Category Archives: Commentary

A little help needed

So, a little help needed.

I’d like to make my webcomic, Peter and Li, a daily thing. But, as it’s not earning money (and don’t worry, not asking for money), it’s quite difficult to find time for it. Here’s my request:

What should be the punishment if I miss a day? Can y’all help me pick out a (family friendly) disastrous downside to missing a day? Should I have to shave my beard? Take a bath in jello? Drink a gallon of milk? Dye my hair pink and leave it for at least a week?

Be creative. If we can come up with something, I’ll make a promise to stick to it.

UPDATE: Here’s the list that my friends came up with (from many sites–Facebook, Reddit, etc.)

Shave the beard, dye hair pink, shave head, shave eyebrows, glue a lego to my toilet seat and leave it there for a week, eat durian, and eat marmite, loudly sing a Britney Spears song in a public location.

It’s just about time to make the announcement…

Upcoming Announcement

Upcoming Announcement

 

For the last few years I’ve worked hard on a somewhat secret project. If you follow my blog you’ve no doubt heard me mention it.

Well, it’s just about time to start letting the cat out of the bag…

Come next week I’ll reveal the initial character designs for the main character, and then I paint the book cover live through my online video streaming account.

Stay tuned!

You can follow me on Twitter and on my Facebook Page to find out when I’ll be live streaming.

This is a huge part of my life and I am so excited to share it with everyone.

‘Till next time.

By the way, what happened to 100 Vines in 100 Days?

As much fun as we can find in six seconds

You may remember that a while ago I started a project wherein I planned to do 100 6-second moving-illustrations in 100 days, and then post them to my Vine account.

Long Distance Travel, by Bryan Beus

Long Distance Travel, by Bryan Beus

It was really fun from the outset, and I regret that I can’t finish it.

I absolutely hate having to leave a project before it’s done, but when I get going on a time-consuming project that turns out to be far, far, far away from the big picture of my storytelling goals, I really don’t have a choice.

Good, better, best thing to do

As any good businessman in the world, I have big goals and dreams about what I’d like to accomplish. Concerning this subject, there are two.

#1 – I’d like to finish illustrating that book I’ve been working on for years.

It’s almost done! All that’s holding me up is that it’s hard to find time to work on it. In an ideal world I would like to take ten weeks off of commissions/teaching/etc. to focus on this.

That said, my publisher and I are getting really close to making some announcements with it.

#2 – I’d like to ultra-simplify my storytelling.

Pure Philosophy, by Bryan Beus

Pure Philosophy, by Bryan Beus

I’ve gotta admit…it is hard—too hard for me, in fact—to build a career in both creating written-word novels and illustrating at the same time. Either one of those careers can easily consume ten to fifteen hours a day. Try doing them both at the same time? Good luck…

But what do you do when you love them both so much that, no matter how hard you brainstorm, pray, fast, and wrack your noggin’ you can’t find a way to cut either art form out of your life?

…Mix them together?

Storyboarding and graphic novels: writing with pictures instead of words.

That was the original intent of the 100 Vines idea—to bring together illustration and time-based storytelling. My hope was that at the end of the 100 Days I’d have a good amount of storyboarding experience under my belt, and would be ready to make some really fun longer graphic novels for you.

The problem is that, while the six second idea is really really really fun, it’s so limited that I found myself animating instead of storyboarding.

Need for Speed, by Bryan Beus

Need for Speed, by Bryan Beus

“Animation” is really fun, but it’s not what I’m going for right now.

And it’s not to say that you can’t make some brief storyboards with a six-second time limit (…in fact, now that I write these words, all of a sudden my brain is bursting with things I could have done in the storyboard sense instead…), but this wasn’t what I was looking for, either.

And to spend a third of a year doing it when it doesn’t meet its purpose?

Ummmmm…not wise.

So, now what?

Well, there’s some big things in the works with goal #1 listed above, and I can work on these while I rethink my strategy.

I’m dipping into my savings as we speak in order to take some time away from commissions and get this book finally illustrated.

You’ll be hearing more about the book soon—real soon. In fact, any day now it should probably be taking center stage on my blog.

While it will be a while still before all the interior illustrations are done, the cover is underway.

And it is going to be awesome…

Once the cover and the interiors are done, the plan in my mind right now is to come back to the goal of storyboards and graphic novels.

We’ll see what happens when the time comes!

In the meantime, how about some cheerfully pointless animation?

