Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Helloooo, Nur... BANG!

Christopher Nolan did my namesake proud when he and Heath Ledger reworked Joker in Dark Knight. The character is disturbing but extraordinarily compelling and really makes the comic version look half-assed. Finished coloring this while my new iPod Touch that my lady gave me for Christmas (yay!) synced up. This is also the fourth spot illu that I'm using a new coloring technique with and I'm loving it. More layer organization than application really. Makes a difference to me and is much easier and more forgiving.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Grudge

Been needing to draw something non-kid-friendly and silly. This character is just something I had in a sketchbook. Her original name was Blunt Force Trauma, hence her "bft" tattoo. It doesn't mean what most people will assume. It never went anywhere for obvious, cliched reasons. However, my own normal taste in stories and characters being so serious and with everything that's been going on lately I needed something kinda dumb to draw. So I revisited the character. The character's name is now Grudge. You hire her to kick the ever living poop out of that person who cut you off in traffic, the coworker who can't seem to do their job, the teenagers who think the world owes them something and has a problem listening, parents who don't parent, drivers who don't use turn signals, someone paying for groceries with food stamps but wearing Italian imports costing more than what you make in a year, and the like. You know, pretty much anyone you have a grudge against. It doesn't matter how petty the grudge, she'll take the job. The boxing wraps were kinda nostalgic for me and made me miss kickboxing with Val Mayerik and WK friends. The luchadora mask totally ridiculous but just what the character needed. What the character lacks in patience she makes up for in bust. Real low brow but fun stuff as you can see.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Holidays

These holidays have been tough and I feel like I need a vacation from my "vacation". It all began with the death of my cat Taxi. He was a daily purr in my face and friend for many years, including the dark times in Portland. He is dearly missed.

But this past weekend we also lost Chas, my future father-in-law. He had a great deal to do with making me feel welcome when I first got to know my lady's family. His laugh was infectious and we both were gamers and could easily chat. Every time I'd go to Birmingham he'd always be warm and kind. I came to think of him as a friend and I miss him. His official obituary is here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

'Tis Over!

That was the most hectic quarter yet. Five courses with two TAs is a bit much and who is crazy enough to do it again next quarter? Me! But we did have many successes this past Fall including two very big events: 24-Hour and the Publishers' Forum which may lead to even more of our students finding professional work! Get this, 12% of our current SEQA students are working professionally on some level. 12%! That's unheard of! Speaking of work, I've two really exciting jobs coming up I'll post more about when production begins.

But now I'm technically on "holiday break" until January but that won't last. I'm reworking or building six courses and doing some personal work for family. With luck I'll be able to focus on 8th Day a little. After discovering M-theory, and how it goes beyond string theory, the story is going back to its roots. You see, I could never find a vehicle to make the original concept work so I had to change it but I never felt it was as powerful or as surreal-science-fiction as I wanted. M-theory changes that because it gives me an ideal vehicle from which to work from and now can tell the story I always wanted without compromising it. Exciting!!!

And with that I leave you with my entry to the last Temple of Cartoon Mojo sketch challenge for Fall quarter: John Constantine from Hellblazer. It's one of my all-time favorite books but it's mainly due to the main character's personality and how he handles himself in situations rather than the situations themselves.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Still Busy

Yup. Batman. Old sketch now inked and colored.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Yoda

With the new Clone Wars tv show starting up, I decided to draw Yoda. In my opinion, his tragedy in the overall story in Star Wars is just barely behind that of Anakin Skywalker's. He makes me sad but in a good way. Even the best of us aren't perfect. This is him near his sickly end on Dagobah.



