Friday, 30 January 2009

In Memory of Marjorie Cameron

The back page of my comic is dedicated to Marjorie Cameron...

and since I've been slacking in posting I thought I'd give you a sneak peak.

This was colored using Dr. PH Matin's Concentrated Water colors. They are awesome.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Morihei Ueshiba

I promise I'll put more pictures up soon...

But while doing research for the next issue, I came across this video of O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba demonstrating Aikido (which he created) and I thought it was too beautiful to keep to myself.

What is great about this video is how his sense of humor comes across without even saying a word.

The first video that comes up when you search for "Aikido" in youtube is incredible... just fyi!

Friday, 23 January 2009


Pawnee Bill fights imperialism... how about you?

Barack Obama has been in office for three whole days and we're already bombing Pakistan. The new regime is touting "Diplomacy is back!" If this is tact, I shudder to think what recklessness looks like.

Is this change?

Thursday, 22 January 2009

My Process

This is the first book I've worked on where I put all the pages up on my wall. I thought I'd share them with you (well, a few aren't shown). This has been a bit of an eye-opener as well as a curse. I am able to see how the story flows much better, especially throughout multiple pages, whereas before I thumbed through a folder filled with giant papers. It is sometimes hard to look at. Whenever I'm reading something like Batman Year 100 and I look up from Paul Pope's luscious brushes to my own stilted pen and brush sprawlings, it can be torturous and disheartening. It has pushed me forward in many ways and it has beat me down in others.

One of the most important things it has done is to make me think of comics in a whole new way. As they hang on my wall, like prehistoric wall paintings, they often lull me into a trance and force me to respect my own work. As completion nears; it will be hard to take them down. They will leave a space. An empty space with 28 pin-holes on my wall.

But I will replace them with something better.

It is a rough journey. It is heartbreaking very often. But if you break the heart of your demons first, they will wither and fade.

Although you can't see it now, some of these pages were once blank or merely penciled outlines. This was the stage that was the most daunting, but everything began to fill out, grow and develop like a polaroid, evolving into an alter to something bigger than myself. A humbling and inspiring act. This is art and it needs no justification or apology.

Thanks to everyone that helped inspire me along the way to this point.


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Fun Home

If you don't know about Alison Bechdel's book, you should really check it out. It's one of the best graphic novels ever. Maybe you won't get as much of a kick out of this picture of the Ortiz Funeral Home I took in Brooklyn:

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Twyla Tharp on the Subject of Motivation and Creativity

I've been reading her book and it is absolutely incredible. It's straightforward, yet general enough to apply to everyone, very orderly yet with surprises. And it lingers. Some of it won't leave my head. I really can't praise this book enough and I'm only 1/2 way through it!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Donald Duck Cover

This was much quicker than the Bugs cover and I didn't use a brush to ink it, so it looks a little wonky... The original is HERE at John K's site.

Try your own, it will really teach you a lot (especially since I'm working on MY cover today... yikes!)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Heart - Crazy on you

When people talk about the transformative power of rock, I never believe them. I roll my eyes or listen to coke-induced tales wild nights, hot and crazy days, blah blah blah...

But when I see this, I really feel it and it is transformative because for seven minutes; I believe. The intro is magic, and when she hits the riff you've been waiting for with the look of a black belt about to shatter your trachea, you know the Wilson sisters were once Gods who made us believe we all could be.

I know that capitalism has destroyed this. I want you to know this too.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Bugs Bunny Reconstruction Inks

And here's the ink!
The original has such a great layout. The staging follows the "Z pattern,"
you read the title, then your eye travels down the broom and Bugs and then right to Porky and Elmer. The original is HERE!

Try one for yourself! It's like scales... for cartoonists!

Bugs Bunny Reconstruction Pencils

So if you're a total John K nerdophile like me, you know he consistently has posts about classic character construction; the basics. Lately he's had a bunch of posts on staging and followed those with a few classic comic book covers with solid, beautiful and not really complex compositions.

I tried to do one, and thought I would show the pencils. You really have to begin with the basic balls, tubes and jellybeans and build them from the ground up. I also need to practice my brush skills. Although they were a little wiggly and a little too heavy, especially with Elmer, I think it's definitely something I wouldn't have been able to a year ago.

First I have the pencils (with a smidge of ink... I started and then realized I should scan this for posterity!

Monday, 5 January 2009


In the comics tools blog a few weeks back, Matt put up a lil' ol' post about inking with bbq skewers (you know, the bamboo skewers in any 99c store (even in winter!)). I don't have time to find it, but just click on the left and it's a few posts down.

I finally got around to trying it. It was definitely different from a marker or a nib. It's weird using something that's not supposed to carry ink and forcing it to. It did feel a little empowering in that, oh-my-god, the-world's-gonna-end-and-we-won't-have-electricity-or-markers-any-more. Like if I was stuck on a desert island, I could use a squid and a stick and still draw comics.

That's pretty rad.

Oh, but the lettering and balloon was done with a brush, not askew(er). But I did fill in the hair and the shadows with a skewer by rubbing it on its side.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Vampire State Building

I love breaking in new sketchbooks and today was no exception. A city's (nation's?) landmark rising amongst the balmy blandness of midtown New York. The Empire State Building in all its sketchy glory.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy Zardoz Day!

Happy Zardoz Day, everybody!!!

Mike Mignola Sobers Me Up

I've been really going through it lately. Somewhat near the end, but so far and really wanting to go back and redo pretty much everything I've drawn... I found this sobering quote. It actually makes me feel better knowing that I am doing single issues. I don't care if they sell; this is practice for what I really want to do.

I stole this quote from the first seconds blog, which has all sorts of guest bloggers, including Paul Pope whose inking gives me a boner.


"There is so much great young talent out there these days, but I'm afraid to work with anybody who hasn't been in the business for ten years, someone who's been mistreated by all the major publishers and has a mortgage and a family to support. What I wouldn't give to be able to insert a work ethic into people. So, don't know what to tell you about that end of stuff.

I CAN pass on something that Frank Miller told me when I was about to start Hellboy--It's as good advice as I've ever gotten on this subject. He said something like "just do it, do the best you can, don't drive yourself crazy, just KNOW that when you look back on it you're going to hate it. It can't be helped. The next one will be better." I don't know if that really helps here. Your problem is that you're dealing with GRAPHIC NOVELS and they are a lot scarier than comics. They're sold in bookstores and are going to be in print for a long time. The beauty to doing comics in the old days was that you did a shitty job, it came out, and then it was gone. Now everything is collected and we have to live with our mistakes--Of course that also means we keep making money (which is good) and when we DO finally do a job we're proud of it stays in print. I wouldn't want the old days back, believe me, but it was easier to learn as you went, knowing that your early work would be forgotten.

For me the only thing that works is having a lot of projects lined up so as you are working on one, and it's not coming out quite as well as you'd hoped, you can always say the next one will be better."

-Mike Mignola
(from the first seconds blog, click here for even more great advice!)

Thanks for checking it out!

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