Friday, April 10, 2009

Drawing on the Beast Inside

There should be more comic books about big guys like this guy. A guy who stands up to the villains of the world who believe they're better than everyone else. A man of action, quietly waiting for a chance to abolish the world of the oppression.

Those in power will push their position to the fullest if the people let them. That's why we have to remember that democracy rules, and we have to make sure the people regain full control before it's too late...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back to Life, Back to Reality...

Awright, I'm back and slacking as ever. I've been working on some Project: Camelot pages, and have been in discussion with the series writer, Travis Legge, about some new things that we want to do with the sci-fi/action comic with lots of personality. I don't want to reveal what they are right now (of course), but I just want to say that I'm excited about the changes looming on the horizon, and hopefully they will come to fruition soon enough.

I believe my last post was about the Any Fest being a couple days away, and that tells you how long it's been since my last post (JUNE!) so hopefully I can get back on track now. My wife and I, having the daunting task of raising a wily 6-year old and a cute but mischievous 1.5-year old, have decided to perhaps take on the task of being 3rd-time parents. No, I'm not on drugs, I'm just mentally retarded. For my kids, that is. I love being a daddy, and my wife has always wanted 3 kids, so I finally caved. Maybe that won't impact my drawing and website stuff (lol!)

So, now what? Well, I'll post a new page, that's what! Today's page is the art from page 10 of Project: Camelot #1. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008, The GhoulTones Demand Attention

For weeks now, I've taken a break from drawing. Yes, I know I do this occasionally, but there is a reason, I swear! Don't hurt me, I promise to pick back up soon.

Anyway, as mentioned in my previous post, I've started up a new website devoted to showing classic cartoons. The post turned out to sound more like an advertisement than I realized, but hey, I was excited, what can I say? I've been adding loads and loads and loads of new Looney Tunes, some Tom and Jerry (the human series), and Woody Woodpecker cartoons.

And then there's The GhoulTones. A couple of weeks ago, an old band mate of mine passed away, and at his funeral, I met up with all of the members from my old punk/ska band, and they asked me to play a benefit show for his wife and children.

Not that I don't totally dig getting together and playing drums in a band again for the first time in 7 years, but it takes some time to adjust to everything...playing again, renewing old friendships, finding a seems to take a lot more effort than it used to.

At least I can't say I don't have enough to do. :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Watch Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, and More Cartoons Online Free!

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So, what are you waiting for? There's no reason to say no. It's fun, there's no setup, and it's free! Check it out!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Drawing Project:Camelot Page 9

This comic book page from Project: Camelot #1 is supposed to show Jackson Vogel in his civilian role. The script called for a sexy, seductive blond being told about Al-Quaeda having giant killer robots...and believing it! Pretty funny, probably one of my favorite pages so far...of course, I haven't gotten into drawing the armored team yet, either... :D

I've been trying to find more time to draw, and that's been nigh impossible, so I've come up with a new plan: lose the sleep! So, the last few days, I've been doing without a full night's sleep so that I can have a chance to draw. Plus, it's the weekend, so that helps. A little.

Besides helping my wife study for nursing, there haven't been any drunks in the yard, so this weekend seems to be going pretty smoothly. I've been kind of scouring the planet for a Wii, but that seems as nigh impossible as finding time to draw. :D So, I guess I'll have to keep spending my time trying to FIND time to draw...and make drawing videos.

Dang, my life is boring...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Camelot on Fire, and A Drunkard in Trouble!

I've not had much time to draw the last week, because my Daughter was on spring break, and we had a busy week.

I did manage to finish the newest page finally, after many labored hours of swatting away kids, and trying to blare music in my ears to drown them out! (not really, I love my kids to death, but they are loud beings when you're trying to concentrate! :)

I also had a drunk guy trying to break into my house and both my cars today while yelling "help me! help me!" and when we called 911, they transfered us around, and didn't send anybody out even though they had our name and address (!!!) So much for that lovely service. I asked the guy if there was anything I could help him with, and he stumbled off in the other direction. I think if I had my gun handy, I probably would have fired it into the air to see how fast he could run drunk. Talk about an eventful weekend! Sheesh! I'd rather be left alone, thanks!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

ComicStalk Comic Book Forum, and "The Dark Knight" 6 1/2 Minute Video!

Something that I have been working on is the Comicstalk Comic Book Forum. It is functional after a MAJOR overhaul, and there are some cool things already happening there, like a 6 1/2 minute video of footage from the upcoming film, "The Dark Knight."

