Monday, September 29, 2008

Baltimore Con Report

I'm finally getting around to doing my usual post-con report on the annual Baltimore Con which i attended only on Saturday this year. Last year Sunday was pretty slow business wise for me, so along with that and the fact I have to spend my weekends catching up on freelance while in school, I decided to just do the one day. This year I set up shop with the Kids Love Comics booth, run by John (Buzz Boy) Gallagher. So along with my good buddy Scott Cohn I headed down and we parked and spent the day signing and drawing sketches. I have to admit, I was kinda' not in the spirit of the con this year, I have a lot of things on my plate and I am really not following the mainstream comic scene a lot, so I don't feel the pulse of the industry like I did.

My con report will sort of be brief as a result of that. I did see plenty of Babymen in attendance, and unfortunately I did not get a chance to get the BabymenT-shirts made yet, but I should have them done soon and for sale on my Ebay store soon. i did have a few people mention the Babymen to me, one guy even asked what they were, as he had been hearing the term, I told him to merely look around him and see if he could spot some himself...which he could. They are pretty easy to find. I didn't buy a darn thing and the afternoon flew by fast, so fast I only had about an hour to walk around and talk with friends, do some schmooze and business.

Superman and the Joker seem to be exchanging cell numbers...

Sorry dude, with the economy being tough right now, we are not taking any new members.
Grand master Nick Cardy who I read won a Harvey.

The Hellmen themselves, John Arcudi, Mike Mignola and Guy Davis
Todd Dezago and Craig Rousseau

Some of the kids at the Kids Love Comics booth really got into the spirit of things and were having a lot of fun...
A Samurai Jack sketch I did.

You know I was wondering with the economy being crap and gas prices being still very high, if the show would suffer this year? From what I hear from friends at the show, their sales were pretty healthy, and I heard attendance was up. I don't know if that is true, it was pretty busy Saturday but the show was in a smaller hall this year, so I can't say if the crowd seemed bigger because the space was smaller. I read that overall sales are in the crapper and the big Animae show was happening the same weekend in NYC, so i wonder if this was felt in any way at the show? I will say I saw some costumes but nothing like the volume of cosplay or female fans I saw in the New York con. There were some female fans but far, far less and I would say this is much like the heroes con, really a solid Super Hero comic con. I did see a fair smattering of families with kids, some even with the whole family dressed up, which really makes me think of the con at times as almost a Halloween type pagent. I know I've said this before, but I will repeat it here, I think our society has really turned a corner where what used to be considered Geek Culture is really now mainstream. So your cosplay lifestyle is really just another life style choice like being into Rock, or Punk or Jesus.
My buddy Jamar Nicholas signs for some fans
Ivan Brandon and Mike Hawthorne

Scott Cohn signs for a fan. Congrats to Scott for landing his new gig drawing G.I. Joe!

Unlike the New York show, this was a fairly uncommon sight, to too many packs of roving fan girls at teh show from what I could see.

A Star Wars gag sketch I did for a friend...
The Great Ramon Fradon. I really like the fact that Mark Nathan has respect and love for the few great golden age artist we have left with us and has them to the show. I have been enjoy the big, fat DC Aquaman reprints that have both Fradon and Cardy's work in them.
This was my favorite pick of the whole show! batgirl should always be so precocious!

After the off and on rain the sky seemed to clear for a spell around sunset, but by the time we left to head back to Philly it was storming again. So the crowds that you usually find walking around the Inner harbor were not to be found this year. So all in all it was a fun day and I got to see a few friends I hadn't seen in a while. Before I can blink 3 times it will be September all over again and I'll be back in Baltimore for the next show. It's a fun and easy show to do, it has all the fun and spirit that the Wozard shows are clearly lacking, and if the industry is to shrink back, if it shrinks to have homey fun shows like this, well that's just fine with me. This con is all about comics, not all about everything else BUT comics, and that's just what I think the industry needs.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

October Creepertins

This month's Creepertins strip. I'll have a post on Baltimore Con in the next day or so.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Models and Pelviseseseszzz

Today I did this pelvis-figure study in John Horn's class. I did it using a Col-erase Blue and Red pencils. It was a class long drawing and I really try and make this sort of a blueprint or construction drawing--which is what John os having us go for. Some of the proportions are still a bit off here as I was kinda' tired when we started and I had to hack back in there or there, which is another good thing about the Col-erase pencils--they are easily erased and so don't leave a heavy stain in the paper.
Yesterday it was the first class where we actually go to have our models in for the Life Sculpting. We have a choice of male or female models, I chose to do our female model because I think the softer forms will be a bigger challenge than the more obvious planes and angles of the male model.

