Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuareg Prep Drawings

I've been doing lots and lots of preparatory drawings for the next book, Crogan's March (I'll probably refer to it as "March" in shorthand), and I figured I'd post a few. These are for the Tuareg camp. 

 Also, Atlanta cartoonist Justin Wagner's website is up and running, and he has some great sketches up on his blog. You should check it out; he's one of those guys that straddles animation and comics, and does does both well.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas T-1: The Wet Bandits

You know, drawing these guys, I just cringed. Ouch! I was going to draw the old man, but I don't have the DVD and google image search wasn't particularly helpful. I'm kid of glad - figuring how to work the iron scar in with flat colors was challenge.

 Well, that's it! Have a Merry Christmas, everyone! Hohoho!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas T-2: Impromptu WWI Cease-Fire

For the next-to-last Christmas drawing, here's a Hun, a Frog, and a Limey having a soccer game in no-man's land during the famous Christmas Eve cease-fire of 1914. 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas T-3: X-Mas Santa

Here's an X-Mas image bristling with holiday terror - Santa!

 In case you haven't seen the Futurama Christmas episodes, Santa is a murderous robot who judges everyone to be on the naughty list and thus destroys anyone he sees out on X-Mas eve. Also, I realize too late that my title numbering system was off - I should have started with T minus ELEVEN, because as it stands Christmas will still be one off from the theoretical Christmas blastoff. Curse you, advanced arithmetic!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas T-4: Triple Dog Dare Recipient

Poor, poor Flick:

 The Christmas Story holds a special place in my heart, for reasons beyond its exceptional comedic quality. From the time I can remember, my parents and all of their friends would hold a Christmas Story party each year, where everyone would come dressed as a character from the film. The first couple of years were standard - Randy who can't put his arms down, Scott Farkus, stuff like that - but as the years went on, and no one wanted to be repetitive, the costumes became more nuanced and obscure - the Christmas Tree Salesman, the teacher in paper-grading regalia, the lamp, the old man knee deep in Bumpus hounds, dead Black Bart... it was tons of fun for me and my sister to see, as a kid, these adults going all out to make a big evening of it. We moved to Kentucky when I was eleven, but the Lousiana folks STILL have the Christmas story party each year. Gosh, it's coming up on twenty-five years, I'd bet! Liz and I were lucky enough to live a couple of hours away when we ran the hotel, and made it up for it. So while I've heard griping of TBS's annual 24 hour marathon, I couldn't be happier with it - each scene in that movie is the funniest scene, and its as much a part of Christmas to me as opening presents.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas T-5: Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine:

 A sort of composite likeness based on existing period depictions. She had been a crusader, queen of two countries, and a cunning political mind before being locked away by her second husband, Henry II, to keep her from stirring up any more civil wars. I picked her as a Christmas character because of Goldman's excellent play The Lion in Winter, which is about Henry bringing his family (Eleanor and surviving sons Richard, Geoffrey, and John) home for the holidays to play mind games and ostensibly decide on a successor. The play was made into two very, VERY good films, one starring Katherine Hepburn as Eleanor and Peter O'Toole as Hal II, and the other with Glen Close as Eleanor and Patrick Stewart as the vengeful hubby. When compared, both films have their strengths and weaknesses - in the 60's version, Hepburn plays Eleanor as increasingly desperate in a way that Close seems to try and mask; Patrick Stewart, with the same lines, is a far more magnanimous Henry. O'Toole seems downright cruel and diabolical; Stewart says everything with a smile and you can't help but like him even when his behavior is contemptible. In fact, that's a good way to look at the films as a whole: the dialogue is the same in both, but everything uttered in the sixties version is hard-walled contempt, and everything in the 2003 version seems to be good-natured ribbing. As a medieval political movie, the former works best; as a home-for-the-holidays movie, the Stewart/Close version wins out. I don't care for the performance of John in the older movie, and I don't like the performance of Richard in the new one. Both, though, are worth watching - give 'em a queing in your netflix cycle.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas T-6: Krampus!

The Krampus is Saint Nicholas's dastardly sidekick. He takes your toys if you're bad, womps merrymakers with a birch twig club, and carries naughty children away to work forced labor at the North Pole. I for one am upset that he doesn't see more play in the good ol' U.S. of A. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas T-7: Linus (Christmas Variant)

 I originally did a more realistic, less Schultz-design-oriented Mr. Van Pelt, which I based on the Phillip North-Beardsley kid from the old Lucy/Henry Fonda Yours, Mine, and Ours film, because I was, for years, convinced that the kid was the voice of Linus. Turns out I was wrong (not WAY wrong - turns out it was that kid's little brother), but I always envisioned real-life-counterpart Linus as being that kid. But it looked weird to have a non-Schultz design, and I thought the Peanuts purists might call for my blood. So here's the traditional Christmas Linus. If you haven't watched the special yet this year, shame on you. It's tradition.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas T-8: Gormaanda!

