Friday, December 26, 2008

Sick!

I'm pretty good about not getting sick. Usually, I might catch a cold about once a winter and since we've started taking regular vitamins it's been even less then that. If I start to feel bad, I'll start taking Zinc tablets and that usually knocks it out.

About 2 weeks ago I started feeling bad. I was really tired and had a pain in my lower abdomen. I thought it was just lack of sleep, but finally a few thursdays ago I gave in and called in sick. I figured a day of sleep would fix me up.

But the next day I got up and felt worse. So I went to the doctor and he looked me over but couldn't really find anything. So he gave me something for my stomach and told me to call him if I didn't feel better on Monday.

Over the weekend I developed a fever that shot up to 103.8! So I called my doctor and he decided I had an infection and to come in Monday unless I felt better.

So Monday I went in and he pushed around until he found the exact spot where I hurt and he decided I had some sort of infection. So he put me on antibiotics and told me to come in last tuesday.

It seems this infection is a particularly nasty one and he's worried it'll come back. So he put me on another round of antibiotics.

However, Weds at work I noticed I had the sniffles!

Now I have a full blown cold, except I cannot take vitamin-C or Zinc tablets because of the antibiotics!

So, it's the day after Christmas, I'm off work, the weather is awesome and i feel like crap!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What I'm thankful for...

A few years ago at my in-laws during Thanksgiving, before we could dive head first into the turkey, my brother in law (it was at his house) went around and had all the men say what they were thankful for.

I hate that crap!

Don't get me wrong, everyday I thank God for the multitude of blessings I enjoy everyday. And I think that's what bugs me about having to list what I'm thankful for. How do I narrow that down to a mere list uttered while all the relatives' stomaches are growling?

I try and embrace everyday for what it brings, to enjoy every thing that comes my way. Bad things happen, but I know I've got it good!

Case in point:

Recently I was at Wizard World Texas. Now, normally cons can be really stressful, trying to get samples done, facing rejection, standing in line, that sort of thing.

But WWT didn't have any publishers there so I didn't really bother. Instead, I took my sketchbook and just enjoyed drawing.

Early one morning I was sitting in the lobby drawing, drinking coffe, with my walkman on. As I sat there, Jump blasting in my ears, two ladies walked up and sat down. One lady was upset and the other was talking to her.

I had no idea what they were talking about, Van Halen made sure of that, but it was obvious something 'bad' was going on.

As I sat there drawing, I began to think about my life. While I wish I had a better job, I really don't have a worry in the world. This lady next to me is upset about something, so upset she's crying in front of a stranger in a hotel lobby. And I'm sitting there drawing Batman fighting a horde of zombies, without a care in the world.

Maybe it's my simplistic outlook or maybe it's my lowered expectations, but I consider myself very blessed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What I'm listening to.

VAN HALEN!!

I spend most of my time at work drawing on my computer with itunes cranked up and my headphones on. I have a theory that '80s heavy metal is getting ready to come back big.

I don't know if my subconcious was tapped into the zeigiest of the emerging wave or maybe I'm just crazy, but today's audio flavor of the day was Van Halen's 1984!

1984 was the last salvo from the fire-breathing band that was the True-Van Halen. For those of you who may be too young to realize what this means, this was the last Van Halen outting with 'Diamond' David Lee Roth.

Nowadays, the Roth attitude seems a little worn thin, but at the time he was the coolest thing around. His hyper-manic delivery and Devil-may-care antics were the kind of thing every jr high boy wished they could pull off. And his machine gun delivery was the closed thing to rap this white boy had heard at the time.

And we loved it!

(My buddy DL Nelson told me he thought Sarah Palin should be in a Van Halen video. She could whip off her glasses and start dancing on the desks. If only, it might have turned the election!)



Too be honest, 1984 is really a pretty thin album. This was in the days of vinyl and it wasn't uncommon for an album to only have 8 - 10 songs on it. And really the best songs are Jump, Panama and Hot for Teacher.

(When David Lee Roth released his first solo album it only had 6 songs on it, because he said, 'Most albums only have a couple of good songs and the rest is filler. I just cut out the filler." Or something like that.

Early on in this post I mentioned I think early Heavy Metal is poised for a comeback. One reason: For awhile I had "Jump" as my ringtone. Everytime those opening chords would fire off, somebody would point at me and holler VAN HALEN!

Not exactly court admissable evidence, but I think the times are changing!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More sketches.







