Tuesday, February 26, 2008

24: Cold Warriors Color Preview

I'm not sure when 24: Cold Warriors, comes out, but here's a link to an interview with Beau Smith, who wrote the book (and was BORN to write Jack Bauer!).

This was the first time I saw these pages inked and in color. I'm not sure who inked the second half of the book, but Chris Bailey handled the colors. Chris has a really neat pallet and I'm super-excited to see the entire book in color.

Until then, here's a tease of a couple of pages.

Today's Ursula Wilde Production Diary features a flashback scene with Ursula's parents.

And we continue our look at Athena Voltaire: The Legend of Mu-King at the Athena Voltaire Blog.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Canterville Ghost

While I'm still working on Ursula Wilde (and working toward resolving the rights issues on Athena Voltaire with Paul Daly), I've picked up another freelance comics gig. I'll be illustrating The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde for Classical Comics. Sean Wilson has written the adaptation and the amazing Jason Millet will again be coloring my line art.

Here's a shot of Canterville Chase, our locale.

With a little luck, I may soon be able to escape my soul-sucking day job!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Steve Rude: Artist in Motion

Two weeks ago, I got a treasure trove of art books in my DCBS order—among them, last week's review, Modern Masters Volume 15: Mark Schultz, and today's book, Steve Rude: Artist in Motion.

Usually, when I receive art books, I look at the pictures and read passages that interest me, eventually working my way through the whole book. With the Schultz book, I read it start to finish and devoured every image in the sequence of the book. It was such an enjoyable process that I decided to do the same with the Rude book.

Wow. This book is an artistic journey. Rude has long been one of my top 5 guys, but this book only increases my appreciation of the man and his work.

And it makes me want to draw. A lot.

I can't recommend this book highly enough—whether you're into comic art, illustration or the artistic process, you need to own this wonderful volume.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Spike (the rest of the Angel samples)

Here's the rest of the samples I worked up a couple of years ago, in an effort to try and land some work on IDW's Angel books.

I'd love to take another pass at it, but I can't help to wonder if I blew my chances with all of the deadline drama that went on with my dad's death while I was working on 24: Cold Warriors.

The original art for the Angel and Spike sketches were "lost" in the mail, en route to Molly McBride. I still think those pictures are currently adorning the walls of some postal worker's den!'

I kid, I kid...

In today's installment of the Ursula Wilde Production Diary, we look at the pencils to the Ursula Wilde Free Comic Book Day story, coming in May from Ape Entertainment.

At the Athena Voltaire Blog, I'm posting more pages from the first issue of the cancelled mini-series The Legend of Mu-King.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Angel Samples

I thought I'd post some older samples I did, in an effort to pick up some work on IDW's Angel book. Here are a few likeness shots I did a couple of years back.

Of course, doing a static likeness shot is very different from creating repeated likenesses on a sequential page, so who knows if I would have crashed and burned...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another fun commission

I have no idea what inspired this, but it was a lot of fun to draw.

I was commissioned to draw Athena Voltaire and Chewbacca from Star Wars. The original description had Chewie holding a dead Nazi's severed arm, but that was a little more gory than I wanted to go. I suggested the helmet and the torn flag. I'm very happy with the end result.

Today, at the Ursula Wilde Production Diary, we finish up looking at the character designs.

Over at the Athena Voltaire Blog, we look at the last of the covers of the canceled mini-series The Legend of Mu-King.

And remember, kids, Chewbacca hates Nazis.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Some Athena Voltaire Pencils

Before the creative differences with my AV collaborator, Paul Daly, surfaced, I had penciled what would have been the wraparound cover to the Flight of the Falcon trade paperback. Paul and I are currently in talks, but I think that if/when we get things resolved, and if/when we release a trade, we'll probably just reuse one of the existing covers, in the interest of expediency.

Here's a peak at what could have been.

Speaking of "what could have been," over at the Athena Voltaire Blog, we're presenting the unused covers for the canceled series The Legend of Mu-King.

And the Ursula Wilde Production Diary continues its look at the character designs. Today, it's girls, girls, girls!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wonder Woman

I did this one for fun a couple of years ago and gave it to my friends at Comic Geek Speak as a contest prize.

The piece hangs together fairly well, despite a disparity of styles: Kevin Nowlan-style rendering on the figure and a loose Al Williamson-esque background with Mark Schultz-inspired drybrushing.

When I was much younger, whatever style I had was defined by my limitations. That will always be true to one extent or another, I believe, but I think I've moved into the next phase now where the style is defined by the conscious choices I make.

Eventually, I'd like to get to the point where the end product is defined by conscious decisions that integrate the disparate influences effortlessly, rather than looking like stylistic choices that were handpicked one-by-one at a buffet of artistic approaches—like some kind of bizarre Shoney's of artistic styles.

Still, it's a learning experience, right?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

From the Vault: A Commission

I published this one in the first volume of sketches and drawings I did. It's a commission piece—the only art direction I was given was, and I quote, "Two chicks tattooing each other and include some old-school classic tattoos." I don't know much about tattoos, but this commission provided a fun learning experience.

Plus, I rarely do full-on cheesecake work, so doing this piece was an interesting change of pace.

Over at the Ursula Wilde Production Diary, we have some more character designs.

At the Athena Voltaire Blog, we continue our examination of the series that never was, looking at the covers for the canceled Legend of Mu-King mini-series.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mark Schultz, Modern Master!

