Saturday, December 26, 2009
I have a list of things to do quite long to prepare for upcoming events. Yet, I suddenly got inspired to color this drawing of OMAC I had done some time ago.
Perhaps not the most festive of holiday greetings, but there it is.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
UPDATE 9/22: This sketch now serves as my visual inspiration for the lead villainess in my mini comic I am working on with Greg Lockard. Saphrid was described as "Jabba the Hut in Princess Leia slave garb." So here we go, imagine this lovely lady in slinky/skanky clothes.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
En route to Toronto for TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Frestival) this spring, I spotted a most intriguing duo getting on my flight at Boston's Logan International Airport.
Matching dye jobs framed their faces; one slightly man-ish, the other slightly girlish. Their body shapes were concealed by matching outfits: tie dye shirts, leather jackets, jeans, freedom ring necklaces and rainbow accessories. I had convinced myself they were women until they spoke, and I was confused afresh.
I concluded whether they were men, women, FTMs, MTFs, Is, or any combination, they were unmistakably a couple.
Again, I had intended to color this nicely. Instead, you get a simple color job to illustrate their well-planned look.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
On the list was to back up my hard drive to my external hard drive. Along the way I ended up scanning through my scanned sketches folder to see what drawings I had intended to post, but for whatever reason, I never did.
Among them is today's post: 'Jeff' from the UK show 'Coupling' (yes, the US version tanked after 3 episodes or something, but the UK one is great!). I was very happy with this drawing, and had intended to color it and add some crazy pattern to the shirt. Never did, so here you go.
I like this because I rarely draw actual people, and when I do, the drawing rarely looks like the people I intend it to. But here, I really think it looks like Jeff. Though, Jeff should be a bit more bewildered than sly looking.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I've sketched Mal with his girlfriend, Bumblebee, but nothing I am yet happy with. Maybe someday I will capture their relationship as well as I have captured Lilith and Gnaark's here. Time will tell.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
It's really pretty awful. They spent extra money on fancy use of a mutliplane camera, and many of their stock backgrounds are quite nice. However, the stock animation used repeatedly, even when it didn't make sense (e.g. Batgirl running looking over her shoulder, frightened, even when nothing is chasing her) is tough to watch.
The writing is bad but also funny. There's actually sexual inuendo between not Batman and Robin—but Bruce and Dick. Maybe Dick's name doesn't help, and neither do their matching leisure jumpsuits or gym outfits as they play video games or with their toy race track. Or maybe I have a dirty mind.
The character design and characterization (noted above) further mystifies with with District Attorney Barbara Gordon always deferring to her father, the Police Comissioner Gordon who has NO idea she's Batgirl. The villains are mostly voiced by the same actor, except Catwoman who is voice by the same actress who voices Batgirl.
And of course there's Bat-Mite. With his catchphrase "All I wanted to do is help!" whenever he gets in the way, he annoyingly pops in, does nothing (despite his powers) and then pops out. He may have been the reason I didn't watch as a kid. He made the show too juvenile for 7 year old me.
Funny because these days I love Bat-Mite—rather, the comic book version who idolized and tested Batman's abilities rather than bungling a case.
Here's my version of the Filmation Batman Family cast!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
You've read my posts hyping upcoming Marvel gigs, and I am finally ready to admit that, yes, my story in NATION X #2 is the Northstar story!
Long story short, the X-Men now live on an island off the coast of California. One of their members, Northstar, is Canadian. Northstar of course if Marvel's first out super-hero (having come out in 1992) but never had a BF until a few months ago (though I understand for some time he had a roommate that some assumed to be his lover). So the story I was asked to do is about how living on the island is impacting his relationship.
The story was lots of fun to write and draw! I was able to draw some action scenes, and cameos from many X-Men: Cyclops, Storm, Colossus, Psylocke, some New Mutants...and even Dazzler in rollerskates! :-) I'm told the art is my best work to date (yay!).
So please do pick up NATION X #2 on sale January 13!
PS Yes, I have an upcoming Iron Man story, too... just wrote that one though.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
So claimed the cover to POWERMAN #29 (1975).