Here's a few more sketches from my sketchbook. I pulled something in my back so I've been spending more time on the couch instead of at my drawing table.
I read one time George Perez had back problems and had a board he held in his lap while he drew on his couch.
My back problems are very minor and I'm already better, but the freedome to work away from a dafting table would be really cool.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chicken and Cheese

My friends Mario & Mike's animated video. Some profanity, but pretty funny, especially if you know the guys.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

More inking practice



Since I am planning on inking my new project I decided I need to get a little more inking practice in.




This weekend I didn't feel good so I spent most of the weekend drawing in my sketchbook instead of drawing pages at my desk.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Chicago!



I made a quick trip to Chicago last weekend. Michelle was on a business trip where she had to fly into Detroit and drive around to do Energy Star Certification tests. I noticed she had a free day on Sunday and it was going to be in Chicago.


Some calls were made and a plan was conceived. I would fly into Chicago on Friday, hung out with Michelle for a few days and we'd fly out together on Tuesday.
It was blast! We saw Frank Lloyd Wright's home & studio, The Magnificent Mile, Wrigley field, The Museum of Science & Industry, the Millieum Park, a few comic shops and lots of bookstores.
By far thought, the best part of the trip was seeing our friends Kevin and Melanie and their kids Burke and Bailey.
I've known Kevin since grade school (his son told me 'now I know why my Dad is so weird!')
Burke also told me the other day he asked his Dad how long ago they invented elevators. Kevin told him three years ago.
I told him that's wrong, it was actually four!
Kev & Mel moved several years ago and ever since then D.L. Nelson and I have been looking for the "New Kevin".
(We nominated CB Cebulski, but he lives too far away and he's too popular to hang with us. But if he ever moves to Oklahoma City he may get the position. Unless somebody blackballs him.)
The low point was when we all had to leave and Bailey cried ("I don't want Miss Michelle to leave.) putting into words what we all felt.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Inking Practice






This week was kinda slow at work. Since I work with our Princeton plant I pretty much have to sit at my desk watching for e-mails from them. I really can't do too much for another department because my work it typically a rush. So it tends to be wait, wait, rush, wait , wait, etc.






This can be kind of nerve wrecking, but it's impossible to try and predicit any kind of pattern. So I've decided to try and keep busy and make the best of it.


This week I decided to work on my inking. This spring, I bought a Pentel tradio pen at the Kinkoniya bookstore.


I had read online that Chris Bachalo draws with these in his sketchbook and swears by them, so when I saw them, I figured why not.
I hadn't really used it much since, so I broke it out for these.
(Yeah, i know the dude floating is a ripe of Ghost in the Shell!)
I really like the pen. you have to grip it kinda high on the barrel because the nib wraps around, but that isn't too big of a deal. Pentel calls this a Fountain pen, but it's a lot mot flexiable then that. With practice I can imagine you could get a really nice line outta this pen.
I 100% recommend this pen. It's chaep , portable and seems reasonably durable.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Famous Artists School Exercise


Recently I bought the 3 book set of the Famous Artist School books off of EBay. This is the old (mine is 1960)correspondence school with the ads that have you draw the parrot and send it in.


I've worked on some of the projects in my sketchbook, but this is the first one I've really sat down and spent several days working on the lesson.

The lesson was on drawing textures and patterns. The assignment was to duplicate a photo with an emphasis on the textures and patterns.
I wanted to take my time on this lesson because I feel this is one (of many) areas where my skills are lacking.
My goal with these lessons is to deconstruct my drawing skills, to go back to square on. I am, for the time being, forgetting about comics and focusing solely on my drawing skills.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Syrobots!



I saw this today on the wired blog and I thought Oh Holy Cow, I should not have seen this!



This is a robot made of those Styrofoam wedges in the sides of the box when you buy something electronic nowadays.


The Wired blog was this first one, which the writer and his son made.




This is so cool! I could waste serious amounts of time doing this. Before I strated drawing every spare minute this was the kind of thing I would do.


Well, maybe not this cool. But just obsessive projects.



The original inspiration for the father/Son project was this:


Seriouly, how sick is that?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Congratulations D. L. Nelson!

D. L. Nelson is the first holder of the coveted 'Paul', the travelling trophy for RISK: The game of world conquest.

In a bold move, D. L. eliminated his last opponets in one sweep down North America, through South America, up Africa and finally decimating Europe to become the current Ruler of the World.


