Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Pulp Writer

Who is the subject of my latest nerd-crush?
Solomon KaneSolomon Kane!

I've been boring the Lovely Wife catatonic, trying explain why this character is so engaging. Here's the breakdown: Before Robert Howard defined the Sword and Sorcery genre with Conan the Barbarian, he first completely subverted it by telling very similar pulp adventure stories starring a prudish, indignant, and completely bad-ass Puritan.

This seems simultaneously ridiculous and perfect. Consider:

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.

If Jonathan Edwards didn't ever actually travel the world tearing into brigands and werewolves and whatnot with all the Righteous Fury of a Vengeful God, then it is an accident of history, and we should all be grateful to Mr. Howard for setting it right.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Old Flames Flare

More Tor!

For those who weren't lucky enough to get their hands on AdHouse's now-out-of-print Project Romantic, here's the page that introduced everybody's favorite two-fisted Agent:
Poor Rock's chin just gets bigger and bigger, each time I draw him.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Spoooooooooooooooooooky!

It's a Halloween miracle! Beeswax rises from it's mouldering grave and stalks the Earth once more!
Photobucket
I missed posting this back when it was appropriate, but here's my entry for Project Rooftop's Vampirella: ReVamp. The version posted there is in color, but I think I like this line art version better.

I actually came up with a ton of back story for this redesign, but I don't have time to go into it, right now. If you're interested, remind me in a few weeks when the time-pressure has let up a little.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Scene of the Crime

interior space drawn by Joel PriddyBeen hard at work, raisn' babies and drawin' pictures. I have several irons placed in the general vicinity of fire, right now, none of which I can talk about, but I'll share some of the visual tidbits when I can. This one, f'rinstance, would appear to be some sort of, uhm, interior space. In which things might occur. Like people walking in, and having conversations. Maybe they fix themselves a drink, and then sit down to read a magazine. Not even reading, really, just flipping through the pages, grazing the images. Then something—a color, the twist of a model's ankle, the sheen of shampoo-ad hair—inspires reverie of days long past: the petty embarrassments of high school, the first adolescent fumblings at love, the girl with the crooked tooth and green eyes that one never quite built up the nerve to approach. You know, exciting comics stuff like that.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Drawing Superman: Man of Style

Here's the finished Superman design. I'm glad to see, from the comments, that people pretty well support this choice. My thinking was that, Chabon's Secret Skin theory aside, the big problem with Superman's costume is the whole body-hugginess of it all. If I had superpowers, I wouldn't want to dress like that. And I'd rather not be rescued by someone dressed like that, either. I mean, of course, I'd like to be rescued, but given a choice of heroes, I'd prefer the one that leaves a little something to the imagination.

Partly, this comes from the sense of real-world aesthetics that puts me in worsted wool slacks more often than painted-on blue jeans. But another undeniable aspect is that I am now older than Superman is traditionally portrayed. As I said over on the Rooftop, it's very hard to realize that one can no longer grow up to be the Man of Tomorrow. So, I tried to come up with a costume that would allow a young man to run around being the pinnacle of all human hopes and dreams without making bitter old codgers like me feel worthless in comparison.

Weird, then, that the resulting costume looks so clerical. By weird, of course, I mean perfectly logical.

And from there, I couldn't resist drawing the other members of the Superman Family in costumes derived from the cassocked Kal-El. Pictured are: Bizarro, Power Girl, Supergirl, Superboy, Streaky the Supercat, Krypto, and, of course, Zibarro!

Not pictured are Superman's Super-Robots, although I have some sketches I should get around to scanning.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sketching Superman: Man of Style

So, Project: Rooftop has another big redesign event coming down the pike, and this time, they're not fooling around.

Man, trying to redesign Superman is like trying to come up with a new flavor for oxygen.

Anyway, here are some sketches, as I tried to puzzle this particular conundrum out:




Thursday, June 05, 2008

Let's Be Friends Again

Local pals and Destination: Blog! collaborators, Chris and Curt, are off to my second favorite show of the year, MoCCA! They'll be peddling their first comics effort, Let's Be Friends Again. Above is a back cover image I drew for them. So, you know, if you're going, drop by their 1/2 table and say "Hello." Especially if, like me, even at your second favorite show of the year, you always hit that point where you start to feel all grumpy and misanthropic. They will reinvigorate you with their gleeful enthusiasm for all things involving pictures inside of panels.