It's always a treat hanging out with Xavier at his place. Any random topic of comics, and Xavier disappears for 60 seconds and hauls out a stack of comics relevant to the conversation. One such conversation was in regard to Luke Cage, the powerful Powerman of Marvel Comics...and his battle with the frightful Mr. Fish.
On the cover, Mr. Fish looked like the Creature from the Black Lagoon or something. On the interior, Mr. Fish was racist depiction of a fish-man. The story was hilarious—it read like one of my old Arche-Lady comics. The easiest solution to avoid plausible details? That's right, have the hero not care about learning them. Like Arche-Lady, when Powerman is posed with questions, "don't you want to hear my origin? Don't you want to know how my blaster knocked you out?" Luke's reply is "no, I don't!"
Mr. Fish had a band of racist sidekicks, including the little guy pictured here from the comic who seems right off the plantation. This issue makes one think "and I can't get work in comics?!?" Golly, even I was writing better stories in 1975 (I was 5)! This villain has only ever appeared once, and not even in the OFFICIAL HANBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE.
It took me some time to add my classic explosion (which I painstakingly created in 1997 using Microsoft Word—you read that right...I had time to kill at my day job one day—and employed often in Arche-Lady comics), and color. Thanks to Miriam's hangover and breakfast plans cancellation, you finally get to see my take on Powerman and Mr. Fish.
I still think it would be fun/funny to do an intentionally camp story with these two.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Many have Beatles-like experimentation in them, with out-there back up vocals (such as "Love, L'amour und Liebe") or odd instrument choices (such as the xylophone in "Ich Singe Meinen Song").
The songs run the gamut from covers of 60's bossa nova Brazilian lounge ("So Einen Jungen Mann") to catchy rock-pop ("Wassermann Und Fisch") to ballades ("Miguel") to Bavarian oompa-oompa ("Ich Habe Einen Freund in München").
Other favorites include "Computer Nr. 3," "I Like Mozart," "Ich War Ein Kind," and "Unga Katunga."
About half her German DECCA catalog is easy to get from the "best of" CD collection; the other half not so much. But after much hunting, my collection is now complete!
Thankfully, my 'want of obscure things without ability to find them' is matched by Matt's 'ability and want to find obscure things without any obscure interests.' He is duly credited with finding the extremely hard to find track (complete with crazy fiddle "Ein Bißchen Mogeln in der Liebe").
The sketch is France in her jeans, purple boots, yellow sweatshirt with "STOP" screen-printed on and Bavarian pigtails get-up she wore when she performed live on the ZDF Hitparade ("Ali Baba und die 40 Räuber" which I also have a HQ track of).
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I was specifically grateful for my window seat when this fellow boarded the train: drunk, crazy, or both, he was falling everywhere and drooling brown liquid/vomit into his beard. He was incoherent and smelled. I don't have a good sense of smell, so if I noticed, I know it had to have been awful.
It was a fun juxtopostion to all the giggly sorority girls on the train, or perhaps simply life in the big city.
Oh—sidenote: I was coming from a restaurant and had my left-overs in a to go container, and lots of people were glaring me down. I am reminded that there is NO food or drink allowed on the DC Metro... I heard it was a fine-able offense. But it reminds me of the post "burrito boy" and how disgusted people were at the kid eating on the subway, and how that would have never happened in DC.
Anyone else have a disgusting subway run-in?
Friday, November 13, 2009
Most of the quotes flying and scenes viewed were from Female Trouble, starring Divine as Dawn Davenport: "Nice girls don't wear cha-cha heels!" "Not on Christmas... not on Christmas..." There are so many great lines—what's your favorite?