Keep watching here to see who will next hold "The Paul".
















































My Birthday!






This weekened was my birthday and while my family party is next weekend, I still had a lot of fun.






To start with, on Friday Michelle & I went to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. There is a travelling exhibit of Roman art from the Louve. My only problem with the museum is I've been fortunate to travel around some and been to some really good museaums and ours isn't quite there yet.






(However, if you ever visit Oklahoma City, I HIGHLY recommend you check out the Western Heritage Museum, one of the nicest collections of western art anywhere.)




Then we went down to the tunnels under downtown Okc. Now called The Underground, this was The Concourse when I was a kid during the '80s. There used to be a lot of shops, but the late '80s oil bust kinda caused them to fall into disuse.




I visted the concourse 2 years ago when I had jury duty downtown, but was fairly unimpressed, but I did see potential.




Not they have done some renovation and I think they may be trying to re-vitalize The Concourse.


Which would be cool because every city needs a series of underground tunnels under it, because where else would the trolls live?


Finally, on Saturday my ebay purchase of the Famous Artist Course books came in. I had flipped through a set of these a few years ago at SDCC, but they were $200-$300 and that might as well have been a million dollars.



I had totally forgotten how cool these are. I am planning on taking some time and working through them. I think I will learn a lot from them.
Finally, on Saturday night some guys came over for a game of RISK, the game of world conquest, but I think that gets it's own post!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Octopus


WHEN I was a kid, I had this very vivid dream about going into this large old house. Inside, the house was done up like some kind of aquarium, like a house Captain Nemo would live in.


(If you've been to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, the house felt kind of like the room with the big whale.)


The dream ended when the floor opened up and I slid into a large pool of water with some big fish in it.


When I drew this, I was thinking about that dream and the vibe I got from that house.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Batman


In the same sketchbook I found my Confederacy of Dunces drawing I found this drawing of Batman.
I was trying something a little different, using more of the side of the pencil.
Not sure if I'd like to draw everything this way, but I still like this drawing.
And after all, isn't the point of a sketchbook the freedom to experiment?
maybe if I did more of these...

Confederacy of Dunces




I was looking through an old sketch book and found this drawing I did about 8 months ago.



It's the main characters in "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole.



Dunces is one of may favorite books ever, I even have the audiobook on my cellphone.



If you've never read the book, it the story of Ingantius Rielly, who is a pompus slacker who is engaged in writing and indictment of this century, on big chief tablets, no less.



What really makes the book enjoyable is the juxatosition of Ingantius' pompus attitude and his complete inepitutde and general inability to complete the easist tasks.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Iron Man



A quick drawing of Iron Man. A co-worker told me he thought the best art i've ever done was my 24 hour comic I did 2 years ago.

Holy Cow, what about all the work I've done since then?

Anyway, his point, I think, was he thought my work was better when it was loose and an easy way to draw loose is to draw fast.

Sounds good, except that can be really tricky. Where's the line between loose and sloopy?

Anyway, we were slow at work today so i drew this trying to work fast and stay loose. It was done with a H leadholder, but I had to darken the scan so it looks like I drew it with a ballpoint.

(If you look close, you can see where i spilt coffee on my scratchpad! You can also see it on the Batman drawing!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Curse of the Bug Ashcan


Well, the San Diego Comic-con is less then 2 weeks away and I'm working like crazy to get my ashcan done. I wasn't well prepared for the NYCC and I don't want to do that again.


I don't have my pages done yet, but I did just do the cover. Obviously it is a homage to the Spider-man cover, I'm hoping people dig it and don't think "oh geeze this guy's ripping Kirby.." It should be obvious, but like my buddy Mario says, people are always looking for a way to hate you!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Grand Central Terminal

Created in Illustrator CS2, with colors in Photoshop CS2. Another project just to keep up my skills.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Bug!


Main caracter for a comic I am writing and drawing for the San Diego Comcicon. I am envisoning the bug as sort of a cross between Spider-Man and Batman. Visually, I was inspired by a show we saw in NYC at the MoMA called Design and the Elastic Mind. It featured industral concept designs based on some pretty far out technologies with 3d design and nanotechnology.

My thought was, if in the '60s, a kid could whip up a spider suit, what could somebody whip up today? I wanted something that reflected 3d cad systems, manmade materials and rapid prototyping, rather then just a screen printed t-shirt.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nash Metropolitian

1959 Nash Metropolitian

Drawn in Adobe Illustrator CS2

"It's been a while since I've drawn anything like this in Illustrator, so I drew this during a lull at work today. I figure it'll sharpen up some of my vector drawing skills plus give me a nice piece for my portfolio."

