Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Testing the old adage

Since I missed posting the entirety of November I'm trying to figure out if absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. While I'm sorting, I'll mention a couple of things.

My boy is as tough as nails. He has been poked, prodded and analyzed at the age of four more than I ever had by the age of 11. New challenges keep coming up and he keeps bouncing back with a deeply good nature intact. Not only do I love him but he has my utmost respect. To celebrate this, here's a piece I did for my wife a few years ago that also never made it to the website.

Since the last post, I've been trying to sort out new working methods for upcoming sequential work. I've been doing what I'm going to bill sequential "fractures". Hopefully, I'll have some worth posting soon.

I love doing portraits. When you know (or feel you know an individual) in some way it can inform a portrait more than any close likeness ever could. That said, portraitists from days when you could be beheaded also have a large place in my respect category. There are so many concerns about representation and how the person you are doing it for will perceive the piece. I did this image as a commission for a friend. I have only met his wife very briefly on one occasion. He gave me a basic framework of what he wanted. I hope they're both happy with the image.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Exit part 4+

Isn't assembling RTA furniture a blast?

Exit pages 10, 11 and 12.

Joan page 4.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Exit part 1 +

Thanks to those who have already given me feedback on the mini, those who will give me feedback and even those individuals who at the very least took the time to read it. It was good clean fun and I know there will be more to come.

Exit is a narrative that was an attempt to visually remind myself of what's important and let go some of old mindsets. I would have preferred to have done it in color as I'm more comfortable with it but budget required black and white. Making the mini may have brought a fair amount of shortcomings out into the light of day but I still am proud of a few passages here and there and plan on more. Below the first three pages.

After talking with a few folks about the black and white color issue, I was surprised to discover that quite a few had not seen or would like to see again the Cohen "Joan of Arc" panel breakdown. I thought after two years I had pushed that under every nose that I know by now but I promised to put up the full deal here as a contrast to the Exit pages. Discuss...

First, the cover.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Very belated SPX overview

I have to say that SPX was without question the comic con that I felt most at home at out of all I have attended. Granted, I have only attended a handful of them but, regardless, it was great. I got to say hello to publishing luminaries like Chris Staros (Top Shelf) and Chris Pitzer (AdHouse) and tell them how great their output is as well as meet in person many talents I admired then and some that I admire after meeting. I also was surprised to see Bob Schreck there and took advantage to thank him for pointing me that way. I blew too much cash on all the great items that I found but tried to play it smart by only purchasing rarities and minis I wouldn't be able to get anywhere else.

Among the greats of these were the J. Chris Campbell (a small publishing luminary himself)"Fat Pack" of minis, a mini sketchbook pair by Jamie Tanner and (even though I have not read his acclaimed Johnny Hiro) a really clever mini of portrait progressions of Michael Jackson over the years by Fred Chao. I did break my rule to buy Jeff Lemire's Essex County vol. 2: Ghost Stories because I loved the first volume, Tales from the Farm, so much (and the second volume is quite good as well), Rutu Modan's Exit Wounds because I enjoyed her panel discussion and she was doing great sketches in the books and Joey Weiser's The Ride Home because I had someone recommend it to me.

My wife usually enjoys the cons to a fair degree but really dug this one. She used to purchase comics but had stopped. However, she came home with an appreciation of Jamie Tanner's near obsessive sense of cross hatching as well as her first two graphic novels, Nick Abadzis' Laika and Matt Kindt's Super Spy. Abadzis was also on the panel with Rutu and impressed us both. I've read Laika and it is very good. To Matt Kindt's credit, Lisa was sold almost completely based on his art alone. He merely had to summarize his book to her and it was sold. Still waiting on Lisa to finish that one so I can read it myself.

Nearly all of these talented folk may be found to the right in the list as well (I'm still working on a few of them). I urge you to check them out.

Images on their way soon...

ARRRRGGG! I knew I was going to forget someone. I also have to give a thanks to the highly talented Nate Powell who gave me a couple of names of books to look into regarding ASD (and, of course, his collection, Sounds of Your Name, was well worth buying even though I already own some of the material). I'll be emailing you for those titles again very soon, Nate.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oh... you tease!

It's off to SPX tomorrow (or I suppose today). I hope to say hello to all the immense talent that will be there and hopefully have a really good time. After all the anxiety of creating and assembling my first mini comic, I have to say that it was a pretty nifty experience. Despite the fact that there are a good many places where I see room for improvement in the piece, it was a good learning experience and I see how it could become addictive. As a tease for the posts to come here is the wrap around cover for the book.
I hope to garner some wise words from those attending that I get up the courage to present this beast to. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Getting it all out...

