Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays if you hate Baby Jesus)

I fucking love Christmas time.  I don't know why.  I sit here and listen to the same Christmas songs over and over while I draw and have a smile of my face the whole time.  Love it!!!  I like the snow, I like the cold, I like the getting presents, I like the giving presents, I like the eating cookies... it's all good!!!  So, I hope everyone has a good holiday break and gets what they want.  
p.s.  I have an Amazon wish list, so there shouldn't be a problem with everybody getting me what I want...HINT MOTHER FUCKIN' HINT!!!!!
Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Whole New World

Again, I've been awol for a week or so from posting images but I have been working.  I was sick for a little over a week and I used that down time to finally start writing my first graphic novel.  I've been toying with the story for about a year, but I've actually put it together and started writing full on pages.  It seems that's the norm right, so why the fuck the self patting of my back.  Well, usually I spend ages putting together character ideas, story ideas, any ideas, and then just let it float away.  I think it's a fear of just starting the writing process.  Maybe I've been afraid I won't be good at it, or that it is something that requires some secret tools that I haven't been told about.  But, it really was just a mixture of fear and pure laziness.  

I'm a big believer in being honest with myself.  I was probably 10% scared, and 90% lazy.  Not lazy in the way of not liking to do work, but lazy in the way that I think there will always be time, you know, later on.  But I'm not getting younger and I don't want to be a person who spends my entire life trying to tell one story.  So, I have finally beaten both of those and now I'm 100% pushing full steam ahead on the script.

I have to let some of  you down in that I will not be telling you what the title is, what the book is about, or show you any artwork from the book until the last page is finished.  Again, I'm trying to keep myself from being the person who starts promoting a product that just doesn't exist.  I will not promote ideas.  Until it's finished, it's just idea.  At this point, there is not time table or release date.  It's done when it's done.  I will say, it is being worked on so it shouldn't be too far off in the future.

This is what I will tell you.  It is a GRAPHIC NOVEL.  It will not come out as issues.  I am only writing this one.  I will be working with another artist, and so far I fucking love the direction we're going with the art.  His name is Chris Carman  and the designs he's  given me so far are fantastic.  That's it, that's all you get.
Oh, and I am doing design work on my next Marvel project, so that should be announced soon.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Skate or Die

Today's post came from last nights Lead Poets Society drawing night.  We just did a free draw and I brought my brown paper with me.  It's a quick doodle really, but I'm pleased with it for what it is.  
This is really about a time I miss most in my life.  When I think about the past, I don't get sappy or wish I could go back...except when I think about my years of skating.  This really was the most fun time in my life.  We had a decent size crew, I would say anywhere from 5 to 20 guys on any given day.  And we skated,  If it was sunny and dry we were on the streets and if it was rainy we would go to I-Level (huge indoor skate park) or if it was to late for that, we would hit the parking garages.  Besides the indoor park, we had dirty ass, lowlife spots as well.  A club called Arkham that looked like some Mad Max shit with ramps that we built.  Another spot that a friends dad gave us.  A giant body shop on a closed Ford Dealership which we named SHUTDOWN.  It was like we never ran out of batteries and everyday would show new wounds of some sort.  Learning new tricks, watching your friends break limbs, getting that new board or wheels, FUCK!!!!  I loved that shit.  

We always sat around talking about how we'd all still be skating with each other when we were older, and getting gray, like we would be the ones to defy the odds and never stop skating.   To my knowledge, none on my crew remains.  A few have died, both from natural causes and some dumb ass drug shit.  A few are in prison for all types of stupid shit, and I swear, one is in there for killing a guy.  I wish it was shocking, but he was always bat shit crazy.  And the rest, like myself, just got older and moved on. (Though, I do still have a board that mocks me from it's home in the closest.)  Now it's been too long for me to be able to do anything but just role around, and maybe, just maybe, attempt some weak ass ollie.  Oh well, I'll always have the Tony Hawk games to make me feel like I still have it.  

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Fat Lady is Singing

Cable & Deadpool is coming to an end with issue 50.  This also marks the end of my longest cover run with 15 covers.  14 issues of covers and 1 variant with the Zombie cover.  Honestly, this has been one of the most important jobs that I've had in comics to date.  It was a chance for me to stretch out and experiment with all types of new ways to approach my art.  I've learned a ton from working on these pieces and tried some things I never thought I would.  So, it's a little sad for me to be done but I'm sure I'll find another book to do some covers on.
This last issue is pretty crazy and filled to the brim with a million characters and I think dinosaurs...what?  So I decided to just really keep the cover simple and have Deadpool go out shooting.  Not much else to say.  
Thanks for all the support on these covers!


