Friday, December 28, 2007

The Creepertins are Coming

This is a partial preview of the Creepertins strip I'll be doing Starting in January. It'll be one new strip every month in the Delaware County times, a free give-away paper that is published here in Delaware county, right outside of Philly. My buddy Scott Neely is head art honcho at the paper and got the publisher to agree to run a page of comic strips, so he got Jamar Nicholas (Leon protector of the Playground) and me to do a monthly strip along with his strip about his pooch, Alfie.

The first Creepertins art was just a doodle of some weird kid characters I did for a fun, next time I drew them was a short five page story for the Philly Cartoonist Society's anthology they published out in 2005. I suppose like most cartoonists I have always had on my wish list the desire to take a shot at doing a newspaper strip, traditionally the Holy Grail for a cartoonist. If you did a strip, you were officially "big Time." i really enjoy the art and craft of what I call "Pure cartooning," which is something that is in rare supply today in the funnies.

So while this strip runs but once a month it is giving me an opportunity to develope these characters further and I will see where this leads, who knows, I might even ttry pitching them at the syndicates or run a daily strip on-line.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!


Like one of Santa's elves I cranked this cover out lickety split for the Diamond Previews deadline for the 08 Twomorrows FCBD Comic.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Schools OUT! First Semesters in the bag.

It's done! The semester at PAFA came to a close today with the final classes in cast drawing with Connors and Print making with Dan Miller. It has been a great experience for me, better than I imagined and I can't wait till the next one starts even though I need some good night's sleep to recharge. So here is sort of a round-up of the semester!

This is the cast of the Belvedere Torso that Professor Connors was painting in his class demo. I really like seeing the class demos by the teachers for a few reasons. first I think as artists it is often the best way to really show how something is done, it removes ambiguity. We are visual beasts we artists, and I think there is a certain monkey see,monkey do aspect to learning, especially for the younger student. Second, I just like watching a good artist at work. the best is an artist like Noel or Conners who do the demos and really explain each step, the do's, don'ts , why's and maybe's.

Here you can see the beginning of the shadow mass lay-in by Connors.

Here is my light mass lay-in and the cast I was painting in the background. We started by toning the canvas in a nuetral grey, then when dry using a earth orange mix of Ivory Black and Burnt Sienna to tone the canvas, next adding some white and following the demo Connors gave, I knocked in the big broad shapes.
Here my classmate Christina is working on teh same cast as I am but from a slightly different angle.
We are getting three new casts for the cast hall to be installed over the winter break. The big one, a cast of Posiedon lay waiting for assembly and to join the other casts in studio 6.
Here is a class pic with our esteemed professor Oliver Grimly. Prof. Grimly is in his mid 80's and still going strong and has taught just about anyone who's gone to the school in the last 40 years. He was a student of Daniel Garber and is really an institution and a direct link back to the history of the school as he's been there except for the war since the late 30's in some capacity. He's a tough old man at times, demanding and dispite his age, sharp of eye and tongue--and some students wail and bristle under his scrutiny...but you know what? He'll make you do a better drawing than you think you can and comes from an era where teachers demanded more and were less politically correct. He busted my balls and made me start my cast over 4 times. But I made a better drawing, and even if I don't want to work in the manner he had us work in class, I opened myself to what he had to teach and learned some things. I brought in extra work I've done, and books by artists I know were conteporaries of the Professor, and then we bonded pretty well. It will be a sad day for the students body and the school when Professor grimly retires. It's great to see somebody passionate about what they do at 80 something. I hope to be like that myself.
The last day in Life painting class with Doug Martenson he took us all to the Philly Museum of Art. It was great day and the show by Antonio Mancini was amazing! The class had a good time as Doug took us on the tour and narrated our way along pointing out examples from the work what we were learning in his class. The man knows his stuff. Then we walked back, giving a Rocky, Philly "Yo!" shout out.
As the crit week wond down students all over were in a frenzy to finish up work. Here is a shot along the gang studion on the 10th floor.

