Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Software Roulette

Just messing around switching between Painter & Photoshop for a quick doodle:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Still Short on Time

I've got a few sketches I've been chipping away at, including this one:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Samurai Slap Chop

Busy week - just a quick doodle:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rockin' the Eye Patch Since 1965

I should be doing stuff for work tonight, but I'm burned out, so I drew a quick Nick Fury instead:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy

When I was checking the listings on TCM and saw this title, I knew I had to record it. Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy is a terrible 50's grade Z scifi movie from Mexico about a mad scientist who builds a "human robot" to fight an Aztec mummy so that he can steal the ancient treasure that the mummy guards. The robot and the mummy were a sad looking mish mash of cardboard and playdoh, but the actors in the movie were a lot of fun to watch.

The hero (I think he's doing the Mexican version of 'Blue Steel'):


His fidgety egghead sidekick (his giant glasses should have gotten the screen credit):


The mad scientist (he looks more jolly than mad):


His fidgety scarfaced henchman (a little moisturizer should take care of that):

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two Fists of Freedom

I started this over the long 4th of July weekend and finally had a chance to finish it up:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Big Loss for Cleveland

No, I'm not talking about some dumb basketball player - I'm talking about Harvey Pekar who passed away a few days ago.

Monday, July 12, 2010

He Blinded Me with Science

Friday was the birthday of Nikola Tesla - fellow Serb, inventor, super scientist, and possibly superhero, if you believe the comic books :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Call Me Ishmael...

I recorded the 1956 John Huston/Gregory Peck version of Moby Dick that was on TCM last week and watched it clandestinely since my wife hates the book and wasn't too interested in watching the movie. I don't remember much about the book from reading it in high school, so I'll respect her opinion, but I do like the movie.

Huston created a fantastic looking film with a limited budget as well as the limited effects technology of the day. He also put together a great cast. Although Peck got flack at the time for being too young and handsome to play Ahab, I thought he did a great job, especially in the finale when he faces the whale. Other actors may have played the part more broadly, but few could have brought more conviction to it. Friedrich von Ledebur, who played Queequeg, had an amazing face that, like Woody Strode's, looked like it was carved from marble. On top of all that, you had Orson Welles in the small part of Father Mapple, delivering a fiery sermon from a pulpit that looked like a ship's prow.

Now I'm going to have to re-read the book, dammit.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fragments

Fragments, a charity comic book anthology for humanitarian aid that I contributed to a while back, is out now. It's available for order here, through comiXpress.

The story I contributed was originally posted here.

Check it out if you're interested.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

El Borak

I just started reading a collection of some of Robert E.Howard's lesser known adventure stories, El Borak and Other Desert Adventure Tales. El Borak is the name the locals gave to the hero of the majority of the stories, Francis Xavier Gordon, a Texas gunslinger who finds himself in the wilds of Afghanistan.

So far, the stories are very good. I had always avoided Howard's 'lesser' works, assuming they weren't as good as the Conan or Solomon Kane stories, but his writing is actually very consistent in quality. I think a lot of his creations fell by the wayside since they were based on standard pulp tropes (explorers, sailors, boxers, cowboys, etc.) that are considered dated by today's standards, and not because they were poorly written.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pug

I've been busy lately, so not much to post. Here's something from my notebook for an idea that's been rolling around in my head:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another Empty Drawing Board

Al Williamson, another legend of comics illustration (and long time friend of Frank Frazetta) passed away this week. Although not a household name like Frazetta, Williamson was one of the monster talents of comics, carrying on the tradition of lush, elegant brushwork from the Golden Age of comic strips. Although Al was American, he spent his childhood in Columbia and his main link to American culture was the Flash Gordon strip drawn by Alex Raymond, who became Williamson's artistic compass.

In the 50's, he started his comics career as part of the legendary bullpen of artists at EC comics alongside Frazetta, Wally Wood, Roy Krenkel and the rest. When the comics industry imploded in the wake of the Wertham witch hunt he moved over to drawing comic strips and got to work on two of Alex Raymond's creations - first Rip Kirby, then his beloved Flash Gordon. As the market for adventure strips dried up in the 70's, he moved back into comics drawing memorable adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back and Bladerunner.

Eventually, he settled into inking, which he found to be less time consuming and gave him the chance to mentor up and coming artists. It wasn't until recently that he completely retired from working.

I highly recommend the recent Flesk Publications retrospective of Williamson's Flash Gordon work.


Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Just a quickie to recognize the holiday today:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mayday, Mayday!

