Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Finished pages...almost.

It's been a while since I put up some real work. That's not because of laziness, it's because SCAD's facilities are currently shut down for the holidays and until I get access to the EPSON Expression 1000XL (which I would buy one for myself...but it's about $2500) I can't post any of the latest work.

So below are some familiar samples of the first 13 pages (the prologue and Chapter 1). These are the completed and finished renderings of the pages. Of course, the word bubbles aren't in place, but I will have some example of those for you soon.

Stay tune!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Head and the Car

This is mostly a note to myself rather then to my viewers, but recently I came across two Florida mysteries that I believe would make FANTASTIC sequels (down the road of course) to "Flagler's Few"

The first I heard while on my latest Ghost Tour in Saint Augustine. The tour guide, Andy, spoke of the famous indian chief Osceola, who died in South Carolina, but who was held in the Castillo De San Marco in Saint Augustine. A doctor assigned to Osceola, Dr. Weedon, who later became a friend decided that at the funeral of the great Seminole, he would remove his head for scientific purposes (as well as to scare his children with). Down the road the head was dedicated to a museum up north where it soon became "lost" though it is believed to be used as a relic in a "secret society". For my books purpose...what if the head HAD to be returned to Saint Augustine...or what if it never really left?

The other story comes from my latest listening of the Paranormal Podcast, where Jim Harold interviewed Tom Ogden who authored "Haunted Highways". Ogden refers briefly to the car James Dean was driving when he was killed in an accident. Sir Alec Guiness claimed the car was "evil" and hence the car had been the subject to many ill-fates and accidents. While the car was on loan "IN FLORIDA" it somewhere disappeared. Any number of stories I could adapt for the car to mysteriously appear in Saint Augustine...

Keep in touch for latest finished inks!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Night at the Pirate's Haus

Hey everyone, so I just wanted to catch you all up on my whereabouts. I just finished rough drafting the first three chapter's of Flagler's Few and I'm heading back home for the holidays. I managed to get off from giving tours the weekend following Christmas.

I decided to finally take that trip into Saint Augustine and stay at the Pirate's Haus Hostel. So far it's been a fantastic experience. I was a little concerned at the beginning, having never stayed at a hostel and the idea of sleeping in a dorm room with complete strangers was a bit disturbing. I called the Info center just to get a second outside opinion (despite the countless positive reviews on the site) and was told it was a top knotch place. Especially if you're looking to stay downtown for cheap!

I could have stayed at the beach house, but driving 30 minutes extra into the wilderness of the beach house community (by myself) didn't fit well with me.

I've enjoyed my stay. I've been wandering about the city snapping photos for reference, specifically stuff that had a direct connection with specific scenes. I also decided to go on a ghost tour. Usually my experience with tour guides in Saint Augustine have been iffy at best, but the guide (who had a big old white beard and went by the name Andy) was a master at the craft and we struck up a few conversations. We mostly talked about the history of both Saint Augustine and Savannah as well as how we delt with tourists.

Andy himself is a fictional writer having scribbed a few books and currently working on a series. I also ran across another series based out of the Ancient City entitled "La Vida Vampire" about a vampire ghost tour guide living in the city. I haven't read it yet, but the synopsis sounds interesting and I plan to check out the "competition". :-P

Right now I'm sitting in the kitchen of the Hostel, chatting it up with a French family here visiting their daughter who is interning in Miami as well as several VERY LOUD little girls from Sarasota. I'm busying myself on finished pencils and still plan to have the 3 chapters finished before February of next year.

More to come, and hopefully Jim Harold of Paranormal Podcast will have our interview up soon, so everyone be patient with that.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008


One person I cite constantly as an inspiration to my work is the famed artist, Edward Gorey.

Gorey, an American born artist, was well known for his macabre style of cartooning. His works are collected in the Amphigorey (his most commonly known work) but he is the talent behind a numerous amount of fiction, novels, advertisements and short animations.

Much of Tim Burton's work is obviously influenced by Gorey's distinctive whimsical (yet morbid) subjects. For example, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories written by Burton displays many similar characteristics to Gorey's work.

My first acknowledgment of the artist came at the age of 6. When I used to stay up to watch the PBS show Mystery! hosted by Vincent Price. I was a fan of Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but I think I was most excited by Gorey's animated opening for the Mystery! show.

