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Thursday, April 18, 2013

No more posts, on this blog, anyway

Well, I've been keeping this blog in conjuncture with another, and it seems to be that, given that they're identical and both done through blogger, I ought shut this one down.  I'm leaving all the archives up, but I ask that you please bookmark, or follow, or whatever it is that you may find yourself doing to keep up with blogs that you read my new/main one:

http://croganadventures.blogspot.com

Thanks!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Crogan Adventures Radio, episode 2: Crogan's Prize

The new Crogan Adventures radio drama is now available for your listening pleasure!  You can listen online, download it, or find it via iTunes thanks to Decoder Ring Theatre!

(click the image for a full-sized version)

Starring
Scott Moyle as Catfoot Crogan
Gregg Taylor as Admiral Montero
Christopher Mott as Tom Dander
Sloane Woodside as Theresa
Kevin Robinson as Carlos
Andrea Lyons as Doña Montero
With additional voices by Robert Westgate, Hans Messersmith, and Ryan Sero.  And me.

The show was directed by Gregg Taylor.  He recently wrote a great comic series called Mask of the Red Panda, which is available digitally from Comixology for only 99 cents per 35-page issue.  That's three bucks for a full story!  You can check it out here!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Family Tree

A lot of the designs for the Crogan family have changed somewhat.  Sometimes this is a result of learning who the characters' moms are, sometimes it's finding their personalities as I do the research.  Either way, I figure it's time to do a full revision. 


Click the image for a full-sized version

Monday, April 1, 2013

CROGAN'S PRIZE paper figure set

In just a couple of weeks, the second Crogan Adventures radio episode from Decoder Ring Theatre will air, featuring the return of Catfoot Crogan!  In the meantime, here's a paper figure set featuring a few of the characters from the show!

 
(click the image for the paper figure PDF file)

p.s. Bear with me if the link behaves differently from previously posted sets.  I'm working to transition everything away from my SCAD web space, which I previously used to host files. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Crogan Adventures Radio, episode 1: The Heart of Mabel Cottonshot

Oh, my! The first episode of the Crogan Adventures Radio Shows went up and I forgot to blog about it! My apologies. Between school and projects, some things slip my mind.

Here it is... The Heart of Mabel Cottonshot!



Starring
Robert Westgate as Benjamin Crogan
Clarissa Denederlanden as Mabel Cottonshot
Gregg Taylor as Charlie the Bartender
Kevin Robinson as Henry Scrugg
Christopher Mott as Earl
Hans Messersmith as Harold the Barker
and
Scott Moyle as Hatteburg
with additional voices by Ryan Sero and, well, me. That's right! They were nice enough to let me do a few voices. In this one, I play a few of the customers in the bar scene from just after the commercial in the middle.

The modern Crogan family starred Michael Booth as the dad (whose first name is revealed in episode 2, I think), Hero Van Harten as Eric, and Shannon Arnold as Cory.

The show was directed by Gregg Taylor, who did a darn fine job of things as he always does.

It's free to download, and it's free to listen to it online!  You can also subscribe to Decoder Ring Theatre in iTunes.  get listenin'!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Emerald City Comic Con!

Well, I'm on my way to Seattle for Emerald City Comic Con.  See you there, real soon!  Two things of note:

1. I'm not tabling this year, given that it's my first time out and I want to get a feel for the show.  If you want to find me, however, I'll be using my dear friends Jackie Lewis and Erin Gladstone as my home base.  Even if I'm not hanging out at their table, they'll know where to find me, so check there.  It's table E-13!

2. I do have some set signing times at the Oni booth!  I'll be singing Saturday from 1pm-2:45pm, and I'll be signing Sunday from 10am-11:45am.  And if you buy a Crogan book at the Oni table and want me to draw a picture in it for you, anyone there should be able to track me down, too!

