Friday, April 14, 2017

Talking Comics: The Gibbs Sisters Chat with Artists of The Invention of E.J. Whitaker Team

The Invention of E.J. Whitaker is an idea that has lived with us since 2011, and with the help of over 400 Kickstarter supporters last year, we are currently in the process of helping the multi-cultural steampunk comic take flight.

Along the road to making the E.J. Whitaker story, we have been thrilled to document the journey and chat with the artists who help bring the words of our comic book script to life.

Invention of E.J. Whitaker, writers, Shawnee´Gibbs & Shawnelle Gibbs

Please enjoy the below videos of our chats with Penciler, Mark Hernandez, Colorist, Hasani McIntosh and Cover and Short Story Artist, Earl Womack, as they share their approach to the art production process.

Penciler, Mark Hernandez

Rough Pencil Sketches of the Flying Machine by Mark Hernandez

Colorist, Hasani McIntosh

Cover and Short Story artist, Earl Womack

We thoroughly enjoy chatting and working with these guys and couldn't make the Invention of E.J. Whitaker possible without such a wonderful and dedicated team. We're really looking forward to debuting the comic later this year!

Our Chat with Mark Hernandez and Hasani McIntosh

Our Chat with Earl Womack

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Summer's Day in the Studio

This past weekend, Shawnelle and I and the talented photographer Sean Kennedy took some shots at our Downtown Office / Studio.

We're hard at work on our upcoming comic book series, "The Invention of E.J. Whitaker" with artists Mark Hernandez, Hasani McIntosh and Earl Womack.

Here's a few of the candid shots we captured this weekend:

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Fashion Forward: Issue #1 Debuts on Comixology!

Our very first issue of Fashion Forward is now available on Comixology!

Thanks so much for joining us on the journey to making FF a bonafide comic book series.

It would make Sam & Co. proud to have their stories live on via your tablets, phones and browser readers. Grab a copy today!

[Fashion Forward: Issue #1 on Comixology!]

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sneak Peek: Ancient Africa and China meet in our latest tale, "Tati"

(Page from short story, "Tati" written by Shawnee´ Gibbs & Shawnelle Gibbs, Art by JM Tolman)

There is something absolutely fascinating about ancient empires.

The people, the clothing, the architecture, the scenery, the bygone laws of governing and systems of order.

I'm sure everyone, at some point in their lives, has imagined themselves amidst the pyramids of ancient Egypt, exploring a hidden underground city, or as royalty in some for away civilization.

As writers, there's just something about bygone worlds that appeal to us, and we became particularly fascinated by an ancient African kingdom called Kush that existed in Sudan circa 1000 B.C to AD 350.

(Pyramids of Africa's Kush Kingdom)

We wondered about this little-known kingdom, which flourished along the Nile, alongside neighboring Egypt. Its ruins suggest a small empire that mirrored Egypt in its resources, beliefs and architecture.

(Art and artifacts of Sudan's Kush Empire)

Shawnelle and I are often so enamored with history and cultures that I'm sure one or both of us would've made pretty darn good archaeologists but alas, the artistic path beckoned. Yet the great thing about the arts is this: where else than in an actual archaeological dig site can you construct what ancient history might have looked like? Literature and comics helps us to bridge the gap between where ancient artifacts end and imagination begins.

As writers, Kush provides a treasure trove of ideas and the time period itself was ripe with other powerful and rising empires. At the same time in China, the Qin dynasty flourished under Qin Shi Huang, who commissioned the construction of the Great Wall of China, a remarkable architectural achievement which, like Africa's pyramids, has stood the test of time.

History often looks at people and cultures myopically, noting that this took place in this geographic region or that at this time period, without taking into consideration that people, the globe over, were constantly moving, in search of food and resources, or forced to migrate due to environmental occurrences like climate change and natural disasters.

