Thursday, January 14, 2016

20 in 2015 Book Challenge

My lovely wife and I did our yearly book challenge for the six year. Read at least 20 books in a year. I wound up with 42 books and 7 comic collections. I think my favorites from the year were: The Rook, The Martian, Joyland and Station Eleven.

Here is my list:
  • Lisey's Story by Stephen King (King said this is his favorite book of his. It had a slow start but it finally got going and I enjoyed it. But it's far from my favorite).
  • Hellboy in Hell Volume 1 by Mike Mignola (Not much to say here. It's Hellboy. It's Mignola. It's always awesome)
  • The Colorado Kid by Stephen King (A enjoyed this a lot. Engaging story, likable characters, quick read. Spoilers: Sure, I was disappointed there was no resolution to the case, but I get where he's coming from)
  • Danger Girl/G.I. Joe by  Andy Hartnell and John Royle (Fun, that's probably best describes it. Great mix of both series. The illustrator gets amazingly close to copying Campbell's style.)
  • Savage Wolverine Volume 1: Kill Island by Frank Cho (Popcorn movie of books. Awesome art. Big fun)
  • For Whom the Cowbell Tolls: 25 Years of Paul's Boutique by Dan LeRoy and Peter Relic (A must for any true Beastie Boys fan. I could have used some more insight into the making of the album rather than some of the other chapters where people talk about the impact it had on them.)
  • Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross (Pretty dark at times, but I loved the character from the show. Hope the author writes more)
  • Invincible: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 3 by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley (Always great)
  • A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan (I really liked this one a lot. Creepy main character. England. Twists. What more can you ask for?)
  • Major League Chew by Rob Guillory, John Layman (Always a fun and sometimes disgusting read)
  • Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean (Always loved the movie and the Iron Maiden song, thought I'd give the book a try. Also great)
  • The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (One of my favorites for the year. I never walk into a book store anymore, discover a book and buy it. I always have a stack of books, and to-read lists. But I saw this book, was intrigued and bought it. Great book. Mix Hellboy, Buffy, Harry Potter and X-Men together and it's something like that.)
  • America's Favorite Radio Station: WKRP in Cincinnati by Michael B. Kassel (If you're hardcore fan of WKRP, I'd recommend it. I was disappointed that half of the book is an episode guide, which back in pre-internet early 90s, would have pretty cool but not today)
  • Beastie Boys Book Deluxe by Frank Owen (Even though this wasn't a very in-depth book, I did actually learn a  few tidbits. Had lots of photos and a nice layout)
  • Guns of the Timberlands, Hondo, Ride the Dark Trail, The Man Called Noon, and Dark Canyon by Louis L'Amour (Continuing by plan to read more Westerns, I've yet to read one of his I haven't liked)
  • The Art of Robert E McGinnis by Robert E McGinnis and Art Scott (Amazing book, must-have for fans of this type of art)
  • The Walking Dead Chronicles: The Official Companion Book by Paul Ruditis (Nice look into the first season and how they adapted the comic to TV)
  • This is Spinal Tap: Official Companion Edited by Karl French (Got this for a buck. It was fun to read the script but the back half of the book was kind of filler)
  • Somebody Owes Me Money by Donald E. Westlake (Good read if you like the genre)
  • The Ritual by Adam Nevill (Creepy book. First time reading this guy's stuff, planning to read more. The first half of this was awesome, the second have was good.)
  • Planet of the Apes 1, 2 and 3 by George Alex Effinger (Recommended only if you're a big POTA fan)
  • Joyland by Stephen King (One of my favorites of the year. Best Stephen King I've read in a few years)
  • Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong (Recommended if you like behind the scenes stuff and 70s sitcoms)
  • I Love You Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle (Read this in two days. Quick read, obviously. Thought it was funny. Never saw the movie, may have to see how it compares, heard it was lacking)
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Never read it before. This guy might be going places)
  • The Martian by Andy Weir (One of the best I read this year.)
  • Conan the Wanderer and Conan the Adventurer by Robert E. Howard, L. Sprague de Camp, Lin Carter (Always entertaining)
  • Dexter’s Final Cut by Jeff Lindsay (Dexter books are always entertaining, there were some things in this one that I thought were odd, but still good)
  • The Cocktail Waitress by James M. Cain (Decent read, little clunky at times. Bought it for a dime, so i think I came out ahead)
  • Southern Bastards Vol 1 and 2 by Jason Aaron and Jason LaTour (Really loved these. Art and story are great. Gritty.)
  • Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry (This was a reread for me. I read it for the first time almost 20 years ago, still a fascinating read)
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (One of my favorites this year. But I’m a sucker for post apocalyptic stuff) 
  • The Hidden Man by Anthony Flacco (Not great, but still enjoyable. Pacing seemed awkward) 
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Had to see what the fuss was about. I liked it. I assume it’ll be a movie before long).
  • The Ticket: Full Disclosure by Scott Boyter (A boy that would only appeal to the tiniest amount of people, but I was one of them)
  • Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster (Most disappointing book in a while. Had this book as a kid but never read it. Got a copy and read it 30 something years later. I found it very boring and sluggish)
  • Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge (Recommended by a friend. Great October reading.)
  • The End of Summer: Thirteen Tales of Halloween by J. Tonzelli (Came across this book when looking for Dark Harvest and I’m glad I did. Well done Halloween stories)
  • Han Solo at Stars' End by Brian Daley (I liked this way more than Splinter of the Mind’s Eye)
  • The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson (I like the show, starting to read the book. There are some differences but I liked it)
  • Revival by Stephen King (Good one)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Strip for a Newspaper Anniversary

