Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A month's worth o' stuff

Wow, it's been nigh on a month since I last updated this thing. Sorry! it's been a busy few weeks. First, I finally finished the second "chapter" of Crogan's Vengeance. This chapter was almost all exposition, which requires a lot of work in order to make it interesting/exciting. I think that I succeeded (or at least I hope that I have), but it sure took longer than expected. Though there will be rises and falls, the rest of the book is a lot more action-oriented and plot-driven, and that's always a lot easier to stage. Here's a panel from one of the pages:

I later drew the villain of the book, a cruel fella named D'or, a little more realistically than I generally do, just as a sketchbook exercise.

So Crogan's has been the big time-consumer. We HAVE had some R & R, though -- Liz and I took our first trip to the Atlanta Zoo, which is a really good one. I've always been wary of big-city zoos, because the best zoo I've ever been to was the small one in Alexandria, Louisiana, and my first bigger one (Nashville) was such a huge step down. This one definitely measures up, though, and we had a great time. The baby gorillas are the highlight, no question. Here's a couple of pictures:

Oh, I guess it's obvious from the pic, but I chopped off my mop of curls.

A couple of weekends ago, Shawn Crystal recommended me to artist supply sales rep Mike Grecian as someone who could help out with demos at the Artfolio event at Binders, the art supply store that I use for anything remotely comic related. I'm usually disinclined to do anything salesman-related, as I don't like lying to people and have always felt that pushy sales is almost a form of fraud, but Mike represents the best products that you can get -- Faber-Castell for pens and colors, Holbein for inks and paints, Escoda for Brushes -- and so I had no qualms about extolling their virtues to everyone who wanted a demo. Anybody who hangs around me knows that I'm always trying to push new tools on them any time I find ones that I love, and of the some twenty tools that I regular use, eighteen of them are handled by Mike. Which reminds me, I've been meaning to do a tools blog soon, so I'll try and get that up over the next week or so.

Since I was demonstrating a lot of media that I usually don't use - watercolors, oils, gauche, etc - I got to play around a lot more than usual, and now I'm more inclined than ever to start using colors in my drawings. Here's an Indiana Jones sketch that I did (Adam Hughes and Allison Sohn were there, too, and were telling me about an upcoming Indy sketch card thing, which got me excited to try some stuff out):

It was done with the PITT artist pens, the Faber-Castell Watercolor pencils, and the blues were put in with their new pro-grade water-soluble oil. that's right: WATER-SOLUBLE OIL PAINT. Who'd have believed it, huh?

Anyway, the demo went great, I had a fantastic time, and Mike was ridiculously generous with passing on the demo materials to me afterwards. One of the things he gave me was a set of the Faber-Castell Color Brush pens. I LOVE these, but haven't ever bought more than a couple at a time for tones because they aren't "essential" for my comic stuff. They're great for doing color tests. James asked for a book order not too long ago, and this is helping me flush that out, in terms of spine covers. Here's part of a page from the sketchbook:

I also knocked out some X-Men, just for the heck of it.

This last weekend was the Comics Art Forum in Savannah, one of SCAD's big events for the Sequential Art Department. This year we had Jeff Parker, Jill Thompson, Chris Brunner, Kazimir Strzepek, Heidi Arnhold, Mark Schultz, and a few others. I rode up with Shawn, Chris Brunner, and Cara M., and the event was loads of fun. I took a workshop with Jeff Parker, and his talking about working on the Fantastic Four with Weiringo got me thinking about how I'd do the FF... here's a sketch that gives a fair idea.

There was lots of eating and drinking and general merriment, and I got a hold of the much-touted Leo Geo mini-comic by John Chad. It's amazing. Find it. I can't find a web-site address for him, but if you want a copy I'll pass on his e-mail if he says it's all right.

The last night was spent in Kaz's room. Here are some pics:

Coleman in his Zissou hat, Kaz in a tie

Jeremy and John Chad

Two Blue eyed Swiss boys: Kevin Burkhalter and yours truly

Andrew Greenstone and Alex Bullett of the Danger Park collective

Nate and Jarrett at the SA building

Chris B. at the panel


Unknown said...

Awesome work! Very inspirational.

Dude, they have got to get you to do a FF or Xmen story in the new Marvel Underground comic.