Registration is required to view the link, but it's free, and it's definitely worth it! Check it out, because it shows Heath Ledger as the Joker, which is cool in itself!

Project: Camelot Coming Along

It seems like even though I get time to do some drawing, I never actually complete what I want to. I managed to finish pages 4 and 5 of Project: Camelot #1, but I am really looking forward to getting this puppy finished, so I can see the final bad-to-the-bone product.

I'm digging the story that Travis Legge has put together, so that makes it that much cooler to work on. It's different from anything I've ever worked on, but I have to say that I feel really comfortable with the pages, and that's something that almost never happens with me!

I almost never feel satisfied after finishing a page, except maybe for some of my "3 Witches" pages, so I think this is a step in the right direction.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Project: Camelot, Page 3

After jumping around from project to project for a while, I finally finished up the newest page for my comic project, Project: Camelot, written by the talented Travis Legge.

The Saveria speed painting is still being discussed on Youtube, at: (see my previous post), so check it out and join the discussion. I'm sure you'll find some "colorful" comments there, to say the least. ;)

I'm hoping to get more P:C pages finished soon, but I'm also working on a fantasy painting I've been working on since January on the side. Ahhhh, so much time, so little to do...wait, or is it the other way around?! *Sigh*


Friday, March 7, 2008

Painting of a 10-Year-Old Pop Singer

This is a digital painting in tribute to the talent of Saveria, an emerging 10-Year-Old pop star from Canada. It is set to her upcoming single, "Unwillingly." Saveria can be seen on national television commercials for the Mini Pop Kids CD's, and sang the US and Canadadian national anthems for the Toronto Blue Jays.

I have to say this one was met with some extreme different views on Youtube. Some thought it was too "girly" and made some crappy comments about it. Two people even went to try and make bigoted remarks. But, I believe it is they who are girly-men 0.o hmmmm. I think it was they who tried to sniff one of their kind out. It is they who wear the little girly perfumes and put on lipstick in the mirror while singing Alanis Morissette to themselves. o.0

Then, there were the cool ones who just...kept quiet and didn't say a word! Then, there were the extra heavy metal cool ones who posted nice comments, and gave compliments on the vid. Applause, my friends. The girly men were taken by supreeze. :D

Obviously, I've been sleep deprived the last couple of days, partly because I've been putting this together. So now I must get some rest.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Magic of Coloring Comics

MORE Comic Book Coloring Fun

So, here's the latest from 3 Witches. A while ago, I wasn't sure if I would even continue with 3 Witches, because of its cartoony look, and because it seems like everyone is doing something a little more...mature, I guess you could say. But, it seems like every time I start something else, I keep coming back to it.

Anyway, these are the last 3 pages of the first story, where they all basically get sucked into the wormhole, and begin to swap places.

You can also find more 3 Witches at . Read and enjoy!


Friday, February 15, 2008

Coloring With Tentacles

Tentacles. I need tentacles. Eight, to be exact. If I had tentacles, I'd get stuff done. Believe me, that's a fact.

Switching gears a little this week, I've been working on coloring 3 Witches pages. They're a bit rushed (I've been doing 2 a day when I've been off work), but I'm pretty satisfied with the results so far. I'm hoping to post a comic book coloring tutorial or video soon, so keep checking my blog for details. :)

The pages shown here are from my website, It sets up the story for the 3 Witches' counterparts in the "normal" world, in the city of Richville. Later, they swap places, with the 3 Witches ending up here, and Sally, Jane, and Frances being teleported to Witchville, the 3 Witches' home. The comics will primarily be focused in Richville, with the 3 Witches having to adjust to a really f****d up world that has to rely on things other than magic. I may do a story on the richie girls in the future, one never knows.

Betsy, Tartella, and Gruel are loads of fun to draw, but these girls are almost as fun, so I'm hoping to leave room to tell a story or two about them.

If you have a blog, feel free to post these images and help me promote my comics, and my new online flash comic viewer, Comicvision.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Legends Comics on Comicvision

I think that if I can get the word out, Comicvision will grow into something cool and usable. Legends #1 has been converted. If you want to help spread the word, help me out by following this link, copy the source code, and paste it on your blog or website. I think Comicvision has a lot of potential, so help spread the word! :)

Put Legends Comics on Your Website

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Faster Than the Speed of Graphite :D

From the outset of the pencil on its journey to the bottom of the page, I propped the drawing up on my lap and let it scream! EEEEEEEEeeeeeee! My hand was on fire, and nothing was going to slow it down! Raw, cutting energy unleashed upon the page. Flames erupted as abrasive friction fueled the pressing matters of creative supernovas forming in the mind. It all exploded like the birth of a star, meeting the all-encompassing life of the evolving planet. Then, it was finished, abrupt. Now it exists.