It wouldn't be the holidays without Gormaanda. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas T-9: Emmet Otter

Jugband Christmas time! 

Monday, December 15, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas: T-10: 80's Terrorist

Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs.

 I haven't seen this movie in forever (I don't have it on DVD, only VHS) and so the depiction is from memory. If there are details wrong, chalk it up to interpretive recollection.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas T-11: Balthazar

The second drawing is of ol' Balthazar!

 Balthazar, one of the three kings, possibly a Zoroastrian, immortalized in the brilliant Franco Zeffirelli movie Jesus of Nazareth by James Earl Jones, and played with regularity throughout my childhood by my dad in the opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. It's a great bass part, and I had the opportunity to play Amahl alongside him when I was about eleven.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas: T-12 and counting!

Yeah, yeah, I know, the twelve days of Christmas come AFTER Christmas, but so what? Our culture has firmly embedded the idea of the countdown into my psyche, and for me Christmas spirit is usually sapped by noon of the 25th, so therefore I am starting on the thirteenth and working my way to the big day itself. Each day for the next twelve, I'll be posting a drawing of a holiday character. Some may be obscure, some may be heavily popularized, but all will be drenching with yuletide cheer! Day #1: Jacob Marley!

 In other news, the signings went very well, the break from classes is going nicely, and the missus and I went to go see the Terra Cotta Army of Chin Shi Huang at the museum today for my b-day, which was AMAZING. And those "life-size" reproductions you see? A big ripoff. For one, the figures are mostly whiteish-green (they're usually depicted reddish brown, black and brown), and for another they're almost all well over six feet tall, and quite a few were taller than me. All the repros I've seen are five feet at most. Just so you know!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Carl Barks (and some press stuff)

First off, here's a comic I did in September for Danger Park's wonderful anthology SUBTERRANEAN #1. Mine is but one of many truly excellent comics by folks like Falynn Koch, Kevin Burkhalter, Jarrett Williams, Jeremy Sorese, John Chad, and many more, including the excellent Danger Park guys themselves. If you see this comic at a show, GET IT! You won't regret it.

(note: this is bigger than my blog allows, so just right-click on the drawing and choose "view image." It'll open a new window with the drawing in it, and may require you to click it once to allow you to bring it to its regular size. Sorry for the hastle, but shrunk to the blog size you can't read the words!)

Also, go get some Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge comics. Right now.

Okay, that out of the way, I've been meaning to post some press stuff. Here it is:

Interview with Newarama, by Chris Arrant

Interview with the Temple of Cartoon Mojo by Nolan Woodard

Review on Read About Comics by Greg McElhatton

Review on Kleefeld on Comics by Sean Kleefeld

Review on Shazhmmm… by Hillary Brown & Garrett Martin

Plus there's a fairly lengthy review of Crogan's Vengeance on the SEQALAB podcast. It's episode #52, and it's from 46:20 until 56:20.
This one’s available either to listen to through the internet, or go to the itunes store and type in “seqalab.” It’s free, and you can download it and listen to it at your convenience. It's a fun podcast, and good for keeping up with comics news what our friends in Savannah are up to.

Next week I'll have a few more press things to put up (a couple more interviews), so feel free to check back!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Indiana Jones Sketch

The Temple of Cartoon Mojo's sketch challenge this upcoming week is Indiana Jones. How could I resist?

 Um, I can always use holiday money, so if anyone wants to buy the original (it's about 4.25" x 7.25"), shoot me an e-mail. It's $45, and that includes shipping. I really love this one, but if I keep it it'll end up in a stack of like thirty other drawings. Okay, now here are the details for the upcoming signings: • Saturday, November 22nd • Clarksville, TN • 2-4PM • BORDERS • Signing with Sketches • Monday, November 24th • Murray, KY • MURRAY STATE UNIVERSITY • 4PM • Faulty Hall Room #208 Lecture: Higher Education & Making Comics: The Skills You Need And The Opportunity You Have to Hone Them Signing and Sketches to follow • Saturday, November 29th • Hopkinsville, KY • 3-6PM • BOOKS ON MAIN (in the front of Coffee, And...) • Signing with Sketches Falynn Koch came by SCAD today. Her stuff is great; check it out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Couple of characters, those guys

A couple of cartoonist friends were visiting a couple of weeks ago, and I realized that I should snag their visages in order to design my comic-relief duo in the foreign legion book. Here are some sketches...

 ...and one actual drawing. Whether the design will tweak more before I actually hit pages, I can't say.

