Friday, November 13, 2009

Freedom From Want. . . tribute

JSA #54 features one of thousands of homages to Norman Rockwell's Freedom From Want, one of the highly renowned Four Freedoms series. These are done so often, I normally ignore them, but this one, pencilled by Carlos Pacheco and inked by Jesus Merino, successfully conveys the emotions of gratitude and brotherhood appropriate for the legacy superhero book featuring the world's first superhero team.

Comic Cavalcade #18 from 1942 features an E.E. Hibbard cover. Everett Edward Hibbard worked in comics for less than a decade, but worked on some of the most important comics of the golden age. Starting with Flash Comics #3 he was the main character's main artist until he left comics and is believed to have drawn the iconic cover of All-Star Comics #3, the first appearance of the Justice Society of America. This light-hearted cover accurately reflects the attitude of the golden age, with a playful image that likely has nothing to do with the interior comments of the book, and one has to smile at the idea of Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman having a difficult time catching a turkey.

The idea of ducks eating turkey is an odd one, which the Disney artists seemed to ignore. This one's by Barks. One of turkey in the fridge comes to mind, but I couldn't find it. There have been an awful lot of Disney comics over the years.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Give thanks for giving. . .

Thanksgiving Magazine Cover

As I sit here convincing myself this is the best show my satellite service has to offer, I reminisce about what I've done with my life as of 32 years.  Specifically where I am at in my life vs. where I am heading.  Does it really matter what unfinished projects we keep telling ourselves we need to finish?  How long do we let them slide before they become abandoned and no longer good ideas?

To sum up, a lot of time has gone by and I haven't done half of what I've intended.  On the side, secretly I would love to be a stand-up comedian or some kind of musician, but watching bad tv seems more important.  Apparently.  That and Rock Band. . .

Movie Quote time:
Just as in the movie Waking Life, "How would we answer someone on the outside looking in who asked us if humans were lazy or fearful?"

 I would say lazy.  Look at the inventions we've created.  If you want to get rich quick, find a way to make someone else's life lazier.  Self flushing toilets, remote controls, infomercial exercise equipment, electronic toothbrushes, Ty Pennington, . . .etc.

On a completely separate note, I painted more beer today.  I had a lot of fun with the caustics in the ice, (though not realistically accurate), it stylistically creates the illusion.  (I call this the blue ice cave because I believe this is what lingers in every airplane's basement.)

The rest of the ice cave was rendered before my time at 8fish.

When I've considered what has been personally achieved vs. what I believe still needs to be done, the finished work far outweighs my intentions.  That being said, all we should consume are small chunks, until our large portioned goals suddenly disappear one day.

I'm heading to the CTN Animation Expo the 3rd weekend in November so if any of you are going, let me know.  Hopefully I'll have a Thanksgiving comic cover before the big day.

In the meantime, enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Illustration from the Ad bin

Hello fellow artists that are hopefully working this time of year:

I wanted to keep in touch by creating a quick post of my latest exploitations.  One of which is of the beer industry.  Ahh advertising. . . thou art a drunken-hearted, chilled painting. . .

The surrounding environment was done before me, but I bought and painted beer for the first time and got carded.  (I think she was just flattering me, but the bald spot should have covered the bill.)  These two cold ones will be appearing at a Maverik mural near you, hopefully by Thanksgiving.

On a side note, I'm prepping for the CTN Animation Expo happening in Burbank this November.  That being said, we have in-house assignments that are designed to remind us of what we try to achieve, culture-wise, here at the 8fish.  This week being my 2nd week, my theme was "Always Offer to Help".

We only have a limited time to create these as the company foots the bill when we work on them.  This was what I came up with in an hour and a half.  Being in the animated mood, the worm, (because we're 8FISH), is representational of the work load we carry.  It's a reminder to offer help to your coworkers so everyone gets home at a good time.

In the meantime I'm looking for a good comiccover that is indicative of the Thanksgiving spirit.  If any of you have any suggestions, my blog door is always open.  :)


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This is Halloween

Hello all,

Happy Halloween to you and yours. If those crazy Irish hadn't brought all their crazy practices over who knows what we would be doing on Halloween these days. Probably still burning people like Joan of Arc at the stake because someone heard someone say that she possibly might be a witch.

