Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I liked this title and I don't know why. What it did was inspire me to get back to a medium that I hadn't done since art school: relief print. I decided to do a treatment of a poem in the way I'd done one in relief class. I took a haiku and did a very small print based on it. I don't remember the exact poem but it went a bit like:

Now, the fireworks
are over for the night
ah, how vast and dark.

Of course, you don't get to see the print. Only one has survived and hangs on the wall of a friend's condo. He won it at a raffle at a seminar at our aikido dojo.

Anyhoo. I haven't had time to do the actual carving, what with another trip to ride The Queen Latifah Trail in MA and some freelance web design work (Woo hoo! Firewood money!). So, what you get is a sketch for the print done in illustrator. It will be much cooler carved and printed. I think the composition is missing something. Perhaps the angles need tweaking. Any thoughts? The poem it's based on is below.

poor crying cricket
Perhaps your little husband
was caught by our cat

(by Kikaku)

Listening to: Fibber McGee and Molly episode: "Egyptian Good Luck Ring" (1940)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


This was a pretty good topic, I thought. I had the basic idea on Sunday and sketched it out rough. Two more sketches later, I decided to attempt a scratchboard of it.

Result = failure.

Ah, well, can't win them all. So, in the need to get something up by Wednesday, I offer the third-round sketch placed in the semblance of an old-school sci-fi magazine cover. I would love to see this painted don't have much ability in painting. I actually entered art school hoping to be a painter, but sucked very much. I was so bad in fact that my instructor was so impressed with my progress from the fall to spring semester that the upped my grade from a C- to a C+. Luckily, I discovered type...

So, here it is. Just imagine that this was painted by Frank Kelly Freas or someone of his towering ability.

A used bookstore in town has a display of three items that the owner bought at an estate sale. Three pristine Fantasy and Science Fiction magazines and the original paintings of their covers! He has them displayed without price in a hidden area of the store. He showed them to me after I'd come up to the register with couple of 'golden age' sci-fi compilations.

Listening to: "Dawning of a New Era" by The Specials

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Four things:

First, about the title. It just didn't inspire me. It was the 'y' that did it. If it was 'geek' it would have opened up the field of ideas to at least include a certain type of circus performers. However, nobody ever refers to the guy who pounds nails into his head as 'geeky'. 'Geeky' just seemed, well, lame.

This dislike of titles seems to happen often to me. I must be less about the titles than what I want to get out of IF. I want titles that are rigid enough to provide direction, but open enough to allow depth. I'm not talking Hemmingway, but I need a title that whispers a story. What a title like 'geeky' feels like is just an exercise. Like, I should practice drawing a geeky person because a client might need a geeky person. That doesn't work for me.

Second, about the work. I didn't put a great deal of effort into this as you can see. I did a quite nice small sketch. However, when I transfered it and began inking, I found that the vellum I'm using, while good for penciling is terrible for inking. At least with a crow quill.

Thirdly the subject. This is a portrait, from memory, of a girl I saw in the grocery store a few weeks ago. She was about 5' 4" and had a small smile on her face that I completely failed to capture. I also failed to notice what was in her cart because I was *ahem* reading her t-shirt...

Here you go:

Four. This is selfish of me, but, if you've read down to here, you'd find that par for the course. I was really disappointed that only one person left comments on my work last week. It's got lots of problems that I would want to rectify, but I was hoping to get some comments on whether I'd succeeded in translating a story in a single comic page.

Ah well.

Listening to while I post: "Clubland" by Elvis Costello and the Attractions. (is it me or would the young Mr. Costello punch the old Mr. Costello in the face for being in ads for credit cards and luxury automobiles?)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


First the art:

As I said last post, I've been listening to old sci-fi radio dramas and they've inspired me to crack open my old golden age sci-fi compilations. I really enjoy the ones that were decidedly un-edgy, hopeful and humorous. Many of these humorous ones features Twilight Zone-esque twist endings, so I decided, as an experiment, to pick a short story and attempt to condense it down to a single standard-size comic page. The story is Allamagoosa by Eric Frank Russell. The story won a Hugo and is very funny. I don't think I did it justice, but it works. Read the full story here. It's a very good read.

Here's the work:

Secondly I've been tagged by swinebread.
Here are the rules:
- Each player starts with eight random facts about themselves.
- Those who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight facts and post these rules.
- At the end of the post, choose some people to get tagged and list their names.

1) I was a hoist operator on HH-3f helicopters in the U.S. Coast Guard. I got out after 9 years because the
new HH-60J helos that replaced the H-3s made me very airsick.

2) I really enjoy the taste of prune juice.

3) I am more physically fit now than I was in high school

4) I find a good mountain bike ride as satisfying as sex

5) I hate my own artwork within minutes of finishing a piece

6) Arkonbey is not a name I created. A very good friend of mine once told me that it was the name he gave his 'minifig' alter ego when he played legos as a kid. I have his permission to use the name.

7) With the exception of a short trip to Tijuana, I have never been off of the continent of North America

8) I have a crush on Queen Latifah (and my fiance approves)

That's it. And, so I tag AndreZero, demosthenes, and Kick Enemy Men (if he ever decides to stop playing WoW and update)

Listening to: X-minus One Radio Drama: "Jaywalker"