And now I get to look forward to the live-action tv show coming out next year!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Gearing Up for the Publishers' Forum

Fall quarter is usually pretty damn busy but, wow, there's alot going on. One of those things is the Publishers' Forum which I put together a poster for. The five people at the bottom are my coworkers and myself. They're a great set of guys. I seem to always luck out with kick ass coworkers! (Love to PDX!) The poster contains a silly gag on the five of us to make the work a little more fun. Threw in a nod to the Temple of Cartoon Mojo at the bottom too. I'm actually rather excited about the event myself. And while I may have to sugarcoat elsewhere, I don't have to on my own blog so you know I really mean it!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ah, Coloring

My lady seems to have settled in well and we've begun making a permanent home together. We do need more room but we're making due rather well. She's a wonderful cook and, for the first time since I was in high school, have been sitting down to eat dinner on a nightly basis! Life is good!

I've been reading a couple of Syd Field books: Screenplay and The Screenwriter's Workbook. 8th Day needs out of my damn head (so does Heritage for that matter) and the books have been really helpful so far creating a solid subject and story out of the idea. It's daunting but the books really help alot.

Still reading up two Michio Kaku books: Physics of the Impossible and Hyperspace. Generally, it's research for sci-fi stories like 8th Day but they're also utterly fascinating.

Done some coloring work recently. Jumper finally came out on DVD a month ago and was much better than I anticipated! Anyway, Oni Press needed some last minute help so I colored the last four pages of the comic book that is featured on the Special Edition DVD in a single night. (Four pages in eight hours. Rushed as hell but not bad! Flats and everything.) On the DVD the pages are turned into an animatic so these are just the flattened files. Since the previous twenty pages or so we're already colored I had to build brushes, create a palette, and apply color the exact same way as those pages so it would read as a coherent whole. If I've done my job right you won't notice any jump while watching the animated comic on the DVD. However, I did take some artistic liberties with the last page. Here they are:



I've become sort of a "Help, we need it tomorrow!" filler colorist in comics over the past six months. Helped Oni on the Jumper DVD, Dark Horse on a Fear Agent back cover, and now Moonstone Books with a The Phantom annual cover. Penciled and inked by Pat Quinn (who needs to build an online presence like gangbusters, ya hear!) who I worked with back in my "Writers' Bloc" days. Good ol' times! Anyway, check for this issue coming out this September.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hulk

I was hitting a creative wall at HEROES while working at the SCAD booth. The character designs I was trying to tweak just weren't working for me. So, I drew the Hulk. To me he's so powerful he's practically a force of nature and, I believe, a gentle soul inside that pissed off exterior. Hence, squirrels find safety on his shoulder. Kinda silly but I liked it. Finally got around to coloring him.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Incredible HULK

So there's a Movie Tavern in Tucker now. (Kinda like a McMenamins theater for those of you in the NW.) I tried a burger and it was pretty decent. The screen was nice and big and seats were quite comfy with loads of legroom under the tables. Figured I'd try it out while seeing "The Incredible HULK". It was pretty good! No "Iron Man" but very good. Thankfully, it wasn't an origins story but they did re-do the origins from the previous HULK film in flashback sequences. It does continue where the previous one left off, the previous one just didn't happen the same way. It's still not exactly the classic origins but no more stupid nano-bot crap is involved; pure gamma radiation as it should be! It was actually nice to also see a super villain equal to a super hero in a movie again too. Lue Ferrigno does his guest appearance (Stan Lee has a nice one this time) but Lue also did the voice to the HULK which was really well done. I like the fact this is a talking HULK. No long lines but he speaks from time to time. Lots of little tips-of-the-hat to the television series and all well done. Overall, if you like comics I'd recommend seeing it. It's got some great Bourne Identity inspired scenes at the beginning, hints to Captain America (yay!), we see the creation of another HULK super villain (can't remember the big brain's name), the fight scenes are well done, and plot stays on target. The ending with Tony Stark was really cool too. Avengers movie here we come!

This is the second week I've been on "vacation" and I've been moving my lady in with me for most of that time. New kitchen appliances, plumbers, seven trips to Goodwill as we merge our things, upgraded my storage unit and made six trips (not counting the two redundant ones I made yesterday), lots of reorganizing, more efficient furniture purchases, veternary visits, a nephew staying with us as he goes to camp during the day, and cleaning cleaning cleaning. Going to the movies made it actually feel like a vacation finally.