(in other words, I actually had an hour of free time, and kicked butt until I was finished with the rough pencils for my new page... :)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Self-Publishing and All the Crazy Stuff That Goes With It...

The past couple weeks, I've been trying to get back in the swing of things with Project: Camelot, the comic book I am currently doing the art for. The premise is pretty simple, but effective-the government brings together some of the best soldiers from different branches of the military to form a top-notch team for fighting terrorism. Named after different knights from Arthurian legend, they are each fitted with their own high-tech, battle-blazing armor, armed to the teeth with sophisticated weaponry, sensors, and communications technology. Pretty cool, huh? The story is by writer Travis Legge, who has other projects in the works, as well.

The plan is to release the story in graphic novel format, but it will be roughly 110 pages so don't look for it on the bookshelves for a while. It's slavery, I tell you. They don't let me stop until my eyes have swollen shut from punching myself to stay awake at night. :D

There is always the option of letting a third party publish the book, but unless it's Image, or fairly notorious company, I am wary of any deal that might be struck. The reason is this: when you publish your comic book and present it to Diamond, they are given 35% off the cover price. Usually, a comic book company will want a cut from the profits. We will use a 40% discount as an example. Say the cover price is $9.95, and Diamond gets the first $3.48, leaving $6.47. We'll set the printing costs a little high, at $4.27, leaving $2.20. Comic book company gets the next $.88, leaving you with $1.32. Selling 1,000 copies leaves you with $1,320 or $2,200. If you were lucky enough to sell 10,000 copies, you would get $13,320 through comic book company, or $22,000 on your own.

Just starting out, though, it may benefit you to have the publicity a comic book company would bring along with it. That may be worth the 40%, depending on the amount of publicity one receives from the company. Just food for thought...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Now on Comicvision....

For a very long time, I have wanted to find a way to show my comics in a single browser, with downloadable modules containing individual issues. So, I finally got up the willpower to sit down and write the program. I am not a programmer, but I have been tinkering with flash for a few years, so I chose to do it in flash. Instead of downloadable modules, I created it so that every page is downloadable. This way, it is all contained in a single panel, with no files on your hard drive that you have to search for, etc. I believe the big plus is that you can copy and paste the code to your website, blog, or Myspace page, like an embeddable Youtube player for comics. That makes it even cooler! :D

Online Comics at

Source Code:

<object width="558" height="480"
<param name="movie" value="
<br><a href="">Online Comics at</a>

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Adobe Photoshop Textures and Effects Video Tutorial 1 - Parchment

A few years ago, I experimented with Photoshop to try and make something look like an old piece of parchment for a website I was working on for my online comic books. Recently, I started a new site for my online comics, and finally found a solution. I created an Adobe Photoshop video tutorial showing how I made the parchment effects on my website. The website will be up soon, so check back to see it in action. It's at: Check out the video and let me know what you think!

View this video on MySpace, Metacafe, Google, Revver, DailyMotion and Veoh

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Youtube Vids: Viral, or Just Sick?

In doing my artwork and posting videos on Youtube and other video sites, I've been trying to find out a little bit about getting seen, and from what I've seen, it's a pretty methodical process to actually make a video go "viral."

I haven't actually experimented with most of the practices because they aren't all ethical, but some of the websites that I've come across actually presented some very good information. I decided to list a few of the more helpful hints on getting more views on Youtube. So, here they are:

1. Blogs - *ahem* I don't know what you're talking about. No, not just this kind of blogging. I like to find other blogs with similar content as mine, and post a relevant reply to the post. This creates an instant link to your blog (or website, Youtube channel, etc.) One website suggested that you pay others to post blogs linking to your video. I find this practice a little...questionable, at best.

2. Forums - Why not? I have accounts at several forums, and I've used them as well as I know how. Some other users can be very critical of what you're posting, but if your content is strong enough, other users will defend you outright. Plus, controversy around your ideas are not a bad thing, you know.

