Friday, May 28, 2010


No inking of the next Page 100 Project piece.

What happened was I decided on Tuesday to re-draw some of the panels. Turns out that I didn't notice that I'd measured the height some of the panels and threw off everything. Since I did these panels separately, I didn't notice until I was nearly done pencilling. The recovery process cost me some time.

I have however lettered the dialog for one of the two characters; Sweet Enemy will be doing the other character. Lettering is much harder than drawing, really. The trick is to not try to just write, if you do, you'll get sloppy.

So, to apologize, here's a scan of the oldest drawing I still have. My mother dates it to when I was in first or second grade (back when there was still a "Y" at the end of my first name).

Check it out. You can sort of read that I had written US.A.F on the side of the truck in pencil along with two pencilled riders in the truck. I really dig the driver.

Listening to while posting: "Over the Waterfall" by Michelle Shocked (in my head)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm such a tease

I just finished the initial pencil of my second Page 100 Project piece: Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. I'll be hitting a final pencil Thursday (tomorrow I'm racing my first mountain bike race of the season) and inking Friday. The biggest challenge is that I'm going to be hand-lettering the whole thing and it's chock full of dialog.

Here's a teaser. It's the third panel and I'm really happy with this as I'd never drawn a tortoise before**

See you in the future!

Listening to while posting: A red fox in our woods screaming out his/her territory bark. Sweet Enemy and I were just on our (thankfully second story) deck trying to track the critter through the woods with a MagLite. We caught glimpses of two forward-facing eyes in the trees about ten meters away, but we didn't know exactly what it was until we found this audio clip.

Last Thursday was a black bear trying to climb the deck at 3 a.m. I'd just chased some raccoons off the deck and heard the shuffling. I ran up with the light already to chase raccoons off and looked over the deck to see a big 'ol bear turn his big 'ol bear booty and take off into the woods. I was just slightly taken aback ;)

I love living here.

**It was remarkably hard to find a book on just tortoises. There were books on turtles, sure, but All I found were two pictures of tortoises in a turtle book. Sheesh. Even living for a century in some of the harshest places on Earth doesn't get you your own book?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

current project, current news

Firstly, Sweet Enemy and I are test-driving a new cat. He's a fat gray tom with notched ears and funny light gray stripes. He's very vocal and prone to growling (which means nothing, apparently. He will growl while purring and while bumping you and acting all lovey). He's the cat of SE's cousin and needs a new home as her two boys are having trouble understanding that cats aren't plushies and her husband doesn't like cats**.

He's nervous and hid under the bed most of the day, but seems to be adjusting. A bit. Updates to follow.

Currently, I'm working on Page 100 Project. I first saw this on Drawn and it is the genius idea of artist Jason Turner.

What you do is take a book, open to page 100 and make a comic page of that page. It's a challenge, especially in a dialog-heavy page, or a scene-setting page. I've got three planned. The first is from Sabriel*** an fantastic novel by the inimitable Garth Nix.

Here's the text:

"...of wide, low steps, carved with intricate patterns. Whether they meant something, Sabriel didn't know. They weren't charter marks, or symbols of any language that she knew, and she was too tired to speculate. She concentrated on one step at a time, using her hands to push down on her aching thighs, coughing and gasping, head down to avoid the flying snow.

The path grew steeper still and Sabriel could see the cliff-face ahead, a huge, black, vertical mass, a much darker backdrop to the swirling snow than the clouded sky, palely backlit by the moon. But, she didn't seem to get any closer as the path switchbacked to and fro, rising further and further up from the valley below.

Then, suddenly, Sabriel was there. The path turned again and her little will-0'-the-wisp light reflected back from the wall, a wall that stretched for miles on either side and for hundreds of yards upward. Clearly, these were the Long Cliffs, and the path had ended.

Almost sobbing with relief, Sabriel pushed herself forward to the very base of the cliff, and the little light rose above her head to disclose grey, lichen-veined rock. But even with that light, there was no sign of a door-- nothing but...

Here's the pencil:

Here's the ink. The black background hasn't been put in in real life, yet, but I plan to. I want to have these as actual pieces of art to hang. It should keep me from cutting digital corners as I've done with the previous comics.

The other two I have in the works are Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (this is pencilled, but not inked) and my favorite Keroac novel, The Dharma Bums

More to come!

Listening to while posting: Bernie flopped on the floor behind my chair purring; he's out from under the bed!

**I've never understood disliking cats. I don't own a dog, but I love 'em. I love cats, too. What's wrong with a cat. It's like a vibrating pillow you have to feed occasionally. What's there to dislike? Litter box cleaning maybe, but that could be considered less gross than big piles of poo in the yard (or a dog that pees on his own front feet like my sister's late German Shepherd)

***I'm posting no link. This is because any synopsis would ruin the book. It is so original and non-derivative that any synopsis would make it seem stupid. I will only say that it is a fantasy novel, but I'd be very, very surprised if you've read one like it. I used to sell books and every customer I recommended this book to came back to thank me. Go buy a copy today.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm back!


I'll admit straight off, that I was reluctant to post over my remembrance of Nabut post. At least not without art to show. So, here we are.

Death of a Friend is done. First, I'd like to thank Andre Zero for the great story. I learned a lot with this piece. The first thing is to buckle down and get the thing done. I mean, a year is wayyyy too long to complete something like this. Aside from the reader's perspective, I think my art changed too much during the process. Also, I rushed bits and I'm not happy with that. I'm sorry, everyone.

The next one will be better and faster, I promise this.

And I don't break promises.

Speaking of the next one: the next one will be a bit late. Andre Zero and Science Girl have moved to Washington D.C. Science Girl got her PhD in Biology (woot!) and now has a job at the N.I.H.. They're still in the process of moving, with Andre Zero flying back and for until August to finish work for his old job. So, he won't have time to write for a while, unless I really cajole him. We're gonna miss those guys and not just because I need a good writer.

I actually helped Science Girl get her PhD by providing some illustrations for her presentation. Check 'em out. Mice and mouse noses!

Speaking of mice, back in Janurary or so, I did a piece of Missile Mouse fanart for Jake Parker. I'm pretty proud of it. What do you think? The poster to his left, I'm really happy with. It's optimized for four-color, full-bleed tabloid screen print just in case...

If you're jonesing for Arkonbey comics, never fear. I've got a small comic for Sweet Enemy in the works and I've got some other comic-related art projects in progress. Right now I'm working on The Page 100 Project based on a cool idea by Jason Turner. You take a book, turn to page 100 and do that page up as a comic page. I've got three different book pages going. One is fully pencilled and two are finalized sketches. Stay tuned.

In other comic news, I'd like to publicly thank Snab and Ladybug for the fantastic and quite surprising gift that arrived at our doorstep last Friday. A largeish box filled with stuff from the Stumptown Comics Fest! Sweet Enemy and I were in comic heaven. And the thought of the sweetness of the gift makes me smile even now.

Thanks Snab.

That's all for now. But, more will follow.

Listening to while posting: "Fire" by the Rebirth Brass Band