Saturday, December 25, 2010

Another Belated Christmas Album and Card

So what would you like to have this Winter's Eve Light Celebration ?

Belated Like Broken Clockwork

It's Christmas time and my pal Digitalcasm Stearns ("Abel") put together another Holiday CD for this year: "Another Belated Christmas*." Featuring the golden voice talent of R.J. Hochmuth, this compilation of holiday tracks crosses all sorts of cultural and awesomeness boundaries!
"Sexy Kwanzaa," "Santa Baby," and the impressively auto-tuned "We're a Couple of Misfits" are some of my favorite tracks.
The ornamented CD face~

Last year's album (which includes a reading of the Polar Express in faux British accent + self-made foley sound FX), is availabile on the Bandcamp site here.

Tuning up the Reindeer (+ the Christmas Spirit)

Also for this time of year is my annual illustration promotional card. The reindeer is a callback from last year's card, but shows all the behind-the-scenes tinkering the Elves do to get a bionic buck airborne. Since I worked in layers in Photoshop, I'm also thinking about giving it some limited animation-- but like the cards themselves in the mail, this might take some time to arrive~
[Leave a comment/message if want to get on the mailing list :]

Merry Christmas and Sweet Soltice everyone!


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Ink Raven

Lightboxes: They make everything more epic~

Don't Graphite, Just Ink About It

This story was my first mini-comic that serves as a intro to a longer 4 part story I'm working on. There is Norse mythology influence in this particular tale and is meant to ask questions about self fullfilling prophecies, the origin of folklore, and the power of belief. Yep, all that in 5 pages~

My first stab at making a mini comic came from much inspiration from the folks at Art & Story.
Much thanks for advice about materials from Mark Rudolph (whose "Echoes from Astroid X" I was using as a quality barometer). I planned to screenprint the band that wraps the mini that lines up with the image, but time constraints forced the monastic discipline of hand painting them in time for the Alternative Press Expo (APE).

[EDIT: for the Long Beach Comic Con, the bands were indeed screen printed!! For a process series, see the link at the bottom of this post]

And now, a story from colder skies:

"Where once there were three

two would remain

bound to the old keeper

of fury and spear.

Flown high from the Tree

to know a dire fate

born to escape

and chase a tale,

a new post--

a ghost. "

-old poem


All Part of the Process

In an effort to not overcrowd this blog space (and maybe hide my hodgepodge comics-making process~) I put the "making of" pictures for this minicomic on my Flickr. I thought I'd share this after one person at the Long Beach Con recognized that the band was indeed screened, not just colored paper-- the awesome n' talented Dustin Nguyen! I scored a beautiful sketchbook of his full of amazing watercolors and some of my favorite characters.

The inch strips were actually leftovers from the 11 x 17" single sheet trimmed to make the mini size divide evenly into 8 parts. They wrapped around perfectly, and some part of me wanted to feel like I was honorably using 'every part of the animal' which is paper.
Only some of these minis included a bonus "poster" on the reverse side, a collage of raven sketches I did leading up to writing the story. I think the process pictures can clarify the construction~

Here's a preview for those interested--

If you want more, just jaunt on over HERE!

Back to Triple-two

I will be having another show at this cool little clothing store in Huntington Beach, 222 Clothing. I'm excited to showcase my comic art specifically for this one. I'll have original pages and some new work on display with ole pal Digitalcasm debuting some new songs.

This happens with the monthly Huntington Beach Art Walk. Directions here!