One example of controversy I have in mind was a person who posted my video in their blog, and explained that I spent 9 hours on the Dumbledore painting that I did. For one, this sparked a lot of interest around the fact that I liked Harry Potter enough to spend 9 hours on a painting of one of the characters. BUT, the first comment on the post was completely negative, saying my version looked more like Gandalf than Dumbledore. Other readers then came to my defense. Also, they spent several posts debating what scene I was trying to represent in the painting. The fact is that I was actually only loosely depicting the escape scene in Dumbledore's office. The point is the fact that the more you can generate discussion around your work, the better. Some people will like your work, and some will not. If you have something that's worth discussing, that makes your work stand out to the readers (0r viewers), and it just might generate some interest in what you're doing. :)

3. Social Networking (Myspace, Facebook, etc.) - This one works, but it requires a lot of "legwork." Since I have been trying to promote my videos, I have been trying to beef up my friends lists, and posting bulletins with links to my vids in them. So far, it seems to be somewhat effective, I haven't been able to track links from my bulletins, so not too sure. But, theoretically, this should work well.

You also have the ability to directly post videos to others' comments, though you may want to use caution in doing this, because some people don't like the fact that videos or large graphics can mess with the layout of Myspace pages. So, use your own judgment here.

4. Email Lists - Hmmm, yeah. This one I can see working out okay, only if you have permission to email your recipients. I personally use #5.

5. Youtube Friends and Subscribers - I'm finding out that subscribers are important, but there are other strategies to working the Youtube system. One thing that works sometimes and sometimes not is adding other people as friends, like on Myspace. I have to say that it is much harder to get a Youtube user to befriend you than it is to add people on Myspace. Youtube sends your new friend an email that says that you want to be able to share private videos with them. To a lot of people, this sounds like an indecent proposal, but we're only using it for the forces of good! :)

I've found that one thing you want to do before you ask someone to be your friend is drop them a line. You don't always have to be on their friends list to post a comment to their channel, like on Myspace, so I always leave a short message to say "Hi," or to comment on one of their videos. This sort of lets them know you're not trying to send them 30 porn links without even a kiss.


The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos
TUTORIAL - How To Get MORE VIEWS on YouTube videos.. REALLY!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It Is My Lifelong Ambition...

It is my lifelong ambition to put Richard Simmons in a headlock and ram his head into a wall repeatedly. It is my lifelong ambition to be able to draw and paint whilst I sleep. It is my lifelong ambition to quit my job and bum off of everyone else's tax dollars to buy beer and crack. (Okay, that one's not true.) It is my lifelong ambition to visit Scotland, Wales, England, and maybe Germany, and take a tour of all of the castles there. It is my lifelong ambition to don a unitard, grow my hair long and curly, and sing (or play drums) in a hair metal band. It is my lifelong ambition to be able to support my family from doing my artwork.

I just thought I would post some of my lifelong ambitions. Now, I want to hear yours. Post a comment with your lifelong ambitions, no matter how small or astronomical. C'mon, it's just for fun!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

"Ghostly Choir"

Last night, I had the chance to do a little painting, and I decided to do what the name actually says: a speed painting. The term has come to mean a video of a digital painting in progress but at a higher speed, but I wanted to try my hand at an actual digital painting done within an hour. I had some trouble with my computer lagging behind massively, even in 300dpi, but I actually did complete it in about an hour.

View this video on YouTube, Metacafe, Revver, DailyMotion,, Veoh and Stupid Videos


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dumbledore Speed Painting

View this video on YouTube, Metacafe, Google, DailyMotion,, Veoh and Stupid Videos

This is my newest digital painting, entitled "Flames of Redemption." For those who are not Harry Potter inclined, it is based on the headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Professor Dumbledore. The original was done in about 9 and 1/2 hours in Adobe Photoshop. Now watch it and like it, filthy muggles!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Adobe Photoshop Tutorial - Working With Selections and Quick Mask Mode

By J.T. Blevins

One great feature of Adobe Photoshop is "quick mask" mode. Usually, to avoid painting over different elements of my work, I think of using the lasso tool to make selections of the areas I want to keep my color inside. BUT, there is an alternative, and one with much more flexibility.

In Fig. 1, the picture shows two buttons, located at the bottom of the tool window, just underneath the color selector boxes. These buttons are "Edit in Standard Mode (Q)" and "Edit in Quick Mask Mode (Q)."



We'll begin with a quick sketch, and enter Quick Mask mode. This mode enables the artist to use any brush to create selections in a new creative way. By drawing in this mode, you are creating a selection area to work with in Standard Mode. The translucent red area of your selection is the area that will NOT be included in the selection.
Experiment with different brushes. Try varying opacity, brush size, shape and behavior. You'll be surprised at the effects you can create by changing brush styles!

After we have our selection, it's time to go back to Standard Mode. Click the button on the left at the bottom of the Tools window.

This takes the quick mask and turns it into a selection. Pretty cool, huh?