Next week I'll have to focus on prepping for summer courses and my workshop for HEROES Convention next weekend. I hope I have fun and it's not a drag having to deal with people again. I've enjoyed being a hermit and working alone for all this time on home projects and renovations without politics, egos, or policies getting in my way.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"The Damned"

It's sketch challenge time from The Temple of Cartoon Mojo yet again! I decided to draw Alphonse Aligheri, one of the crime lords in the book "The Damned". I read it over a year ago but with the recent challenge theme I re-read it. It's an amazing book! And I believe it's been optioned for a movie. Let's hope Keanu Reeves isn't in it and they do the book justice!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"8th Day" in my head

A new beginning for "8th Day". This summer I'm going to pump out the entire story. It's changed ALOT in the past few years with all the changes I've gone through. It's finally ready to be developed completely.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Happy Star Wars Day!

If you didn't know, it's "International Star Wars Day" today. May the 4th Be With You!

And if you've not seen Iron-Man, GO NOW! 5/4 Stars... and that's not a typo.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Spider Jerusalem

Now that my lovely fiancée and I are planning to move in together, I've had a need to put my comics in storage. This has made me sad but a nice compromise has been to get the collected TPBs (trade paperbacks) of my favorite series which look much nicer on a shelf. That's important when you're living with a librarian! So, I've begun doing just that and one of the books I've begun to recollect has been "Transmetropolitan". God, how I've missed this book. It was a finite series and ended, perfectly I might add, in 2002. Between it and "Preacher", another finite Vertigo title which is now slated for an HBO miniseries, I lived in monthly glee with every issue. Nothing has been able to replace these titles in my heart. So, with the Temple of Cartoon Mojo sketch challenge of the week in mind, I bring you the character that made "Transmet" shine: the one, and thankfully, only, Spider Jerusalem! If you can't tell from the drawing, he's a journalist doing what journalists do best.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Jedi Master Qui-Gon Shawn

I've posted about this before. Every Friday the entire Sequential Art department (or as many as possible) get together for something we've come to call The Temple of Cartoon Mojo! Every Friday Shawn Crystal and I determine a sketch challenge theme. Last week was "Jedi" so, of course, I had to do it. This is my tribute not only to the Temple group but to Shawn himself; the man, the legend, the SEQA-ATL department work horse. Behold, in all his sandal wearing, Guess-jeans-belt-buckle, art-supply-whoring glory: Jedi Master Qui-Gon Shawn! The Force is strong with this one.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Proposal Pin-up

Since I'm sitting here waiting for a PSD to save (they sometimes get as big as 2GB to accommodate client requirements) I thought I'd post up the pin-up I did of my lovely lady. She said it was ok.

She has mentioned to me many times she likes old pin-up artwork and wanted to be one. That's why I chose this as a gift. The book she is reading in the pin-up contains lyrics from Rufus Wainwright's, one of her favorite singers, "The Origin of Love." Very appropriate! She's sitting on a block of words telling you to read between the lines. Her hand is showing off the top of her stockings and between the lines in the stockings I wrote "Will you marry me?" I had built a font from my own handwriting a few years ago so I used it. She's wearing some of her own jewelry she designed too. The entire thing is drawn in Adobe Illustrator. I printed it on my new Epson 1400 (the real reason I bought it) and had it framed at Binders. When I picked it up, Jay, one of the owners, congratulated me which brought a rush of women to see what the drawing was. There were four or five women swooning over how romantic the idea was. One even wanted me on the local news. Though every friend I had shown it to said it was great, hearing that from random women who weren't biased put the last of my fears that a pin-up wasn't appropriate to rest. My lady loved it! Loves it!


And now with the getting back to an all-nighter for Nike. Thank goodness my lady understands the freelance artist lifestyle!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

She said "yes"!

