I was on a mission to pick someone up from the airport last night and while I waited for their plane to land I drew this image of the baggage retrieval area.
The tall silhouette was a really big scary 'skinhead.' I like to draw from life and an airport is a perfect place to practice that skill because you have to take snap shots of people as hey walk, with their bags and put them in place a few seconds later once they've moved on.
I didn't have any paper but this bank envelope did the job.
I've been making an effort to expand and clarify the 'links' section of the blog. I hope that you'll all check it out and enjoy some of the things that you find there!
I also did a picture of Ragnarok and Kali for the volume as well but if you want to see those drawings then you'll have o get the book. More art and tomfoolery on Thursday!
I happened to come across a cool blog today and I suggest you all check it out. It's called There Are Four Lights and I enjoyed the concepts she deals with because the same themes are dear to my heart. I do not typically enjoy 'Manga' style drawing but that is not an absolute hard and fast rule. I'm open to good work done along those lines especially if it is in conjunction with compelling subject matter. I am appreciative of Miss Sara Mayhew's mind if not her preferred approach to drawing.
So I am late on my Melee update (and this blog because I didn't have an internet connection) and that bums me out especially since the alternative I opted to spend my time engaged in was less than rewarding in retrospect. It didn't help that I was missing some supplies and any comfortable, quiet, uninterrupted workspace. The holiday season can be a mine field when dealing with friends and family or the family of friends. That being said, I'm about to get my pencil and paper out and mind fully engaged for the next several hours so that there will be an update posted tomorrow. I like to deliver on time but on occasion there are situations that prevent it.
The trick to this whole thing is juggling priorities. Every now and then even the best of us jesters might drop a ball.
Here are some storyboards I did from September. I clocked in at 1.26 hours per image (there were 19 in total that needed to be finished overnight.) I was in the flow back then!
It was for some commercial that was supposed to feature the next wave of pop idols. They are called 'The Go Squad' and as you might imagine; they go. In this sequence, that you see sampled here, these future titans are capering on mini bikes.
I'm working on a post that I was hoping to get up today but I've decided that I've still got wrapping and other secular x-massy stuff to attend to so I've decided to give you a bit of Melee Cheer.
The Hulk holding this kid here reminds me so much of Lenny with the Puppy in "Of Mice and Men".
Whether you use this time of year to celebrate the birth of Christ, the N'er Tamid staying lit for eight days, to celebrate your culture or if you just think that tomorrow is a convenient time to get together, eat Chinese food and watch some movies I hope you have a Merry Christmas, had a happy Hanukkah, a fulfilling Kwanzaa or just a nice Saturday with friends and family.
By the way, as Americans we live in a pluralistic society. The above explanation is why people say Happy Holidays and if you're offended by that you're an idiot. Happy Holidays isn't meant to marginalize one religion or culture it's to include all of them and December doesn't belong to anyone. We all get the day off whether we attend midnight mass or not.
Any who enjoy a couple of my two favorite holiday traditions mashed together...
I like the holidays. Even though I am a non-theist/atheist I greatly appreciate the broad sentiment of the season. I like gift giving, spending time with family amongst good cheer and I even enjoy some of the ritual associated with religious traditions (if not the doctrine.) I like wrapping presents and I enjoy doodling on the paper instead of getting a bunch of fancy paper that will look nice briefly and then be thrown out. Why not bring a bit of creative zest to it instead!?
I like that I have friends who know me well too:
Rich Ellis hid a present amongst my board game collection and the wrapping paper was perfect as was the present within: A Zombies!!! expansion pack. Good stuff.
My gift to you will be this great Carl Sagan Cartoon drawn by Greg Williams (written by his son Nick) I found online while looking up my hero and his illustrious exploits:
Happy holidays to all of you out there regardless of your spiritual philosophy. I hope every last one of you fine readers has an enjoyable day full of friends, laughter, games and good food.
