Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I might be doing a 12-pg piece for Cosmic Times here coming up and just finished my cover for What the Flux comics. I've had a little extra time this week for packing and have also been able to read some comics, specifically event/crossover titles. I got the 1st two graphic novels for Batman: KnightFall and The Death of Superman. and got to read the image miniseries Fight for Tomorrow. As well as finish what I had of Elementals vol. 1 and a few scattered issues into volumes 2 and 3.
Elementals was great up until the final last few issues, that their creator/artist Bill Wilmingham had nothing to do with and according the The Elemntals Wiki page dropped off of comico's map for a while. He apparently supervised vol. 2 and I have a few good issues from it that he even came back to draw. Towards the end of vol. 1 you could tell it was beginning to get into the 90's market, variant covers, specials, spin-off titles that never got past the 1st issue. By the time vol. 3 rolls around that's all it is, and the only reason worth reading the issues are some of the writing, which is still interesting as it starts to break all the rules the 1st volume set and expand the world. Though there are various obvious marvel/dc rips and rip-offs as well as fill in stories that are self contained and irrelevant. They even did Sex-specials - originally saying it would further explore their characters, then moved onto swimsuit and lingere specials where it became increasingly aparent they were looking to turn a buck and capitalie on all the horny teenagers using their parents money to buy comics - just like the other comics at that time.

Willmingham was a good storyteller, not a great artists, but i got used to it, a very non-pc writer but he was fairly good at pacing and plotting and kept it interesting.
Knightfall and Death of Superman are similarly great for those reasons, pacing and plotting. Thank you Louise Simonson and Chuck Dixon. They are essentially the same story:
Act 1) hero gets injured
Act 2) new heroes step up,
Act 3) old hero returns and must fight to reclaim his mantle.
But they are done very differently and both explore, fairly deeply, the philosophy of the main character - through the viewpoints of the secondary characters, since the hero isn't there to do any of the things they are talking about. I also got Kelley Jones' Deadman, which is among my favourite of his work. And there is experimentation at every turn, some things working amazingly, others not. Even to the point he uses his fingerprints to put down the ink. I'm also intrigued by the plot for the story as I don't know much about his character.

I have been working on finalizing a script for a graphic novel with James that I will pencil and he will ink while im down that way. During which time we will finish plotting and writing the scripts for the rest of Maelstrom. I'm hoping to get A project done, period, with him so we have something to show for our work and as we have played off of before we are trying to mix our styles. In the upcoming series I may just let him pencil and ink himself for the flashback sequences, or something - like marvel has been doing with JRJR and Joe Kubert on X-men.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The final cover/frontier

got to do a comission for my friend's girl friend. Charcoal, 18x24.

here's the original inks, used some quill, some tech pens and sharpie.

here's the inks with some textures from a few posts ago, and some more blacks digitally filled in (sorry still has the glow form the coloring layer on the candles.)

here's an alternate colored version, i wasn't satisfied with it (the real one) the night of but woke up the next morning and gave it another look and saw it was fine. it will be my final cover for pendant audio as i move on to even more ever more time consuming projects.
below is the final version.

Star Trek: Defiant, Ep. 39 by ~xaqBazit on deviantART
just finished my last page for the 8 pg pencil/ink project i found through digital webbing, some of my best work yet. cant say much till it gets published but i learned a lot doing them.
also just finished my cover for what the flux comics, still needs colors but it rocks already.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Got back from my first comic-con last week and took my portfolio around to show. went to see some of my favourite artists and came out getting to know some new ones.
People I knew going in:
Dick Giordano - was very hard of hearing but also one of the nicest guys in the business. He liked my work and said it was hard to break in, and pointed out the gun in the second to last panel of pg. 2 in my Hickok stork and said "that's not a gun, that's a lolly pop" him and his wife were selling art and he has just taken an assistant.
Chuck Dixon, Darwyn Cooke, Tony Bedard, and Jimmy Palmiotti were all nice and did a panel on writing "tough guys." Which was good and different than you might think these guys would think about their characters. That night I got to hang out with most all of them including Alvin Lee at the hotel bar and talk about all sorts of stuff.
Never found Tim Townsend - but he's cool too and it would have been great to see some of his stuff up close.
Jimmy Cheung - said he didn't really look at portfolio's and was working on a commission all day long that was amazing. I talked to him about his style as I loved it and thought it was a great mix of manga and american styles, he commented and continued to work diligently. He was nice, but said it took him a long time to do his pages and that he thought he was slow.

