Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Art Supplies

I stopped by the Art Store the other day looking for pencil lead and a new product caught my eye. Canson, the paper maker has decided to enter the comic art board market. I bought a pad so I could test it out. This is what I think.

The pad is a standard 11by17 and 24 sheets. It's heavyweight and there are ruled blue line boards with a rough finish. I should mention that the packaging pissed me off! The name of the product is called 'FANBOY, Get out of the basement'. What an insult! They may be a little late getting into the comic book industry, so why diss your market?

So after I got over my hurt feelings, I penciled a test page, with the intention of inking it. Luckily, the inside cover had a how to draw comics tutorial! I am used to a smooth finish and the pencil lead I used left shadows after I erased it. My pen worked well but the finish does not take the brush very well.

My verdict is...SO-SO. I like the heavyweight but they need a hot press finish. I won't buy again. Unless they change the name.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Best Cereal EVER!

I think I like the name best of all.

Balloon Placement Part 3

Allen gave his opinion about making room for the word balloons and it occurred to me. Why not draw the balloons in? The Old-School guys would actually pencil the dialogue in and draw around it. Less work for the penciler I guess. This page is from an old issue of Dr. Solar. Published by Western Publishing. I think they may have typeset the words.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Frazetta Rough Work

I bought a Frank Frazetta sketch book the other day and it's very good! I know that he has a few out there, but most have been reprinted many times and there's nothing new. This book shows his first sketches right from his sketchbooks! Pen and ink studies and quick watercolor sketches. Nice stuff!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Balloon Placement Part 2

I found a comicbook page with some balloon placement. It's a New Mutants page and I think the Editor was Bob Harris.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Balloon Placement

I was an intern at Marvel Comics in the winter of 83-84 and I worked on staff in 1988. I had a chance to see a lot of old school editors work their magic on a few books. One of the skills you had to have, was how to put word balloons on a page and not obscure the artwork. Also, how to direct the readers eye to the next balloon and help with the overall storytelling.

Some editors had a tough job with a writer or an artist that did not think of balloon placement or captions. I try to keep that in mind when I draw. Sometimes I mess up. That might be the case with the page I am posting. I think I could have left more room for the writing. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cat Cover!

For those who wanted to know, this is the approved 'Warriors' cover! A No-Prize to everyone who voted.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I read Iron Man

I re-read some old issues of Iron Man the other day. Issues that I bought in the eighties. Fun stuff! I have always loved the character.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cat Sketch Fever

I am working on a couple of neat projects! I have been posting Kolchak pencils on this blog for your review. Another job is the 'Warriors' book I am doing for Tokyopop. I've done a few cover sketches for the first volume and they have to be approved by the powers that be. Which sketch do you think was approved?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kinokuniya Signing

The day started with a friend's birthday party in Culver City, then a quick trip downtown to Kinokuniya Bookstore. My friend Steve had a signing there with a few other Tokyopop authors! I love that bookstore and I managed to buy some regulation manga comic board and some pen holders. The best part of course, was the signing. Why don't you what all the hype is about and check out Battle of the Bands!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Even More Kolchak

The Kolchak work continues!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Afraid of Heights?

Allen left a comment on aprevious post about drawing a scene from above. High angle, yes. High and off to the side? Sure. But he is not a fan of the directly overhead shot. I understand that. There is nothing terribly interesting about seeing someones' bald spot, but there are all kinds of reasons to lift your 'camera' for a bird's eye view. With the help of some photos from my Reference file, I will give a few reasons why you should not be afraid of heights

Panic in the streets! Let's the say the writer is establishing an atmosphere of chaos. How do you show frightenened crowds and whatever goes with it? The fuzzy photo below shows all the players and it looks like the photographer is sitting in a cherry picker.

Death from above! The enemy swoops down on the hero and the point of view is from the bad guy! The hardest thing about this shot is getting the perspective right on the people on the ground.

Sad endings. I have read too many bad funeral scenes in comics. One good way to show a mourning crowd and the open grave is to get right over the coffin. This photo shows some great composition and all you need some long shadows.

When I drew the overhead panel, I had to include a lot of stuff the writer called for. Lifting the camera up was the best choice for the panel.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Quick Sketch

I admit that I want to draw the Fantasic Four.

Friday, November 09, 2007

It's Hot Link Friday!

Sometimes I visit this blogto expand my knowledge. I recommend Illustration art blog to you!

I like to drink! This website celebrates it! Go to Modern Drunkard and check the archive lists. The article about how Captain Kirk drank his way across the Galaxy was priceless!

And there you have it! Happy surfing!

World's Greatest Comic

I was in Burbank yesterday and I stopped in the popular comic shop there. Early afternoon on Thursday is a good time to visit. As I was paying for my two books (Criminal and Y, The last man), I saw that Dwayne McDuffie had come in and he was making his choices. I said hello and we shook hands, then I asked if he was still writing The Fantastic Four. He said yes and It occurred to me that I haven't bought the book in years! I thought I should support a friend, so i bought the latest issue. Issue number 551. I took it home and read it. This is what I think of it.

Not so good. I won't comment about the writing because I am not a Writer. But I will say that the artwork needed help. The most striking thing about the book was how the guy drew The Thing. I thought that there were style guides to keep the character consistent. Is Ben Grimm supposed to look the way Kirby and Sinnott drew him? This current artist draws him with with fingernails and wrinkles around the eyes. And the more recent addition of teeth in The Things mouth continues to piss me off.

I am I not thinking clearly? Are the gods of continuity dead? Enough already. I will stop writing about how the book has changed and let my money do the talking. The next issue of FABLES comes out next week and I will be on line to buy it. No complaints.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More Kolchak!

I am working on a new Kolchak book! As you can imagine, he is investigating the occult and it's a fun story. I am posting the first 3 pages for your review!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I was a part-time employee of thge GAP from spring 2001 to winter2002. I've had all kinds of jobs during my time on Earth and this was one of the best! The hours were flexible and the perks were great. The management tried to get you excited about the latest arrivals and every so often I would be scheduled for an early morning shift to help unload the delivery truck. By early, I mean 4:00 in the morning. It wasn't so bad. I am an early riser and once you put some music on in the store, it can be fun with a bunch of people.

Once there was a guy who would sneak in the store and steal a bunch of denim jeans that we kept by the entrance. The manager identified the guy from the security tapes. When I was working the floor, the guy came in again and I got in his face. He turned around and left! A little bit of drama, but I felt like I was protecting my turf. Just so you all know, there are cameras all over the store. Except for the dressing rooms, but they can follow you as soon as you walk in. That's why Winona was found guilty.

So the best thing was the discount clothes! I worked at a store in Santa Monica with a large inventory. Jackets, jeans and everything else was kept on the top floor and it was a challenge to locate an item for a customer. Because it was so vast up there, sometimes a peice of clothing would get misplaced and not be discovered for months. When we would check the price in the computer It would be greatly discounted. Check out this groovy discount dude!

Friday, November 02, 2007

My outfit!

I have done it before, and I may do it again. My samurai costume for Halloween!