michaelallanleonard
Writer, nerd, fan of awesomeness.
  • Real Name
    Michael Allan Leonard
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This page I'd like to have a mulligan for in terms of the writing ... why Janus felt the need to antagonize Dwight with the whole name bit, I'm not sure -- that was pointless and poor choices on my part.
And our hero returns ...
Had I the foresight (and creative control over it), I'd have had scenes set in the past, like this one, colored differently than ones in the present. We've done the bulk of our work with DoorMan in black and white, but if we ever get to do another color series I'm going to make the absolute most of it.
Poor Dwight, caught between a rock and a hard place: an ominous glowing doorway in front of him, some sort of tar-like monster behind him ...
We're back from holiday break! Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year's.

2013 was our 20th anniversary of creating DoorMan, and this year James Lyle, our intrepid illustrator, and I are hoping to possibly get some new material in the works, along with a number of other projects we've been discussing over the last year.

We'd both like to express our gratitude to all of our current readership who have jumped on over the course of the past year -- we've got a combined fanbase between the three versions of the webcomic of a little over 200 readers -- which might be small by some standards, but we're very happy with it, and we hope to grow that in 2014.

Part of that gratitude is going to come in the form of some free swag: I've managed to procure a small stack of the original print comics which we'll sign and hand out, and James has agreed to do some original one-of-a-kind sketches, among other things. We'll have more details in the near future.
Most movies are shot out of sequence, which is probably slightly confusing at times to the people involved.

Panels 4 and 6 on this page were from a flashback sequence that James had to wing drawing, as he didn't have time to draw the flashback pages to have a reference from. Not the most intuitive way to work, but sometimes schedules don't allow for 'easy'.
I do have to apologize for using 'Jesus' as an epithet on this page: I know some people have found that offensive (which includes my collaborator).

DoorMan was always intended for an older audience, but as Doctor Who writer / executive producer Steven Moffat said: "Writing for adults often means just increasing the swearing – but find an alternative to swearing and you’ve probably got a better line."

And he's absolutely right.
How things have changed in the process of making comics since we first did this story in 1993: the 'BRRING' sound FX was hand-lettered, copied, carefully cut out and pasted into the panels over and over again.

Today, you'd do it digitally in a couple minutes, but before the advent of cheap, accessible design software, it took hours for something that simple.
Happy Holidays!
James and I both hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Happy holidays!
Not sure how well Janus' specialized word balloons actually work in practice.

Obviously it was patterned after the amazing work of Todd Klein in Gaiman's Sandman, but as a writer I always liked trying to incorporate lettering as a visual storytelling element in a script, since it's unique to the medium of comics.
Tomorrow's Future Yesterday
I learned a very important lesson in writing with the dialogue on this page: don't reference current events if the scene is set in the 'present', because it will eventually date your material when twenty years pass and present becomes the past.
I'll address the elephant in the room, or rather on the page, directly for those who just stumbled in here late and see this page out of context without knowing what this comic as whole is about: yeah, there's an infant in danger from a poltergeist-like spirit. These creatures, called Arcanum, are our antagonists and they're not very nice.
Back (For Real)
Aaand ... we're back, for real this time, every Wednesday.

I'll apologize again for not keeping up with updates for the last several weeks. On the upside, James and I have been hard at work, both together, and on our own individual projects.

Our first announcement is that our first new collaboration as a creative team in over a decade is underway, an eight-page comic starring The Moon Man, a classic pulp hero from the 1930s. We'll have more details in the near future, but we can say that it'll be appearing in an upcoming volume of All-Star Pulp Comics from publisher Airship 27.

Speaking of Airship 27, their just-released Queen of Escapes novel features interior illustrations from our illustrious DoorMan artist. You can read more about it, and find links to order either a paper or PDF copy at James' blog: https://doodlelyle.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/queen-of-escapes-from-airship-27-produc tions-that-i-illustrated-is-available/

James also recently celebrated both his 50th birthday, and performed on percussion with his band, Gypsy Bandwagon, at a reception at the Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City, NC, who not coincidentally, is hosting an exhibit of James' art through November, if you're in the area.

And you can check out James' latest comics work in Zenescope's Grimm Fairy Tales: Hunters #5, which is available now at your local comics retailer, and if you're lucky, maybe you can snag a copy of IDW's sold-out The Other Dead, for which James did a wicked pin-up piece for.

