Hacking away at the bloody mess…

Hey troops, just checking in to let you guys know that Division issue 2 is still coming for you. We’ve been working on the book furiously and are excited to unleash it on everyone when it’s finally complete. We also have a bit of cool news to share. Although we won’t be attending New York Comic Con 2014 (and therefore the release of issue 2 will be afterward, at another convention), we will soon be releasing a very special new project for everyone to check out. It will be a special behind the scenes and inside the security barriers of The Division of Paranormal Enforcement and its top Agents. Watch this space for that announcement in the next few weeks.

Also, we have been fortunate to have a very talented colleague working on 3D models of the Division Agent Mark 2 Helmet that we debuted at the end of issue 1…. which you can still order online here: http://tommeldesign.com/division/?page_id=208 

Check this out:

This is the awesome work in progress 3D model of the Division Mark 2 Agent Helmet by our very talented friend. Check out his work on instagram @ash_james

This is the awesome work in progress 3D model of the Division Mark 2 Agent Helmet by our very talented friend. Check out his work on instagram @ash_james

This is the awesome work in progress 3D model of the Division Mark 2 Agent Helmet with our design overlay by our very talented friend. Check out his work on instagram @ash_james

This is the awesome work in progress 3D model of the Division Mark 2 Agent Helmet with our design overlay by our very talented friend. Check out his work on instagram @ash_james

 

We have some really huge things in the works right now and can’t wait to bring you more stuff! If anyone is interested in working with us on Division or any of our projects, feel free to reach out to us via email. We’re always trying to meet new talented folks :)

Until next time!

-Tom
Ne letiferi vos dormientes deprendant.

 

 

Post-MoCCA

We just exhibited at MoCCA Arts Fest 2014 and met SO MANY AMAZING folks, our heads are still spinning. But that also means the pressure is on to kick out issue #2!!! For everyone who picked up issue #1, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Your support and interest MEAN EVERYTHING to us and serves as the very blood fueling our nocturnal pursuits.
We are working feverishly every night until dawn, trying to bring you the very best work we can create, all in the hopes of capturing and bringing you down deep into the world of DIVISION.

Watch this space over the coming weeks and months for updates on the progress and little tidbits and sneak peaks!

-Tom
Ne letiferi vos dormientes deprendant.

Peaces, cheeses, and mushrooms.

Greetings and salutations to all our readers! Mel here!

I’ve been asked to write something… on this blog… about DIVISION! It was more along the lines of, “Geez Mel, would ya just crawl out from under your desk and greet our fans for a quick minute? I promise you can scurry back as soon as you’re done”.

NOPE.
“Just say a few words so that people know you exist”.
NAY.
“I’ll massage your hands every weekend for a month”
….
So yes! DIVISION!
Okay okay, but on a slightly more serious note, Division is a project that I’ve been swimming in for a good 2 years now. An intense swim across a deep black ocean of latex and vinyl, razor sharp heels, endless bullets and gnarly creatures. Hells yes.
Designing some of the characters for this world was a dream. I had never really had the opportunity to work on a project at this level. It’s usually something more along the lines of helping somebody else out with their own set ideas. So it was a real pleasure and a total rush to sit down with Tom and Josh and brainstorm what all these guys and gals look like, what they do, what they eat, what they wear, how they fight, etc. I can’t really tell you how exciting it is to put creative minds together to come up with a dope ass world. For me, this is what it’s all about and what gives me the drive I need to push all the way to make it happen.
Now, I’ll be straight with you and say it was not easy to finish that bad boy up. Working all those late hours for so long… it does things to you. Makes you crawl under your desk and curl up with your cats for a quick nap. Makes you not give a fuck about what you look like going out into the world. It does things to you. But when it’s all done, and you look back at it all… all you could say is helllllllll yessssssss. Now I’m off to bed for a few months.
I absolutely LOVE this comic. I LOVE this world. I LOVE these characters. They’ve become a part of me, and maybe a little of me has seeped into them. Just a little ;)
Division chomp!
Favoritest character of all? TRIAL of course!
Fiction’s cool too, hehe. But it’s nice to see a badass lady pretty much running the show. She was definitely one of my favorites to draw.
Trial - "the baddest b!itch in Division"
I’m super freaking proud of Issue 1 and can’t wait to see what Tom does with Issue 2! It’s sure to be even more amazing! I’ll be taking a break from Division for now and focusing on my own little project entitled The Realm of REM. But I’ll be back! (~accruing cheese points~)
A HUGE thank you to all of you who’ve supported us through the years. You all are a really big part of the reason we push so hard.
Peaces, cheeses, and mushrooms.
~ Mel ~
Mel Under
(yes, I work under my desk. thank you.)