If you head out to your Local Comics Retailer in the next month or so you'll be able to pick up two recently released titles from Darkhorse comics that feature my work. I did most of the backgrounds for "Trouble Makers" volume 2. I did similar work on volume 1 of the same title. The New Savage Sword of Conan book also features an 8 page story I did the pencils and inks for (also new material from fellow Periscope member Paul Tobin.) The work had to be done in a very short period but I'm pleased with how it turned out and I think that the end result of it reflects the madness experienced by the main character.
Here are some panels from John Silent (minus the great colors by Dave Stewart) that I drew. I like the weirdo-people on the streets of Prague the best. It was written by Scott Allie and filled with rich visual material for me to explore.
There's a warlock and lots more madness to be had. Check it out and get in on the fun.
One More Thing: Come See me at Things From Another World on May 7th for a signing on Free Comic Book Day when my Star Wars Story hits the shops!
Lindsey and I (mostly me) have been watching Avatar: The Last Airbender via netflix streaming at the prompting of several friends from Periscope Studio. I had seen bits and pieces while doing the occasional babysitting gig or hanging with older friends that appreciate good cartoons. My favorite character is Appa. I know he's a 'bison' but I call him "The Moose" because it is funny to me.
My friend Ben Bates told me not to draw him realistic because that is 'an easy idea' and I'm inclined to agree since it was the first thing I thought to do. I just decided to draw him like I draw my comics and do a bit of watercolor. I hope you enjoy it and I welcome you to check out the digital grays in tomorrow's White Pony and give me some feedback on what you think about the transition.
I'm late for a very important date, I know, but I was rocking out so I think it's forgivable. I put some strap-locks and new strings on my Guild starfire 4. I then proceeded to play a variety of rocking rock with my buddy Ron Randall and his band 'The Rewinders' at a Solstice Party. I love that guitar and I love getting to improvise with it.
(And my 1989 PRS Custom 24 for good measure.)
Anyhow, I just had breakfast with my Girlfriend Lindsey Ellis and my buddy Rich Ellis (no relation) at what is fast becoming our once a month breakfast spot just up the street. We talked about impersonating our friends, long distance romance and the proper uses of ketchup.
I did this portrait of Rich while we were waiting for our food. Our Server's name was Eunice. I ate Rich's toast.
On a final note I did all the gray tones on the new White Pony with a computer for the first time and none of the readers seemed to notice it. I'm surprised! It thought someone would mention it positively or otherwise.
See you guys again tomorrow for another timely blog post!
This image will go up on the Periscope Tumblr as of January 3rd but I thought I might preview it here to whet your appetites. As a studio we have decide to pick a subject every few weeks or so and each draw a version of it to post. In Celebration of Studio member Paul Tobin's work on Spider Girl for Marvel we elected her to be the inaugural subject of our drawings!
Steve Lieber suggested that I do a piece that was more 'design' than 'narrative' so I used her hair in a fashion that mimics the flowing locks of Medusa as a graphic solution (if not being literally part of the character.) let me know what you think when it goes live! Check out the tumblr and the works of Paul Tobin and I'll see you on Saturday.
So I, much like Micheal J Fox, enjoy a diet beverage from time to time.
Ben believes that these diet beverages will someday kill me and would like me to stop drinking them. While I'm not entirely convinced of this I decided I was willing to make a deal. You see I feel that while Ben's hobo beard is unlikely to kill him anytime soon that it will greatly effect his quality of life because it is, in fact, a hobo beard.
Exhibit A... Ben's Beard
Exhibit B... A Hobo
So for the next 30 days I will avoid drinking any diet (and most likely non-diet) soft drinks, colas, pops, sodas or whatever you call them in your part of the country/world. In exchange, at the end of this time, Ben will completely shave his face with the options to keep his sideburns and/or his eyebrows.
It's no secret that one of my great heroes is Carl Sagan. In a minor tribute I've chosen to depict him on the side of my helmet; the thing that protects my mind each day on my way to my favorite place.
