, yes, alright! I am my own proofreader…

Sarah Ashley who did a short (actually long) season in Hell with me at the DN, a facebook warrior who has consistently supported the comic on that crazy platform.

The Cauldron Crew
My fellow  “Don Quixotes” who are all creating in the  new art form of motion books:
Damien Tomaselli

Bernd Höllen

krukof2

Jonathan Baker

Li-Hua Liu (Rita)

and

The Madefire Crew 
For always promoting my books on their app.

The future
Hopefully, I will be able to publish all 7 issues of “Mercy”  as motion books in the HTML5 format.

Also, I intend to try to find a larger audience for “Mercy” and  will be porting static versions to different sites/platforms.

Your help
If you liked the series, please help spread the word. Click the share buttons at the bottom of the page.

Meanwhile…
Meanwhile (and again, what a great comic book word that is!), here are the other series I'm working on:




Enjoy!

Jon Gerung
2020




Bernd Höllen’s new graphic novel

General / 22 April 2020

The Cauldron’s Motion Book Artist Extraordinaire, Bernd Höllen, is launching a kickstarter to fund his most recent graphic novel project, “Color Blind.” Check it out– it looks amazing!


My God! It’s like I’m drawing a romance comic!

General / 10 April 2020

My God! It’s like I’m drawing a romance comic!

I’ve responded to some useful critiques here on artstation about my graphic novel, “Mercy is Just My Name.”

Some felt that I compressed some of the backstories to the point of not explaining the character’s motivations.

 Particularly that of Juliette Marsh. So I‘ve gone back and put in some of the originally-planned content and split issue 5 into two separate issues.

My God! The result is that the new issue 6 is almost ’60s Marvel romance comic! Don't get me wrong! There’s still zombies, killer 19th-century robots, steampunk submarines and human sacrifice but it’s also got teen girl BFFs and an even sappier love triangle. Perish Forbid!

So some new art here in this blog entry and for those of those of you so bored that you are watching paint dry, you can check out the new issue 5, here, (there is some creepy Innsmouth stuff in it).

Jon Gerung
2020






  






A Horror from Beyond the Stars… the Size of Godzilla!

General / 17 March 2020


So far in “Mercy is Just My Name,”  we’ve had steampunk cyborgs, robots, airships, submarines, werewolves, ghosts, vampires, zombies, and now in this final issue… it's time for the…
 Lovecraftian Kaiju!

Definitions:
Lovecraftian:  a subgenre of horror fiction that emphasizes the cosmic horror of the unknown, named after author H. P. Lovecraft.

Kaiju:  Japanese for “strange beast.”  It comes from those Japanese films featuring giant monsters.

Lovecraftian Kaiju: we’re talking,  “A Horror from Beyond the Stars… the Size of Godzilla!” 

Yeah! 



Never coming this way again
Mercy’s adventures are over with this issue and I won't be revisiting her world again, not for a lack of interest on my part but due to the series limited commercial success. 

I'm always very critical of my own work and certainly this graphic novel has its problems, but overall, I think it’s kind of cool.

If you agree, help me spread the word …

The final episode of “Mercy is Just My Name” starts today, here on artstation.

Jon Gerung
2020


Take your mind off your troubles …

General / 16 March 2020



“Mercy is Just My Name 5” has just finished its run on artstation.

If you missed it, click here and scroll DOWN for more pages.

Amid these days of Covid-19 fear, take a break, stay home and enjoy this FREE graphic novel.

You can start with this last issue, or start at the beginning with issue 1.



Stay safe in the days ahead.

Jon Gerung
2020

If it’s foaming at the mouth, you just have to put it down…

General / 21 February 2020


“If it’s foaming at the mouth, you just have to put it down,” Sister Mercy’s words of wisdom to her young ward, Pet, in episode 5 of “Mercy is Just My Name,“ starting here on artstation today.

“Mercy 5” kicks off the final big showdown of the series on the shores of the Seas of Cortez. Loads of action, plot twists as well as  a flashback to Mercy’s younger years where we find out why she’s wrapped so tight.

 I like this issue, it has some clever plot points, word play, decent art and a good pace. 

 It’s been fun designing the zombies, submarines, airships, Mercy‘s medicine wagon and all the steampunk paraphernalia. We finally get to see all the characters storylines intersect for these last too issues – it’s taken some work to get here…

Say it again: Creating is hard!
As I’ve said before, creating a graphic novel is a lot cheaper than making a movie, it just takes five-times as long…

This whole process has given me  vastly more respect for anybody that puts themselves out there to creative a visual narrative piece of fiction and actually manages to get it done.

Stay tuned
“Mercy is Just My Name 5 : The Crawling Chaos” starts it’s run today…
Two issues left. The End is neigh…

Jon Gerung
2020



Another one bites the dust.

