Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dallas Comic Con Thanks

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who stopped by my table at the Dallas Comic Con. I was lucky enough to be kept busy the entire show. I'm not sure how many sketches I did, but it was a ton. I was only able to get up twice the first day and once the second day. I drew all day, both days. So, thanks to everyone who had a hand in that. Especially to Paul, who got at least 9 sketches from me. Several things that have never happened to me before happened at this show. I almost ran out of black Prismacolor markers, I DID run out of bristol board (Thank you John Lucas for hooking me up with more) and I had to turn down a couple of commissions towards the end because I wouldn't have had time to do them. Apologies to those folks. Thanks to Mark and Ben for having me there and for putting on a great show. Here are some of the pieces I did...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fred Hembeck Spookytown Pin-up


Here's another awesome Spookytown piece. This one is courtesy of the great Fred Hembeck! It came in the mail today. I love this one. I've been a Hembeck fan for years. Dang, I guess over 20 years. Man, I'm getting old. Anyway, as a kid I never thought I would one day see characters that I created translated into the unmistakable Hembeck style. And now, they have. And it's too cool. Even his personalized note is cool. Thanks Fred! I mean, Mr. Hembeck sir.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dallas Comic Con - This Weekend

Don't forget to come out this weekend to the Dallas Comic Con, Saturday and Sunday at the Richardson Civic Center. Other comic creators in attendance include Tim Sale, Adam Hughes, Michael Golden, Mark Brooks, Todd Nauck, Pat Broderick, Jim Mahfood, Mike Huddleston, Tom Feister, Matt Sturges, Brian Denham, Kerry Gammill, Kez Wilson, Joe Eisma, Brent Peeples, David Hopkins, Paul Milligan, Harold Ledoux and whole lot more.

Click here for more information

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

For various reason, I rarely buy any new music anymore. But I'm so looking forward to this one. Everyone's favorite cartoon band, Gorillaz, is back. Murdoc, 2D, Noodle and Russel return with a new album, Plastic Beach.

The band have taken up residence, recording on a secret floating island deep in the South Pacific, a Plastic Beach HQ, made up of the detritus, debris and washed up remnants of humanity. This Plastic Beach is the furthest point from any landmass on Earth; the most deserted spot on the planet.


You can hear the first single "Stylo" on their website. I'm loving that album cover. I wish I could find a larger version to take a closer peek at that island.

My Jack Kirby Black Panther Page

File under "Too Cool Not to Share". My original Jack Kirby page from Black Panther #11 (Sept. 1978). Inks by Mike Royner. I was taking it out of it's frame to put it in a new one and thought I should scan it for others to enjoy. Note the cut off corners. They used to tape the pages down to shoot them and then to save time, and not have to pull off the tape, they'd cut them.

Monday, January 25, 2010

She's Crazy, He's a Liar - Now What?

The book that I worked on, She's Crazy, He's a Liar-Now What?: A Single Girl's Guide to Understanding the Sexes by Cecily Knobler will be out in a few weeks.

They put up a website for it.

You can also preview the book.

I'm a little disappointed that they redid the design of the cover. In my original design, the illustrations were bigger, but at least they are still using them. If you click through the preview pages, you can see a bunch of my stuff throughout.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dead@17 Sketch Cards

I mentioned a while back that I might have some more Dead@17 news to announce. And I also mentioned how I wanted to get into sketch cards and that I was already working on a set. Well, if you put two and two together you can guess where I'm going. I'm happy to announce that I'm contributing to the upcoming Dead@17 Sketch Card Series that is being produced by 5finity Productions. As you can see, I've already received my blanks and I've drawn half of my card commitment. I wish I could show you the other side of these, but contractually I can't. Not yet. I'm excited about the set and I'm looking forward to doing more of these. In fact, I've been invited to work on a second card set from 5finity, but I haven't signed the contracts yet, so I'll announce it when that happens.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Jersey Shore" Spin-offs We'd Like to See

Here is the latest Quick Listoon. I've never watched "Jersey Shore", so when I was sent the script, I thought, "Great, now I'm gonna have to watch it. For work!" So, I sullied the reputation of our DVR and recorded an episode. Man, I couldn't get through 10 minutes of it before I deleted it. And not that I'm against bad TV, I watch my share for sure. But these kids ... ugh. So I just relied on their profiles on MTV's website and Google Image Search. Hopefully, I did them justice. Because if anyone deserve justice in this world it's those fine, upstanding folks.

I haven't mentioned anything about our process of doing these strips. Geoff comes up with the topic, writes a bunch of panels and then sends them to our editor at Quick. They then narrow them down to the seven we're gonna do. They hand it off to me, just the list, no notes. Then I come up with all the visuals. There have been one or two panels that I've run past them first just to confirm I'm getting the point across with the image, but generally I just draw them and send the strip back. This week's strip is the first one where I was asked to change something. Originally, I had Bruce Springsteen in the CSI scene. They said it would be better if it were just a regular Jersey type dude. And I agree with their point. But, I saved the unpublished panel. I couldn't do that to the Boss...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tiki Joe Mysteries Sketch

Here's another piece I recently did in trade for a Spookytown pin-up. It's for my friend and fellow comic book creator Mark Murphy. It's a character from his book Tiki Joe Mysteries. If you haven't checked out this book, you should. I mean seriously, I told you to a year and a half ago! What are you waiting for? Buy it already.

