Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Ritual.

I am not a church going man but I do spend my Sunday in my own sort of reverent contemplation. I try to reserve Sundays for time with my dearest Lindsey and doing the things I love. That can sometimes mean breakfast out, watching science videos on Youtube, playing guitar through my amps, petting the cats, Star Wars related activities and any other number of things that are just for me.

I like to draw her at breakfast; It's an excuse to stare at her

We went to breakfast again and we are about to head out for the day so I thought I'd offer up this little post in contrast to my super lengthy video game post of the previous day; in part I wanted to show that I do have leisure activities already and that I am by and large happy with my 'fun' choices as they exist.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

To Game, Or Not To Game?

On occasion I will inquire about information on certain video game titles from friends who have made the leap into the world of modern systems; this is so I can experience their joy vicariously. I don't know where I stand on those sorts of games because I can see a balanced set of good and bad reasons to engage in (or reject) their use. I have negative associations with losing time to anything but guitar (the study of music in general really,) reading about science or the advancement of my art skills; this is probably why I should find another activity that doesn't reinforce my unrelenting fixation on productivity.

From time to time, I'm told, that just doing things purely 'for fun' is important. I know that there would be aspects to exploring the worlds made by VG artists that could be really thrilling and instructive. I have strong, positive memories of much less sophisticated games (than exist now) that expanded my imagination and live in my mind as real places. Here are the contemporary games (their sequels too) that I'm interested in:

Mass Effect:

Don't all these aliens look so cool that you would want to become a hermit in order to meet them?

Red Dead Redemption:

I love westerns and this would be like directing your own in real time or a grown up game Cowboys & Indians with requisite cursing.

Force Unleashed:

I have a life long obsession with Star Wars. No more needs to be said.

Left 4 Dead:

I am both terrified and delighted by zombies. I love the idea of playing this with my friends.

Dragon Age:

My friend Colleen says this game is amazing and I believe what she says. I also happen to be a fantasy dork, as you probably know.

Old Republic:

I might just be in love with The Preview but I'd imagine that it is probably pretty amazing to explore the world they've built.


This is supposedly like Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider and Mission Impossible; What's not to love?

Gran Turismo 5:

I have such pleasant memories of playing this game series with Nathan, Ben Brosius and Bob Grunau that it might as well have been a fifth member in our gang.

The Last Guardian

I missed out on the epic scale and beauty of Shadow of the Colossus so I figured this might be where that aesthetic journey of adventure will meet up with my adult tastes for great puzzles and beautiful environments to explore via a huge gryphon-weasel.

Age Of Conan

I have a mild obsession with Conan The Barbarian. I almost bought the art of book for this game and I still might."What is best in Life?" A good question.

Any Future Legend Of Zelda Game:

The Zelda series has been that irresistible siren song that keeps drawing me back in to the world of video games. It seems to have it all and I can't get enough. Hyrule has a special place in my heart.

There are probably a few more games I've forgotten but these are the ones that stick out as noteworthy. I'm compelled by a few specific types of games; I like puzzle games, racing games and games where you can explore the world while fleshing out a character (BioWare seems to hit a lot of these notes in their titles). I know that some of them are for different systems and or PC but I'd most likely get the system that gave me access to the majority of the games on this list.

If my friends Ben and Nathan lived near by I'd buy an X-box tomorrow but both of them live in other states and have families to spend their limited free time with. I probably won't ever do it but I like to fantasize about how much fun it would be. For the foreseeable future I'll be an art, science and music monk. Feel free to try and convince me otherwise; I'm obviously open to changing my mind!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quit 'Monkeying' Around.

I have been busy trying to catch up to my obligations and that is why you only get a drawing of a Chimpanzee (an ape not a monkey-in point of fact) that I did yesterday as reference for one of my many projects.

In all, I think he is quite handsome. Now I'm back to my drawing desk where I craft dream-scapes of fantasy for young and old alike!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Across The Finish Line.

I finished a big painting this morning after a month (roughly 30 hours) of fairly tedious, technical, educational, demanding and meticulous work. I can't show it to you but I can show you these lovely paint rags.

It is a splash page-style montage of historical fiction characters with vehicles appearing under and on the sea, in the air and thundering over the American landscape. As more info is allowed to circulate I'll post accordingly. For now, I'll celebrate with a handful of blueberries and a return to my main projects.

May the Force be with you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Quiet Sunday

Lindsey and I spent the day at the apartment. I had intended to go down to the studio but I decided to have some time with my girlfriend where I wasn't worrying about work for a little while. We had breakfast at a kind-of-divey place down the street that we like to go to (mostly because of location.)

