Thursday, December 29, 2011

Guest Artist Kevin "Ayelid"!

My second guest artist is Kevin, known as "ayelid" on Yes, his name is a link to his page. When you're done reading here you really should check it out! Kevin did a pencil drawing of five GZ characters in one picture. I will tell you right now that this has spurred a short story idea with me! But back to the picture (click on it for larger view), from the top you have King Frederick the giant rat, Bloodraizer the assassin with his secret mentor hovering over him, Victor Darksong, and War Horse. King Fred and War Horse are the heroes of this picture by the way. Below you'll see the original works of these characters. The most awesome thing he did, was to create a connection to autism, that's the puzzle pieces.

I want to pause and make note that you will likely see differences between my drawings of my characters and the guest artist's renditions. But that's what's amazing about sharing views of other artists and I am honored and humbled when ever someone comes in and gets involved. It's about involvement and an interactivity. When it comes to autism education, nothing could be more true or of more importance. People with autism need patience and understanding (in general as not all of us feel this way). They need interactivity to help them get along in a world that never quite feels right. So when someone comes in and does this kind of work out of such generosity, I am truly honored and grateful for it. Galaxy Zento, no matter where it goes, will always stand for autism education. I'm also posting this at both my autism and GZ blog for this very reason.

Now about Kevin, I asked him a few questions. Here is the short interview:

ME: How long have you been doing your artwork?

KEVIN: I've been dedicated to drawing for as long as I can remember. My parents have photos they took of me studiously doodling away on a little chalkboard or paper and such. I guess a lot of parents cherish and encourage creativity, but my whole thing went beyond the folks just putting the random drawing on the refrigerator lol. I was getting awards and such for drawing throughout grade school and all the way into high school. I was known as that guy who draws lol. I could get other kids to pay me while I was still in elementary school for drawings they'd want done. I never attended college, but I continue to research and learn whenever I can. I began to seriously try to hone my skills and pursue a career with my artwork around my senior year of high school. I've also been a student of the guitar and other stringed instruments for about as long.

ME: What are your mediums for your work?

KEVIN: Mostly pencil and black ink on good thick, sturdy sketchbook paper. It's always fun to try other things just to see what results I'll get, too, such as using a throwaway ball point pen on cardboard. If I'm working with black ink, I may cover large areas that require ink with a paintbrush, and do little detailed work with technical pens. When drawing with pencils, I might sketch the basic structure of the drawing with an HB pencil, and add finer details with a 2H pencil and use a 2B for large areas that require darker shading. I've also tried my hand at sculpting small scale figures, and tattooing, in a proper safe environment, of course lol.

ME: And what's your favorite part of art?

KEVIN: I think my favorite part about the art that I do is the part when you begin to have a drawing or sculpture that is taking form and beginning to look like you've created something. It's nice to make it look as slick as possible, and get compliments from people on it, but that point where you're like, "yeah, it looks like what I was going for" is the most enjoyable, I think.

I think I couldn't agree more! There's a journal on Ayelid's page where he talks about doing commissions and you can see that and his work through the link above. This work will also be posted at the Facebook fan page, faves at my Deviantart page and the website when it launches.
I may not be able to do much, but if you want to be a guest artist for GZ, all you have to do is browse through my characters and pick one. Then draw him/her in any medium so long as it's family friendly. I will showcase your work, just like this!

Monday, December 26, 2011

By Request: Jojo versus Monolith

Over at my Deviantart page, one of my new friends made this request of me. He requested to see Jojo versus Monolith. I thought about it and decided "why not?". So this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to work some requests into my schedule of illustrations that I am doing. If guest artists jump in, I'll even write the blog article for how the fight would go, just like I'm about to do here. And this is one serious fight.

In the reptile corner: Jojo! Jojo will tell you that he's "the baddest mudda around!" and he's about right. Jojo has a mutated strength power that magnifies his feats of strength at random 10-100 times. You never know just how hard Jojo is going to punch something! Not only is he impossibly strong, but fast and acrobatic too. He's only 3 feet tall, so expect him to be really hard to land a hit on. When he is hit, he can take some of the hardest punches you can imagine. Even so, hit Jojo hard enough and he will go down for the count.