But here are two drawings of Divine as Dawn. The blue lines on the left are a bit light and I should ink it. I like the effect of the inked drawing over the blue lines to the right... makes her look like she has eyeshadow on.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Now, I will look at killed-off heroes in the DC Universe from 1935-1985 (up until the CRISIS series). I may need your help, but here we go:
- Ferro Lad (Legion—30th century, died saving galaxy from the Sun-Eater, 1967)
- Doom Patrol (Chief, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl; sacrificed selves; 1968)
- Larry Lance (Golden Age, Earth-2, died saving Black Canary, 1969)
- Wing (Golden Age, Earth-2, announced dead from battle with the Nebula Man, 1972)
- Invisible Kid (Legion—30th century, crushed by Validus, 1974; tho he came back in 1983 I think)
- Chemical King (Legion—30th century, died preventing the outbreak of a world war, 1977)
- Batman (Golden Age, Earth-2, dying of cancer, fights Felix Faust to the death, 1979)
- Mister Terrific (Golden Age, Earth-2, murdered by the Spirit King, 1979)
- Batwoman (Silver Age, Earth-1, murdered by the Bronze Tiger, 1980)
- Air Wave (announced killed by an escaped convict, 1981)
- Crimson Avenger (Golden Age, Earth-2, died saving city, 1981)
- Terra (Earth-1, killed in rock slide using own powers, 1984)
- Karate Kid (Legion—30th century, killed by Nemesis Kid, 1984)
Sign of the times, or weak story-telling? Or, I'm old fashioned.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
While my business model allows me to print a new book from the profit of the last book, this is not a crisis for me. However, it does call in to question my future as a publisher.
DCD has encouraged me to solicit future projects (perhaps when the economy is better). However, without profit from the current book (likely if I can't sell it) to pay for the next, it's not encouraging to toil on a project for 18 months just "for me" (I'm not in this for the money, but I can't be losing thousands of dollars either).
So, what does this mean? The future is unclear. If I stay viable, I will proceed with "Baby Makes Three." I was gearing up to finish the OGN I started in 2005—I hate unfinished business!
If I don't sell enough copies of "Trust/Truth", I will likely just do a mini here or there, and work on pitch proposals. It seems like so many of the self publishers that were influencial in getting me started (Carla Speed McNeil, Randy Reynaldo, Paige Braddock) have scaled back dramatically or are on the verge of giving up. Feels like the end of self publishing!
Friday, October 9, 2009
I try to bring my own lunch as a general rule, but since the eating area is open to all, regardless of purchase, it's likely that I end up at the cafe at least once a week. My pal Corey (left) is a regular, and he's shown here waiting for his teammates to arrive. To right shuffling in is another building mate.
I haven't gone out of my way to show these to anyone in the building, but the few people who have seen them knew who the drawings are of, instantly.
On the subject of my day job, I am no longer acting director and am off the "senior management" team. Yay—it feels like things are getting back to normal and I can think about comics more often. It was a long haul as an acting, 15 months (was supposed to be 6-9 months). Now if only my debilitating headaches would go away. But sadly, they are increasing in frequency and intensity. Boooo.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
It's DC's "Dr. Fate" and his wife Inza, and the Salem, Massachusetts tower they reside in. In the mid-late 40s (DC geeks can correct me here) suddenly he started wearing a half-helmet. It's the full helmet that transforms Kent Nelson to the doctor. I don't know if they ever explained the reason why he went to the half-helmet. Kent, in his own right can fly, is stronger than the typical man, and can cast simple spells. So during this period, he was merely posing as the doctor, and was much weaker. Just when the nation needed him most! Bummer!
Later, he mysteriously got his helmet back. I remember from all the JLA/JSA team-ups in the 70s and 80s when I first started reading comics, Dr. Fate's powers were visually represented by the Ahnk symbol (he'd shoot them out and they could do anything from trap villains to heal the Huntress' burns).
Today is SPX. If you're in the DC/Baltimore area, stop by the hotel bar, where I will be hanging around!
Friday, September 18, 2009
To the left, some teen boy with his mom. He had a cane and a wrapped up ankle. He was REALLY out of it, and was mumbling something about "generic oxycoton." I am guessing he seriously sprained or broke his ankle.
To the right, this buff guy with a little swish came in and the NP escorting him to whatever room they were going to asked him, but answered herself why was he here? "EKG. Take your shirt off." Lucky lady!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
So a trip to NYC in the dog days means the gays are out and about, half naked, and cruising for sex anywhere and everywhere.
This fellow sat diagonally away from me and Matt in an EV park. We took note perephorally, and in that manner, it was clear he was unnervingly staring us down.