Once again:
Signing at the Oni Press booth
Saturday 1pm-2:45pm
Sunday 10am-11:45am

The Heart of Mabel Cottonshot PAPER FIGURE set

It's only fifteen days until the release of the first Crogan Adventures Radio Drama, "THE HEART OF MABEL COTTONSHOT!"  I figured I'd post up the paper figure sets for these episodes ahead of time, so that if you want to print out and assemble the figures so that you can play out the episode as you listen to it you'd have that option.  There are six figures for this set.  Keep your eyes peeled for announcements about the radio shows, coming in two weeks, or very near thereabout.



Click the image to download the file!  With some browsers, you may need to right click and choose "save link as."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chris Schweizer's Studio Soapbox, Video #1

I figured I'd try my hand at doing some video and audio blogs.  Here's a quick watercolor demo.


Friday, February 15, 2013

NEW, CRAZY LOW PRICES ON COMMISSIONS!

Usually when I post commissions for my regular shows, they go pretty fast.  Not so with my recently announced Emerald City ones.  I'm chalking that up to this being a new show, and that I may not have a lot of readers in the Pacific Northwest yet (which is a big reason why I'm doing the show this year).  Either way, the market has clearly dictated that, at the prices I listed (which I was considering low) there aren't a whole lot of bites.  Not as many as I'd like, anyway, which is to have to cut off the valve and point out that my commission list is full.

So what am I doing?  I'm dropping prices!  Don't worry - those who have already bought commissions have ALREADY received a refund to make the price that they're paying the same as the ones offered now (plus an extra buck as a negligible but visible thanks for being an early orderer), so check your paypal account.  For new folks, these prices are crazy!


How Many?


The last option on the scroll-down order bar is a real kicker - you can get a set of THE ENTIRE CROGAN FAMILY TREE, all of the characters on the books' endpapers, for $200.  That's SIXTEEN WATERCOLORS, 5x7" each and suitable for framing.  And unlike the other commissions which are only available to Emerald City Comic Con attendees, this one is ALSO available to ANY AGENT OF THE CROGAN ADVENTURE SOCIETY.  So if you have a membership, you can commission one of these sets, too.  If you're outside the US, please add ten bucks for shipping. US residents, free shipping!

I don't know if I'll be offering this set after EMCC.  There's a chance I might, but it'll depend entirely on scheduling, so if you're seriously interested, get it in the next two weeks!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Star Warsin'

When I'm not doodling history, I'm doodling Star Wars. And I figured it might be fun to occasionally try Star Warsin' some other franchises, and see if I can make them look like they belong in the SW universe.

Having a three year-old daughter, I'm intimately familiar with quite a few lil' kid shows. Here's an attempt to Star Wars one of them (ps - I use Star Wars as a verb, because conversion is the best)

(click the image for the full-sized version)


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Going to EMERALD CITY COMIC CON, and taking commissions!


Well, I didn't think I'd be able to make it this year, but it turns out I was wrong. I'll be going to Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, Washington this year, from March 1-3.

Aside from San Diego Comic Con, I've never been to a west coast show (actually, I don't think I've ever done another show west of Texas!), so I'm excited about the chance to meet lots of new friends, readers, and art collectors from the other side of this great land of ours. I'll be signing books at the Oni Press booth throughout the show (signing times will be posted as soon as I've got 'em) and I'm also taking commissions in advance! I'll take some at the show, but as I won't have a table of my own I'll be very limited in how many I'll be able to take on. So, if you want one (or more), the best way to do get it is to do so ahead of time!

 So, here's what I'm doing:

 5x7 watercolored portraits, whole figure... 
TWENTY-FIVE ($25) BUCKS APIECE! 

And, because I love to reward my readers...

CROGAN ADVENTURES characters are only TWENTY ($20) BUCKS APIECE!

 Sound good? Let me make it better.

Five (5) Drawings: $100!  That's a savings of $25!

Six (6) drawings of Crogan Adventures characters: $100!  That's a savings of $20!

How Many?
In case you're unfamiliar with how con commissions work, I want to note that these pieces WILL NOT BE MAILED.  They are for pickup only at the convention.  Commissions that are mailed tend to cost a bit more, because mailing eats so much into my work time.