This was fun piece to work on. I love Tiki stuff. There is actually a scene in Spookytown that takes place in Tiki bar. I'm looking forward to drawing those pages. Anyway, this piece came together really quickly for me. A lot of times I labor over poses and layouts, but this one popped in my head, I doodled a thumbnail on a Post-it note and I was on my way. I wanted a retro feel, so I went monochromatic with the color scheme. It's done with pen and markers. Hope he digs it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ignacia from Wildguard

Here's a new sketch I did for the amazing Todd Nauck. It's his character Ignacia from Wildguard. Todd has graciously agreed to trade for a Spookytown pin-up. Can't wait to see what he comes up with, I'm sure it will be incredible. He did a Shades of Blue pin-up for me back in the day, which was really cool. Hope you (and he) like this.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shades of Blue - Phil Noto

Something cool to share. A pin-up of Heidi from "Shades of Blue" done by the greatness that is Phil Noto. I've had this since 2003. I never got a chance to put it in one of the issues and it's just too darn rad not to share. I met Phil at a convention here in Dallas, he's a really nice guy. I remember him and Adam Hughes riding with me to a party a friend of mine was having downtown. Man, that seems so long ago. Anyway, enjoy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 Goals

This year I hadn’t planned on having any resolutions, but then I thought that maybe I should. Help keep me in check, you know? But maybe they should just be “goals” instead of resolutions”. I always have a ton of things I’d like to accomplish in my daily life, whether big or small, and getting them done usually falls down to how much time I have. Spare time is a remarkably foreign thing to me. I never have nothing to do. Ever. I can’t recall the last time I twiddled my thumbs or tapped my fingers on a desktop.

So here are five things I’d like to do in my professional life in 2010. By the way, we are calling it “Twenty Ten”, right? Just want to make sure I’m down with the cool kids.

Redesign my website. Ugh. Most of the content on there is 3 or 4 years old. Except for the comic book page, which I updated it in 2008 (Go me!). Good grief, in my bio I don’t even have a kid and we still have 3 cats. Currently, I have an illustration site as well as a design site and my plan is to merge them back together. The good news is that I’ve already started on this project and my hope is to have the new site up by the end of the month. Side note, did I just use two Charlie Brown phrases in this paragraph? Ugh and Good Grief? I ‘m pretty sure I did.

Spookytown. This year: Finish drawing it. Scan it. Color it. Letter it. Publish it or get someone else to. Not too lofty, right? I should mention that I have Ideas for other books pinballing around in my noggin. A monster story based in WWII, a crime drama, a 60s era space program story mixed with a love triangle, and series based on characters I’ve had since the late 90s. And I can’t even start any those until I get Spookytown out.

Sketch Cards. I started doing sketch cards recently and I found that enjoyed it. I want to get involved in that community and get into some actual card sets. I can tell you that I’m participating in an upcoming one, but can’t say who it’s for just yet. Stay tuned. But I also want to get into a set put out by big players. Marvel, DC or Star Wars. To have my work in an officially licensed product from any one of them would be a dream. I have some contacts; I just need to work on more samples. If anyone reading this would like me in one of their sets, let me know.

Publish a sketchbook. With on-demand printing sites, what’s stopping me? Only time, as mentioned above. I would love to have a book to sell at shows. Draw a bunch of new pin-ups, gather up past ones and put ‘em in a book man! Sounds simple enough.

The Complete Shades of Blue. This is something Jim Harris and I have talked about doing for a while now. Putting everything Shades of Blue into one big book. Every issue, the DWP shorts, the unpublished Devil’s Due short, the mini-comic, pin-ups, web strips, ads, everything. And we’ve toyed with the idea of a new story to go in it as a bonus.

Of course, there are also personal and family goals. Keep providing for my wife and kid is pretty major. Getting back to the gym is cliché at best, but since Junior came along it’s been hard for us. Also, little things like organizing and developing the hundreds and hundreds of photos we’ve taken since, oh I don’t know, MAY of last year. Man, when you have a kid, the camera is always clicking. Going to Colorado didn’t help either. Reorganize my studio. And in area of low-budget films, my buddies over at Dog Food Productions and I want to participate in the 24 Hour Video Race again, get our past stuff on dvd and produce at least one other film.

Well, there they are. We’ll see how I do as the year progresses. Oh yeah, I just want to go on record as saying to 2009 was pretty good to us overall. I’m thankful for a happy and healthy family. And if I can still say that at the end of 2010 and not even one of my silly professional things gets done, then this year will have been just fine.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Quick Listoon

Here is the installment from this week's issue of Quick. Imagine me trying to explain myself to my wife when she asked, "Why are you Googling images of John Stamos?" Wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't like the hundredth time she's found me doing it.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Spookytown 2009 Resolution Report

A year ago I made a resolution. It was to work on Spookytown everyday in 2009. No matter how small. Even if it was just drawing a face, as long as I did something each day to advance the book closer to being done. I even printed out monthly calenders to mark my progress. Well, I think I did pretty good. I had 5 pages done a year ago and now I have 45 pages completed. I failed on 14 days throughout the year. Most of those days I just got too busy with other things (work, freelance, being a dad, being a husband) and forgot to get to it. A few of them I might have actually been sick though. I did allow myself a break when I went on vacation, so those days aren't in there. I figured I deserved them with all the work I do.I'm not doing it again this year, officially at least. But I will attempt to finish the book this year. Just 25 more pages to draw. Then scanning them, coloring them and lettering them. One thing I've already done is set up all the lettering into separate Illustrator files. Each piece of dialogue is broken out, I just need to create the speech balloons and put them in place. So, I think it was a successful resolution. Here is a sneak peek at some miscellaneous panels form the book.