Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sketch Of The Week 1

If you read our COMICS then you will know that we introduced a character called Jaggard a long time ago. We are showing his armor for the first time in our Latest post and this presented a problem because, as of yesterday, I didn't know what it was going to look like.

I wanted it to be iconic, not visually similar to Darth Vader or Sauron etc etc... yet evoke menace like they do, and make sense as a suit that someone could potentially manufacture and wear. I did a couple of doodles that you can see and I pretty much settled on the design that looked the smoothest (texturally.) I wanted his armor to be white and reflect like porcelain. This half of the post was mostly for the 'fans' or 'readers' (as I prefer to call them) of White Pony.

What I wanted to show was this little sketch from my anniversary with Lindsey.

We went out to breakfast and I started a drawing of the cafe while she was in the bathroom. The girl with the bug eyes glasses had a vocal affectation like Mira Sorvino in "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion." Her whole aesthetic seemed contrived like she was going to a 'I'm a Portland hipster' costume party. I had to draw her because she was such a 'perfect' example of what contemporary style is like in PDX.

I would like to post some sketch or another once a week and I'm open to suggestions. My next image planned for the blog is a colossus!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Smarty Pants: For Your Health

Last weekend Lindsey, our friends Jacquie and Koze Martin and I attended a Portland phenomenon called "Sunday Parkways" where the city and other organizations host booths, events and blocked off the streets to make travel between the hot spots much more safe. It was hot to a point of excess that day (even for me in my usual love of all things warm) but I was excited enough by the sunshine and seeing my drawing put into practice that the walk to and from the park seemed shorter than it was.

It isn't often that I get to see something I've drawn used in this way let alone so large! I used to paint big at a large scale, and I might again someday, but for now this will do. I also enjoyed the fact that it is a quiz for kids and it encourages them to have fun by using their minds to explore the world.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Agents Of Awesome.

My favorite comic out there right now is a series written by Jeff Parker called Agents Of Atlas. It has everything you could want in a comic book; frequent monsters, well placed jokes, genuine mystery, nods toward science, martial arts, mythology, adventure, emotional peaks and valleys and mostly spectacular art.

The team is comprised of a resurrected Kung-Fu fighting special agent, a ancient Greek goddess in the body of a super model, an ass kicking Atlantean queen with an unknown past, a psionic super-scientist spaceman (complete with his own saucer), a killer robot with a human soul comparable aesthetic to that of a 57' Chevy and a munitions expert/battle savant magically trapped in the body of a talking gorilla. All of them work alongside an ancient sage-dragon who serves as their Consigliere and presides over their army. Did I mention that they also have a hidden city beneath San Francisco and can use a dragon scale to travel through sub-space tunnels?

It doesn't get any better than that. The sad news is that people who buy comics don't always read comics or, in some cases, they may read them but have an agenda before they turn a single page: thus negating the radness within. This has resulted in less than stellar sales for my beloved AOA and their subsequent defeat by they only thing more powerful than their fabled abilities: the market.

I want to do my part and promote the book because it makes comics fun again, or more specifically, Jeff Parker makes comics fun again. Go to your local comics retailer and get all the Agents you can before the series ends. Tell your friends and remember a time when you could buy this great comic as it came out, before yet another middling wolverine title filled it's glorious shoes inadequately.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Be Subject To One Another.

I love the West Wing. Not only do I enjoy it because I'm about as politically left-leaning as a reasoning person gets but also due to instances that reveal themselves on repeated watching as provoking critical thought. As I was working on tomorrow's White Pony post I heard Martin Sheen give a particularly stirring soliloquy that is quintessential President Bartlett:

"In this day and age of 24 hour cable crap devoted to feeding the voyeuristic gluttony of an American public hooked on bad soap opera that's passing itself off as important don't you think you might be able to find some relevance in verse 21? How do we end the cycle: Be subject to one another."

I enjoyed it and I wanted to share it. I did this West Wing fan art as a tribute to the fictitious government that I wish we had. We could all be better Americans, better people and kinder to each other. The West Wing does a good job of showing how it could be under the best conditions and what sort of things curtail our best intentions from manifesting. In that spirit enjoy the brilliant revelations of Naomi Klein.

I think a lot while I draw about how I might use comics to address the issues I think are important. For the time being we do casual stories with little serious underpinning. I enjoy escapism as much as anyone but I would like to do a story that, not unlike the West Wing, entertains and educates from a particular perspective. I want to be an advocate for the things that I consider most important: science, empathy and critical thinking. I'll keep you abreast of what I come up with.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Two Books With My Art Are On The Stands

I realized this week that I'm featured in two darkhorse comics titles that are out right now:

Troublemakers Vol. 1 (for which I did backgrounds on about half the book) and Myspace Darkhorse presents volume 5. MSDHP features a pin-up I did and my first published work with a major comics company. The story is called Blighter and I created the character with Jeff Parker. I penciled, inked and colored the story in a two week span. I have issues with it since it is my first project (busy, saturated color, cramped panels etc...) but overall I'm proud of it and I'm glad to see it on the stands. Please go check it out and let me know what you think. I'd like to do more Blighter stories. I think he would be a fun character to play around with in an ongoing series.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Tour Of My Collection.

I have started a modest collection of art by other comic book pros and I thought I'd share some of what I've been lucky enough to receive.

This is a page from Agents of Atlas Inked by Kris Justice, Penciled by Leonard Kirk and Written by/given to me by the great Jeff Parker.

This was drawn by my Friend Jonathan Case for a commercial job and I thought it was so good I asked him what he wanted for it and he is such a nice guy he gave it to me. It is a perfect example of what sort of magic he works on even material he is indifferent toward.

This is a sketch done by my pal David Hahn. I like his art style but I like his brain even more. This little sketch, that he would've likely thrown out, shows his lush imagination in full flower- twin space-apes, robots, a spitfire and dinosaurs.

Here we have my 30th birthday present from my dear friend Jeff Parker. That guy is tops in my book. He got Gabe Hardman to sign it. Jeff is one of my favorite people so this one is super special. It's from my favorite comic (agents of atlas) too!

This is a set of clue cards that my mentor/friend Colleen Coover drew. She is badass and Clue just so happens to be my favorite board game.

This is a birthday present/motivational prompt from my buddy/up and coming superstar Ben Bates. He and I started our internships at around the same time and he has been a constant source of knowledge and inspiration for me since I met him. He gave me this drawing of Conan because he knows how much I'd like to work on that book and he doesn't want me to forget that goal.

I'm sometimes accused of being an 'art scavenger' at the studio and here is an example of that being the exact literal truth. I found this little doodle by dear Dylan Meconis sitting either in the trash or on the lunch table and I snatched it up. I did use it as a landing strip for my brush and pro-white but I took care not to cover up Luther Levy in the bottom left!

Once Lindsey and I move into our new place I'm going to make an effort to expand the collection to include paintings, sculpture and photography. It's nice to have unique works to decorate your working/living space because it makes that space feel cared for. I have an internal sense of resonance with some imagery which gets me excited about generating work myself. All the pieces I have,currently, make me feel that way.