I'll be moving soon and undertaking comics-making on much more frequent schedule, and such an endeavor naturally requires money, so ordering commissions of this sort always helps me out and  makes it possible for me to amp up my output.  Thanks, and see you in Seattle! 

Here are some examples!





Monday, January 14, 2013

John Carpenter's THE THING

I love to get scared around Halloween.  For the month and a half leading up to it, I watch lots of scary movies, read scary books, etc.  And one of my favorite scary movies is John Carpenter's 1982 paranoia/monster chiller THE THING.  So I drew a poster for it.

 
(click for the full-size version)

The poster was colored by Nolan Woodard, a colleague in the SEQA department at SCAD and who is responsible for, among other things, the colors for Mark Waid's THRILLBENT comics Check out his other stuff here!

I drew this poster at poster size, actually.  It's pretty gigantic.  You can see the original/b&w in the STORE section.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Stan Sakai and Jeff Smith

Some time ago, I posted a couple of paper figures of Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn, the writer and artist of the Sixth Gun (I would have drawn colorist Bill Crabtree, too, but we've never met and I don't know what he looks like!).  Well, these were only two of a much larger batch of paper figures that I was intending to post weeks ago... and I got too busy to finish them.  Well, I'm still busy, but they're all drawn, and I can spare the five-ten minutes it takes to color them if I only do one a day.  So that's how I'm gonna do it.  I'm not posting the print file until the whole thing is done, but I'll post up the drawings over the next week or so.

So, here's the first (if you don't count Cullen and Brian) in the CARTOONISTS I LIKE set!  I had a few rules for myself when making these:

1. I only allowed myself to do people whose work I was a fan of before I ever met them.  There are way too many people whose comics I've come to know through knowing them first, and I figured that it would be weird to draw some of my friends and not others (not to say that some of the ones I've drawn haven't become friends in recent years, and that those are friendships that I treasure, only that I was a fan of the ones I'm doing here before I had the chance to make any of their acquaintances).

2. I'm somewhat loose in my definition of cartoonist.  Many of these folks are cartoonists, but some are writers or artists who rarely if ever dabble in the other field.

I think that's it.  Anyway, here's a couple to start you off.  These guys are first up because, of this whole bunch, these are the ones with whose work I was first familiar, and who are in many ways responsible for me doing comics, at least in the way that I do them.

Stan Sakai is the creator of the long-running (almost thirty years!!!) comics series Usagi Yojimbo, an epic story set in feudal Japan and using animals as its cast.  I can never say enough good things about Usagi.  If you're interested, I had the good fortune to get to interview Stan as part of the Comics Journal's "Conversations" series a few years ago, and you can read it here. Currently, Stan is taking a break from Usagi to draw the story of the 47 Ronin.

Jeff Smith is the creator of a few comics now, but the one that first grabbed my attention (and everyone else's was the comic/fantasy BONE. Jeff's aesthetic was a huge influence on me when I started out, and I still read and reread his work whenever I get the chance.  He recently completed his second big creator-owned series RASL, a science-fiction noir story.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Post titleComics and Art, Full-Time

I’ve decided that this will be my last year teaching at SCAD-Atlanta.  I’m going to be turning the entirety of my professional attention to comics and production art.

I didn’t come by the decision lightly.  I love being a teacher, and I love being a cartoonist, and in many ways each helps me be better at the other.  But I’ve come to find that I can do neither to the best of my ability without infringing on the time necessary to see the other done to the degree of quality I’d expect of myself.

With each new round of classes I find myself spending greater amounts of time in preparation for those classes, both in trying to expand my own knowledge base and in preparing lectures.  This prep time grows in relation with my awareness of how little I actually know.  Each new artistic principle that I learn only serves to spotlight the many of which I may have been previously unaware and don’t yet understand. 