Also, I was able to some quality brainstorming on a pitch! Yay, comics!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Fortunately, such hot and humid weather grants permission to the many body-beautiful to show off anytime, anywhere.
On the left was walking along Hampshire near Inman with a friend of his. This route most likely makes him an MIT grad student. He was perfectly proportioned; well built, but not ripped or too big.
On the right was getting out of his red truck with Colorado plates on Summer, wearing a red sleeveless T, showing off his huge arms and perfectly sculpted shoulders. Fortunately, both were completely bald; it's kind of nice when a guy has some sort of flaw. Makes him more realistic.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
To the left, I was approaching from behind, thinking it was a shapely gal, with her bob hairdo mashed down by her helmet. But, I was mistaken: it was a hip-y thin-armed fellow with a full beard. No breasts showing under the tight tank top, so I am fairly certain it wasn't a bearded lady.
Monday, September 14, 2009
While still on the seasonal cusp, I figure it's a good time to recap summer with a boys of summer week!
First up, a tall skinny early 30s Dutch-looking guy showing his crack while planting some flowers with his very preggers Asian wife.
I like how in the drawing, I've obscured her face with the tree. Because really, I barely remember her. If she hadn't been pregs, I don't think I'd have noticed her at all. The cute husband, of course, is a different story.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I was a DC kid growing up; you can probably tell this because there are so many more "DC" entries here than "Marvel" ones. So it took me a while to get my hands around "Psylocke" but here we go. It was made clear to me that she should be a long-legged, small-breasted kick-ass bitch.
The only story I'd ever read with the character was before she was Asian. Yes, that's right, she started off as a English lady with purple hair and her power manisfested itself as a glowing butterfly.
The original line art has a lot of zip-a-tone directly on the 11x17 Bristol board, which doesn't show up so well scanned, colored, and shown here @ 3x5. But take my word for it, the line art looks pretty alright.
Before I delve into the long-awaited completion of my GN "Baby Makes Three" I have to produce some pitche art. No rest for the weary :-D
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
To continue the baseball metaphor in pitching projects to publishers, I've always felt comfortable with three strikes, and then I'm out til my next at bat. That way I don't inflect pain on the few professional contacts I have, as well as myself.
After Comic Con, I was inspired to think about pitches again, and was happy to find some editors who allowed me a turn at bat. Strike one (discussed here)! Strike two (will not be discussed)! Am still at bat on a third idea, swinging, fouling, etc.
Proposal one was to create a true-to-novel adaptation of one of my favorite novels, Wuthering Heights. The initial reaction was positive, but ultimately was a no-go.
I was REALLY bummed. It would have been so much fun for me to draw the cruel romance, cute guys in period clothing, and ghosts! Oh well.
But here's a page of sketching I had done in my excitement while waiting to go to failure. Stables-boy Heathcliff is so dark, mean, and hot. I should think about self publishing an adaptation.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Long story short on Wondergirl: she originally appeared in the pages of WW's comic as simply WW as a girl (in non-continuity stories). The editors of the Teen Titans series was asleep at the wheel and made her a member (in continuity stories), creating a long history of trying to explain her existance.
My drawing is after Gil Kane's famous revamp of her in the early '70s. Her costume was a marvelous blend of practical (pants! no cleavage on display! low-heeled boots!) and impractical (magic lasso as her belt! necklace and medallion! and matching wrist bracelet—not pictured). I love the field of gold, silver, and black stars wrapping around her body.
I had drawn a similar one for a fan @ NYCC which turned out horribly, so I had to do it right. Looks like I need another silver star on her hip though.
I'll also use this when I re-make my packaging for my custom Mego Wondergirl. If you're not familiar with Mego action figures, or the fervor for customizing them, I really can't get into that here and now. It would probably require a whole blog devoted to it.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Looping her lasso around herself, or leaping through it would complete the transformation from Diana Prince to WW. I liked always seeing part of each outfit, as you can here.
Otherwise, the sketch is inspired by the 50s bathing beauty WW (original series #s101-104).
