Images From Around this Blog!

16 December 2013

New Work Published: Indoctrinator by Brain Dead!

One of the things that made me want to get into the art business in the first place was the art on '80's rock albums.  Richard Corben blew my doors off with his cover for Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell", and Derek Riggs made sure they stayed blown off with his art for the various Iron Maiden albums.  Ever since, I've been fascinated by the art and design of album covers, especially for the heavier styles of music, as they seem to have more fantastic elements.
I still have, somewhere in my sketch archives, a few of the pencil reproductions I've done of some of Derek Riggs's work,, as well as variations of pieces of art I've done for local bands like Urgent, Innocence and Marshal Law.  Somewhere in there, there's also a few pages for a very early comic book called "Warriors of the Metal World" that did fantasy/horror comic adaptations of heavy metal songs.  The less said about that the better.
All that is but preamble to tell you why I'm so proud to be part of this current project.  A while back, the thrash band "Brain Dead" invited me to design a piece of art for their demo CD and T-shirts.  This led to me designing their mascot, "Billy Brains" (no Iron Maiden influence there...nope, no sir), and later to the current project, the cover for their debut album "Indoctrinator".
I've been keeping the full version of this under wraps until the band was ready to release it themselves.  Now, as of midnight last night, they've released the art along with the first track from the album, "High Value Target".  The track, indeed the entire album was funded through a Kickstarter project to bring producer Bill Metoyer on board.  If you'll take a look at Bill's website, you'll see that his credentials read like a who's who of heavy metal.  With those kind of productions values and talent like Brain Dead's at the wheel, you know that "Indoctrinator" is going to one wild ride!
You can hear "High Value Target" right now over at ReverbNation.  Crank those speakers up and rock out with some of the best new metal tearing up the net.  And while you're there, be sure to check out the eye candy on that cover.
Thanks to Adam and Rez and all the rest of Brain Dead for inviting me to be part of this project, and I hope (wink wink) we get the chance to work together again.


Update:  The full album "Indoctrinator" has now been released.  You can find it at their BandCamp page or search it on iTunes.  Go get it now!

06 December 2013

New Work Published: Lovecraft EZine #28

Available online right now is issue # 28 of the Lovecraft EZine.  This one's a bit of special issue, in that it's a tribute to Lovecraftian author Willum H. Pugmire.  Pugmire is an author and personality who has been active in the genre since the early 70's.  From Wikipedia:

"Pugmire is a self-proclaimed eccentric recluse, "the Queen of Eldritch Horror, "[13] as well as a self-identified "punk rock queen and street transvestite".[9] He has worked in various theatrical capacities, sometimes appearing at parties as characters including 'Count Pugsly', a vampire.[14] In the documentary film, The AckerMonster Chronicles!, about Forrest J Ackerman, Pugmire describes how he was influenced by Ackerman's magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland and shows the audience the issue in which his photo appears in 'Count Pugsly' makeup."

 My piece for this current issue uses that "Count Pugsly" photo as a springboard to illustrate a poem by none other than Jessica Amanda Salmonson, an author whom I've long admired, and whose work I am thrilled to have a chance to decorate with my doodlings.  

Head over to the 'zine's page to read the current issue today.  It's free to read online, and as always, will be available later in mobile and audio formats.  It's time well spent.

And in the meantime, here's my illustration from Issue #27's story "He Knew Not the Month Was October" by Zach Shepherd, possibly the only existing portrait of a kangaroo of the apocalypse.  If this one strikes your fancy, you should know it's available in various printed sizes and formats from my DeviantArt print store. Enjoy!


25 November 2013

The Journals of Simon Pariah: Now in Audio!

As I've mentioned here a time or two, I'm a huge fan of podcasting.  There's not a day goes by that I don't indulge in several episodes from a wide variety of podcasts, from the literary to the humorous.  Previously, I've had some of my own comedic work podcast, thanks to (sadly podfaded) Air Out My Shorts.