This is a very large planet and our inquisitive ancestors were coming into contact with each other over the centuries; Through oceans, by foot, and on animals, they traveled this vast Earth taking with them pieces of themselves and sharing them with the world.

(Early character designs by JM Tolman)

We wondered what would happen if Tati, a small girl from the Kush Kingdom swept away by a magical tsunami, washed up at the neck of the Yellow River and onto the shores of Ancient China?

Interestingly enough, orphans tend to be a reoccurring theme in our work, partly because Shawnelle and I consider ourselves half orphan. So much like other themes including sci fi, nerdy female protagonists and twindom, it always finds a way of popping up.

We were lucky enough to have a pitch we wrote for Tati accepted by Graham Cracker Comic's Ladies Night Anthology's third volume, "How To Magic" (A Complete Guide). This is the third in a series of anthologies created by Chicago's famed GCC to promote independent women in comics.

We teamed again with the incomparable JM Tolman, the wonderful artist of our Fashion Forward Comic book series, and collaborated for the second year in a row with our fabulous editor, Lauren Burke, who oversaw our short comic, "Good Mourning, Jacob" for last year's volume.

To develop Tati's look, we researched photos of several North and East African tribes including the Dinka, the Omo, the Afar Tribe, the Hamar, Beja, Karrayyu and Toubou peoples. Here's just a sampling of some of the wonderful tribes who inspired us:

Photos of North and East African tribes)

The short story, "Tati" will be featured in the soon to be released Ladies Night Anthology (LNA's) "How to Magic" comic compilation, which you can find here!

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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Comic Book Resources Reviews "Fashion Forward" for Month of African American Comics

Check out Comic Book Resource's review of our series "Fashion Forward" (Books 1 through 3) below!

Every February in honor of Black History Month, Comic Book Resource's Comics Should Be Good blog profiles African American comic creators and Shawnelle and I were recently featured for FF.

(Fashion Forward Books 1 - 3, Interior Art: Linda Chung, Covers: JM Tolman (Books 1 & 2) and Adam Fay (Book 3)

Writer Brian Cronin writes:

""The Gibbs sisters have come up with one charming comic book adventure here, with a compelling lead character, a great setting (the fashion world is nuts!) and a catchy (and wacky) premise. They use time travel to keep the story constantly fresh, as just when you think things are settled, the time travel throws things out of whack."

Reed more at Comic Book Resources:

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Friday, December 05, 2014

Comic Arts LA 2014 : A Celebration of Comics

This Saturday, December 6th, Shawnelle and I will be a part of the inaugural Comic Arts LA Festival.

We'll be at booth 34A with new Fashion Forward books.

Come by and check us out, along with some amazing LA comic book writers & artists!

CALA is organized by Jen Wang, Angie Wang, Iris Jong, and Jake Mumm.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When Writing Is Rewarding - Ladies Night Edition

Sometimes writing can feel very isolating and challenging (even when you're doing it with your sister!). The actual process of it comes without the fun, accolades and community that say, hanging out on a Friday night with friends can bring.

And then there are times when the writing brings fun, accolades and community right to your doorstep. This fall, we've had it occur twice and are excited to share some snapshots from our recent writing escapades.

Lady Filmmaker's Film Festival, Beverly Hills - Script Finalist - PrePuptial Agreement

Shawnee and I were beyond honored to have our short screenplay, PrePuptial Agreement, reach the finals of this historic film festival and also be staged before a live audience. The play was directed by the legendary Romell Foster-Owens and features remarkable, new talents Ary Katz and Gladys Nyoth as the leads.

PrePuptial Agreement, a comedy centering around a newly dissolved couple struggling to come to an agreement about who keeps their Pomeranian, Chubb Rock, was so fun to write and watch come to life at the festival. Shout out to Shawnee's awesome guy, Taiwo Heard, for getting iPhone footage that can be seen HERE. Please enjoy.