[EDIT: I forgot to note a fun factoid: The 222 Store specializes in Scandinavian and Nordic Indie Brands of clothing-- a perfect perch for a Raven~]

Monday, November 08, 2010

Convention Peeks

" Hey watch where you're goin'! "

Pictures from APE

Before going into the above image, I must say, I had a stellar time at the Alternative Press Expo-- even with the rainy Sunday! I just wish I had more opportunities to browse the other tables and pick up some indie comic gems. It was good to see Javier Hernandez and meet some of the other Cartoonistas there. Also 1/3 of the Art & Story hosting team, Kevin Cross was in attendance. Though far up North, I also met near home local artists like Kevin Woody, who had a small anthology of his work with some diverse stylings I really enjoyed.
I also got a couple of Jim Lujan's Ghettomation DVDs. A great collection, the interview "Conversatio," especially had me in stiches~

Our booth with the fierce and formidable Ralph Miranda ("Man Fighting Street")

Raul Aguirre Jr. ("Man vs. Art") on my right and Kevin Cross ("Art & Story") on my other right.

Kevin Woody sports a fancy 'stache along with similarly themed fun comic ("Between Mars").
[The banner and title totally piqued my interest]

Rule #135: It's not really a Con unless you have last minute projects to finish

Pics from LBCC

Conventions only we apart! Pardon for the backlog but the times have been eventful~
To see more of these pics from Long Beach Comic Con, find my illustration page on Facebook or see some selections on my Flickr.
Each of these events seems to have a different appeal and it's always great to meet diverse crowds at these conventions. The "Soviet Space Simian" screenprints which got no love at APE (ironically~) were very popular at LBCC and are now sold out! I'll likely be trying my hand at more screen printing techniques in new work too. I'll be putting up some pics from my haphazard process in another post.

Our table setup featured the "INFECTED" Anthology,
prints, "Man Fighting Street", and an assortment of mini-comics

McFly! Caught gliding around the convention floor

When pint-size cuteness collides...

Frankie wants a hug!

Goofing around among greats: Dean Yeagle and Amanda Connor

The Sunday of the convention fell on Halloween, so there was an even larger surge of costumed characters-- many creators taking part too.
It was a great pleasure to meet the amazing cover artist for our "Infected" book, Dean Yeagle and one of my favorite comic artists out there, Amanda Connor (in full skunk regalia!).

Fun with Fotoshop

Part of the fun of the Con is getting to see some of the great costumes folks put together. I ran into a detachment from the 501st Stormtrooper Legion while waiting for my morning coffee...

The Imperials occupation of Seattle's Best

I got one of them to humor me this shot:

Which resulted in:

(Bluescreens not included)
...and just because I can:

'(Near-mint'/ 'Fair' condition)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Night of the Life Zombies

Whoop... got your nose!

Staying in the Halloween-ish theme, here are some sketches from last Thursday's Zombie life drawing session at The Catalyst art space. They did a good job with make-up and got some folks to play victims too. I'm usually not much of a gore fan... but it would be an interesting exercise to employ some anatomy memory and draw exposed muscles and such too. eh.
Wish I knew about this impromptu session earlier-- I know a few aficionados of the zombie craze.

Drawing on toned paper's something I haven't done much of but I'm getting to appreciate it a bit more. White-out helps a bunch to make it kick... or bite.

Great expressions from the model and "victim"

Fun with watercolor travel kit and my new parallel pen. Great way to make thin lines and fill in blacks quick.

The guy w/ dapper 'stache dreaming about r2 wasn't there, just needed to fill sketchbook space~

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Portraits of Melancholy Mansion

I sea nothing wrong with my new pet...

Portrait of a Monster as a Hang Man

It's that time of year when all things wicked walk about-- Halloween! These were for AmericanGreetings as one of their new line of Halloween e-cards.
I did storyboards for another one which you can check out on the storyboard side of things here.

For this card, you can upload your own picture as part of a spooky hallway of creepy characters with a hint of misfortune ala. the Haunted Mansion. Moving to the tune of "The Addams Family" theme, the portraits animate to life to the ::snap, snap:: Try it out for yourself here !

