Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2013 Year in Review

An annual tradition now. I went through all the artwork I created in 2013 and pulled together a few of my favorites. Again I was blessed with a ton of commission work and am very grateful for each and every person who decided to send some of their hard-earned money in my direction.  My family and I can't thank you enough.

I did a rough tally of all the individual pieces I did (convention sketches, commissions, sketch cards, sketch covers, etc.) and came to over 630 images. Which oddly enough was almost the same as 2012. And again, I didn't count any freelance design or corporate type illustrations or even the monthly strip I draw for a local magazine. Just all comic type stuff.

I'm also happy to say that I see a marked improvement in my work each.  Looking forward to a prosperous 2014, hope to see you there.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

20 in 2013 Book Challenge

This was the fourth year that my lovely wife and I had our book challenge where we each try to read at least 20 books within the year.

Since I read a lot of comic collections and art books, every 10 of those types of books I allow myself to count one book to my list because it wouldn’t be fair to Heather who actually reads nothing but prose books. She's like, mature and stuff.

This year I read 24 “actual” books (prose, novels, whatever) and 17 comic or art books. So, my count comes to 26. Happy that I made my goal even without the comics. The stack for 2014 is already started.

Here is my list:
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (I enjoyed this one, nice first novel)
  • The Walking Dead Vol. 17 and 18 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (Very close to ending my relationship with this series, these characters rarely catch a break and the violence and darkness just seem unending, gotten very bleak)
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (Read two of her books this year, this one came in second, hard to find someone to like in this novel)
  • Judge Dredd The Complete Brian Bolland by Brian Bolland and Various (Awesome collection, love Dredd, love Bolland)
  • Spider-man and the Fantastic Four by  Jeff Parker and Mike Wieringo (Bought solely for the Wieringo art, I miss his work)
  • Parker: The Score by Darwyn Cooke (Darwyn Cooke always delivers, looking forward to the next one)
  • Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris (Always entertaining but a bit of a departure from his usually subject matter) 
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (Finally started the series after watching it on HBO, fantastic book, love the chapters focusing on certain characters. One of my top three for the year)
  • The Shining by Stephen king (Reread this one in preparations for reading the follow-up) 
  • Avengers The Origin by Joe Casey and Phil Noto (Bough this strictly for the Noto art, which did not disappoint)
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Much better than Sharp Objects.  Still dark, but better)
  • Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV by Warren Littlefield (Entertaining look behind the scenes of the shows NBC had in it's heyday) 
  • The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor and The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga (Good reads that look into the Governor's past)
  • Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Satisfying conclusion to the series) 
  • All New X-Men - Yesterday's X-Men, Here to Stay and Out of Their Depth by Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen and Other (Really enjoyed this run, love the story, loved the art)
  • Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller (A re-read of the classic series)
  • Up In Honey's Room by Elmore Leonard(Enjoyable)
  • Batman - The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (Managed to avoid a decade and a half of spoilers and finally read this one. Liked it a lot.)
  • Conagher, The Daybreakers and The Sackett Brand by Louis L'Amour (Was looking through the thousands of books at my parents and realized that I don't think I've ever read a Western. So I snagged these three.  I really liked them and I grabbed a few more the last I was there. Great cover art too.)
  • Mack Bolan - Island Deathtrap by Don Pendleton (Read these like crazy when I was a teen. Still have a handful that I never got around to, this was one. Always good)
  • The Spider-Robot Titans of Gotham by Norvell Page (Reprint of some old pulp novels featuring The Spider that I got for a buck. I love old heroes like these)
  • The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire (Got this from the library, really well done book. I recommend it. Beautiful story and art)
  • The Umbrella Academy Vol 1: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba (Also from the library.  Heard only good stuff about this. I liked it, very weird and cool)
  • Doomsday Key by James Rollins (Was enjoying it well enough when I was reading it but can't really recall too much detail about it now)
  • The Adventures of Indiana Jones by Campbell Black, James Kahn and Rob MacGregor (Novelization of the three original Indy films. Fun read. I think I should get to count this as three books, but I'll stick to the rules.)
  • Hitchcock Piece by Piece by Laurent Bouzereau and Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell (One of those cool books that reproduces mementos from the subject's life and career. Great look into Hitchcock)
  • Avenger X-Sanction by by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness (Read mainly for the McGuinness art, which was great)
  • 11/22/63 By Stephen King (Really great book. One of my top three for the year.)
  • Captain America Vol. 1: Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Mike Perkins and Michael Lark (Wanted to see what old Bucky has been up. I liked it a lot, looking forward to the movie)
  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris (Liked this one more than the one above since it got back to his more "based on true events" style)
  • U2: At the End of the World by Bill Flanagan (Another book for a buck. Was worried I wouldn't like it that much since it was based on just one era of their career, but it was very interesting)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 Cosmic Avengers By Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven and Sara Pichelli (I grew up on the Bronze Age GOTG, so I wanted to check out the new version.  The library didn't have the first trade, so I read this one. You sold me, I'm in. Rocket Raccoon!)
  • Sucker Punch: The Art of the Movie by Zack Snyder (I love these type of books that show the evolution of and the creative process of a film's look. I was really well designed, awesome art)
  • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (King gets two spots in my top three. Was really nervous about this one. I loved The Shining, book as well as movie, so I was worried that this one might sully them in some way. But it didn't. It stood on it's own and added a little to what came before)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

More Recent Commissions

Had a bunch of sketch card commissions recently. Always fun to do. Got to do a Speed Racer and Racer X piece for the first time. Also some GI Joe stuff, a personal favorite to draw.  And another first time subject for me, Sandy from "Grease"