Battle Maiden Knuckle Bomb

Forced to create genetically modified bioweapons for an archaic occult organization, Dr. Albert Vogel inadvertently succeeds at discovering the means to unlock the limits of human potential. He attempts to conceal his revelation, but the cultists grow suspicious and believe the doctor is withholding that which they desperately desire.

Saaya Volkova, Vogel’s niece, is forcefully abducted and used as leverage. She is critically injured and Vogel is forced to inject his niece with the perfected formula to save her life. The mutagen transforms Saaya’s body, increasing her muscular density and grants her incredible strength and resilience. She also gains the ability to fly and a unique skill to absorb and manipulate biokinetic concussive force!

While struggling and learning to control her newly acquired power, Saaya attempts to fight back and to escape with her uncle. But even if they manage to survive, they will surely be pursued, and just how far does this organization’s influence extend?

My comic, Battle Maiden Knuckle Bomb, will be going up on Indiegogo in October, 2018. Below are some sample pages, as well as a cover design I’m currently working on.

Tranquilo

Tranquilo, あっせん な よ -- words to live by from Tetsuya Naito, one of my favorite wrestlers from Japan. Because, seriously, people need to relax and chill out. I personally haven't been posting much of anything lately because I've had my nose to the grindstone working on getting my comic finished. I'll have a reveal for you guys sometime in September, but for now I'm so absorbed in creating sequential art it's all I can think about!

I bring up tranquilo, though, because I've noticed a handful of artists I follow on Twitter have been dealing with a lot of heat and might not be coping with it in a healthy way. To those affected by online toxicity, please remember that it's very easy for people to be malicious and spout mindless drivel through social media. And that's exactly what it is -- mindless drivel. In most cases I've seen, the mindless hatred is steeped in speculation and stem from baseless rumors or simply opinions.

It's very easy for anyone to make a snap judgement and comment with an uninformed opinion. Most people aren't willing to do the homework involved to formulate a meaningful opinion and hence we get social media being bloated with [enter expletive].

As an artist, criticism is valuable and if someone doesn't like your work it's worth listening to the reasons why, but don't obsess over the negativity. If you can distinguish them, take any valid points your critics have and see if you can benefit from the knowledge, but debating your detractors and trying to convince them of the merits of your work doesn't usually pan out well. It's very rare that a person will turn a corner sincerely through interactions on social media.

Also, remember, there are block and mute functions. I've never had to use them, thankfully, but they're there for anyone who could benefit from them. Logout is a good one too. There are also those sleep and power buttons that log you back into the IRL app known as reality. Not to say that social media can't impact your reality but it's really up to you to decide just how much control you're willing to give it over your day-to-day.

So yeah, tranquilo.

Constant Motion

This year's con season was particularly satisfying for me and I'm still slightly reeling from the aftereffects. Mostly because I'm trying to get rid of this nasty flu that hit me from outta nowhere! But as I'm now able to sit up and simultaneously remain conscious I can actually get back to work, and with even more zeal than before!

Well, the zeal will come later, once I'm rid of this damn fever and cough, ugh...

Anime Expo, quite frankly, sucked! They sorely need to cap attendance for that con as it is ridiculously bloated and ill-organized. Despite purchasing the 4-day pass, I did not return after the first day. I won't be returning as an attendee, but I am seriously considering renting a table at the artists alley next year, as that was one of the only parts of the con I did enjoy a lot. It was also one of the only areas you could move around in without having to carve a path through the tumultuous sea of bodies.

Comic Con was the real game changer for me. It was my first time attending Comic Con and the opportunity presented itself to me on the weekend of the event, thanks to my cousin who is a professional in the entertainment industry. I was able to see and meet so many illustrators who have influenced my artistic life, it was the most fulfilling experience I've ever had at a convention. And this was just walking around the artists alley, I didn't attend a single panel.

Being able to meet these men and women and talk shop was an invaluable and inspiring experience. I've been hard at work on the Ehrgeiz Trading Cards, but there's another project I've been working on simultaneously that will be revealed later this fall. One particularly famous, and or infamous, comic artist gave a speech that really motivated me and that drive has already produced something that I can't wait to complete and share with you all!

There are also a couple other really exciting developments that I have to keep to myself due to NDAs, but this all came at me in the span of a single month! I wouldn't say it's been overwhelming, but it's definitely been a hell of a ride, full momentum in constant motion! Until next time!

June Midterm Status

Man, June is already almost over!? This summer is going to fly by, I just know it.

I've sketched out about 45 cards for the first Ehrgeiz series of trading cards. I haven't settled on the number for the base set just yet, but at the rate I'm going I think 72 will be enough. I've already got a printer ready for the project, I've just got to work on the art and the visual design of the cards. The plan is to launch with a Kickstarter, but there are still a couple of details I need to work out beforehand. As usual, I'll keep you guys posted!

The previews for the new term rewards on Patreon will be posted up this week. I shared a work in progress of a jungle girl themed cover on Twitter last week; this will be one of the rewards for Term 44.

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That's a wrap for now, just wanted to post a quick update. Until next time!

Current State of Ehrgeiz

Something I'm constantly asked about is what happened to Ehrgeiz?

