Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Its been a while since my last post as its been a super busy fall season for me. I started teaching my Illustration class again in the PAFA High School Program, this is my 5th year teaching the class and this year's class is probably the biggest I've taught so far, swelling to 40 students some weeks. That's quite a big number of students to teach, and a real workout for sure for myself as well as my two teaching assistants. The students run the gamut from the merely interested to the serious student working on portfolio pieces for their upcoming applications to various art schools. Each student is charged with coming up with a project to work on, it can be a comic, character design or an illustration of some sort. I give them help and tips for coming up with ideas and then a plan for taking the ideas from comps or thumbnails to finished work.
                                           Wood Street 12 x 16 Oil Available at Rodger LaPelle 

While that was going on I took part in the Plein Air Burlington with my crew from the PPAP and then we as a group were also asked to take part in the Old City Festival in October and painted along the festival route in Old City in Philly.

                            One of the two paintings I progress that I did along busy 3rd Street

On top of all of that I also have been keeping up on the Judge Parker strip and have pulled in a few guest inkers for the Sunday Strips.

              This Sunday was penciled by me and guest inked by my best buddy Bret Blevins

                          This Sunday was penciled by me and guest inked by Jerry Ordway

I was really excited and happy to have both Bret and Jerry help me out on some deadline gaining by pitching in on the inks on these two Sunday strips, they did an awesome job, especially having to ink form Blue Line printouts and not the original pencils due to the schedule.

On top of all of this I was also a guest speaker in  the writing class my buddy Jamar Nicholas teaches at Drexel University last Tuesday. I brought in a large selection of my comic and animation work to show the class, talked about my career and the "ins and outs" of comics and animation.

Then I did a live breakdown and layout from Dan Ingman's script, a nice young guy and aspiring writer is one of the students in the class that Jamar chose for me to work with.

I explained my thought process on adapting the script live as I worked, the difference between full script and plot and I laid out the same page in two versions and explained why I chose the shots/angles in each version and how that effected the feel and flow of the page; the need to understand how comics flow visually and that every writer needs to be able to lay out a comic page even if their drawing is terrible. You can lay out a page in a six panel grid on a single sheet of paper and that will give them an idea of how the script translates and becomes a comic page and the real estate and flow of a narrative and how the art/balloons an narrative really must share the space and work together.

A script is very abstract until it is locked down on a page--and it can be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on the artists adapting them.  Time flew by and it was fun and before I knew it it was over. Next week I'll be a guest critic for the students in the PAFA Illustration program at school.