Monday, September 22, 2008

Chewie: 1993–2008

Airboy—in Color!

And Jason knocks it out of the park with his colors for this one!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Airboy Inks

And here it is inked—just in time for the weekend!

I left a lot of open space on the brickwork to give color artist Jason Millet plenty of room to work his magic. I'll post his work as soon as I get it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Airboy Pencils

After so much preliminary work, the pencils were a joy!

While penciling, I was consciously thinking about which parts would be rendered with a slick, precise line, and which parts would have softer, looser rendering. At this stage, it has the balance I'd hoped to attain.

We'll see how it works out in the inks tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Airboy Rough Sketch

I jumped at the opportunity to draw Airboy! Factor in drawing Valkyrie and I'm so there! This piece is an homage to the famous Dave Stevens cover to Airboy #5 (which is an homage to the cover of Air Fighters #2).

Shown here are the early roughs I did. Val starts off too lanky—I mean there's model proportions and there's taking it too far! I took it too far. I shortened up her foreground leg in the second sketch.

I sent the second sketch to Jason Millet and JunBob Kim for their suggestions and applied their thoughts in the final sketch shown here. I also didn't want Airboy to be as passive as I had drawn him originally, so I added a gun to his hand (rather than the "pleading" gesture) to give it a contemporary John Woo dynamic.

I'm pretty happy with how it's developing. Tomorrow: a look at the pencils.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wonder Woman, Amazon Warrior

Another commission. This time around, the art direction was "Wonder Woman, a warrior version of her with the Roman soldier leather skirt." I've drawn the character before, also in a warrior context, but it was mostly an exercise in mood. This time around, I wanted to accentuate the musculature and ooomph of an amazon. I was looking at Darwyn Cooke's costuming of the character in New Frontier.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Up, Up and Away!

I've never drawn Superman. I've drawn Clark Kent ripping his shirt open to reveal the famous emblem, but I've never drawn the man himself.

I banged this out last week to practice some figure drawing and to try and drum up some new commission work. I was surprised how much fun it was!

This piece also happens to be for sale! $100 takes it. Email me at atomictikistudio at gmail dot com for details!

(I'm thinking of reworking the format for the blog and using bigger pictures (as shown here). Waddaya think?)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bear Down!

I was traveling last week, so I didn't have the opportunity to acknowledge the kickoff of the 2008 pro football season.

Lifelong Chicago Bears fan here. I bleed blue and orange. My son's middle name is Payton (not the contemporarily fashionable "Peyton"), as in Walter Payton, one of my boyhood heroes (along with Jack Kirby and Paul McCartney). His middle name is just as much a tribute to the Sunday afternoons I used to spend with my dad, watching Walter do the impossible. "Walter left, Walter right, and Walter up the middle" were the three key plays back in those days. And we would just watch in awe.

Dad and I continued to watch Bears games week-in and week-out. If I wasn't at his house watching with him, we'd be calling one another after significant plays (multiple times a game!).

Both Walter and my dad are gone now, but I still watch every game. And after a great tackle or a Devin Hester TD, I still reach for the phone, or look to my left, expecting him to be there with me, watching the play and laughing along with me.

I miss you, Dad.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Sometimes doing a simple headshot can be the most fun. Take this Batgirl commission, for instance. I always felt that the character was lighthearted and am not a fan of what Alan Moore did to her in The Killing Joke. This piece was an opportunity to get back to the spirit of the Silver Age of comics—y'know...happy!

Plus, I needed to work on drawing smiles (still do!)—they're hard!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Gunslinger

I've been intrigued by Stephen King's Dark Tower series for years, but never got around to reading it.

I got a crash course in the series when I was commissioned to draw Roland, the Gunslinger, in this ink piece.

I love to have fun with design-y backgrounds and this one was no exception! Fun stuff!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Take That, Pinko!

Today's picture is part of what could be the greatest commission theme ever.


Vic Sage Pummels the Presidents. For the uninformed, Vic Sage is the alter-ego of the Question, a DC Comics character created by Steve Ditko in the 1960s. Ditko, an adherent to Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy, sometimes touched upon his views through the character.

Needless to say, when given the choice between the Question slugging William Taft or LBJ, I chose LBJ. How do you think a Randian Objectivist would view the Great Society?

Take that, Pinko!

(Oh, and someone pointed out that the Question's figure kind of forms a question mark. I wish I could say I was that clever, but I'm not. It's still pretty neat.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Comic Geek Speak SuperShow!

I spent last weekend at SuperShow, an amazing comics convention put on by the equally-amazing Comic Geek Speak podcast. A con like no other, the show is a celebration of both the podcast and the incredible comics community that has grown out of the CGS forum.

In addition to spending time with tons of incredibly talented artists that I'm proud to call friends, (among them: JunBob Kim, Alex Serra, Mike Norton, Morry Hollowell, Brent Schoonover, Ryan Stegman, Jamal Igle, Big Jim, Katie Cook, Dave Wachter, Erica Hesse, Lin Workman and more), I had the pleasure of meeting and reacquainting myself with bunches and bunches of friends who I have met on the CGS forums (NOT singling anyone out for fear of forgetting someone).

And, of course, it was a great time to catch up with the stars of Comic Geek Speak themselves, Bryan Deemer, Peter Rios, Jamie D, Kevin Moyer, Shane Kelly, Matt, Adam and Pants—friends one and all. A big thank you to Matt for putting me up (and putting up with me), Kevin (who picked me up at the airport) and Bob Bretall of the Comic Book Page podcast who hauled me to the airport at the end of the show.

In the photos: (1) a doughy pic of me—time to get to the gym! Pronto! (2) "Surprise, Steve, we're taking your picture!" In the background is JunBob Kim, and (3) from left: Big Jim, Shawn Pryor of PKD Media and me. In the background is the mysterious Mr. Serra.

Yes, I swiped these photos from other people because I'm too damn lazy to take pictures myself.

A wonderful time...

Around Comics

I had the pleasure of being on a couple of episodes of Around Comics the past 2 weeks. In episode 199, series regulars Chris Neseman and Tom Katers welcomed awesome artist Chris Burnham and myself to the show. Much fun was had by all.

Episode 200 hundred featured Chris & Tom along with art god Hilary Barta, my AV-partner Jason Millet and me, for a lengthy discussion about comics craft.

Sinestro Corps Red Skull

A meeting of the Marvel and DC universes in an ominous way! The person who commissioned this one asked for "the Red Skull as a member of the Sinestro Corps." I added in the cosmic cube because, well, it's badass.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Captain America Commission

This one intimidated the hell out of me. I love Steve Epting's work on Marvel's Captain America series (he's doing the best work of anyone at the big two) and wanted to capture just a hint of what he achieves on every page.

I succeeded. I got a hint of it. Next time, I'll shoot for more.

Overall, though, I'm pretty happy with it. I'd love to take another pass at ol' Cap (and will—soon!) and try to improve on this one.

8.5 x 11, ink on bristol board.