John took us step-by-step through the 6 basic measurements, Height, dept, width, eye brow, hairline and ear notch.
Once we had those measurements we had to work on our heads to get them to conform to the models basic proportions. In the final stage we would actually have the model stand with our sculpture, face-to-face to double check our measurements. John is really a great teacher, he's very clear and he explains everything really well and takes his time and has a great eye. He can look at your sculpture and the with a push or pull of clay completely fix anything that is off.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Ad Cartoons

Here is the next in the series of faux "New Yorker style" direct mail post cards I've been illustrating for Lunchbox, the local ad agency here in Philly. This was drawn traditional, in pencil, scanned in and tweaked in and colored in Photoshop. I used a dry media brush and then tweaked it with the blur filter.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Life Painting Week 3

Today being Monday it's Life painting with Al Gury. Today I started massing in the color over the laying from last week. Since I am teaching Tuesdays I can't take the uninstructed class so I will only have one more full class to finish off this painting. I have a picture of the set-up, but not the model. I might ask her if she'll let me take a snap of her so I can try and continue the painting after the class is over.

Below is the next step of the head sculpture in John Horn's class. Today was the un-instructed class, so we had to finish up the basic form, I hope we get to start with the model on Thursday.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Back to X-9

I know it seemed like I was doing lots of drawing and painting here, but no comics for a while. But that's not true, I have been doing lots of commercial work and I'm finally back on the horse to finish up my second X-9 story for Egmont's X-9 Magazine, the publisher in Finland I did the first story for last year, through King Features, who owns the strip. X-9 or Secret Agent Corrigan was the strip that my mentor and friend Al Williamson used to do along with the late Archie Goodwin. Al gave the strip up to do the Star Wars strip and then eventually gave strips up all together to spend the bulk of the rest of his career inking comics, first for DC and then for Marvel.
Since the story is in black and white, I'm adding in the zip-a-tone, or screen pattern on a layer in Photoshop. I scanned in an old sheet I had and bring it in as a layer and then cut or erase away what I don't want. I hadn't worked on this story in a while and it was fun to get back to it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

End of the week-Big Update

I'm catching up here with a big post on all the goings on this week at school since i've been either too busy of fried to post since Monday. My schedule is a lot more full this semester, besides Tuesdays when I teach, I am in school at PAFA every day. It's great, but some days when I get home I have to hop on the freelance right away, and grind the gears for a few hours till I hit the sack for a few hours of sleep for the next days class. So for the next few weeks I might not be able to update every day like I used to.

Today was my anatomy class with John Horn, today we covered the Pelvis, then the model came in and we draw the model and placed the pelvis inside. The drawing above is from this morning's class.I used a General's Indigo Blue pencil on this drawing, it seems to work better for me, almost like it makes the drawing a blueprint.

the two drawings above are from my drawing class with Scott Noel, the first is a looser sketch i did when warming p, and the second was the last drawing done in the class, about 15 minutes.

This sdrawing is from the Thursday night open studio sessions at school. I did a few drawings but this one I think was teh best, it was a 15 minute drawing. I really want to in corporate the space in the drawing with the model as well, not just concentrate on the figure alone. This was done with a big vine charcoal stick on charcoal paper.
This is the second contour line still life I did for Mike Gallagher's Still Life class. I am really exploring the different type of line to try and indicate depth/atmosphere without smearing or rendering.

Finally, here is the next step in our life sculpture in John horn's class, this week John did a demo and we started adding in the zygomatic arch, etc., building in the forms of the skull. The next step, once the skull is done will be to start sculpting from the live model...that will be awesome, I can't wait.

Also the first Secret Saturday's story I did in DC's Action Pack should be shipping into stores this week.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life Painting-The Next Steps

Since this is Monday, it's Life Painting day at school with Al Gury.

This is the second week on this pose and Al wants us to do a big painting, so this is a 24 x 36 canvas. the first step was for me to take my sketch and grid it up. I posted my sketch last week. I made a copy on my copy machine and then drew a grid.

At school I used that grid to transfer the drawing to my larger canvas, and as it turned out my sketch was a slightly different proportion, so my painting is slightly longer than my sketch, and I had to take that into account. Al was a big help here making sure I double checked what I was doing. After the initial rough in, I put my sketch away and worked from the model, checking and correcting the drawing. Next Al took me to his studio and lent me some Damar varnish and we went to the spray room and sprayed the drawing, fixing my charcoal sketch.

Once the damar had dried, I worked laying in the basic tones, blocking in the big shapes, values and masses working from our model. Now the painting will have to wait till next week when I'll get to work on the painting again, starting to mass in the color. Like many teachers, Al always brings in plenty of books from his collection on various artists and painters to inspire us and spark conversation. I had been looking forward to taking a class with Al for a long time and so far it's been fun. I know often people don't use that word, but Art School should be fun as well as hard work.