Even though he died 14 years ago he has become a mentor to me and I can think of no better sigil to accompany me each day It was he who introduced me most formally to the virtues and beauty inherent in a scientific world view. I think of him as a contributing architect in the ongoing construction of my mind. His concepts have filled my imagination with wonders and tools that inform my perspective like a polished lens.
Tune in on Thursday for more art and words- there are sure to be some of both!
I do enjoy video games from time to time. There have been times where I am less than enthusiastic about the effect that video games have on our culture as a whole but that is a different post. For now I'll share what I do like:
Of the games I love F-Zero is one that holds a special place in my heart. I liked it when I played it on SNES and I like the GX game for Gamecube. I like racing games already but what resonated with me was something about the clean, circuit board-like futuristic landscapes and the idea that the culture within the game held racing in such high esteem. My favorite character is Octoman and his vehicle the 'deep claw.' I also enjoyed the classic characters so I made this bit of fan art:
I hope you find this evocative of your own video game nostalgia. I have a few more images planed but I'd also like to hear what sorts of drawings the rest of you would like to see here on the meleeblog. See you all again on Tuesday!
I've mentioned it before but it's difficult for a writer to show the new exciting things he's been working on because I'm not an artist and if I did show you all the things I've been working on I'd give away huge chunks of story about White Pony. Just that there are some HUGE things coming up that could fundamentally change the way you look at White Pony.
Having said that since I don't have sketches to show you I'll share a bit about my personal life. I have a body built for comfort and leisure. I have a very comfortable couch and it and I are very familiar with each other. However I've decided that I'd prefer not to eventually die of diabetes so I've joined a gym for the first time in my adult life.
So far I'm only working on the treadmill and while I want to look like this...
I'm pretty sure that I look like this...
Luckily my gym has a movie theater in it where they show bootlegged films that you can watch as you work out. Between yesterday and today's workout I managed to catch all of Marley and Me
I am in the midst of working on a painting project that will consume most of my weekend (if not all of it.) In lieu of some fan art I wanted to post this time around, I've opted to give you a sneak peek at the piece I did for the "Monsters and Dames" book that is often published for Emerald City Comic Con. I'm not certain that it will get in. If it does then you can purchase it (in book form) in order to have Nathan and I sign it at the Convention. If it isn't included then I might make prints of it to include with whatever printed edition that Nathan and I land on.
Apparently other people who submitted have posted their images already so I might as well. Without further adieu:
Loranna's outfit was given approval by Lindsey as more supportive than her previous garment. She has that pendant now and, as such, technically, she designed this. If you take issue with the lack of modesty you can take it up with Her!
I keep meaning to do certain pieces of fan art: Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson (Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke) is one that I can check off the list! These two are the definitive manifestation of the master sleuth and his stalwart companion in my opinion. I like Richard Burke too but EH just seems more in keeping with Watson as a good friend; he is a less combative fellow:
I enjoyed the new movie and I'm not a purist so I'm willing to check out this modern era show I've been hearing about too. I'll always have a soft spot for the incredible charm, accuracy and earnestness of the Granada series. I hope you enjoy my loving tribute to one of my favorite characters personified so perfectly by a masterful actor.
I just watched "The Boscombe Valley Mystery" as I was finishing up my drawing!
I am a huge Paul Gilbert fan (as anyone who has spent any significant amount of time around me can attest.) I have been wanting to do some PG fan art for a while and I thought, while I was at it, why not give a shout out to Scott C's greatshowdowns.com. Paul has a song called Paul Vs. Godzilla (off of his Silence Followed By A deafening Roar album) that seemed like a perfect context to riff on Scott Campbell's ingenious trope of famous antagonists.
Here it is:
For the full experience play this tune as you visually wade retina-deep in to my musical and artistic triple homage to a great cartoonist, a shredding titan and the king of all monsters.
First of all, thanks to my dear friend Bobby Bracelin for keeping me honest. He's an amazing artist in his own right and he prompted me to post today! I didn't forget I swear.
