Wednesday, December 30, 2015

So there!

The daily post challenge was kind of fun at first…since I had a lot of sketches from 2014 and 2015 to post. And I thought my sketches from the UK trip were pretty alright. But at the end of the challenge, to achieve my “traditional” 60 posts per year, I am overwhelmed! I mean with the whole social media thing. When do I post to Facebook? Twitter? Blogger? Do I differentiate between Blogger posts and Tumblr posts? After much encouragement, I started up an Instagram account…but what and when do I post there? How can I keep up with all this?—I’m just one man.

Admittedly, I am really strapped for time at the moment…being the director of my department, the interim director of another department since September (and likely through June), and being on the condo board of my artist loft building. Plus I’m engaged in a soul-searching exercise to plan out my next career move. I’m having some lovely conversations with mentors and former colleagues from ages ago, but it’s also a lot of time when I haven’t much to spare. And I extricated myself from my father’s woodshop after 6 weekends in a row up to NH to finish my started projects and begin purging my surplus collections. My purge keeps purging, as I open cabinets and boxes, declaring “I don’t need this!” and “I don’t want to store that!” wildly posting to eBay, packaging sold things, running to the post office almost daily, and meeting strangers from Craigslist to buy furniture I've refinished or built myself.

And then there is the association I’ve formed with Monica and Greg (and hopefully Mike!). It's exciting and motivational. Our first challenge to each other is "gothic tales" and I keep looking at my penciled pages, thinking, “soon, I will ink you.” In the meantime, Saved by the Bell is back on! I have three approved scripts for issues 4, 5, and 6. I planned out 6 (as it was approved by NBC first) but immediately turned to 4 when approval for 4 sprung about. Only did a little thumbnailing before holiday hosting duties began.

This was the first time I hosted Christmas holiday, and only the third time it’s not been at my folks’ house in my life (2002 was at my sister’s place in Savannah, and last year we were basically at Brigham & Women’s Hospital). Since my mom passed away last Christmas day, and my dad is making movement to sell the house, it definitely felt like time for change. Family friends Rich and Ken flew in from Los Angeles and Jacksonville, my sister and my dad drove down from NH. It was a fun few days. I only had a few moments that got me, and I tried to stay focused on joyful remembrance.

Anyway, daily post challenge complete. With my full plate, I will drop back to silence for a bit, to stay focused on actually drawing. I’m told to take pics of what I’m working on and post it to Instagram…maybe I will do that so you know I’m making progress. Otherwise, I’ll see you in August when convention season starts for me. Wish me luck hitting all my goals for 2016!   

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hidden Agenda

Sometimes, I cut out drawings from meeting agendas and glue them into my sketchbook...

And if I really like it, I then draw around it. Once in a while this becomes a story idea...

And sometimes it just gets inked; the words covered by black or white out. The end.

Monday, December 28, 2015

I keep forgetting about this one...

Drawn in Monica Gallagher's sketch book while I manned her table at Thought Bubble!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Public Picking

Here's tomorrow's post! Happy Boxing Day.

Each Monday, I join my neighbor, Pier (and some times other neighbors as well) for trivia at the closest bar to our building, American Fresh Brewhouse—Boynton Yards more commonly and easily referred to as Slumbrew. It's the tap room of a micro-brew and the place is a real wild card. Some times you're literally the only one there, sometimes it's standing room only.

This past Monday was pretty full. There was a party of fairly cute guys. the one on the end was no exception. Kind of jockish but definitely more armchair jockish.

Suddenly he dove in for a pick. Maybe he had a terrible itch to scratch? I could have been Ok with that. But as I watched from my peripheral vision, I saw him keep going in. I couldn't stop watching, like watching a lava lamp or fish tank. 

But when he wiped it on his face, I then had to stop watching. 

I'm guessing he didn't know he was doing it. Things like this make me wonder what am I doing right now that I have no awareness of? Am I picking my nose without realizing it??? 

Men of means and consequence—Colonel Brandon

£2K/yr—Col. Brandon from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

Men of means and consequence—Mr. Willoughby

£3K/yr—Mr. Willoughby, after marriage, from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

Yesterday's post is Mr. Willoughby. 

I had intended to draw Mr. Knightley from Emma, but I'm not sure what happened. I inked it using one of Pier's Waterman pens. These are really great to use, but produce a much different effect than I'm used to, and of course the experience is vastly different, from the stiffness or flexibility of the nibs to the flow of the ink. But I enjoy new pen challenges. I'd like to use finer pens in general, so it all works together.