My parents must be going nuts with happiness. Last weekend my middle brother got married. This weekend I asked my girlfriend to marry me. She said "yes"! There is no date. There is no nothing decided about a wedding yet. We're going to take our time and do things on our own schedule. I'll see if she'll let me post the illustration I did for her as part of my proposal. She's absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to begin the rest of my life with her!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Nike: League of Champions released

Found out today which of the Nike illustrations I've done have been released so now I can show some of what I've done in the past year! It's all under the "League of Champions" campaign but as it grew and expanded the format and audience also shifted. You can find all of this in my Portfolio > Illustration section.

The first round was targeting little kids (around 4-8 years old) and featured Paul Pierce and LT. (Lebron had one too but it was killed during production.) This job was originally Stan Lee's (yes, that Stan Lee) but he wanted too much money and the campaign wasn't developed enough for what he had planned. Lucky for me a Creative Director at Wieden+Kennedy, where I worked at the time, knew the designers at Nike working on the campaign and they offered it to me. I jumped on it! Originally, it had a sort of "Space Jam" thing going on with aliens. Here are those original comic pages used as box art, posters, and point-of-purchase (POP).



We also created a piece of box art for generic shoes (not tied to an athlete) so that the campaign could still envelope other products and sports.


When the kids went nuts over those pages it was decided to "up-age" the illustrations a bit targeting young teens this time around. The "Space Jam" idea was killed and the storyline was put on the back burner to be developed later. It was also decided to make them illustrations rather than comic pages, dubbed "Battle Cells". So far Robinho's, Pierce's first, and Kobe's have been released. Kobe's was by far the most difficult requiring over twenty different, seemingly random, elements to be incorporated into its layout.



I've just picked up two more Nike illustration jobs for Lebron James. They sound fun and I hope to be able to share them with everyone before year's end!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

And now my studio is compleeeete.

Been needing this for awhile. It's not the super fancy one I dreamt about but since I'm not doing proofs on a daily basis anymore this little Epson1400 is all I truly need. Bonus, it's not a bank breaker. I just ran two test prints of Nike illustration work I did in the past year and they came out absolutely gorgeous! My home studio is pretty much now complete.



It was a luck buy, really. I had called Fry's Electronics, who are usually awesome, to see if they had one in stock. They had two, including the display. I don't buy displays with printers so I went over with my lovely lady to pick up their last, unopened box. (As I was waiting for them to pull it from the storeroom someone else bought the display.) When they came to me saying the unopened box hadn't been sold because it had been partially crushed I was ticked. We left and roamed around for a bit since we're not often over in that part of town when my lady spotted a Jo Ann Fabrics. We stopped and she did some fabric shopping. (She's a crafty cutie, to be sure!) On a whim I walked over to the Staples next door... to discover they had three Epson1400s in stock with a $50 rebate! I've never seen them stocked in any office supply store before! Crazy lucky! It was a better deal by far than what I would have paid at Fry's so it turned out for the best. I had some serious good shopping karma that night.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The 8th Day: Adam

The maquette I built is from a rather old design of this character, Adam, for the sake of learning how to make one and having it to show in class. This image below is his final design.

I've been looking at military dress from WWI to modern for inspiration. The older stuff is sturdy looking and, obviously, classic but completely impractical. Since this is a hard sci-fi concept I wanted his outfit to have a more practical and ergonomic design that would come from centuries more of development. However, this character doesn't have access to technologies in the story so it also needed to be completely tech-less. Modern military DBUs helped a lot; specifically Marine and Special Forces designs. Eventually, this'll be used in a pitch. I've another concept illustration for The 8th Day I want to complete to further whet my desire to complete this story. Depending on how the flats for color go I may also re-purpose this for my Heroes Con workshop on "Comic Coloring from a Retouching POV". Let this be the beginning of the end!


Also been picking up on where I left off on researching theoretical propulsion technologies and the actual science behind terraforming. Fascinating stuff!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Break, Gaijin, and Tornado

Winter quarter is done! And right on time Shawn took me over to the new Giajin Studio space for their house-warming party. I've never been one for socializing but wanted to get to know the guys a bit more. They were really nice last time I met them and all but one are PC-lovers. How can I not have a soft spot for that? Shawn wanted to nail down a time for intern interviews too. Gaijin wants interns. Our students want internships. We're super close. It's the perfect situation.