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Ehrgeiz was a webcomic that I had created three years ago that evolved around the world of joshi puro, the Japanese style and discipline of women's professional wrestling. Though the comic only ran for a few months with one or two pages being uploaded a week, it garnered a small fandom that continues to inquire about the comic to this day.

I'm currently throwing around some ideas for a one shot Ehrgeiz comic, but a lot has changed since the comic's inception. One big change is the time frame of the comic, which originally took place in the '80s. The release of GLOW on Netflix pretty much filled the void I had intended for Ehrgeiz, and the show did a damn good job. So while I stew on what type of story I want to tell with these characters, I figured I'd just focus on the characters themselves for now.

I've finalized the designs of the initial Ehrgeiz roster and am currently working on a set of trading cards that will introduce them and their abilities in the ring. The idea is to present the entire project as a work; All wrestlers will commit to being in-character, a handful of which would fit right in with the zany gimmicky caricatures of the '80s and '90s!

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I'll keep you guys posted on the progress of the trading cards. The base set will feature 72 cards, composed of character and wrestling cards. With this being my first outing, I'm going to keep it simple. The base set will be available to purchase in full and will come with a box topper. Later on I'll be introducing chase cards through my Ultra Tier on Patreon. If it's received pretty well, I might consider bringing in some freelancers for some bonus cards for the next set.

The back of the cards will feature art, profiles, demographics, stats and history. You'll be able to learn quite a bit about each character, and their relationships with the others, through the information presented on the back of the cards.

So that's the status of Ehrgeiz at the moment. Thanks so much for those of you who continued to express interest in my characters! Until next time!!

May Wrap-Up and Updates

Here are a few progression captures of the Yasha Awakened illustration I recently finished for the Onmyoji contest. I purposely made him a bit rounder than his official design, and I think it came out pretty well.

Up next, I'm working on the update to my Patreon. All that remains at this point is to create the visuals and upload, but that'll come into effect once the current term comes to a close. I'm looking forward to the changes and think my patrons will appreciate it.

In regards to my current workload, I'm finishing up a commission and am planning on squeezing in an additional submission for that Udon summer comic. I've got an image of Laura on a surfboard that I need to put to canvas! Then again, basketball would give me an excuse to include little bro Sean as well. Hmm, it's something to consider...

In other news, I've secured a handful of rare cards that eluded my younger self back in the early '90s! For years I thought my Marvel Universe Series III set was complete but I completely forgot that the holo Hulk was never in my possession! Completed Series I and II while I was at it, and also secured the chase cards for '93 X-Men Series 2. Also got some NM base sets for Masterpiece years I had opted out of and, yeah, ebay is pretty great, lol.

That's all for now, until next time!

Staying Busy

I have a lot of things in the works at the moment and it's got me really excited. I'm in contact with a handful of printers and I'm getting samples of art prints and trading cards soon. I'm planning on adding a new tier to my Patreon that offers a signed print every month. I honestly don't expect it to be all that popular, at least not until I get my trading card project produced, but it'll be there as a new option for anyone who might be interested.

I'll be entering into the Onmyoji contest on deviantART with a couple of entries. I've nearly completed the first entry and will be submitting it by tomorrow. I tried playing with a different aesthetic and procedure with this one and I'm not completely happy with the end result... that's what I get for trying to force a different style without any prep. So the first entry will be somewhat of a throw away piece as I return to my typical modus operandi with the second.

And finally, I'll be attending Anime Expo this year! I haven't been since 2007 which was in Long Beach if I remember correctly. Ironically, 2002, my first expo, was also in Long Beach. I was always so fond of the Anaheim Convention Center, lots of memories and good times there. I haven't been to AX in the LA Convention Center, so this will be a first for me. Looking forward to meeting up with fellow artists and fans.

Until next time!

Now On ArtStation

I've been sleeping on my ArtStation account for quite some time, but I've finally put it to good use. You can check out my profile, with that one illustration so far, here: https://www.artstation.com/keunglee

There's also that really convenient and clean-looking portfolio mode you get when you swap the profile and site names: https://keunglee.artstation.com

I'll be honest, the real reason I never posted anything on my ArtStation account was because I felt completely and utterly outclassed. Hell, I still do when I look at some of these featured works on the homepage, but you can't let that hold you back forever. I've put in a lot of work to improve and I plan on continuing to do so, and now I've embraced a new platform that'll greatly assist my growth as an artist.

Stage One

I've had my domain for over a couple years and never got around to actually building my art site because I was so busy with work. I jumped on the bandwagon and gave Squarespace a try and, look at that, in less than a day I've got my website, portfolio and blog all up and running. You hear people shilling for it all the time but I can personally vouch for 'em now. Not having to run everything through FTP and manually coding every page lets me focus on work that I need to get done. So that's that.

In regards to what you can expect on this blog, it's going to be just like my previous blog. I'll be focusing on works that are in development and art-based topics, but now more than ever I need a place to output my thoughts and this is going to be the platform. If I can obtain the hardware for it, I'd like to start streaming off my Wacom device, but for now the focus is, as always, on the work. Until next time!

Press Start

I've finally gotten around to transferring everything over to this new host. It's so convenient having everything tied in to a single platform. Please have patience with me as I try to figure all this out, lol.