A while back, I thought it would be interesting to hear some of my more serious work read in podcast format.  With that in mind, I did a slight rework of my comic book story, "God of the Cave" from the first issue of "The Journals of Simon Pariah", and submitted it to one of my current favorite podcasts, Marshal Latham's "Journey Into...".  This show specializes in running genre fiction stories with a pulp flavor to them, and I thought it might be the perfect home for Simon Pariah's first foray into the audio realm.
This week, I was thrilled to find that Marshal had decided to run "God of the Cave" as part of his month-long Superhero Marathon Spectacular.  While not directly superhero-related, readers or listeners to this story will see that there is an obvious influence from comics that makes it fit nicely into his theme.
Not only did Marshal have the story read, he had it read by Christopher Munroe,  a voice actor whose work I have enjoyed on another fine podcast, the Dunesteef Audio Fiction magazine.  To it, he added some fine instrumental work by Kevin MacLeod, whose work I have used myself in past projects. 
All in all, it was a masterful job that not only presented the work well, but gave it a new dimension that even I, as the author, can appreciate.
So thanks, Marshal, for choosing to run the story.  I hope it serves you well.  Thanks Christopher, for doing such a fine reading.  And thanks Kevin, for the music that added some swash to my buckles. 
Go over to "Journey Into...", won't you, and give a listen to Superhero Marathon Day 24: The God of the Cave.  Then be sure to drop a line to any of the people involved and let them know what you think. 
As Marshal Latham would say, journey on!

http://journeyintopodcast.blogspot.ca/2013/11/superhero-marathon-spectacular-day-24.html

28 October 2013

101 Things to Do Naked: Now in Paperback!

The book I illustrated for Catherine Roberts, "101 Things to Do Naked' is now available in handy, dandy, paperback format.  Buy it, you will.


25 October 2013

New Work Published - Lovecraft EZine Issue #27

Available online right now, it's the October 2013 issue of the Lovecraft EZine.  This time around, publisher Mike Davis has done his second annual tribute to the classic Lovecraftian novel "A Night in the Lonesome October" by Roger Zelazny.  All the stories published in this issue revolve around the themes and ideas developed by Zelazny in that original novel, itself based on legendary figures such as Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, Frankenstein and, of course, Lovecraft's Mythos.
This time around, I had the pleasure of providing an illustration for "He Knew Not the Month Was October" by Zach Shephard, possibly the first ever story featuring the kangaroo of the apocalypse.
The entire issue is free to read online right now, with downloadable versions for your mobile device to be available shortly.
But that's not all....if you haven't yet read Zelazny's book (and if not, why not?), there's a chance for you to get your hands on a copy.  Just comment on one of the stories and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of your very own.  Sweet deal just for reading some great, free fiction.

While you're over there, be sure to check out Lee Copeland's cover for this issue...it's a slick Halloween-y piece that is, I think, one of the best pieces of art produced for the magazine yet.

Do yourself a favor this Halloween, and treat yourself to some inspired free fiction from the crew at Lovecraft EZine; reading that's just right for a night in the lonesome October.

Oh..and meantime, here's my contribution to the previous issue, a Chris Pratt-inspired piece for William Meikle's story "Between"....Enjoy.


09 October 2013

New Work Published: 101 Things to Do Naked

It never rains but it pours. Hot on the heels of yesterday's Weird Tales profile, comes this new book from local author Cathy Roberts, "101 Things to do Naked! A Guide to 'Dress-Free' Living". This is a humor book with some expert advice on fun things to do without clothes. I had a bit of fun doing the cover design and a bunch of interior cartoons for this book. It's a nice breezy read that will give you a grin or two, and possibly a few ideas. Go check it out and give it a read; clothing optional.

08 October 2013

I See Weird Things


One of my lifelong favorite publications, Weird Tales Magazine does a weekly online profile of artists under its column "They See the Weird". This week, they've chosen to give me the spotlight. To say I'm excited about this pushes the limits of the definition of "understatement".

If I have to tell you the history behind Weird Tales, you may have been living under a rock since...ever.  These are the people that first published the work of H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard and just about anybody worth mentioning in the golden age of pulps, right down to some of the giants of the modern era.  Seriously, if they're worth reading, they've been in Weird Tales at some point, and if you haven't read Weird Tales, you are missing out.  Big time.

I've been nearly euphoric since I found out about this profile just over a week ago, and nearly frantic with anticipation for it to happen. I can't say "Thank you" often enough to the WT editor who chose me for this honor, nor state how much it means to me to get recognition from so prestigious a publication.

What are you waiting for...get thee over to the Weird Tales website and see it for yourself. I'll just be spinning with joy for a while.

