Hex Americana is a graphic novel written and drawn by me, to be published by Iron Circus Press in August 2023.
"A boy-meets-ghoul story at 100 miles an hour!
Ken's one dream in life is to follow in the footsteps of Dante, his long-departed racing idol, and compete in the ultimate monster derby grand prix - the legendary Hex Americana The one problem is he doesn't have his license . . . or a car . . . aaaaand his mom definitely doesn't approve. (So, three problems.) But when Ken stumbles upon a town mystery he learns the ghost stories about Dante he grew up on are true, and he's burning for a comeback from the great beyond. Dante's car is still around (barely), but he needs Ken's flesh and blood to drive it. This trans-dimensional duo has a lot of work to do, and their past and future racing glories are on the line.
Bursting to the brim with crazy monsters, blazing automotive action, deep-rooted mysteries, and small-town secrets, HEX AMERICANA is the race everyone's dying to win."
Hex Americana is, without a doubt, the most difficult project I've ever taken on. It's not only my longest comic yet at 357 full-color pages, but the most technically complex, full of action-packed racing setpieces.
Because so much of the book is about the cars, I taught myself Blender 3D in order to design and model the vehicles and sets. This way, I could maintain visual consistency and speed up my production time (although it was still ultimately a five-year journey to the finish line!).
Near-final book cover.
Top: 3D renders of the Thunderbat car in Blender, compared to draw-overs for early concept work.
Right: A look into the process for completing a single page of Hex Americana.
Beginning with the thumbnail version of the book, I pose my set and car models in Blender and take screencaps to drop in my drawing program. Then, after roughly tracing my screencaps, I pencil my characters into the world and tweak the traced reference to make everything feel more cohesive. On the far right is the final page after pencils, inks, colors, and letters.
Concept art for other vehicles in Hex Americana.