Ladies Night Anthology Vol. 2: Death & Prom - Short Story - Good Mourning Jacob

In September, we were absolutely beside ourselves when our short story, Good Mourning, Jacob about a funeral singer and her biggest fan debuted in the second volume of LNA, published by Graham Cracker Comics based in Chicago. As many of you guys know, creating comics is becoming an increasing passion of ours and we are so fortunate that LNA put the resources in place for women like us to be heard. Learn more about the organization and feel free to purchase a copy for yourself HERE.


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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Invention of E.J. Whitaker: The Journey Begins

We are excited to release new artwork from our latest project, "The Invention of E.J. Whitaker," a steampunk adventure. Set in 1901, the story centers around Ada, a brilliant young inventor, who very quickly finds herself on a journey full of mystery, romance and danger when her latest invention begins to generate national attention. 

More details to come!

Written by: Shawnee´Gibbs & Shawnelle Gibbs

Art: Mark Hernandez

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Day in The Studio

Our friend, writer & photographer, Moe Reed, dropped by and took some working shots of us in our downtown studio.

(Process board from our new steampunk comic project)

In between our jobs as television producers and writers for the comic, Fashion Forward, Shawnelle and I have been developing an awesome project that we're excited to share in the coming days. We've written about it on the blog before >here< [Black Victorians: African Americans in Steampunk and Historical Fiction], and are now underway to see it fully realized for 2014.

(The Gibbs Sisters, Comic Book Writer / Creators | Left: Shawnelle Gibbs, right: Shawnee´Gibbs)

It is "The Invention of E.J. Whitaker," an African American, steampunk comic adventure set in 1901. Here are a few recent shots of us in the studio working on both E.J. and Fashion Forward.

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Saturday, January 04, 2014

On Making Webcomics with The Daily Dot

Happy 2014, Everyone!

Of course we aren't anywhere near experts on webcomics, but we had the wonderful opportunity to share some of the joys and challenges on embarking on producing comics online with Lisa Granshaw at The Daily Dot.

If you have the time, feel free to check out the feature which also includes insightful info from fellow creators J. Gray of Mysteries of the Arcana and Donogh McLaverty of A Lost Transmission.

Find it here:

Blood, sweat and ink: Breaking into webcomics in 2014

Hooray to new beginnings!


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Celebrating The Life Of Nelson Mandela Through Animation

It saddened us to hear about the passing of Global Icon Nelson Mandela at 95 years young today, but we will be forever humbled that we got to celebrate his life while he was still with us through the creative mediums we love-- film and animation.

In 2010, our friend Rene Rawls' screenplay Sule and the Case of the Tiny Sparks was selected by The Tribeca Film Institute as one of five short film projects that honored Nelson Mandela Day by embodying Nelson Mandela's principles and life work.

Shawnee and I produced and directed the short and were absolutely thrilled with the final work that has since been shared with children and families across the globe. It can be seen in its entirety of 12 minutes HERE.

The goal of the Tribeca All Access Mandela Day Project was to spread the idea that--like Nelson Mandela-- individuals can indeed 'make an imprint' and change the world around them.

"“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” -- Nelson Mandela

RIP, Dear Sir.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sick of The Hollywood Boys Club??? Gibbs Sisters Featured in XO Jane Article

Shawnee and Shawnelle Gibbs listed as part of "Ten Female Filmmakers Ruling Indie Cinema"

XO jane is one of our favorite blogs, so to have been mentioned here is quite an honor!

Author, A. Wolfe has listed some extremely relevant and rising talent in her article: "Sick of The Hollywood Boys Club? Aren't We All -- So Check Out These 10 Female Filmmakers Ruling Indie Cinema." We are absolutely floored to be named alongside people we've revered for some time, including Dee Rees and Leslye Headland.

Please mosey on over to XO Jane and read the article, in which our style and humor is referred to as "Original and Hilarious!" And stay for some of the most authentic stories anywhere by women, which will keep your mind occupied in "Oh my God, I've been there" ways all day long. --Nelle