07 October 2013

New Work Published: Battle for Berridor by Dave Brzezinski

Now available for your Kindle device or app, "Battle for Berridor:  Return of the Firebreathers" is a new book by Dave Brzezinski, co-author of the recently featured "Safyre:  Explosive Origins". I had the pleasure of creating the cover illustration for this one.  I don't get the chance to work with dragons very often, so this was definitely fun. 

From the book's description:

"Following many generations without firebreathers, a baby dragon named Uro is unexpectedly born in the kingdom of Berridor. A dragon needs a trainer, and Allard is the young man chosen for the monumental task. As Allard begins to care for the fledgling dragon, he makes many new friends, including Charlotte, the Princess of Berridor.

When a frightening new evil arises from a neighboring kingdom, Allard and Charlotte must work together, with the young dragon, to save Berridor. The unlikely trio will embark upon a dangerous journey through far away lands in order to protect their home and their friends. Along the way, they meet mysterious new people and fascinating creatures, some of them friendly and others dangerous enemies with nefarious intentions. As they journey together, they will learn much about each other and even more about themselves.

As Allard, Charlotte, and Uro race against the clock, they will learn about a past that will forever change their futures. But, will it be in time?"


The book is available right now for just under a buck, so if your a fantasy fan, be sure to give it a try

03 October 2013

New Work Published - Defeat Your Beast

Here's one I'm rather proud of for different reasons than usual.  Not that it's necessarily my greatest work, artistically.  In fact, the art I contributed is rather basic.  I'm proud of this project for its intent.

"Defeat Your Beast" is a book (and soon to be accompanying board game) aimed at younger readers that deals with the subject of social anxiety (the titular "beast") and how to deal with it.  The author is teen student Evan Hennigar, a young author and actor who has appeared in television shows such as "Haven" and "Mr. D", and who, by his own report, has had first hand experience at dealing with anxiety.  Rather than give in to his anxieties, Evan has taken control of the situation by becoming an activist and educator on the topics of anxiety and bullying.

From the book's description:

Defeat Your Beast is the true story of one kid who battles his beast known as anxiety. He battles him, and wins, taking control of his anxiety and taking control of his life.
Evan Hennigar sheds some light on an issue that is largely left in the dark, giving kids with anxiety a voice, hope and understanding.

 
For the past couple of months, I've been working with Evan's mother, Tina, to help put together a set of illustrations for this project that they have turned into two books, a game, and educational materials to help young people understand and cope with social anxiety.  They've spun this concept out into a series of workshops where Evan speaks to young people on the topic, supported by the materials and links available through Evan's website, where you can also buy the books.

Below is the book trailer on YouTube....check it out, then go to Evan's site to check out the other resources available there, and grab a copy of the book.  If you know a young person dealing with anxiety (and I can almost promise that you do), I hope it will be a valuable tool in helping them to deal with and overcome their problems.


12 September 2013

New Work Published: Safyre

Freshly available for your reading pleasure, may I present Safyre:  Explosive Origins, titanic superhero fiction from the father and son team of David and Caleb Brezinski.  I was fortunate enough to be comissioned to to the front and back covers as well as several interior illustrations for this book, and had a great time doing it.

Looks like I'll have some more work coming up with the Brezinski's, so watch this space!

Safyre is available in Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon right now, either edition being very affordable and sure to please all you superhero fans.  Go and check it out!  Go, I say!


06 September 2013

Someday My Prints Will Come...

With a recent decision to spend more time focusing on  personal projects, I will be adding more work to my DeviantArt page.  I plan to upload some decently high-rez versions of some of my illustrations, and will be offering them as prints through DA's print on demand service.
Right now, you can see the available prints here.  The current offerings include work produced for Bruno the Bandit, the Drabblecast podcast, and the Lovecraft EZine, among others.  If you see something you like, you can get it printed on a wide variety of products from coasters and mugs to full size posters and even on canvas. 
If you do order something from my print store, I'd very much like to hear what you think of it, either regarding the art or the quality of the product. 
Go now and check it out...you just might find something you like.


20 August 2013

New Work Published - Lovecraft EZine # 26

Up now for your reading delight is the latest issue of the Lovecraft EZine, in whichI have an illustration for the story "Between" by William Meikle.  Since William is a current Newfoundland resident, and since I am a former resident of that province, I felt inspired this time to do a slight homage to another famous Newfoundlander, artist Chris Pratt.  While Pratt's work would hardly be considered Lovecraftian, he uses a mathematical regularity in his depiction of traditional Newfoundland settings that I've always thought had a touch of the weird to it.  I've tried to bring some of that mentality into this context while still remaining true to the story.  Feel free to let me know how well (or poorly) I did.