Upon our return home I worked on what was supposed to have been Friday's update for White Pony and then I did a little sketch of Lindsey while she watched (and I listened to) Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. We just played a game of Bananagrams and I lost again (I'm on a historic losing streak.) I'm kind of a poor sport but I try to make up for that by being a good boyfriend the rest of the time.

See you soon!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Love Paul Gilbert.

Paul Gilbert has been my favorite electric guitar player since I 'discovered' his brilliant playing in 2008. Anyone who has spoken to me for an hour or more, since that time, can attest to this.

Paul demonstrates the science of rocking out

Paul describes the pickups in my next guitar

He is best known from his tenure in a band called Mr. Big that peaked at the same time that grunge was on the ascent and, thus, was considered uncool. You may notice that those bands, as cool as they were, did not stand the test of time. Mr. Big has returned with all the giddy over the top spectacle that characterized the era in which they first emerged and I for one am glad because we need some of that gleeful grandeur in these times of silly reality T.V. and unexceptional celebrities.

How can you not love that chorus riff and face melting solo?

Yes! Tapping intro. Haters to the left- as they say

So I know this isn't a comics/art post but every now and then it's important to engage with something other than drawing to keep the batteries charged and my mind open to new possibilities. I hit a wall yesterday after working for 12 hours and Mr. Big was just the sort of sunshine I was looking for.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm Obscure, I Guess.

From time to time I try and do a 'mash up' with two things that I like and I seemingly have a talent for picking two or more things that next to nobody has ever heard of. In this case Periscope decided collectively to do Miyazaki themed drawings for our sketch blog and I wanted to be cleaver so I did this drawing:

If you don't get it you can follow this sequence of images and put it together for yourself:

Easy right? Next time I'll do some kind of unmistakable pop figure mixed with some wildly popular cultural phenomenon. I'll take suggestions and donations.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Stage 2: The Prince Of Eternia

These are the inks for my He-Man submission. Dustin Weaver suggested pushing his proportions toward those of the action figures or in step with how Bruce Timm would draw Batman.

I'm going to do a color version when (and if) I have the time. I'm in the midst of a deadline sprint on a few projects that will require major time commitments so I hope you'll forgive me if I waver from my planned days of posting. I had meant to post last night instead but Lindsey was working on her blog and I didn't want to interrupt. The results are stunning and hard won so check it out!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I'm a bit behind, both with this blog and with my contribution to the Periscope Sketch Tumblr but I think this turned out to be one of my best pieces. I was trying to measure up to all the great already done by my amazing friends. For some reason I can't just do part of a team. I want to draw all of them and I want to do it in a single image. I've been building up to more and more elaborate team shots and this time I was able to fit all nine members of the Thunderbolts into my drawing:

The series is written by Jeff Parker and if you don't know his work then you should check it out. There is more to good comics writing than Alan Moore and Brian Michael Bendis. Those guys are great, at what they each do, but I like comics that err on the lighter side without being aimless. Jeff Parker is great at infusing his work with a great mix of humor, mystery, grit and spectacle. Check out his current runs on Thunderbolts and The Hulk (with the great Gabe Hardman!")

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fabulous Secret Powers Were Revealed To Me...

I have had cause to draw He-Man as of late and it is really a fun project to undertake. I get to remember all the fun I had as a kid both with my older brother Aaron and my dear friend Ben Brosius. We made extensive use of our He-Man figures both in the world that was portrayed in the cartoon show and as a wrestling federation, that Aaron devised a whole system of statistics and charts for, to track the outcome.
I am working on a larger piece right now (see rough above) but I thought I might share the preliminary sketches that I did.

Dustin Weaver suggested that I just sketch the character without an specific composition in mind; to play around with poses and proportions. I did just that and it ended up making the image I'm working on right now much stronger. See you Saturday my fine friends.

I have... The Power

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ihumans Rule The School.

I started doing this blog with the intention of explaining process and what avenues have been successful in advancing my 'career' as a comics professional to any interested parties that might come across it but, in practical terms, I find it has become a place where I get to vent, explore and explain things to myself.

I tried to draw this in 90 minutes like Eric Canete but I couldn't pull it off. Part of that is that I was trying to fit in 7 characters but the other part is that Canete is a badass. I want to cultivate some of the same energy and flowing quality that are so present in his work. I feel like my stuff ends up being kind of stiff but it has it's charm too. My problem is that I care so much about structure and specific lines that the heart of almost every drawing I do becomes about that instead of projecting excitement.