Monday, November 12, 2007

The Beautiful People

So my return to regular posts after finishing New X-men has been met with a few hurdles. First I went on vacation for a week and then when I decided to get back to posting, I got called for jury duty. I went to the courthouse with full expectations of being back home in a few hours. But good old Cook County had other plans for me. I spent everyday last week serving on a jury in a civil trail. I am not a fan of getting up at 7a.m. and going downtown to sit in a court room all day listening to attorney's argue over crazy shit. But despite that, it was very interesting to be apart of the system. Whether the system is all fucked up is up to you, but it was a unique experience to say the least.

Todays warm up is one of my favorite Disney villains, Cruella De Ville. I think she is so sick, and maybe one of the most morbid Villains in the Disney animated archives. She wants to skin puppies and wear them...that's some sick shit.

It's been a few weeks since I've really drawn anything, so it's going to take me a few days to get back in the swing of things.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Everywhere A Zombie

For those of you who didn't know, I've been on vacation for the last 11 days. Casey I took a drive around a little of the country. We went to Colorado, New Mexico and Missouri, but also drove through Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Nebraska. So, We hit a fair amount states. We had a blast. But now I'm back home and it's time to get to work and post somethings.

First, we've got my Zombie Variant for Cable & Deadpool #46. For Halloween Marvel asked a bunch of us to do variants for our books. They also put this in a hardcover, Zombies cover book that should be out soon.

And second, we have a pumpkin that I carved. Well, I drew the pumpkin and I had a friends 14 year old son carve it. You know, to teach him something or another about life and stuff. And I couldn't be bothered to do things like carve a pumpkin. He did a good job and I think it came out looking great. I haven't carved a pumpkin since I was a kid so this was a fun night.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Love You, Beth Cooper

I Love You, Beth Cooper is the name of a book that someone put in list of book suggestions...and I thank you. What a fucking outstanding book! Really. It's been years since I've read book that made me laugh out loud through out the entire thing. It is truly funny. Not just cute, you know, something that makes you smile and say "that's clever." No, I really was laughing out loud.

It's smart, funny, and covers a time in life that we can all relate to. It reminded me of the classic John Hughes films of the 80's focusing on the odd ball characters in school. Larry Doyle is the author (this is his first novel) and had the added bonus for me being from the Chicago Suburbs. It had a midwest feel to it and I can relate to that.

I won't go into it that much because I don't want to ruin it. But for anyone that has read it, or will read it, I want to know if you think he will write another one. So, todays drawing is of Denis Cooverman, the stories main character. GO READ THIS BOOK NOW!

I'm also going to add a side bar to show what I'm reading right now if any of you would like to read along.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Seriously...the Jungle, I must be getting Canceled

Here is my latest cover to Cable & Deadpool. I believe he goes to the Savage Lands and hooks up with Ka-Zar. I wish I would have had a little more time, but my deadline for this and the tail end of Xmen were at the same time so things were a little tight. Overall, I enjoyed this one though. It has a creepy jungle feel, but also adds the light comedy that the book is known for.

Only one more C & D cover to go, as issue #50 is the last of the title. So, we'll see what I can come up with for the big send off. next month.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Thank You...and Good Night!

Ok, so the title of this post has nothing to do with drawing. The drawing was just a quick warm up today. But a warm up would mean that I was drawing some else after this piece...and I'M NOT!!!! Thats right, I finished with my run on New X-men.

I want to thank each and every person who bought the issues, gave reviews, talked on message boards, posted comments here, and anything else that was in support of my run on NXM. Really, you all made that one of the best experiences I have had in comics yet. I will miss the characters and the dedication that all the fans had to the book. So, thank you very much.

And the's just that. I has no real meaning or intention. I just pulled out the brush, white out pen, and a marker and did something random.


Monday, October 08, 2007

24 Hours of "What the F#ck Were We Thinking?"

This week marked the dawn of the 24 Hour Comic Podcast. Where a bunch of idiots entered a comic shop at 9a.m. on Sat, hit record at 10a.m. and didn't stop again until 10a.m. on Sun. Yes, you read that right...24 hours of talking, movie commentary, fighting, laughing, trivia, and the full melt down of one human being that seems to want to marry my lady. Its was a crazy, one of a kind day and I will never do it again...maybe. Chris Burnahm also did a 24 page comic in the 24 hours, which is fucking more insane than us all talking for that long.

