Saturday, December 31, 2011

Steampunk Jean Grey and Emma Frost

Steampunk versions of Jean Grey and Emma Frost, Black Queen and White Queen of the Hellfire Club. Or should that be Hellsteam Club?

Friday, December 30, 2011

20 in 2011 Book Challenge

Last year my lovely wife and I started the “20 in 2010” book challenge with the obvious goal of each reading 20 books in a year. Well, we brought it back again in 2011 and here is how I made out.

Like last year (and every year of my life), I read a lot of comic collections and art books. In 2010, for every 10 of those types of books I allowed myself to count one book to my list because it wouldn’t be fair to Heather who doesn’t read those kinds of books.

This year I read 17 “actual” books (prose, novels, whatever) and 23 comic type books. After applying my highly scientific formula, my final count is 19. So, so close. Heather ended up at 11. In her defense, she is with a toddler all day, every day and doesn’t have as many little free moments to read a few pages here and there like I do. I can read during my lunch hour while she’s at home trying to convince our kid to eat a sandwich.

We’re definitely bringing it back for 2012. We already have a stack of books waiting.

Here are all the books I read this year:
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (I loved how each chapter was a different person’s perspective. I believe a movie if being made from it.)
  • Ten Cent Plague by David Hajdu (Interesting read for fans of comic book history.)
  • The Walking Dead Volumes 11, 12, 13, and 14 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (One of the best series ever, even better than the TV show.)
  • Lobster Johnson, The Satan Factory by Thomas E. Sniegoski (I love Lobster, fun reading)
  • Among the Thugs by Bill Buford (If you’re fascinated by Brit culture like me and don’t mind a little violence, check it out.)
  • Invincible Ultimate Collection Volume 1 by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley (Great book, Volume 2 is in my stack.)
  • A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Enjoyed it, looking forward to the Pixar live action film.)
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (I liked it as much as he first one.)
  • Elvgren: His Life & Art by Max Allan Collins and Drake Elvgren (Very cool book for Elvgren fans> Great photos of the models and set ups.)
  • That Old Black Magic: Louis Prima, Keely Smith, and the Golden Age of Las Vegas by Tom Clavin (I wish I could have been alive during this era to experience it.)
  • Hellboy: Emerald Hell by Tom Piccirilli (Hellboy is always good.)
  • Jetta by Dan DeCarlo and Craig Yoe (Little known DeCarlo work, beautiful art.)
  • Icons: The DC Comics & Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee by Jim Lee and Bill Baker (some people love his stuff, some hate it. Cool book.)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham (I am not above reading Grisham. Quick, easy and entertaining.)
  • Chew Volumes 1, 2 and 3 by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Loving this series, hoping to catch up in 2012.)
  • Avengers Kree / Skrull War by Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema, Neal Adams and John Buscema (Great old school stuff.)
  • Hellboy: Oddest Jobs by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola (Another good collection.)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (Never read it before, thought I should. It was okay.)
  • Y: The Last Man Volumes 9 and 10 by Brain K. Vaughan (and various artists) (Good conclusion to a great series.)
  • The Associate by John Grisham (See earlier entry.)
  • The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman (Not as good as I hoped it would be.)
  • Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume 2 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (Not much to say here that hasn’t already been said.)
  • Spider-Man / Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do by Kevin Smith and Terry Dodson (The art is Amazing. Get it?)
  • Shazam!: The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear (I always like Kidd’s presentation.)
  • Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan by Chip Kidd (See above.)
  • Lawless by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (I liked this one and the one below.)
  • Coward by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin (Really great at first, slow in the middle and then okay at the end. Biggest disappointment this year.)
  • The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and Sidney Edward Paget (Biggest eater of time this year. I should count it as three books. 37 short stories and a complete novel.)
  • I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum (One of my favorites, quick easy read full of good stuff. If you grew up with MTV, you should read it.)
  • The TICK: The Complete Edlund by Ben Edlund (Revisiting an old favorite.)
  • Firefly: The Official Companion: Volume One by Joss Whedon (Kind of a fluff book but had some good stuff in it.)
  • Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay (Always enjoy these.)
  • Astonishing X-Men Omnibus by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (Squeaked this in at the last minute. First big hunk of X-Men that I've read in years. Really enjoyed it.)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Walking Dead Print

Rick and zombies from The Walking Dead. 8.5" x 11" prints for sale. $10.00 shipped. Email if interested. contact [at] calslayton [dot] com.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hello Dallas Morning News!

I was very fortunate and flattered to have writer Clare Miers ask to do a feature in the Dallas Morning News on me and my work. The story was printed today in the Arts & Life section of the Sunday edition. It came out great, I'm really happy with it. Thanks to Clare for the tremendous opportunity and for making me look good, which is no small feat.