I’m under no illusion that I’ll ever be satisfied with what I know.  Every new discovery will be a path to new obstacles.  That’s not a bad thing.  I’m grateful that there will always be more to learn.  But I’d like to be able to take my time a little more with those discoveries.  As it is, if I stumble across an unknown (to me) artistic principle or method or anything in that vein that I don’t fully understand, I am obligated to work at that principle until I understand it to the point that I can easily articulate and teach it as soon as humanly possible.  This is my responsibility as a teacher, and as it leads me into ever-wider fields of focus based on student career interest I find that I spend virtually all of my work time in self-education rather than in actually producing work.

Part of my job as a cartoonist is to produce work in a timely fashion.  In my expectations of myself, one graphic novel every two years is not a timely fashion.  Sure, I do for-hire work and short stories and the like during these stretches, but the graphic novels are the meat of my output, and they should come out with much greater rapidity. 

It has become impossible for me to exceed my current output (or even meet it) while trying to better myself to where I can fulfill what I believe to be the needs of my students.

And there’s the Catch-22.  My entire teaching philosophy is rooted in preparing students for the marketplace.  Part of my job as a teacher is to set an example for them.  If I’m unable to make a living at comics, and to produce comics at the rate that the market demands, I fail entirely in that job, and have no business standing in front of a classroom.  As it stands, I can’t meet my teacher obligations (as I consider them) and my cartoonist obligations (as I consider them) both, and if I am deficient in the latter (which I am if I’m only producing a hundred plus pages a year) I automatically fail at the former.  Therefore, if the choice between the two must be made (and it must), then that choice must be comics.

I will still strive to improve with each project, to better myself as an artist and as a storyteller.  But I’d like to be free of the moral obligation to make the immediacy of that growth my foremost priority.  Learning at my leisure, through execution of work, will allow me to create the work for which such studies have, I hope, prepared me.

Now that the decision has been made, I’m very excited.  I’m anxious to get back to work on Crogan’s Escape (which has been on hold, more or less, since the school year started), as well as preparatory work on future Crogan Adventures stuff, which will be where I plan to direct the majority of my attention.  I have a number of presentations prepared for school visits, and though my teaching schedule in the past has prevented me from doing more than three or four of these a year my new, more open schedule will permit me to visit many more schools over a much wider geographic area.  And I have other comics projects, too, that I’m looking forward to getting off the ground.  There are a number of books – mostly kid or YA titles – that have been simmering for some time and are ready to pitch to publishers. 

And I won’t just be working on comics.  I’ll be working with my good friends Chad Thomas (MegaMan) and Jason Horn (Ninjasaur) to start a studio in which we’ll be doing both comics and production design.  So much of what I do is done entirely on my own, and being able to work collaboratively (truly collaboratively, from inception to completion, rather than assembly-line style) offers us the opportunity to work things through until they’re as close as any of us can get to perfect.  I’ve often had the chance to work with students this way on their projects, but never as an active participant.  I couldn’t be more excited, and couldn’t imagine folks with whom I’d rather work.

I will miss teaching more than I'll ever be able to express.  No one could have wished for more enthusiastic and dedicated students, and no work that I create will ever give me the same pride that I feel having had a part, however small, in the development of these incredible storytellers.  I am grateful to have been part of a department whose foremost concern has always been to prepare students for a career in visual storytelling (be that comics, animation, or concept art) and to instill in them the principles necessary to do excellent work in those fields.  My bosses have been nothing but supportive in and outside of the classroom, and each of my colleagues have always been examples to me of excellence in both their academic and professional capacities.  It is, as I said, with great reluctance that I leave a program in the quality of which I so strongly believe.

I will, of course, continue to teach for the remainder of the school year.  The knowledge that this will be my last opportunity to do so for the immediate future has fired me up about making these classes the very best of which I’m capable.  So, to my current students, see you in a few days!

I hate to leave a post with no art, so here are a couple of redesigns for some of the Crogan endpaper/family tree characters and an attempt at refining the design of Mabel Cottonshot.





(click image for bigger view)