Friday, December 31, 2010

Some Dialogue First

So piggybacking on the idea of drawing some comics pages for writers to dialogue, and a follow-up notion of writing dialogue first, here is some dialogue.

I'm giving no directions for character designs, setting etc. Purely dialogue enough to draw a page or two, if you like.

A few artists at PnP have picked up on this... you could too if you like the idea.




3_ I AM!












Thursday, December 30, 2010

Big Machine

I was in the habit for a while of posting short reviews and commentaries on books I've been reading but I haven't been reading much of late. Took me a month to get through this, not because its bad or hard, but just because I'm reading briefly at night before bed.

Good enough, imaginative, lots of symbolic stuff going on. I'm not sure if the author was entirely in control of his metaphors and symbols, or I'm just too dense to track them. Either way, enjoyable enough urban fantasy to read and be unconcerned about all that deeper jazz.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Grave Doug Freshley on Graphic.Ly

I am lifting this directly from my Partner Josh Hechinger's blog. DOUG is finally after years of waiting coming to life albeit for digital download, rather than as a print OGN. If it generates enough response and enthusiasm here, well, a hardcover book may come eventually.

The first three chapters of The Grave Doug Freshley, are finally (FINALLY) available for public consumption.

Here's step by step instructions on how to purchase this fine product:

Step 1: Download Adobe AIR from (you might only need to do this on Macs, but better safe than sorry)

Step 2: Go to

Step 3: Create an account (this is free) and download the desktop app for your opp orating system of choice (also free).

There's also a Google Chrome app and an iPhone/iPod Touch app.

Step 4: Once you're set up, click the icon on your desktop and sign in.

Step 5: Click the Comic Store tab up top.

Step 6: Click the Archaia Comics link in the sidebar.

Step 7: Click through the pages, and click The Grave Doug Freshley (should be page 2 or 3 as of writing)

Step 8: Buy each issue. They'll appear in your basket in the upper right.

Step 9: Pay however.

Step 10: The comics will automatically download. You can see them under the My Collection tab.

Chapter/Issue 01 is free, the other two are $1.99 a pop. All of them are 30 pages, not counting ads and such.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Spinning is Up!

Spinning to Infinity

And I lead off with the Spinning to Infinity strip I drew. More cool stuff to come by some very exciting artists. This is something to bookmark and come back to.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gertner _1

Artist Jason Copland presented a set of comics pages sans text for writers to assemble with dialogue into some coherent form. A nice challenge, and wonderful art. I have rearranged the sequence of the pages, although not everyone has done that.

I may have to draw and post some pages of my own and see what others come up with.


Gertner_ 7-11

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Still in Flux

Job is in flux. Looks like I'll be changing positions again at BN at the end of the year. Couldn't move the needle enough. But then I may not be there at all next year. Something is in the offing, and I'm hopeful of a sea change coming. But if it doesn't come, I'll be sorry to leave my current spot.

Art is in flux. Waiting on writers on four different projects, so I'm occupying myself trying some new art techniques. First I'm doing some drawings using ink wash... colored ink wash over smoothly rendered pencil. I want to move into painting and learned to do a slow patient ink wash technique a few years back in my Architectural Graphics class. This is in marked contrast to my usual slashing marks approach.

And I went out to buy some red, yellow and blue acrylics to mix into a rich black to try painting with it. I will be painting in black at first, because I just want to focus on handling the materials. I'll keep the size, subject matter, and color close to what I've been doing so I can just focus on the paint.

We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So Kinda Just Waiting

I find that I have a "free" day today. I've finished my class... finals last night and its just a matter of going in next week and picking up the results. but really, since I did not studying, I've been over for a week.

I'm kind of in that interim period where I've finished a long push with many things I wanted to be doing delayed. And now I'm free to start and I don't quite have the drive to pick something and dig in. I have lines in the water today about a number of different projects, and even the prospect of a new job.

Of course on these free days, i find that they get filled up with that which i had not intended. I got some reading done, and I've read very little these last few months. I took an unexpected trip to SF in the rain that failed to produce the desired result. I was going to go to a movie, and may yet go tonight.

I should go to the gym, but its raining and...

Maybe I'll just go to the table and draw.

Or sort through some drawers.

Monday, December 6, 2010

HM: Latest Character Sketches.

Ah. Here it is. Still getting feedback, and likely there will be some modifications, but we are making headway.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Head Mechanics Gets Rolling.