New York Comic Con ReCap!

New York Comic Con 2013 was this past weekend and it couldn’t have been more amazing!!! Such great people and positive energy swirling around everywhere, we were literally in a cloud of love :)
Thank you so much for your support and interest in the work we do. You are the reason we create and turn our macabre midnight musings into consumable art forms.
This year we debuted our Issue #1 of Division, our original IP that is being released as a graphic novel in single issues and eventually collected volumes. We have lofty aspirations for this story so stay tuned for updates on the many new avenues we will be exploring.
We also had brand new artwork and a special sneak peak booklet for Mel’s story “The Realm of REM”. We had brand new character illustrations and paintings as well as a darkly lovely teaser book featuring a story excerpt for added flavor.
So many amazing fans, friends and costumed characters visited us at the convention and made our weekend truly unforgettable. We spent time with fellow artists, aspiring creators and a wide assortment of art enthusiasts, sharing knowledge, stories and future aspirations. We count ourselves as truly fortunate for the opportunity to meet people like yourselves who serve as a constant source of inspiration and drive for us to continue putting our all and everything into creating new worlds, characters and experiences. For that, we thank you from the deepest parts of our hearts.
As a special gift for everyone who came by and showed us love, we’re going to give some back. For the rest of this week, you can get 20% off any art print order placed on our Etsy shop for $35 or more. Just enter the code:NYCC20 at check out.  All prints are done on our heavy weight velvet fine art paper with archival inks (these prints out-live humans!). We strive for the highest quality possible for our images and their lifespans. Just read this excerpt from an email we got yesterday:
“The art print I picked up at your booth was by far my favorite purchase of all of comic con. I cannot stop looking at it. I wish you every success and hope to see more of your work in the future.”
QUEUE WARM AND FUZZY FEELINGS!
Clearly our fans are the best fans ever and we are truly blessed to have such amazing people like you to work for :)
And to close out this little update, here are some of the many friends, fans and lovely faces (and bodies) we enjoyed this year in Artist Alley.
Enjoy!
- Tom

DIVISION ISSUE #1 ORDER NOW!

“The Division of Paranormal Enforcement (a super-elite special operations and law enforcement agency) has had its top agent ambushed and killed. Bitten and left for dead, agent Fiction is turned into “Neo-Mortem”: one of the undead. Now living again as one of the very things he had spent his entire career battling, and with his entire agency hunting him down, he has no choice but to traverse the underworld seeking revenge against his attacker and turning his back on everything he once believed in…”

order-now

 

Order a copy of the New York Comic Con 2013 debut success DIVISION Issue #1.

Original Story by Tom Kirrane Martinez

Written by Josh Breidbart

Line art by Melissa Martinez

Coloring and Cover Art by Tom Kirrane Martinez

 

The First Finish Line

After two years of development, Division Issue 1 is complete and being printed at this moment. My nose buried so deeply into planning, painting and preparing the story, I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like to not be working on it. A small team of absolutely insane people poured their blood, sweat and tears into this thing and hopefully there’s some sort of automatic voodoo spell from all that combined passion, that it’ll come out awesome and people will love it as much as we do.

I hadn’t updated this blog for the later part of the summer because I was laid off from my day job (along with a large group of equally unfortunate designers) and had to spend every waking minute between looking for work, interviewing, art tests, applying and Division. I couldn’t come up for air and I figured it would be ideal to wait and post again when the book was done. Well, here we are and I can hardly believe it. Although I’ve yet to hold a final printed issue in my hand, the feeling of accomplishment started pouring through me as I uploaded the file to our vendor. The thought of no longer frantically rendering pages into the wee hours, was a profoundly complex combination of elation and sorrow. Yes, sorrow. How sadistic can one be you ask? Apparently, “very”. I was longing to keep working on the book, when in fact the sheer strain of the labor over these last months nearly brought both my wife and myself to the brink of insanity. Now, the realization that the book has grown up and is ready for a life of its own, beyond our screens and imaginations, has set-in. It’s time for our baby to take it’s first steps as a supernatural noir action comic.

The artwork and story are really something. I’m immensely proud of it and eternally grateful for the hard work and talent that Mel and Josh poured into it. Zack came into the picture and offered his comic expertise to letter the book for us and that was a real life- (and sanity) saver. The reason we worked so hard on this both visually and cerebrally, was because we are readers too. We love comics, television, movies and games. We live in the stories and become one with the images. We wanted to create something of our own that could be that much of a reality and experience for others. Most importantly though, we didn’t want it to disappoint. There have been so many times I’ve opened a graphic novel because of it’s gorgeous cover art, only to be sadly disappointed by very uninspired and quickly executed interior artwork. I never want anyone to have that feeling opening one of my books. My goal is for readers to be enticed and lured by the cover, to then open the book and be consumed by the interior. I want you to devour my story, while my world devours you and you become one with it.

