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Friday, April 30, 2010

Shadow Over Innsmouth

Here's a picture I did inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's excellent and super-creepy horror novella Shadow Over Innsmouth, which has to do with a decaying New England fishing village and the cross-breeding bargain the citizens made long ago with a race of horrible fish-man creatures.  It's a great and terrifying story, and gets me all creeped out however many times I read it.  For some reason I was in a scary-stuff mood recently (usually that comes with the lead-up to Halloween, not in April), and I wanted to draw something in that vein, so here it is.  It's not actually depicting an event from the story, but was inspired by it:

Shadow Over Innsmouth
(Click on image for full-sized version)

This is one of the most detailed and labor-intensive drawings I've ever done - it's 11x17, black and white ink over blue pencil.  It's also for sale.  Considering the hours put into it and how pleased I was with the final result, I'm asking $250, which includes shipping.

e-mail me if interested - chris at curiousoldlibrary dot com.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Crogan's Vengeance on the Way

First thing - this picture, of a bunch of Green Gang fellas storming the as-yet-unnamed tramp steamer.


(Click on the picture above for a bigger image)

This is one of a series of ten-twelve drawings I was thinking of doing for a mini-comic sketchbook, each a scene from the life of Daniel Crogan, the Lion-Tamer/Escape Artist who will be the protagonist in the fourth Crogan Adventure book.  I've penciled a few of the other ones; my hope was to have it by HeroesCon, but that probably won't happen.

The other thing I wanted to note is that the shipment of Crogan's Vengeance's second printing was delayed by Diamond from China.  I've been telling everyone that it would be available by this week, but that was back when I thought it was shipping out on the 7th; as it is, it won't be leaving until the 26th.  But two-three weeks after that it SHOULD be available for sale from your local book or comic store, distributors Diamond, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and online bookstores like Amazon.  I'm really sorry this has been unavailable for so long, and appreciate everyone's patience and enthusiasm about getting a hold of one, and know that it WILL be available soon.  I've been told that I definitely will have copies at HeroesCon, which I'm really, REALLY looking forward to!

Friday, April 23, 2010

John Carter of Mars

I did this drawing yesterday, colored it today. It's one I've been wanting to do for a while, an Edgar Rice Burroughs (You know, the Tarzan guy) science fiction character from 1911 known popularly as John Carter of Mars.


(Click on the drawing for a bigger view)

Now, Carter has generally been illustrated by Frazetta-type guys (including Frazetta) as being this muscular, loincloth-wearing clean shaven guy with a flowing mane - basically Conan the Barbarian with a ray-gun. I've never liked this interpretation - John Carter is strong on mars because he's used to Earth's higher gravity, NOT because he's super ripped. So I made him of average build. He is (or was) a civil war soldier, too, so I wanted him to have those big fancy cavalry 'stache and chops, and he's described as having short cropped hair. He's also described as being naked, which I never see, so I was sure to include that, too. A couple of my preliminary sketches had his wiener for all the other world to see, but I figured that since kids check the blog and come to my table at conventions I'd strategically place a green martian gun holster over his junk. The holster, gun, and sword are all made for fifteen feet tall fellas, so they're intentionally disproportionate to Carter's size - he's using a waist belt as a bandolier as a result.

Also, John Carter is going to be Pixar's first live-action movie, which I'm excited about.  Pixar movies are usually great NOT because of their animation (though it IS top-notch) but because of the incredible amount of emphasis placed on story structure, detail, and quality, and I expect this will be no different.  Here's hoping!

The original drawing is 9"x13.25" on an 11"x 15.5" piece of 80# stock, ink over blue pencil. The stars were made by flicking white ink from toothbrush bristles after covering the linework with painter's tape.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lobster Johnson & Fluke

Here's a drawing of Lobster Johnson, a side character from Hellboy and B.P.R.D.

I had a great time at the Texas Library Association Conference in San Antonio - I found out that Vengeance made the top ten GNS for middle school readers, which was exciting, and I got to meet Kazu Kibuishi, who I'd not met before but whose work I like.

From there I went straight on to Fluke, and had a great time there, too - Comic Book Resources has a great write-up of it, and I'm quoted a lot in it, so rather than repeat myself here, just give it a read.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mummy Drawing

I felt like drawing a mummy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

STAPLE, Acme Comics, and a Star Warsy Guy

Hey, everybody!  Sorry for taking like two months to update the blog!  A lot has happened in the meantime - I went to STAPLE, in Austin TX, where I was EXTREMELY well-treated, and I had a great time and loved the show, and definitely plan to go back.  Had a great time with all sorts of great folks, had the best barbecue IN THE WORLD, two meals in a row, and am salivating just thinking about it.  Also went to Austin Books, which is perhaps the greatest comic shop in the country.  It's gigantic.  Mind-blowingly gigantic.  Plus it has LOADS of out-of-print stuff.  I picked up a black-and-white Cochran box set edition of Harvey Kurtzman's Frontline Combat, which I've been looking for for ages.

Here's the STAPLE poster with an illustration by the inestimably fantastic Guy Davis:



Later in the month I did a signing with Sean McKeever and Len Wallace at Acme Comics in Greensboro, North Carolina.  First Heroes, then Acme (I don't know what order they existed in - maybe Acme came first, but I was exposed to Charlotte's store first)?  North Carolina can teach the rest of the country (Austin excepted, of course!) something about running a shop!  The signing was a great event, and I've never been treated better - they fed us, which has happened before, but they also took us to a comedy club AND gave us 50% off (or cost price, I forget which) off anything in the store, which I jumped on, buying loads and loads of their super-excellent merchandise.  I got a copy of the Blacksad sketch files which is just impossible to find these days unless you want to part with multiple times the cover price, one of the Paul books, an extra copy of the black-and-white Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails, as mine is on perpetual loan to an ever-rotating student body, and bunches of others.  The guys there were really great, it was lots of fun getting to know Sean and Len, and they had loads of foot traffic - lots of families - in and out all day.  I was expecting it to go poorly, as Vengeance is currently between printings and will be for every one of my signings and promo things for March, but It was easily the best store signing I've ever done.  So many people had already gotten the book, and brought in their own copies - it's really nice when a store pushes the book ahead of time, so that when you're there people are excited to get theirs signed.  If you're a comics person, and you're asked to do a signing here, I couldn't recommend accepting more strongly.

I did an end-of-the-day interview, if anyone wants to watch it:



I'm also going to start posting art whether I've got news or not.  Between classes, family, and research, I'm not producing any pages, but I AM doing a lot of sketches to keep in practice/get better.  Here's one of some kind of alien, stemming from a talk in class about how old-school Star Wars aliens were all designed to accommodate people in crazily proportioned suits.  This little guy is the result.



I'll post more art regularly, I promise!  So keep checking back.