One of my students informed me of this very generous review by Chris Howard, author of Dress For Success.
Here is a link to the review on Comic Book Daily
I haven't put in much work for "The South Rises Again." It has been a crazy couple of weeks for me with, finishing up an ART180 Program (teaching 5th & 6th graders comics), the school semester ending (I teach graphic design at a governor's school), pro-bono work and freelance design work. I feel kind of bad about the wait, so I decided to show some of the Richmond Monuments process.
I use the photo references by printing them on a black/white laser jet printer. I place the prints next to a blank sheet of standard 20lb computer paper -or whatever scrap paper samples I have lying around. I usually draw with a cheap disposable mechanical pencil. It isn't very environmentally conscious, but I have a big stack of them at home right now. Sometimes it is difficult to see the details on the black and white print, so I view the photo with my computer and zoom in on areas I have questions or concerns about.
Below is a better image of the final penciled panel. As you can see in the image, I do take some liberties with the monuments. The monument podium and Maury statue are a little thinner and taller to exaggerate the panel frame and the individual figures are very stylized (partially due to the drawing scale).
I ink the pencil drawing using a tracing light box, a separate sheet of paper (Again, whatever is around.) and a combination of .03 & .005 Micron flet tip pens. The below image's actual size is only a few inches square.
I scan the image and adjust line work. Finally, I digitally color the image using a combination of copyright free photographic textures, custom brushes and a whole lot of layers. I also add text and panel borders during this stage, but intentionally left them out since this comic doesn't come out until next month. I'm trying to get better about considering the actual dialogue before I draw and color the strips. I've experienced situations where I have to redraw a panel or multiple panels.
I hope to record a sped up version of the entire process in the future.
I'm working on a zombie sub-plot to Richmond Monuments. Six strips have already been written and character designs are being worked on. It is yet to be decided when the comic will be officially released.
This strip will be more "cartoony" and black/white. My plan is to have these strips appear on the off weeks of normal Monument comic strips. This way you'll get a strip every week!
I intended to do a comic about Steven Spielberg's film, Lincoln, staring Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln. The movie is partially filmed in Richmond,VA.
The holidays have really over extended me and I wasn't able to complete it for this weekends comic. Above is a teaser for what's to come. I hope that two weeks later isn't too late since the film crew has left Richmond.
Regardless, I have a new comic for this coming Sunday that is really great.
Every so often a local decides to deface the confederate generals and president on monument avenue. Recently, one of our locals has "vandalized" them in the form of plaques displaying important people in Civil Rights history bolted to the monuments' fences. I have been asked by a few people to make a strip about this event, but probably won't. I'd already planned to make a strip about locals vandalizing monuments, but don't expect a strip on this specific instance. From the "Richmond Monuments" characters' vantage points, they would be convinced that someone was attaching plates to their fences.
Richmond has several monuments dedicated to African-Americans' hardships and achievements. Since many people aren't aware of them, below is a list:
The Virginia Civil Rights Memorial
The Box Brown Monument
The Reconciliation Statue
The Headman Monument
Richmond’s African Burial Ground Marker
The Oliver W. Hill Bust
Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson Monument
A Gabriel Prosser Marker
The Richmond Slave Trail
The Arthur Ashe Monument
Please feel free to add to the list.
Taken from The Cheats Movement.
"I first saw the web comic Richmond Monuments in print. It was the second place winner in the 2011 Style Weekly’s comic strip contest. I noted the name of the designer Bizhan Khodabandeh and remembered him from Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40 a few years ago. I then saw the now bi-weekly web comic posted on RVANews.com. Its now syndicated home. Most Richmonders would say that the history of RVA is alive. Well, Richmond Monuments tells a comedic tale of just that — historic monuments coming alive in modern time — often nailing a comedic true about our beloved city. I met up with Bizhan at The Shop to chat about the origins of the comic strip, his process of creating the strip, and his plans for the future. Make sure you check out RichmondMonuments.com every other Sunday to see Bizhan’s latest strip."
Check out more profiles at thecheatsmovement.com