IN HIATUS STUDIOS
Three creative professionals, with common desires to bring their projects to life, met up at San Francisco-based restaurant Phillies in February of 2016, over a round of great cheesesteaks and pent-up frustration over a shared project abandoned earlier that fall. What emerged from the meeting was a shared passion for visual and literary storytelling and the common challenge of side-projects waiting in the wings. The idea for this book was born, a book that would set them on a path of taking these projects off the back-burners and finally making strides to bring them to life, ready to mine for fresh concepts for new and original stories. Coffees and conversations at Foglifter Cafe with two additional creators that shared the same passions and frustrations, saw the team completed, rounding out the creative roster for what would become a one-shot anthology.
As the missions of the creators aligned, production schedules were established, workshops commenced and the ‘how’s and why’s’ were explored, however, it was clear they were no longer out to just publish a single tome, but to also have full control over its development, distribution, and its potential future. In Hiatus Studios was born. With a completed executive team of experienced writers, animators, illustrators and concept artists that enjoyed a wide breadth in experience and fandom of comic books and pop culture already, In Hiatus Studios pursued a successful Kickstarter campaign in September of 2016. Shards: Volume One was then introduced in a limited hardcover edition run of 500 copies, launching the series of the company’s first six titles, bound in a single collection. With emergent resources, new fans and a network of support, a successful pre-sale campaign indicated a strong interest in the anthology locally, generating buzz about the company and the book in the masses and the industry alike. Promoting the anthology and becoming a mainstay of the San Francisco Bay Area’s local comic-con circuit with a team of individuals fairly new on the vendor’s side of the table offered a welcome challenge in trial and error, demanding a great deal of research and patience, but yielding new inspiration and experience. Moreover, the Shards: Volume One launch event held in San Francisco’s Chinatown gave the team the crucial milestone to push forward and continue pursuing the con circuit and build the online store as well as the drive to distribute digitally through Amazon’s Comixology. In Hiatus Studios is now fully capable of remaining independent and in full creative and executive control of the titles under the company’s umbrella.
As the company closes its inaugural year, production for the second anthology is well under way (slated for Spring 2018). New talents on both writing and art teams introduce an expansive collection of styles in storytelling promising a very different and formidable sophomore run, which will then be accompanied by the first issues of the company’s premiere titles which begin in this book, set to launch at various times through the year.
Our company aims to continue to make long dormant dreams a reality. To unpause. The time is now.
Writer/Creator: Winter, In Place of Honor
A California native, Kimberly Moss developed a love of theatre and literature at a very young age. She earned her BA in creative writing from San Francisco State University, and is currently finishing up a Masters in Theatrical Production and Design from Southern Oregon University. She currently teaches high school theatre and English and lives in San Francisco.
Pip Reyes is a character designer/visual development artist from the Philippines. A pop-culture geek and NBA-junkie, Pip channels these obsessions into his artwork. He does tabletop/card games, animation projects, book illustrations and, for fun, a bunch of dorky fan art.
Matt Ng is a character animator/freelance artist. He's an unapologetic noodle addict from San Francisco and is notable for being the only cat owner in the group. He's also the resident manga/anime expert. He's worked on a number of video games, card games, and is also known as a pin-up artist.
Raf Salazar is a Bay Area freelance artist who, by day, focuses his skills on illustration and design, and by night, is perched on rooftops as this city’s ally of justice. He's worked on a number of games, comics and co-created the long running webcomic ReGrBl with his twin brother Digo. When not working, he spends his time daydreaming, procrastinating, and watching too many cartoons for a man his age.
Don Ellis Aguillo
Don Aguillo works as a freelance artist with focus in illustration and concept art. He's worked on numerous published tabletop/card games and graphic novels, including a treatment on a character co-developed by Stan Lee as well as a treatment on a comic sequel to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Inner Light. He currently works with Raf on a major graphic novel project by Kularts of San Francisco designed to shine a spotlight on the cultural leaders of a struggling community in the heart of the city. He's also a part-time martial arts instructor and Filipino folk dancer, drawing much of the subjects of his creator-owned work as writer and artist from these experiences and pulls stories from influences in fine art and various Netflix binge-sessions alike. His digital style combines digital pencils with a painterly application of opaque color, pulling from classical and modern references, inspired by the aesthetic sensibilities and emotional notes of Jack Vettriano, Caravaggio and artists from the comics world, like Humberto Ramos, Simone Bianchi, Joe Madureira, Mike DelMundo and Greg Tocchini.
Other Projects: Kularts' Isugid Pinoy, Watchdog, Hellana, Star Trek: Outer Light