So, check out my slide show, with music from Hour 7 of the podcast, when my girlfriend Casey came in a gave us all a break by singing a few songs.

For those those of you interested in listening to human disasters go over to...

24 Hour Comic Podcast

...and give a try. It will be everything from funny to sad.

A big thanks to Mike and Crank for putting this thing together and making run smoothly and Mark at Dark Tower Comics for letting us rough necks use his store to house this social experiment.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Give Me A List And Break My Bank

Again, no art, deal with it. I should be finishing X-men on Sunday...I can't wait, I'm going to shut the door to my studio for a week and you will get nothing...I'm kidding. I'm going to spend some time sketching outside of the studio so I will still be updating.

Ok, now onto the post. I asked everyone to recommend some books that they've enjoyed and I was shocked at the number of responses. I've been reading a lot of graphic novels lately, mainly things that I have just passed on over the years. Whether the free time wasn't there to read them or I just wasn't interested at the time, I missed a shit load of comics over the years. I've enjoyed what I've read for the most part, but still have not found something that has really shook me to the core. It's like everything almost gets there and then falls a little short. Maybe because comics are focused on an ongoing style of storytelling and it seems that there is never an ending. I never get paid off. Maybe after years of one story, the writer or artist isn't feeling it as much and just want to move on. I don't know the reason, I just feel that over the last year of me reading more comics, I'm starving for some more finite tales to spark my imagination. So, I've decided to give a little more time back to books.

So, I took a trip to Borders today with a list of books that you all and a few friends have recommended and fill a bag with whatever they had available. Before I went, I ran thru Amazon to get descriptions to make sure I like the subject matter and for the most part I was digging them all. I left out the Sci Fi stuff, not really my least for now. I also had to pick up a book for my lady (hmmm...I wonder which one) And you know I can't come home with out wasting more cash on movies to add the insanely large collection. Hey, it's all "research" right.

So pat yourselves on the back then take the Red line straight to hell for making me spend more money. You all should know I have a "buy too much shit" disease. Seriously though, thanks for taking the time to turn me on to these new books...that is if I like them. If I hate them, then fuck you all!!!! haha


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Must Not Sleep, Must go Listen

Continuing the week of no art posts but still trying to update, I wanted to give everyone a new podcast to go listen to.


This is a great interview podcast. I know, there are a ton of these out there but for me, as an artist, this one is quickly becoming my favorite. It focuses mainly on artists which seems to be more rare than you would think. It has been a writer driven industry lately and everyone is always talking about and interviewing writers. So to get a hold of a podcast that focuses on the art world is very exciting. And not just the "top selling books" type of artists...they are really reaching.

Like most podcasts, these guys have been learning as they go and you can see by the interviews they've pulled in the last few episodes, they are not fucking around. Drew Struzan...come on now, you can't beat that. I've never heard an interview with him and it was great to listen to his thoughts. The latest episode, the guys talk to Ben Templesmith and is equally informative. I love that they are going for not only the "big names" but guys that have something to say artistically. Here's hoping that they can keep getting this caliber of artists on the show.

Go Listen.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Book to Read: I Am Legend

Ok, there will be no new Art updates for the next few days. I'm on the home stretch here with X-men and will be done with days.

Until then, I thought I would mention a book I just finished. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. I'm sure a lot of you may be familiar with this book, but if you're not, you should go read it. It's a fairly short novel and moves very quickly, but it is very creepy and all around a great book in my opinion.

It is a story of a Man, to his own knowledge is the last living person on earth. But he's not alone. That's right baby....VAMPIRES!!!! The last man on earth trying to survive in a world of a legend come to life. That's all I say, but the book is worth reading.

There is am movie coming soon as well. Will Smith will play Nevil, the last man on earth. I think that instead of L.A. where the book is set, New York will play the backdrop to the tale. I'm happy with that choice. I find L.A. to be a little boring to look at and it's hard to convince me that a place that is sunny 98% of the time is a creepy place. We'll see. I am looking forward to the movie, though I'm sure some will hate the idea out of the gate. Me, I don't care, the book will not get erased by the movie so I'll take both!

If you have any suggestions of books you think I might like, throw them in a list in my comments.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Speed is Pretty Sweet!

Todays is another quickie to hold you over until my schedule opens up a little next week. I decided to do a piece featuring my buddy Tom Katers from the Around Comics podcast. I don't often do likeness because I'm not that great at it but I think it worked out ok here. Tom likes the flash so I thru the tights on him. Not much else to say.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Heads or Tails

Todays is just a quick piece done at our local drink and draw. I thru some quick colors to it just to give it a little more life.