Professor Connors and his palette demoing for us today. He cracks me up, he's always mentally poking at us and everyone is usually in good spirits. I think he's great at taking cast drawing wich most students whine about, and makes it a cool class. I met 4th year student, Patrick, who still uses the color palettes he learned in Connors first year class.

Here is my final cast painting from Connors cast drawing class. I didn't get to quite finish it up, but that's the way most in-class assignments are.

Here is my print making or wood cut teacher Dan Miller. Dan is a great man and a fantastic print maker. His wood engravings are just amamzing. Today was the final class and crit. I really enjoyed doing this and hope to do a lot more over the course of the next few years at school.

Scott Noel eyes my drawings in the final crit. I think the thing I am proudest of are the two pastel drawings I did for Scott's class. He gave me a great review which frankly made my year as I really wanted to do well in his class. I enjoyed and realy like all my teachers but Scotts class was tops for me. I really got the most of what I wanted from him as a teacher and we shared many a good conversation after class. It was seeing his work on-line a few years back that directly lead me to deciding to go to PAFA and recommending it to Echo as well.
Scott crits the classes work.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Old Stan Lee Job

I know I've been making with all the fine art work lately, but I don't want anyone to forget about my cartooning. While searching through some old files for some art for my buddy Alberto Ruiz, I came across this old and odd job I did for Stan Lee Media from around 1999 or 2000. It was for something like an insert in some kind of Hostess cake-like treat as I remember. Captain Cup Cake or something just as silly. I also did a drawing of the hero as well, a single figure I guess they used someplace. It was a weird job, but advertising uses comic art like this all the time and it usually pays pretty good.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Final Interior

Finished the interior drawing for Scott Noel's now I can get 3 1/2 hours sleep before class....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Here is my first pass at the interior I am doing for Scott Noel's class, the last of the drawing assignments. I'll go at it again tomorrow night---then it's the last class and the crit on Wednesday. 22 x 30 on rives BKF.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pastel Done

Ok, well I think this one is done for now. I'll look at it again, and maybe touch a few spots. Now onto the interior for the last drawing for class.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Still Life Sunday

This is one of the two final drawing projects I have for Scott Noel's drawing class. One is a still life and the other is an interior. This is the first still life i have attempted in pastel and I fell it's progressing pretty good so far. pastel is really a great medium and once you start to get a lot of pastel on teh paper so you can get some layering, things start to come together. You get this almost magical stage where the colors weave and blend together. Scott has really turned me on to this medium and i plan on doing a lot of pastel drawings in the future.

This is a detail of the tomato, This is drawn in Nuepastel on Rives BFK, 22 x 30.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Last Class Drawings

This was the last full week of school and it ended for me yesterday, I have my crit week next week. Here are some of the final class drawings and paintings. The cast drawing of Brutus was the only one I did in Oliver Grimly's class, it was a semester long drawing...and I may still do little tweaks based on what my teacher, Oliver Grimly says. So many students whine about him or complain, and he busted my balls, made me start my drawing over 4 times, but you know what? He made me do a much better drawing.

It was done using a mechanical lead holder, in F lead. He didn't want any texture, wanted everything very well finished. So i sat or stood there with that little spinny sharpener, moving my hand in a fanning-like fashion over the drawing, almost glazing on the lead.

I entered and was rejected from the certicicate show. I entered my Nike cast hall drawing, but I guess it was too pedestrian for them? Who knows, lots of people were rejected and some stuff I cratch my head at got in---always thus in the art world. One has to deal with rejection, that's just part of the process.

The great news is that Echo got her drawing accepted as she was rejected last year. I'll enter it the drawing into the Phily
Sketch Club show. The cast drawing of Brutus seemes to be getting good reviews from everyone who wathced me doing it, students and faculty alike. I like it, but man, I never spent this much time on a drawing in
my whole life! What a commitment! I know the 25 years of drawing for a living helps me here.

This was the grisaille done in Doug martenson's calss last week, and this week he showed us how to go over it and glaze the color on. the mix was 20% paint, 80% linseed oil.

Once I had glazed on my color, I had to let it dry, so I ran across the street and grabbed another canvas and did this quick 25 minute or so oild sketch of the model.