I love the Inhumans and I wanted to draw them so I made this image. I hope you all enjoy it too.The things I was thinking about while drawing it extend to such topics as: drawing proper hips on ladies, how do you compose for an ensemble composition and why don't they have their own ongoing series that totally kicks ass?

I leave you to ponder these questions.

I have to go practice drawing ladies till I get it right.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Plateaus and Launchpads.

I suppose there is a point in every creative endeavor where you look back, at all the work you've done, and you just want to quit and start from scratch because you've learned some new precept or series of clarifying ideas that suddenly color everything a grayer shade. Add watching the final two seasons of "The Wire" (the most brilliantly written show I've ever seen) to the mix and you have a recipe for a good portion of self doubt.

I had such a revelation/doubtfest recently and I can attribute the information influx to a couple of unrelated but mutually relevant (although disparate) sources:

The flawed (any scene featuring the weird misogynistic serial killer subplot) but brilliant (any of the clever academic analyzing) reviews of the catastrophically terrible 'Star Wars' Prequels:

The Phantom Menace

Attack Of the Clones

Revenge Of The Sith

Steve Lieber showed me this memo written by David Mamet to his staff of writers on "The Unit" about the difference between drama and information:

Mamet Makes It Clear

The good news is that after a bit of time away from the initial mind expansion and a few conversations with Nathan about the current state and future of our webcomic we now have an informed way forward. Many of my colleagues at Periscope Studio want me to scrap the project but I've always felt that it was better to admit to a lack of clear communication and see if you can redeem a situation rather than just walk away. It can be a good thing to recognize flaws in your own work/approach and turn that stagnant stage into a springboard.

I am somewhat intimidated but genuinely excited by the challenge ahead. Nathan and I both want to be the best storytellers we can be; that is an ongoing process with ups downs and uneasy middles. Stick with us and we'll do our best to reward that investment.

Friday, January 7, 2011

LindseyAnne Is My Home

Lindsey has started her blog back up and I want to support that in every way possible. We are going to collaborate on a banner for her site and My portion of it is complete. She is going to color it as soon as she feels up to it (she's a bit under the weather.)

If you are familiar with the movie "Away We Go" you might recognize the aesthetic that we're borrowing from. Lindsey sees us as being very close to the couple depicted in the movie accept that she is way sweeter than Maya Rudolph. I had fun drawing the wonky line art of things that Lindsey likes. I combined these three elements as a test but I think she is going to do her own crop and arrangements too.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"When I Left You I Was But The Learner..."

"...Now I am the master"

I Love Star Wars (the original theatrical cut of the first three movies) to an insane degree. For how I feel about the subsequent 'prequels' look no further than this review.

I found out what it means to be "the learner" while trying to draw a sword fight once again. If you want to challenge yourself as an artist try some takes on someone running super fast and/or attempt to convey the struggle of two people crossing blades. It's always harder than I think it's going to be.

In my mind this was supposed to be a little doodle for the blog. I wanted it to be energetic and spontaneous looking along the lines of Eric Canete but in the end it just looks like me (which I suppose is fitting because Canete himself told me not to mimic anyone.)

Here are a few sketches I did before hand. It doesn't much resemble any of them. This is partly because I screwed up the hand position on the lightsaber when I was drawing Obi Wan. According to Darkhorse comics (and I think Lucasfilm too) all Jedi are right handed. I didn't want to commit a blunder so I just made Ben block Vader's blow with a one handed grip. My friend David pointed out that it still looks more exciting than the original showdown so I suppose I feel okay about how it turned out!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Full On Spider Girl.

This is up on the Periscope Sketch blog along with many other wonderful artists I share a studio with. We have committed to draw themes every couple weeks or so (as I mentioned in the first post about this piece.) I think the next one will be Jeff Parker's new 'Thunderbolts' team so come back to our blog and check back on the Periscope Tumblr for all the artistic goodies!

I know I owe a blog for yesterday and I already have a custom image for it so come on back tomorrow to see what I should have posted on Monday!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Comfort.

Lindsey and I settled in at home this first day of January and played some games with our good friends Rich Ellis and Susan Tardif. We did a bit of Gamma World, Bananagrams and The Labyrinth. It has been a comfortable day and this evening we are watching the last season of "The Wire." Lindsey has restarted her blog and I appreciate that. I like to draw her portrait when I can.

I hope those of you who followed this blog during December will come back in January to see what Nathan and I are up to. Thanks for reading!