I am working out a list of tribute art I want to do for this blog but for today I'll show you a sketch I did for the Grizzly Boar monster in the most recent White Pony. Nathan came up with that name and I just tried to imagine what Claire Wendling would've drawn if she had been tasked in a similar way. The Libra Golem is also on the same page:
Today Lindsey and I went out to breakfast- a rare event for us and I did a drawing of her in my other sketchbook:
I don't think it flatters her appropriately because she is a real fox but I'm going to do lots of drawings of her in that particular sketch book so there will be other chances to fix this discrepancy between her beauty and my limited skills!
One last Thing: My friend Rich Ellis and I played HERO QUEST today.
I got that game when I was 10 and I think it's been about 18 years since I played it last and it was a fun little visit to my joy of 20 years ago.
I recommend it highly. There is a lot of joy in fighting orcs, goblins and ghouls on your table top without all the books and crazy rules; just exploration and straightforward brawling! Yes I am 30 years old and I am a nerd- I imagine you are too on some level if you found this blog and are predisposed to reading this!
Join me once again on Monday for more tales of jolly-geekdom and art making.
I promised my girlfriend Lindsey that I will post every other day during the Month of December. Since I love her and I want her to think of me as a trustworthy fellow I'm going to do my damnedest to live up to that pledge. It would also be pretty cool if I could beat out last year's total number of postings.
I've been working with Nathan on some improvements to our website. Some of this experience is a trail and error scenario. Sometimes I end up making things that I can't use and I'll post one of those things here for you to see:
These were intended as a marquee for the top of the site and some icon images. It all ended up looking pretty crappy when the detail was reduced to make it load appropriately so I am altering my plans. We're going to try something more simplistic in design and color it digitally to contrast it with the hand drawn quality of the comic.
Here's another process image:
These are the pencils for the monsters and Dames piece I submitted for the upcoming Seattle Comic Con. Nathan and I will be in attendance and hopefully the finished image that resulted from this image will be in a hardbound book that you can bring over and have me sign when you visit our table!
There you have it. Post number one for December. See you all again on Saturday!
I have been occupied overly with my industry projects as of late. However, with some difficulty, I've been able to fit in a few commissions. I was recently approached to do a piece that featured 3 female characters occupying the same space without knowing if any of them were favored by the client and or what kind of composition they wanted. The way I start a job like this is to draw out around 10 thumbnail images to get something down on paper. I like to do more depending on what sort of image has been requested of me. You can see the whole process below:
I wanted to post this Before November was over.
Know that I haven't forgotten about the blog. I've just been so busy that, between my professional and personal commitments, I've had to let some things lay fallow. Unfortunately this has been one of them but I'm going to make a vow to post once a week at minimum during December. My holiday gift (to the ten of you that read this blog) will be more posts!
October has been a busy month for me. Full of things that I can't show. I can tell you about it though:
I did an 8 page story for Darkhorse in about 3 days. I didn't want it to be that way but other projects got in the way. Among those projects were; an insert for an H.P. Lovecraft film festival sponsored by Darkhorse, a series of illustrations for Zakk Wylde, an , Avengers cover for the hero initiative, a piece for the ECCC Monsters and Dames book (that will hopefully be included in the printed edition for the con), paintings for the revamping of the Melee website, multiple commercial storyboard jobs, and trying my damnedest to update White Pony 2 times a week.
It was exhausting but I'm free for a bit minus a few little commissions and my own work. Nathan and I have both been a bit sloppy with our updates of the blog and of the strip but it's not out of a lack of love. We are busy guys and that is good news for us professionally but bad news (on occasion) for our beloved pet project. On that front though readers can look forward to an improved website with evocative graphics, more content and cool links now that my professional obligations have gone from full boil to quiet simmer.
Anyhow, I have a little free time now thus, as promised, this Colossus image that is available at the Periscope Etsy Store:
I just got some great news that will keep me super busy for the next few weeks and I'll post on that as soon as it becomes polite. In the mean time I'm working on White Pony, a project for a famous guitarist, a few books and a hero initiative cover. It's been a whirlwind.