Now, we can paint our background around the main subject without intruding on it (while you still have your selection, that is.)


Now that you've spent all that time creating your selection, it is time to save it for later use. Click on Select>Save Selection...

...And choose a name for the selection layer you want to save.


The new selection layer will now show up under the Channels tab. Now you can [Ctrl]+click to reload the layer as a selection.

The nice thing about the quick mask feature is that you can switch back and forth at any time during your painting. You can go back and re-adjust the part of the picture you now want to edit.


There is also a lot to gain from using selection layers. As you can see, the composition of your painting begins to become clear. We can now see the negative space much more easily! :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

What Makes a Good Digital Painting?

So, how does an artist choose subject matter for his next digital painting, and what style do you use? This has been a topic I have been mulling over lately. Basically, I use my gut instinct when painting. When painting Hellboy, I wanted to use a bold style with good lighting. With the Turtles painting, I wanted to paint something a little more "gritty," but with pretty much the same bold style. Aragorn and Arwen deserved a little more realism, so I pretty much went with the painted look.

I'm now working on a Harry Potter painting that includes Prof. Dumbledore and Fawkes the phoenix. I'm really going experimental on this one, making it look more like a watercolor painting than anything. And, that's fine. But for the TMNT? I don't think watercolor would have worked.

I have seen many other styles work very well in digital paintings, but most other digital painters have one style and stick with it. I like to experiment, to try and pull out of the painting the most aesthetic work that I can. If watercolor works, I use it. If the subject requires a more cartoony, smooth feel, then I go with it. If it needs a style that is more serene or surreal, I'm using watercolor. Don't be afraid to test your limits. As an artist, if you limit yourself, you're placing a mental block on your work. And that's not something you really want to do.

So, what makes a good painting? I guess I'd say to paint from the heart, paint what you know, and always experiment! :)


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lord of the Rings Painting Video

Here is the video for my LOTR painting of Aragorn and Arwen. Enjoy!


Lord Knows I Love Lord of the Rings!

For it being Thanksgiving weekend, I had a little time to do some painting. And, what better to paint than a LOTR frame from the movie? I've always been a Lord of the Rings fan. The first novel I ever read was The Hobbit in about 7th grade, and from that point on, I was hooked. Before that, I couldn't conceive of reading something that wasn't a comic book. The fact that something that used only words to tell a story and was interesting to boot was hard to believe.

So, as I'm sure you can imagine, when the movies came out, I was absolutely ecstatic. So now, I have all the DVD's. I don't get the time to watch them or read the books anymore, but anyway... I still have the curious mind of a child when it comes to Tolkien's masterpiece.

I chose to paint a picture of Aragorn and Arwen because their love for one another was one of the most powerful parts of the trilogy. Even when Aragorn is off in distant lands fighting a battle from which he may never return and another love tempts him, he stays true to her. Their love seems like a pure kind of love, one that some of us will never experience. So, that's why I wanted to capture a moment that inspires this feeling of true love. Because, some of us may not be so fortunate...


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turtle Power!

It's been a bit hectic this week because my work switched me from 2nd shift to day shift this week for Thanksgiving, among several other things I had to take care of... But, I had a chance to do a little painting over the weekend. I have always been a Turtles fan, and this was kind of an itch I've been wanting to scratch for a long time. I did a pin-up a couple years ago, fully inked and colored, but even since then, I've been wanting to do something that captures the turtles' essence, and I believe this is it. As a kid, I was never a Raphael fan, but as I grow older, I feel like I have more and more in common with him. Not that I go around wanting to kick the crap out of everyone, but things tend to make me angry that didn't before. I didn't want to do a solo painting, so I had to find a way to include the other 3, too! Yih, boyz! Now I have to do a Flav-a-flav painting. And, A Flock of Seagulls. And, and, Milli Vanilli! I can't stop! Vanilla Ice! MC Hammer! WTF? Somebody kick me in the junk!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Hellboy Digital Painting Video in Photoshop

View this video on YouTube, MySpace, Metacafe, Google, Revver, DailyMotion,, Veoh and Stupid Videos

Hellboy Speed Painting

Been sharpening my pixels lately to get a Hellboy digital painting finished. It took a while on this one, actually about 4 or 5 days in my off time, but it was a lot of fun. I'm still learning a lot about painting in Photoshop, but I'm getting addicted fast! I haven't done a page of comic book work since I've been learning how to paint digitally. I'm sure I'll get back into the swing of things here in a couple weeks, but for now, I'm having too much fun painting some of my favorite characters (which happen to be comic book characters).