The EZine is free to read online right now, or if you want to wait a couple of days, you can grab it in the right format for your mobile device of choice.

Meanwhile, in case you haven't seen it yet, here's my illustration from issue #24's "Less a Dream Than This we Know" by Christopher M. Cevasco, that one being a slight tribute to classic pulp illustrator Hannes Bok.
 


29 July 2013

New Work Published: Fresh Cut Tales by Kenneth Cain

Fresh off the digital presses comes "Fresh Cut Tales" by Kenneth W. Cain, a collection of sixteen stories (8 previously published, 8 new) of horror.  Kenneth is a Lovecraft eZine alumni and the author of a long list of dark fiction that you can find at his Amazon author's page.
Each of the stories in this collection is illustrated, and two of them are my work.  There's some other talented people in there too, but it's really my stuff you came to see, right?  Right?
Fresh Cut Tales is available at Amazon and Smashwords right now, and will shortly be available in paperback as well.  Whatever your preferred reading format, you'll find a copy to fit the bill, so head over and check it out today!

25 July 2013

The Art of Darkness

For those holdouts who have not yet checked out the Lovecraft EZine, publisher Mike Davis has just posted a profile of art provided for past issues from myself and the other talented people who contribute their work monthly.  Go check out some Lovecraftian art, and maybe stop to read story or two while you're there.

04 June 2013

New Work Published (Sort of): Deluge of Dolphins by Joshua Price

Out now, you can (and should) buy "Deluge of Dolphins" by Joshua Price, third in his absurdist genre-crossing series, "Annals of Absurdity". 
If you'll recall, I had created art for the first two books in this series, "A Drizzle of Zombies" and "A Downpour of Apes".  As of the third novel, Joshua's gone with a slightly different look for the entire series, but he's retained some of the elements I designed for him, and he had me do the design and some fiddly bits of art for this new cover.  Honestly, I like the direction he ended up choosing, as I think it ended up suiting the tone of his books better than the original idea.  That's not to say that the original covers are any slouch, just that the current versions are better.
Of course, having read the first two novels in this series, as well as the related short story, "A Mind Not Worth Controlling", I strongly recommend giving them a read, under any cover.  Summer's just around the corner, and you're going to want some good beach reading, or something to amuse yourself as you sit in your lawn chair sipping a cold beverage of choice and pretending not to ogle the girl/guy sunbathing next door.  I can't think of anything better to while away those summer hours than this set of highly entertaining and reasonably priced novels.  They're guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and possibly a zombie in your toolshed.
Deluge of Dolphins....get it now, and at the very least, when the great dolphin rebellion arrives, you'll be able to say you saw it coming.

By the way, and just for fun, here's my currently unused cover art for the second book in the series, "A Downpour of Apes".  Enjoy.


03 June 2013

New Work Published: Lovecraft EZine #24

Up today is issue 24 of the Lovecraft Ezine, featuring an illustration of mine for the story "Less a Dream Than This We Know" by Christopher M. Cevasco.  This is a surprisingly touching semi-fictional, semi-biographical piece concerning the passing of the Elder One, H.P. Lovecraft himself, and is very much worth a read.

My illustration for this story was inspired by, and is clearly a homage to, Hannes Bok.  Bok is my favorite golden age pulp illustrator of Lovecraft's work, with his picture for "Pickman's Model" being an early iconic influence on my vision of monsters in general, and Lovecraft in particular.  With this piece, I tried to evoke his subtle stipple-tone style in a way that I felt complemented the story.

One of my favorite things about being an illustrator for Lovecraft Ezine, aside from how easy on the deadlines publisher Mike Davis can be, is the fact that I get to switch up my art style for each issue, and often get to play around in the sandboxes of some of the greats who have gone before me. 

Go check out issue 24 of the Ezine...it's free to read online, and will shortly be available for your mobile device.  Either way, it's worth a read.

Meantime, here's my photo-manipulation from issue 23's "Not With a Bang, But With Waves Whispering", featuring one of my family waiting at the shore....for the Old Ones to rise from the deep?  Ftaghn!