I'm in the throws of trying to make sure this promo looks the way I want it to so I figured I would go ahead and drop a post to appease my nagging sense of neglect for this thing (it is less than a month old after all).

Below is an image that started life in early 2006.It was based on a dream I had when I was a kid and was an attempt to combine that dream with current themes running through my pieces. When my mother was over she saw it and made the association of the boy sketch in the image (which was in my head based on my son to a great extent) and the wolves as being a reference to my son's battle with ASD. It was a very fresh wound for me since he had just been diagnosed and the same notions about the image had slowly been bubbling up to my own mental surface. I had to step away from the image for a bit. I finished it to this degree this year. I'm still not completely convinced that I'm happy with the piece but I do like that the image speaks about a few different things to me now. Thanks Mom.

With any luck, I'll be able to convince the folks I admire and will see at SPX to visit this blog and give the occasional feedback. If I do, they may be mighty dismayed by the good lump of images that follow. The conclusion of my Crayola marker symphony, Herry Poops. When SPX is said and done I'll have the comic to post so I figured that I would get this serialized piece out of the way for that one. I hope whoever views it enjoys it for what it is. This post is for you, Mr. Trussell.

And one of the end pages.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The thrill of the struggle, the agony of naps

I am unsure how many folks reading this have kids. Unless of course the only people that are reading this are the folks that I personally know, in which case I know exactly how many have kids.

Anyway, my daughter just got back from a getaway with her mother and usually when infants and napping toddlers travel they do a little thing we as parents like to call "getting off schedule". Which is the formal way of saying "my kid doesn't think think that they need to go to sleep when they're in dire need of it". A parent's impulse is to shield their little ones from anything that causes them pain but, if taken too far, it rapidly becomes coddling and hinders the child's ability to grow up. My daughter caught on quick to settling herself down to sleep but since getting off schedule over her vacation she has had real issues with it. This is where you have to have a "hard heart" as a parent. Running in and picking your child up out of their crib when they're old enough to comfort themselves is a real no-no. It only delays getting back "on schedule" that much more and spoils your kid in the long run to boot. Consequently, you have to be prepared to listen to many wails of anguish and much gnashing of teeth until your little one settles down. Good times.

The irony of course is that your child will probably reach a point when they really can't often make time for naps but would love to sneak one in... but I digress.

Still hashing out that comic to the best of my ability so images for today include a couple more quickie brush pen sketches-

my daughter from last Halloween...

and my wife.

The third Moreau/hyena image I did.
The next installment of Herry Poops.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

FACA4, fish and figure drawing

I had originally intended to do a daily blog when I started this but it quickly became apparent that it would be better for me if I didn't. I have a tendency to get a little wordy when I type these (I can't seem to shut it off) and that cuts into my art time. While I could show many older pieces to fill the gaps, I don't want to get to the point in which that is all can do because I am spending too much time doing this and not producing new work. I'll just have to see if I can find some sort of happy medium and go from there.

As mentioned in the previous post, FACA4 is going on right now. I won't be in the tournament. I did however submit an arena girl, Sting Rhea. Since it isn't an anonymous post, I'll show it here .

To continue with the aquatic theme, I have a sketchbook piece based on a dream I had. It's just barely old enough to have made the last website update but it didn't make the cut. I decided to post it tonight.

I really love drawing the figure and I miss figure drawing. Living outside a city means you're often teased with the possibility of being able to attend figure drawing sessions but weighing the time and gas you'll expend into the mix makes it seem less appealing. The closest session I'm aware of is about 35 or 40 minutes from the house (if traffic plays nice) it really is pretty cheap for a session but I can't fully convince myself it's worth it. Drawing people in public places can be fun but isn't really feasible when you're watching kids in the day and trying to churn out art at night. Maybe I'll try to shoot for visiting the figure drawing sessions every once in a great while. In the meantime, I use photos for practice and warm ups. Below are a couple I did with the Pentel brush pen that two lofty talents, Sam Hiti and Craig Thompson, have been touting.

My grandmother...

and my daughter wrestling with a stuffed elephant.

