Sunday, March 27, 2011

Judge Parker

It's time for a little mother, daughter talk on Spencer farms...

Saturday, March 26, 2011


We tipped over the halfway mark this week for the spring semester and I have picked my classes for the fall semester which will start my final semester as an undergrad at school. This time next year I will have applied to the masters programs for my terminal degree. As much as I do love being in school and at PAFA I really do look forward to the day when my classes will also be done and I can fully move on into the next phase of my art career.

The study above is for the new pose in my class with Mike Gallagher which will be the last pose in his class. All of my classes are either starting the a new pose or just ending one this week. I will have tow final in class paintings and one outside painting to do on top of my "wall" for the ASE--so I am gonna be a painting fool!

I am very aware of the time I have left to do my paintings for the ASE, so I must be very diligent and apply even more pressure for the next few weeks to get what I want done and ready---then the summer, a little vacay--and then back to the studio full time.

Here is the newest support ready to roll, it's 4 x4 canvas mounted over Luann panel and cradled on the back. I oil primed this one so the surface is really nice! this one will get started on today.

Since my buddy Ricardo is visiting for a while he often comes down to the school to hang out while I am there. He came down recently and gave my friend Will Sentman a few pointers on the study for the illustration he was working on--a great benefit you get knowing a guy like Ric!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Judge Parker

Now the Terminator is out of the way, maybe it's time for the JP crew to enjoy NYC.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Break-Week 7 Drawathon

The first week after Spring Break raced by so fast, it seemed to just evaporate. Maybe between the terrible news of the Japanese disaster and the freelance work it seemed every day was just chocked full.

We also had our annual Drawathon at school tonight, Unlike previous years I did not work the event and monitor a room or set-up nor did I stay the whole night. This time I brought along my long time friend and maetsro, Ricardo Villagran. Ricardo enjoyed himself and did several awesome sketches in the Cast Hall.
I spent only about maybe an hour or so painting as I ended up talking and seeing some friends I hadn't seen in a while. I was also not that crazy about the poses going this year.This is another of my paintings on cardboard which was done in Michael Gallagher's class, this one isn't really finished. I would repaint into it every week.

The Cast Hall in the HLB always looks great at night.
Pizza was provided as well as other snacks to keep the late night drawing and painting going.

One of the drawings Ricardo did of the casts.

My oil sketch.

This is one of the homework assignments for the Drawing class I have with Mike Gallagher and this weeks topic was a list of words which we could choose several to work with or from. i wonder if anyone can choose the words I used? We have also been looking as a lot of modern art--which is really not my favorite subject for the most part and specifically a lot of alternative or collage artists, I did this assignment and the one below on spirituality.

In Alex Kanevsky's class I am working away on this smaller painting which is on MDF. Alex wanted me to go back and use regular oils and a fuller palette on this painting. I am enjoying the class when i get to see Alex, unfortunately one of the drawbacks to a popular teacher and the BFA being added at PAFA is classes with too many students--the overcrowding really is a pain in the ass for me sometimes. There shouldn't be more than 12 students ideally, this way the teacher would have ample time to visit you more than once per class. I always grab the teacher once or twice again anyway--I make sure I get my $$$ worth.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today was the one year anniversary of my start on Judge Parker! It's been fun and a lot of hard work too because strips are a horse you can never really get off of, you might hop down for a minute, but you have to get back on and ride hard. This year of doing JP really gave me an even bigger appreciation of artist like Drake, Starr, Williamson , Robbins and Raymond and the amazing high quality of the work they produced under such hard deadlines. They are still my strip heroes and the mark i aim for ever strip I draw!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Judge Parker

The Judge has made his decision--he's going with Connie!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jack Kirby and Me

I came across this old picture yesterday, it's from the Chicago Con of 1984 when I met Kirby for the first time and he was and still is one of my biggest heroes. He was such a nice and gracious man as was his wife Roz. I had a stack of book that I had him sign and he might be the only artist I ever really brought a stack of books to have signed.