If you just found me online from reading the story, please look around. If you need illustration or design work please feel free to contact me. My email is contact [AT] calslayton.com If you look at the menu bar on the right there are other places online that we can connect if you're interested. Thanks for stopping by!

Cal

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Dallas Comic Con Fan Days

I will be appearing at the Dallas Comic Con Fan Days convention, this upcoming weekend, October 8-9. Looks like it's going to be another great show put on by Ben and Mark. If you were in attendance at their last show in May, you know how amazing that was. The new convention center is really nice, perfect for this event.

There are going to be tons of comic book and sci-fi guests. Click on the image to see who all will be there.

Come on out to the show. I'll be there both dates, drawings commissions all day long. Stop by and say hello, I'd love to meet you.
Here's the information...

October 8-9, 2011
Saturday 11:00AM - 6:00PM
Sunday 11:00AM - 4:00PM.

Irving Convention Center
500 W Los Colinas Blvd
Irving , TX
(Intersection of 114 and NW Highway)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bunch of new work

Been a while since I last posted, been pretty busy. Doing a lot drawing, which is good. Here are some of the things I've done recently.








Monday, August 08, 2011

Story about me at Comic Alliance

Please head over to ComicsAlliance.com and check out the great write up Brian Warmoth did about my art. Man, I can't begin say how flattered I am about the piece. It's a truly glowing review of my stuff and I'm just blown away by it. How can one not be when your art is described this way...

"...style involves hips built to take out tanks and flashy smiles. His cover concepts and commissions manage to flash an Archie Comics-style sense of glee, but they also sport a cartoonish sexiness..."

So, please visit their site and check out all the great articles. My favorite is "Best Art Ever" which I check out every Friday and was honored to be a part of recently. Thanks Comics Alliance!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Brock Samson vs Mr. Fixit Hulk

Here's an interesting mash-up I was recently commissioned to do. Brock Samson from Venture Bros. taking on the Mr. Fixit version of the Incredible Hulk. I became (huge, huge) fan of Venture Bros. this year, tearing through the entire series on dvd. So, I plan on doing more of the characters if I ever get a break from doing commissions and freelance stuff. I really want to do a Dr. Mrs. The Monarch! I did manage to sneak Hank and Dean Venture into this one. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Update on Spookytown Graphic Novel

It's still in the works! I guess that's the update. I haven't posted anything about it in a while, been too busy with other projects, but it's still on the drawing board. I'm on page 50, so just 20 more to go and then it's all drawn. I've already got all the lettering files started. I'll just need to scan it, color it and drop in the word balloons. I'm looking forward to seeing it completed.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Come out to the Dallas Comic Con

Yes, the Dallas Comic Con back and I think it’s bigger than ever! Below are just some of the guests that will be in attendance. I will be there doing commissions on both days. If you plan on attending and would like to commission and pay for a piece a head of time and pick it up at the show, just email me (contact at calslayton.com).

Special Comic Book Guests:
Stan Lee - creator of SPIDER-MAN, FANTASTIC FOUR, X-MEN
John Romita Jr. - legendary Marvel artist IRON MAN, SPIDER-MAN
Amanda Conner - artist POWER GIRL, THE PRO, VAMPIRELLA
Jimmy Palmiotti - writer of JONAH HEX, POWER GIRL, PUNISHER
Ethan Van Sciver - artist of GREEN LANTERN, FLASH, X-MEN
Bernie Wrightson - co-creator of SWAMP THING
Steve Niles - creator of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, CRIMINAL MACABRE
Tim Bradstreet - cover artist PUNISHER, HELLBLAZER, HELLRAISER
Todd Nauck - noted SPIDER-MAN artist of the Barack Obama story
Mitch and Elizabeth Breitweiser - artists of CAPTAIN AMERICA
James O’Barr - creator and artist of THE CROW
Kerry Gammill - artist of SUPERMAN, POWER MAN AND IRON FIST

Special Media Guests:
Leonard Nimoy - Spock on original STAR TREK, star of FRINGE
Carrie Fisher - Princess Leia in original STAR WARS trilogy
Laurie Holden - star of THE WALKING DEAD, THE MIST
Irone Singleton - star of THE WALKING DEAD on AMC
John Wesley Shipp - star of THE FLASH, DAWSON’S CREEK
Amanda Pays - star of THE FLASH and MAX HEADROOM

May 21-22, 2011
Saturday 11:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday 11:00am - 4:00pm
Irving Convention Center
500 W Los Colinas Blvd
Irving, TX (Intersection of 114 and NW Highway)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Personalized Sketch Cards

I got my first ever personalized blank sketch cards in the mail the other day. They were given to me by Versicolor Productions for working on their upcoming Bettie Page Private Collection. I designed them.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sketch Covers

