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.