Years later, as I sat down to start the designs of the book's characters and set about a general direction for the story, the first artist who came into mind was Gorey. I felt his creepy, spooky and sketchy style was something that would lend itself to Flagler's Few PERFECTLY! I set about collecting as much as I could on the artist and tried as best as possible to assimilate (but not copy) his distinctive pen and ink style.

Any dumby in the field of art will tell you inspiration is one of the key driving forces to a successful artist. It's how you get the masterpieces you see today, from Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" to Picasso's "Guernica". Fascinating enough, Gorey himself mentioned in an interview late in his life that inspiration for one of his final works came from the show Batman the Animated Series.

If that isn't a sign comic books inspire all forms of art...I don't know what is!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Flagler's Few: The Movie

As a treat, I've decided to release some stills from the 2005 smash hit film Flagler's Few starring Michael McVicar, Jujuan Burton, Nick Dean, Talon May, Yvonne Droese and Candice Fallin. It is also the directorial debut of the one and only...ME!

This was the very beginning of Flagler's Few. Usually the book proceeds the film, but in this case it's vise versa. The film took over a year to make and was shot entirely on location in Saint Augustine. As you will notice from some of the choice photos below that a lot of the character designs are similar to the actors, and in some cases the actors personalities shaped the characters themselves.

I hope you enjoy these photos. I didn't want to release too many of them for fear of giving away the story, but as the books progresses I may release more.

Also, one final fact. Flagler's Few premiered at Gator Cinema in Gainesville Florida in August of 2005 to a full theatre. In it's ONE-TIME midnight showing it sold more tickets then The Brothers Grimm did the entire weekend (as stated by the theatre manager). In hind-sight of seeing the film...I'm not to sure of that was such a great compliment. :-P

The film was dedicated to my father, Albert Rene Frattino, who passed away the same year.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Book Cover Design

I am pleased to announce that the latest pages to Flagler's Few are going swimmingly. I plan to have at least the second chapter inked and third chapter in finished pencils by the end of December. As I stated previously, I'm planning on preparing the first three chapters for Editor/Publisher review.

I am also THRILLED to announce that the book cover illustration will be done by my close friend, Kate Kasenow! I have always been an admirer of her work and feel that her whimsical and fluid style of art will lend itself well to the cover design of Flagler's Few.

Kate is currently working on her own endeavors but has agreed to do me this favor. As I would do the cover design myself, I always enjoy collaborating with friends and fellow artists and I'd be under-exaggerating if I said I was only a little excited to see how Kate designs the characters and builds the illustration.

I still have a hand in the cover's creation. Using the Cintiq I quickly sketched out some rough concepts of how I want the book cover to look like. You can check them out below.

Also, be sure to check out Kate's work on her blogspot.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Below, are the first three pages of Chapter 1. These are the pages that will take the reader on a speedy historical tour of the city. Most of these illustrations are thanks to the reference photos I took on my visits.

I was very pleased with how these pages turned out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Reference Photos

In a book like "Flagler's Few" where the setting is highly important, and acts as a character all unto itself, it is important to make sure that the backgrounds and settings are detailed and accurate, so that the reader generally feels that it is Saint Augustine, and cannot be mistaken for just a generic city.

Every visit I make to the ancient city, I collect more and more reference shots. These are just a few shots of the city.

Sometimes the reference photos require a bit of creativity, for example, in one panel I needed a shot of people's feet to show that they were walking on top of the dead. Generally, drawing feet does not require reference shots, but I wanted to make sure I could show depth in the scene...so in order to photograph people without weirding them out, I set my camera on the street and acted as if I was tying my shoe. Then as people walked by I snapped photos of them.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Paranormal Podcast Nov. 20th

On November 20th Jim Harold of Paranormal Podcast will be interviewing me in regards to "Flagler's Few" as well as discussing other things paranormal and how I came about involving them in my life.

Jim Harold's podcast is a long running, and highly respectable show that has been interviewing professionals in the field and taking both the unknown and the scientific into account. It is an extreme honor to be able to be a part of his show and I look forward to sitting down and chatting with him about my book.

So stay tuned in on November 20th!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

It's October 31st everyone! Hope you all have some spooky plans for the evening, but whether it's trick or treating with the kids or hanging out all the costume parties make sure you stay tuned into Anything Ghost Podcast to hear the "Flagler's Few" short story.