Yeah. It's really about tangents.

So here's my cover pic for this Halloween post.

Batman 455. Cover art by Norm Breyfogle.

Norm is one of those artists that stood out to me because as everyone around him was trying to add sinew, and a perfect musculature to Batman making him virtually the Vetruvian Man, Norm went with motion. His comics flow with directional lines and anatomy plays a close second to where he wants your eye to go.

This cover has always struck me, pun intended, because of the sharp contrast of the death bride waging her war after being possessed by the book's villain. Batman's cape acting out of reality frames the action wonderfully while also creating a dark background for the book's title. A strong layout, easy legibility and BAM! another great cover.

If you're not familiar with Breyfogle, I suggest taking a book or two of his in. He plays with the shapes so much you can't help feeling motion in every panel he's plotted. Since he's been working professionally since he was 16, he's learned a few traits.

This is my Halloween submission and I wish you all a Happy All Hallow's Eve!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Art update

Hello all,

I haven't been around much lately with family life, career life, and personal life all swooshing about. Sorry for not keeping in touch like I have been. I wanted to update the blog with a piece of art I just finished. The layout was put down by a close friend Paul Linsley and he also worked on rendering the mountain range and dirt path.

This painting is going to be used for Maverik's fleet card and possibly a billboard or two in the valley. The truck was a lot of fun blowing out the perspective and rendering the tire / chrome parts were a lot of fun too. Gotta love the "create brush" tool.

That's all for today but I'll have another comic cover post hopefully sooner than later.



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Clipstick Cover 3 - pencils

Hello all,

Here is a quick posting of the Clipstick Cover for book 3. This is being painted up to match the previous two. All comments welcome. This cover features the lovely Lana right as the security guard is being murdered by Darlene from behind. The hands at the bottom are going to be covered in blood. (No worries, it happens early so the main juicy part is a few pages into the book.)


Friday, August 21, 2009

Bill? I didn't expect to get it from you!?!

The Comic-con never disappoints even this year where I was working the other side of the table. It surprised me that sitting still for most of the con you see almost as much if you spend the whole time walking around. Just a different type of entertainment.

From meeting Jorge Garcia, (Lost's "Hurley"), to being nearly ripped off by Bill Sienkiewicz's agent, to shaking the hand of Dick Clark, (one of the four original creators of the San Diego Comic-con), my dream getaway wasn't going to disappoint.

I spent the majority of the trip promoting our animation company and by talking to passers by selling my product "Cardcitures". (A phrase I hopefully coined, but if not, oh well. There goes another one. . .) These are characters of comic-con visitors, drawn on the spot, onto card size canvases. They sold like wild fire and I'm bringing them back next year for sure.

Then there was Bill. An artist whose work I've admired since I remember comics. Him and his agent Eric ______. Now don't get me wrong, we're all starving artists, but I doubt Bill and his manager are losing sleep over the bait and switch they tried to pull on me.

Here's a book and art Bill's known for:

"Hi Eric. How's Bill doing today."

"He's doin' fine. Thanks for stopping by. Is there something I can get for you?"

At this point I'm thinking this is where I would like to spend a little to have an original piece from this comic great. Little did I understand that this relationship would affect the way I view one of the greats in about a day.

I ask Eric for pricing on original art and he quotes me $100, $200, and $300 dollar art. Because I don't want to spend all my Comic-con money, that and I need to eat in about 45, I settle on the $100 art. Knowing this wasn't going to be a mural I thought it was worth it.

I pay cash on the spot and meet Bill. He was nice. He was approachable. He was getting ready to leave for the day. I make my request be known and we all agree this was a great idea. Sleep was about to change someone's mind. . .

After returning multiple times to Bill's booth the next day, (which was facing the back wall of the convention center), I was met by Eric. Eric had news for me. "Bill has a habit of getting into his drawings and so I think the original sketch is going to cost $200."

My eyes rolled. I really would love an original, but $200? There goes burgers at Hard Rock and dinner at Little Italy.