Here's Doug giving us a demo on glazing our paintings.

This was the 2 week dawing from Scott Noel's class. I had to redo the cloth this week as the ones we used last week couldn't be found, so a lot of the class was redoing the colors there and that of course effected everything else too colorwise. I even had to go over and cover the first skeleton drawing to get the coor of the forground blanket. By the time class was over I was rushing to get some of Mr. Bones back on. I have to say I think Noel is such a fantastic teacher and I always learn so much from him each week. I feel I made the most progress in his class, though I did make progress in all of my classes and the challenge of working in pastel I think is starting to pay off. The color is always off in these photos and teh cast drawing being in lead makes it trick to get that softeness you see in real life.

I am happy for a bit of a break, but I'll miss all of my teachers and really pushing myself. I feel I've grown in ways I hoped I would and in ways I didn't foresee, which I have to say is great. I'll be filling my downtime from school with lots of commercial work though, so it won't be a total vacation.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What a Strange-sad day

The old saying is that Monday's are a bitch, and todat proved that old saying to be true. Echo and I arrived to school early this morning and just as classes were about to stat Chuck, one of the older guards came up and told us that there was a "bomb scare' and that we had to evacuate the front of the old school, that included the museum and half the cast hall. The red arrow in the pic below points to where the mailbox with the alleged bomb was located.

Bomb scare? What the F**K? Somebody phone a bomb scare in and said it was the mailbox in front of the school.

Bomb Squad and the whole shebang soon decended upon the front of the school and the mailbox in front of the school at Cherry and Broad Streets. At first we all just sort of hung around and chatted in the cast hall, everyone thinking it was a hoax. But after about an hour word came we had to evacuate both the Hamilton Building and the old musuem building--so we all piled out onto Cherry Street, then suddenly we heard a loud BOOM! Some people kinda' got scurried by that.

It was either the bomb squad R2D2 blowing up the mailbox with the bomb inside or a noise from the wrecking crew taking down buildings to make way for the expanded convention center across from the school. Then we were directed down to the Qualker house school on the next block where we waited for about an half and hour till the all clear was given. I talked to Scott Noel about a painting he was working on and classic Marvel comics as he was a big Marvel fan back in the 60's.

We also learned of the sad and tragic death of one of our fellow students this morning as well, a 4th year painter, she accidentally fell from a build over the weekend. So it was a really messed up day, very, very weird.

It was kind of hard to concentrate a lot after this, but Patrick Connors did keep our spirits up and light and did go ahead and give us a demo on adding the light mass to our cast paintings.

We also said goodbye to our friend Karen, one of the exchange students from China who was here since September. She came over Saturday and we got to hang out a bit and Echo and I took her to the Korean mall down the street. Karen's heading back to Kunming where Echo and I visited this summer, in fact she lived just a few blocks away from where we stayed...what a coincidence, eh?

I also got to do a few test prints from my latest wood block. This one was a lot more intricate that than the last once, so it took me a while to cut it.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Ebay Store Christmas Bonanza

The holiday season is upon us and so I've loaded up my Ebay store with some art. I'll be loading up some more art later this week as well. I went through my huge stack of artwork from over the years and I've decide to part with some of it. Art school is expensive!

I will also be taking commissions like the few I have posted here recently; the Thing fishing and the Hulk vs the Thing. The price varies but they usually start at $300 and up if you want something full on like a cover illo. Single figures go for less.

It's nostolgic for me to dig back into my artistic past. I see things I really like and then I see things that make me cringe or I wish I had done a better job on. The industry has changed so much since I started in 1984. I often wish we could go back in many ways to that time as I think there were better comics, the indy market was really coming up and the focus was more on craft/storytelling. I miss the old guard as editors too, guys like the late Archie Goodwin. Nobody left like him working in the biz today, overall the level of professionalism was much higher.

There are still good comics today, but not many catch my eye. the last thing I got kinda' excited about was the first few issues of Killing Girl.

What are you all reading and getting excited about?