I'm almost done with New X-men, I'm so close I can smell it. So, updates will start coming more regularly again in about a week.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Look at this Rusty Mother F#@ker Right Here!

My last Marvel Adventures Ironman cover is wrapped up, and it was fun one to finish on. With the Marvel Adventure books being all ages, and geared more towards the younger crowd, Marvel prefers a more cartoon look these and there for they differ from the direction I've been going with all my other covers. But that doesn't mean that I can't still push myself to learn a thing or two and try to take my cartoony art to another place.

In this issue, Ironman finds himself trapped in some industrial town with out his armor (or something to that effect) and is forced to create some armor out of what's around him. So he cobbles together this Steam powered suit.

I used a more straight up line art style here, but used the brush for some effect to match the rusty feel I was going for. This helped to keep it from looking too smooth and let the textures blend a little better. I approached the colors in a more cell shaded style to give it the animated feel, but added metal textures to beef it up a tad. Then added some smoke/steam for effect.

Over all, I'm very pleased with the final product here. I'm sure I could still push a few things, but time always plays a factor.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Brother Voodoo

So, here's another Cable & Deadpool cover. This one was a blast and has taken the top spot as my favorite so far. I think the interesting thing about this is how much the original and the final differ from each other while being the same piece. It's cool to be able to look at the same drawing as 2 entirely different pieces of art.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Once again, back, it's the incredible...


Well, not really the slacker, but I have been so busy trying to wrap up this run on New X-men that I've had to ignore the blog a little more than I'd like. I only have about 3 weeks left of this insane schedule and then I'm going to die for a day or two. So, for the next few weeks, there might be fewer posts than usual. I'll try to stay up to date as much as I can.

I've been reading Bendis and Maleev's run on Daredevil lately and I must say that I really enjoy it. I haven't decided but it's up there with some of my favorite super hero books. Maybe because it doesn't seem that super hero. Anyway, I enjoy it quite a bit. So today I thought I would use that as my warm up. Instead of working black into white paper, I reversed it today and used black paper and worked thru a negative. I used the paper as my shadow and colored pencil to work in the light. I don't work with black paper or colored pencil often, but it was an interesting exercise that I hope to play with some more.

It's not much, but there you go.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Dusty Star

I haven't been able to update the last few weeks as often as I'd like, but I'm trying. I'm on the last issue of New X-Men so the light is at the end of the tunnel. My next project is being announced this weekend at the Baltimore Con, so I'll be able to start talking about that on Monday.

Today was a very quick one. I just needed to at least take 30 mins away from work and throw something together. I love the design and feel that Andrew Robinson gives Dusty Star. So, I just did a quick doodle with my brush pen and then thru some quick tones down in PS. This one is a bit lazy, but fuck it right, sometimes you just need to put something down on paper.

Now, I gotta go back to work.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

New X-Men 42 Teaser [UPDATED]

This week has been insane. I have no extra time to dedicate towards warm ups are anything that is no work. So, since I've had nothing to update with since the weekend, i thought I would pick some panels out of my latest issue of New X-Men and give you guys a peek.

As you can see, I switched up my game this time around. I decided that I wanted to take these last 2 issues and play around a little. So, I pulled out the brush and started inking away. Everything in the previous issues were very tight and clean, and I wanted to give these 2 books a loose, organic feel. Now that I look back, I wish I would have done the Magik arc like this. Hind sight is 20/20 right.

I almost wanted to try and bring back the feeling of the New Mutants master Bill Sienkiewicz and just make it feel like the lines are moving all over the paper. I just used brush and ink and some white out pen. I truly just drew like I normally do and then let my hand go crazy in the finishes. I didn't care if lines touched, or closed, or even looked straight. I loved doing, and I guess I'll find out from you guys if it worked or not.

But I can't forget the final touch that makes it what it is. The colors by Jean. He followed my lead with the inks that I laid down and just went to town with the digital brush. I think the colors keep that messy vibe and really add alot of energy.

[UPDATE] Holy shit! This is fucking great! From a cover that is only a month old, someone decided they liked the characters, and my designs enough to bring them to life. I never thought that I would think costumes are so cool. It just goes to show that if you stroke my ego, you are no longer a geek for wearing a costume, you are THE SHIT!!!!!!


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Another Funky Radical Bombtrack Started as a Sketch in My Notebook!

