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The artist is IN! I am currently available for commission work of just about any variety (artistically speaking).  Pencil drawings, ink, di...

31 March 2008

Sketchy Characters

When I was still actively updating my webomic, "The Journals of Simon Pariah", I was toying with the idea of doing a sister site called "Doodulz", just because I have folders full of odd little sketches and character drawings that I really can't use anywhere else, but I can't bring myself to throw away. That idea didn't really fly, but it seems that this sketchblog is just as good a place to show off these little oddities.
Starting off, we have a trio of comic book characters that have interested me at one point or another.
First up is Morpheus himself, aka Sandman. This is an easy character to draw, what with chalk white skin, messy hair and a voluminous robe. Like a dream, the character gets amorphous, which conceptual drawings like this one.

Next is that ol' webslinger, Spider-Man. This is one character I can honestly say I hate drawing. I've always suspected that the reason the black costume was developed was because whoever drew the character at the time got sick and tired of trying to figure out all those weblines. Nevertheless, I wanted to play with a Frank Miller-esque effect on the bricks behind him, and so came this....

Finally for now, one of my old favorites, Lobo. I love Giffen's work on this character; it's always cathartic and fun to read, especially when Bisley is on his game, as he was in the original miniseries. I recall one rather Douglas Adams-esque line from that series that states the Czarnian meaning for "Lobo" is "one who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it." Here, the Main Man seems intent on living up to his name...
I've got a lot more of this sort of this...some of it very rough, some of it very weird. I'll be sharing it all, for better or for worse, over the next few weeks.


Found via Boing Boing this morning, the creepiest/funnest/most startling evolution yet of those sprites that follow your cursor.
Click the link and prepare to be...amazed? Amused? Weirded out? I dunno.

Later today: art. I promise.

26 March 2008

Error! Your Post is Off Topic...

I'm wandering a bit from the topic of the blog with this one, but I couldn't let this bit of geeky fun pass without sharing it. Cracked online is running an article on "30 Error Messages You Never Want to See". There's some really good ones there, reminiscent of Something Awful's "Photoshop Fridays" back when it was funny. However, this one really got me going:

If you need a chortle, go read the full article.

25 March 2008

As the Animal Tamer Said to the Elephant, "Up, Simba, Up!"

And if anyone else can tell me what TV show that quote is from, I'll give you a cookie.

Having mostly finished up (for now) the project I've been working on, I find myself with a little spare time, so I'm free once again to do some drawings for interested readers. As always, my email address and Paypal link are there to the left, and the rules are pretty much the same: anything you want in b&w for the minimum price, with anything larger or more complicated (i.e. color) to be negotiated. Now's the time to get your request in for...oh, I don't know...a character design, a custom birthday card drawing, some tattoo flash...a cartoon of Herve Villechaize wearing a taffeta dress while tap dancing to a Gilbert & Sullivan musical. Whatever your deviant imaginations can contrive.
What's "up" is of course my price. With time constraints being what they are, I find that I have to raise my prices a little to make it worth my while to continue to offer custom sketches, hence the $5 increase per page*. Still, I have to say that many of those who bought have been more than generous in donating more than the original $10 asking price, and the extra is very much appreciated. I hope everyone who's bought has found it worth the investment and I look forward to doing many more of these.

*If I've already agreed on the $10 price with you, that still holds true, lucky you. I never change horses midstream

19 March 2008

Is It Really Full of Stars, Arthur?

The news today is that one of the last great masters of science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke has passed away at age 90.
Honestly, Clarke is one of those authors permanently on my "must read' list, but whose work I rarely get around to. I've read "2001" a couple of times, as well as "Childhood's End" (my favorite Clarke work to date), and some of his shorter pieces, and heard several of his stories dramatized as radio plays, but I've never really gotten around to the Rama series, "The Ghost of the Grand Banks", or any of his many, many other books. Still, his presence was always felt in his influence on other writers I have read, especially "hard" sci fi writers.
I suppose the good news is that all that work is still out there for me to discover. Meantime, the world at large, not just science fiction, has been enriched by Clarke's vision. Like Heinlein and Asimov, he was one of those writers whose influence extended beyond his genre or his medium towards the shaping of reality. I'm tempted to make some analogy about his being a monolith to a bunch of hairy apes, but I wouldn't want to sell the species that short...yet. Nevertheless, in many ways we're still proving the truth of his statement that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

With this, and Dave Stevens in my last post, this blog is starting to get a little morbid and a lot off topic. If this world can keep from killing off any of my literary or artistic heroes for a week, I'll see about getting some lighter fare up here real soon.

12 March 2008

Anyone who reads anything connected with comics knows by now the sad news that artist Dave Stevens died two days ago of leukemia.
There are a lot of comics artists that I like. There are fewer that I consider great. There are a very few that I consider a strong influence. They're the ones whose art would always arrest my eye and force me to linger and admire. The ones who would cause me to buy a book on sight, even if they only did the cover. The ones who I would gladly pay for the privilege of working with.
Dave Stevens was one of those artists. Best known perhaps for his creation The Rocketeer, nearly as much so for being instrumental in the revival of Betty Page fandom, he was also, in my opinion, a driving force behind the modern pulp revival. Growing up as I did in the company of Doc Savage and The Shadow, it was no wonder that his work caught my eye; every line of his work was everything that was good about the golden age of pulp. He was, with Olivia de Bernardinis, the latter 20-th and early 21st Centuries best heir to the idea of "cheesecake", with a sense of form and clarity of line that were second to none.
Like the recently deceased Steve Gerber, I always thought that he did not receive the respect he deserved among comic readers, mostly due to the fickle ways of popularity. As artists with lots of flash and little substance came and went, Dave seemed to be continually refining his own instantly recognizable style, surfacing occiasionally with the odd book or issue, but seen more often in his influence on the work of others.
I don't need to say he'll be missed. The tributes to him I have been reading all day are proof enough of that. Saddest for me is that, as I continue to hone my own craft, I know that he's one of the greats that I'll never get to meet or work with.*
Still, here's my small tribute...a little color job on a very low-rez sample of Dave's work. I don't know if this is kosher to use the piece this way, but frankly, I don't care. This is as close as I'm going to get....

What with Mike Wieringo, Steve Gerber and now Dave Stevens all within the past year, this is happening too often. Just stop it now guys, OK?

*FYI, if anyone's interested, some of the other big names on my "wishlist" are:

-Frank Cho
-Dave Sim
-Brian Bolland
-Bart Sears

None of whom need any help from me, but hey, you gotta dream big, right?

Update: For anyone who's not familiar with Stevens' work, there's a fantastic gallery of his art online at "Golden Age Comic Book Stories". Go check it out, and while you're there, check out the massive gallery of pulp and comic art that this blog's author has collected.