A newspaper was celebrating its anniversary and the staff hired me to illustrate the story of how it got started. They framed it and presented it to the founder, surprising him at party they held.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Big Crisis Commission Piece

This was a tough one but a fun. Big Anti-Monitor battle. The guy who commmisioned it provided the masthead.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Recent Commissions

First up, two commissions for the same guy. Deadshot, KGBeast and Hush. Phantom Stranger, Demon and Deadman.

Next, some Star Wars pieces commissioned for a friend's birthday.

Here's a couple that wanted themselves as zombies and then fighting zombies.

This guy wanted Harley Quinn as Slave Leia.

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Walking Dead - Eugene, Abraham and Rosita

New piece I recently finished. Hand drawn with digital colors. The original is for sale. Hope to have prints ready for this weekend's Walker Stalker Convention. Come out and see me!

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Flash!

Flash commission. I did the entire background in warm grays. Wanted to give the sense that everything is slowed down, so he looks like he's moving and not much else is.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spiderwoman Commission

Recent commission I did. Jessica Drew AKA Spiderwoman in her new costume.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Thor #359 Recreation

Recent commission piece. I was asked to recreate Thor #359 by Walt Simonson, but in my style. A daunting task for sure.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Luke Skywalker Sketch Cover

Recent commission I just finished. So glad Marvel put out some Star Wars blank covers. I really liked how this one turned out.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

2014 Year in Review

I always like to look back on the previous year and pick out some of my favorites pieces I drew.

I was lucky to stay busy year-round doing commissions for people. And I want to thank everyone who decided to throw some work my way, it was and will always be extremely appreciated.

Here's to a great 2015 which is already off to an amazing start.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

20 in 2014 Book Challenge

The challenge my wife and I take to read at least 20 books within a year hit year five in 2014 and this was our best year yet.

Since I read a lot of comic collections and art books (which don’t take long to read), I allow myself to count one book to my list for every 10 of those types of books. It wouldn’t be fair to Heather who actually reads nothing but prose books.

I read 32 books and 31 comic type books. So that makes my adjusted total 35. And Heather got at least 20 in too. Not too shabby for a couple that’s busy with work, a 6 year old, freelance work, etc.