This Friday, we’ll be no longer selling the preview book. For anyone that grabbed Issue #0, thank you! and hold on to it, because maybe one day it’ll be a collectors item ;) Division Issue #1 will officially debut at New York Comic Con, exclusively for sale at our table in Artist Alley which is Table W2. If any of you visited us last year, we will be quite literally directly across from where we were last year. Easy, no? We’re really excited for the Con this year because not only is Division and a whole heap of new art debuting, but Mel will have a special brand new item from her Realm Of Rem story with lots of awesome goodies to check out. So, i highly recommend you stop by our table, browse our wares, maybe buy some art, shake our hands, give us a hug, come out for a drink and celebrate us crossing our First Finish Line.

Ne letiferi vos dormientes deprendant…

SHOUTING GHOUL!

The Wizard

Often we neglect to offer the proper credit and awareness to writers of comics. It’s easy to get distracted by beautiful art and forget that the lifeblood of the journey you’re on, flows from speech bubble to caption. There’s a fair amount of noodling and obsessing that goes on through the keyboard, just as much and sometimes more than that with the stylus and tablet. We all poured our blood, sweat, tears and God knows what other bodily fluids into this labor of love. Now we get to take a look at the man behind the curtain, tugging his lever, blowing plumes of smoke and flaming, really, just flaming a lot.. like a lot of flaming going on here.. and commanding our attention with his hand-crafted mechanisms of doom.

Josh Breidbart has worked his butt off to nail down some seriously awesome writing for Division. We love him truly and deeply. He wrote about his experience on his own blog and we’re going to share it here. Enjoy!

From “http://joshbreidbart.com/blog/“:

Hey everyone. Division writer Josh Breidbart, here to talk about the writing process and how Division came into being from my perspective. This is part 1: The Test.

So, when I first met Tom, the comic was called “Bloody Show”. I believe it had to do with how much blood and violence Tom wanted in it (he’s a sick man). Tom handed me a novelized draft of the first few chapters of his story, saying he was looking for a way to hone it into a comic. He told me he imagined Frank Miller meets Neil Gaiman with extra ass-kickage. A stylized noir. It was cool, it had vision and it had passion. I wanted in. If Tom didn’t offer me the job that fateful night I threw up 4 bottles of sake, I probably would have begged him myself (you know… after the hangover subsided).

So, when I begin, I have this awful habit of starting a script and throwing it in the garbage. Why? Because I’m a hack. Seriously though, it’s because I suck at outlining. A lot of people outline heavily so they know where the characters and the story is going. “Not me!” said the fool! Personally, my outlines are light because I like to find the characters in the writing. And usually, by the time I do, the story doesn’t reflect who they are, or their journey anymore. So I start over. The process works fine for me, as I love writing, but I’m sure is beyond frustrating to any partners I’m with (ie: The Tom and Mel of the group).

So, instead of taking the hard way, I tried something different. I wanted to make sure I understood Tom’s vision. Before launching into the first five issues, I did a “Test Script”. Not because it was requested, but because it gave me the chance to get to know Tom’s world and write it more accurately. It’s a fun tool, writing a secret history to the world that the audience never sees, because it adds a layer of depth for the writer (which then carries into the script). Normally, this wouldn’t be posted, and would just be something for me and Tom and Mel to talk about. But I wanted to give you all a first hand look at my first foray into the world of Division and how I saw it.

PLEASE NOTE: This is non-canon.

http://joshbreidbart.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Bloody-Show-Test.pdf

I had a lot of fun writing this. Maybe one day we’ll do this as a bonus mini-chapter (Tom’s gonna kill me for promising this). But this was great to prep me for the world and keep me from wasting time on any faulty drafts. Next time, I’ll share my experience on the first draft of Division that I wrote all five issues of…

And how I ended up throwing it in the trash anyway.

—————

You can get some more helpings of Joshy goodness on his site http://joshbreidbart.com/

He also mentioned that he would be on hand for 1 day at New York Comic Con to sign the debut issue # 1 copies of Division with us. So, yeah.. that’s pretty awesome! All 3 hancocks on your issue # 1 :)

Now we leave you with one last little tidbit to enjoy since we were on the subject of the value of non-visual story and aesthetic tools. We’ve been working on a Division mood and inspiration playlist. We listen while we’re making the artwork and feel that these tracks really capture the characters and mood of the world of Division. Hope you guys dig it!