In the 40s, even with the bad art, WW had an in-style hair-do and a costume that said "I'm not going to stay at home and cook for you".
Just when she was feeling dated in the 50s, she began looking more and more like a bathing beauty. Starting with #84, and reaching a pinacle with #s 101-104, she looked quite nice.
But with #105, even with the same artist, she was instantly transformed into an ugly, stern prison matron, and remained so for most of the 60s. She was so far out of fashion for the period, it's fascinatingly ridiculous. I'd love to know the editorial decision behind that.
Sure, the de-powered mod WW from the late 60s isn't quite my scene, but at least it was a modern take on the character. And, I do love Mike Sekowsky!
Anyway, practice leaping through a lasso at home if you get tired of twirling.
Monday, August 31, 2009
It's the time of year for the annual Wonder Woman Day charity art auction. This is the 3rd year I have participated. Here's how it works: artists (including many past WW artists) donate original art for an auction benefiting a women's shelter in Oregon. There have been some great pieces in the past (do your own Google search!).
After I've submitted my line art, I've colored the drawings, and posted here to Blogspot and occasionally sell as prints. I colored this year's with Painter, again, practicing with the chalk tool. I'm far from great, but I can definitely see improvement from my earliest manglings.
The inspiration for my WW vs. Cheetah is a poster I had as a kid, of the pair wrestling high above skyscrapers. Presumably NYC, as there was a New Year's ball-looking thing on one of the rooftops. For years, I thought, "what is that thing?!?" as it was really tough to tell what was; so I don't feel bad that you will be saying the same about my drawing.
UPDATE: the poster was kindly found for me on the internet. See, kind of tough to tell what's going on.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I myself bike most days to work, year-round. Yes, including January and February. And August. Except if the roads are really awful, then I am too fearful of the conditions to take that risk. I've been knocked off my bike in traffic twice in good weather...I don't need even more negative factors against me!
In June we saw much rain, and I relied on the subway and foot. But one day, I saw this fellow in a horribly busy intersection biking in a terrific downpour, wearing a suit, with a backpack, and holding an umbrella.
Insane! I hope he survived his trek to work.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Godland (Casey/Scioli) which is fun but may veer more toward "Kirby knock-off" than "Kirby inspired."
Charlatan Ball (Casey/Suriano) is also fun and the art is amazing!
X-Men First Class (various) to catch up on work from my comics pal Colleen Coover.
Rex Mundi (Arvid Nelson et al) which has an intricate, well thought through plot...a little tough to follow here and there, but a good read.
The sketchbook image to the left are the two doctors from Rex Mundi. I like the image overall, but I really F'd up the Eiffel Tower. It looked ok in blue pencil, but when I inked it, the perspective went all wrong. Oh well.
I'll keep you posted...there's a lot on my to-read pile.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Over the years, I started getting into the portfolio review lines, trying to meet “famous” creators and publishers, to a frustrating end. Frustrating, but led to good things: turning Arche-Lady into portfolio-level work, and ultimately embarking on a serious self-publishing career. Once I began publishing, Comic Con became “serious business” for me to recup exhibiting fees and networking for new deals.
Years later, the publishing seems to take care of itself, and I seem to get more attention by simply doing my thing rather than active networking. So this time around, I went to Comic Con to see old friends and have fun. And it was indeed very fun! These days Comic Con pulls in 125,000+ attendees—it's crazy!
Thursday, I flew in from Boston. En route, I met an Image artist Christian Ward coming in from London and killed time chatting in Logan airport. When I arrived in San Diego that night, I met up with my hotel-mates at the Gaslamp Westin. After a shower (solo), we went to the infamous Hyatt for industry chit-chat and a few drinks. Friday morning, Aman and I hit the hotel gym and made our way to the convention. After registering, we walked around a bit and went to the DC green room. Spent time in the big exhibits of DC, Marvel, Image, etc, and then through artist alley. Met Seth Estrada, who is making a documentary about his dad Ric (who I knew best for drawing war comics). I then had a signing @ the Prism Comics booth (where my books were on sale) with a steady stream of guests. After a little relaxing, we grabbed some food and then back to the Hyatt for more industry chit-chat.