Except in this case, the drawing ended up feeling too "put together" and smug to be Mr. Knightley, and struck me as very Willoughby, my least favorite Austenian ne'er do well.

The series was inspired by Monica Gallagher's penchant for drawing series of character drawings. So, thank her!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Men of means and consequence—Mr. Rushworth

£12K/yr—Mr. Rushworth from Jane Austen's Mansfield Park

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Men of means and consequence—Captain Wentworth

£25K—Captain Wentworth from Jane Austen's Persuasion

Monday, December 21, 2015

Men of means and consequence—Mr. Darcy

£10K/yr—Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Men of means and consequence—Mr. Bingley

£5K/yr—Mr. Bingley from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Men of means and consequence—Mr. Crawford

£4K/yr—Mr. Crawford from Jane Austen's Mansfield Park
Saturday's post is a bit of a cheat...this drawing was posted in color in 2009 (ish)

Friday, December 18, 2015


Before my UK trip, I'd been making progress on my annual purging of unwanted stuff. While I love the result, the process is always a drag. Goodwill runs, eBay postings and re-postings, rummaging the recycle room for the right size boxes, and trips to the post office. But I'd say about 3/4 of my stuff went  quickly.

On my arrival home, I decided it was time to face all the stuff I have stored at my dad's place in NH as he's made arrangements to sell the place. This meant refinishing 5 pieces, and, in order to utilize the vintage maple bookcases I've been stowing there since July, I'd need to sell off my vintage birch bookcases, once I made 4 custom base cabinets.

Three custom cases built by me (foreground and left), and one vintage one (background).

I started the refinishing process and building the custom bases. The custom bases looked bulky and ugly. But, I thought, "they provide me storage." Except one worked ok, one worked with great difficulty, and one was non functional. I knew I could make them work, but they'd be uglier still. Ultimately, I decided to purge even more stuff, negating my need for all that storage.  

It was much easier to select stuff to sell off. Now I have a mound of stuff to move on Craigslist, eBay, and to Goodwill. Purging is my hobby, but right now, the frequent trips to NH (each weekend for the last 6 to work in the wood shop) is more activity than I need. But after this weekend, I'll be done the work and it's just a matter of selling and getting rid of stuff.

So no drawing to post today...but you get to see 3 cabinets I built (or am in progress I'm building). That's sort of like art.

UPDATE: I finished altering the cases on Saturday and made doors that function. Sunday, posted to CL and by mid-afternoon sold off for my asking price. I recovered the expense of materials, and for my labor, I was paid for, as my dad says, "in experience." Failed experiments are never really a failure...but still a lot of work! But at least with this, cash outlay/intake neutral. 

And the buyers of the trio want me to build them a record cabinet.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Doctor and Susan, Barbara, and Ian

As I mentioned recently in my post about the 2nd Doctor and Jamie, in  July I spent some time watching some really old episodes of Doctor Who.

The 1st Doctor appeared (I think) exclusively in black and white, so that's where I went with this drawing. Early Doctors were older and feebler than modern Doctors, so there was always some action stud around. Early days it was high school teacher Ian Chesterton, and later it was time traveler Steven Taylor and later still Royal Navy seaman Ben Jackson.

While I have enjoyed the modern Doctors all in their special way, I confess—despite the production values—the early episodes' bevvy of male companions and assistants are also enjoyable. Getting all weepy over Rose isn't my scene, and these early episodes had no love interests for the Doctor. Barbara was Ian's love interest, and Susan was the Doctor's granddaughter. Most modern fans don't know that the Doctor has a granddaughter.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Actually, it's not at all how it happened...

After an afternoon of walking about the city center with Xavier, we met up with Greg and Monica at the (dive?) gay bar Delmonica. It was kismet.

On to dinner, we ended up at this pizza pub. Monica ordered parmesian fries as a starter. Greg liked the sound of this, so with his burger, he'd hoped to get that with the parmesian fries instead of the regular fries.

Not sure how it happened...the accents of Greg and the (very nice) waitress; the idioms and syntax used in the exchange...but (long story short) we ended up with a lot of fries at the table.

After dinner, we went to the Waterloo bar, a very old school place. It was very quiet there, but the company was lovely.

Overall, I'd say we had such a warm and welcoming time in Strathsbungo, that the impersonality [not a word] of the city center left me feeling OK to be headed home.   

