Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sweet Science #5 WIP

Not done with this just yet, but here's the work in progress for the next print in the Sweet Science series.



Monday, February 25, 2008

Un-men Tuesday is back!

So, issue #7 came out last week and we got a few nice reviews. Check them out.

THE UN-MEN REVIEW at Central Comic Zone


I have to say, Stephanie Kay's review is especially nice to read because she really GETS the series. Very, very cool.

Ok, now that #7 is out I'll start posting previews for issue 8 now. Here's this week's preview.

One last thing. You can now read The Un-men #1 online for FREE! Go here to download it now!

If you dig it, then consider picking up the comic every month or the trade paper back which ships in April.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Catching up with my Dirty Girls

Trying to catch up on a bunch of stuff, including the Dirty Girls. I'm one girl behind (so some how this girl is fitting ;)

I'm hoping to double up next week... with the drawings that is! Man, get your mind out the gutter!

Here's this week's girl. Remember to check the DG's page every Monday for a new girly ;)


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cancer benefit sketch card art

Still trying to get back into the swing of things, and remembered I had to finishes these off to send out to the fine folks at Blue Line Art and Comics 2 Games. See, they are organizing an exhibition and auction of original sketch card art to benefit the American Cancer Society. There will be a public exhibition at Comics 2 Games, 166 Mt. Zion Rd. in Florence Kentucky on March 8th. The auction of all the original art cards will go online that evening. All proceeds from the sales will go to the American Cancer Society.

These are all done with ink and gouache on these little 2" x 3" (more or less) sketch cards provided by the fine folks at Blue Line Art.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Back home, hopefully for good.

hey all,

Well, we're all finally back home after a week long stay at the hospital for my daughter. She's doing really well, but isn't compelety out of the woods. Still a few weeks of tests and antibiotics for her. BUT, she's home and healthy. Thanks to everyone who contacted me with well wishes and to ask how we're doing. If I haven't gotten back to you yet, it's just because I'm really swamped here at home base.

Look for lots of catch up posts in the coming weeks.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Off line for a little while

Hey guys and gals,

We'll, I'll be offline for a bit here. My daughter is very sick, and has been hospitalized. She's doing as well as can be expected, and has a great team of doctors and nurses caring for her, but is still very sick. We'll be here another week or so, and I never know when I'll be able to get on line here to post.

That means no Un-men Tuesday this week. Sorry.

Also, Jamal has said that is going to switch servers soon so you may notice the site is down for 24/48 hours.

Thanks for your patience.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Un-men Tuesday (gore warning!).


Ok, you still there? Cool.

So, let's keep this Un-men Tuesday train rolling! Here's another page from Un-men #7. Here we have a double page spread that later became two seperate pages, but retained all the same scenes. If you've been following this blog or Un-men cover artist's Tomer Hanuka, then you know about the cover to this issue that was deemed too hardcore for you. Go over to Tomer's blog to see it. Be warned, it's scarey! But I dug it! ;)

Anyway, this was the scene the cover was based on. Tomer and I didn't see each other's versions while we were working on this, so it was interesting to see what we did similarly and what we did differently. Vertigo decided to leave the scene in the book, so you'll see it in all it's gorey glory if (or when) you pick up the issue.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Art auctions 2/6 to 2/11

hey everyone,

I have a couple of pieces of art up for auction that you might want to check out. The painting of Agent 355 from Y the Last Man and a piece from Tales of the TMNT.




Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Late, but STILL Un-men Tuesday!

Holy crap, been so wrapped up with work today that I almost forgot to post my Un-men Tuesday preview! Again, from issue 7. Hope you dig it ;)


Monday, February 04, 2008

Y- the Last Man tribute painting has been running a week long tribute to Y The Last Man, which is coming to an end. I was asked to contribute a piece of art to it, since apparently Brian and Pia are fans of my work! Very cool to hear, and I was more then happy to contribute.

Anyway, here's my piece for the tribute. Done with acrylic on illustration board.

You can see the story here


Saturday, February 02, 2008

From layout to inks - How to make a comic page

Ok, so you folks want to see how I make a comic page. Here it is. My process, with all it's boils and warts.

Step one: The script

Here's page 1 of issue 6, written by the brilliant John Whalen. John can draw, so he does a great job of giving me lots of visual info that makes approaching the page a little easier. He also sends photo ref for specific things, like the building in this scene, which again HELPS a TON.

WIDE PANEL. Reflected in the lenses: an imposing concrete office building (description next panel), and behind it in the distance, the upper third of the Washington Monument.


BIG PANEL. ANGLE FROM BEHIND Kilcrop as he approaches the main entrance of the building, passing a rectangular slab sign (see art reference) identifying this as:


It’s a blocky 16-story edifice on a busy street corner in Washington D.C. (Constitution Ave. and 15th St., let's say, with a partly obstructed view of the Washington Monument in the distance). Given the structure’s namesake, let's make the architecture personality-appropriate: Squat, rectangular, and ugly like the J. Edgar Hoover Building; standoffishly funereal like the Federal Reserve building or a fascist mausoleum; defensively wedgy like a reinforced rampart or bunker. In fact, that was probably the architect's intent: a civic building that channels the aesthetic of a concrete fallout bunker. The windows are small and deeply recessed, almost like bow slits on a castle.