Saturday, once again, Aman and I hit the hotel gym, though I had to hot-foot it to the con to be on time for my Saturday signing. This one wasn’t advertised, so it wasn’t nearly as busy. Chatted with Andy Suriano a bit and bought his book. Walked through the smaller publishers and gushed over Chynna Clugston a little. We left the con for a drink and then I went back to appear on a panel about romance comics. The panel turned out to be really good. The moderator tailored questions for the panelists, who in turn gave some quality answers. No one dominated the panel either. I think it turned out to be the best panel I’ve ever been on! That night was the BGD gathering and ultimately was back at the Hyatt again.
Sunday morning, friends held a spot in line for me to get into the Doctor Who panel. David Tennant (who looked like he sexily just rolled out of bed) graciously gave us an extended look at his happy trail. That was one weird panel. While I like Doctor Who, and David Tennant is definitely hot, I was surprised by all the girl-squealing going on. I mean, the crowd was crazy-silly. I started watching the show because I am a fan of Catherine Tate (see my post “Doctor, Donna, and kitty”); I was tempted to get in line to ask if David would deliver my drawing of them to her. :P I bolted back to the hotel to check out and headed out of town.
A bit of a whirlwind, and I spent a bit too much money between comics, t-shirts, food, and many drinks…but a very fun time!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Yay, Comic Con! I haven't been since 2007, so I am eager to go and see many old friends. Comic Con is the largest comic con in the US... 100,000 + attendees. I have been going most years since I lived in San Diego more than a decade ago. When I began self-publishing seriously, I started exhibiting. This year, I will not be exhibiting, only attending as a "professional" and will do a few booth signings and also will be on a romance comics panel. Exhibitng is fun, but exhausting for a large 5 day show. It can be sensory overload. So, very excited to just go for mostly fun.
I drew this little Superman on some scrap Bristol board during TCAF in May. I love goofy monsters and aliens, and here Supes is getting blasted by this one's fire breath. I quickly colored it in Painter to use as a homepage update-y thing for my Comic Con schedule for my site. I purposefully colored Supes in a short sleeved uniform, but I'm not sure if I like that.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I made this for the "Draw Serge" blog which I enjoy. It's a tribute to one of the most influencial song writers ever, Serge Gainsbourg. I like a lot of the art featured there.
Considering his collaborations with wife Jane Birkin and sexpot Brigit Bardot, I'm not wholly surprised there weren't any drawings featuring France Gall, though the two were linked together by a number of pop hits and the "Les Succettes" scandal.
Here I draw them circa 1965, a la their Eurovision Songcontest win. You can see 16 year old France's awful Eurovision perfomance at Youtube. But the song was still good enough to win—the first time a pop song won the contest.
I took the opportunity to draw them for the blog and practice using Painter as well. Aside from the suit stripes, I am pretty happy with my progress using the "chalk" feature in Painter.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Taking inspriation from France Gall songs from the '60s comes my "line" of t-shirts: Love, L'amour und Liebe (top); Computer Nr. 3 (middle); and Haifischbaby (bottom). "Computer Nr. 3" was recorded in 1968 and is a song about computer dating!—"love is guaranteed with the computer." The gist of "Haifischbaby" is "I love you so much I could eat you." These designs are printed on high quality soft American Apparell t-shirts and are available for sale at www.timfishworks.com
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Recently someone likened her to a late 60s Britney Spears. To that I say "no!" Sure, her career was made possible by a pushy parent (songwriter father) and built on her looks, but as a singer has much more talent and skill than Brit. First, she could sing flawlessly in French, Italian and German (I'm not sure how flawless her Spanish singing was). Second, she could and did perform live—and in at least 3 of those languages. Thirdly, into her adult years, France dealt with much adversity admirably (ie, she wasn't Fd up).The hair and dress in the drawing here is inspired by her German career. Also, she's singing "Haifischbaby" ("Baby Shark"). This panel appeared in my OGN "Love is the Reason" despite the fact that France circa 1968 appears in a modern-day story. Sure, doesn't make sense, but it's the only time I've ever featured an actual person in any of my comics.