Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Sketchbook

Hello everyone!!!

I've been MIA but I've been busy as hell.  I'm wrapping up inks on issue 3 of Oz, writing a 2 issue arc of a Marvel book and Casey and I just became parents of a new 11 week old Saint Bernard.  Her name is Emma and she's already better than your dogs...sorry!  haha.

Ok, on to business.  Marvel has been outstanding with their praise and support of our work on Oz and decided to give everyone a preview and behind the scenes look into the process of working on a classic novel such as this by publishing a sketchbook.  How cool is that!?!?  Now, I know they are doing it to promote the book, but I'm telling myself that they're doing because they think I'm the best thing to happen to pens and pencils since the first dip of a feather in ink.  (let me have my moment!)

Check out the info on the sketchbook over at MARVEL

And a little preview of our new baby girl Emma.  I'm sure you'll want to puke soon enough.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Spidey and his Amazing Friend... Stuart Immonen

Here's a Spider-Man cover I did awhile back.  I'm not actually sure what it's getting used for though.  I just wanted to do a iconic style shot of him and I love seeing him hang up side down. 

The problem with drawing Spidey is the amount of people to can destroy me at doing it.  Let's take Stuart Immonen (current artist on Ultimate Spider-Man) for example.  Here is a guy who makes me cry every time I look at his work.  After seeing his take on the character I vow to never attempt it.  Stuart's version of Peter Parker is hands down the most spot on depiction of the character that I see in my mind when thinking of him.  He looks young.  Not just in clothing and hairstyle which seems to be most peoples way of saying "Look, here's a teenager.  Don't mind the 30 year old build forcing the thigh muscles to want to explode from the spandex.  Just keep you eye on the iPod and remember that despite the fact that he looks like he could be your dad, he's only in highschool".  Stuarts Peter has the athletic build you expect from Spidey but in the adolescent body that is should be.  He feels like a young, exuberant superhero that he should be. 

Ok, I love Stuart Immonen's art and maybe I'm starting to push the line of a being a stalker who cares.  To me, he's one of the best out there... period!

So, yeah, I drew Spidey too, big whoop!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Manifest Destiny #2 On Sale Now

Manifest Destiny #2 has a Juggernaut story with art by the great Dan Panosian and written by yours truly.  If you're looking for a serious, heavy, melo-drama filled tale of the big orange armored guy...go somewhere else.  If you want to have a beer with Juggs, run to the shop now.  This is a fun little tale about what it's like to live on the line of being good and bad.  

Thanks to the reviewers at CBR for the kind words.  Thanks to Dan for bringing the love to the page!  

On the writing note, I'm currently writing a 2 issue arc on a Marvel title and can't wait to start letting you guys in on that.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Way We Swing

I was 12 years old when I was watching Yo Mtv Raps and saw a video of a song the likes of which I hadn't heard before.  There was no "cool" guys running around with Cross Colors, Starter Jackets, or any of that.  It was was a guy what looked like a grampa's sports coat, furry hat, and what would become the world famous BIG nose on the glasses.  I was on the hunt for the Digital Underground.

I lived in a town so small that the idea of the Benjamin Franklin Dime Store selling any cassettes, let alone hip-hop, was just plain stupid.  I would either tape videos to watch over and over or sit and wait for songs on the radio to add to my "mixtapes".  The latter was best done on Sunday during Casey Kasem's Top 40.  To my surprise, The Humpty Dance was on there and climbed all the way to #11.  But like most groups I discovered, I had to find a way to get my hands on the album, and before long I did.

I loved the fun loving Humpty Dance, but the rest DU's first album was even better... and probably way too mature for me to be listening to.  Underwater Rhymes was fun trip of fantasy and The Way We Swing was as infectious as any song I had ever heard.  I still play that thing on a regular basis.  This was my first exposure to hip hop following the heavy influence of funk music.  When I got older, I learned that DU was the Parliament Funkadelic of Hip HOP.  At 12, it was just a groove that attracted me.

Again, I was old enough to connect who I was to why I might attracted to this group.  But if you look at groups style, the album covers and the freedom of the music, you can see why an artist might be into this.  Shock G, the leader of the group really put together an artistic package.  He drew the cartoony album covers for a few albums.   I became addicted to Humpty.  I drew him over and over and on everything.  I connected about 4 sheets of paper and drew a giant one and stuck in my 7th grade locker.  I took fabric markers and made a t-shirt.  He became my mascot for the music I loved and who I think I was at the time.  An artistic music lover that wasn't afraid to act like a clown.

I will say this though.  The first person to try and tell me that Shock G was Humpty was in for a few hours of argument.  I was not having it.  It was fooled from top to bottom.  When people ask how no one knows that Clark Kent is Superman when there is only a pair of glasses to distinguish the two.  Well, at 12 I couldn't answer because all it took was a pair of glasses and big brown plastic nose to fool me.  It actually took me years to accept it.  

DU was also a group that understood what putting on a live shown meant.  They created music and preformed it on tour for years, long past their hay day in the charts.  Unlike most hip hop groups today that either rap over a back track laced with the vocals, or take the stage with 4 hype men so the artist you're there to see says about 4 total words.  

For kids today that remember the "thug" Tupac and the hardcore image he put on (which has sadly spawned a whole generation of copy cats) you might be surprised to know that he started as a dancer and mc with DU.  The Way We Swing was the first time the world was exposed the Tupac.  (This is a side note, but isn't telling how full of shit everyone when Tupac who was the poster boy for "Thug Life" didn't have a criminal record until he was rich and famous.  Clowns!)

So, Digital Underground, another group from the late 80's & early 90's that changed my life forever. 

Next week I'll focus on some newer artists that I've grown to love.