Thursday, February 28, 2008



Comments are dwindling.

Maybe a giant-size pull-out from the Evil Nazi Jetpack Penguins cover will help.

And if not, it was a real learning experience to do it. Fully hand-inked it's about 8" tall in RL. Photoshop (over)colored.


Anybody gonna try a Bourble this weekend?

listening to while posting: "They Got Lost" by They Might Be Giants from the album They Got Lost

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Been a long time since I've rocked and rolled

So, this weekend Kick Enemy Men (that's him on the right) and his wife came up north to go to see Clutch play at our local music club . They really dig Clutch, but I've never heard them before. KEM sent me a couple of MP3s, and I thought they were okay and I thought the show would be at least pretty cool.

However, it was great. Clutch is a really interesting band. They aren't a new band and not as hardcore as I'd thought they would be. They could really play. The bass player worked the hardest of all, I thought. This is because while the drummer wove the beat around and the guitar player mixed in these intricate little arpeggios, the bassist just kept thumping the downbeat. He must have carpal tunnel like mad. As an aging bassist, I can commiserate.

The crowd was fun to watch as well. While I am no Daumier, I've done some drawings of some of the more memorable (and easier to draw) fans. The show was on Sat, these were done on Mon and today:

First, there was Probably High (or at Least Drunk) Dancing Girl. This girl, short, with very red pants and her hair literally tied in a knot danced in this strange slowmotion thrash. Like she was battling her own inner mosh pit. In maple syrup. What really made me think she was high (or at least drunk) was how she talked to the merch guy of one of the opening acts. She kept pointing to different merch on the table and each time she pointed with a different finger. The finger she was pointing with also appeared to be what held her up:

This is supposed to be the merch guy for Clutch (we were near the merch tables, can you tell?). It doesn't really look like him, but I really like the picture, so there:

This guy was cool to see. Not just for him, but for what happened around him. As you can see, he has sort of a Kingpin Lite thing going on. What made it cool, was that everybody seemed happy to see him. This one girl saw him and ran over and hugged him like he was her long lost brother (maybe he was, who knows?). Later, she came running through the crowd to him with another girl in tow. This new girl seemed like she didn't know where she was being led, because when she saw this guy, her face lit up (another long lost sister?) and another hug ensued. I think I captured him pretty well:

This was one of the security people. She was about 5'3" and she carried herself with an assurance that went a long way to showing how a 5'3" girl can work security at a rock show. She was Asian with bleach-blonde hair and had one of those sneaky secret service earbuds attached to a not so sneaky walkie talkie on her belt:

So the show was cool, but it is always great to see KEM. We all drank a bit before we went to the show. I had to limit myself because I was driving and am not yet stupid enough to drive drunk. After the show we headed back and snacked on cashews and peanut M&Ms and drank margarittas (made in and consumed from our beautiful/tacky 60's bar set) and a drink KEM found in my Bartender's Bible called a Borble(which, when made with Southern Comfort, tastes exactly like the juice of fresh-squeezed Smarties).

I don't drink all that often (bar set notwithstanding), as I only do so with people I trust. KEM I trust alot. So, we were pretty lit. KEM's wife hit the sack about 1am and Sweet Enemy, KEM and I stayed up until 3. Playing Scrabble and watching DVDs. For the record, this show is terrible, even when very, very drunk. It's not even in a so-bad-it's-funny way. Trust us.

It was good to be oldish and go to a rock show, drink until three and STILL get up at 830am to make everybody a breakfast of homemade pancakes, scrambled eggs, VT maple syrup, undercooked homefries (only the second time I've made 'em) and fresh-ground, fair-trade, shade-grown coffee (from plantation owned by author Julia Alvarez). I usually make it brutally black, but I eased it up for the guests. Then we played a great game of Scrabble. It was KEM's wife's first time ever playing. She was a bit pissed about losing, but I told her (from personal experience) if you go through life expecting to win at your first time all the time, you're setting yourself for a world of disappointment.

After that they left, which is always not as good as their arrival. I felt pretty good despite it being along time in between rock and rolling. I did have a massive one hour nap attack at 230pm, but it was a Sunday after all. SE and I sat around playing Legos and listening to NPR all afternoon.

Listening to while posting: "Further I Slide" By Badly Drawn Boy

Sunday, February 17, 2008

something for (nearly) everyone continued

So, here's the thing for Swinebread. It isn't really done yet, but I had to get it posted. I also wanted to get the linework-only ink scanned just in case I screwed up the inking. Looking at it now I really should take all the advice and use thicker lines, this is good, but it looks a bit static. My pencil work has lots of energy, this, not so much. However, unfinished as it is, it is just too see if it sparks a story.

