Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays

From OMAC—One Man Army Corps (and me)!

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

PC cleaning #5: lost love letter

Some time ago I started sketching out a love letter to Liz Phair. It's the type of project I'll probably never get to do with all my other projects going on. So for now, I publically declare my adoration with this sketch.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PC cleaning #4: another monster

If you read Something Fishy This Way Comes, you know I enjoy drawing well-dressed heinous women enjoying a drink. Here's another monster in a cocktail dress I did while practicing with my brush pen. I love the thick-thin effect on the arm fat.

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

PC cleaning #3: The Doctor

I was visiting my grandmother perhaps early fall, and was mindlessly drawing in my sketchbook. This image of Doctor Who was the result. It's not great or anything, but she was amazed. While she's seen my published art, I don't think she's seen me draw since I was 11. A year or two ago, she gave me a huge stack of drawings I did at her house over the course of my childhood. Perhaps I will scan some for you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

PC cleaning #2: the couple

OR, what should we wear today?

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

PC cleaning #1: Jeff

Today we got about 2 feet of snow in Boston. It was great!—very pretty, got a good workout shovelling, and trapped at my apartment, widdled down my 'to do' list!

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

Lilith & Gnaark

Here's another commission I did a little while ago for a fellow early '70s Teen Titans fan. After I finished the line art, the commissioner added some nice colors, appropriate from the series. I was then inspired to play with Painter and add chalk-y colors. I try to purist but I still prefer these alternate colors for Lilith and Gnaark. The original Titans' jumpsuits were grey for the boys and Lilith sometimes wore green or pink. I think not until the series was revived in 1977 did Mal wear an orange jumpsuit. Anyway, Lilith and Gnaark are among my favorites, and I liked my brushwork on the figures.

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

Filmation Batman

I was recently given on loan a copy of Filmation's 1977 masterpiece "The New Adventures of Batman" which for some odd reason I'd not really seen before. I mean, I knew it existed and specifically recall watching one episode as a kid at my grandmother's house. But considering my super-hero fanaticism at an early age, it's odd I didn't follow it. Perhaps it was on too late in the morning.

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

NATION X #2 1/13/10




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

"The most frightful villain ever—!"


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

France ist vollendet

Let me geek out on you: I've made you well aware of my adoration of France Gall. And while I like her late 60s/early 70s recordings very much, I particularly like the songs she recorded in German during that era.

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

Riding on the Metro

Also on my DC/SPX trip, one of my late-night ventures on the Metro back to Ryan's place. I had to wait forever for the first train; then I had to wait forever to switch trains. And it was really packed. I was lucky enough to have a seat, and was generally grateful it was a window seat and not an aisle one.

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

Divine Dawn

When I was in DC for SPX some weeks back, I stayed with my friends Ryan and Mark. Ryan is a huge John Waters fan (I like John Waters, but Ryan is maybe 5x the fan I am), and took the opportunity to haul out DVDs and clips that I am guessing Mark doesn't appreciate.

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

Killed DC Heroes: Pre CRISIS

Call me old-fashioned if you will! But with the latest bounties and murder storyline in JUSTICE SOCIETY, I must say it: comic book murder is overdone to the point that it's no longer dramatic or powerful. It used to be a real event when something like this happened. Now, it's body parts, entrails and blood everywhere. And, often, there was purpose beyond "death." Take Mister Terrific's murder; the whole suspense point was that no one was on the satellite but the JLA and JSA... so whoever murdered Mr. T was a good guy. Of course, that's not how the story turned out. Go read JLA 171-172 for that. :-) Before I go on, enjoy this sketch of 3 dead heroes (Golden Age Batman, Silver Age Batwoman, and Golden Age Mister Terrific).

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)
So...15 over the course of DC's first 50 years. Happy to update with your edits. In the meantime visit the Wikipedia article of DC's dead heroes for an EXHAUSTING look at the 200+ DC characters (most "brutally slain") in the past 24 years.

Sign of the times, or weak story-telling? Or, I'm old fashioned.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Work

Here's a spread from my book inspired by a day in my office. I manage a marketing group; about 1/3 of the group has been there for 10+ years, 1/3 has been around 5-6 years, and 1/3 is fairly fresh out of college. It's a good balance, and I've made great efforts to build a cohesive team. Sean, to the left, keeps suggesting he's going to write about some our innappropriate moments (such as when I hosted an "unveiling" party for one of our teammates who got a boob job). Anyway, Sean was meeting with me and Katha when suddenly, for no apparent reason he started making this monster face. In the second image, we were discussing the recent death of family friend of one of our teammates. I was asked if he was old or young, and I replied, "60. Young for 'death,' but not for 'life.'"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Publishing

You may have seen my announcement on my site and Facebook about my latest book being dropped from DCD. This is bad news, as it represents a solid third of my sales.

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

Lunch

The office building I work in has a small cafe in which one can buy coffee, pre-made sandwiches, sodas, chips, and a hot buffet lunch provided by a caterer. It ranges from super-yummy to downright disgusting.

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

New Mutants commission

Not too much to say about this one...just a little 3"x6" commission I decided to color for fun. I have so much free time on my hands since I finished my book! Just kidding—between my class, and two short stories with Marvel due by Thanksgiving, I shouldn't be playing with Painter now. Anyway, this was an on-the-spot sketch, and since I'd only ever read one issue of New Mutants (in preparation for my Cannonball story for Marvel a few years back), this is what you get.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dr. Fate

Drew this for no particular reason, and ended up inking it. I think I was bored in some staff meeting or something.