People I didn't:
Pat Broderick - a very nice artists who's worked for marvel in the 90's doing spider-man and Doom 2099, he now is a teacher at the International Institute of art and design. He mentioned having a foot in every door, as he moved to doing storyboards when comics started to take their flop in the mid/late 90's. Thought I might do well doing a few war story samples to mix reference with my action/storytelling.
Morry Hollowell - colorist for the Oldman Logan and much of Steve Mcniven's stuff. talked about his process and his relationship with mcniven through the years as he wrapped up the final book for the Old man Logan series.
Drew Geraci - who has inked who has inked over mcniven and had some pages by Rags Morales I really wanted, was cool. He thought my inking was slop and compared to his it was. he showed me how well he could ink a circle w/o a template and fake straight lines, said it was all practice and you could tell he had.
Casey Jones - worked on spider-man and various x-character books had a lot of good feedback. Recomended a few books that helped him understand hands, as i mentioned i needed help simplifying them. He draws panels seperate then shrinks/blows them up to fit the page. He flips and worked on the back like Clement demoed at scad a few years ago and uses sketchup to comp the tech in, then inks everything together to make it all work as one. I had a page from a writer with over 9 panels and it was hard to read, he said "it might be their fault to give you this many but its still your job to make it work, and your fault if it doesen't." he talked about anatormy being a composition of softly curning lines intersecting, but where they intersect makes all the difference, and spoke about the rhythm of those lines with one another. he drew great simple hands. He was big on leaving space above the character's heads to fit dialog and that the panel size should match the action and said i had a lot of wasted space in my new pages, though they were spaced that way (not above the character's heads) for where i intended the dialog. Him and Synott probably looked at my work and gave me feedback individually for probably a good 20-30 mins each.
Alex Saviuk - has drawn for the daily spiderman comic for the newspaper for a while now with joe sinott. Some times one inks the other pencils, vice versa or both. A friend of mine made the mistake of calling him "oldschool" which he didn't like, but he knew his stuff and used tracing paper i brought to show me how he would have done things differently. Like lyle, he liked my pieces but said the bodies weren't working as a whole. And one of the best pieces of advice he gave was to start your portfolio with your tightest work, I started mine with my newest stuff, though not as tight, he explained why and it made since. He also talked about how to make hands/bodies more feminine (much of what lyle told me too) and little things you can do to sell the likeness of an object to the viewer. he mentioned a few books and was very nice. Seeing his art at (that is still done 2 fold bigger than it would be printed in comics, and even bigger than that if printed in a newspaper) made me want to work that size.
Mike Perkins - pencils and inks himself, using some reference but pencils very loosely before just laying figuring it out in ink, though you'd never know. He is awesome with a brush and said he usually takes 2 weeks to pencil and 3 to ink a book but is on a schedule where he can do that.
Sergio cariello - like, Mike, Sergio inks himself and used to teach at the Kubert school, his work in some cases is very reminiscent of joe's work. But he was probably the most inspirational, and both him and Perkins talked about inking the pages together so they have a since of unity and finishing the whole book in stages of completion so you don't completely finish 15 pages and have stick figures on the last 7-9.
Everyone (who worked there) talked about working at crossgen, most of them had, and said it was great. studio setup everyone saw each others work and it drove them to do better, they got health insurance and between all the guys had a massive reference library.
I also got to see some of Linel yu's rough pages on 8 1/2x11 that his rep was showing Billy Tan.
On my end:
I got lots of good feedback and met editors from several small companies who all gave me nods on my work and I even ended up doing a small amount of inking over one of the artists there which lead to a job. So I will be starting with What the Flux comics when I get back into town.
Met a new friend named Larry who's art can be found on his blog, he's working on a book for top shelf.