Monday, February 26, 2018

Interview on the Phantom Downunder on the Chronicle Chamber

You can listen to a podcast interview with me on my Phantom work and more over on the Chronicle Chamber 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Big Pharma Cartoons

While moving work off and old drive I came across several of these "New Yorker Style" cartoons I did for a big Pharma company about 10 years ago. It was fun to try and do or play around with that style.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Mermaids and Astronauts the Digital Wave

I finally broke down or rather saved up and bought myself a Cintiq 13' this past week. I have been wanting to get one since my assistant Mimi got done last summer and I played around with it some. I have even started doing Judge Parker all digital to see if that will work and flow well. I will stay with doing The Phantom traditional as there is also a demand for the originals unlike the Judge.

The biggest issue so far is adjusting my work set-up and the feel of the whole thing. 40 years of muscle memory and tactile feedback are compromised a bit so far--especially the feedback and feel. It all feels the same no matter the tool, all sooth, so memory has to sort of fill in there.

For me its all about flow and I have trained like a Jedi master in my traditional ways but the interface interrupts that so far. So its a bit of retaining here. I know what a 102 vs a 108 feels like and a dry brush vs a wet one or a whole host of tools and media--but the Cintiq feels the same for all. I also make many lines more that once as a result to get the one I want--something that never happens in the "Meat World" as I call it. I don't feel the mark the same way as I make it, and this is very different.

So, I'm giving myself some time to adjust and if I don't like it I'll just go back to paper for the strips. But I am more interested in trying to digitally paint as another way of working, maybe branching out to backgrounds and concept design, some of which I have already done in the past when working in animation. And for commercial art you simply have to know how to do it now. There is no escaping it and so I figure I give myself a minimum of 6 months to get the hang of it.
An all digital Judge daily done in Clip Studio

2017 is at an end and 2018 is rushing up fast, part of getting the new rig was to also move into the next step or phase of producing more of my own work. I will be releasing a book of my ink drawings in 2018 as well a making more paintings of these subjects, like the study of Astronaut and Mermaids above. The final might be produced as an oil painting. I also have plans to do a comic or maybe a graphic novel of the Detective character I came up with in the Inktober drawings that people really seem intrigued by. How will I do it all you might ask---I plan on giving up sleep in 2018. Happy, Happy Joy, Joy!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

90's Flashback-Quasar!

I came across a bunch of pencils from my run on Quasar back in the 90's, the first book I penciled for Marvel. Ironically I followed the late Paul Ryan on the book, who I would also follow on The Phantom after he passed away.
  I experimented. a lot on this book. Mark Gruenwald wrote rich stories and I wish I had gotten to know him better as he was always very complimentary about my work. This issue was fun since I had the opportunity to draw The Eternals--another fun Kirby concept. When I started on the book I was doing a more "traditional" approach to penciling, having spent time in Al Williamson's studio and being a huge fan of his approach, as well as John Buscema, etc. But I think I saw the Cosmic Oddest by Mike Mignola and thought it was so good I wanted to try paring down the rendering and "push the forms more". Now I wince at a lot of the  nearly 30 year old drawing--but hey I was trying something new.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Saturday, June 03, 2017

My Sister Romita

 When I was younger and just in the biz I started collecting original comic art when I could afford it. I was making OK money and art wasn't as crazy expensive as it seems to be going today. many great Silver Age artists work was very affordable. I bought Kirby pages for a hundred bucks, John Buscema Thor pages for $5. I was always trying to get better, learn my craft better and some pages I would buy just for that purpose. They often were cheap pages under a hundred bucks, but they were inked by Joe Sinnott or drawing by Buscema, Kane, good folds or techniques, etc. I bought this old John Romita DC Love story in the late 80's as an example. These are I believe what were called bromides, a paper stat or proof which unlike some stats were not slick or had a shiny surface. This made correcting and cutting up the art easier. This old job was re-purposed from a much earlier 60's job, before Romita left DC for Marvel. This was now the 70's so all the hair was inked over to fit with those swinging times by somebody in production and its pretty bad and ham-fisted. But the faces and a lot of the art is still un-corrected and I leaned a lot about drawing a pretty girls face from this job as Romita was one of the very best at that.

I pulled this out again and have it next to my desk as a reminder of how to do it right and it comes in handy for Judge Parker and even the Phantom. John Romita always drew the right angles with great clarity and appeal and having done soap opera strips for seven years now I can greatly appreciate the skill it takes to do this even more. Simple is hard, clarity is hard and the emotions he shows are always clear.

Its easier to draw superheroes with exaggeration but here you really can't do that or people look ugly. I'm sure he was influenced by the great illustrators like Al Parker and Jon Whitcomb, enjoy!