Ok, I know I said that I'm going back to the Undertow vault all this week, but I had to shy away from that just for today. Last night my buddy Sal and I drove to Alpine Valley to see Rage Against the Machines first show of a 5 date tour. It's been like 6 years since they broke up and now they're reuniting to play a few shows...and I was beyond thrilled to see them again. I have seen them several times, but really missed the energy they bring to a live show while they've been split. So I had to do a Rage piece today.

Fucking Zach De La Rocha is a great entertainer, along with the rest of the guys. You wonder how they're able to keep that amount of energy thru out an entire show. Seeing them together really took me back in time and stirred up alot of old feelings about...well, everything. It was like I felt 14, 16, 19, again. I might be older now and unwilling to get in the pit and fuck people up, but I still felt a surge of life that I haven't felt in a long time watching them hit the stage with the same passion that they had in '92. What a fucking band!!!!!!!!

I'm not sure if they are getting back together to record, but I can only hope.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Yea, that's some OLD SCHOOL shit: Undertow

I've decided to reach into the vault for a few weeks as a subject for my warm ups. For those of you who have been kick ass enough to have followed my career even before it was a career, you might remember this material. We're talking 2000 baby.

My first online home was "The Remixx". A site started by me and an old friend of mine, Jacob. We thought we ran the world one was better than us. A few 21/22 years old thinking that we were going to break the spine of the art world with something never seen. Hahaha. Kids are funny. But he and I created this story called Undertow. It really was an interesting story and I've always hoped to reunite with Jacob to get this project out.

So, anyway, the story was a futuristic tale of 3 kids that find an entire world hidden deep under the earths surface. A full society that lives underground. It had a Mad Max/Steampunk/Fifth Element feel to it. Now that we're 7 years away from it I realize that it could use some retooling and a few tweaks. But honestly, it still kicks a little ass.

This is a quick rethinking of my favorite character from the project. Rapskallion, a crazy scavenger that is the only member of the underground world to still go to the surface for random things. Living in Chicago, we have what I call the "Alley Vultures". Mad Max looking trucks that cruse the alley's looking for metal. It's fucking crazy how much shit they stack on the back of these beaters. Rapskallion is that to our world. He looks for things needed, wanted, etc. for the people of the underground society.

Here you can see my 2000, I don't know how to really draw yet version. Very flat, and not alot of function to the design. At this point design didn't need to function, it just needed to look cool (or what ever I thought was cool at the time.)

My new take gives him a little more practical function with out getting rid of some of the cool Mad Maxy shit going on.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to keep reaching into the world of Undertow and have some fun revisit some of these old drawings.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Strange Days

I've been excited about this being solicited so I could post it here. For regulars you know that I've really pushing myself in different directions lately, and it all started with the Cable & Deadpool covers. Each one has been a chance to learn something new and have some fun. I think I've said this before, but this is my favorite of my C&DP covers. I just allowed myself to scribble a little and really just have fun.

You can see here the steps that I took to get to the end at the top. A quick thumbnail, about 3 inches tall. Then I do a quick photoshop comp to get an idea if I'm going to be able to take somewhere. I only spent about 10 min or so just to see I can get a feel for it. Obviously from the end, the color comp didn't make it through all that much but it did allow me to send off and get approval. Then I blow that image up and print it out in very light blue ink. On the full size print out I start sketching the more refined version of my thumb. You can see here I was pretty lucky and was able to keep it almost exactly without having to redraw too much. I still don't spend too much time trying to keep it clean. I don't need, or want it clean. Then I pull out my brush and start inking. Every line is put down pretty quickly just to keep a feeling of energy in the final. Now my line art is done and it's time to scan, and start throwing some color around. I just really go to town until I think it's done, or the deadline tells me I'm done.

Honestly, I don't shit about Dr. Strange, but I loved drawing him. I think it's an odd mix with DP's guns and this wizard type character. But at the end of the day, I'm happy with this one. I think my next one will be fully painted. Don't hold me too it just in case I fuck it up, but I'm going to try it out.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ringo: Honor by Doing

So, since I did the last painting, I've been trying to do something else to draw that could honor my buddy Mike. But I said everything I needed to say to him thru that one piece and I don't think I can do any better. I thought a little and came to the conclusion that the best thing I could do is keep on posting my own stuff. Mike posted 3 times a week, at least. And he did all he could to make sure he posted 3 times a week, and I will attempt to do it myself. So, I will pay tribute to Mike by just talking about some drawings!