The first time I met the studio I talked Stelfreeze's ears off since we had both had similar experiences with advertising and illustration jobs. This time I wanted to pop around and just briefly meet everyone without being a pain. Cully's drawing board is an old, wooden model just like my own. Very cool! Never seen another like it before last night. But I was drawn to one office: Karl Story's. It's decked out very similarly to my own home studio and so immediately felt at home. He was finishing up a page and allowed me to watch his Photoshop technique in channels. His wife was super nice too and their kid a cute Star Wars fan. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's one thing to meet an amazing artist. It's another to meet an amazing artist that is also a really nice person. I left very tired but happy to meet some great people last night.

My plans were to go home and crash watching tv; a luxury. That didn't quite work out. I was still wide awake when my lady called to ask if I were ok. I hadn't realized a tornado had hit downtown Atlanta! I had been mesmerized by the History Channel's new show "Battlefield 360". So I turned to CNN and local stations and watched the reports until 3am. It had been raining really hard and lightning etched the skies like a lava lamp at high speed but I hadn't been concerned about a tornado. There were no news warnings, no emergency broadcast, no sirens, no nothing. Apparently it was a "rogue cell". So any family or long distance friends reading this, I'm fine. It'll be awhile before downtown Atlanta is ok though. Glad I got all my paperwork completed before this happened or I'd be forced to go downtown to finish it up today.

Today begins my Spring "Break". I'll be working on a couple personal projects and prepping for Spring courses. It'll be the first quarter I don't have to teach a foundations class! Wonderful!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sketch Challenges at the Temple

I help Shawn Crystal run the Temple of Cartoon Mojo for the SCAD-ATL SEQA Department and every week we have a sketch challenge. When I've time I try to do it myself and since this week's topic is Abe Sapien I couldn't refuse. This is Abe reminiscing about his human life long gone and about to be rudely interrupted. 60-minute sketch. Need to practice that more.


Monday, March 3, 2008

SNAP!

After six years of use my frames finally died over the weekend. Superglue, epoxy, boat anchor glue, plumber's putty, etc. hasn't worked kept them together more than a few hours at a time. (I know it's cliched and dorky but I have to be able to see!) They've snapped twice just tonight so I've broken out the old frames from seven years and one prescription ago. It's the perfect recipe for a chronic headache.

R.I.P.


The new pair I ordered Saturday won't be ready until mid-next week at the earliest. I have to get heavy duty 1.74 material so they aren't as thick as coke bottles, which is no exaggeration, but it takes forever to manufacture them. I'm hoping I like my new frames but have mixed feelings about them. This all sounds very lame but after twenty-five years of wearing glasses they are an important part of my self-identity and matter a great, great deal to me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Maquette Complete

All in all it took me about 26 hours to make this guy. It's the first time I ever created a maquette so while I am not happy with the results I do understand it's pretty good for a novice. The character is from a personal concept I continue to develop on and off. He lives on the frozen tundra so I wanted him to look worn, rusted, and freakin' cold.



Monday, February 11, 2008

Perspective

Time for a personal note on astrophysics and astronomy cuz I'm a geek like that.

Found a science thread worth reading called Space: Final Frontier! I actually like it more than io9.com because it's current news but, sadly, it doesn't update as often. I've added RSS feeds in the right sidebar to both.

"Sunshine" was never released domestically (in the US) but I'm hoping it's because American audiences are too pop-culture driven and not that the movie sucks as bad as I fear. I added it to my Netflix so we'll see. (UPDATE - Wow. That movie was horrible. Scientifically inaccurate, characters and personalities are consistent for a dysfunctional family not a team of elite scientists and astronauts, and somehow it turns into a horror slaughter-fest. Lame. Avoid this movie. It's crap. The type of crap that makes me hate Hollywood.)

