Saturday, July 31, 2010

Trumped Sketches

Just a couple of pictures of Trump today. I've been kinda out of it this past week with way too many trips to the doctor and not as much energy as I'd like. The guy that drew my blood really did a number on my arm and I'm kinda fascinated by the result. That, and Pizza Hut delivered to my cardiologist while I was in the waiting room so at least it's been a somewhat entertaining week.

So first, a picture of Trump probably hallucinating and talking to Benny the Badger in the forest in her mind:

And then a quick sketch of Trump and a "ghost":

She has a much different relationship to the "ghosts" than her brother.

Not much else right now, but I picked up the first volume of Jeff Smith's Rasl this week. Read it people, seriously. I'll probably post more about it later once I read the second volume.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Faces of the City: Coal

I'm back in LA and trying to clean out a bunch of old junk which got me listening to old music and sending me down a kind of personal nostalgia trip of sorts.

I used to write a lot of poetry back in the day and it's a bug I can't really get out of my system. Those that read my fables assignment this past year at CCS might recognize this guy as The Bat, but more to me he's one of the protagonists of a story I put aside to work on City of Cards. That comic/story helped get me through all the anger and frustration I felt in high school and college, so I figure the guy earned a spot in the background at least.

A good character is a survivor. Whether it be by passing down traits and experiences that help develop future characters or transplanting oneself from one abandoned project to another. If there is an inherent value or lesson to be learned from working with and writing a character it will find its way to get out there.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


So, I suffer from insomnia a fair amount. In fact, I am posting this at 2:30 in the morning because I figure if I can't sleep I should at least be productive. Woo!

A lot of times when I can't sleep, I grab my brush and ink or if I'm not certain of my capacity to not spill ink everywhere I grab my brush pen and do some quick ink sketches. Nine times out of ten I draw backgrounds/environments because being able to slap down lines is pretty relaxing. Here's a few from tonight.

This also gives me a chance to loosen up my inks and lines which is something I desperately need to get better at. It's also why I love urban environments so much, well, one of the reasons I love them. When you make them messy, they feel more real and familiar. Sure, I love drawing trees and foliage, but finding the organic quality of rust and steel and asphalt is damn fun too.

I head back to LA on Thursday sooo, uhh, I have no idea. I'll be able to upload from there but I have no idea what I'll be posting. Hooray!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Comics You Should Know - Action Philosophers!

First, because they're so damn cute, a messy drawing of Plato and Candy:

Candy is telling Plato that she'll kill him if he drops her, he's telling me to hurry up with the drawing because he doesn't want to die.

I probably won't ink this because I've got too much on my plate right now.

Comics You Should Know! Action Philosophers!

The Republic got your reeling? Symposium making you feel like a simpleton? Does the allegory of the cave sound like a drink you had last night instead of a metaphor for the perception of reality?

If you're like me and you've tried really hard to digest the works of Plato, which are still totally wonderfully relevant to this day, minus the misogyny and HUGE leaps of logic in order to make his theology better suit his own personal tastes, but sometimes find yourself tilting your head like a confused chihuahua at some of the big pictures he's trying to get at? Then look no further than Action Philosophers! to answer some of these questions!

Not just Plato, no, this book covers a huge range of philosophies from ancient to modern, from Lao Tzu to Derrida, with fantastic graphic clarity. Informative on its own, it also serves as a kind of cliff notes summary of these philosophers lives and philosophies which makes it a great companion book for anyone studying up on a particular philosophy.

It could have used a section on Adam Smith, but hey, can't have everything, can we?

Monday, July 12, 2010

CIty of Cards: Rick and Family

Today we have another City of Cards character(s) introduction! I'm kinda going in order of appearance in the story, not really on purpose though.

Also, July blog updates will be random, but I'm hoping to update at least once/twice a week. What will I update with? Who knows! But today, you get to meet Rick and his family.

Rick has no last name, yet. He DOES have a surname, that's important, it's just that I have no idea what it is yet and if he took his wife's surname which is very possible.

Just a quick ink drawing, but starting from the left we have Rick's wife Satoko, completely inspired by one of the most awesome people I've ever known, a former teacher I worked with in Japan. Ms. Sato, you are amazing. Satoko is strong, independent, and very happy being a mother to two wonderful girls. She supports her husband completely and only wants him to take care of himself.

Next in front we have Rick himself looking a bit haggard here, but all I could imagine was how Rick would react if he thought his family/home was being threatened. Let's just say, don't mess with Ma and Pa Bear. Family is everything to Rick.

The littlest member of the family is Mari. She's eight, loves Benny the Badger, and has a record for the most words uttered in a single breath in under a minute.

On the end is Ann, who is ten, and is a bit of a bookworm who takes after her father in many ways. She's very smart, sweet, and loves video games.