This Hulk piece is a few weeks old. I did this at LPS drawing night, with water color. It's slightly a disaster in my opinion. I'm still learning about the water colors and how they work with each other. This turned a bit muddy and not what I had in my mind. But you know, that's how it goes sometimes right, and I want to try and get more pieces up here that I feel to be a little off the mark. They all can't be winners. I will attempt to take another pass at the Hulk here soon and see if I can't pull off something a little stronger.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ringo: Tellos Mourning

Koj and Jarek from Mike and Todd's book Tellos, while fictional characters, also will feel the loss of Mike Wieringo. Even thought it as been a long while since we've seen new Tellos material, Mike LOVED those characters and that world. If any of you kept up with his blog, it was never too long before he would return to draw his Tellos characters.

Today will be the only sad drawing for Mike though. The thing that bugged Mike the most about comics today was that it seemed that there was no more room for fun in comics. Mike was 44, but artistically he wanted to be 12 forever. Don't get me wrong, Mike could get as pissed about things as anyone and he did not hold back when letting out his feelings about the direction things have gone. He would joke, "Damn Skottie, you probably get sick of me calling and bitching about comics." But I knew that is wasn't coming from a bad place. He just wanted to draw fun things and didn't think that it was bad to want to do kid stories. He thought things got too serious in comics, and that he didn't fit here anymore. But we know that's not true. It wasn't Mike that didn't fit. It was comics in general that has cut itself off from all the great creators out there, including Mike, to offer less and less options. But, while he might not have been thrilled with what he was doing, he always had big ideas stacked up and waiting for him to focus on. That is the saddest part to me. The ideas that Mike talked about getting one day...unfortunately will never find their way to our hands. That one day will never come.

So, that's what I will take away from this. The term one day, or some day, or later will no longer be a part of me. This lets me know that those phrases could very well be tomorrow. There will be no more putting off what I want to accomplish...One day is today.

I will miss Mike's passion for what he loved. Even when that passion came off as flat out complaining...haha. It all comes from the same place.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Friend has Passed: Mike Wieringo 1963-2007

Today the news that Mike Wieringo passed away on Sunday is all over the interent. I am actually trying to figure out a way to tell myself that it's all a big hoax. It is just too sad to try and believe. He was only 44.

I don't have to tell most of you what Mike meant to the art and comic world. He's probably a big reason that some of us are doing this today. But over the years, Mike had become a very good friend to me and spent many hours on the phone talking about art, bitching about...well everything, and just flat out trying to find away to keep pushing this medium. Mike was a veteran in this game and was always there to show his support to a young newbie like me. When the "cartoony" art that I draw wasn't floating with some people, Mike would be the guy to call me up and say "fuck em!" "they don't get it"...haha. He was a lively guy and had so much love for creating. Even here, some of you might have noticed his posts about trying to inspire new artists to come along and show us how to do it.

Mike will be missed by many, including me. So, this week's drawings will be tributes to good ol' Ringo.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

90's Image Week: Grifter

So, Image in the 90's. The reason people give for the fall, and still falling market we see in comics today. I say, fuck that. I think that while they had a hand in the crazy variant, run up the collector market idea, everyone else jumped on board. It was a pot luck baby, everybody brought something to the end of the world. I still can't help but look back and see that a hand full of creators quite their jobs to start a company that instantly rivaled the "Big 2".

At the time, I didn't know any different. When I was introduced to comics, Image was just as dominant on the shelves as Marvel or D.C. In fact, I think I bought Spawn #1 at a grocery store. It wasn't until I grew older that I realized what they really had done. But I'm glad I was able to come into comics at the time that I did. I was a young kid that like to create things and draw pictures, and as I learned more about IMAGE comics, I realized this was a group of guys just like me but older. They didn't want to just play with other peoples toys, they wanted to make their own.

I think today, somehow it has become almost trendy to hate on what they did. Everyone remembers the bad things that came from them, but they brought alot of good as well. It's cool to slam creators from those days, with out even really knowing what you're slamming. These guys were Gods to me, and helped put me on the path to doing what I love for a living. Drawing pictures. So, thank you to all the people who took the risk to start IMAGE comics.

Today's piece is Grifter, from Jim Lee's WildC.A.T.S. Honestly, I just thought his mask was fucking sick! I wish I could give you a deeper reason, but sometimes I only go skin deep. I like that it hung, instead of being the tight, pantie hose style mask. Anyway, I've babbled for long enough.