The General: May he rest in hair piece

Lady Dashwood is a fan of sharp wit

One of them didn't make the cut and only passes by as a blur, but was one of my favorites... here's a little spotlight on the painting process for the "Guillotine Twins":

You can see I referenced a combination of Thomas Gainsborough, Mark Ryden, and Asaf Hanuka-- one part classic and two parts contemporary~ The twin on the right actually loses his head in a step not because of any nod to the deadly contraption, but because I was trying to make them look alike ;]

Going back further in the design timeline and more process goodness, the above is an initial sketch of ideas done in one of my go-to mediums for art and drink: coffee

Hope everyone carves and paints themselves a fantastic Halloween~!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

24 Hour Geeky People

"24" (without Jack Bauer)

This zany event happens every year to test the wits and limits of comic creators everywhere. Challenged by sometime collaborator and sometime nemesis Ralph Miranda, I decided to join in to make a 24 page comic in 24 straight hours, even with a late start last Saturday.

Originally, I was planning to just be a 'spectator'-- even so far was calling the folks [admirable] nuts on the Twitters~ I was just going to hang around and work on other pending projects-- but being around that many people working so hard on comics, I couldn't help but at least try.

The event, started as a challenge by Scott McCloud, is now held all over at comic shops and venues throughout the world. I was at Manhattan Beach's The Comic Bug, publishers of the Infected anthology I was in.
I also had the privilege of sitting near the original organizer of the day Nat Gertler, who had a copy of his soon to be published retrospective on Schultz's "Peanuts". A beauty of a book with lots of cool inserts and behind the scenes about the legendary catoonist.

Below are the first three pages from my story. The little narrative was cobbled together from random bits of funny thoughts over dinner with my girlfriend at Carney's Restaurant in Hollywood-- a diner built inside of an old Amtrak passenger car from the 1920's. [It's likely their website was built in the same era too... :P]

The story is called Dream Destinations and I'd summarize it as "like Inception: but for little kids!" The fantastical stuff comes later with rockets and hamsters and cat food... o my:

Though I wish it had more polish to it, I'm pretty satisfied that at least it's one complete story and actually spans the full 24 pages. There's a few more episodic adventures for the trio to go on in my head and I'd like to add some splashy color fitting for this all-ages genre. First things first though because it's nearing time for....

A.P.E. (without Monkeys)

This happens Oct 16-17 at the Concourse Center in San Francisco. I'll have all eight of the posters from the Nouveau Robotica series as well as one extra large set for the "Aceite Fino" design. I'll also have buttons, screenprints, a mini-comic, and the Infected anthology story too. This will be my third time attending, second time as an exhibitor so I'm really looking forward to seeing some familars and seeing and meeting some awesome indie talent.

Here's more info about the Expo. I'll be at table with #629 with Mirando Calrissian [Ralph], Yan Solo [Stephen], Grand Moff Parsons [Jeremy].

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

An All-American Astro Ape

Chimps in the Mist

Now it's time to turn out attention to the good ole' US Space Program after the Soviet inspired stuff. I found an image online of this chimpanzee in the modern orange NASA Launch Entry Suit and wished there was a poster. I couldn't find one after many a Google search so decided to just paint it. It was started a couple years ago and forgotten until I recently dusted it off, gave it a coat of paint, threw it outside, and took a picture.

Seeing the similarities to the previous "Soviet Space Monkey," this just might be the start of another series. Whatever the name, it will likely need to end with
"... in SPACE !"

[A rare image of the Space Monkey in his more natural habitat...]
"American Astro Ape" 2010
22" x 28"Acrylic on Canvas in the Bushes

This will be on display along with many fine works in the theme of Portraits by the talented staff of Art Supply Warehouse this Sunday (9/12) . Their new counterpart creative space CATALYST, recently opened doors and is located in the same plaza. Find more about it and directions here.

I'll post up pics with less foliage from the show. If you're local to town, come check it out! The painting itself will feature a bonus little addendum piece at the gallery... You'll just have to come to see! (or... y'know, just wait for the pics :/).

