Friday, July 9, 2010

Mini Comic Cover

This is a WIP for the cover of the mini I am taking to San Diego. "Giant Ditch". I am really hoping I make that deadline. 10 days to finish the book...uh oh.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5th Update

My scanner is down so I haven't posted anything in a while, but I have been hard at work to meet my Comic Con International deadline. Here are some pics of my cluttered drawing table:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The New Conan

looks god awful.

A preview of my next piece for the Covered blog.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Comics Criticisms

It's a rainy day and I spent the better part of the morning on the couch reading comics. What is it about rainy days and comics that go so well together?
Since my scanner decided to pull a Cobain on me a few weeks ago, it's made it impossible to post new art on here. I have also been reading more comics lately, so I have decided to devote some time and energy into giving some reviews of some of the comics I have recently acquired. Not all of them are new, but they were all new to me.

First up is Young Lions by Blaise Larmee.
I had been aware of Blaise's work for a while, thanks mostly to his blog presence. I knew he had been making zines and minis for awhile and that his first "graphic novella" (his description)had wont the Xeric Grant. I had been eager to read Young Lions based solely on word-of-mouth.
The first thing to grab me is the style of art used. Very loose, sketchy and raw un-inked pencils that do not attempt to hide erase marks on smudges, it is immediately jarring, but as equally captivating.
Now, the use of un-inked pencils is nothing new...CF (who I am quite sure is an influence) has used primarily pencils-only, as have artists like Amanda Vähämäki. But it is the feel of immediacy in Larmee's art that is different. Looking more like the thumbnails a cartoonist would use than a finished product, it begins to feel, with reading, more like a deconstruction of the comics page. Peeling away at unnecessary embellishment to get to just the most important information one needs to make the page "work."
There is an elegance to his line work that makes the images sing. The gestures of each figure, they way they hold a cigarette in dainty hands on the sit child-like on the floor of a can see the artist at ease in the work.
There are a few complaints I have with the art, though. I am not sure if it is a choice by the artist or not, but often times the figures look like children. Short, shapeless limbs and tumescent heads...they remain ageless and unimportant. When they talk about art they seem more like children at play and less like the informed semi-adults that the dialogue would dictate. It would be interesting to go back and re-read the work to see if there might be a choice by the artist in this.
The story itself was engaging enough, and moved rather rapidly through it's 90 pages. I was never bored, and the characters have SOME sense of empathy. The subject matter itself I was not so involved with. Like Adrian Tomine before him Larmee has chosen to create the kind of characters that he wants to cultivate in his this instance that would apparently be blowhard trust-fund art-babies. I hope this is a product of his age and that he eventually grows out of this affectation, because there is definitely great things in this artist's future. Even despite it's pretentious leanings, this is still an impressive "debut" from a promising talent.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Piece for COVERED

The Original:

My version:

This is my first attempt for the Covered blog. I did 80% of the coloring by hand, with Prismacolors and watercolors. The parts that are done in Photoshop don't look right to me, but oh well.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More "Stinckers" ideas

I am still working on concepts for some Stinckers, and as I stated before one of the ideas I had was to do old school wrestlers. Well, here's one of my old favorites, Abdullah The Butcher!!!

Not for the kids!

A Fan Art thing for Johnny Ryan.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some "Stinckers" ideas

These are a few ideas I have for a line of Stinckers. I am not 100% sure yet, so some feedback would be nice. I am also toying with an idea to do portraits of old wrestlers like Abdullah The Butcher and Dick Murdoch. Here's a few of the ones I have already done though:

Stinckers by Mats!, Steve Weissman and others are available at GR2 in Los Angeles, Giant Robot SF, and Giant Robot NY. Check 'em out!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sketchbook Comics

It took me a long time to commit to regularly using a sketchbook. I had a tendency to start a sketchbook, and then abandon it after a few weeks, to have it tucked away in a corner, forgotten. I would then be enticed to buy a new sketchbook (I love buying new art supplies, and seeing as I managed an art store for 4 years, this was a problem.) and draw in it, just to repeat the whole process once again. I have a closet filled with half-drawn in and unfinished sketchbooks.
But I have learned that sketchbooks can be fertile playgrounds for some of the better ideas I have had, and even to try new things. I know, “duh”, right?
I am now going to try to take full advantage of my sketchbooks, and maybe post some of the better examples here. Test the waters, so-to-speak.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Meet Drippy...his very existence guarantees a slow, terrible death!
This was originally going to be a sticker, but I opted to change directions. Also, Steve Weissman had a ice cream cone sticker, soooo.
It's ok though, my wife is going to use him for some stationary.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Wow, I have a lot on my plate right now...a lot of work-for-hire, some submissions for various publications, and of course all the other comics and projects that were already on my plate...My wife's brothers were in town for the last 3 days, so I didn't work on much, and now I have to bust my hump to get things back on track. I should have some new stuff posted by this weekend, including part 1 of my story Tracey Malaise.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Misc. Drawings

A pin-up for a comic called "Handsome". I have a tendency to just draw the ugliest people I can, John-Merrick-level ugly. I have been doing this as far back as I can remember, and my sketchbooks are a testament to this fact. I guess it was all those old Mad magazines and Basil Wolverton drawings.

