Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wolverine Commission

Just finished a Wolverine commission I'd been sitting on for months. I just couldn't think of any image of Wolverine that hadn't been done before a million times. Then I thought it would be cool to have a cross section of Wolverine with little diagram bubbles to explain what was what under his skin -- and then by the time I inked it I dropped the diagram bubbles because they seemed redundant and I thought it would be more interesting if in the 'reality' of the piece Wolverine was posing with his skin cut open for the picture -- and then healed up a few minutes later. That sounds really strange as I type that out...oh well -- that's my thought process for better or worse!

Incidentally, this piece was for Brett of good ol' Top Shelf -- and he has a great blog here -- this week he posted some photos of sketchbook drawings I did at some conventions over the summer as well as a bunch of killer sketches from Jeff Lemire.

The three images are the thumbnail (drawn in bed the morning I thought of the idea), the pencils and the finished color/inks.

I've finished catching up on all my commissions and the last of my freelance jobs for quite a while (a children's book -- 30 pages of full color art) which has slowed me down on Giant Man and my other books. So now it's full steam ahead on graphic novels for the next 3 months.

I'm designing the cover for my Dark Horse book this month so I'll post the thumbnails and art as I go.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lost Dossiers

Well, I'm nearing completion on 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man -- and also 20 pages into pencils on another soon-to-be-announced book for a major publisher. I'm waiting on the official word to announce it though and I'm dying to! But until then -- it turns out as busy as I am on these books, the first book to arrive in 2009 will probably be Super Spy: The Lost Dossiers -- it's a few of the short stories that I didn't include in the Super Spy book for various reason -- mostly because they didn't fit the flow of the book and had characters that only appeared one time -- and Super Spy had enough characters floating around in it that I thought taking these out would tighten everything up.

Anyway, those stories are in here but then about 70% of the rest of the book is the Super Spy Treasure Box story -- which I sold as a box set at conventions last year. It took too much time to assemble those but now they're in a book -- for the reader to (hopefully) assemble.

Also there's the pop-gun with directions and a story include as well as a small section of my personal sketchbook that I kept while making Super Spy...and finally -- a section of page by page and panel by panel annotations for Super Spy. I've had this book done for a while but I nearly forgot about it and it had to wait its turn in Top Shelfs publishing queue.

Hopefully another big announcement soon and some art that I can post on what I'm working on now. In the meantime, here's the cover to The Lost Dossiers...

Monday, October 13, 2008

That Man is Giant!

I'm about two weeks away from finishing the inks on "3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man" and I did a few sample color tests to work out some of the details. The book is broken down into three eras -- 40s, 50s and 60s so the color will be slightly different for each section. These images are the first pages from each of the three sections. It's been fun to get back into inking. I remember last summer after I finished Super Spy I thought I'd never want to ink another page in my life because I was so burned out. Well, it's fun again. I just needed a little break....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back from Baltimore...

The Baltimore Con was a really good show! Seemed about twice as big as last year -- very well attended. I didn't have any cyanide mints left to sell or prints so I just brought original art and did commissions non-stop for 2 days. I say by Jeff Lemire and the time flew by. I stayed with Jose Villarrubia who has got to be one of the nicest and most knowledgeable guys in comics. Back to work on my Giant Man inks this week. In the meantime I took a few blurry photos of some of the commissions I did in Baltimore. I had some fun requests this time. Also -- a photo of fellow Top Shelf compatriot -- Andy Runton (Owly)-- who was busy until the very last minute of the show on convention sketches -- they started breaking down the tables and took his table away so he was drawing on his lap, trying to get that last commission done!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baltimore Con!

I forgot to mention in the last post that I'll be at the Baltimore Comic Con this Saturday and Sunday, September 27 and 28. If you're in the area it's a fun show and definitely worth checking out! Here's a link to the website:


I went last year and had a really good time -- and I'm really excited to see Baltimore this year after having watched all 5 seasons of The Wire -- I really want to take a "Wire" walking tour but I doubt they offer one. We'll see!

More Commissions and 3 New Books!