Here is my list:
  • Alien by Alan Dean Foster (Took me like 35 years but I finally read this novelization of the film. It held true to the source material and fleshed it a out a little more.)
  • X-Men, Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo and others (I've actually been enjoying these new X-Men books. I kinda like Cyclops as the jerk revolutionary.)
  • VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave by Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn, and Alan Hunter (I was the perfect age when MTV first debuted so I enjoyed this book, nice look behind the curtain)
  • The Crow by James O'Barr (This was a reread, still as cool as ever.)
  • All Star Superman Vol 1. by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (I liked it but not as much as people led me to believe I would)
  • Captain America: Red Menace Ultimate Collection,The Death of Captain America, Vol. 1, 2,  and 3 by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting and others (Really enjoying these stories, art is fantastic)
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (Liked Gone Girl more)
  • Winter Soldier, Vol. 1: The Longest Winter, Vol. 2: Broken Arrow and Vol. 3: Black Widow Hunt by Ed Brubaker , Butch Guice, and Michael Lark (Very cool series. Favorite "new" character in a  long time)
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (Not the typical book I'd read but my wife recommended and I trust her opinion. It was really good)
  • Saga, Vol. 1, 2 and 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Wow, I loved these. Hooked me right away.)
  • A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (Can't really say much, except awesome.)
  • Beneath The Planet of The Apes by Michael Avallone (I'm a POTA freak, so I liked this.)
  • The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz (Really interesting look at the making of his films. A must read for any fan of his)
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (I'd had never gotten around to reading any of her books before. I liked this one a lot and plan to read more)
  • Glamour Girls of Don Flowers by Don Flowers (Really nice book of retro one panel gags, amazing art)
  • New Ultimates: Thor Reborn by Jeph Loeb (Author), Frank Cho (Got it strictly for the Cho art, which did not disappoint)
  • Shanna, the She-Devil by Frank Cho  (Same as above)
  • Mr. Murder Is Dead by Victor Quinaz and Brent Schoonover (Bought this because my friend Brent drew, really enjoyed the Dick Tracy throwback feel of it)
  • Willie and Joe: Back Home by Bill Mauldin (I got this because I loved the Wille and Joe collection where they were in the War. I didn't enjoy this as much due to my ignorance of a lot of the political and social stories of the time. I'm sure if I was reading back then, a lot of it wouldn't have been over my head)
  • The Judas Apocalypse by Dan McNeil (Decent book. World War II, Cathars, Religious Mystery, good stuff)
  • Conan, Conan of Cimmeria, Conan the Freebooter by Robert E. Howard and Others (I'd never read any prose stories of Conan, only comics. I really liked them, Freebooter was the weaker of the three.)
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (I enjoyed it but preferred And Then There Were None)
  • Jaws by Peter Benchley (First time reading this, it was interesting to see what they changed in making the movie)
  • The Jaws Log by Carl Gottlieb (Fascinating look into the making of the movie)
  • Night Without End by Alistair MacLean (First Alistair MacLean I've read. Will be reading more, good book)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind by Steven Spielberg (Never read it before, it was enjoyable. Very economical writing)
  • The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells (Started reading this but then realized I had already read it. Finished it anyway)
  • Parker: Slayground by Darwyn Cooke (Awesome as always. These never disappoint)
  • The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever by Alan Sepinwall (Great book about some great shows. I enjoy Sepinwall's writing online and it was nice to see it in longform)
  • High Lonesome by Louis L'Amour (Continuing my efforts to read more Westerns, liked it a lot)
  • The Terminator by Randall Frakes and Bill Wisher. (Most movie adaptations are kinda lame but I was surprised at how much I like this. It also kept in the deleted scenes)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind Diary by Bob Balaban (interesting read about the making of the movie)
  • Morning Glories Vols 1-6 by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (Fun read, dark at times. A lot of times)
  • Pure Drivel by Steve Martin (This one was a bit of a letdown. I love Steve Martin but this just wasn't as good as I wanted it to be)
  • Alien: The Illustrated Story by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson (Very cool but condensed comic book version of the film)
  • FF - Vol.1: Fantastic Faux by Matt Fraction, Mike Allred, Joe Quinones (Read this solely for the Allred art, never disappointing.)
  • iZombie Vol 1-3  by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred (see above)
  • Crash and Burn by Artie Lange, Anthony Bozza (Man, if you've ever thought about taking hardcore drugs, read this and you won't)
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (Yes, sometimes I read like a teenage girl. I'de it well enough. It's no Hunger Games)
  • Bowdrie by Louis L'Amour (I liked that this one was a collection of short stories featuring a central character)
  • First Blood by David Morrell (Really different tone fro the film, but I liked it.)
  • Double Dexter by Jeff Lindsey (Dexter novels are always good. Kinda sad that the next might be the last one)
  • Now You See Me by S. J. Bolton (First book I read of hers. I liked it enough that I'll probably read others)
  • Awakenings by S. J. Bolton (And so I did. It was good as well)
  • The Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia (I liked this one a lot)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and others (Mostly a re-read for nostalgia sake.)
  • Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin (Always great, always at the top of the list)
My favors of the year? Well, if there is a Game of Thrones book in the year it'll be up there and read two this year. I also really liked The Bellweather Rhapsody.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015