Maybe. Sort of...

At least after a bit of a stall, occasioned in part by me being tied up with school work, I think we have agreement on how Jack and Luna should look. Since my time is now opening up, I was able to draw more and once SH sent me back the earlier sketches that she liked, we got on the same page. Sometimes its best to actually see, rather then just talk about. I had thought it was a different preliminary version of Luna she liked, and have been way off base for jack right along.

Of course, all of his would have been easier if we could have sat down at the same table and drawn and talked, but London to San Francisco Bay is a bit too much. Patience will out.

I was going to post the image, but dang! Its on my other computer from when I scanned it in this morning and I forgot to Dropbox it. Tomorrow then.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Update

So I'm back, hopefully with more regular updates again as I've all but completed my class and must get onto new activities. Comics and other creative ventures should be among these, but also I need to sit down and get on top on new software and in some cases not such new software that I've acquired and will need if I am to progress. One of my rationales for not taking more classes in the spring is simply that the time and energy spent on these takes away from what I have to do to get on top of the software.

Comics are still out there as well. Still working to get head mechanics up and running. i haven't quite nailed the character design yet for Jack,but have more time and energy to put into it now. I've attached the most recent model sheet (from this morning)and sent a copy to SH. lets see what kind of response we get, hmmm?

Friday, November 19, 2010


I got the word today that I was not right for a project I'd done some pitch pages for. Not a problem. I don't take this kind of stuff personally and I appreciate the candor. And I've no shortage of other work to get to.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Still Alive

I haven't posted here for so long and may not again for a spell, but I'm still alive, finishing work and a final project I owe but dread doing so I'm just trundling through.

I've got some comics work to share, Head Mechanics is moving forward as well as other stuff. In a few weeks I'll be free, free and ready to start thinking again!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

L'ange de Bastogne completed

Sent final corrections to Russell today, to be forwarded to PJ, and he suggested i post a page or two of the finished work. being perverse, I've done something a bit different, and put together a mash-up of panels or portions of panels from each of the twelve pages... not necessarily in sequence.

Think of it as a chopped up movie teaser.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This and That

Well, this is looking like it will be a record low for me for posts in a month, but I have been busy and others have been busy on my behalf. Head Mechanics is still in process and I'll say no more about for now. L'ange de Bastogne is completed, and not a moment too soon. I dragged it out just a bit too long. Not that I was getting tired of it, but simply that I'm eager to get onto some other stuff. The art show at Pt Richmond is going up, but more on that in another post.And I've seen the dustjacket and interior layouts for The Grave Doug Freshley and it looks spectacular! See?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Inanna's Tears Interview

Inanna's Tears Interview with Chris Beckett

We did this a while back, but its still good and CB has kindly re-posted it on his blog. Inanna's Tears will get printed and you're going to love it when it does!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Spinning to Infinity preview

right here

The link takes you to a preview of Spinning to Infinity, a web comic I did the minotaur page for.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Head Mechanics_001

New character designs, which I like, but a crappy two panels. My hand lettering still sucks while the backgrounds are carefully drawn and utterly lifeless.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

L'ange page one added... or not.

Couldn't get it to pick up on the post below, so one more.


Hmm, still won't pick up. Maybe not today. Oh well, lets leave some surprises for you when you buy the comic.

In other news, I updated my website yesterday, so check it out at:

L'ange inked.

Well, halfway, and scanned in because RL was getting antsy to see it. Can't say I blame him. And it means a tedious job is half done as well. Check 'em out and compare to the penciled version below.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chico and Chica

I assume they'll get better names, and probably some changes to their look and the art style as well, but this was a first pass at a sample. One thing... I may do the grays in pencil. Or at least. some textures.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I might be on to something...

I have a lead to do a webcomic that could be fast easy and fun to draw. And I get paid. It might happen. Remember, you heard it here first and if it happens you'll hear it here again.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Get some work done!

A day off from work and the entire family gone I managed to hit my marks and get the basics done that i had to do today. Yay, for me. I should get more done, but I went and saw Resident Evil: Afterlife tonight in 3d instead.

Not a great movie, but I didn't expect it to m be. It was blurry though, low-rez like, 3D but not high resolution. Ufff, hard to see what the appeal is.

Afterwords i had a coffee and drove home, so I'm awake. I should get some more writing done.