DIVISION

And here’s a nice image to pair with these tunes. This is a sample showing Division HQ in the big city.

DivisionIssue1-Pg14city

- Tom

 

Division Issue #1 Cover Art and Release Date!!!

The time has finally arrived! Here’s a look at the brand new cover of Division issue # 1 debuting 10/10/2013 at New York Comic Con! The issue will also be available for online purchase on that day, but if you want to meet the creators and get a signed copy, you’ve got to come to the con!

The brand new cover image for Division issue # 1! Coming 10/10/13

The brand new cover image for Division issue # 1! Coming 10/10/13

This cover is a completely different design from the special edition teaser that we have out currently. You can pick up a signed copy of that right here: Division Issue #0 The Issue #0 preview won’t be available after the release of Issue #1 so if you want to have both covers AAAnnnd all the cool features of the teaser like: the artists signatures, a copy of the raw script for the sequence in the back and an exclusive look at the preliminary opening action sequence of Divsion, you’ve got to pick this up. It will also wet your appetite, tickle your bloodlust and give you a taste of the world of Division until the first full 27+ page book is out in October.

If you’re wondering what will be in store, here’s a look at a colored (unlettered) panel from the full issue.

1 panel detail from the interior of Division issue #1 coming 10/10/13

1 panel detail from the interior of Division issue #1 coming 10/10/13

October may seem a long way off, but we have some special plans in store up until then so fear not. In the meantime, pick up issue #0 and keep an eye on this blog because we will keep posting more updates with art samples, a contest to get your hands on issue #1 BEFORE it’s October release date as well as links to resources and other cool stuff.

Here’s one cool video to check out. It really spotlights (see what i did there?) how important lighting and lighting direction is for artists and photographers/filmmakers. So much changes with lighting it can literally make or break a work of art depending on the attention paid to it.

http://io9.com/watch-this-womans-face-shapeshift-with-a-simple-trick-473757506

That’s all for today. Like I said, short and sweet. Happy Friday to everyone. Good vibes, prayers and well wishes go out to the people of Boston and anyone affected by the recent senseless violence.

Until next time, share this page, share the word and stay tuned for another update soon.

ne mors capere vos dormientes
-Tom

 

 

A Tale told in the Details…

Hey folks, Tom here!

We’ve been quite busy toiling away in the shadows of our small tomb/studio, working feverishly to stitch together the many pieces of our new monster. It’s coming along nicely and if these peeks at Mel’s pristine and razor sharp line-work are any indication, it’ll be something to behold once it’s all done, painted, printed and in your mitts.
We’ve been adamant in our approach to the quality of art on this project. We wanted the work to stand alone in it’s storytelling as well as it’s aesthetic beauty so that you are not only getting a rich and exciting story, but also collections of beautiful, detailed and multi-faceted artwork that you can flip through again and again.
photo 1 photo 2Can you say DETAIL!? Whoa! We promise there will be no shortage of eye-candy and rampant ass-kickery for you to feast on. You might notice a few similarities between this cityscape and NYC, and you’d be dead-on. Division is set in the city that never sleeps, our home sweet home and headquarters of things that “go bump-in-the-night”. Rest assured, this isn’t normal NYC and the world of Division actually encompasses the entire rock we live on, so you’ll need your passports eventually (but we’ll get to that later…)
In other news, the cover painting is well under way and we’ll show you guys a sneak peek of that in our next blog update so stay tuned!. For now we’ll leave you guys with some of the inspiration and tools that allow us to work our dark magic on these pages.

For all of you fellow artists and digital painters out there, hobbyists or pros, you may find some of these helpful for your artwork. Remember.. Reference births rich details and the details (even just implied detail) can make a good piece look amazing!

Here’s a link that was shared by our FB colleagues to some cool armor reference! SWEET looking stuff in here! http://tayasun.livejournal.com/46018.html

Like custom brushes? Here are some pretty awesome brushes to mess around with for textures and environments. All free to use and will definitely add more dimension and diversity to your work. Check em out! http://www.pandemoniumart.net/brushes/

One of our favorite fashion designers to reference for some cool looks for Division and other darkly provocative looks is the talented Gareth Pugh. Check out some of the collections available here and you may get some great ideas for costuming your characters. http://pinterest.com/p8fashion/gareth-pugh/

OK minions, that’s all for now. Next time we will drop more tasty tidbits, sneak peeks and hopefully wet your bloodthirsty appetites with more dark and provocative goodies. As always, stop by our FB page to keep up with our other work and get more news from us.

Until next time.. beware… ne mors capere vos dormientes

- Tom

TOMMEL Design