Wednesday, August 25, 2010


It's been a while, hasn't it?

Well, I've been busy. Firstly, I've got four resumes out for design jobs. I had five, but I got my first rejection on Monday. It was quite polite and much better than my first rejection after my first layoff back in 2003. Then, I'd been contacted by a design firm for some contract Flash work and went in for to discuss the project. When I got home from the interview, there was a phone message waiting for me that they wanted me to come in and interview for a full-time position. I was psyched! I went in and all went well. Then I waited a for a call or email. A week went by and I called only to be told the boss was in a meeting. I waited three days for a return phone call and then called again. Again, he was in a meeting. I never heard from them after that. They're out of business now, btw.

I'm also trying to get some freelance work. A local print shop sub-contracted me for some re-design work and it went well. However, I found that years of working in the web world have degraded my meager print separation skills. The piece I did had to be sent back to me twice because I had trouble setting for full bleed. The press person had to talk me through some stuff and I docked my own time accordingly. That was something they didn't teach at school. We learned composition, type, image, concept and what have you, but separating for print, spot colors and designing for low-color? Nope.

I'm finishing up a big discount website for a local artist and have an interview with a potential web client next week. Man. I wish I could get some print work...

In the art side, I'm working on two projects that I can't show yet. The big one is a new Obscure Tales story from Andre Zero (based on a suggestion by Vermont artist Justin Athreton). I can't show any of it as it's to be a surprise. I think the idea might have legs and branch out into its own title.

The other is a piece for someone who doesn't know it's coming, but, may visit this site; so I can't post that either.

I'm nearly finished up a graphic guide to 24 Hour Comics Day Events for our upcoming event. It's a six-page comic about how to enjoy a 24HCD event. That I can and will post when I'm done.

Well, that's all. Art soon! (btw, I found that photo in a BIG box of prints when I was cleaning my studio. I have no idea when it was taken or even where it was taken. I only hope Sherm made it on time)

listening to while posting: "Music:Response" by Orbital

Friday, August 6, 2010

more USCG-ish stuff

When I came up with the rescue craft in Death of a Friend, some might have thought I'd modeled it after the Samson from Avatar.

However, while I was modeling it after a previous design, it wasn't James Cameron's, it was mine. In 1994 or so, I started what was then an ambitious project: a 16" x 20" gouache illustration. It was meant to depict Air Station Kodiak in the near future and in the starring role was a SAR rotorcraft I designed, the HH-90d. I never got farther than transferring the image to illustration board and painting the cockpit, though. I only mention it today because, while cleaning up our 'library' I found the 16-year-old sketch (sadly, the unfinished painting is lost). Embiggen it, it's bigger.

Overall, it looks pretty good, but there are a few things wrong with it. Most obvious is the lack of true perspective. Each item is on its own plane almost as if I was using the ancient Egyptian canon. Also, was my lack of futurist vision. As of 2003, the building you see in the background is no longer the helicopter hanger; I'm not sure what it is. It's been around since WW2 and there's no real reason to think it'd be around in another twenty years. My retcon is that it's not the future, it's an alternative 1994! Trivia: I had a friend take a photo of me in my flight gear standing by a fire bottle for reference.

I'm considering seeing if I can make it work, but the perspective may bug me to much.

listening to while posting: Sweet Enemy using the vacuum cleaner on some sort of dirt.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Coast Guard Day!

I had to be reminded of this by a former Marine. Sheesh.

That's a photo to commemorate the day. It's of the "Helo Side" night shift at Air Station Kodiak, Alaska (c. 1992). The helicopter (or "helo" (HEE-low) as we called it. Never 'choppers or 'heli') is a Sikorsky HH-3f. It was introduced to the USCG in 1968 and retired in 1993, much to my dismay. The replacement, the HH-60j was smaller and made me airsick. Man, I miss that bird.

I'm not in the photo, but I was stationed there and this was taken in the last week before I rotated to USCGAS Traverse City, MI. I was an Aviation Machinist Mate (fixed engines and rotor systems) and a Flight Mechanic (the guy that works the hoist and directs the pilots over victims). Man, I miss that job. The stories were always more interesting to other people than my graphic designer stories.

The guy on the left on the ICS (the headset attached to the helo), was my best friend "Murray Lopez". He was an Aviation Electronics Technician then and he's the one who invented the name 'Arkonbey' and allowed me to co-opt it. He's still in and is a Chief Petty Officer now and is nearing (or has past and is ignoring) retirement age. We're the same age, btw. All you have to do is your twenty.

The photo was taken by a good friend who, in a poem he wrote for me when I left Kodiak, described himself as 'my elusive friend'. He was a very interesting guy, almost a beat and he seemed out of place as an Aviation Machinist Mate. His name was Ron Klassen and if anybody knows him, please have him shoot me an email. I'd like to buy him a beer and tell him I still have the copy of "The Prophet" that he gave me as a going away gift. I hope you're doing well, Ron.

Now, since I must post some art, here's a piece of fanart I did last year. It's a sappy little thing dedicated to my favorite New Mutant, the much under-used and ill-treated Wolfsbane. She's chilling with her BFF Mirage

listening to while posting: The end credit music to All Creatures Great and Small running through my head.