"Okay, I'll get you $175 by tomorrow, but I'm hoping it's a great drawing." Eric looked uninterested in my financial disposition. For all I knew he was going to pocket a $100 and give the rest to Bill. Reluctant to pay, I returned the next day and decided to stand my ground.

"I think all I want is the $100 dollar sketch please."

"No no no no. I'm sorry. Yeah, we can do that. That's fine. It won't be much. Like a a head and shoulders but that's it. We really would like to get you something nice, but you won't get it for $100. Plus Bill is a busy guy and I'm carving out of his schedule to do your drawing. He's a very very busy guy."

All I can think is, "busy enough to come to the comic-con and sell sketches. THAT busy eh?", but I didn't want to put it past the agent. He was only trying to pull the ol' bait and switch which, in my eyes, leaves no room for respect.

"Come back tomorrow, he'll have your sketch for you."

Since I was planning on leaving the next day I explained I would have a close friend come with the receipt and ship the art home for me. They agreed and I was off. Was this going to come true? Was I finally going to get the original I've been craving? Was the drawing going to suck after all the debating and appear insincere and heartless? Sunday would tell . . .

"$300. Bill got into it and didn't really stop, and now it's a $300 dollar sketch."

Now I'm pitchering this business guy trying to rape my wallet. Paul calls me over the phone and is kind enough to extricate my original $100, sans drawing, I was quoted for getting at that amount. He also saw the drawing and said it didn't look that great to him and it actually wasn't worth $50, let alone $300. Being a good friend I take Paul's word, sadly re-take my $100 and walk away.

This really killed my first impression experience and has tainted any connection I will have with the artist, be it in comic, or in person.

Bill, if you read this, what you did was shitty business practice and I warn all of you who want an original Bill Sienkiewicz piece: There is a whole lot of red tape made by Eric the agent you'll have to go around. Unless you're ready to dump $300 dollars for a simple / mediocre original sketch, save your money and invest in someone who wants to take care of their fans. Also, I recommend don't deal with anyone else other than the artist when it comes to their art. That's what makes the Comic-con incredible. Getting to meet people you only read about and prove they actually exist eye to eye.

All in all my experience at the con has got me excited for next year. I made some friends, made some fans, and made some great connections. Next year there will hopefully be a signing for "Clipstick" at the Ape booth, and if the time allows, perhaps greater things, like hiring an agent stuffer.


Here's a link to the latest animations I worked on and Directed for PPL energy plus. Thank you to Alex Bell, Paul Linsley, and Andreas Peterson for your help on these as we had a blast and are looking forward to the next big animation project!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Comic-con Bound!


I know that it's been a couple weeks since this has been updated and I apologize (Paul). There is so much to talk about and no time to post. However, I have a bunch of wares I will be selling at the Comic-con. Some fun art stuff coming.

There are also a couple pitches that are going on and based on what happens Friday, I will post all my concept art for you to pick apart and let me know what you think.

In the meantime, there are more covers to discuss, but until we do, watch this and weep.

Here's some animation to color your world in the meantime. Incredible.

Beatles Animation



Sunday, April 19, 2009

Moving Forward. . .

I would rarely choose a piece that has speed lines but Lee doesn't solely rely on them in this piece. I've always admired the moment caught in this great Ghost Rider cover where ol' flame head runs Punisher over while fighting with him. There are few Ghost Rider covers that sell me on picking up the book but Tex usually catches my attention, reels me in, and keeps me staring. Jim Lee's Ghost Rider covers are sporadic throughout the beginning of the series and he holds his own very well.

Lee's earlier work had so much energy and wasn't stiffened up like his later work. Works like his X-men run were the best and moving out from there.

Here is my cover pick of the week for "Moving Forward".


Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Drawings From Here and There

Hello all!

One day before the due date for this week's challenge and here are some more images to stare at. I began sessions of figure drawings at 8fish this week and so every Wednesday I'll have more nudes to post.

In the meantime, while at the airport in Oakland I got this look from a guy passing by in the terminal. Playing with the dodge and burn tools, this was the result of this side ways glance.