Well, it's been a while but I'm trying to adjust to my new schedule of doing comics full time! Which is really exciting but I had a TON of extraneous freelance jobs I had to wrap up so I could get going on comics -- which left no time for blogs or email answering. Anyway, now I'm free -- I've finished the scripts and layouts for two new graphic novels -- Giant Man for Dark Horse and another Super Secret 176 page graphic novel that a Different Publisher won't let me announce yet -- which is driving me crazy to keep secret but I don't want to mess up the marketing, etc. so I'll keep my mouth shut until I'm told to open it. But I'm writing and drawing both of these books. ALSO I'm going to finish up the script for the follow up to Super Spy -- "Super Natural" by the end of the year so I should have that finished for 2009 (from Top Shelf) as well.

That's my work update -- I'm inking Giant Man now and I'm averaging about 4 pages of inked pages a day so I should be done in 4-6 more weeks.

In the meantime -- here are some images from some commissions I did at San Diego Con this summer. San Diego was a blast -- had dinner with editors and writers I've always wanted to meet and talked to TONS of people and did lots of drawings. I'll post more of those in the next few weeks until I have some more finished Giant Man art to preview.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I know it's been a while since my last post. I'm literally in the middle of penciling "3 Story: The Secret History of Giant Man" right now. I have about 100 pages of the 200 pages penciled and should be done next month some time. In the meantime, I got a few more commissions -- this one is for someone at MoCCA! MoCCA is this weekend so if you're going, stop by and say 'hi'! I've got my own table on the first floor by the windows near Christine Norrie and crew.

Anyway, Zatanna -- always liked her but never realized how hard it is to draw her without making her look like a total tramp. Well, I tried not too. I also wanted to have a her saying a spell without using a word balloon so I used the background poster to make it look like she sort of has dialogue. Also -- the story is that she's being attacked by the demon in an alley -- the same demon that was supposed to appear in her show (advertised on the poster behind her). Not sure if that comes across, but that's what I was thinking.

Also -- the penciled Zatanna is my preliminary drawing -- which I accidentally started doodling on the back of so some weird brushstrokes bled through...sorry!

That's it this week! I'll post some penciled pages of the Giant Man story soon....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gay Interest

I know it's been a while since my last post -- I just finished 32 pages of a comic art for a kids book that I'll announce later this summer closer to the time of it's release. But it took up all of March and some of April. But I'm back on track. I finished the script for my Dark Horse book "Giant Man" and it's been approved by the editor so I'm starting on pencils for that this week. But in the meantime, I had two really fun commissions this month that I squeezed in, in time to take to the Emerald City Con in Seattle this weekend. Princess Bride -- this was a pretty open request for anything Princess Bride so I did my favorite scene -- probably one of the best sword fight scenes ever. And what is now probably my favorite Justice League cover ever -- I hadn't seen it before this commission request and now I just love it. Batman and Superman holding hands AND the Justice Society. Doesn't get any better!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spider-Man Annual!

The last post was super dry and black and white, so here's a recent commission I did (actually last month). A Spider-Man annual homage and the hardest commission yet only because there were so many freaking characters. A couple firsts though -- never drawn Mysterio or Sandman or Elektro before so kinda fun.

Giant Man Script

I'm working on two graphic novels simultaneously so I'll be switching posts back and forth -- from Super Natural (for Top Shelf) to Giant Man (for Dark Horse). This week I finally finished the script and thumbnails for the entire book -- it clocked in at around 160 pages not including a section of annotations at the end written in the voice of one of the characters. I'm posting the thumbnails for the first nine pages and the working script below. Usually the script is hand-written as well -- and usually I only write dialogue if there is any, but in this case, working with my favorite Dark Horse editor ever, I wanted to make sure everything was clear and easy to understand so I fleshed out and detailed the script a little more than normal. Working for Top Shelf, I usually just pencil everything and send them the scans to look over and in the case of Super Spy, I just finished the whole thing and then they proofed it. But, with a new editor and publisher I was a little nervous and didn't want to take any chances. Once the book is finished, I'll post the entire thing but for now I don't want to blow any of the plot turns, etc.

Here's the script:

Three Story: The History of the Giant Man

Working Script, March 2008

Page 1
Marge is old, staring at flowered wallpaper and last panel is of fingers playing trumpet.

Marge VO: The Louis Armstrong song on the radio starts to bring it all back and for a minute or a second, helps to dull the pain.

He loved Louis. I didn’t care for him but I could see why Craig did – something rough and kind about him all at the same time.

Page 2
Young Marge and Craig embrace – his face is dark and then comes into focus – they speak but the words are fuzzy from memory

Marge VO:Funny now how I can’t imagine his face exactly. And his voice – I can remember the rhythm of it but not HIS voice. More just the things he said.