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Photoshop is My Friend

Cool. That's all I have to say. I finished a digital painting in 4 hrs and 20 min. (!) If you've read my previous posts, you'd know why that's such a good thing. I started from scratch and painted Gruel from "3 Witches," and it actually turned out okay. I'm beginning to like this digital painting stuff. One great thing about it is being able to work with layers. I can paint one thing, and go over it on another layer without even touching the bottom layer. Also, I feel like I can get great colors using Photoshop, because you can change the colors of virtually anything in the painting by saving a couple of selections. Okay, I have to go find some toothpicks to prop my eyes open, because I'd say it's going to be a long night. :D


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Digital Painting-A Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

From the point of view of a comic book artist, I saw digital painting as a horrendous undertaking from the outset. Being used to drawing a page in about a day's time, something this detailed, and in color nonetheless, was going to be the most grueling job I had ever taken upon myself.

My first digital painting took 38 hours to complete. Yup, 38 hours. 38 long and drawn out hours, paying attention to nothing but pixels and more pixels. Looking at nothing but my computer monitor, dreaming about painting, planning my painting as I go through the laborious human process known as "eating." I only kept track of the time spent working by making a video for it whichwas 38 minutes long, and it was set to record 1 second of video per real-time minute.

But, I saw this as a learning experience. And, it was a huge one. I can say that because I painted the first figure in 11 and a half hours, and the rest were done in gradually decreasing amounts of time. In my defense, there were five figures to be painted, an RPG rocket, and the background. Each being as time consuming as the next. Even though it took me this long, I have to say I'm going to continue to practice at it, because as boring as it seems, I did have fun doing it, and next time, I will have learned techniques I didn't know before.

Next time, though, I'll try not to push family, work, and everything else to the side and become a Photoshop zombie... :)


Monday, October 29, 2007

It's been a long weekend of doing errands and digital painting. My eyes are burning in their sockets, and I've had enough caffeine to kill a moose. Eh. Oh. Urgh.

Now that I'm coming to my senses... I have been trying to find time to work on the play at home thread for Comic Book Idol round 3, but I haven't had any time slots open up. It's like I have to schedule time to take a crap any more. Oh, well. Back to work...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Some Digital Painting Comin' Ya Way!

I had no idea it took so long to do a digital painting. Pretty much the same amount of time (or more...!) than a canvas painting. I'm finding this out from experience. I started a new painting in Photoshop on Tuesday. I have put in roughly 12 hours since then on it, and I'd say I'm about 1/5th of the way there....

It really shouldn't take this long. I think, like anything else, once I figure out the process pretty well, I will have my own style and it will be much faster. It's grueling work at this point, though. I'll have to post the finished product when it's done. (And yes, kiddies, I am making a Youtube video of how I did it. Stay tuned to watch it in its insanely sped-up glory!)

Almost got the Project: Camelot submission packet ready to send to the printers. We just have a couple of things to do yet. Once it's together, though, it's going to rock men, women, children, and armored soldiers everywhere.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I got my 3 Witches sample books from the printer yesterday, and I've been working hard to get some of them out the publishers. I'm only sending out a few at first to some of the top companies who publish creator-owned properties.

Some have some VERY stringent submission guidelines, I'm finding out. For example, some want certain things included in your cover letter, or they throw out the whole submission. Dark Horse requires a signed form stating if there is legal involvement, it will be handled in the state of Oregon.

I figured it was time I got my stuff out there. I've been saving up material for a long time, and I guess there's not much of a point of keeping it to myself. Heck, I have 3 issues and almost a full 40-page special of Legends that haven't been published. Who knows? Maybe if I ever make a name for myself, I'll release Legends in TPB format. ;D


Monday, October 22, 2007

The Workend

I had the weekend off, but I had lots to do, so I pretty much sat in front of the computer (and played with the kids) most of this weekend, trying to get a sample book together for Project: Camelot. It seems like the more work I do, the more there is to be done.

I also finished my "play at home" page for Comic Book Idol 3. Click the image below to view it!

So anyway, I'm going to try and work on another page or so for "play at home" for round 2, if I have the time. I've never read C.B. Cebulski's "Wonderlost," but that is the next script posted. I'm running about a week behind the others, but I'm not competing, so it doesn't really matter, I suppose. I just luuuuv to do drawrings. :D


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Project: Camelot Coloring Video

Camelot, Here We Come

For the past few weeks, I have been working on a submission packet to send to publishers with Travis Legge, senior partner at Aegis Studios, the makers of the Contagion RPG. It is called "Project: Camelot." We decided that to allow publishers to see the finished product, we would go through a Print On Demand publisher and have some 8-page sample copies printed up. (Is POD the bomb or what?) We're also considering using a short comic book story idea I had for Project: Camelot and submitting it to some anthologies for inclusion so that it would already be a published property, and we would already have some publicity on our side.

