Saturday, December 29, 2007


stuff in progress. yeah, its supposed to be low enough light to hide the face. which has been adjusted since last time. zzzzzzzz

Saturday, December 22, 2007


more "loose ends", a b+w page and Rico's roughs. since hes already sketched out a bomb palette the tasks are clear, can avoid being redundant and let the b+w look a lil off with an eye towards a finished page that gels. like the heavy handed feathering on the tum from panel 2 will be knocked out to color, same with some backgrounds. shooting for dusk turning to night over the course of this scene, held off on heavy use of black, set up for Rico to carry the shadows, and then on the next page ill pick em out all inky. have had Bill Waterson on the brain.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

what happened?

heres black and white pages from "loose ends", the first ive worked on in over a year- im happy just to get out alive. still dont know what going on with them, wont figure it out until Rico goes to town. he finishes the page in ways i wouldnt have imagined, better than i imagined, and different (distant) enough that i can see them a little more clearly. whatever accidents (happy or not) i run into on my own, the best ones come from having his sensibility and skill in the mix. its just hard to surprise yourself, you know? things happen out of the blue that seem pre-determined in the rear-view. anyways, blah blah blah, it was fun figuring these pages out, im starting to see where they came from. last month i was at SCAD's Comics Art Forum, the students in Atlanta and Savannah spun me-they were a whole full spectrum of styles. Schweizer, Olu, Cale, Cara, Doug, Hunter (Wook Jin), Justin (links to the right for those ive found) shook up the true north of my compass. they cartoon, their personality comes through. other influences that came out: the attack modes of Eduardo Risso, Alex Toth, and Brian Stelfreeze, who seem to kick ass without breaking a sweat . where i flounder they focus: find the contour line, spot blacks, move on. heh, does that seem super obvious? if so, its been lost on me. i may lose it again. Olivier Coipel, the way he flattens out perspective looks more real than 3 point madness, sometimes its barely there. The Gorillaz. Ed Tadem and Shawn Crystal, comrades who spill blood and still produce, much admiration.

ps ill prolly erase the clouds on page 1, and paste a map in the first panels of page 2.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Emerald City Comicon part 2

I had to take a break from Loose Ends to finish up some stuff for the Emerald City Comicon, I think this image will be used for shirts!

Friday, December 7, 2007

6:42 am

from the book the kids are doing with Jason Latour for 12 Gauge Comics called "Loose Ends", page 1 "pencils" and what a relief. given that its been over a year since id done pages, and ive always been slow, it was a surprise to get this one done in a day with an hour to spare. and it was fun as hell. that said, theres a lot that goes into every page, so maybe i should back up and explain (and not expect it to be this easy with the next 96 pages). thumbnails come first, as doodles on the actual script, then tightened up and resolved at 2 3/4 in x 1 3/4. you can get a LOT in that lil bit of space, and fast. if i dont rush, the final page barely deviates from that first thumb. then i go do homework. let me stress that the reference comes second, otherwise the thumbs start bending towards ref, when it should be the other way around. god bless the internet for streamlining this process, and god bless car enthusiasts for being so....enthused. theres like 50 websites dedicated to this specific 1970 monte carlo, and a rash of videos of the car on youtube. home movies made in the 80's of kids doing peel outs in the parking lot. so that research was pretty thorough, but now its done, for the next 96 pages. other elements were drawn from life, in the way that something randomly clicks and you think "aw, i gotta use that". the shot of the dashboard and rearview mirror came from a photo i took of my woman during a cross country drive (arizona? nevada? dont remember). she has the most amazing eyes, caught them in the rearview along with the idea for panel 2. the soda "mirinda" i know from her too- as much as its a lil shout out to her in this page, its also for storytellin (riiiiight....). when we get to iraq scenes the soda will show up again, with its arabic logo, to show the transition. referencing stuff like that, or the mack truck, or the .45, doesnt take a minute with google. ditto for 3-d models, although you have to settle and fix those a bit. the correct perspective looks right maybe half the time and is worth ignoring. sunglasses? cd's? got that handy in the apt. couldnt have spent more than an hour setting up and drawing the last panel. there's a lot of strands in the old duders head, but the imac has reduced so much effort and desktop clutter. all this ref gets pulled up on screen, itunes gets turned up to 11, and i get to sit with just the paper page and sketch from the ref like life drawin. thumbs keep things on track and alive. oh yeah, no rulers, no templates, and eyeballed perspective (so far), for the love of wonk. hey Rico, you want to explain your colors to us?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hulk like comics