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

Boys of summer week: sickies

You may recall I have been suffering from chronic debilitating headaches for over a year now. I finally made an appointment with my doctor at MIT Medical; and he referred me to an environmental specialist (it is suspected the cause is environmental). A few days before the first day of classes, I met with the specialist. While waiting, I encountered several other patients, the most notable drawn here.

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

Boys of summer week: NYC

I understand NYC is proportionally more gay than other places, say, small towns, or red places such as Tulsa. But ultimately, it's the sheer volume of PEOPLE that makes it a really, really gay place. Not only the number of people, but the fact that you see them everywhere (the streets, the subway, the parks) unlike a big city such as Los Angeles where people are more hidden in their cars and tiny houses with private yards.

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

Boys of summer week: buff & bald

This year, winter lasted long, spring was 99% rain, and then suddenly we were into the dog days.

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

Boys of summer week: bicyclists

As I have explained many times, Boston is a bike friendly city, as far as U.S. cities go. Particularly from neighborhoods where subway access is spotty, you can see a daily stream of bicyclists commuting or recreating. Add nice weather to the mix, and you see even more, and less clothing covering such magnificent specimens as the fellow to the left.

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

Boys of summer week: p-whipped

With the passing of Labor Day and starting of school, many feel like summer is over, despite its official changeover date of September 21.

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

Psylocke commission

I drew this commission some time ago, but with the work on "Trust/Truth" complete, I have some artistic free time and felt in a color-y mood.

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

Strike one!

My office softball league (which I am not part of) has an unlimited at-bat. So you see some awful players swinging for upwards of 20 minutes. It's painful for all.

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

Wonder Woman Week: Wondergirl

Sorry for fizzling out on the "whole week" of WW; my day job and book production got in the way.

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

Wonder Woman Week: bullets and bracelets



Drew this @ Comic Con during a signing, which helps attract attention.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wonder Woman Week: transform

While I think the twirl-change from the TV show is great, this sketch is inspired by the way WW would transform herself in comics in the late 70s.

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

Wonder Woman Week: WW vs. Cheetah

I've been criticized from time to time because I haven't given enough airtime to Wonder Woman. So here we go—a whole week of Wonder Woman!

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

A thing of beauty

Finally posting this sketch from May. En route to the airport for TCAF, I encountered this fellow on the silver "T" line. He was mid-30s, 5'9", built and scruffy. Very much a man. As the car jostled him about, I suppose the friction of his sweatpants against his presumably naked nether region produced a visable reaction. He had to reposition and stand in such a way to disguise his erection. But inevitably, he could not hide it forever: as he prepared to disembark at Courthouse Station, my suspicions proved accurate. It is a memory I will cherish for some time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Umbrellacist

Bewteen its short distance between point A and point B, and the thousands of bike-friendly foreigners here, Boston is a walker-biker town.

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

Mom's garden

I drew this a few months ago and never posted. In recent years, my mom has taken to gardening, and she has a few very nice displays, blooming from spring through late summer. This one surrounds a lovely old birch tree. I was up in NH this past weekend, and was enjoying the gardens again. I like to go up there as much as I can in August. June is very busy for me due to my day job, and July tends to be busy because of comics. That leaves August for some summer relaxing, and escaping the nastiest of city weather. This weekend, I actually helped with a little yardwork! Very unlike me. I also read some comics, and did some drawing. A nice weekend overall. Although, usually on these summer trips, I indulge myself in some extraordinarily light reading (Nancy Drew, Dana Girls, etc.). But this time, I had no such book to read. Maybe I will pull some classic entries from my old blog discussing Nancy Drew. You can find my Dana Girls entry on this blog.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer '09 reading list

Fish-philes know I don't read many new comics; but lately, due to friends' recommendations and Comic Con, I have been reading a nice handful:

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

Comic Con 40

After I moved to San Diego in 1995, I began attending Comic Con. I’d drive my orange Jeep downtown and park just east of the Gaslamp and walk into the con on free passes handed to me by a friend of a friend who worked at the convention center. At that time, I was used to shows about as big from Boston and New York—about 40,000 attendees. I remember looking at the displays, looking at the indie comics, attending a panel or two. But mostly I was buying old back issues. It was definitely the place to complete my 60s/70s Legion and Teen Titans collection.

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

Comic Con International


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

France et Serge

Final entry for France Gall week!

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

France in America(n Apparel)






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

France en Allemande

France Gall's career was waning ahome when she signed with Decca and scored some hits abroad in Germany. Some of the songs are laughably stereotypical you can imagine people bobbing along in lederhosen. But then other tracks are among my most favorite of all her work. Some of the songs are covers of foreign hits, but lucky France got to record lots of original music, unlike many of her Euro-contemporaries, and I like most of those too.

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.

Monday, July 13, 2009

France Gall week


In conjunction to my submission to the "Draw Serge!" blog, I am posting entries of his frequent song doll, France Gall. In the early '60s, France Gall was considered something like the Leslie Gore of France. Though her repertoire ranged from jazz to pop to children's songs. Here are a few pencil sketches I did a few years back, with her various hairdo's. Her later recordings with husband Michael Berger are considered better, but I confess I like a lot of the early work, particularly the jazz-y/lounge-y stuff.