Monday, August 06, 2007

90's Image Week: Spawn

I've heard alot of people over the last few years take shots at the early days of Image Comics. The 90's, they suck...or so alot of people think. Yes, they introduced some shitty things like variant covers, and marketing ploys that caused a crash for collectors. But sometimes I think older fans forget what Image meant to a lot of us, especially those of us in our 20's, or early 30's. There are a lot of creators that are loved today that we might have if it wasn't for the early days of Image. I'm one of those creators. If Image would not have started, I probably would not be reading, or drawing comics. It was my introduction into the world of comic books. As I get older, some of the books and ideas seem a little silly yes, but they should right. I'm older now. I shouldn't find the same material stimulating at 29, the same way I did at 14. But I can appreciate what it did for me then, and all the great things that have happened in my life because of Image being thrust upon the world.

So, this week, all my warm ups will be of early Image Comics characters. Today, is Spawn. One of my favorites, and first books. This is the only book in my life in comics that I bought issue 1 and own every one after. It's had a long ride, and I will never forget the anticipation I had for the day the new issue would come out. It introduced me to one of my favorite artists then, and still today...Greg Capullo.

So, enjoy Image week...big shoulder pads, huge amount of pockets, and obnoxiously big guns, it's all love!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Warm Up: I reckon you're gonna do some dyin'.

Being the pathetic comic fan that I am, I have never read Preacher. The end all/be all of comics as far as most people are concerned. So, I picked up the trades to see what all the fuss was about. I'm 3 books in and I'm enjoying it for the most part. (listen to Around Comics each week for more details on my thoughts about the book)

So, today I decided to draw a Preacher character. The Saint of Killers. Just a bad ass imortal Cowboy who can't be stopped, and will put a few hundred bullets in your ass with out breaking a sweat.

Here are both versions. The watercolor wash and the color version. In the color version, I tried to give it the old wester, wooden feel. Not a masterpiece, but fuck it, it's just a warm up.

[UPDATE] I put up the wrong color version at first. Now the correct one is up there.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Warm-Up: Trick or Treat

I know I'm probably way out of the loop, but I just found out that Rob Zombie is remaking Halloween. I have to say, for me, this is great news. From what I've read and seen, Rob is going to add some great elements and stay true to what made it a sick movie in the first place. So, inspired by this, I bought the 25th anniversary edition of the original Halloween by John Carpenter and watch the documentary while I did this morning's warm up. Good old Michael Myers.

For those who care to know. This was done on 8.5 x 11 xerox card stock. Inked inked with a water color brush, then water colored for effect. Then, a touch of photo shop to add a little texture to the finish.

[UPDATE] Here's a look at the original before the photoshop.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Audio Visual: Cole Blaquesmith

I thought I would try something new once a week. I'm going to take one of my warm up pieces each week and draw it to a certain song. then I will post the image, and a video displaying the image with that song playing. I thought it would be interesting to show you what mood I had in mind for the piece thru the music. I often pic a song out before I start drawing a piece, to help determine where to go with it.

Today, (Scott Hume: Ragefist, this is for you!) I followed the idea from yesterday and picked something I'm a huge fan of but have rarely drawn. Cole Blaquesmith from Joe Kelly and Chris Bachalo. This is one of my favorite stories. Cole is a man who seems to have to fight his way across great lands to try and piece together his life and find his one and only love. Oh yea, he woke up after a few years with steam powered limbs.

Instead of going the action route, I wanted to take the very abrasive image of Cole and inject a bit more emotion as he holds his loves ribbon, pondering what he will have to do to find her. I put this one to "Roads" by Portishead. I think this song has the right mixture of sadness and idea of having to fight for something no matter how difficult.

So, there you go. Hopefully if I get the time in the next few weeks, I'll record me actually sketching the piece an set that to the song. But for now, take a few minutes and look at the image as you listen to the song. See if you feel the connection the same as I do. It will be interesting to see what you all think, or if better songs might fit the feeling that you get.

[note] I spelled Portishead wrong in the video, but didn't have time to change it. Deal with it! And I will be working on the quality, as I can see that it's not the best. Hang tight and we'll figure this thing out. Should be fun.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Warm-Up: We've Got a War to Fight

Today's warm up is something that I've meant to draw for years and I'm not sure why I haven't. Tank Girl. Jamie Hewlett is a huge inspiration to me and has been since the days of Tank Girl. I love the books, the movie, and the new Ashley Wood edition of the book. I love it all. I think that when I'm too much a fan of something, I tend not to draw it. Maybe it's fear that I could not reach the level the material that I've loved for so long, or maybe it's perfect in my mind and there is no need to taint it. But...fuck it right. Here's my quick take on Tank Girl.