Here's one of the images I worked on for the Emerald City Comicon with Tim Sale.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Shiny Happy Vengence

Chris should probably be telling you about this one since I didn't even work on it! Someone else colored this cover. So yeah, here's a few thumbs and my quick crack a direction I might have tried and finally what was published. Please chime in on your recollections of this Chris!...

chris here, Rico says i can change the color of the type, but i cant figure it out. yeah, this cover was so! much! fun! when i did batman (LOTDK #172-6) it satisfied the jones most people have for that character. unfortunately, the jones was satisfied by page 2, and then there were like 100 more pages to go. but i think i could draw wolverine (as logan, not as an x-man) forever- hes like a real person in my head, where most every other character kind of has to be figured out. (exception would be maybe spider man, but even then id have to figure out peter parker, can never decide on his level of nerdiness). mainstream companies have always resisted the kids as a combo, at the time this cover was done Marvel was all about the Studio Udon look, so i had to fly without Rico and its a damn shame. he came up with a great scheme (dag, the purple sky rules) and wouldve made it pop. Ed Tadem pointed out that the shoulder had some wonk, and not in a good way...... in hindsight he was right. punisher ended up lookin a bit like frankenstein. claws are a bit thin. still, im happy with logans level of RAH!!! allright, back to Rico's part of the post:

As for what I'm up to, I've started work on the Perhapanauts Annual (now published by Image), Emerald City Comicon promotional art with Tim Sale (I'll post that stuff soon), Loose Ends plotting and planning, and gearing up for Christmas (making Christmas cards for my family and a few custom presents). Yup, busy busy!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Web prescence?

When Chris and I first met, it was through mutual friend Joe Tem Seung. As I recall, Chris was looking to have a website put together to sell his published art and maybe take on some commissions. Joe sent him my way, we got on instant messenger, and got to work. We got to know each other pretty well over the next few months and have been pals ever since.

If you'd like to check out that first website, thanks to the magic of web archive, a good bit of it can be seen here . It's amazing how much of this stuff still works on, if there's an old website that you liked that is gone, check it out if you can remember the url! Chris will probably cringe to see a lot of this stuff again, I know I do when I see the design (why does it have Chris' name up there twice like that?!)

Anyway, I had done a couple of other websites at the time. Batgirl Online was a site I used to display my ridiculously huge Batgirl commission collection. I also designed Dave Johnson's first website and I had my Mr T. sketchbook online too. All 4 of these sites were hosted by our buddy Mike Freiheit. Mike had a nice little comic art website empire. I'm babbling, I could talk about these good old days all night. I'll stop now though and share some old images...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

a mile in whose shoes?

Shawn Crystal's ? Rico Renzi's ? anytime. from a bangin short Shawn did with B Clay Moore for the upcoming Hawaiian Dick series, originally printed black and white in Negative Burn. they let me take a crack at the coloring, despite having no experience with other peoples work. psssssh. Shawns one of my favorite cartoonists, even more so than before. it was stunning to discover how well he'd set these up for color, given they look finished without. that bar shot on page 2 took on an incredible amount of depth and dimension as soon as dark blue was thrown in. messing around with that blue's value looked like objects were moving foward and backward in space. heh, maybe thats kind of "dur", but it was trippy. going for that same effect id have drawn out everything, put gobs of shadow everywhere, and asked Rico for all kinds of fades (when he knows better). Shawns work is smart, simple, and effective. POW!
hope everyone had a top turkey day, the kids are thankful that you're here!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

from out the primordial soup

so. in a previous post, arnie commented on how faithful the kids pages are to thumbnails. right on, yes, they are. to Rico's eternal torment. nearly every drawing starts off like this madness up top, every step after is an attempt to clean up without f*ckin up. its pretty strange. you see anything up there in that image? i dunno, not only am i seeing finished pages that dont exist yet, but multiple versions (that will end up trashed). in in this stage, im staring at what must look like gibberish, but bouncing eyeballs like pinballs, looking at doodles in different orders, trying to see what ones pop-off the best chemical reaction. comics are so awesome.
Rico does great things with mood and the dot patterns- somethin you cant doodle. the work is so much better when he colors up the rough before it gets to pencils. steering a drawing towards the best color scheme, thats the glue.
hey, lets meet up here in a bit an see what gets cut and what makes the team.