Another break from my artwork today...

It's no secret that I think Mark Schultz is one of the finest comics artists of the last 30 years (oh, hell, EVER). An incredible draftsman, superb storyteller and excellent technician, Mark is the real deal.

And the latest volume of the terrific TwoMorrows Modern Masters series (vol 15) celebrates Mark's talents.

Every volume of the Modern Masters series is top-notch, and I'm now at the point where I buy each one regardless of my familiarity with the artist. I think there are a lot of people who are that dedicated to this series.

And therein lies my one gripe about this book. I would have preferred to see TwoMorrows include notations of the media for each piece (pencils, inks, etc) in the cut lines next to the illustrations. While I know the level of inking ability Mark has, I'm not sure that someone first exposed to Mark's work would realize that some of the tonal pieces featured in the book are not pencil drawings, but incredible drybrush pieces created 100% in ink. The b/w piece that accompanies this entry is an example. No pencil. All brush and ink.

Aside from that, it's a beautiful book.

If you enjoy this book, be sure to check out Mark's Various Drawings series from Flesk Publications, as well.

Today, at the Ursula Wilde Production Diary, we continue our look at the character designs for the upcoming series.

Over at the Athena Voltaire Blog, we get a glimpse of what might have been, with the Jason Millet's and my cover to the aborted mini-series, The Legend of Mu-King.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Gil Thorp, Part 2

I'm almost afraid to post these, after reading a few talkbacks at Gil Thorp sites! Eh, what the hell, here are the rest of my tryout pages—this time for football season.

The first batch of samples (yesterday) featured characters that I tried to keep "on model." That's not the case with today's samples. I had a couple of pages of scripts and descriptions, so I was able to design the characters myself. I wish I'd have searched for the published version of Cully Vale. Wow.

Marty Moon, the announcer, ends up looking a lot like how he was previously drawn, even without reference.

I've received a few inquiries regarding why the Trib is looking for an artist. I have no idea if they're looking for someone to spell Mr. McLaughlin while he's on vacation or if they're looking for a permanent replacement in the event of him leaving the strip. I have no idea of a timetable as to if/when anything will happen. I just had fun drawing samples.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gil Thorp, Part 1

A few weeks back, I was contacted by Tribune Media to try out as a replacement artist on their 6-days a week sports strip, Gil Thorp. I didn't get the gig, but it proved to be a lot of fun to try and work within the confines of the strip format. I think drawing a soap opera every day would have been a tremendous learning experience.

If you're curious about learning more about Gil Thorp, I found the This Week in Milford blog to be both informative and hilarious.

(Thanks to "johnw" for the spelling correction on "Thorpe/Thorp!")

Today at the Ursula Wilde Production Diary, we continue our look at the character sketch stage of development.

And on the Athena Voltaire Blog, I post a few more (previously unseen?) commission pieces.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More Ursula Wilde Preview Art

Over at the Ursula Wilde Production Diary, we're examining the original concept art for the character. Posted here is another preview page from the upcoming mini-series.

Meanwhile, at the Athena Voltaire blog, we're looking at the earliest AV commission I did.

It's an artwork-intensive day!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I want my COMICS NOW!

Taking a break from artwork today, I'd like to point you toward the first issue of Comics Now! magazine.

It's published by my friends Bryan Deemer, Brent Erwin and David Hedgecock and features a terrific blend of mainstream and indie comics, with an in-depth focus throughout each of the articles (think: Back Issue magazine, for contemporary comics), wrapped in a lavish, slick full-color package.

The first issue is in stores now. You owe it to yourself to check it out. You'll be glad you did.

Just go to your retailer and proclaim "I want my Comics NOW!"

Then visit Comics NOW! on the web.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mu-King Colors, Page 1-3

Next up, we look at the lush colors Jason Millet provided for these three unpublished pages. I was going for a big, epic look when I drew these pages and Jason really knocked it out of the park when he did his magic.

As it turns out, page 2 is one of my all-time favorite images of our globe-trotting avaitrix.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

AV: Mu-King Inks

Continuing with our look at Athena Voltaire: The Legend of Mu-King, here's how those first 3 pages look inked. I'm not sure how far through the first issues I'll go with these posts, since I'm also back to updating the Athena Voltaire Blog, as well.

Also, I've just launched the production diary for Ursula Wilde. The blog is still in the "rough clay" stages, so it won't be updating all that frequently yet.

The Atomic Tiki blog will still update every day and I'll point you to new postings on the Athena or Ursula sites.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

More on Athena Voltaire: The Legend of Mu-King

Since this adventure won't see print, I might as well keep posting some of my favorite pages from it...that way, at least it's seen by someone and I get the bonus of being able to regularly update my blog without having to have (a) topics or (b) new artwork from upcoming projects that I'm not allowed to share yet.

It's all win/win, Baby.

We'll start with a few pages of pencils...

Friday, February 1, 2008

I bet Jack Bauer never gets Strep Throat

That whole cold/flu/blech feeling I mentioned yesterday? Turns out it's strep throat. My son and ex-wife also have it, so it's probably safe to say that my little 7-year old petri dish brought it home from school one day to share with his family.

While I mix up a cocktail of antibiotics and NyQuil, you can enjoy a couple more pages from the forthcoming 24: Cold Warriors.