It was such an amazing trip overall! Very inspirational and motivational for me to be drawing regularly and working on comics. It was great to talk through some issues and make key decisions. Since I've arrived home, I have the next 3 scripts approved for Saved by the Bell that I've started working on. That will consume my January, February, and March for drawing, but per my plans documented here, I hope to turn back to and complete that baby book. That could give me a new book in addition to two volumes of SBTB for the fall convention circuit.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hot cop

After some successful workshopping, we agreed our last night in Glasgow would be on the town. I decided to start the merriment early and Xavier and I walked to the city center. I'd hoped to find a shirt to buy. 

No such luck, but I did see this cop—though it was difficult to tell if he was a real cop or a stripper or something. Very cute, jacked, one arm tattoed halfway down his bicep, the other arm sleeved to the mid forearm. I typically am not so into tattoos, but this whole set up turned my crank. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

8900 emails

We agreed not to discuss it.

Comics Workshop!

This is Sunday's post!

The idea for Glasgow was to choose a fun but not too fun place and get a lot of comics writing, brainstorming, and chatter in. I got a lot drawn into my sketchbook and Greg, Monica, and I made several key decisions about our association! It was a fun and production workshopping time.

Pizza key

This is Saturday's post!

We arrived in Glasgow a little punch drunk. Greg was to pick up the air bnb keys at a cafe next door to the flat. The joke of pizza key took many forms. For Monica, it was to not accidentally touch the pizza next to the keys. For me, it was the idea of Greg being so hungry he couldn't decide to take the pizza or the keys. Then the notion of using a slice as a key. I was laughing heartily.

Friday, December 11, 2015


Waiting for the Scotland-bound train Monday morning, we saw many a formally dressed gent in tightly tailored suits.
Little bit of a panic but quickly resolved at the ticket counter. Though it did a few hours to our transit time to Glasgow.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Last night in Leeds, at Pieminister again, I remembered we had yet to bowl in England! So our friends at the restaurant directed us to Roxy Lanes. A short walk away and lanes available for us.

It was an amazing night (for me). Usually Xavier and I would be neck and neck in the high 60s, maybe 70s. but for me to make #6 in the Roxy Lanes high scores of November—WOW.

Cute patrons, cute manager, and nice bums everywhere made this Sunday night memorable.

Here's the recap of bowling with Xavier:
  • US: Somerville MA (twice)
  • Canada: Montreal
  • Belgium: Brussels
  • Scotland: Edinborough
  • Germany: Munich
  • England: Leeds 
Though I've mostly seen Xavier in France, it's odd we've yet to bowl there

Otherwise, we missed bowling in Austria and Italy...but I think that's it. Angry about Vienna...but I was in no shape to bowl in Italy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lovely Leeds

I am sure there are some Leeds haters out there, but do not dare count me among them!

It has the rep of being a nasty, awful, industrial city. It might very well be, but I guess I'm used to a lot worse.

Two hours to London by train, a charming and walkable city center, with few coffee houses but pubs that begin filling up at 2 in the afternoon, I thought this place was great.

Everyone was just a bit more friendly than in London, and of course, everyone cute was cuter as soon as they said anything.

Typically at a comic con, you're pretty locked in to up early, find something to eat, be at the table all day, find something to eat and drink, the end. But not having a table allowed me some wandering/tourist time.

Wandering around the flooded river walk, learning about the city from a local, seeing the little German Christmas market, and of course, pie at the Pie Minister. Way better than Piemaker in Edinburough... food was better and they served beer (plus I loved the little bird logo). Sure, it's a small UK chain, so not quite local color (but as Ian said in London, "everything is a chain these days.")...but that give me hope that there will be a Pie Minister Somerville someday.

Owl souveniers everywhere, and I love owls. Maybe I will Instagram all my vintage mid century modern brass owls. Turns out the owl is a symbol of Leeds, with city hall adorned with owl statuary too.

Excited to visit Leeds again (presumably next year for Thought Bubble!)!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thought Bubble

When Monica got a half table for the UK's comics festival, I thought, "Hey!—that sounds like fun; I will try to get a table, too."

But I missed the deadline, I was kindly told. When I inquired about a waitlist, I was kindly ignored.

Greg, Xavier, and I were posse'd in to help Monica set up her table, when her con neighbor asked her if she wanted to buy the half table between them—apparently some friend bailed. 

Monica passed, but I asked, "How much are you asking for the space?" The reply I heard was, "350 pounds." So I passed as I didn't have many leftover books from the signing at Gosh!

