National Comic Book Day with the New Comic: The Pack

Comic book - The Pack

O’Connell Design recently worked on a comic book for elementary school kids and we’re talking about it for National Comic Book Day. Ryan, aka Ronnoc, a troubled boy with a superpower, struggles with real world problems like insecurity, family obligations, bullying, and discovering what kind of person he wants to be.

Will he use his power to help the people around him or will he choose to use it to hurt others?

The creation of the comic took three phases – Concept & Writing >> Artwork & Layout >> Printing.

We began the Concept & Writing Phase of our comic book with a list of story ideas. This was soon followed by a couple outlines of our favorite ideas. One goal was to teach kids to use their gifts to help themselves. Another goal was to help children understand it’s their responsibility to choose to use their gifts to make good choices or not so good choices. And to let them know that we all have to make that determination for ourselves.

After the script went through drafts and a series of revisions we were ready to plan the comic book. This started as a small mock-up. The goal here is to determine the pacing of the story and how the art could work as page spreads.

The Artwork & Layout Phase, includes designing the characters, artwork styles, and creating the comic book page layouts were sketched at full size in pencil. These sketches were also refined. The book was put together as a second mock-up. The story was tweaked and refined to it’s final version and the artwork was approved.

Next the artwork was inked, scanned, and further refined on the computer. The last phase of the artwork generation was to add the color and text.

For the final phase, Printing, the book was output as a PDF for final approval. Next the pages were rearranged into printer’s sheets. This way the pages were printed so that they could be saddle stitched as the final comic – ready for delivery!

A few Facts for National Comic Book Day

  • People who collect comic books are known as pannapictagraphist.
  • The first prototype comic book was released in 1842. It was titled The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck
  • Superman was created in 1938 and Captain America was created in 1941

More Comic Book Information

O’Connell Design is a consultancy offering creative services in Production DesignAnimation, and Visual Effects for film and television… and the occasional comic book series. Contact us at info (at) to request a quote for your project.

Production Design, Set Design & Art Direction: Art Department Costs

A few notes from the San Diego Media Pros Meeting 26Feb2020 discussing Production Design, process and Art Department costs.

Lauren Fehlhaber, Art Director and Set Designer, and Woody Woodburn, Set Leadman and Carpenter, both of Inspired Images Studios, presented the process they use to create sets tailored to their client’s needs.

Lauren Fehlhaber and Woody Woodburn discuss set design and construction
Lauren Fehlhaber, Art Director and Set Designer, and Woody Woodburn, Set Leadman and Carpenter, both of Inspired Images Studios at The Film Hub.

Using a Production Designer on your project will help you make the most of your production budget and will add layers to your project. A Production Designer will not only design the environment but will work through the logistics (how to get the set pieces from fabrication to location, ensure that the set pieces will be able to get through the door, ensuring a smooth strike and removal of set from location, and more).

Why Build a Set

  • Freedom to design the look this allows the client to maintain consistent branding
  • Removing location space restrictions
  • Wild walls for better camera angles
  • Control the environment
  • Control the sound and lighting
  • Minimizes the regulations
  • Cost effectiveness of fewer location moves and travel
  • Flexible availability

Art Department & Set Budgeting

The more details you can provide to start with, the more accurate the estimate will be.

The Production Designer will want to know what the set is for, number of scenes, how many actors per scene, any special considerations (ex. Puppets that need special space for operators), and more…

“The most difficult part of the entire process – getting a picture of what in the client’s mind in your mind.”

Woody Woodward

Typical Process

Production Designer creates the initial drawings using SketchUp for client approval, AutoCAD for technical drawings for scene shop. Leadman takes CAD drawings and generates more detailed plans with specifics on how and supports are located.

Sample Projects & Art Department Costs

National Infomertial ($10k*)

Design: 2-3 weeks
Fabrication: 4 weeks
Set Build (Studio): 2 days (3-4 guys)
Pre light & Dress: 1 day
Shoot: 1 day
Strike: ½ day

Art Department Costs: Kitchen Set Breakdown and timeframe

Kitchen Set ($15k*)

Design: 3-4 weeks
Fabrication: 3 weeks
Set Build (Studio): 2 days
Pre light & Dress: 1/2 day
Shoot: 1 day
Strike: ½ day

Art Department Costs: Kitchen Set Budget

Live Talk Show ($8k*)

* A similar set would cost twice as much in Los Angeles.

Other things to consider

The Film Hub

The meeting was held at The Film Hub, a co-working office space with video and audio facilities, really beautifully geared towards a collaborative film-making environment. Facilities include: professional sound stages, foley stage, podcast/audio recording room, post production suites, multiple sets (incl. Kitchen set), conference & casting rooms, event space, and more.

The Film Hub

170 Eucalyptus Ave., Vista, CA 92084

O’Connell Design is a consultancy offering creative services in Production Design, Animation, and Visual Effects for film and television.

Movie Poster Designs

A great movie poster design grabs your attention and makes you take a closer look.

Here are a few of our favorite movie poster designs created by our very own O’Connell Design team… with a few Theatre posters too.

A great movie poster grabs your attention and makes you take a closer look. They also need to convey a certain amount of information, not the least of which is a call to action. Where to see the movie or find out more. A great movie poster design will also give you enough of the story to let you know what to expect in the theatre but just enough to pique your interest.

Movie Poster Design Credits

  1. Movie: Satellite Drop
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  2. Film: Mnionic: The Beginning
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  3. Film: The Answer
    Director: Michael Brueggemeyer
    Company: Amalgamated Grommets
  4. Film: Treasure All
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  5. Film: 5 Points Vineyards
    Director: Michael Brueggemeyer
    Company: Amalgamated Grommets
  6. Film: Loser
    Director: Michael Brueggemeyer
  7. Film : Recency Effect
    Director: David Dawson
  8. Film: A Single Step
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  9. Play : The Cosmonauts Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union
    Company: Oxford Theatre Guild
  10. Play: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
    Director: Matt Addis
    Company: Oxford Theatre Guild
  11. Play: The Merchant of Venice
    Company: Oxford Theatre Guild

Good Design and Funding a Non-Profit

Business Budgets and Design

Most businesses are more and more conscious of their budgets and how to get the most for their money. As you know, non-profits are not exempt from this. Frequently, they are more inclined to cut corners with their marketing budget, and allocate funds to a more tangible resource. All too often the design budget is one of the first things to go.

I was working on an annual report for a housing non-profit headquartered in Washington, DC a few years ago. They were given proofs of three different concepts. The housing non-profit chose the most generic looking version and asked for modifications to make it look plainer. It made the annual report harder to read and gave a less than professional presentation of the non-profit. They told me that even though all three designs would cost the same, they didn



Thank you




We would like to take a moment to thank our heroes who gave their lives on 9/11,
and to thank those who continue to serve today.
God Bless America


O'Connell Design
O’Connell Design