Monday, December 17, 2007

24: Cold Warriors

Here's a peek at what I've been up to for the past few weeks.

Of course, all of the family stuff that goes along with illness and death have seriously affected my productivity and has forced to to drastically alter my working method (as well as putting in even crazier hours than usual). In some ways, I feel a slight sense of disappointment with the work—I had set my sights on the way that Al Williamson did adapted/licensed material. Of course, even if none of these crises would have happened, I'm sure that I would have fallen well short of the Williamson bar and would be feeling some of this disappointment, but I still get a sense of what might have been...

That said, however, any time that one changes up the way they work is bound to present new insights and create new opportunities to learn and rethink one's methods. That's certainly the case on this job. I'm eager top bring some of these new techniques to other projects down the line and see if they're merely situational solutions or new stuff for the ol' bag of tricks.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Paul E. Bryant, 1928–2007

I've had a significant lack of posts here for a while.

It started with juggling my work on the forthcoming 24: Cold Warriors (more on that, and preview art in the coming days) and recently culminated in the death of my dad, Paul Bryant.

I received a phone call from my mom three weeks ago today. My dad had a dizzy spell and was having trouble adjusting afterward. I hurried over and was pretty sure that he had, indeed, had a stroke. I carried him to their van and drove him and my mom to the hospital (my folks are of that generation of "not wanting to be a bother" and my dad wouldn't hear of me calling 911).

While in the hospital, we learned that, in addition to the stroke, he had lung cancer. Not quite a newsflash to any of us involved (he was 79 and had smoked since he was 16), but it was bracing, none the less. The plan was that when he was able, we would move him to a nursing home to begin the rehabilitation process from the stroke. When he was strong enough, we would start chemotherapy.

Last Saturday night (December 8), four days after being moved to the nursing home, my dad passed away in his sleep.

This sort of thing is never easy, but none of us make it through life—well—alive. In all honesty, it could have been much worse. Had it been sudden, none of would have had the chance to say goodbye. Had it dragged on for months, it could have affected my mom's retirement money (our health care system doesn't like to step in until poverty has been achieved by the surviving spouse). It sounds silly to think about stuff like that, but I know that would have weighed heavily on Dad's mind.

He wasn't in pain in the post stroke days, either. And the last doctor he saw was his granddaughter, Dr. Amanda Bryant.

I talked to him on a daily basis when he was alive. I think I talk to him even more now. After all, I don't have to pick up the phone to call him. He may not answer, but most of the time I know what he would have said. With how much I miss him, I find that to be both sad and comforting.

Before all of this came down, I had plans for Ursula Wilde and Athena Voltaire, all pending my completing the 24 job. I hope that those plans will be realized in 2008. For now, though, I'm keeping my nose to the grindstone with 24. My dad taught me that when you work for a person you work for them. So that's what I'm doing on 24: Cold Warriors. Working my ass off.

I hope you're watching, Dad. I think you'll be pleased with the results.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Be a Superhero: Put Comics in the Classroom

Donors Choose is an incredible website that allows teachers in our underfunded public school systems to appeal directly to citizens for help in funding special projects. They have raised 13,500,000 since 2000, the vast majority of which went to schools in low income communities. Donors Choose is a 501c3 organization, meaning your gift is tax deductible.
Molly, my editor, and I were browsing through some of these projects today, and thought there was an open window for the comics community to help: several projects are specifically requesting funds for comics and graphic novels in the classroom. Knowing that most comics fans are worried about the "next generation," we felt that this would be an incredible way to improve comic visibility, expose a new generation to the medium, and most importantly, get some kids excited about reading.
So we've developed the Be a Superhero: Put Comics in the Classroom Challenge.

We picked several of the comic-related requests and hope you will choose to fund one of them. Any amount you can spare will help. To encourage you, we've got prizes!
You will receive a receipt from Donor's Choice within minutes of making a donation. Forward that receipt (it includes the amount you donated, but no personal/financial information) to this address: comicsforkids at gmail dot com.

We will enter you in a drawing for the following: (no minimum donation required, one entry per person)
Grand Prize: Original Comic Art, donated by me: An Unused Athena Voltaire: Legend of Mu-King COVER (shown here)
Additional Prizes:
1 DVD set of Veronica Mars, the Complete First Season
The first 3 Scott Pilgrim Trades

We may have more prizes if this takes off and we hit some artists and publishers up for donations. The challenge is open until October 31. Feel free to post it on your blog. Let's see the comic community give back!