General / 15 February 2020


“Mercy is Just My Name 4: The Crawling Chaos 1” has finished its run here, on artstation.

If you missed it, click here and scroll DOWN for more pages.

This issue is packed with zombies, steampunk submarines, cyborgs, automatons, battles, mad experiments gone wrong, plots to destroy the world, sappy love triangles and human sacrifice!

The earlier issues are available as motion books (flash-required or download the Madefire app) and static comics, here.

I will be taking a little break before publishing the final two issues of “Mercy” here, on artstation. Yes, I know, a weary nation gives its thanks for that news…

Meanwhile,* here‘s a teaser image:


Isn‘t “meanwhile” one of those great comic book words?

So long Adobe!

General / 13 February 2020



So, I was watching the academy awards (always a slow-motion train wreck) when an ad for Adobe Systems came up.

Surprised! Never saw a TV ad by them before.

Always, a big fan of the company until the subscriptions and other debacles, I am now happily, an Adobe-free artist.

Alternative graphic lifestyles
I thought I would re-post my own alternatives to Adobe’s high-priced subscription plans.

Reality check
If you‘re looking to get  into the business, Adobe is unfortunately still top dog and you will have to know how to use their products extremely well. Or, if you’re working for a company that’s springing for a personal subscription, that’s great! – more power to you.  

For freelancers on a tight budget, check out some of these alternatives, especially the Affinity apps. They read and write Photoshop and illustrator files without any loss of data (in case you need to collaborate with Adobe users).

Not missing it …
This is my personal list (other artists will have different choices). Many of these apps are better than the Adobe versions and for those that are just adequate they have the advantage of being low cost or free.

The List

Illustrator alternatives:
1. Affinity Designer

Photoshop alternatives:
1. Affinity Photo

Painting software:
2. Clip Studio Paint (my favorite program!)
3. Autodesk Sketchbook (now free!)
4. Painter (expensive but deals are out there)

Indesign alternatives
1. Affinity Publisher
2. iBooks Author (free!)
3. Kindle Kids’ Book Creator (free!)
4. Kindle Comics Creator (free!)

Animate (Formerly Flash), XD, Edge alternatives:
1. Tumult Hype
2. Saola Animate

After Effects alternatives:
1. Moho Pro (expensive but deals are out there)
2. Open Toonz (free!)
3. Apple Motion

Dreamweaver alternatives:
1. Brackets (free app in case I have to edit some older HTML content).
2. Any CMS (content management system) like this one on artstation.

Audition alternatives:
1. Fission (not very feature-laden but it’s the sound editor I use the most)
2. Audacity (very ancient UI but full featured and free!)

 Almost all of the above have free tryouts.

Well, I hope this helps those of you trying to keep your costs down…





Underwater Steampunk Zombies!

General / 05 January 2020


“Mercy is Just My Name 3: Wolfshead” has finished its run here on artstation. If you missed it, click here, scroll DOWN for more pages.

It’s my favorite issue of the series but by the time I finished it, it was pretty obvious that doing an ongoing Mercy series wasn’t going to fly – nowhere near enough readers. A lot of hard work, so pretty disappointing it didn’t find much of an audience. 

Since, I really couldn’t leave Mercy and Pet forever trapped at the bottom of the Sea of Cortez in a Confederate submarine, I converted the story to a 6-part graphic novel. Meant lots and lots of cutting of the planned storyline and compression of the backstory.

The result is issue 4: “Mercy is Just my Name 4: The Crawling Chaos I.”

So, one flashback to the town of  Jericho, Colorado Territory (1862), reveal of the “Mad Doctor’s” plan to destroy the universe, the surprise return of three villains, one flashback to Devil’s Gorge, Arizona Territory (1878), one flashback to Miskatonic University, Arkham, Massachusetts (1868), one large text excerpt from the September 24th, 1868 edition of the Arkham Advertiser newspaper and (finally!) a planned human sacrifice. All in 37 pages. 

Wow! Makes me exhausted just to write this list down.

So, a crazy amount of compression. 

Not that I’m putting my own work down… 

This is a very fun issue. 

As far as I’m concerned any graphic novel that has…

Underwater Steampunk Zombies…

 is always a must read.   


Nerd alert! I went back to the original concept for Zombies as undead workers as in “Dead Men working in the Cane Field” (1929).

Daily installments of:  “Mercy is Just my Name 4: The Crawling Chaos I” start today!

 Well, I hope you enjoy this issue…

Jon Gerung
2019

That’s all Folks!

General / 29 December 2019


“Mercy is Just My Name 3: Wolfshead” has finished its run here on artstation. 

If you missed it, click here, scroll DOWN for more pages.

It’s my favorite issue of the series, I finally felt I was getting the story, characters  and art right.

If you haven’t seen any of the other issues, you can start with this one

In fact, definitely start with this one