26 April 2013

New Work Published: Lovecraft EZine # 23

After a bit of a delay, the latest Lovecraft EZine is online with a raft of new stories for your enjoyment.  Once again, I've got a bit of work featured with one of their pieces.  This time, it's not an illustration but a photo from my personal archives that I've manipulated a bit for the poem, "Not With A Bang, But Waves Whispering" by Wendy Wagner.

Last summer, I visited family in Newfoundland and took some photos with the intention that they would be used either as reference for illustration, or as illustrations themselves.  The photo attached to this story was set up with one of my daughters on the beach.  I spent a lot of time playing on these particular rocks when I was growing up, and thought it was great to be able to photograph my own kids in the same setting.

Editing this one for the magazine was simple; I just desaturated the whole thing, ran the History brush over the central figure, then duplicated the rocks to a new layer set to Multiply, applied Threshhold and made judicious use of the eraser.

As always, Lovecraft EZine is free to read online, but I heartily recommend supporting the magazine by purchasing the mobile edition for $2.99, or at least getting the podcast edition for just 99 cents.  It's well worth the money, and helps this fantastic publication survive.

Meantime, here's my illustration from issue #21's story, "Dunwich Redux" by Tim Scott.  It was a bit of a rush job, but it got the job done.  Enjoy.


27 March 2013

New Work Not Published: Tsathoggua!

Recently, one of the podcasts I enjoy, "The Double Shadow", ran a contest in which they asked listeners to submit artistic interpretations of the fictional deity Tsathoggua, created by Clark Ashton Smith.  Tsathoggua is described as: 
"He was very squat and pot-bellied, his head was more like a monstrous toad than a deity, and his whole body was covered with an imitation of short fur, giving somehow a vague sensation of both the bat and the sloth. His sleepy lids were half-lowered over his globular eyes; and the tip of a queer tongue issued from his fat mouth."

Below is my own entry for that contest, showing the frog-like on himself, squatting above a basin of Formless Spawn in his dwelling.  The rest of the entries for this contest can be seen here, but for some reason (likely just overlooked) they did not include mine in the slideshow, so I'm posting it here for your...enjoyment?



20 March 2013

The Sound of Lovecraft EZine

Did you know that as of issue # 19 you can get Lovecraft EZine as a podcast, in which all the month's stories are read aloud for your enjoyment?  Well you can.
Did you know that each episode of the podcast is available for only 99 cents?  Well it is.
Did you know that I created the art that graces the page for this podcast?  Well now you do.  Go.  See.  Buy.  Hear.  FEAR.


15 February 2013

New Work Published: Drabblecast 272

Fresh on the web, Drabblecast episode #272 features the story "Power Armor: A Love Story" by David Barr Kirtley, for which I have provided the cover illustration.  For this one, I mixed together influences from J.C. Leyendecker and manga comics to capture the impressions that the story made on me.
If you're not aware of it, Drabblecast is a weekly podcast that bills itself as "strange stories by strange writers for strange listeners", and always manages to live up to that description.  Host Norm Sherman is one of my favorite podcast readers, and a darn fine musician as well.  Any episode of the show is worth listening to, even more so when they have the good sense to put my art on the cover.

For the best mecha love story on the web, check out the episode for yourself.

27 January 2013

New Work Published: Lovecraft Ezine 21

Once again, I get the honour of gracing the virtual pages of Mike Davis's wonderfully eldritch publication, The Lovecraft EZine.  This time, I'm illustrating the exellent pastiche/tribute/unofficial sequel story "Dunwich Redux" by Tim Scott.  The illo for this one is, frankly, a compendium of all the Photoshop cheats I know how to employe, including digital painting, photo manipulation, blending layers, custom brushes, and straightforward copying. I've even managed to, very subtly I think, blend in public domain work by Bosch and Brueghel.  Despite being a bit of a dog's breakfast, and a rush job too, I think it's actually rather good.

Issue 21 is available for reading on your portable device (Kindle and Nook) right now at Lovecraft EZine.   The price has just gone up to $2.99 per issue, but it's well worth it at that price, especially considering that the money also gets you a podcast version of the stories in this issue.  I strongly recommend you check it out.

In the meantime, here's my illustration from issue 19 for young author Logan Davis's story "The Amtopians".  It was a fun little piece done from Logan's concept sketch and rendered in Photoshop and ArtRage, the latter being not my favorite tool, but a fun toy to try once in a while.  Enjoy.