Still messing around with the oil paints a bit. I used this old movie still as reference:


It looks like David Niven in some kind of war movie, but I'm not sure which one. Anyway, I wasn't going for an exact likeness, but more of an idealized kind of feel:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Still in a Frazetta Mood

I managed to squeeze in some time for a quick Frazetta tribute sketch:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Frank Frazetta Forever

Yesterday, Frank Frazetta, no doubt the greatest fantasy illustrator ever, passed away. He was 82 and had been in poor health for a while, so it wasn't a complete surprise, but there had been some very public infighting between his children over his estate recently, so I was glad to hear that he settled all of that before he passed.

I think it would be impossible to count the number of artists working today that were inspired by him to learn to draw and paint. I had the old Bantam paperback art books as a kid so I knew at an early age how high he had set the bar for the rest of us. Nobody had the imagination, confidence and ability to render raw power that Frazetta had - thunder and lightning came out of his brush.

I would like to have thanked him for setting me on the path of the artist - I hope I can find some of the freedom and fulfillment that it brought him.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Acrylic Fever

I'm still getting over the bad case of the flu I've had for the last week, but I did manage to get out for a bit this weekend and pick up some acrylic paints. Although I enjoy oils, I've been wanting to try acrylics, especially since they dry so much faster. I didn't have a lot of time or energy to do much with them, but I managed to get in a quick 20 minute sketch just using black almost like ink wash. I can't wait until I have the time to do some full blown painting with them.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

One More Quest

I felt bad leaving Dr. Venture -er, I mean - Dr. Quest out of that last sketch, so here's a quickie to make up for it:


Again, just marker and blue pencil on newsprint in about 45 minutes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Been a While...

Sorry about that.

It's been a busy month and the free time I've had has mostly been spent writing my western, doing a little painting and not much drawing. I'm trying to change that though, so here's a little Jonny Quest action to get things rolling:


I drew it on newsprint and spent about 1 1/2 hours on it. Nothing great, but better than nothing :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

POW! Right in the Kisser

I was messing around with some oil sketching on 9x12 canvas paper over the weekend - this took about 2 hours total:


Here's the photo I used as reference:


The proportions are all out of whack, but I had fun keeping it loose and simple.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I was in the mood to do a little speed painting and since I had recently seen the trailer for the new book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (yes, books have trailers now) I threw this together:

 

I haven't had a chance to read this book or any of the others in this style (Pride & Prejuduce & Zombies, Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, etc.) but they look kind of fun.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Who Dat Ninja?

Things have been busy, but I'm still working on the writing side of my western story and I'm still trying to knock out some pages based on some odds & ends bits of writing I have lying around in the mean time.

I'm working on another 2 page story that came about after reading a post on Digital Webbing that was looking for short stories for an anthology book. All of the stories had to have something to do with ninjas. I thought it would be fun to do something a little more historically based than the usual fantasy based ninja stories. I never heard anything from the guys putting the book together beyond the initial contact, so I shelved the story until now.

Being such a short story, it's pretty straight forward so I wanted to have some fun with the visual style. I love Kurosawa's samurai films and have always admired the sumi brush drawing style of traditional Japanese art so I'm trying to combine the two styles. I'm hoping it'll be a little looser, more expressive and moodier that my usual stuff. We'll see. Here's the first panel:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Projekt Ultima-tely Shelved

Still turning out some pages based on old stuff I have lying around while I do some more writing. This page is based on some old thumbnails for a story I started dreaming up about 15 years ago. It was going to be called Projekt Ultima and was a story about a team of Allied agents racing against the Nazi's to find the lost city of Atlantis. I knew even less about writing then than I do now (which still isn't much), so it was shaping up into something bigger than I could handle and I eventually gave up on it. I still feel like I have too much mental clutter from it to ever go back to it, but maybe that'll change someday.

This page wasn't actually from the story, it was something I drew up before I had the Atlantis angle worked in and is more straight sci-fi. Here's the original thumbnail:

 

Here's the page I came up with based in it:


I made several attempts at coloring it and couldn't come up with anything I liked, so I just went with a sepia tone look that kind of matches the idea of this page being based on notes from an old file.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The 'other' Avengers

One of the old radio shows I listen to sometimes when I'm working is The Avengers. Even though radio dramas had pretty much run their course by the late '60s, BBC Radio was still churning them out for the South African market, where they were apparently still popular. That's where these Avengers shows are from. Anyway, here's a quick John Steed/Emma Peel:

Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Doodles from my Desk

Some more miscellany:

 

  

In case you were wondering - yes, that is Samurai from the Superfriends.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Conan on the Prowl

Just a quick Conan to zazz up your weekend:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Keepin' the Ball Rollin'


I took some time over the holidays to go over what I had done on my western comic, both in terms of story and art, and decided to do some major overhauling on the whole thing. That means it'll be a while before I have any pages to post, but since I don't want to lose the habit of turning out pages I'm going through my notebooks and looking for anything I can work up into short pieces.

This first one is an idea I had about 14 years ago when my wife and I were living in a small town in southeast Ohio - not much to set up, just a quick little two pager: