Eliza Frye is a young, emerging comics creator with some early success who is striving to take the next big step in her career. She is an immensely talented graphic novelist, illustrator and exhibiting artist. With each project Eliza pushes the boundaries of what a comic book is. Her comic book work is a combination of many mediums, from pencil and ink to paint and cut outs. Eliza's latest self published book, Regalia was released last December.
Eliza studied Character Animation at California Institute of the Arts and holds a BA in Japanese Literature from UCLA. She has also taught through Cal Arts Community Arts Partnership program, encouraging young students to pursue their dreams of being artists. Eliza currently works by day as a graphic designer, developing her comics in the early mornings and late evenings.
Through Eliza's journey we will explore the larger world of comics, brining a fresh international view that will open the eyes of many as to just what the medium can be. We have traveled with Eliza, as she wrapped up her collection of short stories Regalia, and made the move Los Angeles to Paris, France. Ultimately making her way to the comic book festival in Angouléme, France, Eliza hopes to make inroads into the massive European comic book market.
Larime Taylor, a relative newcomer to the world of comics, is currently developing his first self published comic book Dark Zoey. Originally hoping to work as a screenwriter for television and film, Larime turned to comics as a way of getting the kinds of stories he most loves and wants to see out into the world. After a fist attempt at self publishing a comic fell through, Larime decided that on his next project he would both write and digitally draw the book himself.
Larime began drawing as a kid starting off with portraits, however Dark Zoey will mark his first professional work as an artist. For the book Larime has developed a clean art style that is all the more remarkable when you realize how he draws each page. Unable to use his arms, Larime digitally draws and shades each issue of Dark Zoey using only his mouth. Living on a tight Social Security income each month, Larime hopes that Dark Zoey will bring him and his wife the financial stability they need to build a better life. For Larime, creating this comic is a big step towards a brighter future, personally and professionally.
We will follow Larime as he completes Dark Zoey, chronicling the creative process of a first time comic book creator; documenting each step as Larime strives to bring his stories to life. With the support of friends and followers, Larime will venture into the world of small press publishers, hoping to find a home for his book. Larime's story illustrates the hopes and struggles of the first time comic book creator.
Jim Higgins fills the role of the historian and the instructor. Over the years Jim has worked with both the mainstream and the independent publishing crowds. He is a passionate proponent of creators pushing the medium forward and has deep roots in the community.
Jim has been writer and editor in the comic book business for over 15 years, He has taught comic book storytelling for years at a variety of institutions including The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Jim has also been an editor at DC Comics, and had a hand in the publication of such work as A History of Violence and Road to Perdition.
Through the course of the film we will watch Jim leading his class, imparting on his students, many of whom have never made a comic book before, his unique perspective on just what makes a great comic book. We will lean the nuts and bolts of just what makes this medium the most unique and powerful storytelling tool available to independent artists today.
Doug TenNapel acts as the veteran artist voice in this film. He is a well established artist who has come up through the ranks of independent comics. Doug speaks to the power of the medium but also to the importance of artistic expression. He also travels and is a frequent lecturer at local colleges. Doug's long list of accomplishments have earned him a legion of loyal fans.
An Eisner Award winning comic book creator, as well as a musician and animator, Doug is most well known for creating Earthworm Jim, a popular character that spawned video games and cartoons. Doug has produced multiple graphic novels over the years, many of which have been optioned by film studios for adaptation.
With Doug we will travel the veteran creator's path, experiencing this world through the eyes of someone who has been there, done that. We will be with him as he begins work on his next major work, Hixon Bragg, while also struggling to support his wife and three beautiful children. Doug's journey in the film exemplifies the difficulties even an established creator faces in sustaining a career in the arts. Through it all Doug never loses sight of the power and importance of artistic mediums like comics books. With each moment Doug challenges himself and those that follow him to create art everywhere they go.
In addition to Doug, Eliza, Larime, and Jim we have had the wonderful opportunity to meet many other incredibly talented artists. LA is home to a vibrant community of comic creators and we are excited to explore that world further. We are excited to introduce a wide audience to more of these incredibly talented writers and artists.