So, I give you: The Attack of the Schwimmenvogelluftwaffe!

Here's the scan that I got the title and used for a reference for the wear. I love the so-bad-it's-good artwork.

Listening to while posting: NOTHING. My mp3 player's battery died just as I signed it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

something for (nearly) everyone

First, the thing for me. For you, not so much. But, it will be an indication of the hyperlinking of my brain. I really like words and was thinking of the one thing that Terry Pratchett does that bugs me. Whenever he speaks of someone shooting a bow or crossbow, he says 'fired an arrow'. Fires? The correct term is 'loose'. 'Fire' comes from the days when it was just big ol' unreliable cannon and you would add a lit torch to the touch hole to set off the powder. 'ready, aim, fire' comes from this.

Now, this got me thinking about matchlock guns. Was there a command of 'ready, aim, apply match'? If there was, we might be talking about matchfights in Fallujah, or an bomber taking anti-aircraft match or the sound of gunmatch on new year's eve. Sounds weird, doesn't it. Perhaps even impossible. But, think of this, it was only a question of geography and lineage that we don't call two pieces of bread with stuff in the middle a 'warrington' , a 'strathmore' or a 'pembroke'. Instead it's named after this guy.

Now for other people. This is for Dr. Smoke because he demanded it:

These are for Andrezero because he mentioned that he preferred Little Miss Punch-in-the-Crotch back when she was tearing up the Golden Age as Kick-in-the-Jimmy Girl. He's right about the hat being silly, but I have to agree that them are some nice jimmy-kicking boots:

Sorry I'm too tired to do a full OHOTMU entry. If anybody wants to, please do. (Just keep in mind she's really short).

I actually have a sketch of something for Swinebread. It's going to take a bit longer, though and I did want to get Kick-in-the-Jimmy girl up.

Listening to while posting: "Woman Downstairs" by The Handsome Family . I can only take one of their songs every now and then, but give them a listen.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Sketch Dump 3

Hey, sketch dump time again. I'm going to keep doing this until I'm asked to stop, or I run out of storage space, or I forget.

This week started off good, but a lack of eraser for two days (duh), made for some crappy sketches. I was also working on my freelance project at night and a pro-bono poster design for a rural middle school's theater department.

On with the show. The first from Monday is a super team. I'm not sure if they are super heroes or super villains. It started with the guy in the middle and then just grew from there. I typed out the text that I had written next to the sketches as my handwriting was... not good.

The same day brought a freighter study for an upcoming comic and some more ENJPs.

Tuesday brought a good page. The upper drawing is supposed to be Mr. Twilight fighting a giant plant. What it looks like is a less gross version of the scene in Akira where Tetsuo attacks the Colonel. The little heads of Jean d'Arc as a lamb was an idea I was kicking around for a while, though I can't help feeling that Juanjo Guarnido would do it much, much better.

Wednesday brought works that really aren't worth showing (why, yes. I am editing). On Thursday I did some sketches for the Dare Detectives Weekly Challenge I mentioned a few posts ago. This was to be my heroine's 'Advantages'; what strengths she has over her foes. So, I did some quick little drawings. This one went with the description of her natural piloting abilities:

This was to go with a description of her extraordinary sense of her body in relation to its surroundings:

One thing I found here. Although I've been mountain biking seriously and continuously since 1987, I could not for the life of me draw a person on a bike! I could draw the bike fine but trying to put the rider on proved very difficult. Sure, could have hit my pile of Bike magazines, but this was a quicky. And I wanted to see if I could do it. So, today at lunch, I tried again.

That's all. Gotta go work on my freelance stuff. Yee ha!

Listening to While posting: Aurora by Bjork from Vespertine

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


This is going to be a big process post. It's not to show off at all, though. It's for me. First, so I can look at my work objectively (for some reason, when I post it, I can look at it differently than I can on the wall, or even in Photoshop). Secondly, maybe someone will stop by and say, "oh, you do that? Oh, try this instead, you'll get better results in the end". Or something.

This is the splash page for the comic that Andre Zero and I are creating: the adventures of Mr. Twilight.