I've an early get up tomorrow, so I should also get some sleep. Like the erest of today, I'll hit my marks and do something of everything.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Black Flies script on my doorstep

I got the first draft of an 8 page "sample" script from JH last night and it looks good. I had a few suggestions, but they were minor. I'll draw it when I finish L'ange de Bastogne.

L'ange pages 11,12 ruffs

So this gets pretty much everything into place. Now to go back over the next week and polish up the drawings. Off to the gym now.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

L'ange ruff 10

I should be able to finish the last two pages tomorrow. This one has some of the best acting I think... in a cartoonish mode. I couldn't quite get them kneeling on the ground in panel three, as the script called for, and much as I liked the idea, but the space was so small and that's a challenging pose. However, Sophie covering her face gets the point across... she's trying to escape the reality of what she's encountered and counting on Annaliese to carry some of the burden.

Of course that hope is quickly dashed.

Note that somewhere a long the way she has dropped her candlestick.

Friday, September 17, 2010

L'ange ruffs 5,7,8,9

Well, alright, I will go ahead and post what I've done... 3/4 finished with the roughs. I will need to go back and refine these, especially the backgrounds and shadows. I'm also getuing rid of that damned hat. pain in the butt tio draw, and here's a good scene for knocking it off. Gives me a nice gesture for him to do, slicking his hair back with his fingers... trying to look presentable.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finding the right reference

I should have the first six pages of "L'ange" roughed in today. And no I'm not going to post more of those... they don't look that great and my time is better spent, but... I did find a reference shot for the uniforms of the 101st ABN DIV that defended Bastogne.

I'm not super obsessive about details, and much will be obscured by shadows, but the right details, such as the angled breast pockets, and the white spade on the helmet etc can make a world of difference in suggested the reality of a place.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

L'ange pages 2,3,4 ruffs

Not a lot to say about these. A few hours work this morning roughing these pages in. Plenty more to be done before inking, but the basic shapes are there. Details and lighting to be added.

Monday, September 13, 2010

L'ange page 1 ruff

This page will require stark white and drop dead blacks and defined shades of gray.

L'ange page 6 ruff

I started with page six first, as the head shots are easy for me. No backgrounds yet, lots of room for polishing before I ink, but then again, I ink from pretty loose drawing. Pencils and pens make different kinds of marks, and i want to draw my comics with a pen, The pencils are just guidelines, not something to trace.

Not to say that inkers are tracers.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Just a minute...

I was thinking about the way my collaborations with my comics writer partners work out, and I think I push for more then they are usually willing to go for. I must have a rougher sense of humor than they do. Good group of guys.

Now I remember...

...why I usually draw straight through a story. It helps me to keep the details straight.
Today I finished laying in the figures for page 6 of "L'ange" and RL made a note that Sophie was still holding a candlestick. Had I started at the beginning, I would have remembered that, but jumping in at the middle.

Well, it was fun and no damage done to start with a page that felt easy. And now that I'm getting into it, its time to go back to page one and do something more challenging... the Battle of the Bulge.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

USV Simulium

Fire it up!

So I'm getting started with comics again, leaving too much other srtuff undone, but i seem to be spiraling down this path again.

Character designs and a drawing for the USV Simulium are completed and with JH who will finish out the pitch and is working on an eight page short for me to illustrate as part of the pitch.

And I've started drawing "L'ange de Bastogne." I'll be approaching the art of this a little differently. instead of just blasting through, pencils and inks from page to page, I'm hopping around pencilling whatever appeals to me first, as a way to ease into the project. I also plan to produce fairly finished pencil art before I ink, which is a changefrom my recent practice.

My hope is that I will produce more complex and finished art, without losing the loose energy I've worked hard to achieve.

Monday, September 6, 2010

How did this happen?

Too many projects all of a sudden... most of them comics related because I didn't say no to most of them. But class work as well, and while most of that is easy enough, this week I had an assignment I had to actually work at. Maybe I learned something in doing it though.

But means that things I planned to do over the summer have gotten delayed... the writing projects I had going on and the software learning, portfolio creation so I can get a better job stuff.

I need to get organized and disciplined again.

After I finish these upcoming projects.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

First Okita Review

can be found here

From In the Belly of the Whale_01

This is an excerpt from a thread at PnP about being at a cross-roads with comics. I haven't cross posted all of my thoughts from there to here, but it seemed that this one might be worthwhile as a stand alone.


I wonder how much of this, "what do I want from comics?" has to do with slamming your (meaning the collective our) heads against the direct market? Without going into all the issues surrounding the DM, it is a most curious place and not at all what it was 20+ years ago.

