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Yaoi Art: “Tough” Pencils

November 10, 2008 | | Comments 6 |

So, last month I showed you the character designs for the first chapter of our gay teen Boys Love action-romance Tough. Well, our work is coming along quite well and I now can show your the first 12 penciled pages! :-D (The “pencils” being the fourth stage of creating a comic after creating the script, the character designs and the thumbnails.)

This first chapter, eponymously called “Tough”, introduces our characters and is about some bad boys, some bad choices and the impact that one out-of-control night has on the lives of everyone involved.

Our story starts with 15-year-old Filipino-American Mike Castro being dragged along by his friend, Larry, on a trash-can kicking spree with some older, wilder boys from their school. Mike knows these older boys are looking for trouble, but his loyalty to his friend encourages him to play along. It’s only after they take him and Larry around the corner from a Gay Youth Group Center and hand each of them a baseball bat that he realizes exactly how much trouble he’s gotten himself into.

Here are the first 12 pages — just penciled for now by our skilled penciler Vitto, with no word balloons added yet. Just click on the first one to activate our LightBox viewer. (Once the viewer is activated, you can use your arrow keys to go to each next page and the ESC key to quit.)



I hope you enjoyed looking at these pencils. :-) We’re right now working hard on getting them colored and I’ll post some of those colored pages up here as soon as we’re finished. (And, as I said last time, the first chapters of this series will be available free to Yaoi 911â„¢ News and Downloads subscribers. Look for the first chapter of Tough to be ready for download in the first quarter of 2009.)

We had a lot of fun making these pages. Please let me know what you think in the comments!



Want to make sure you get the free download links to this comic when it’s ready? Well, it’s easy! Just fill out the form on the Free Comic page and the links will be sent right to you!

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Filed Under: "Tough"ArtYaoi 911

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About the Author: Filmmaker by day, yaoi creator by night, Alex has dedicated himself to helping cute guys fight evil and find love.

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  1. gynocrat says:

    Page 10 panel 2… Pretty. LOL These looks great Alex, good luck!

  2. @gynocrat

    Yeah, that Kevin — evil, but pretty… ;-) He's been very popular with the women I showed these pencils to out here. We might need to see more of him…

    Thanks for the props and well-wishing, Tina! :-D

    Alex

  3. russketeer4 says:

    Dear Alex,

    Wow!!! Love the artist you hired for "TOUGH". Clean lines that vibrates with energy. And the faces are really distinctive from each other. You actually know who's who. BRAVO Vitto !

    Also, a Filipino friend of mine is quite ecstatic that a Filipino character is "headlining" a comicbook. Yay!

    After TOUGH, will you be releasing a new title in 2009? Hope you will.

    PROP.8 SUCKS!!! Gay marriage will happen in our lifetime. It's just a matter of time…

    Slowly but surely.

  4. Originally Posted By russketeer4

    Wow!!! Love the artist you hired for “TOUGH”. Clean lines that vibrates with energy. And the faces are really distinctive from each other. You actually know who’s who. BRAVO Vitto !

    Well, I’m delighted you like his work! I really like his character art, too. The “acting” is one of the most important things to me in a comic and Vitto is able to get a subtlety of expression that I find clear, compelling and rare. I feel very lucky that he has decided to join our team.

    Also, a Filipino friend of mine is quite ecstatic that a Filipino character is “headlining” a comicbook. Yay!

    And I’m delighted to hear that as well. There are some story reasons why it makes sense for Mike to be Filipino-American but definitely one of the reasons I chose to have a Filipino character “headlining” is that you don’t see that too often here in the States. While I’d like to think things are improving, unless they are kicking ass with flying feet, Asian characters are often still portrayed in our media as the sexless best friends or comic relief, a frustrating predicament I can sympathize with as a gay man.

    With Yaoi 911™, I am trying to tell the stories I always wanted to see as a young gay man growing up. As a young man I was starving for images of gay guys who would stand up for themselves and kick a little ass. If I can help other guys who are starving to see themselves in a story actually feel seen, so much the better. :-D

    After TOUGH, will you be releasing a new title in 2009? Hope you will.

    Right now, the plan is to release “Chapter One:Tough” in early 2009. Chapter Two will hopefully follow within 6 months of the release of Chapter One, so that should happen in 2009. And then, it’s my hope that “Artifice” will be done sometime around then too and Winona and I will be starting the swords-and-sorcery fantasy comic “Quest.” I have a bunch of other cool stories I want to tell, but the priority right now is to finish “Chapter One: Tough” and “Artifice”. It’s high time for me to give you guys some more finished comics to enjoy…

    PROP.8 SUCKS!!!

    Yes. It does. It blows my mind that a 52% vote can amend our constitution here in California to make it fundamentally less fair to a minority. There is a book I read in college that left a huge impression on me — Taking Rights Seriously by Ronald Dworkin. In it, he wisely argues that in order for “rights” to mean anything — to be something different than a regular law — that they had to be a special claim against the majority, meaning (for, say, Freedom of Speech) that even if the majority wants you to shut up, you are still allowed to speak and publish. We are a country founded on rights and not just laws because there are some freedoms so important they deserve to be protected from tyrants — both foreign kings and the “Tyrant of 51%”.