This page started, ultimately with the script. But, you don't get to see that. Here's the initial thumbnail I made in the sketchbook when I was at work. Given that I had no time, it was just a basic reminder of the idea:

Then, while waiting for a code build at work, I took a minute or two to flesh it out a bit more:

then, one more time, a little bit bigger. These are all about actual size btw:

Then I did some figure studies. I felt I could base Mr. Twilight off of an older image, but the others needed to be worked on. You don't need to see all of the thumbnails and stick figures, so here are the ones that I had on the board when sketching out the final. Looking At Watch Guy was first:

Then came Fat Guy Talking To Conductor:

Then the hard one The Happy Couple. It's only been this past year that I've really done drawings of people interacting and this was extra hard. Doubly so because they were walking. STANDING is easy. I'm still not entirely happy with her feet, so I pulled a rare cop-out in the final piece and hid them behind a suitcase. You'll notice her lack of hair. This is because I did this at lunch and didn't want to be at my computer looking at Google images for research into 1930's hairstyles. It was easy enough to wait until I could hit my tearsheet file at home. I thought of giving her a hat, but changed my mind:

Then, the big sketch. First on greenbar paper (I actually found a big box of it in a closet at my dad's house. He was a programmer from way back and would bring home tons of the stuff. Great for a kid who likes to draw!) then traced onto comic board and refined in pencil. I am out of blue leads, so it was in 2H. This is full-size, about 9.25" x 13.75":

Then inked. I had already started on this when Swinebread suggested working with thicker lines, so it's thin lines. I am going to experiment with thicker linework this weekend.

Then color was added, type was placed and a piece of 40 year old (no kidding) newsprint from an old drawing set was scanned in and put in the background. AndreZero thought it would be cool if it looked old and distressed like a comic we'd found in a basement. The finished product:

Oh, Swinebread. If you've got some ideas, hit my design portfolio for some contact info that works. Cheap as free, man.

Listening to while posting: "Triangle Man (acoustic)" by TMBG

Sunday, February 3, 2008

BBWW redux

So, my last BBWW was considered grotesque. Even without my usual hatred of my art minutes after its completion, I have to agree. Here's another. It looked really good inked, not so good scanned. Hmmm. I'd like to blame the scanner, but that's probably a cop out. I actually wonder if I need to find a good inker; my pencils look great, my inks... need work. I'm going to submit it to the BBWW blog. I'm just not sure whether the background works or not (or if the entire thing works at all). Sure, it's kind of weird, but at least it's not another Elevated Bear...


Listening to while posting, Selected Shorts on the Vermont Public Radio stream. It's the 'dog' show. Pretty damn funny. Especially Sleeping with Dogs on a King-Sized Bed.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Weekly sketch dump

So, not a bad week. Wednesday was almost a no-drawing day, but I got some small sketches done. Too small to post. I'm working on a finished piece (gasp!) and will hopefully post this weekend.

Dr. Smoke offered to draw me a picture of whatever I wanted. Of course I wanted a piece of fanart of one of the characters from the comic AndreZero and I are working on! He posted some of his stuff and I can't wait to see what he does with our characters.

Monday wasn't bad I did some sketches in anticipation of the next segment in the 'Hero's Journey" challenge at Dare Detectives. If what I'm thinking isn't the next challenge, I'm going to do a story comic (not a comic story) with the stuff I've come up with. This is another picture of Ann Johnson, pilot. The figure in the cockpit doorway is Raymond Queeg. Of whom we'll see more in a bit.

Tuesday was working on studies for the finished work, I may post a process post if I like the finished product. Wednesday, as I said, not so much. Thursday was pretty good. Got some nice sketches of Raymond Queeg. He is part of a twist in the story, but I don't think these sketches reveal much. The big face is an example of what happens if you don't do construction shapes and just start drawing from a feature. I started with the eye on the right and then decided to do a face. This resulted in crap. However, if you block one side or the other, it doesn't look too bad.

Friday brought a BBWW . I'm frankly trying to make one as good as the one Mike Wieringo sent it. Sure, fat chance. But, a boy can dream, can't he?

I also decided to post something that I do for a coworker. For the past year or so, I've drawn a coworker a 'Weekly Monster'. She seems to like the, so I've kept on doing it. She has taped them together to make a sort of growing poster. Some have been scary, some funny, some nicely rendered, some embarrassing. This is a funny/nice one. They are usually about 1" x 2" or so.

Listening to while posting: nothing. Hey! what's up with that. Let's see what comes up first on Pandora.

Ahh... It's 'Grace Cathedral Hill' by The Decemberists. Or, as I like to call them: The Band That Haven't Been to the East Cost Since I Got Into Them.