There is more variety available than ever before, yet the promise of making a living as an independent creator seems more closed off. The possibility of printing your own book and getting it out there to meet success seems a much longer shot then previously.

Digital offers the new ease of access: beginning with the web and now adding the various digital readers. Is the iPad and its successors become the most accessible path to publication? What are the barriers here?

Is this the best venue to produce a work that entertains but also is more and have it find its readership.


Maybe that's a key phrase here. Rather than talk about commercial vs artistic success, what we really want is to find our readership. Appreciation and (some measure) of commercial success will surely follow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Digital Okita

Okita and the Cat is now available at iTunes for your iPhone. This 48 pp graphic novella translates to the iPhone as 176 screen shots, a nice value for $1.99.

Written by Josh Hechinger, (Bear Beater Bunyan and The Grave Doug Freshley) and drawn by meself, Okita and the Cat tells of the final days of Souji Okita, the beau sabreur of the... Shinsengumi, who dies much too young of tuberculosis. Josh uses sly humor to take us through the frustrating final days of his era's most lethal swordsman, now too weak to kill a pesky cat.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Digital Comics Apps

Trying to figure this digital app thing for comics out.

I got an iTunes account. Looks like that may be worthless. But I don't have any kind of iDevice, nor even a smart phone and the comics apps I downloaded don't work on my computer, so...

I signed up with which my publisher Archaia seems to be going with... the two free comics I downloaded were garbage, but they were from Top Cow, so that's to be expected from my perspective. Not that I have any personal problem with Top Cow but I'm just not their target audience.

There's also Panelfly and Comixology to investigate. It would be good if I could get my hands on an app itself and figure out how to import comics to it. If an app is affordable, it seems like a pretty good way to self-publish.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1640 BC

When you get into bed with me, I put the moves on you. I was excited to start drawing SH's script set in ancient Crete, featuring minotaurs/bulls, satyrs and nymphs. I got right on it. But as I got about 2/3 through the inking I had grown dissatisfied. The results were okay, but just sort of okay.

It looked like this.

The problem is, that what I had in my mind was more like this.

Picasso. Hey, aim high, right? And Picasso's minotaurs so often have an anguish that seemed just right for this brief tale of a "man" whose anger triggers an impulsive and fatal act in which he must traduce the dead to hide his own guilt.

I thought that it might be cool to do a single illustration that would contain all of the required elements to tell the story, and then cut them up and collage them into place. I couldn't get it down to one drawing, but I did mange four. See?

And I used this reference pic SH sent me, setting the scene indoors rather then outside, because the visuals of the composition seemed to work better for me.

And what I came up with was this.

There is sometimes in Picasso's work a kind of frozen quality that I thought would work perfectly for this story. This is a highly compacted tale, a moment, and coming back to that moment over and over again by reusing the same art made sense to me.

The overall effect feels like one of Picasso's fractured compositions, wherein a single scene is viewed from differing perspectives. And it feels very much like cartoons to me.

So I didn't give SH quite what he was expecting, but then it wasn't what I was expecting when I started. But I like it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Big Gummint

I find it curious that people want government to be run like a business. Business is expected to run on naked self-interest. Is that what we want from government? Usually we complain when we see it.

We want government to balance income and outflow. But in business, if you want to spend more you try to earn more... sometimes even borrowing money to do this. Yet the people who cry loudest about government spending don't want it to bring in more money, just spend less.

Do they know how business works?

Monday, August 9, 2010

L'ange de Bastogne_05

I posted a bit of an e-mail I had written outlining a few ideas about one of the characters at a comics website where we have a thread running. My partner requested politely that I not do that with ideas that are under conception. Yet he had no objection to my posting the character drawings I had made. Those were every bit as speculative and intended to provoke ideas. Indeed, the vampire drawing has provoked more thought and ideas about what the vampire should be like then the few thoughts I had jotted down. Picture worth a 1000 words and all that. Seems a little unequal. Oh well.

Friday, August 6, 2010

L'ange de Bastogne_04

Also from last evening, I realized that I was making her kerchief too complex and simplified it. This is also a brush heavy drawing and I think I'd like to go more with a pen for this.

As in this second drawing of Sophie and her friend Annaliese.

L'ange de Bastogne_03

I worked on the vampire last night. This first image is a little too naturalistic for what I want.

But this second one nails it!