Monday, September 17, 2012

Kodi's Blog #5 - Kodi's Debut Book Review!!

Hello friends, fans and visitors!! 

     Thank you for stopping by and I cannot tell you how excited I am! I do apologize for the vast "space" of time since the last posts on this and my regular blogs. I will soon have a list of my recent projects and post of the art to tell you all about the work going on on your Captain's ship! Expect that in a few days on your Captain's regular blog at!

For this post I just wanted to drop a quick set of 
photos and tell you about the newly available anthology with Kodi's first short story debut!!! 

     As I have been telling you over past posts, I have been working with a great group of creators and now I have a beautiful book to share with the world. This is just the first story in what I hope is a long and grand tale of the adventures of Kodi the Starfish!

     We went through the printing company of and the books are amazing! the print quality is superb and my customers have been very excited to receive them! I offered two versions; a signed edition where I autographed the cover of Kodi's story, the "Do-It-Yourself" Comic and the Concept Gallery that I constructed.

     Secondly, I offered a Sketch Edition with a separate, frame-able original sketch! Out of the 27 books I sold, around 20 of them wanted sketches and that is one of the things that has had me attached to my drawing table. Whew, it was awesome!

     It was an honor to contribute along with so many awesome artists! I have a post I will do some day soon on my regular site that will link and detail many of the different artists I have worked with so that you may visit their sites and enjoy their awe-inspiring works. I will let you know when that will happen.

     So, first I have photos from the printed book so you can see how beautiful everything turned out and following that, I have some scans of some of the original art that some of my customers received with their orders!


And now some Original Sketches!!!

Alright everyone, I will wrap on that! Today is Monday and I am looking to have new posts with the new project updates and tons of art for you all to enjoy on the Captain's Blog by this Friday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kodi's Blog #4 - Page 1-2 Progress!!

Hello friends, fans and visitors!! 

Thank you for stopping by again to check out the progress of Kodi's story!!

I appologize for the distance of time since my last post. I have been riding the rollercoaster of design and art with the many art projects and I have also been doing alot of learning in that time too.

You see, until this last year, I have always been a traditional, pencil medium artist. I have been this ways since I was a child and I love it dearly. Well, as new technology has made many things more efficient, art has also follow that path. With the new types of tables and the awesome features built into Photoshop and other programs, we artists can become much more streamlined when we are tackling all of the art work ourselves like I am with Kodi's story. I am the artist for everything from the lines to the finished color. That is alot of great work to finish.

With my traditional method, I would use large paper and hand draw all of the panels, characters, props and environments. I am a very detailed artist so this takes a good amount of time. Then, I would scan them in and go to adjusting the darkness of the lines and start coloring. As I have been learning to become faster and more efficient, I have learned that my process can be improved by going mostly if not all digital. So, with this new method I have been trying to increase my speed but struggling with the change of technique. I have been getting better though!! Below is the progress of page 1 & 2 of the new short story! What you see below is all photoshop and a tablet. I am finally achieving my goal of having a digital approach that still looks like it is illustrated with a pencil! That looseness and free feeling of form has always been very important to me so enjoy and i will post more progress soon with this spread! I am looking forward to getting this spread finished and going even faster through the next three as I improve on this new skill set.

I have also posted a portfolio to my regular blog recently and you can find it here! Visit and enjoy the other kinds of art I create too!

Thank you all for looking in and I will keep posting content as it is developed!

Thank you and please continue to seek what amazes you. 
Till then, much love

Derrick Utz

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kodi's Blog #3 - The Dark Rays!!!!

Hello friends, fans and visitors!! 

Below are some quick sketches of a new monster type character that will come up in the later editions of Kodi's story. They are called "Dark Rays"and are the very basic, scavenger type creature from the Black Hole Monster Nation. Mostly mindless eating machines! Whoa, watch out!!!!!! 

I will update this post with a quick digital coloring of one of the pictures so you can see how they will look in depth. Since this is an all ages book series I am being very thoughtful about the appearance of most of the monsters and want them to be visually approachable for a multitude of entertainment reasons.

Thank you all for looking in and I will keep posting content as it is developed!

Thank you and please continue to seek what amazes you, 
till then, much love

Derrick Utz

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Kodi's Blog #2 - New Kodi Pitch & Stellar City Layouts!

Hello friends, fans and visitors!! 