In the rockslide corner: Monolith! Monolith was a human who suffered complications with his dwarfism. Through an evil ritual, he and his friends each became transformed into a different servant of Set. In this case, the transformation was to a Stone Demon. Stone Demons absorb brute force attacks and half of energy attacks, converting them straight to strength. They exert and use the energy they build up on their very next feat, causing almost the same multiplier effect as Jojo. They just have to be hit first. Monolith is much meaner that most of his kind, being enhanced by an evil god. Psychic powers and magics are the best way to take down a Stone Demon. Monolith stands about 7 feet tall.

The fight: Jojo is a master at taunting his enemies. Thanks to that, Monolith causes nearly all the wreckage their fight brings. Jojo scores lots of direct hits, knocking Monolith all over the place. He gets Monolith to run head on into walls, but that all takes its toll toward a deadly mistake. It's hard for Monolith to land a punch on the little green guy, but that's not going to last forever. They lay waste to several city blocks before Monolith finally catches Jojo by a foot. He bounces the little lizard off the pavement. That won't hurt Jojo much, but the next thing that happens is a well placed football kick that launches Jojo right out of city limits. So, while they are equals in strength, the ability to absorb and feed back is what wins the day. Jojo can't take as many hits as Monolith, especially for long distances. Jojo gets up, shakes it off and decides to try again another day.

The winner by a kick: Monolith.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Spotlight: Arconia!

If you read the spotlight on King Falcon, you know he's from the planet Arconia. Today, for the holiday posting, I am going to give you the Arconian grand tour. I hope you enjoy meeting this special race.

Arconia is a lush jungle world with 3 moons; Colas, Laros, and Venure. Only Colas is uninhabited and frozen over with ice and snow. Naturally, that makes Colas the furthest from the planet. Laros is home to the house of Paradien, and Venure to the house of Kasau-Ki.

As you can tell, Arconians are humanoid (male or female) formed with the heads of various birds. A trivial note is that they are born without their beaks, allowing a live humanoid type birth. They also nurse like mammals until their beaks grow in. The family types depend on the Royal house they are from or related to. Royalty has ability to summon wings of fire and lightning (allowing them to even fly through space) thanks to and ancient relationship to the race of the Star Phoenix. See the pic above of Lord Valderon (father of the Arconian race and legend).Peasantry have no wings. The wings of an Arconian can be a serious weapon, able to raise temperatures hundreds to even thousands of degrees in a fifty foot area or more. The lightning can be cast up to a hundred yards for attack purposes.

Their government is formed of five royal houses with the Royal House itself making number six. Each house takes turns in ruling Arconia as a revolving monarchy. Each house is ruled by a Lord and Lady, assisted by a Duke/Duchess, and finally an Earl (who acts more like a regional Sheriff). So lets take a look at the five houses:

Paradien: Represents nobility and law. The birds here look like falcons, ospreys and eagles. Royalty come to this house to learn the laws of Arconia, and ways of nobility. No youth may take official status of a house without their lessons in each royal area. This house also enforces trials over Arconia's laws and metes out punishment for serious offenses. Even the King may have to face Paradien, but only by unanimous ruling of each of the five houses. Pictured here is the current Lord of the house, Lord Harp. He's holding the scales of guilt and innocence. Facing those scales makes a trial very short indeed.

Kasau-Ki: Represents warriors and ways of defense. The birds here look like kestrels, hawks, and owls. This is where royals are taught how to fight with their wings and cosmic powers. Yes, they have cosmic powers. Arconians are quite adept in using several tactics and archaic (enchanted) weaponry. Arconia uses no technology. They have powers and magics that take care of all they need. This house developed diving attacks and the use of another potent weapon; the Arconian war shriek. King Falcon's shriek and shatter some of the strongest metals in the universe. Interestingly enough, Arconian usually only needs one protective force to keep invaders away; the King. Each King of Arconia is gifted with great power and considered to be the god and protector of the people. For this reason, Arconians practice what they call, Monarch Worship. The King is God to the Arconians. In the picture you see Lord Owl with his mystical sword.

Magor: The house of magics and great knowledge. The birds of this house look like toucans, cockatoos, and cockatiels. This is where teachings of spells, bardic music, and standard academics are given. The members of this house are powerful in magic enough to shield their world from nearly any threat. Magic is considered to be the blood of the universe and therefore very important to understand and respect. In this picture you see Lord Lord Heziah and just behind him, Lord Chamberlin. Lord Chamberlin represents the House of Magor in the Royal house. All representatives serving in the royal house are honorary Lords.