Rick is a father figure to Plato and works as the equivalent of a social worker/lawyer/accountant and is way underpaid and under-appreciated for what he does. However, he wouldn't do anything else. Because of the circumstances of how he took on Plato's case Rick views himself as a sort of older brother/father figure to Plato and the whole family consider Plato one of them. However, contractually, Plato is not a member of their family.

Rick is quite possibly the most honest, sincere person you could ever meet. However, because of this, he's often a nervous wreck when he can't get things to go the way he wants for the people he cares about. He's lost a bit of hair and put on a few pounds because of this, but his wife loves him anyway.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Za Fyrurry

Okay, I mentioned I had another project that I was working on? This isn't really a preview, but it certainly is related:

Recognize the characters? Dude, I'll mail you a cookie if you do. Doesn't count if you go to CCS or are in my "circle" because you guys will probably get cookies later anyway.


It's The Fury! And the Voidoid. From the Image Comics 1963 series that's seeing some crazy new light these days. For more information, check out information on Tales of the Uncanny – N-Man & Friends: A Naut Comics History, Volume 1 on Stephen R. Bissette's site and blog.

The stuff I'm working on right now won't be for Vol. 1 and I won't go into too much detail just that this is going to be a whole lot of crazy fun.

Also, check out this great interview on CBR for way more information.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

ABHR Guest Comic

So I was asked to do a guest comic for a friend and thought, hey, why not! It'll give me a chance to practice drawing kids and to be a little random so here's what I threw together:

His site is here.

I'm pretty close to finishing pencils on OFHH so hopefully I'll get to inking that soon. Also, I have another project that I'm involved in but I don't really know how I'll handle that once it's finished. Still, I'm excited and it'll be fun.

Also, summer is full of fail and I just want to sleep the heat away. This weather is not good for making comics.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Comics You Should Know - On the Banks of the Mainstream

Not so mainstream but not really "indies" recommendations -

Okay, this post has taken a bit longer for me to figure out because I could just as easily list off a bunch of random comics I've read lately but I really wanted to pick comics that actually meant something to me or have influenced the way I approach my own comics. These picks aren't perfect, and they're not the most obscure indies titles I could probably have picked, but I'm not going to pick books just because no one has heard of them. Sometimes books are popular because they're actually good, or at least fun and pretty which is actually something I feel like there isn't enough out there in the comic world.

Hellblazer - Okay, was not even sure how the heck to put this in here but whatever, Hellblazer. Bloody hell I love this series throughout the years and how the character of Constantine has evolved. It plays with literature, it plays with the notion of good and evil and damnation and humanity and fate and picking out my favorite stories would be hard because there are just so many good ones to choose from. It should be no real surprise why I'm drawn to this series.

I suggest reading whatever you can get ahold of, but one of the benefits to the way the Hellblazer stories are told is they are often very neatly written into digestible story arcs. Considering I have no idea how long I plan to make City of Cards and I generally like the idea of a near open-ended universe this is a really great place to get influences. I recommend checking out the Family Man arc because of this solidity.

Sky Doll - It's French. It's so very, very beautifully French. But hey, it's now available in English so you have no excuse not to enjoy this beauty! But really, It's a French science fiction story about a "doll" (read: android sex toy) that "escapes" from her factory and goes on a journey of self-discovery. It's quirky, colorful, and the artists have backgrounds in animation which is really clear in the fluidity in the gestures and facial expressions of the characters. Marvel is releasing the series and unfortunately this means it's being cramped into their standard TPB size books which doesn't do the series justice. Still, it's worth a look.

It is by no means the most philosophically deep story about robots discovering their true self ever presented, but Noa is a likable character. Reviewers keep talking about the adult themes in this book, I just say it's French. So very, very French. I'm in love with the designs, the cities, the science fiction elements and for me, that's what the appeal is. It's pretty and as I develop my own science fiction universe, I want to look to examples of doing it right.

We3 - Alright, this is almost a cheap shot here but honestly picking these books has been really tough. Why We3, then? Well, number one I'm fascinated by human robotics experiments and cyborgs. Second, I'm really interested in the manipulation of readers' emotions through content. I told you this was a cheap shot, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. How many times have you seen those ads on TV with the sad shelter animals and just felt an overwhelming urge to rescue one of them?

Animals are vulnerable, and we as humans have the capacity to decide life and death and quality of life so easily when it comes to these creatures. We identify with these animals because so many of us are pet lovers, animal lovers, we get it. Sometimes you have to push the reader over the edge before you can really smack them with the greater realization. That's why I like We3 and that's why I like books that give you a really good, complex emotional punch to the gut because if it's done well we think about it well beyond the closing of the book. It's also eerily plausible, and the best science-fiction has that frightening grain of truth.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Monsieur Tofu Never Stood a Chance

So, uh, we have some interesting conversations on the CCS messageboard and that lead to this:

At least now you know I'm still being productive! Or something...

I actually really do love tofu, but no, he stood no chance.