I've just started getting into doing sketches on these blank comic book covers. So far I'm digging it, but it really depends on the quality of the paper stock. I learned that not all blank sketch covers are created equal. I loved the Avengers and X-Men stock but that Wolverine was a bear (can a wolverine be a bear?) to work with. It would not take markers nicely and when I tired to erase pencil marks it took ink along with it. Anyway, I hope to keep doing these and I hope you like them. The Black Widow was a private commission but the others are for a sale. Drop me a line if you're interested.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Lost Grooves Cover

Here is a cover I just finished for writer Chad Lambert. The book is a collection of some of his previously published short stories, including one I illustrated back in 2008 called "Kissed by a Muse". This was a lot of fun to work on. He told me he wanted a cute girl listening to old records and tapes and let me go from there. I also designed the logo.

If you're curious about what albums and tapes I put on the cover. Here's a close-up and the list.


Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
The Specials - The Specials
Elvis Costello - My Aim is True
Iron Maiden - Piece of MInd
LL Cool J - Radio
The Cult - Electric
Prince - Purple Rain
KISS - Love Gun
Run DMC - Run DMC
Eric B. and Rakim - Paid in Full
Public Enemy - Yo! Bum Rush the Show
3rd Bass - The Cactus Album
The Clash - London Calling

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Voltron: United and Drawn has arrived

I got my comp copies of Voltron: United and Drawn in the mail today and they look great. My pin-up is on page 18. First thing I noticed was I didn't even sign the drawing. Oh well, it came out looking nice at least. There are a ton of cool illustrations in this thing, can't wait to go through it all.

I have two extras for sale - $30 each plus $5 shipping or you can order it online.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sci-Fi Expo Postgame

Day one of the convention started terribly slow for me. I really thought the weekend was going to be bad and that I was gonna wind up not doing much business. But I should have never doubted a Ben Stevens and Mark Walters show. Mid-day it picked right up and keep going strong the rest of the weekend. I think that there were so many great media guests people spent most of the morning making the rounds to them.

Big, big thanks to Mark and Ben, I always appreciate them having me out. Be sure to mark your calendars for their next show in May. Mark said I was definitely in for that one, so I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be at the new Irving Convention Center, the place looks awesome. Stan Lee and Leonard Nimoy are already lined up, so you know it's gonna be big!

Thanks to everybody that stopped by my table.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sci Fi Expo - January 29 and 30

It's that time again! Time for the Sci FI Expo and it's back at the Plano Centre this year, which I love because it's just that much closer to where I live. This time they're going with a "Women of Sci-Fi" theme that doesn't disappoint.

Right off the bat ... Morena Baccarin, Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff. Bam. Bam. Bam. What more do you want? Okay, how about ... Nichelle Nichols, Alaina Huffman, Erin Gray, Yvonne Craig and Anne Lockhart. Then throw in a bunch of great artists and tons of dealer tables and you've got yourself a show. I'll be there doing commissions and selling copies of my sketchbook.

So why not load up the entire family into the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and head on out this weekend to the Sci Fi Expo? You know you want to.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Live Art Show

I had a great time at Comicpalooza last night. Here's a look at my finished Harley Quinn piece, as well as a few progress shots. My biggest fear was that no one would bid on it but thankfully they did and it sold for $95. Thanks to Jeremy from Titan Comics for the winning bid. Thanks also to the Art Love Magic crew (Michael, Mario, David and Deb) for having me out. It was also great to see fellow artist friends Samax, Khalid, Michael and meeting a few new ones as well. It was a fun night.

Check out The Hero Initiative.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Comicpalooza

Come out to the live art show this Saturday night.

Comicpalooza
Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
Arnetic
2826 Elm St. Dallas, TX 75226

Proceeds from the art sales will go to benefit the Hero Initiative, a charity whose mission is to provide financial or medical assistance to the comic creators who gave us their stories, their labor, and their love but all too often ended up without pensions, royalties, or insurance.

Click here for more info on Comicpalooza

Friday, January 07, 2011

"Chew" Pin-up

A commission piece I just finished. The characters Tony Chu and John Colby from the comic book "Chew" by John Layman and Rob Guillory. This is one of those great looking books that I haven't had a chance to read yet. And after doing research for this piece, I think I need to pick this bad boy up. Seems like printed greatness.

I like how people have posted online who they think should play the characters. I saw a lot of Miles and Sawyer from "Lost", which I have to say I agree with from what I've seen of these characters. I showed this drawing to my lovely wife and asked her who she thought should play these characters and that's exactly who she said. Anyway, I digress. I hope I did them justice even though I wasn't super familiar with them. Apologies to Layman and Guillory if I missed the mark.