Finally, for the fam, Cookie Monster joins the fray that is Herry's potty struggle.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

More endeavors

Have you heard of the F.A.C.A.? No? I suggest you follow the link to the right and see just what exactly you're missing. It's the brainchild of comics talent, Sam Hiti. Essentially a knock down, drag out between various artist's gladiators made specifically for the tournament. There is a slew of talent over there and they have all managed to come up with some really amazing characters. I simply skulked about the boards as a cowardly non participant for the first tournament. I only threw my proverbial hat into the ring for the following two. Here are my entries.

FACA2 was a black and white tag team match. I talked my multi talented wife into being my partner for it. She was quite a bit intimidated by the notion of doing it because, even though we met in college as drawing majors, she always felt her strongest suit was photography and was unsure about coming up with a character. She came through like she always does. Below is our team, Safety Hazard. On the left is a rendering, done by my wife, of our daughter in one of her less content moods. Lisa billed her "The Tantrum Tot". On the right is my piece. A man eating primate billed as "Organ Grinder". The notion was that the meat grinder would take the place of the typical musical grinder but might even still play music while making lunch for our friend and serving as a handy instrument for pummeling. The meat cleaver is self explanatory. I thought Lisa did a great job and I felt that while my piece might not be in it for the long haul could possibly carry its end of the bargain. Tragically, we fell in the first round. O.G. was returned to the Polish salt mines where he was originally discovered. He now spends long days waiting for night to fall so that he may wistfully gaze upon the stars and deepen the stains of nicotine on his hands. Work has slowed at the mines as of late due to a rash of unexplained disappearances.

FACA3 was a solo color event. I had tried my hand at a slight bit of humor the first go round and was eclipsed in that aspect by many of the entries. It seems to me that the greatest entries are the ones that have elements of humor mixed with clever design. The individual who seems to most consistently pull this off to date in my opinion is Joel Priddy. That guy has made some super nice designs. Even his rejects are intimidating. Don't believe me? Look again to the right my friend and dig up his FACA sketches. Good stuff. I was feeling pretty humorless this go round and knew I could not come up with something on the level of the God of Scissors (Priddy's tag team entry) or Flaming Granny (they both must be seen to be believed) so I tried to make a sleek killing machine. Trash talk sessions were also a big part of FACA3 and below is my character, Harrier of Souls, and his zen styled trash talk.

I received some incredibly flattering comments on this design. However, HoS again fell in the first round to a character with a more clever character design. I don't feel so bad about it though. At least three of the talents to the right that I greatly admire fell in the first round as well. FACA4 starts very soon. I won't be participating this go round because it required teams of three but I may pop up in an arena girl contest.We'll see.

The next page in the Herry saga...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Keeping it short

A few more images for the bundle. Below is an attempt to catch some eyes for an Amon Tobin t-shirt contest. It sounded like fun and I could have accumulated all the rest of his albums that I didn't have. Unfortunately, due to the other commitments I had to push right up to the deadline. Normally this would be just good clean nose to the grindstone fun. However, they wanted the image laid out in Illustrator. I know rudimentary Photoshop and thought I might be able to fake it. How wrong I was. Especially in the day's time frame I did it. Still fairly happy with the image.

A couple of images of a sculpture of the mighty Scott Morse's character, Southpaw, that I did for kicks.

Herry continues the struggle and I'm posting it. You love it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

No Tech

Once again my love of computers deepens and blossoms. The esteemed Mr. Joel Trussell did in fact confirm that my previous posts' links had lost their will to live and grow when clicked upon. The methods I was using to arrange my images were absolutely slaughtering the code. Frankly, I'm surprised the posts looked as good as they did. Took a minute to correct but we're good now. Despite the fact that Joel does truly excellent computer animation (if you don't believe me go check out the link to your left), I still don't think he is fully prepared to label himself a computer tech at the moment. Yet, he still has helped me with a few website kinks in the past. Tip of the hat to you, Mr. Trussell.

Down to business. I think we'll start off with another sketchbook piece that has not made an appearance on my antiquated site. Similar in thinking to the Society of Illustrators piece in the previous post. I had been under the impression that it was more recent than the SoI piece because I sketchbook hop and work on larger scale pieces outside of them as well and that was just the way I remembered it. I should have realized otherwise because of the absence of our daughter in the image. I like to blame moments of senility like this on the kids. It's easier to cope that way.

This piece was created for a Vtes card for White Wolf publishing. It was the only one that I did for this set but I was happy enough with it. The author concept was a crippled uber hip vampire that binds his legs with belts while he levitates using a blood/shadow entity of his creation.

For those of you solely returning for the Herry continuation, your prayers have been answered.