Here's another sketch I'll call "Southwest Accommodations" because a 2-inch recline in an airplane seat is not considered "laying back" no matter how messed up your spine. Why is this recline so important to landing the plane I'll never know. The drag coefficient? The weight distribution? Just an illusion that you're allowed some comfort?

The last sketch I'll post is a character I did of some college student guy at the local Hoppers® restaurant. He was chillin' and I liked his yamaka pooft hair do.

If you would like to post for this week's comic challenge, please send your submission to me here with a description of why your cover fills the criteria.

Until tomorrow's "Moving forward" post. . .


Friday, April 10, 2009

You can be sure there will be a brighter tomorrow - Shaggy

Hello fellows,

This week's comic theme / challenge focuses on moving.

Forward to be precise.

There are a ton of Flash comics out there that may depict a perfect cover for this challenge, but among the myriad of comics, I challenge you to find others that capture this week's theme just as easily.
I hope you've all been able to hang in there and because people have made the request I'll be posting images from projects and my drawings here between comic challenges for eye candy.

This week I'm posting some cowboy sketch I did and a page from my upcoming book Clipstick.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hope In a Nutshell

Here's my comic for depicting this week's challenge for "Hope".
Wiki ref

After Superman leaves due to humanity's inability to enact justice on Magog, (who becomes acquitted for his murder), this story teeters on the reliance of old friends to coerce Superman to shed his solitude and return to establish peace to chaos. Having been cited as the DC version of the Apocalypse, hope is the perfect voice for these character's needs to realign their ethical boundaries despite a world having two major factions warring with each other.

This is a fairly quick read and should belong on the wall for Alex Ross's gouache technique that is a "Marvel" to behold.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Escapism is cure for common Economy

I'm getting tired of hearing how bad the economy is getting while also being made feel powerless over the fact. In reality, there is some level of control that exists, and that I do have choices to make. Sometimes those choices can be anticipated, or planned for, but when you have to make the difficult choices, there rarely is any given time.

What it comes down to is priorities. What do you value most? Stability? Insurance? Family? Self-sufficiency? Respect? or maybe just a non-questionable future, of limitless work, in a dream job you can master.

Me too.

So we need to break down how to get there. Whether we do it one day at a time in a spreadsheet, or set distant goals that seem like months away, there will be more opportunities to set these well laid out plans in motion for the rest of your life. I like living for the dream, but my big question is how can I afford to fund for that life style until it comes true?

Segue: This ties into this week's comic cover challenge. Find a cover that is based on hope. No frills or odd gimmicks. Just a straight up depiction of "hope".

Tough concept, but while looking, you may find some yourself.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Thanksgiving to now?!?

Hey all,

I realize it's been a while since I've written but I have a good excuse. Well, none that really encompasses 4 months worth of a delay, but with the economic crunch and times being tight you gotta be light on your feet and move when you feel the earth shift.

Since the last post I've left a job of two years to another job that will keep me employed for longer than that. My own business. Obama became president, the stock market proved to people it wasn't an international piggy bank, and kidney stones STILL leave a mark. (Some should leave stretch marks at least as war wounds.) All in all, life is on the up and up.

The weather is heating up. . . (You can wear shorts again. Trust me I've tried and succeeded), and there is a silver lining to today's grim terrace. This brings me to my next point. Comic cover is back on and is about to post it's first actual link to a site with pazzaz! This and a few other features in a list of things to come. So in the meantime, sit back and enjoy this great cover which is featured in a motion picture to be released this Friday. My week's pic is this great cover by Dave Gibbons.

This issue is pretty dark considering the subject matter as a whole. This issue is the revealing backstory of the comedian's rape story and the breakdown of Laurie's mother with his antics. From attending Blake's funeral and the oppositional forces that drove the team to it's knees, I felt the cemetary cover where Blake is laid to rest carried a tremendous impact for it's metaphorical illustration.

Here's the cover to Watchmen: 2 of 12


Monday, February 23, 2009


has that Ian guy gone? Oh where, oh where could he be?

Slackin dude, slackin.