[update] For those of you wondering, all the warm up drawings are on 81/2 x 11 Xerox cardstock. Colors done in photoshop. Inked with Sukura Brush Pen.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lead Poets Society: Come out, Come out Where Ever You Are

This weeks drawing night topic, A Kid and a Monster. I try to turn the idea around a little each time. If it's "Animals eating people" night, then I draw a cute squirrel instead of the bear. So tonight, instead of the monster under the bed freaking out the kid, I have the kid getting ready to shoot the monster in the face! Fuck you Monster!!!!

Instead of a drawing to warm up this morning, I chose to color this piece in my 30 minute time slot instead use this as my warm up. It's a fun piece and that's about it. This is one of those times that you just enjoy drawing with no care about it being "good" or "correct". It is what it is that's fine with me.

And, if there any artists out there that want a little insight on the ins and outs of being a full time comic artist, go to my side bar and click the Around Comics page for episode 118.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

By the Cover

Here are my a peek at my latest covers. First up, my farewell cover to New X-men. Issue 43 will be my last issue, so I wanted to see what I could pull off on the last cover. And, I just wouldn't be me if I didn't go out like I came in...with redesigns. I wanted to look like a team visually so I took the costumes of 2 of my favorite incarnations, New Mutants and Generation X, mixed them up and...well you're looking at it.Cable/Deadpool. Honestly, it seems that I've only been drawing Deadpool for awhile. But in this, he travels back in time to the Kirby era FF. So, why not put his ass in the ugly Fantasticar having himself a nice bath. I wanted to give this one an old feel, similar to the last one with Bucky. So, I did my best to ink this is a more classic style and use very muted colors. I think the effect works here.
And Marvel Adventures Ironman. These don't involve any deep description. They are just for fun's sake. It's like doing a poster for a cartoon on this book and that's fun.

I do learn alot, on all of these covers that I've been doing lately and have been pushing myself to try new things. From trying out new ideas with how to incorporate texture in the piece, or teach myself how to pull of an explosion in space, I try to learn something. I also like breaking the box on almost every cover here. Each one feels completely different, as they should because of the tone in each individual book.

And, thanks to everyone for all the replies recently! Keep them coming in, it's always a great inspiration.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Warm-Up: Childish

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the desire to be very grown up."

C.S. Lewis said this when people asked him why he wrote books for children. This reminds me to keep in mind the origin of what I love most...drawing. Before I knew what Marvel or D.C. was, before I knew what a comic book, or super hero was, I drew pictures. I love drawing. I can't recall what I liked drawing the most, probably because I drew so much there is no way to remember. I drew all the time, with any tool that created a line on paper.

Amongst the contracts, negotiations, signings, failed projects, good and bad reviews, deadlines, tussles with editors and studio execs., 35 airports a year, the same convention halls over and over, and anything else that goes along with the professional artist is easy for me to forget what I wanted to do this for. I love drawing. That's the end of it really. I love it. I love the kid that lives here no matter how many books I sell, or how much money I put in the bank. I need to remind myself to put away the childish "desire to be very grown up." and just put pencil to paper. I never used to need anyone to like what I drew. I didn't know to want it. I just wanted to turn a blank piece of paper into something, anything, just as long as it looked fun. An animal, a world that I have never seen, a twist on the world I have. Amongst all the things that have over shadowed that ideal, I have lost the child.

After hearing this quote, I wrote it down and pinned it on the bulletin board in front of my table. That's why these warm up drawings started happening. I always told myself I didn't have time to draw anything for fun, I had to work. But, like those parents who have kids and need to make time for them no matter what...I am reminding myself to do the same.


[updated] I added a color file that I made for my page header.

Friday, July 13, 2007

30 Minute Warm Up: Cat Woman

I thought I would do something different for my 30 minute doodle today. I left a minutes at the end for some quick colors. These warm up drawing are interesting to do because of the speed. It really forces to not care what lines look like. I really am just trying to hit a certain attitude and then it's all scribble after that. Maybe when my work schedule isn't so freaking packed I'll do some longer warm ups.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lead Poets Society Back Log

I just realized that I have a stack of Drawing Night sketches that I haven't put up. So, this is a Lead Poets Society image dump.

For those of you who don't know, a bunch of local artists here in Chicago get together every Wed. night and draw, drink, eat, and fight with each other about what movies are good or bad. We pick and theme each week and we all draw from that theme. We've grown to go for more clever drawings than actual masterpieces, but it keeps it fun that way, and less stressful. It's all about having fun.

So, Here we go with the themes and drawings...



(with no reference...CON AIR & BAD BOYS)