Fau Lin: The house of life and nature. The birds of this house look like the many forms of parrots and macaws. Arconia is such a lush and life filled place. There are even other magical beasts such as dragons and gryphons. Once a year, around our holiday season, they have an annual dragon hunt (for the non-intelligent species only) and a great feast at the Royal House. Hunters who participate have three choices to hunt with, spear, bow, or bare hands. King Falcon always uses his bare hands. At the house of Fau Lin, royals are taught how to respect all life and the ways of nature. They learn all about the harvest and how to grow all the foods Arconians live on. In the picture you see Lord Macau using powers of nature to grow a vine.

Iyson: The house of balance and powers. The birds of this house look like nightengales (dark black), jays, cardinals, and magpies. Arconians study the Balance of Good and Evil with a watchful eye. They also study the use of powers as much as the use of magic. If you follow the characters of Galaxy Zento, you will see many beings with amazing powers. The House of Iyson studies the use of powers and respects that they have a source in creation all their own. This house also helps write the laws and politics enforced by the House of Paradien. In this picture you see Lord Yiro with his staff of power.

There are several Arconian characters in Galaxy Zento and they are coming soon to be posted at the fan page and Deviantart. Be sure to follow along and I hope your holiday season is exceptional blessed!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Spotlight: The Teri-Moors

I didn't intend on Teri-Moors to become one of my major alien races, but there is growing interest in them, thanks to Chessmen. I actually made them as a cousin race to the Orcanians and they are very similar in several ways. The Orcanians are for another time, though. Today, it's all about the Teri-Moors.

As you can see from illustrations, Teri-Moors have three eyes, pointed ears, four arms and a tail in addition to a muscular build. They have no hair anywhere on their bodies and their eyes have a silvery hue in addition to any other colors. They are a space age cousin to the Elves, but they don't go out of their way to claim any kinship. They prefer to keep to themselves. They aren't part of any alliances and were at war with the Orcanians for many generations.

Teri-Moors are pretty strong, as in lifting small cars strong. They can easily wield a weapon in each hand over a hundred pounds. Their tails are prehensile, giving them the same ability as their hands. So it's not uncommon to see a Teri-Moor in combat with five weapons going. You might think that's hard to concentrate on, not for them. Thanks to how those three eyes are positioned, Teri-Moors have excellent eyesight with broadened peripheral vision. Their hearing is even better. Finally, there's one more thing that makes a troop of Teri-Moors especially dangerous; teleportation.

The trinity of these races; Teri-Moors, Orcanians, and Perithins are all long range teleporters. All of them train excessively in using their teleportation and other attributes in combat. Teri-Moors are especially brutal warriors. All males are expected to be able to take up arms and fight. Females can fight too, but they do so closer to home so they can protect children and elderly.

In technology they have starship capabilities but none of the major technologies (Dimensional, Time, Reality, Genetic). Even so, they have a fair armada of ships. It's not their ships attackers should worry about anyway, it's being boarded. Thanks to the extra arms and tail with heavy training, Teri-Moors are easily able to take on multiple opponents. They actually consider being outnumbered quite funny.

The leader of their race is a Chieftan with several Chief's under him to govern various tribes. Religiously, Teri-Moors have abandoned religion because the god they had used them for bloodsports with two other gods. Any weapons or documents of those times are sealed and outlawed.

As you can see, I have a few characters and if you peruse my fan page or deviant art page you can learn more about them. Perhaps they'll get their own spotlight soon? I'll take requests.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Guest Artist: Brian Rogers!

Known best as Labguyinwa on, Brian is my first official guest artist for Galaxy Zento. He perused my characters and something about Victor Darksong said, "hey, try me!". And let me tell you, you can see the result. We have hopes of another artist jumping in to do inks, but that's for another time. Brian did a great job of making Victor look grim and gruesome. Victor is also one of the villains from my Chessmen novel. How fitting a first is that?

But enough about that, more about Brian! Brian is an artist of many talents. He's been doing the art thing since 1980 and been on Deviantart for two years.

He does professional caricatures, comic strips, and various other comic art. He writes a strip called "North by Northwest". You can check out his work HERE (there is one naked elf so mature notice just to be on the proper side). As you can see, Brian is a family guy with a dedication on page to his lovely wife, Michelle. His favorite part of doing his art is any inspiration he can give to youth.

Now, I'm going to hand out hint and promo here. As I write this, he's doing a sale on black and white caricatures for ten bucks each! You can contact him at! So, if you would like to get one for your loved ones this holiday, now's your chance! Here's the link to his caricatures folder HERE!