Peter F. Hamilton's "The Dreaming Void" comes out March 25th! If you've not read "The Night's Dawn" trilogy you're missing out on over 5,000 pages of pure brilliance.

Alastair Reynold's "The Prefect" comes out April 10th in paperback and "Galactic North" is out now! His "Revelation Space" novels are mind blowing.

NASA posts a new picture each day here. RSS feed now available on the sidebar!

And if you've never been to the Hubble Site Gallery you are missing out. I want to cover my arms to look like the cosmos with the Drake Equation on my left but couldn't quite figure out what I wanted on my right. Then I found this animated GIF below. I think a scale chart would be ideal. It shows perspective on how small we really are. Nothing man ever does will change, alter, effect, or even temporarily dimple the universe. God, I love this stuff.



Finally, check out this awesome shot my little brother took while driving through central Florida. Lucky bastard got to see it live!



I've been inspired to do a comic short on gravity. Sounds dry, right? Then you aren't thinking hard enough. Stay posted.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Iron-Man

If I've ever drawn Iron-Man before I don't remember doing it. He's grown on me a little here and there (strangely, I liked him in "Civil War") so when I decided to make him the weekly sketch challenge for The Temple of Cartoon Mojo I figured what the hell, I'd do a sketch with the students and post it along with their's sometime this weekend to show support.



It was also a really great way to test out my new mechanical pencil! For some reason I've always gripped my utensils like I'm trying to throttle the life out of them. Well, in order to prevent my fingers from cramping I put padded grips on everything I draw with. This pencil comes with one built-in and it's soooo comfortable for me to hold and use! And what's especially nice about it? Shawn bought it for me from JetPens.com! You can't beat a good friend. He's got a free lunch coming his way.



And now time to get back to work. No one can't tell me I dunno how to have fun on Friday nights.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

More Russians

Another round of Russians for Riswold. Sounds like a kids' charity... but it's sooo not.



Friday, February 1, 2008

SILENCE

Here's my final submission for the 2008 SCAD Sequential Art Anthology. More than likely it's too "space" to be selected as the official cover but I loved working on it! If they do select it there's lots of room for copy on the back cover though I would hope they'd ask me to add it myself since I'd need to create an FPO so the stars don't interfere with legibility.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Anthology Cover Submission

Earlier this week I found out that the SEQA 2008 Anthology didn't have a cover yet! It's kind of late in the game but since the deadline is still open myself and a few students are submitting cover designs. Mine is über simple because, well, my plate is currently too full and I can't spend a hell of alot of time on it. So my goal was to make simple elegant and beautiful. These are just the inks. I didn't even bother penciling it. Tomorrow I'll get the color done and throw it into InDesign and design the title and copy. I've a feeling SCAD Printing is going to wonder where the hell I came from once they see my files. They were rather surprised I asked for bleed and spine dimensions to begin with! Those things matter! Anyway, here it is.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Temple of Cartoon Mojo

This quarter teaching has been as extremely gratifying as it's been busy. Fantastic students. Fun classes. It's the best! Just this week Shawn Crystal and I announced the spankin' new department blog "The Temple of Cartoon Mojo"! Student blogs, student work, upcoming events, spotlights, and sketch challenges for the SCAD ATL Sequential Art department can be found there. Check it out if you get a chance. This is only the beginning!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2001

Seems like I've been going 100mph since the year began but there's no slowing down! So I allowed myself to sketch something not work related tonight as a little break. Dave Bowman imposed on a monolith from 2001. The coolest thing? My scanner is humming and breathing just like the Discovery-1 as I write this.

Friday, January 18, 2008

More for Riswold

I get to show you at least one of the projects I've been working on! Finally!

It's for, in case he's reading this, the ever-gay Jim Riswold. (And people don't think I know what professionalism is!) We're starting on round four but so far we've made a few dictators and some Russian leaders. I'm not sure exactly what Riswold plans for all of these but it'll be crazy I can assure you! Check his website out!

These are my favorites so far and will be in the Comps section of my portfolio once I post my upcoming major update.


 
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