As stated before, the story focuses on the events of Chapter 5, right after Will's date with Claire when he comes face to face with the Reaper, the most terrifying of all spirits!

Show your support and check it out! Big thanks to Lex from Anything Ghost, and to all the rest of you who have supported me along the way.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Saint Augustine Trip Postponed!

I was going to visit Saint Augustine during Halloween to work more on my graphic novel, but I had to postpone the trip due to school obligations, I'm falling a little bit behind on some of my work and as important as it is to me to work on the graphic novel, I need to make sure I graduate on time.

Looking to push the trip back to mid-November. I also may be joined by Talon May and Jujuan Burton, two friends responsible for the inspiration of "Merryweather" and "Roger".

In other news, I finished the radio short for Anything Ghost last night. Took me forever, and the computer decided to crash twice, but after much determination, I was able to finish meshing the sound effects and the music into the narration. It sounds pretty good.

Remember to tune in tomorrow on Anything Ghost Podcast!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spend Halloween with Flagler's Few!

I just finished the short "Flagler's Few" podcast story for Anything Ghost Podcast. The story is a radio reading of certain events in Chapter 5, where William and Roger first see the Reaper of Saint George Street.

I'd like to thank Steve Withers, Kate Kasenow and Raphyel Jordan for providing the voices. Steve will play Will, Kate plays the widow's ghost and Raphyel will be playing Roger Blimes. I myself will narrate.

So please tune in on Halloween Night for Flagler's Few's FIRST podcast debute!

If you can't make it due to parties or hauntings, the host of the show, Lex, will have links available to back episodes on the show's site:


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Podcast Schedules!

I am very pleased to report that I have been invited to promote "Flagler's Few" on two very prestigious paranormal podcasts.

On Octoboer 31st, Anything Ghost will feature a short story based off events in Chapter 5. The story will be narrated by myself and feature actors in the rolls of Roger Blimes and William Garring. Stephen Withers of Swithdrawn Productions will assist in editting and sound design.

Sometime in November, Jim Harold of Paranormal Podcast will be interviewing me on the book as well as my experience on being a ghost hunter. I look forward to this interview because it will be my first official interview dealing with the book and I am a fan of Jim Harold's podcasts.

This should be a pretty eventful couple of months for "Flagler's Few" and myself of course. Please keep up to date on the blog and stay tune to both podcasts to show your support for the book!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oct. 22nd Saint Augustine visit

On October 22nd, I plan to take a trip down to Saint Augustine to do what I like to call: "On Location Work".

In essence, I sit on the streets and work on finished pencils, inks and corrections. I also like to take some photo reference and embark on a little solo ghost hunting while I'm at it. I feel that as an artist and a storyteller, the best work comes when you are immersing yourself in your story.

I plan on staying at the Pirate's Haus, a hostile just off Saint George Street. I've researched it and it seems like an interesting and exciting place to lodge for the evening. The family beach house is readily available, but since I want to utilize my time in the city and not 20 minutes down the road on Matazanas Inlet, I figured this was the best choice.

Being so close to Halloween, let's hope for some unusual things.

Look for updates that weekend involving my stay and experience at the Pirate's Haus.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Then and Now...

I've noticed since attending Savannah College of Art and Design, a vast improvement in my artistic abilities. I believe a good artist is visible in the way he/she changes and evolves in artistic ability.

Recently, I discovered a portfolio I had hidden away that contained all the old pages I had done when I first attempted to start this graphic novel. Needless to say I was embarrassed by my former work. If I had half a brain I would have burned the pages so they'd never see the light of day...

Since I don't have any brains to speak of, I will now submit to you the examples of the original pages, and compare them against the now. The first pages you'll see are the originals from 2005, and then you'll see their 2008 counterparts, the FINALS for the graphic novel.

(Note: the new pages have not gone through Photoshop yet, so you'll still see some blue-line pencil work and no word bubbles)


Friday, October 10, 2008


Just to give you an idea about how I'm working on this book. 6 months ago I did a finish write out of the story and drew out all the thumbnails, when I was done I was able to put all the thumbnails in a book and counted the pages out to be over 200.

Below are a few select thumbnail pages. I used a comic book layout paper that allows for 4 pages to be drawn on one sheet.