Heaven Surfing, by Bryan Beus

Heaven Surfing, by Bryan Beus

The Way of Kings - by Brandon Sanderson

Noteworthy News: “The Way of Kings” FREE on iBooks/Kindle

Stop the presses, peeps…

As fantasy enthusiasts, there’s a high likely hood of your having heard of epic-fantasy novelist Brandon Sanderson by now. He’s well known for the Mistborn series, Elantris, and Legion. I’m not sure, but I think every single one of his fantasy novels has hit the New York Times Bestseller list.

Well, his most well-loved series thus far is called “The Stormlight Archive” and it’s making huge waves in the world of storytelling.

And…as a promotional for iOS 8…

Apple is currently releasing the first book in the series, “The Way of Kings” for a limited time on iTunes.

Check it out!

Also, not to be outdone, Kindle also is price-matching the book for free—though this opportunity won’t last as long.

The Way of Kings - by Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings – by Brandon Sanderson

From Nausicaa of the Valley of The Wind Rises

Salt Lake Comic Con – 2014

From Nausicaa of the Valley of The Wind Rises: Why We Love Hayao Miyazaki

Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 was great. My favorite panel on which I spoke was, “From Nausicaa of the Valley of The Wind Rises: Why We Love Hayao Miyazaki.”

A little back story to my reason for being on this panel…

When I was fifteen my friends and I randomly heard about this animated film from a great Japanese director. The film was playing only in “select theaters,” which meant we would have to leave our small town and travel to the big city.

(…a.k.a. Salt Lake City—it was huge in our heads, okay? 😉

For restless teenagers, going to see this film was more a reason to get out from under the authority of our parents than anything.

We arrived at the theater long after dark, finding our seats not long before the movie screen filled with a painted background of a misty forest and a deep voice began,

 

“In ancient times,

the land lay covered in forests,

 

where, from ages long past,

dwelt the spirits of the gods.

 

Back then, man and beast lived in harmony,

but as time went by, most of the great forests were destroyed.

 

Those that remained were guarded by gigantic beasts…

who owed their allegiance to the Great Forest Spirit,

 

…for those were the days of gods and demons.”

 

I don’t know at what point during the film I felt my life changing forever. All I know is that from the moment the film ended, I was forever obsessed with visual storytelling. (To be fair, there were three other pieces of art I saw that moved me into becoming a visual storyteller for a living, but, as far as I can remember, Hayao Miyazaki was the first one with whom I became obsessed.)

 

Trailer for Princess Mononoke

 

Fast forward seventeen years and I have great things in the works for next fall…(hint hint).

Miyazaki has been a constant source of inspiration throughout my life, and when the panel schedulers for Salt Lake Comic Con asked me about which panels I wanted to attend as a speaker, Miyazaki’s was one of the first I chose.

It was SUCH an honor to sit in that room speaking with other fans. The room was packed to the last row. There were a few attendees even dressed as Miyazaki characters.

Anyone could see that there were many people in the audience who knew at least as much as I do about Miyazaki films (and that is seriously saying something). And throughout the event I simply felt lucky and bewildered to be the one with the microphone, sharing my experiences, and hoping that what I was saying was somehow worth their time!

Great, great experience.

Oh, and by the way, Miyazaki’s first film, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, is streaming right now free on Hulu. Check it out!

There are many rumors that when Steven Spielberg saw this film at its release at Cannes Film Festival way back in the 80’s, Spielberg called it, “…one of the greatest adventure films of all time.” And, apparently, he also said that the car chase scene (after the intro credits) is one of the best of its kind.

Give it 20 minutes or so, as the style is very, very old.

 

Farmer’s Market

Still drawin’ away at the Provo Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. I’m getting the hang of things, and also continually finding new ways to improve. The price is $10 per face (quite affordable, considering what you’ll pay elsewhere). Do come and take a seat!

If you are interested and don’t want to come all the way to the market only to find that the line is too long, come in the morning. People usually don’t want to commit to anything until awhile after the market starts (the market opens at 10, but I’m usually free until 11). So, I often end up just sketching in my sketchbook for the first hour or so, and then all of a sudden I have a line that lasts for up to an hour and a half after the market is over. Come early, and you’ll be sure to get a seat.

Recent fun with a charming young chap by the name of Luke.

Ink Portrait of Luke - by Bryan Beus

Ink Portrait of Luke – by Bryan Beus

Ink Portrait of Luke - by Bryan Beus

Ink Portrait of Luke – by Bryan Beus

Bryan Beus – 2014 Panel Schedule

Bryan Beus - 2014 Panel Schedule (click for larger)

Bryan Beus – 2014 Panel Schedule (click for larger)

Come find me at Comic Con!