Friday, November 30, 2007

X-9 Round 2

I am in the midst of working on the second Secret Agent Corrigan story for King Features. This will once again be printed overseas in Scandinavia like the last story was. I hope at some point they will be reprinted here in the US.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I've got a Thing for you.

It seems I haven't posted any comic related drawings on the blog for a little while now. I have been doing lots of storyboards but not much in reguards to comics...howvere I am in the midst of working on a new X-9 story and I'll post some from that soon. In the meantime here is a commission I just finished for a nice fella named Mike who's opening up a new comic store called Little Fish Comics I believe, down in Virginia. I've owed Mike this drawing since Baltimore con a few months back and he was nice and patient so I went a little further than I normally do for a con sketch. Patience is rewarded.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Bust, a Girl and some Wood

Back in school for the final 4 classes, or 3 now since this week is gone. The semester has just zipped past.

This s a Grisaille that we did in today's class with Doug martenson, next week when it's dry we'll go and glaze on the color. Doug was showing us the work in class of Odd Nerdrum and many of his painting in this fashion.

In patrick Connors clas we started our last assignment, a painting of a cast, done in a warm grey palette of earth colors, in my case Burnt Sienna and Mars Black, then I wiped out. Conners did demo for us to show us how to proceed which was great.
This is my newest wood cut for my print making class. I'm almost done carving it and I'll make a test print next week.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Admiration de l'escroche

This is a drawing in pastel done in Scott Noel's class in the cast hall at school. Warm light vs cool light as the model turned to face the l'escroche by Prud'hon.It was a great pose. This was the first pastel where I used color and Scott gave us pep talks and critiques during the two week pose as well as showed us work by Degas who I have been studying intensely lately.

24 x 32 on Reeves BFK paper.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Been a super busy week here as I am sure it has been for everyone out there. School, work and the holiday rush. Taking today and enjoyinging the gift of frienship,brotherhood, love and the bounty I have in my life. Hope you all do the same. The pic above is an in-progress cast drawing of the bust of Brutus by Michaelangelo from my cast Drawing class with Oliver Grimly.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Halloween Figure Drawing

This charcoal drawing was done at my friend James Lipovac's studio up in north Philly at a sort of Halloween/artist party. Our fave model Shanna who we've all drawn so many times came up and we got to mix friends from DCAD where both James and I teach and our new buddies at PAFA. That's always cool when you can do that. I think this drawing is interesting, though not great as I think the Coronas were having an effect and my concentration was a bit off, but it's evocative and has a sense of space in it's smearyness. This is something I have been very much working with and dealing with at school, especially in my class with Scott Noel. How can we create a space, use a space, is it a evocative, moody space? Great artists all create an amazing sense of space in thier work, Degas, Antonio Garcia Lopez and Jack Kirby. Crazy, fractured space, intimate space, deep space? How an artist breaks up this space can have everything to do at times with how the drawing or painting succeeeds or fails in pulling you, the viewer into thier vision, their world, their emotional tempature and state. This is a concept I am becoming more and more concerened with in my work at school and I think it's something I deal with as well, but in sometimes a different way in my comics and animation work. In both of these venues I think SPACE amnd the use of it in the sense of perspective is essential to give a dynamics to supeheroes and help flat drawing create a sense of depth. I'm interested to try and add the poetic sense of space I am learning and working with in my peronal work at school to my commercial or comics work.

This drawing in my old way of thinking would not be finished enough, I would want the entire figure rendered well, distint, the background finished to a high degree. But I have been really challenged and forced to consider space and mood, in a more poetic sense and less in a literal or almost journalistic, by-the-numbers way. My first way of thinking used to be that the figure would be dominate in attention and the space secondary. Though not a great drawing, this piece has more a sense/concept of space as a poetic enviroment that the figure is a part of and not nessecarily the most important or dominate statement.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

St. George Cast Drawing

This is a chalk drawing on black paper of St. George from the cast drawing class with Patrick Conners at PAFA. The idea is to basically draw in white chalk, doing essentially the reverse of how we usually work. Conners says that type of drawing at PAFA this was sort of a specialty back in the day. Next its another drawing cast drawing on a toned paper then a painting using white and two earth colors for the final project.