 The plot of the new book has been completely written out, and is fairly tight. I'll be revising it heavily over the next couple of weeks, in order to get it to where I can jump to pages as soon as the Winter Break begins. I still have to nail down a few character deigns, but I've got a good feeling overall. I also drew this fish-man. I read a few (my first) H.P. Lovecraft stories to get revved up for Thanksgiving, and I loved them, especially Call of Cthulhu and Shadow Over Insmouth, the latter of which prominently features some horrifying toadish fishmen. I've been sketching 'em like crazy ever since! 

Monday, October 20, 2008

The book has shipped to the country!

At SPX a couple of weeks ago I finally saw the printed copy of my book! It sold well (we sold out of the 3 cases we had shipped in for the show) and it looks great - the paper quality is nice, the ink took well, the cover looks fantastic - I couldn't be happier with the production quality. 

The tan color will stay the same on each book, but the red will change - the next one is likely blue, one might be green, etc. Plus the spine picture will change each time. $14.99! The 29th date isn't going to happen because of early customs hold-ups, but it's on its way now and will be on shelves November 12th! The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy. A quick wrap up: • Got an amazing car from my grandmother - a 1990 Honda Accord wagon with only 30-something thousand miles on it. • Subterranean #1 came out with my Carl Barks story. • Officiated a wedding for my old friends Dusty Huber and Melissa Underwood (now Huber) in KY. • Drove to KY in second gear when our transmission sensor broke in the new car. • Paid lots and lots to have it fixed, but am happy because the mechanics went over every inch and can see no other foreseeable future car problems. • Took part in SCAD-Atlanta's 24-Hour art challenge where I wrote and pencilled a story but then decide to build an enviromental maquette of an overgrown gorilla temple rather than ink it. • Got to visit with Liz's mom and brother when they drove our car back to ATL for us. • Got the November issue of Nickelodeon magazine which has one of my cartoons in it (pick it up! It's got the "Madagascar" animals on the cover). • Sold a full-page comic to Nickelodeon that will be in some upcoming issue (I'll keep you posted). • Am planning for SCAD-Atlanta's Publisher's Forum this weekend, where we'll host James Lucas Jones from Oni, Axel Alonso from Marvel, and Chris Staros from Top Shelf. • Set up some signings for November - times will be posted in the "About" section soon. - November 22nd • Clarksville, TN • Borders - November 24th • Murray, KY • Murray State University • Lecture and Signing - November 29th • Hopkinsville, KY • Books on Main • Made it past the mid-term week of classes (the students are great), plus got my tentative teaching schedule for the next year and a half. • Have gotten really into maquette building. • Lost my keys in Washingtom, DC. That's the high points, I guess. Whew! I'll try to post more often (but I always say that).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Other People's Comics

Hey, folks! Sorry it's been such a long time since my last post. Last week was the first week of classes, and between teaching, writing up a script sample, tweaking a Nick comic, and doing freelance work I've been swamped. Speaking of Nick stuff, the October issue of Nick (Nickelodeon) Magazine has two gags in it by yours truly, and the November issue will have one. Also (and thanks to John and Doug for the heads up) Crogan's Vengeance is on Wizard Magazine's "Pull List," comics to get over the following month, on page 16 of the October issue. Here's a pic that Doug Dabbs scanned for me:

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to make any new minis, and the Small Press Expo is speeding ever closer (2 weeks???!!!!!). Anyway, I thought that mayb it would be fun to do a 12 page little sketchbook/pinup book, something with a name like "Other People's Comics." Characters that I like. Anyway, here are the results.

Okay, so that's a lot of sketches. I still have one more to do, I think. Anyway, hope everyone is doing well, and I expect to see a few of you at SPX!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bookmark Designs - Opinions Officially Solicited

Okay, I'm putting together some of my promo stuff for the Small Press Expo in D.C., and I'm going to be making some bookmarks, basically to cement that the Crogan Adventures is a series in the minds of folks who buy the first book. Anyway, here are two designs I've come up with, and I could really use some opinions as to what you think might be best.

The one on the left is a little more dynamic, but the one on the right makes better use of the vertical canvas and may give a better sense of setting.

And yes, I know he's missing a hand; I screwed it up and have to redraw it. I may do away with the flying sweat-beads, too, as they might compete with the flying splinters for attention.

Anyway, thoughts? Which would get you more interested in the book?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Button, button who's got the button?

First, a picture of Porco Rosso, the Crimson Pig, from Miyazaki's wonderful animated film of the same name. Porco is a seaplane pilot who hunts sky pirates in the Adriatic sea in the late twenties. Oh, and he's been turned into a pig.

I've been getting stuff together for Fall classes - I'll be teaching three: Drawing for Storyboarding, Animation Layout and Character Design, and Animation Aesthetics and Practice (a very theory-oriented class). Needless to say, I'm looking forward to all of them.