I wanted to draw Marvel Comic's Thor as if he was a big Nordic Black Metal lunkhead. Also, the Loki head behind him looks more like a sinister elbow tumor.

Submission for "Smoke Signals"

This is one of the one-page submissions that I am working on for the Brooklyn free all-comics paper "Smoke Signals"...if you like great comics by talented artists, FOR FREE, then you can get your copies at
Obviously, this needs to still be lettered, and cleaned up, but I thought I would give you a sneak peak!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I love my local library...besides carrying a wonderful selection of Criterion Collection films, they have an excellent choice of comics, and have even stocked (is that the right word?) a few comics I DON'T already own. One of those said books was Tim Lane's "Abandoned Cars." I had seen the cover for the book well before, and I had been intrigued by it's beautifully drawn and evocative image, but somehow had not gotten around to reading. Then, a few months ago, I saw that the library had it. I was immediately as equally impressesed with the work inside.
I hate comparing one artist to another, but my first impression was a work that was like the lovechild of Charles Burn and Llyod Llewellyn-era Dan Clowes. Needless to say, it left an impression.
I had been waiting to see more of Mr. Lane's work, when I head that Hotwire #3 would finally have some new work of his. For anybody not already aware of his work, please check out his blog site and immerse yourself. You are welcome.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Some Musings...

Lately, I have had the gnawing urge of ambition to once again think about trying my hand at doing an anthology of cool comics by people that are producing first class work but who may not be that well known. I seriously consider doing this once every few months...there was a time that I knew a ton of talented cartoonists & artists that weren't professionally published and I thought how great it would be to do a big, impressive anthology, on the (ideally) same level as Kramer's Ergot or The Ganzfeld series.
The problem is: I have lost touch with a lot of those previously stated cartoonists, or they gave up comics to focus on their band or film career...things of that nature. I know there are tons of talented cartoonists out, I guess, i just have to find them.

On a different note, I noticed that some of the last few things I have posted have had computer lettering. Generally, I letter by hand, but in those instances I chose to letter in Photoshop because of the nature of the pieces. Looking at them though, reaffirms my dislike of computer lettering.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Funny, Ha Ha.

More Monsters!!!

I thought I would stay on the same topic and post another monster drawing, this time it's "The Rough House Ghoul", another T-shirt to hopefully be printed this summer. The colors were done by hand with Prismacolors and colored pencils, but the colors will most likely be simplified in time for printing. I usually like to work this way, coloring by hand at first, as I like the more organic feel. I am not, by any means, an expert at coloring with in Photoshop, so I like to keep the colors a little flat and subdued when it comes to computer coloring.

Back Aches and Sore Fingers...

Productivity is at an all time high, and working on various projects keeps everything from getting stale.
On the comic front, I am still working on HOT FOG, and FEROCIOUS #1 as well as the short story 'Tracey Malaise', which will be available in it's entirety on this very blog. I should have sequential pages posted very soon.
On top of the comics, I am working on an original line of T-shirts called ROUGH HOUSE, and some other in-the-works artist collabs.
Combine that with some art-for-hire work and I am the busiest I have been in a long time (and yet, somehow still finding the time to squeeze in watching some horror movies and 80s action-junk.)
Also, I decided to post an older ilustration I did for a Halloween Party that my wife and I did a few years back, sort of a way of showcasing a different style than I have been using of late. This was directly inspired by old EC comics art, and the image itself is the classic "monster carries beautiful damsel through the swamp" bit...some people asked if the foul creature represented myself, and the beautiful scared woman my wife. Hmmmm...maybe.

There is a roughness to the drawing, and some anatomical issues, as well as a certain "stiffness", but these probably arose due to the fact that there was no under-drawing at all, nor sketches, just straight ink-on-board...I wanted to capture a certain dated quality, and a charming naiveté that the older comics had. (Well, not EC though...they had some of the most talented artists of any company, ever. ) I don't think I nailed it, but I still like the effect I got.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Peak Inside

I was taking some pictures of our new apartment, and thought I would share a little slice of my art space:

You Can Wear This!

A t-shirt design I hope will be available by this summer:

Monday, February 22, 2010

All The Time In The World

Well, a lot has happened since my last post, the most important of which: I was laid off of work! Now, while there are aspects of this fact that aren't so great (I am lookin' at you, empty wallet!) the one major life change I care most about: I am drawing like crazy! I now have all day to devote to art, which will hopefully be bearing some delicous fruit very soon. For right now, here's a peak as to what is on my drawing board (Literally!)