The cover for the submission is finally finished for the most part. I may choose to tweak it at some point, but it's pretty much done as far as I'm concerned.

I thought that meant we were finished with our submission, but I actually have some pages that I have to put together to fill the rest of the interior pages. I will probably put together a couple of "sketchbook" pages with the character sketches that I did when designing the look of the armored suits in the beginning.

I have to say this has been one of the cooler projects I have ever worked on. I have always wanted to see if I could handle drawing armored heroes or big robots, and it gave me a chance to prove to myself that I can. Plus, I had an excellent writer backing me up and providing more than I could ask for. I have a feeling this project may pan out to be something good.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Jumping Through Hoops (or, Not)

Frig. I can't believe how much these Comic Book Idol contestants are expected to draw. I do realize that this is a contest for artists, but they do (I'm guessing...) have lives outside of comic book art. The assignment in round 1 and round 2 so far has been 3 consecutive comic book pages each round. That's not so bad for a week or so of work for most artists who are not considered pros. But for a weekEND, I think it's a bit much.

I guess the thinking is, "how devoted to winning this contest are these guys?" If I were a contestant, I'd feel a little more like they were saying, "how much lunch money can I beat out of this kid before I get kicked in the nads?" I'm still working on round 1 for the play at home thread. I have 1 panel finished. Sound pitiful? It's seriously not. Read my last blog entry.

I think Comic Book Idol is a really good springboard for unknown artists, and I am glad there is a place to post our artwork and get some honest criticism from other fans, artists, and even established writers and editors for the contestants. The contestants and those who choose to "play at home" come out with a lot more knowledge and experience than they had before.

For those who work a full-time job, or have families, or both, I would think the assignments are a pretty massive strain on them. But, if you think of the (massive) exposure you would get if you were one of the 10 finalists that go on to round 1 and so on, I suppose that's a pretty even trade for a few weekends.

Anyway, Warren Leonhardt, who I voted for, was eliminated at the end of round 1. I have a knack for picking out the underdogs with talent...but get knocked down by the mainstream. I couldn't believe Caio's art ranked first. Well, yeah I can. He isn't an Image clone, but there is a lot of Image influence, I believe. That's definitely not a bad thing, but in my humble opinion, that shouldn't outweigh whether or not he is a good artist. Is he a good artist? Without a doubt. Is he Michael Turner good? ...uh, No.

Dan McDaid apparently has a pretty strong following. He came in third in the vote, and on the boards, people are really voicing their opinions about his work. I think he's also one with a simplistic style without overly simplifying the page. I'm looking forward to seeing more from him. I'd almost guarantee he'll do better on round 2's "Wonderlost" script, seeing as how his art style is similar to C.B. Cebulski's other artists he has used in the past.

I'll be watching the entries over the weekend. There have been some really good entries, and some that have turned out to be duds. If you haven't registered at the CBR forums, you need to get registered now and vote during the next round. From what the CBI3 host J. Torres has said, a large percentage of the CBR forum-goers didn't vote during round 1. They only open the vote for 24 hrs (12pm Wed.-12pm Thur.), so next week get out there and vote!!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Comic Book Idolatry

I found Comic Book Idol just a few weeks ago, and I decided to take a crack at it, since submissions ended at the end of September, and I still had a few days to show my work. Over 180 contestants posted their online portfolios and 10 were selected to go to round 1. I wasn't selected as a contestant, but it didn't hurt to put my name in the hat.

I decided to keep up with the contest, and post my opinion, which is apparently contrary to public opinion. The front runner right now is Caio Oliveira. A decent artist, but lacking a sense of depth and composition. I posted a similar statement on the public opinions forum, so we'll see how that goes.

I have to say Caio has a knack for detail, but as I said in the forum, this isn't the only thing it takes to be a comic book artist. I believe it takes an understanding of how to create depth, how to compose a panel, placement and grouping of subjects in a panel, panel layout, spotting blacks to create interest in a subject, varying line widths, etc.

I'm not saying my work is better or comparable to the CBI entries, but studying the art form for 15 years, I like to think I'm gaining some kind of grasp on the inner workings of what goes on in a comic book panel, and I hope the contestants gain something from what I post.