Before all of this started ramping up my friend Becky asked me to do a drawing for her store BIKEASAURUS and I enjoy both bikes and Dinosaurs so I made this image for her:
I plan to do a color version of this when I have a bit of free time so be on the lookout for that image posted here in a few months. Her store is open now and full of cool bike-related gifts and local items sure to please anyone. If you're in Portland you should pay her a visit!
Here is a sketch of Sloar I did and I don't remember why. I think I just wanted to see what he would look like with his mouth open or I was trying to practice his horns.
I'll put up My colossus as soon as he is complete. I didn't forget.
I keep intending to post and getting busy with either this Big Job we are doing at Periscope, an exploded car or my own comics. I'm posting this as my Sketch of the week and I'm going to follow up with a few more to make up for lost time!
This drawing is of my Lovely Lindsey at a Pizza Place in San Francisco.
If you read our COMICS then you will know that we introduced a character called Jaggard a long time ago. We are showing his armor for the first time in our Latest post and this presented a problem because, as of yesterday, I didn't know what it was going to look like.
I wanted it to be iconic, not visually similar to Darth Vader or Sauron etc etc... yet evoke menace like they do, and make sense as a suit that someone could potentially manufacture and wear. I did a couple of doodles that you can see and I pretty much settled on the design that looked the smoothest (texturally.) I wanted his armor to be white and reflect like porcelain. This half of the post was mostly for the 'fans' or 'readers' (as I prefer to call them) of White Pony.
What I wanted to show was this little sketch from my anniversary with Lindsey.
We went out to breakfast and I started a drawing of the cafe while she was in the bathroom. The girl with the bug eyes glasses had a vocal affectation like Mira Sorvino in "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion." Her whole aesthetic seemed contrived like she was going to a 'I'm a Portland hipster' costume party. I had to draw her because she was such a 'perfect' example of what contemporary style is like in PDX.
I would like to post some sketch or another once a week and I'm open to suggestions. My next image planned for the blog is a colossus!
Last weekend Lindsey, our friends Jacquie and Koze Martin and I attended a Portland phenomenon called "Sunday Parkways" where the city and other organizations host booths, events and blocked off the streets to make travel between the hot spots much more safe. It was hot to a point of excess that day (even for me in my usual love of all things warm) but I was excited enough by the sunshine and seeing my drawing put into practice that the walk to and from the park seemed shorter than it was.
It isn't often that I get to see something I've drawn used in this way let alone so large! I used to paint big at a large scale, and I might again someday, but for now this will do. I also enjoyed the fact that it is a quiz for kids and it encourages them to have fun by using their minds to explore the world.
My favorite comic out there right now is a series written by Jeff Parker called Agents Of Atlas. It has everything you could want in a comic book; frequent monsters, well placed jokes, genuine mystery, nods toward science, martial arts, mythology, adventure, emotional peaks and valleys and mostly spectacular art.
The team is comprised of a resurrected Kung-Fu fighting special agent, a ancient Greek goddess in the body of a super model, an ass kicking Atlantean queen with an unknown past, a psionic super-scientist spaceman (complete with his own saucer), a killer robot with a human soul comparable aesthetic to that of a 57' Chevy and a munitions expert/battle savant magically trapped in the body of a talking gorilla. All of them work alongside an ancient sage-dragon who serves as their Consigliere and presides over their army. Did I mention that they also have a hidden city beneath San Francisco and can use a dragon scale to travel through sub-space tunnels?
It doesn't get any better than that. The sad news is that people who buy comics don't always read comics or, in some cases, they may read them but have an agenda before they turn a single page: thus negating the radness within. This has resulted in less than stellar sales for my beloved AOA and their subsequent defeat by they only thing more powerful than their fabled abilities: the market.
I want to do my part and promote the book because it makes comics fun again, or more specifically, Jeff Parker makes comics fun again. Go to your local comics retailer and get all the Agents you can before the series ends. Tell your friends and remember a time when you could buy this great comic as it came out, before yet another middling wolverine title filled it's glorious shoes inadequately.