In other news, I recently finished teaching a summer class. It was a very intense three weeks. How intense? The students averaged over 80 posts to their class blogs. And the work is really good, too! Take a look:

Alice
Amy
Dakoda
Lisa
Jeremiah
Kenneth

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Geek Games

So, some of my Internet friends and I were playing the typical geek parlor game of assigning each other identities from the Justice League. I ended up with The Flash. Not because I'm, you know, speedy or anything, but because he's the only member of the team with a decent track record at fatherhood (when you stop to think about it, a surprising number of male JLAers are fathers, but their kids are all either dead or evil).

Joel Priddy dressed as The FlashThis was my first attempt at portraying Skeezix and myself in costume. This is drawn from a if-I-was-trying-to-dress-up-as-the-Flash angle.

Joel Priddy as The Flash This is more of a if-I-was-the-Flash kind of thing. And, certainly, the depiction I prefer. I wish I really could pull off wearing a winged hat.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy First Mother's Day!

the lovely wife and the adorable progeny on mother's dayHere's to a wonderful wife and mother!

You wanna know just how wonderful the Lovely Wife is? We went on our first date since Skeezix was born, last night. And she was the one who suggested seeing Iron Man!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bug

I'm doing a lot of bug research*, right now, for an upcoming project. You may see more of these.

By the way, you might notice that I've expanded the blogroll of my students to include former students, as well. It seemed like a good way to keep track of what people are up to. If you're not listed, but would like to be, drop me a line.

* Research here, of course, means drawing lots pictures with no particular regard to accuracy, or even so much as bothering to read the captions under the photographs. I'm just collecting shapes, really.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nicknames

Beyond his nom de Internet, Skeezix, the Adorable Progeny has picked up a passel of nicknames, a selection of which are presented here:

Action-Baby
Action-Baby demands action!

Schnorfler

Mowgli
Lie still, little frog. O thou Mowgli–for Mowgli the Frog I will call thee...
—Mother Wolf in The Jungle Book

BabyLad
With one-tenth the power of ten ordinary infants!
So nicknamed by Chris and Curt.

Little Goat
I don't quite have the onomontopoeia right on this one, yet.

Thunderpants
The onomontopoeia on this one is very accurate, however.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Parade 10!

BeatBot

Hey Kids! Join the parade! This is a meme intended to produce high-contrast imagery for parents and their infants. Parents can use these images in any way for their kids, but all other uses must be contracted for with the original artist. More information, including how to format your submission, can be found back at the beginning of The Parade!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mid-Life Crisis Iron Man.

Project: Rooftop and Westfeild Comics are sponsoring Iron Man: Invincible Upgrade, for which I'm a commentator. This is my ineligible little contribution.

I'm not really an Iron Man fan, and it seems me that, on some secret level, you kinda hafta want to have sex with a Japanese motorcycle in order to design a really good suit of Iron Man armor. And, well, I do not want to have sex with a Japanese motorcycle. So, it was difficult to find a direction on this one. Then I read Michael Chabon's article in the New Yorker on superhero uniforms as "True Skin." From that thesis, the notion of Tony Stark choosing to wear the machine as his flesh is distinctly creepy. From there, I liked the idea of lumpy, hirsute, middle-aged Tony wearing lithe, young machineflesh, and not really getting why the other superheroes aren't comfortable with this latest upgrade.

Not my most inspired redesign, but they can't all be Ma Hunkel.

This is a different version than will appear when the Invincible Upgrade runs. Dashing Dean Trippe generously offered to color my entry, and who'd say no to that?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Spring!

Maybe it's because I'm currently experiencing the zenith of the ol' circle of life, but, dang, I'm into this Spring. Trees are a'bloomin'; buds are a'bornin'. The potted garden is back, and and a big crop of seedlings are moving towards having pots of their own.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Good Day

We recently celebrated Skeezix's one-month birthday with some of his very favorite things.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rest in Peace, Rocketeer!

Project: Rooftop is running a tribute to the recently departed Dave Stevens. Dave's most lasting legacy is probably the revival of Bettie Page as a cultural icon. But a little more in P:R's bailiwick is his high-flying retro-hero, The Rocketeer.