I'm still working on the research for Crogan's March, but things are slowly and surely starting to form, so expect updates with that,

The Decatur Book Festival was this weekend, and it was lots of fun. There were quite a few cartoonist and graphic novel-centric panels, so it was a great opportunity to see some out-of-town friends. Also to consume lots and lots of good farmers-market cheeses.

Lastly, Jill Beaton at Oni is going to be making up some Crogan's Vengeance buttons for SPX. Here are the designs I did for them (still have one more to go):

I've also made a pallette for myself, in photoshop - It's about three rows of earth tone-heaviness, with a few blues and vibrant reds dropped in.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Catching Up

Wow! Sorry to have not update for so long. It’s been an extremely busy month, helping with the final cover design (though all credit goes to Keith Wood)…

…finishing my thesis, applying to SCAD-Atlanta, etc.

Kevin Burkhalter and Jarrett Williams came by a couple of weeks ago and spent a couple of nights with us. It was great to see them. They’re wonderful cartoonists, yes, but they’re darn fun guys, too. Here are a few panels from Kevin’s Journal Comic that memorialize the occasion:

The black thing on my neck is a bandana, in case you’re wondering. It’s a bib, napkin, pocketknife cleaner, and jaunty scarf all in one.

Also, Dan – the guy for whom I did the Usagi drawing a few posts back – read that post and was kind enough to send me a scan of the inks, which I had forgotten to get. I colored the picture, and here it is:

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I must’ve thumbnailed that thing two dozen times before landing on the right final product. I also have been reading (and watching) a lot of Tintin lately. I know that having Captain Haddock as one’s favorite character isn’t particularly original, but he’s just the best. Here’s the first of what will probably be many quick drawings of him over the next few months:

In other news, I’m going to be updating the website for the first time since, well, just about ever. New images, new comics, new section (press instead of links). As all of my links are on the side of my blog, it’s probably silly to keep a links section, so instead I’ll be posting links to interviews and reviews and stuff, of which there already a few.

Oh! And I’ll be teaching at SCAD-Atlanta in the fall, so if you’re wanting to learn comics and are thinking about going for your masters, call in for a catalog.
To wrap up, here’s the text from the back of the book:

"Crogan's Vengeance is a marvelous swashbuckling tale. I’m already anxiously awaiting a sequel, or six. Chris Schweizer is an amazingly talented cartoonist with an ear for dialogue and an eye for great storytelling."
- Stan Sakai , creator of Usagi Yojimbo

"Catfoot" Crogan was content with his life as an honest sailor. He never wanted to be a pirate and he never dreamed he'd wind up at odds with the most dangerous buccaneer ever to sail the Spanish Main! But there's more to this fight for "Catfoot" than just staying alive. Fierce sword-fights, harrowing naval battles, and ravenous sharks are nothing in the face of Crogan's Vengeance!
An ongoing series of adventure graphic novels, the Crogan Adventures chronicles the patriarchy of a fantastic fictional family! Follow the fathers and sons of the Crogan line through continents and centuries as cartoonist Chris Schweizer deftly recounts the trials and tribulations of these extraordinary men. It all starts here with Crogan's Vengeance!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Cover Mock-Ups

The cloth-bound foil covers were going to cost twice what we thought, so it looks like that's out, which means back to the drawing board (literally!) on cover designs. Now, it's more than likely that Keith Wood will do the actual cover design, but I still like to hash out ideas and hopefully push it in the direction that I feel is right for the books. I can't wait to see what he does with it, but until then, here's some mock-ups that I sent James this evening.

Also, don't worry, the books WILL still be hardcover, and Crogan's Vengeance is still available for preorder through you local comic shop, bookstore, or through Amazon. And don't let that "152 pages" fool you. This is one-NINETY-two, I think.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chris Wright's Inkweed

I read Inkweed yesterday. I picked up at HeroesCon, and though I've read some of the stories contained therein before, reading them in one volume was an entirely different experience - you notice reoccuring themes, rhythms... it was wonderful. I hate to use the term "literary" when describing comics, because it insinuates that other comics generally aren't... the old expressio unius exclusio alterius rule applies, and I don't mean to say that.  But something - perhaps the subject matter, perhaps the visual style, perhaps both - makes me put it more with the early twentieth century short story canon writers that with other comics. 

It's late for me, and I feel ill-equipped to delve into trying to explain my reactions to the book at this time (I'll eventually write an Amazon review, or something) but anyone who's a fan of Faulkner or Fitzgerald, pick up this book.  It's beautiful and tragic and you just feel like a better person having read it. 

Anyway, I felt like drawing one of Chris's more physically grounded characters (the designs in this book are just astounding), so here 'tis.

Chris's website is godbuckle.com  and if you want to see how far the medium can be stretched and still prove a rollicking good read, give his work a try.  He's got loads and loads of comics up for folks to read.