No place like it...

Where the heart is...

Where you hang your hat...

HIGH ANGLE LOOKING DOWN ON Kilcrop, wearing a laminated I.D. badge on his suit breast pocket, as he crosses a large, utilitarian lobby. At the center of the drab marble floor is a Department of Energy seal (see art reference). Federal workers cross the lobby along various trajectories, more than a few rubbernecking awkwardly at the albino.

...And a thousand other clichés that won’t smooth the lumps in your mattress.

SIDE VIEW of Kilcrop as he approaches a bank of elevators. Hanging prominently on the wall behind him is a large framed portrait of Dick Cheney in a dark business suit, lopsided snarl in full bloom. Tucked under the veep’s arm, hunter-style, is a double-barreled shotgun.

Strip away the Hallmark bullshit and here’s what’s left:

FRONT VIEW of elevator with the passengers rudely staring at Kilcrop, who stands at the front of the car as the doors begin to close. He’s taking off his sunglasses, and we can see his startling pink eyes. We can now see the details of his laminated I.D. badge. From top to bottom: NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) logo (see art reference), the title "SPECIAL AGENT," a line with Kilcrop's signature (just "Kilcrop,"), and a color mug shot.

Home is the place that’s most familiar.

Step two: Layouts

I never seem to do these the same way twice. Some times I do them at about 2" x 3.5", some times digitally, some times I'll do them almost full size. In this case I think they were about 4" x 6" or something...don't quote me on that.

You'll see they're pretty rough, but all the important things are there. Once this has been OK'd but my editor and writer, I blow it up to full image size (about 10" x 15") and blue line them in Photoshop using the Duotone setting. I have an RGB color set for this, but I forget what it is exactly. Basically, a really light baby blue.

This is printed out onto a sheet of bristol board which is about 11.5" x 17".

Step three: Pencils

I then get busy blocking in the pencils, keeping the things from the layouts that work and changing the bits that don't. Some times things, like the building in the second scene, just don't make sense. The perspective doesn't make sense and I needed to push the building way back. Sometimes the layout is changed to match whatever reference I may have. Like, the glasses in scene two. I ended up using a pair I had laying in my studio. I found them in an old box of stuff I had on the third floor and stashed them in my studio to use later. I knew I wanted to use them for Kilcrop because I didn't really use ref for his glasses in the earlier issues and just never really liked how they came out.

Step four: Inks

Here, again, I have to get the pencils OK'd and make a few changes as they come up. My editor wanted to go in slightly tighter on scene 2, which I just zoomed in digitally in Photoshop. I also do a quick cheat and find the logo for the department of energy symbol online and just paste it onto the floor in scene 3, transforming it a bit to make it fit the perspective of the floor. Then, I bump up the thresh hold and blueline the pages again and print them out again onto a full sheet of bristol again.

Did I mention I use this old larger format Epson Stylus 1280?

Anyway, I end up with this.

From there, I might add a little tone by hand (yes, I still have tone sheets from way back when). If not I then scan this at 600 dpi as a bitmap and do the tone digitally after converting the line art to greyscale. Once this is done, I make it a bitmap again and format it to fit the comic page size and upload it to the DC FTP .

Do that about 8 to 10 times in five days, and you have my work week in a nutshell...for the Un-men anyway.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Giclée Sweet Science prints now online!

I'm doing some really high end giclée prints of the Sweet Science girls. I got to go to the printers and see them making some giclée prints, and I gotta tell you they're gorgeous! These things are archival museum quality, and printed on really nice cotton rag paper. These's prints will out live me! ;)

Here's a little bit of info on the giclée process:

The Term : The term  "giclee print" connotes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The giclee printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction.

The Process : Giclee prints are created typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers. Among the manufacturers of these printers are vanguards such as Epson, MacDermid Colorspan, & Hewlett-Packard. These modern technology printers are capable of producing incredibly detailed prints for both the fine art and photographic markets. Giclee prints are sometimes mistakenly referred to as Iris prints, which are 4-Color ink-jet prints from a printer pioneered in the late 1970s by Iris Graphics.

The Quality : The quality of the giclee print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries.

The Market : Numerous examples of giclee prints can be found in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chelsea Galleries. Recent auctions of giclee prints have fetched $10,800 for Annie Leibovitz, $9,600 for Chuck Close, and $22,800 for Wolfgang Tillmans (April 23/24 2004, Photographs, New York, Phillips de Pury & Company.)

Anyway, they're now available through the site's store. Check it out. The prints will be strictly limited to a run of 100 per piece, and shipped signed and flat.


PS - I'm still working on the last two prints in this series, so keep an eye out for that.