Thankfully, Molly is handling prize fulfillment for this, which is good news to those of you who have dealt with my slow ass.

Feel free to post this on your blog. We think we could blow away $1000 if enough fans took a look at the kids in need. If you see any more projects you would like added to the challenge, let us know!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Another Commission

Athena Voltaire and Wolverine?!

I guess it makes sense since Wolverine is really old or immortal or something like that. I guess he could have been palling around with Athena back in the 1930s.

Drawing this made me realize how much I miss drawing the old girl...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Some More Ursula Wilde Stuff

Yikes! So much for my plan to post more stuff, more often. I've been swamped getting my son ready for 1st grade, prepping the first 3 scripts for the first Ursula Wilde miniseries, and starting on two (count 'em TWO) upcoming comics projects that I can't announce yet.

So, here's some of the character development stuff on Ursula. I finally figured out how I wanted to draw her hair. It sounds silly, but I had a helluva time coming up with something that had the right contemporary look.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Some San Diego Pics

I split my time between the Ape Entertainment booth and a in the small press area with my pal Jim Heffron of Lawdog Studios. Molly McBride, whose work as editor on Athena Voltaire, was there, as well.

The top photo is me with hometown pal Tim Bradstreet outside the Hyatt.

Next is the Ape Entertainment booth. From left: Ray-Anthony Height (Cereal and Pajamas), Kevin Freeman (Ape editor-in-chief, Subculture), me and Rob Guillory (Teddy Scares)

Molly and me at the Lawdog booth.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ursula Wilde

Here's the final color image from my new Ape Entertainment book, Ursula Wilde. Pencils and inks by me, colors by Jason Millet.

We want to make sure that the entire series is completed before soliciting the book, so it'll be a 2008 release. I'm joined by my Athena Voltaire collaborators Jason Millet (interior colors) and Chad Fidler (color covers). Jim Nelson, an old friend and amazing illustrator who's done a ton of RPG, CCG and children's book illustrations, will be inking the book. I'll write and pencil the series.

I'll be glad to talk more about the series this week at San Diego Comicon. I'll be splitting my time between the Ape Entertainment booth (Booth 2105) and the Lawdog Studio/Lawdog Comics (Small Press L12).

Friday, July 20, 2007

You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry...

I inked the Hulk last weekend but didn't get around to scanning him until the other day—a few life emergencies took over. But here he is in all his primal glory. This one turned out to be a lot of fun!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hulk Smash!

Today's entry is a commission of the jolly
green giant himself, the Incredible Hulk. This one presented a heck of a challenge, since I'm not the most adept artist at rippling muscles and exaggerated, dynamic anatomy. I'm fairly happy with the results, though. I'll post the inks tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


It's convention season, when a young man's attention turns to making a living—or at the very least, getting work! I worked up a couple of pages of Fantastic Four samples from a Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four script by Jeff Parker. Jeff writes the FF the way I remember them being, so it was a delight to draw.

I'd like to ink these before I leave for San Diego, but I may not have time...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Something from a Pitch

Here's an image from a project that I'll be pitching in the next couple of weeks. This one's a period piece and would be a total departure from just about everything I've done so far.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Little More on the New Project

Here's another image of the new character. Jason Millet is currently coloring this image. I'll post his finished piece when he wraps it up (hopefully later this week). I changed the hairstyle from the initial sketch, but that's about it.

A New Project

Here's my initial sketch for a new character that I'll be working on. She's a globetrotting adventuress—I seem to have a weak spot for those. I hope to have more stuff to share on this character during the convention season. I'll be at the Ape Entertainment booth, so stop by, visit and I'll tell you all about it.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Some New Commissions

With a temporary lull between print projects (I plan on diving into the new stuff in earnest in late July/early August), I've been working on my backlog of commissions.

Here are a couple of pieces. I've included the pencils and the finished inks of the Question. The Superman piece, however, was just commissioned as a pencil piece.

My prices for commissions are $50 per figure in pencil and $100 per figure in ink. If you're interested in commissioning me, feel free to contact me at
atomictikistudio at gmail dot com

Athena Voltaire Update

Athena Voltaire: The Legend of Mu-King has been cancelled. We may see the release of the book at a later date or we may not.

Issues 1– 4 of Flight of the Falcon and The Collected Webcomics are available at the Ape Comics Store.

I'll be at the Ape Entertainment booth at San Diego Comicon and at Wizard World Chicago, if anyone wants to see what's coming up next.