    Ordinarily, I would find challenging a successful referendum in court to be not only sour grapes, but a futile exercise. And, in truth, I looked at the current challenges against Prop 8 in our courts (with the help of the ACLU and others) to be a waste of time — until yesterday when I really looked at what they were arguing. Apparently, the California constitutional amendment process isn’t as crazy as I thought it was and that there are at least some safeguards in place when fundamental rights are involved, so as to prevent, say, all the men of California passing a referendum to restrict freedom of speech to just themselves and not to women. Those looking to overturn this referendum are arguing that this more stringent process (which requires a legislative vote before the matter is put before the people) should have been used in this case and thus a simple majority vote was not enough to take away the fundamental rights of a minority. It’s an argument I’m sympathetic to — we’ll see how it plays out in the courts. And we’ll see if even the current form of it gets overturned, whether something similar doesn’t find it’s way onto our ballots in the next few years. I don’t think we’ll have heard the last of it.

    That said…

    Gay marriage will happen in our lifetime. It’s just a matter of time…

    Slowly but surely.

    Yes, I think so too. As a kid, I would never have believed we would have come so far with this issue, so soon, but despite our recent losses, it feels like those who selfishly want to reserve the institution of marriage all to themselves are merely delaying the inevitable.

    A year back or so, I saw something that really opened my eyes to this. Jon Stewart was interviewing a conservative commentator on The Daily Show (I don’t remember who) and the subject of gay marriage bans came up (which the conservative commentator was lobbying for). And John Stewart asked him a rare serious question — “So, do you really think you’re going to win this?” — and was as surprised as I was by the commentator’s candid response “Oh, no. Gay marriage will be the law of the land. I’m sure of that. It’s inevitable.” After Mr. Stewart picked up his jaw from the floor, he asked “So… why are you fighting so hard against it?” And I think the commentator responded (don’t 100% remember): “Because it’s what I believe is right.”

    Now, I bow to that commentator fighting for what he believes is right. But what’s important was that even he had to admit that he is shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. Levy whatever criticisms you want, throughout its history, the United States has seen a steady progress of becoming more fair to all its citizens. When I’m feeling particularly cynical, it’s important for me to remember that less than 100 years ago, women didn’t even have the vote in this country — and now that seems utterly crazy.

    Yes, we have a long way to go before we live in a truly fair society. But I truly believe we will get there — and, as a signpost on the way to that, yes I think we will see nationwide gay marriage in our lifetime… :-D

    Thank you very much for your comments and for stopping by. I hope to see you again here soon. :-)

  5. Daniel says:

    Hi Alex, i just want to say that i love your work but you've got to work on your e-mail system because i never got the TOUGH e-mail, i only found out about it thanks to the last e-mail i got (the reintroduction).

  6. @Daniel

    Hey Daniel – thank you very much for the props. :-D

    And, yes, our email system… Well, here’s the deal with that. The last thing I want to do is spam people with a bunch of emails they don’t want, so for the Yaoi 911™ News and Downloads list which you can find on our Free Comics page, I’m only sending out emails when I have a new download link to offer, a special discount to offer (when we have for-pay comics), really important news about Yaoi 911™ — or, in the case of the Reintroduction Email you mentioned, when I haven’t emailed folks for so long I’m afraid that they might have forgotten all about signing up ( just because someone gave you permission to send them email 6 months ago doesn’t mean they still want to hear from you, so it’s just a good idea to give people a heads-up that they are on your list if you haven’t emailed in a long time.)

    The goal is to only send out emails to the Yaoi 911™ News and Downloads list about 2 or 3 times a year.

    For people who want more frequent updates — including updates on our in-progress comics — the best thing to do is to subscribe to our blog posts. On the Subscribe page, readers can choose to have blog post updates sent to them either via email or Web feed. By signing up on this page, subscribers get an update whenever I update this blog (which would certainly happen when I have more public preview pages on an in-progress comic to offer.) So, if you’re looking to get updates on our in-progress comics via email, that’s the list to sign up with.

    Again, the goal is to give Yaoi 911™ readers options — a low traffic list on our Free Comics page (which only sends out emails for major events like completed comics) or a more frequently updated blog post subscription list that gives you a heads-up when a new blog post is out.

    All of this is an experiment, of course, with the goal of serving our readers in the best way we can. If readers want more frequent updates on the Yaoi 911™ News and Downloads list, I’m certainly happy to do that. My thinking was just that I’d pretty much only send out emails to the Yaoi 911™ News and Downloads list when there were completed comics to download and that the other list (and this blog itself) would be for more frequent updates. But I am definitely open to other suggestions. :-)

    Thank you very much for your thoughts — I hope to see you back here again,

    Alex

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