That was the con I went to with samples hoping to get work and ended up working on Robotech Defenders helping out Judy Hunt. that lead to more work and my moving from Ann Arbor out to Philly and I've been working in comics ever since then. You can also see Dan Jurgens in the background on the left, I would end up working over Dan's pencils about 10 years later on Superman. A lot of history, past and future in that one photo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Secret Saturdays Children's Book

While dragging files off the computer for back-up I cam across these pencils from a children's book I did almost two summers ago for the Secret Saturdays line Random House was putting out. Along with a few artist from the show, including the director we did 3-4 books featuring the Saturday Clan. It's too bad the show seemed to get an early demise due to regime change and so-so sales of the toys, it was also the heart of the bad economy too, so I always wonder if that hurst TV shows when rating or sale of sponsor's products or licensing doesn't reap huge profits. Those things can have a direct impact on your pocketbook as a cartoonist or artist working on a project that suddenly gets the stink-eye, or the shit-can of non renewal. I enjoyed boarding on the show as it was like boarding a sort of "Johnny Quest" of 2009.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

More Magnus layouts

I had to pick up the pace during the end of my layouts so I started doing them smaller, actual comic size and inked them with a marker. I was drawing the full size and enjoyed doing that but the deadline stated getting too tight.

I always enjoyed the idea of the character and his pink metal tunic. I think that's magnus, if you change it it doesn't make sense, I know people love or hate a character but I think if you go away from the core too much you might as well just do a new character.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


A friend sent me a link to a new website featuring the fine artwork of Frank Robbinswho is one of my favorite artists and a huge inspiration for me. It's great to finally get to see his paintings and his drawings that he did when he moved to mexico when he retired.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Magnus Layouts

Here is another batch of layouts from Magnus 3 which were later finished by Bill Rienhold. I've been doing a lot of layouts in the past year, I'll be posting more on some of the works soon from some of the other projects.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Judge Parker

Angle and Constance seem at odds here but Constance is not about to give up on her plans despite the bad timing.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Spring Break-Week 6

here is the big painting finished for now. I'm starting spring break and another painting this weekend, and I'll have a new large size painting ready to go plus some smaller ones.

I had a lot of fun doing this painting and a lot of support and positive feedback from all of my friends as well as my teachers and critics at school. I think one of the things that gets lost fast in the art world is the word fun, which really is sad. I mean we all became artists because we thought it would be FUN to be someone who drew or painted sculpted, photographed, etc. Sure, at times it can be the most maddening and frustrating pleasure to fight with your creation and your ego, your skill level etc.

I know doing the study of the painting and having that to work with was a major aid in working on the larger painting as I solved many problems before the big canvas was started. paper vs canvas, think vs thick, so many ideas from the study that had to be reinterpreted into the big painting. A mark on the study which was a fingernail was now 6 inches and applied with a palette knife the size of a spakeling trowel. It was a fight to keep what was in the study but to also give the larger painting what it needed and so there were always these aesthetic decisions being made all along the way. This is where the advice my teachers like Renee, Scott and Vince came in really handy.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Magnus NO. 3 hit the stands last week and so I thought I would post some of the layouts I did that Bill Rienhold did finishes over. I am really happy with what Bill did, it is a great looking comic, the coloring by Wes Dzioba is one of my favorite coloring jobs ever. So often I am just really dissappointed by the coloring which can really destroy the art on a book and ruin all your hard work--but not here, Wes really enhances what Bill and I did. Unfortunately I am off to other things as due to the dreaded deadline doom Bill has moved onto doing a Magnus origin story--so no layouts will be needed to speed the deadline.

Bill's inks!

This was hard book to layout from Jim Shooters scripts, Jim is a guy who has definite ideas about how his comics should be laid out and that honestly left me at times kinda' hemmed in compared to the way I usually work. Shooter believes in the strict panel grid in laying out a comic, no bleeds, no inset panels etc. I hate the term "old School' but that might apply here--or maybe the world conservative would. yet artists like Kirby and Ditko worked most of their careers in the grid--did their best work with the grid--so you can still go good comics, I think however the past 40 years teh grid has been really blown out and much more cinematic and "designed" page layouts have become the norm.

I knew from working with him at Valiant Jim would not be going for that--so I was not surprised at the way he wanted the books done, but at times I felt honestly a bit constrained as I could think of much more dynamic ways to layout some of the scenes. But those were the rules on this gig and so I spent my effort on making the panels the best compositions, the acting of the characters and trying to make the layouts as dynamic as possible knowing that there might be changes by Shooter and that Bill would make the art look sweat--and he did.

If you see this issue you can see there were changes to my layout.

I was thinking that I would just knock the figures in and let Bill "dress them up' as at this time they were still trying to come up with Magnus' new costume.

I got to do some fun future design stuff and again I just roughed in Magnus so Bill could add the costume when it was agreed on. My idea when laying out a page is the story is first, and I want to keep the figures and shapes of the background and elements reading clear. Strong clear gestures that can read in a silouette especially in panel 4 where Magnus uses his internal com-link to talk to A-1.

I'll post some more layouts in the next few days!