Thank you for taking your time to stop by and look in again on this new blog for Kodi the Starfish! I have been crazy with a lot of tasks behind the scene so I am sorry for the long amount of time between this post and the first one. I will do my best to make this one worth the wait!

Alright, to start I will tell you what this post brings with it. First, thanks to the awesome online community of storytellers that I am a part of, Paper Wings Podcast, I now have a strong pitch to help me quickly introduce the story of Kodi the Starfish to newcomers. We had an awesome blog post on the site about creating a solid pitch that had almost 150 comments and cycling responses! It was an awesome week!

Well, with the help of the community and especially a wonderful and experienced webcomics writer and artist, Robin Dempsey of the comic Ley Lines, here is the new Kodi pitch!

Kodi the Starfish is a rare living star traveling the galaxies in search of new friends and adventures. When relentless black-hole monsters start gobbling up the universe, Kodi must learn to harness his unique abilities in time to protect his friends & family before everything is devoured…even light itself!

Whew! That is just awesome! I am very thankful to the community and how it has supported the character and story like they have!

Secondly, this post is to show the very first layouts for the second story of Kodi's saga! This will go into the second space themed book from the online illustrator community call Kodi's debut was in their first space-themed anthology called "8 in Spaaace!" and that will be available both digitally and in print around early to mid June this year. For this second anthology, I was asked and accepted the position of project lead and I am looking forward to the experience!

This short story is titled "Kodi the Starfish and  the Stellar City!" It follows Kodi as his family picks him up from Earth from the last story (8 in Spaace Book #1) and this is the tale of Kodi's trip to and arrival at the Stellar City called Lumaeus! I wanted to use this as an opportunity to flesh out the star world setting and to introduce both new characters and an emphasis on just how special Kodi is. From start to end the story is really supposed to be about how there are "people" excited to meet Kodi and they give him an opportunity to tell stories to them about Earth, a place they had not visited yet. I wanted this to be a complete little story that would still tie into the bigger epic that I have planned for Kodi the Starfish. Click through, read and enjoy!

Pages 1-2

Here we see a conversation between Kodi and his dad, a Giant Red Starfish! You can see him in full color and size from page 8 of Kodi's debut story here

Pages 3-4

Here we will see the Stellar City Lumaeus for the first time. Imagine a giant asteroid floating through space teeming with life of all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Pages 5-6

Here we see one of the city's guides and ambassadors, Molly Mander, for the first time. She is based on an awesome little pink aquatic salamander called an axolotl . She will be a blast to draw (hopefully)!

Pages 7-8

And here Molly brings Kodi to the Lumaeus' Grand Hall where the Elders deliberate. They have been waiting to see him and look forward to the all the time they can get to hear all of his amazing stories about Earth and his friends there.

Well my friends, I believe that will do it for tonight and for the Kodi the Starfish Art & Story post.
Please check in when you can and I will have more for you as I work through the new art for this anthology contribution and the many amazing stories that Kodi has in store!

Thank you and please continue to seek what amazes you, 
till then, much love

Derrick Utz

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kodi's Blog #1! - Welcome!!

Hello visitors! 

My name is Derrick Utz (here is a link to my graphic design illustration blog) and I am the creator and illustrator for a children's story character, Kodi the Starfish! I have been developing and drawing him for a short time for his debut in the first space themed, all ages comic anthology, "8 in Spaaace!!!" from the creative community of!

I have created this brand new blog to post all of the new art and story content and updates to news and exciting information related to Kodi and his many future adventures! I am very proud to bring this to you and I am thankful that you are excited to recieve it.

Currently, I have just finished the first short story of Kodi titled "Home Again" where his best friend Kadi helps to take him from where he has grown up on Earth, back into space to meet with his family. The above image is the advertisement for the anthology! Now, I am working on developing a potentioal new 8 page short story for the 2nd "8 in Spaaace!!!" book that I am also honored to be the project lead on. This tale will be titled "Kodi the Starfish and Stellar City" and will be an amazing tale of Kodi's first visit to a giant star city in deep space!!!

I will be posting often with new content, charater sketches, layouts and general progress as I work through the story.

The next post I make will be a short description of who and what Kodi is. I will have a more in-depth explination in the "About Kodi" tab at the top of the blog under the page's header. I will update this information soon so check back!

Again, thank you for visiting and welcome to this new creative adventure!!

My best wishes to you,
Derrick "Captain Dutz" Utz