Page 3
1. Marge’s feet in kitchen
2. Marge walking to kitchen table
3. Marge sitting at kitchen table

Page 4
1. Close up of Craig’s army trunk
2. Empty living room with glass trinkets on shelves.
3. Marge in kitchen alone with letter on table.

Page 5
1. Craig proposing to Marge.
2. Embracing.
3. Closeup of black and white photo.
4. Long shot of wedding black and white photo.

Marge VO: I try to think -- no -- try not to. I wasn’t here just to bring Craig Jr. into the world. But who would know? There’s nothing left of me or him. Not really.

Page 6
Marge VO: A dozen roses. He sent them from who-know-where in France. Amazing to me really how a world away – he could do that. It almost seemed like magic.
1. Roses on kitchen counter.
2. Craig in burned out WW2 city.
3. Craig walking through burned out city.

Page 7
1. Door inside burned out building.
2. Craig kicking door in
3. Craig getting shot at by hiding german soldier
4. Craig shooting the german soldier
5. Walking up stairs of building.
6. Walking up to roof of building

Page 8
1. Roof of building
2. Craig and Other Guy walking onto roof
3. Craig and Other Guy looking around for more soldiers and sniper

Page 9
1. Other Guy in foreground – Craig behind yells “sniper!”
2. Other Guy: Where? Craig: There!
3. Bullet plunks off of Other Guy’s helmet
4. Craig takes a shot at the sniper

Saturday, March 1, 2008

How to Make Comics Video

I did this video over a year ago as an aid in teaching a "how-to" class on making comics. I'd forgotten that I posted it so here's a link if you haven't seen it yet. The panel I was working on was panel 1 page 135 from Super Spy.

It starts out with rough thumbnails, then pencils, then tightening the pencils and then inking and finally the orange is a colored india ink that I used to add the tint to most of the pages in Super Spy. It was bright orange so I could easily select it and separate it in photoshop and change the color (to fit the location that the story took place).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Comics = Work?

Well, this is the first year of working in comics since 2000 that I'm actually doing more comics then any other kind of work (freelance design, illustration, etc.). And it's fun. If you do anything long enough it starts to seem like work but so far I can't seem to work enough. Can't remember if I posted this yet or not but I just signed a contract with Dark Horse to publish my next graphic novel "3 Story: The History of the Giant Man" which is all about a guy that keeps growing and growing until he's three stories tall. It's told from the point of view of his mom, wife and then daughter and spans the 1940 through the 60s. I'll post some art and preliminary sketches when I get a chance.

Also I'm busy finishing the writing on my next graphic novel for Top Shelf -- official title now IS "Super Natural". I posted some preliminary sketches earlier but I've changed a few things and finished the first 12 pages or so of the art. Full color, etc. Haven't done any of the lettering yet but here's some of the raw art so far. Houdini under water!

And just realized that I need to have about 500 pages of comic art done by December of this year. I'll probably be panicking by October but right now I can't wait to get everything going.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Adventure! Intrigue! Nathan Fillion!

My friend Brian and I are working on a new untitled project in our spare time. It's a straight-forward (kind of) adventure strip. We're plotting it together and I'm scripting, then he pencils and inks it and I water color it and we're done. Here are a couple art samples that we did to hone in on the style and look of the series. Should be fun -- and kind of a bonus book that we will eventually finish between our other big projects.

Also, last week I went to the FX show in Florida. It was a blast. The most fun convention I've been to this year and the nicest people running it. It was also very surreal -- our hotel room was right next to Adam West (who ate dinner in the same restaurant as us). We shared the shuttle to the convention with a bunch of different celebrities: a woman from Law & Order who I didn't know, The Soup Nazi, etc. Also met Nathan Fillion who was super-nice and very tall.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cary Grant

Christmas is over and I'm not sick anymore -- and believe it or not I've been working on a LOT of stuff but haven't had time to scan anything in and pull it together for the blog. I'm thick in the writing of my next book (tentatively titled 'Super Natural') so I'm writing and doing a lot of research since I'm using real people from history (Harry Houdini, Amelia Earhart and Morgan Earp) so it's taking a while but I've got the first 20 pages written and laid out. I'll start posting that process once I get a little more done. In the meantime, here's a drawing I did of Cary Grant using some new colored inks I got over the summer.