Monday, August 30, 2010

Teen Titans '10—sort of

Fish-philes know my penchant for late '60s-early '70s Teen Titans. So my foray into the Titans of today is very much a cautious toe-dipping into the pool.

The sketch session starts off with the non-modern version Betty Kane Bat-Girl flipping a would-be attacker, before I am inspired to draw the Cassie Sandsmark Wonder Girl.

Cassie wears a TIGHT red top with either an eagle or W, and originally jeans and later TIGHT red pants. At first I thought the idea of a super-hero wearing jeans was pretty silly. But drawing her, I warmed up to it. Here, I give her the loose top a la Donna Troy in the mid-'60s with stylized eagle, but showing the midriff. Then I imagined her sewing on the stars wrapping around her hip and leg. Kinda blending Donna's first look with her second in a retro-hippy chick version of Cassie. Now I like her.

I proceed to draw Cassie along with a more modern version of Robin (probably Tim Drake) and some version of Kid Flash (is Impulse now KF? Is that Bart Allen? I can't keep up), fighting the grow-one of the Sizematic Twins.

Admitting Wonder Girl, Robin, and Kid Flash aren't terribly "modern" I proceeded to draw Kid Devil and Rose Wilson astonished by the shrink-one of the Sizematic Twins. Perhaps he broke into the Titans' HQ. I did read about Rose on Wikipedia. I assume in my version, the serum granting her super strength and reflexes is out of her system, rendering her more along the lines of Lilith with ESP as contribution to the cause. I'm guessing with that serum out of her system, she'll have less if no psychotic episodes. Maybe the eye she gauged out will grow back. Dunno.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hard at work

I've been asked here and there what's up next for me in comics. The short answer—I don't know! Just working on a few shorties here and there.

The long answer for those who want it—after I completed TRUST/TRUTH late last summer, I immediately fell in some work with Marvel. Fell into is a little exaggeration...I had pitched an adaptation of WUTHERING HEIGHTS for their possibly-defuncting 'Classics' line. The answer was no, but along came an offer to write an Iron Man story and write and draw a Northstar story.

After I completed work on both, the holidays rolled through which of course keeps one busy with day job holiday parties, family obligations, jaunts to NYC and the like. In January I started thinking about what to do next, and then off to Angouleme Festival, and tourism in France & Portugal, and some rollercoaster emotional times.

By this point, I had set a closing date for my loft purchase. I also was feverishly distracting myself with plotting and planning the second half of my long-awaited OGN BABY MAKES THREE. It just wasn't coming together, so I decided to abandon it. Brainstorming ideas was more and more challenging as my grandmother's health worsened and the house purchase loomed large.

The purchase, renovation (it was not move-in ready), and move was a very trying and stressful time, and on its heels, my grandmother passed away. Mid-May to mid-June is very much a haze. But I did my best to pull myself up by the bootstraps and completed a shortie for the indie anthology INBOUND #5 (on sale soon I think).

More renovations, Comic Con, and more renovations and here we go with a guest-run on Monica Gallagher's Web comic BONNIE N. COLLIDE. And in Oct, you'll see the story I did with Jen Van Meter in 2006 reprinted in Oni Press' HOPELESS SAVAGES GREATEST HITS.

So 2010 brings two Marvel credits, an Oni credit, and 2 indie credits, as well as a limited reprint of CAVALCADE V1 with some exclusive material. Not bad for almost no work.

But, that means you won't see much on the shelves from me in 2011. With no approved pitches, and the self-publishing scene tanking, I won't be embarking on a significant project soon. I'll keep you posted with news about my mini comics and whatever else comes along.

In the meantime, I'm purging a bit of deadstock which is taking up too much space in my loft and my mind. Oh, and here's a picture of my drafting table—recently bought and the first I've ever owned—with my BONNIE strips in progress. Pic didn't turn out, but I have a swell view out those windows. A sheer joy to work there.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Titans time—

But, not really.

I get lots of sketch requests, and I turn down many because I am too distracted with the day job and keeping on top of stuff. But I still mindlessly churn out Titans circa 1973 sketches!

My work on the Cavalcade re-print is just about ready to send to the printer, and after that, I really need to start my Bonnie N. Collide guesties for Monica Gallagher. I promised they would be ready to run in September. That's but 2 weeks away!

Fortunately, my loft space is now in great shape for me to start creative work again. It was a long 4-month haul (still far from "done" but in a very live-able state), but it'll feel good to get to some comics again.

Draw, monkey, draw!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Comic Con Report

A few weeks back, I made my not-quite-annual trek to my old stomping grounds of San Diego for the giant crazy-fest now known as Comic Con International.

Ah, the good old days when I would hop in my Jeep and park a few blocks from the convention center in the abandonned factory district and walk up to a short registration line and into the con are so long gone. Long lines, packed floor, and visual/audio overload these days. But still a fun fest of all things dork.

On Friday, I did a signing at the Prism booth, and explored the con floor, and saw many old friends. That night I made it into Oni's Scott Pilgrim party.

Saturday morning was my big shopping spree: super fun t-shirt from the I Heart Guts booth, at long last I bought Kevin Dart's Seductive Espionage as well as Scott Pilgrim V6 and Super Pro K.O. from Oni. I tracked down some Sekowsky early '70s comics, too. I caught up with some self publishers who I admire and bought their latest work. Oh yeah, I went to Mistress of Halloween Elvira's pay-for-autograph booth, too. My friend Ryan harasses me every time I go to CCI to do so. She's SO NICE. For some reason, no one was talking to Matt Fraction at the Marvel booth so I introduced myself. He's the main X-Men writer, and he knew my story in the Nation X mini series, complimented me and thanked me for writing it. I was flustered and didn't give him my card. Way to go, Tim.

In the early evening, I felt honored to be on a panel alongside Dan Parent, Geoff Johns, and more. It's always easier to have professional conversations and interactions with people once they've been forced to listen to you on a panel. :) That evening I attended a pre-dinner and then a dinner, both lots of fun.

Sunday, I had another signing at the Prism booth alongside Will O. Tyler (who colored half my OGN Trust/Truth). I insisted we have a draw-off. It took us some time to agree on a topic, but in the end it was "lesbian with a tool." We randomly awarded and retracted points from the other, and ultimately ended with a tied score. His completed drawing was a vamp with a chainsaw surrounded by some body parts. Mine was inspired by my dear friend Paige Braddock...I envisioned her chopping wood. Will and I donated our drawings to Prism for some future charity auction or something. Then I spent time queued up at the Capcom booth to buy a Mega-Man "Proto-Man" toy as a gift.

All in all, another fun and crazy con!