"The bad thing about drawing stuff like this is in the past editors have focused on my commercial art instead of my comic work!"

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New York City

THIS POST IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION!
Michelle and I got back from NYC last Wednesday and I'm settling back into my routine. So it's time for me to attempt a blog about the trip.

I'm not sure where to start talking about a 8 day trip to one of the largest cities in the world and a trip to the second biggest comic convention in North America. (I'm going to the largest in 4 months.)

So I guess I'll go in order.

Wednesday:

Normally when we go on vacation, we leave really early. This time we flew out at a more reasonable 9 a.m. That was pretty cool 'cuz I actually had time for coffee before heading out to the airport.

One thing we did that was a little different this time was we flew into Long Island. We flew Southwest Airlines and that's the closest they come to NYC. The bad part was we had to take a train into NYC. However this was actually cheaper then taking a cab in from Laguardia or Kennedy. And the airport at Islip is pretty small, so leaving was no hassle.


The last time we went to NYC we stayed at a Comfort Inn on 71st, just west of Central Park. We like this place because it's affordable, close to a subway stop and in a nice neighborhood. Plus we had a fridge in our room!



When we got checked into our hotel, we rested up and went out for a late-ish supper. People in NYC eat later and we always fall into that routine.

Last time, I paid for that. We ate a late supper at a Japanese restaurant and I got the shrimp tampoura. It was really good, but I was thinking 'Man, this looks kinda greasy.'

That night, about 3 a.m. I woke up with crazy heart-burn. Nothing like waking up in a strange city with weird chest pains.

I resolved that would not happen to me this trip!

We walked to a nearby Italian restaurant. I got the gnocchies. I love gnocchies! It's kind of a potato dumpling and my Grandma Ronnie used to make them all the time. It's not the kind of thing you find in your average Olive Garden!

After the meal, I went to the bathroom. One tip: If you visit NYC, use clean restrooms when you find them. Sometimes its hard to find a public restroom and sometimes you wished you hadn't!

The bathroom was in the basement of the restaurant. For some reason, this is fairly common in NYC. What isn't common is the bathroom had a stained glass window in it.




I'm happy to report no ill effects from the late meal.

Thursday:
This was our big walking day. We ended up walking 19 miles this day!
We started off by riding the subway down to the Greenwich Village. We wandered around, walking through Chinatown and Little Italy.
Then Michelle tells me, "I want to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!"
"What? Are you crazy? Can you do that?"
Michelle had read about it in the guide book. And so after a little searching we found the path on and we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.

San Diego submission

Here's my submission for the San Diego Comicon souviner book.

However, I don't think this will be in the book. It seems when I went to e-mail the file to them their e-mail box was not working. I tried to call them, but their voicemail was " over it's limit."

I don't want to slag on the SDCC people, but this seems to be how the entire con is ran. They have the largest con in the United States, but the consistently get things wrong.

Everytime I go I am told to go in a different door and about half the time the pros are told to wait until everyone else gets in.

I had sworn off the SDCC, but I am giving them one last shot.

And so far, it's not going too good!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

NYCC pages



Here's the first 3 pages of my sample for the NYCC

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gang of Trolls

My latest entry in the Sketchbook Smackdown is this: A Gang of Trolls. I drew this to defeat some 'Land mine Gnomes'.

I was insired by 'A Clockwork Orange', but resisted the bowlers and codpieces!

NYCC preview


This is a preview of the pages I am taking to the New York Comic Con.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Thing that Ate Tokyo!!


Me and a couple of artists at work are having what I am calling the sketchbook smackdown. How it works is this: the first guy draws a creature, hero or something. Then the next guy has to draw something that could beat the first 'thing'.
This was my latest entry. Normally these are not color (in fact some of the guys were pissed at me for 'raising the bar') but I 'saw' this thing in color in my head.
This was drawn fairly small and colored quick, with the whole thing taking me about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dave Stevens RIP






I just learned that Dave Stevens has passed away. Dave was most famous for creating The Rocketeer and his pin-up art.



I happened to be sitting next to Dave on the shuttle bus in San Deigo one night in '05. I didn't realize who he was, but finally I asked him. He was very nice and the next day I came by his table and we talked some more.



Very talented guy who died way too young!