Some other cool space monkeys:

- Apelad [A. Koford]! (his Twitter feed is more frequent and funnier than most comedians)

- "Space Chimp" video for World Wildlife Fund! (I still think of wrestling if I spell WWF)

- SpaceMonkey.NO ! ("No" for "No.rway"..! Art and Story contributor Kim Holm's chose-your-own-adventure comic strip)

- This old article on BoingBoing features the image which sparked my initial interest in space simians (appearing ever briefly in the Special Features section on the Borat DVD)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ionic Asterion

A-mazing Mechanical Bull !

Number 8 in "Nouveau Robotica" series was inspired after seeing the much acclaimed "Inception." Some people might have noticed slight nods to Greek myth with the names:
Ariadne [daughter of King Minos, the mythical king of Crete, believed location of the Labyrinth] and maybe even Arthur [Arthur Evans being the modern excavator of the historic site]. You can tell Mr. Nolan loves his puzzles. Unlike Ellen Page, this maze illustration took waaay longer than one minute to design-- maybe you can look at it for two minutes? :]

So in the myth we've got our Mino-taur = "the Bull of Minos" as the bastard child of Queen Pasiphae and cursed to live as a half man, half bull monster eventually defeated by the hero Theseus.

I had fun watching a few documentaries on the Greeks and reading a little bit about the mythology of the Minotaur. Turns out he has a name: Asterion or "Ruler of the stars" [See the asterisks in there? :P]

Here, instead of using Classical Greek, there is the Ionic Alphabet lettering more suited for ancient Minoan Crete. I really wanted to have an excuse to use the cool looking Omega symbol [or large/'mega'- "O"] or the Omicron [small/'micro'- "o"] but it kept looking like a fraternity logo... would've looked like ΑΣΤΕΡΙΩΝ. Alas, this bull ain't no frat boy-- more old school, so I opted for the older form of Greek. Only by coincidence does it look a little bit like the word "Inception" since R's looked like P's.

This whole series is based on explorations about language, code, and symbols, so going back to such old writing made for some fun exploration. Here's more if you want to dig deeper--

An idea about threes: Here, the character is 1/3 bull, 1/3 man, 1/3 mechanical (wouldn't be much of a 'Robotica' without it~) And he is simultaneously the cursed beast, the designer of the maze [as the inventor Dedalus] and Ariadne [the provider of the thread that kept Theseus from getting lost.] The thread also leads to the spool on the double-sided ax or "labrys" from which the name "Labyrinth" originates. Yay, full circle.

So much vocabulary traces back to the Greek... that dad from that wedding movie was soo right~

Well.. that was a lot to read. If you made it this far, here-- watch a funny video about minotaurs to unwind: Minotaur is Cruel and Unusual!

O the Onion goodness~

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"The Sunless Circus"

The Circus is in Town

Finally online, this is my first foray into comic storytelling (at least as a complete story). It's a short story about a robot acrobat boy who wants to run away from the circus-- and become an accountant.
The comic is now available as part of an anthology released through local Manhattan Beach comic store, The Comic Bug under the title, "INFECTED!". It was pleasure to work with Mike Wellman, Jun, and Adam to get this out and great to have a creative group to be surrounded and motivated by.

Every month, we creators would meet like addicts, introduce ourselves and talk about our ideas or share progress. It's a really cool shop and a great place to connect writers looking for artists and vice versa. I had a few of these to share at Comic Con and will have them on hand at APE in October.

Look for this cover!

It was a surprise honor to have legendary cartoonist Dean Yeagle draw the cover. Other pals whose stories were a part include Ralph Miranda's "An Afternoon Read" and Evan Ferrel's "Passing the Bogle". There were quite a few diverse ideas churned out in keeping with the title theme-- many opting for a metaphorical infection rather than an biological one.
A thanks also goes to the folks at Art and Story who got me thinking more about comics as an artform and providing great company at the cartoonist's artdesk.

This image at the very top is for a minicomic version of just the circus story. I had painted this fake circus poster for an art show and wanted to stretch it's usefulness. These copies also have initial concept sketches and perforated circus tickets that you can tear out [and redeem for a sketch at any convention appearances~]

And without further ado:
[cue circus music, it's a silent comic...]