I'm slowly working up a couple of pages of my own to post on the "play at home thread," but it'll probably be a few days before I post anything. Not because I am being lazy about the whole thing (though I'm not a contestant at all, just playing at home), but because I have several other things on my plate at the moment. One, as I posted a little bit about a couple of days ago, is working up a submission packet for 3 Witches, as well as putting together some pages for a future 3 Witches story. On top of that, I'm finishing up a submission packet with Travis Legge, Senior Patner at Aegis Studios, makers of the Contagion RPG. Not to mention working 40-48 hours per week, and squeezing in time for my 5-month old (today!) baby, my 5-year old daughter (who I take to school some mornings), and my wife.

Now, where do I find time to draw this Comic Book Idol thing, again?

Here are some links to check out:
Comic Book Idol:
Public Comment Thread:
Play at Home Thread:


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Going Ink Crazy

I've gotta take a break. I've been working on a cover all weekend for a story submission to be sent to various comic book publishers. I finished the pencils, and (gasp!) even inks since yesterday. Inks by HAND, no less! Why? Cause I'm crazy like that, i guess.

Actually, I wanted to draw something that would make an impact with a publisher, and I hadn't inked anything by hand in many months. I broke out the old brushes and Rapidograph pens, and went to town. It was a lot of fun, but I had lost two of my old pens (which cost $20 to replace each one) and a couple of my old brushes.

I went out and bought some new brushes and a new pen, so I may actually start inking my work. It was a little slower than the process I was using before, which was doing dark pencils and cranking up the contrast in Photoshop, but the benefits may outweigh the slowness of it all. I'll probably just ink the covers and stick to pencils for the interiors. I don't really care, as long as I get to draw...


Saturday, October 13, 2007

How NOT to Market Comic Books

Not so smart. My first online comic was, at one time, located at I had T-shirts made up, and stickers made up to promote the site, and I actually still have a bunch of them. On everything I printed, I put the address I put it on the ebooks, on the downloadable calendar, in the links I provided to search engines...

But, now it has a different address. Why? That's the not so smart part. I had the domain name on auto renewal every July, charging to my credit card automatically, so that I wouldn't have to even worry about it. The problem is, I didn't realize I had it set up on the card that I closed down last year.... :O

SO, when July rolled around this year, being involved in working on a new short story to be published later in the year, finishing up the first 3 Witches story, and having the prospect of shopping an idea created by Travis Legge and myself around to publishers, I inadvertently allowed to expire. Yes, it was a pretty dumb thing to do, considering I have merchandise with the address printed on it. But, that's one of the mistakes one makes going into something like this. Yeah, that's it. A learning experience. That's what I'll call it! :D

So now, has been fertilized and cultivated into a beautiful, flourishing link farm, growing all the nutritious links you could ask for. Now, all the fruits of "Huge Comic Book Sale" are available when you visit, at no charge. Isn't capitalism...well, just capital? Makes people do some nice things.

By the way, if you ever want to drop by, Legends is now relocated at now, just down the road. We'll be there with a smile :D


Friday, October 12, 2007

Getting Published-the Small Press Way

I know a little about self-publishing, having bought "How to Self-Publish Your Own Comic Book" by Tony Caputo a few months ago, and following numerous articles online in the past. But, getting into direct market distribution and newsstand distribution, subscriptions, promotion, marketing, etc, etc, etc sounds like a LOT of work for one person, especially one who is writing, drawing, lettering, editing, and publishing the book in question.

Some of the scenarios in the book illustrate scenarios where the publisher makes phone calls to comic shop owners across the US to find out their thoughts on the quality and the sales at the store level. To boost sales, Caputo suggests holding a signing and offering free signed copies to the store to sell.

In this day and age, a self-publisher is up against time, the only unwavering force in the universe. It's like climbing a mountain covered in snow before your boots made of paper towels get wet. There's just so much to take care of, not including the work that goes into the actual making of the comic.

Anyway, that is why I am considering taking my comic to a publisher who is already established. Soon, I'll be pitching the idea and showing some sample pages to some publishers in hopes of getting the idea picked up. I have a backup plan, which involves a lot more promotion, sales, etc, but not to the extent of someone actually taking on the role of "self-publisher" in the traditional sense. More on that later.


Blog It!

I've been trying to think of a way to post regular updates on, but to edit the HTML, save it, upload it, and publish it takes so long that I just haven't gotten around to posting anything in a long time. SO, I went got me a brand spankin' new blog, so's I can communicate to the world when something interesting happens. That is, IF it ever happens! :D

But, anyway, hopefully this will get my procrastinating butt to post something. We'll see about that.