Monday, November 19, 2007

the super cooper

it turns out there's gonna be a new star trek movie, like a re-casting of kirk and the rest. keeps making me think of this though, favorite trek-cast. oh god, im going to die of nerdiness.
so......where are the new jams? Rico and i have 2 projects on the plate: "loose ends" ready and rarin to go (early out the gate so far), and a second super short one with ink-slinger Mark Irwin. this second one is piping hot with a script due any day now. yep. aaaannnny day now ;p its not present day, and may or may not include some form of martial arts. yeah, its just comics, not national security, but i gotta be somewhat mum. if youre looking for a new art fix, check out some Shawn Crystal (link to the right), his stuff is like Pixar cut with EC Comics. Lush brush-work, 3D in 2D, and the darkness!

ganja babe

youd think a beautiful nekkid lady wrapped in green plants with red hair would be a gimme. sometimes i just dont want to give up the goods like that...........tried to do somethin different, mebbe was a lil too different. for Gotham Central (#32) anyways. really fell in love with the angles and curves, dunno if i lost the plot but i like it. Mark Irwin inked and improved, prolly the only inker who couldve done so; Rico colored and made things sing. as always. dig the fade an hated to lose so much purple.
tonight i went to see my pop referee an ABA game along with my baby brother Alex. the kids a damn prodigy on the court, its sick. besides that though, he did a whole great play-by-play thing, including comments like "thats the worst call dads made all year". turns mean into funny! ah, what can you do, who else has a job so unforgiving with mistakes?
as an aside, pop is a self-described "professional a$$hole": referee, landlord, welfare-case worker. its lucky to be able to draw for loot, he puts in a long day. you know a lot of 50 year-olds who sprint with college kids? thanks pop.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

this aint a game

hey all, hope youre havin an allright saturday night..........turns out im cooped up drawing. this is a most honorable jam, kicked off by Mike Wieringo, and wrapped up by Rico an myself. dont know where to start with Mike, one of the all-time greats ( and this a belated thanks), i assume no stranger to saturday night sessions. his work was the straight essence of american comics though, all the good stuff distilled. R.I.P.
this past weekend i was lucky enough to be invited to the Savannah College of Art and Designs' Comics Art Forum. Mark Shultz, Jill Thompson, Clement Sauve, Bernard Chang, Kaz Strzepek, Heidi Arnhold, Sanford Greene and Jeff Parker were all guests, i got to tag along. each and every one of these folks' impressed and inspired, not nearly as much as the students- yow, they are beasts! Schweizer, Hunter, Justin, Cara, Doug, Dominic, Olu, and, damn, Cale. you all do some amazing, amazing work, can't wait to put down dollars for your books! (full names and links on the way). thanks for reminding me the best is around the corner.
thanks as well to Shawn Crystal, Pat Quinn, Nolan Woodard, Bob Pendarvis, and John Lowe.

also- the manga girls are coming!

new stuff tomorrow, depending on what kinda party my kid brothers throwing tonight.

p.s. for those who attended the panel discussion......Jaime Hernandez and Andrian Tomine did start off self-publishing, aye, they have "real" publishers now...........well...yeah.

Friday, November 16, 2007

back to the future II

ok, so i was trying to find a lead-in to new work, in all it's rough-ness. the first set of thumbnails are from the space kids story in the last few posts, to wrap that stuff up, and also hint at whats around the corner with the other set. theyre from a story jason latour, rico and i are working on called "loose ends". yeah, i went a lil overboard with sherri, the young lady.... please remember i spent the last 2 years drawing basketball players!

back to the future

ps i added the rest of the finished pages to the previous post after these turned up. thumbnails to this and a new story later on tonight.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

the kids get around

No comics yet? Here's some pages i was just revisiting this weekend at the Comics Art Forum at the Savannah College of Art and Design, the black and white versions are in the book "Working Methods" by John Lowe. Just got back from attending SCAD's Comics Art Forum and am all jazzed about comics as a whole- will post more about this soon enough. Comics. Yes.
A big thanks to Rico for keeping the momentum going while i was away, some of the older work is embarassing, but the halloween costume is top. The Renzi's are away on a family trip, so it'll be just me for now.