Last but not least, James and I have been working out details for a new project, the first in hopefully a series of illustrated novels featuring one of pulp fiction's most well known temptresses, Domino Lady, through my new publishing venture, Chimeratron Press.

Our revival of Domino Lady isn't just a take on the pulp original, but more comic-inspired and superhero-flavored -- if you're a fan of Daredevil, Batman, and the Punisher, you might enjoy our noir heroine. We're currently discussing producing an anthology one-shot featuring our Domino Lady, as well as other characters from Chimeratron, that we hope to get into comics shops sometime in 2014.

So, yeah, we've been a little busy, but we'll be here every week from here on. Enjoy the first of our color interlude with colors by Jahrome Youngker.
Chronological Disorder
... and we're back.

My apologies for having close to a month hiatus -- various things came up (including a week-plus bout with the flu) and we changed our plans slightly with how we were going to proceed with the comic.

Chapter Two is our one and only chapter in color, and is actually the very first DoorMan story James and I did, which was originally published in DoorMan #1 by Cult Press, back in August, 1993.

The reason why we didn't start off the webcomic with this stand-alone story and have everything in chronological order was because neither of us felt comfortable starting the webcomic off in color and then switching to the black and white material, which seemed a bit misleading to people (or at least those to whom color is a make-or-break proposition for reading a comic).

Also, we needed to get in touch with colorist Jahrome Youngker and get his permission to use his color work, which Jahrome has graciously agreed to allow us to use. James no longer has the original black and white artwork, nor to we have access to any films or production files, so without doing scans of the finished color comic, we'd have lost a full one-sixth of the material.

I had initially planned on doing some new pages to help bridge Chapter One to Chapter Two and discovered that doing so seemed sort of awkward and forced.

We will have some new material, instead, in Chapter Three, which will introduce some new faces who will play an important part in Janus' story going forward (or, rather, have already made a huge impact in his past).

We have some more news concerning our plans for DoorMan in 2014, but we're going to get those nailed down into more concrete form first before sharing.

James, Jahrome and I hope you enjoy this re-presentation of DoorMan's initial debut, which will begin next week.
Rather than not post a new page this week, I'm going to put this one up, although it will probably change ever so slightly and be re-posted.

The next few pages of the comic will actually be original, never-before-published, the first new DoorMan material in over fifteen years.

In the meantime, we're going to take two weeks off to finish up the new material, which will hold a few key hints to Janus' past and segue into Chapter 2, which will be in full color.

We'll still have posts on 9.4.13 and 9.11.13 with some (hopefully) interesting bonuses, but our story will directly continue on 9.18.13.
This is pretty much the key to Janus' whole character: he has the ability to change the past to try for a 'better' outcome, but won't.

Not to benefit humanity as a whole, or even selfishly, himself. He attempts to live under the same rules as the rest of us: we only get one shot at any moment in time, so choose wisely.
Love how when the Arcanum disintegrates, it resembles the mascara that was running down Rita's face in the previous pages: that was all James' concept / contribution.
The Arcanum have very limited ability to interact with the tangible, physical world – sort of like ghosts, the most they can usually manage is moving small objects short distances, opening and closing doors: the sort of phenomena you might associate with a minor ‘haunting’.

Only when they are threatened with their own destruction by having the secret that they are ‘feeding’ from about to be revealed do they get a type of astral adrenaline rush and a last-ditch boost to their power levels … and that condition is often brought on as the direct result of Janus’ interference and attempts to help the parasite’s host.

There’s little he can do to directly compensate for that. The finishing blow has to come from the host him or herself, which in this case -- shared between two people but only delivered by one of them -- wasn’t quite sudden and sharp enough.
DoorMan artist and co-creator James E. Lyle has a Kickstarter going with author Shane Berryhill for an original horror graphic novel, Game of Horror: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1784611749/game-of-horror-original-graphic-nove l

The finished first chapter of Game of Horror is available for you to read, in it's entirety at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.387361351351238.100131.359533657467341&am p;type=1

Give it a look and support it if you can!
Ah, the plot thickens . . .

Love the last two panels on this page, and the way James chose a simple, more powerful route focusing on the character herself rather than try to overdo it with a complex 'realistic' background.

Sometimes less IS way, way more.