I’ll be at table “Purple 11.”

Here’s my panel schedule

Thursday September 4, 7:00 pm 7:50 pm
Novels, Comic Books/ Graphic Novels,
Screenplays & Video Games:
Which Medium Works Best for My Story?
Room 255B

Friday September 5, 1:00 pm 1:50 pm
From Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind Also Rises:
Why We Love Hayao Miyazaki
Room 255E

Saturday September 6, 1:00 pm 1:50 pm
How to Win Writers and Illustrators
of the Future Competition Room
255B

Saturday September 6, 4:00 pm 4:50 pm
Digital vs. Print: A Guide for Authors and Artists
Room 150D

Saturday September 6, 5:00 pm 5:50 pm
Independent Visionaries: Creating and Marketing Books,
Comics, Films, and Games on a Limited Budget
Room 255F

No. 9: Heaven Surfing

Heaven Surfing, by Bryan Beus

Heaven Surfing, by Bryan Beus

No. 9: Heaven Surfing

Part of the series, 100 Vines in 100 Days

Posted on Vine here: http://vncl.co/wa4sMK2WXtb

UPDATE:

So, remember how a while ago I said that I might have some big news? And I was just holding my breath on posting any details about the whereabouts of the stories on my table until I was sure?

Well, that news has come true!

I will let you know what it is real soon.

In the meantime, this big news is going to put this “100 Vines in 100 Days” on hold. There are still 91 days left, and we’re right on track. I should be back on this come November.

More to come!

Bryan Beus and Brian Hailes at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 - FanXperience

Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 – Follow Up

The Weekend Review

Thank you to everyone who helped make Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 a success! What a great event. Tons of costumes, tons of celebrities (including Patrick Stewart, Nathan Fillion, and Karen Gillam!), and tons of amazing art and stories.

And thank you to everyone who supported me, personally! We nearly sold out of all the large and framed prints. There’s only one left of each. And we sold around fifty medium prints and another five or so mini’s. Not too shabby.

(A note before I dive in: Some of the links in this post are what’s called “Affiliate Links.” What this means is that when you click on them and go to a page like Amazon.com, and then make a purchase within a day, Amazon sends me a small percentage of the sale price as a Thank You. It doesn’t cost you anything, but I mention it just in case you’d like to know. Thank you very much to all those who go out of their way to credit me with a referral!)

Things that went right

First of all, the best part of the event was being able to meet the people who see my work online. If you’ve ever worked in a studio all by yourself you know what an isolating experience it can be. Shaking hands with my online friends and fans, and getting to hear about what interests you was my favorite part of the experience.

We were also fairly prepared. (By the way, when I say ‘we’…I guess I’m referring to everyone who supports me. That includes my cousin and cousin-in-law, Travis and Jennie Stevens. Thank you! And everyone else who supports me in my work. Thank you! I couldn’t do this without you.) We had plenty of prints available in multiple sizes, framed, and–at the last minute–even had a graphic novella ready to go.

Finally–thanks to my friend and fellow author, Jenni James, (check out her books on Amazon!), and another fellow author, Blake Casselman, (also a Amazon author)–I had the opportunity to speak on a few panels. This was a great experience. It’s the first chance I’ve had to speak with both fantasy and sci-fi fans and also authors and artists. Both are great; it’s fun to see the difference. I notice that fans are a lot more prone to cos-play (dressing up in character) and talking about favorite movies and t.v. shows, whereas authors and artists and more inclined to talk about the down-and-dirty of the creative process. Great stuff.

Now, I did make a few small mistakes…

Lessons Learned

For those who plan on running tables at conventions (of any sort) in the future, here are a few things I learned.

Purchasing electricity is kind of a waste. I thought some juice for my computer would enable me to do some digi painting whenever the crowd was slow. And I thought it’d be fun to bring along a secondary monitor and face it towards the walkway so that people could watch some work in progress. However…I was so busy talking with people the whole time I never really had a chance. Goodbye $95!

Another thing that I wish I could have done was finish the little graphic novella long, long before the convention. This was my first time bringing all these writing/illustrating/etc. skills together, so I’m not kicking myself too hard for pulling everything off at the very last second. But still, in the future I’ll try harder to be two weeks ahead of schedule. As it was, I did indeed manage to get “The Unwanted Short Cut” finished and printed on Friday night, so it was on the table for Saturday.