We went about our merry way, and I spoke with many creators and looked at many fun and amazing books. 

Chatting with Monica later, she corrected me: they were only asking 50 pounds. If I had heard that correctly first thing in the morning, I'd have bought the table and sold some wares.

Fine as it was, since I got to talk to so many people.

Including my new comics pal Timothy Winchester, creator of People I Know. My favorite character is the piece of toast, not so much for what it says, but just the fact that it's a piece of toast. That slays me. I drew some of the cast in my sketchbook. Enjoy, and go enjoy his webcomic!

Oh—have to throw one negative thing in there: in the main room, the ceiling and walls were black, and I found it really oppressive, like the ceiling was crushing me. Otherwise, I'm a fan of Thought Bubble.

Monday, December 7, 2015


Transferring from London to Leeds by bus was an experience to be had for 3 pounds. It wasn't awful...but MegaBus is the same every where. Immediately on arrival and throughout our stay, I was amused by the numerous "TO LET" signs. Many used a font similar to Impact, which created a visual suggestion (to me) that the signs read "TOILET." Also amusing to me were all the slogans in quotes, leading me to question, "who said this originally? whom is the sign quoting?"

Our budget hotel was clean and pretty nice for a budget hotel. But when white bedding is met by red wine, action must be taken. Fortunately, Monica's quick thinking saved the day and by the next night, the stain was gone and the bedding was dry!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Day in London

A day and a half, really.

In year 2000, I went to London thrice. I haven't been back since! So, I was really excited to tack on an extra 48 hours to my UK junket in London.

We stayed in Limehouse, and explored a few neighborhoods to the East of the city center, which I hadn't done before. The gang at Gosh! were great, and I had a nice turn out for my brief book signing.

I bought a pair of jeans that I like, but it's so easy to get swept up in tight clothing when you're in Europe. I fear post-washing they might be obscene. Not sure.

It was nice to see my pal Ian. Coincidentally, we are going through similar mid-life type things, so it was fascinating to me to hear his perspective and journey.

Cabaret night at the White Swan is easily one of the top 3 if not top 2 fun times I've had in a gay bar.

A bit of a whirlwind, but a nice little check-in.

Friday, December 4, 2015

UK comics junket 2015

Monica signed up for Thought Bubble in Leeds. 

That inspired me to apply, but I missed the deadline.

I said, "To heck with Cats, let's dance!" and decided to attend the festival.

I lined up a book signing in London.

Greg decided he wanted in on the jaunt.

Monica proposed a post-festival comics workshop. We all agreed.

Xavier wanted in on the festivities.

After much back and forth, Glasgow was settled on.

We were to connect with Monica in Leeds.

Xavier was to arrive in London in advance of me and Greg for tourism.

I arrived at LHR via DUB and Greg arrived at LGW. 

The three of us convened at a neighborhood cafe where we were to pick up our AirBNB keys.

We did. We ate. We talked. We picked up our keys. We cabbed to the AirBNB with our luggage.

First time in a London cab. Didn't really "get it" at first...

Monday, November 30, 2015

Feels like old times

Last night, over drinks, my neighbor Pier asked if I ever drew people from life.

I replied, "Sure, but only a few times with models. Mostly people on the subway." And then added, "...but they still mostly look like the way I draw people."

In August I had to jaunt to DC for a day for my day job. Waiting for my colleague's arrival in Terminal C (my first time there! I'm usually in Terminal B or E at BOS!) I saw they ginger otter reading a BOOK and couldn't resist sketching him.

I used to do this all the time on the subway. Mostly to get the way someone was holding something, or the folds of cloth, etc. Sometimes people "caught" me and were all into it. Others didn't care. Only once was someone annoyed. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Well, this sort of sucks! Knowing I'd be away for the holiday weekend, I queued up a bunch of posts, as I had done in preparation for my UK jaunt. "No problem," I thought, "the wifi at my dad's place is plenty alright." Sure enough, it was; though sadly, each post once live appears under the date I first drafted them (Monday 11/23) rather than the day I uploaded them. In the scheme of life, this is not a big deal. In my daily post challenge, it's yet another gaff. Boo hoo.

More from this past odd trio of a 1940s ad exec, a 1960s beach party girl, and a 1990s punk-ish bike messenger. What brought them together? Why? These are things I do not know. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Holly Hobby

Loved the smock/caftan this older lady was sporting at Hobby Airport. Safe travels, everyone for the holiday weekend!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Decade of TCAF

TCAF started in 2003, with its second year being 2005, which was my first, along with Monica! Happy decade-iversary! This time featuring one of the weirdest experiences I've ever shared in bed with two women (Monica and Danielle).