Now, finally, I post my version of Victor Darksong so you can see both of them. Big thanks to Brian for being the first guest artist!

Now, how about you? Can you do my characters? Pencils? Inks? Colors? Waterpaint? What ever you got, show me! Whether you want to get in for fun or show me how it's done, the guest artist project remains open! Any medium is fine from crayons to acrylics! I only ask that there are no adult themes. Contact me about any character info you want to know. Just peruse through my characters and see which one challenges you to draw him or her! Dirty secret: I have the most trouble drawing the ladies *shrug*. See my characters at the facebook fan page or my Deviantart page.

Who will I get to write about next? Will it be you?

Friday, December 9, 2011

A slight hiccup and hold up

Well, I actually don't have any new pics colored and ready to post. That's because I actually have to draw new ones! So I'm doing that and there will be new art to see soon. I have done several pencil sketches and they need to be inked in, so I'm on it. Writing is moving along too. I hope to enter a contest in January for short stories.

I won't be getting the website launched this month after all. There are delays and things that need to be taken care of first. I'm bummed but a lot has been accomplished this month so I'll survive to launch later. Aiming at January now. That would be a great way to kick off a new year right?

In the health zone it's been confirmed that I do not have MS and that's great news. Still don't know what autoimmune I do have but I'm being scheduled for a lumbar puncture to find out. Yeah, that won't be fun.

So, the pic I posted is a marker colored drawing of Lord Kestrel getting some magic on. There was an accident with the pic that I decided to keep because it looks like green magic orbs. Weird. I may try to digitalize it since I recently learned how to get that effect going that way.

Well, sorry for the slump in posting. It's the holiday season and busy busy busy! Have a great holiday season and I'll be posting again soon!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Spotlight: Maestro!

Ronin Xavier Jordain used to be a great hero on his world, Seenan. He was loved and praised and always ready to help someone in need. Then his world was invaded by a sorcerer's group called the Sevin Council. With his world in great peril, Ronin set out to find something to defeat the Sevin. The only thing that stood any chance of beating the sorcerers was a book hidden on a desolate island and Ronin found it.

Unfortunately, the book itself was evil and belonged to the god of all demons, Graethmael. A voice shouted out when Ronin picked up the book.

"You may take my book, but to use it you must serve me!"

Ronin took the book anyway and went back to his capital city. He didn't want to use evil to fight evil. But, when he got home, he found his wife dead and children missing. He found bodies littering the streets. He stormed the capital building where the Sevin based themselves and opened the book. He pledged allegiance to Graethmael and cast "blood of the earth".

All of the sorcerers hemmoraged and exploded. Blood flowed down the steps of the capitol and washed over Ronin's boots. From that day, he turned evil. He became a bard of exceptional musical power and magic. He decided that, if he served a demon god, he would be king of the demons as well.

So, with his magic at it's peak as both sorcerer and bard, he went to the current King of the demons and asked him about a place in his court. The King laughed at him and sent him to retrieve a powerful artifact called, the Sphere of Kings. He considered a way to be rid of Ronin. But Ronin got the artifact and used it to kill the King and take over.

Now, he is Maestro, the deadliest villain of Galaxy Zento. He casts spells that mix bardic, alchemy, sorcery and even altering reality. He has a vast castle that heroes get lost in for Maestro's amusement. He makes demonic monsters to wander the halls and you never know where any corner or door may lead you.

Maestro has been a solid favorite amongst those who know Galaxy Zento. It's my honor to introduce you to him today.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December update

Wow, is this month getting started off with a bang!

First, I'm getting some of my best art yet done and moving on towards my big goal of all those illustrations. My Christmas shopping is very close to done, yay. I just bought a new artpad with 100 large pages for those illustrations and....

I have my first official guest artist, Brian Rogers! Be watching for my posting on him, it's in prep now!

This month I also plan to launch the website! Oh yes! There will be lots of awesome information and activity going on there! I plan to have character bios, artwork, short stories, and a forum too! So I really hope that all the Zento fans and more will join in! I'm pretty excited about this, can you tell?

I've about got the flavor of the query letter ready. Yes, it takes a while and should for a good query letter. You really want the ideas to simmer in your brain for a good two or three weeks before you finish them on paper. That includes writing and rewriting until you think it's good enough. Fortunately, I'm not doing it alone. I have some great support here and proofreading help. I have people to bounce ideas off of. It's really great.

So, I hope you stay tuned in, some great activity coming this month!