Bring on the Visuals already!

Alright, alright! Enough talk. Let’s see some pics!

This be ma’ booth and ma’ amazin’ cousin-in-law helpin’ out. Many Thanks, Jennie!

Bryan Beus's booth at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Bryan Beus’s booth (and cousin-in-law!) at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Next Up…

 

A Few of My Favorite Artists and Authors At The Show

The amazing Ryan Wood (here’s a link to his blog):

Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 - FanXperience - Ryan Wood

Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 – FanXperience – Ryan Wood

Ryan Wood's print shelf at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Ryan Wood’s print shelf at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Ryan Wood's print shelf at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Ryan Wood’s print shelf at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

 

Author and friend, Tyler Whitesides, and his supportive wife — be sure to check out his book series, “Janitors,” on Amazon

Tyler Whitesides at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Tyler Whitesides at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

 

A veteran Disney Interactive artist, Jason Kim (and a link to his tumblr blog):

Jason Kim at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Jason Kim at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

 

One of the most prolific fantasy authors of our generation, Brandon Sanderson (he’s published a bazillion books):

Brandon Sanderson at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Brandon Sanderson at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

 

Michael Mercer, creator of “From The Dust”:

Michael Mercer at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Michael Mercer at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

 

And finally, last but certainly not least, Jed Henry:

Jed Henry at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Jed Henry at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Jed Henry's print shelf at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Jed Henry’s print shelf at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

 

And now…cosplay!

If you’ve never been to a comic con before, there’s one thing you need to see: the costumes.

Yes, yes—I know. There’s a stigma established that comic geeks dress up like nerds and delude themselves into thinking that they’re real superheroes.

Well…I don’t know if that’s true…but if it is I didn’t meet anyone who struck me in such a way. (What does that say about me…?)

Really, from my perspective, it’s just like a much, much cooler Halloween. Some people go all out–planning out costumes months in advance and fine-tuning their appearance down to the smallest detail.

Many are hilarious, others are creepy, some funny, and, as you’ll see in the first one below, simply lovely.

 

Here’s Inara from Joss Whedon’s, “Firefly.”

(Firefly is perhaps the best sci-fi television show of all time. It even has a 9.2 star rating on imdb.com)

Inara Serra (Firefly) cos-play at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Inara Serra cosplay at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

 

This gal pulled off a great “Princess Mononoke,” from Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece.

Princess Mononoke cos-play at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Princess Mononoke cosplay at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

 

Some random costumes…I just really liked this dude’s sign, “I shot waayyyy before Han.” (Star Wars die-hard fans will get it.)

Han Solo cos-play at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Han Solo and friend cosplay

 

And, finally, a total WIN cos-play of my personal favorite television show of all-time, “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”

(If you’re also a true fan of this show, come find me the next time you see me. If you’ve seen it all the way through more times than I have, I’ll give you a free signed print of your choice. Love to meet fellow fans!)

(Also, the movie for this show .does. .not. .exist.)

Aang cos-play at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

Aang cosplay at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

 

Thanks for reading!

If you’ve made it this far…then I suppose you deserve to see me, my beard, and of course my buddy, Brian Hailes.

Bryan Beus and Brian Hailes at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 - FanXperience

Bryan Beus and Brian Hailes at Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 – FanXperience

Bryan’s Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 Guest Schedule

Bryan’s Comic Con Panel Schedule

I’m speaking on two panels at Salt Lake Comic Con this year.

Sat 6:00 PM – Storytelling through Art

Sat 8:00 PM – Should I Write? Or Illustrate? Or Both?

Artist’s Alley Location

Also, I’m at Artist Alley booth o1. 

(The layout of the floor is a little confusing. I’m between the two large vendor areas sitting on a corner table right next to where y’all walk past.)

Come stop by!

Also…of note…One of my favorite actors of all time, Patrick Stewart, just agreed to come. So, if I’m not already enough for you to come…(say what?!? 🙂 )…

 

Update on Short Cut:

Well…technically it’s finished as of yesterday…

However, my brand new computer DIED in the process of completing the last two pages. It has only 7% power left and, due to a battery failure, will never power on again until after it gets back from the repair shop…

So…not quite sure how y’all are going to see it. I spent a long time yesterday trying to get it out of the computer. (Yes…it’s backed up…but I can’t access it without a new computer for reasons unnecessary to explain).

Hopefully y’all will get to see it either today or tomorrow.

 

Bryan's Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 Guest Schedule

Salt Lake Comic Con Advert