Wrench! Socket! Plugs, Motor, Tires, Chassis—SPEED BUGGY!

Another Hannah-Barbera favorite: Speed Buggy. He's too small though, and I didn't want to put the effort into scanning, and P'shopping him to be a bit in perspective to Debbie, Tinker, and Mark. Maybe someday.

The Doctor and Jamie

Watching old Doctor Who episodes is more painful than watching old Star Trek episodes... but you gotta do it.

It seems most of the episodes featuring the 2nd Doctor are missing from the BBC vault, so we don't get to see much of him, or one of the Doctor's longest running companions, Jamie McCrimmon.

Jamie was a cute fit lad from 1700s Scotland, and almost exclusively wore a kilt. He was a bit handsy with the Doctor, to boot. 

Needless to say, I wish Jamie had his own spin-off show a la Sarah Jane. 

While I was in NH this summer, I had some time to watch some old serials featuring the 1st and 2nd Doctors, and drew this picture of the Doctor and Jamie. 

Then, during my color-practicing last weekend during Open Studios, I colored this, with a '60s TARDIS-like background.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This IS my first time at the rodeo!

My day job sent me to two back-to-back conferences in Houston. Among the planned activities was an excursion to the enormous Houston Rodeo.

The mutton busting was cute, but a lot of the other activities made me kind of sad for the animals...from the bull riding to calf roping to even the prize animals. 

But, I was reminded even the worst of these creatures are treated better than those headed for slaughter.

Nonetheless, nothing says 'Merica like a chesty woman in a sparkly evening gown riding around a sports arena with an American flag that spits our firecrackers that startle the horse into full gallop.

A Boston native turned Texan kept her eye on me the whole rodeo, explaining, "I love to see the reaction of people from home the first time at the rodeo! It's always the same look..."

Indeed, I had a look of awe, wonderment, and ridicule all rolled into a horrific glee. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Josie vs Alexandra and Alexander vs Alan M

Yesterday we saw Alexander shaggy-haired and Alan M short. And today, the reverse. Shocker, I am more into drawing Alexander and Alan M than I am the gals. In the live-action film, Alexander was gay (ish?) and I definitely think either he or Alan should end up gay if Archie ever relaunched Josie. Cute guys in ascots?—I can dream, can't I?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Josie at Open Studios!

Yikes, it's been a long time since I colored anything! But, today and tomorrow is my building's open studios. I hate opening up, as most attendees aren't really looking to buy books or talk about comics. But last year, I just posted a sign that said, "I can draw and talk at the same time. Feel free to ask me questions." It was a lot of fun! I inked 2 pages, and had really nice conversations.

This year, I decided to practice coloring, since it had been so long. Here is the first result. And the inks.   

Friday, November 20, 2015

Josie Weekend!

Are you excited for a Josie weekend? Here's a little preview of how thrilling it's going to be.

I hope I didn't post any of these earlier. When I was asked by Archie publishers to share some sketches, I only had this one on hand. So, I made a few more to share (which I did) and will share with you after I color them. FYI, that's how far it went with Archie.

As a lover of obscurity, I always liked the history of the comic before the animated series made it famous. The series started off as She's Josie, then shortened to Josie, and when the animation deal came along, revamped as Josie and the Pussycats. During the conversion, Pepper, Albert, and Sock were dropped, and Valerie was added. I definitely love the animated series, but am fond of the comics series and the live-action film as well.

My wish list for comics projects is pretty small...but a crack at Josie is one of them. Someday!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Strange Sports, Indeed!

In honor of Vertigo's Strange Sports Stories trade paperback release this week, I share with you thumbnails from pages 1-3.

This was a tough assignment. Greg was being really kind with deadline given my mom's passing, but suddenly I found myself in France with little progress, and a looming deadline. But fortunately, the story was coming together in my head and in the thumbs. And extra fortunately, Greg accepted pics of the thumbs via Whatsapp. He went on faith in large part.

It was awesome to have Mike DiMotta color my pages, too. I hadn't worked with Mike in years, so it felt a bit full circle. 

The comic looked great, the TPB looks great. If you missed the series, definitely pick up the trade.


There won't be any annotation of this story...I just double checked, there are no hidden bits in the background, and no inside jokes.