There's not much that can be done to improve the Rocketeer's design. It is so perfectly what it is supposed to be: the perfect leather jacket; the perfect jodhpurs; and, of course, the absolute perfect helmet. When I first saw The Rocketeer, I had a hard time comprehending that this was a new character. How could the Zeitgeist of the Thirties not have produced this character?*

So, I wasn't too sure what to do with this drawing, and I kept putting it off, hoping for inspiration to strike, until the very last minute. I like it okay as a drawing, but I don't think it makes much sense as a character design (where are the straps for the rocket? The wires for the hand-controls? Why is he wearing that particular jacket?). I'd like to take this design as a first sketch and develop it further, but given the other demands on my punch-clock, I think I'll just go enjoy some of those old Rocketeer comics, instead.

* Obviously, King of the Rocket Men only half counts.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Marsupial Man

After about a week of sitting around and staring at the Adorable Progeny, I had to get up and actually get some stuff done. This became much easier after I entered the august ranks of Baby-Wearers. Starting with about twenty-four yards of fabric and a team of specially-trained hand maidens, I am encased in an elaborate criss-crossed layering of slings, pockets, at least one origami swan. It takes awhile, and the hand maidens command a pretty steep salary, but it's worth it. Once outfitted, I can effortlessly wear the Adorable Progeny in a variety of positions. He is completely blissed out by this arrangement, and I'm freed up to do thing like, uhm, draw the above doodle.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Greatest News in the History of Humankind!

Welcome to the world, beautiful baby!

The Adorable Progeny was born on Wednesday. He was 7 lbs. 9 oz., a little under 20 inches long, and a sporting inch-long strawberry blond hair. Geez-o-Pete, but is he good looking.

Skeezix was born by way of an emergency caesarean, which was pretty scary. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and head, and when labor began in earnest his heart rate dropped precipitously. The room was immediately full of people asking questions and issuing orders. Some blue scrubs were thrown at me and the Lovely Wife was whisked away. The twenty minutes or so before I was allowed to join them were awful. The only thing that kept me in one piece was knowing that I needed to look composed when I saw the LW again.

Once in the operating room, things went very quickly. Skee was dark blue when the pulled him out, and the split second it took for my brain to resolve the shape I was seeing as being separate from my wife's anatomy, as actually being a head with a face and features that were familiar but which I'd never seen before, was the most intense experience of my life. I wish I could describe it more specifically than that, but I don't know what I was feeling so much as how much I was feeling.

His color immediately went from blue to pink, and he passed his Apgar's with flying colors. The LW was not in a position to see any of this, and was asking me lots of sensible questions, like "Is he okay? Is he breathing?" But I was such a blubbery mess, I wasn't much help to her. I was blinded by tears and my surgical mask was full of snot, and I couldn't hear a thing that was going on around me. All I was aware of was this incredible little being that was suddenly in the world.

And, well, that hasn't really changed in the past five days.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Destination: Blog!

Because scanning is so much easier than drawing,

Because collaboration means more output with less effort,

Because geeking on comics is at least as much fun as actually reading them,

And because I clearly have no other demands on my time,

I have started another blog.

Destination: Blog! is dedicated to a single purpose: having fun with other people's panels. I have invited a few pals to join me, and I think you'll be pleased with the results. Highlights include the ongoing illustration of William Blake's Proverbs of Hell and a brilliant mash-up of Steve Purcell's Sam & Max with Junji Ito's Uzumaki.

May I recommend our fine RSS feed?

Contact Me!

Sometimes you cannot slay the SpamBeast. Sometimes you just have to pack up and move in the middle of the night, and hope it doesn't notice.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Parade 7!

Robot by J Chris Campbell!

Centaur by me.

Just a reminder: This is a meme intended to produce high-contrast imagery for parents and their infants. Parents can use these images in any way for their kids, but all other uses must be contracted for with the original artist. More information can be found back at the beginning of The Parade!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Let's not have another week like that one, okay?

Things have been a little rough around here, lately. The Lovely Wife and I went to a routine doctor's appointment, and ended up in Labor and Delivery. The good news is that she and the Adorable Progeny are both okay, and that Skeezix is still on the right side of LW's belly (that is to say, the inside), but that was very nearly not the case. Five days later, and considerably worse for the wear, we made it back home.

The Lovely Wife is on bed-rest for the rest of the pregnancy, which, hopefully will be awhile longer. Skeezix is 33 weeks along, today. Seven more to go.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Parade 6!

Bear with a lute by me.

Altorhino and Littletrumpet by Stephen Eidson!

Edit: Stephen has cleaner files of these images over on his blog.

Thursday, January 10, 2008