Friday, February 15, 2013
Hello everyone! I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day this year. This weekend I'll be in San Francisco at Animation On Display, a convention dedicated to animation and video games. Feel free to stop by and say hello! I'll be doing on-the-spot commissions and there will be Drop Dead Vince goodies for sale, including prints and glow-in-the-dark buttons!
I'll be here at table #18 in the Artist Alley. The convention will be held at Hotel Kabuki in Japantown in San Francisco, California. I hope to see you there!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Two years ago today, Drop Dead Vince went online for the very first time!
It's funny, I never thought that this comic would take up so much of my time (and my life too) but here we are. In fact, Vince started out as something pretty simple.
Back in late 2010 I was working on another webcomic called Johnny Angel Loves Elenore Rigby, about a young rockabilly musician who falls in love with a girl who works at a gothic lolita clothing store in San Francisco. The project was eventually shelved since it was a pretty big story and since I was just starting out in webcomics it would have been smarter to start out small. At the time I was working on characters for the comic and one of them was the main character's, Johnny Angel's, friend who was a psychobilly musician and the frontman of a band called the Wrekkin Krew. I was doing research on psychobilly culture and I discovered an artist and musician named Vince Ray. I was really inspired by his work and found it really unique and creative, especially these two pieces he had designed as stickers for Poster Pop:
Eventually that led me to create a mascot character for Johnny's friend's fictional band who at the time was named Boney Betty, who eventually became Vince's co-star and object of undead affections Betty Baker:
This was the first image of her, unfinished since I was experimenting in creating a tattoo flash-style pin up while emulating Vince Ray's style and never really got around to finishing it. The little doodles surrounding her of the skeleton dude was me messing around at the time but this guy soon became our main character, Vince Valiant.
Here's an semi-official first doodle I did of Vince, who is actually named after Vince Ray (his full name is Vincent Ray Valiant). At the time he had a psychobilly wedge-style pompadour hairstyle and had a ratted bloody t-shirt under his leather jacket.
Eventually I was doodling the two nonstop and having them interact with each other. Around this time I was having trouble with Johnny Angel and my good friend Halie told me that maybe I could try doing a one shot comic with Vince and Betty. So I shelved Johnny Angel and started working on a 31 page one shot for these two. Sure enough, one comic eventually became ten chapters, other characters were created, and here we are today.
I launched Drop Dead Vince on Valentine's Day in 2011 on Smack Jeeves. I've had some up and downs with it (2011 was a bit of a rough year for it) but I refuse to give up on this project. Betty and Vince are both close to my heart and I hope that you will enjoy their adventures online. Stay tuned for more news and goodies in the not-so-distant future, Happy Valentine's Day!
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Hello everyone! My name is Kelsey Kraus, I'm a web and graphic designer and illustrator from California. I love art, drawing, comics, vintage everything, green tea desserts, bunnies, and spooky stuff. Speaking of comics and spooky and vintage stuff, I'm the creator of a webcomic from Smack Jeeves called Drop Dead Vince. It's been a project I've been working on for nearly two years and it's near and dear to my heart, as well as something I'm very proud of.
Which is why I decided to start a production blog for Drop Dead Vince! Here you'll get to see character designs, production sketches, thumbnails, and even mini essays or bios about the characters and the story as well as general Vince-related news! I hope that you'll find this blog interesting but that it'll inspire you to create your own comics or creations to share with other people.
Thanks so much and I hope that you'll stick around!