Thursday, November 22, 2012


I'm a big fan of Fringe, the soon to be ended show on FOX.  I'm gonna be sad when it's no longer on Friday nights.  At least I'll have this sketch to remind me of the awesomeness.  Becky drew the middle head during class as an example to one of our students and for some reason I thought it looked like Joshua Jackson's character Peter Bishop from Fringe.  So I decided to try to draw Walter Bishop and Astrid from memory.  I dunno....I think I did okay with only my tired brain for reference.  Sorry about the beat-up quality of the scan.  The page was loose in the bottom of my backpack for about 6 months so it got crinkled and crumpled like a MOFO!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Drawing Station!

Every comic artist needs their cocoon of inspiration around them as they plow through the long, sometimes tedious hours of creating and imagining.  Or you could just say, most of us like alot of junk and cool stuff to look at and play with around our desks. In order to meet grueling deadlines or to, frankly, get anything done, many of us plant ourselves firmly into our drawing chairs, sometimes forgoing contact with the outside world for days.  We need stuff to keep us inspired, motivated and to keep us from cracking under the pressures.  WE NEED STUFF!!  Sometimes, however, the STUFF can be a distraction so, if you've got an A.D.D personality type, it's probably best not to do what I did to my art station yesterday....

It's been in the plan for a long time but I managed to avoid the trap that so many other comic artists fall into and made up all sorts of reasons to keep the PS2 out of my work area....I was trying to be responsible...but yesterday I decided irresponsibility had to be done....I put my old Playstation 2 at my desk area and connected it to my little TV/DVD thingy.

I had already set up a viewing station to watch/listen to movies, cartoons, TV shows and Prophecy DVD's and sermons while I burn away my life drawing stuff.  So 1/2 the setup was already pre-done.  The bonus of the PS2 though lies in it's easier to access DVD tray.  The little TV was okay but you have to pull it down and open it like a clam to change out disks.  Kind of a pain if you have action figures and various chords strewn about all over your work area.  So the PS2 would save alot of time and headache in that but also could potentially play some of the copied sermon disks from mom that the little TV/DVD thingy was just not capable of doing.  So a double bonus!

But this connecting cool stuff to that TV didn't stop with the Playstation.  There was a triple bonus int he works....See, I used to do alot of video recording back in my younger years.  I would make movies or just document life and trips and such, often sharing my recordings with my friends and family.  Well, these precious memories have been stored away for many years now, and I've been jonsing to watch them once again.  Problem is, I've learned it's not fair to subject my poor wife to such things for long periods of time as, what seems like awesome to me, is really kinda boring to her after a while.  And being that there are countless hours of these VHS-C tapes of my awesome memories...those would no doubt be countless hours of boredom to her.  I figured drawing time would be the perfect time to view these portals to the past....SO...I dragged out my old (but newest as of 1996) video camera and hooked it up to the little TV/DVD as well.  Soon I was guffawing out loud at the silliness on those tapes.  Me in high school making stupid movies with my friends, me on trips to MN (Before I lived here) visiting family and friends...Road trips,  parties, my first Chicago Comicon...The gems encased in that little treasure chest that was once a piece of my grandmother's luggage were endless.....But so was my watching.  I soon realized that these tapes could very well be one of those things I need to regulate myself on lest I spend more time watching the screen and less time focusing on the pages...*Sigh*  

Above is me lipsyncing to a Dr. Demento track called "Little Toot" when I was 16 years old.  Fun Fact: My drawing station at that time consisted of a small dinette table with the leaves folded down, a boom box and a stack of cassette tapes in my bedroom.  Good times. at 16. Getting into character as I lipsynched to the "Dwayne Stomp" PSA, also recorded from the Dr. Demento show.  The "wig" is just a skull with hair tucked under my hat.  I had a paper logo of a worm with a skull for a head and the band name DEATH WORMS taped to my chest.  This stuff is pure gold people!!

So what other distractions surround my "Creation Station?"  (Sorry Commander Mark...had to do it.)

Well, the days of the boombox having a prominent place at the "table" are over.  Not that one could fit anyway.  But instead, I listen to music/radio/sermons/podcasts either on my iPod Touch, Discman or Walkman.  Yes, I still love listening to cassette tapes....I still prefer talking on regular land line phones, buying music on CD and paying my bills through the mail.  I'm OLD! Shutup, and respect your elders!

I've managed to attach toys to my desklamp.  The little Grim Reaper has magnets in his feet!  

My Far-Cry stuffed animals watch over me from the...*ahem*...Shower shelf tower in the corner.  Note:  I actually bought that thing just for the toys in my desk area.  You may call it sad...I say it's ingenuity.  

Also, there's a picture of a big ass burger on my wall!!!

More of my toy tower!  Countless action figures watch over me as I scrawl on paper.

What time is it?  I dunno...I unplugged that clock a long time ago.  But it still looks cool and...YES....there are toys on that too!

Also, my corkboard is filled with character reference for the projects I'm currently working on.

More of the corkboard and of to the left of that are some photos of my late uncle Ron and a picture of my mother and I when I was a baby.  It was taken by my late uncle, at one of my favorite places in the world, Hatcher's Pass in Alaska.  The top round pic is a cartoon version of my uncle Ron that I drew for his "Celebration of Life" service.  

Complete with my Suicide Machines workshirt (that is now dubbed my drawing shirt) that I'm wearing in the pic, THAT mass of mess  in these pictures is my Drawing Station.  

I should probably make a resolution to tidy it up a little better....But first I really should work on kicking this candy cigarette habit.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

More TMNT Goodies!

Quite a while back, I did a series of 3 drawings of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles paired with other ally characters from the series.  It started with Raphael and Casey Jones, then Michaelangelo and April O'Neil and finally Donatello and the Fugitoid. I spent the entire weekend working on those 3 drawings but didn't have any time to do the final drawing of Leonardo paired with an ally.  Even though I really wanted to finish off the set, I just simply couldn't find the time and eventually forgot.  Well, I finally remembered this weekend so I dug out the original thumbnails I drew up for this and went to town on it.  I had always planned for Splinter to be paired with Leo and really enjoyed drawing him. As with all these drawings, I mixed a little of both the cartoon and original Mirage studios versions.

As for what reminded me that I needed to work on this....Well, on a Facebook thread where I mentioned me drinking sake' and maybe geting a little tipsy as I was drawing, my friend Jon told me I needed to draw a "nice pic" of April O'neil.  So I ended up whipping this up and posted it on Facebook for him to see.  This drawing brought to you courtesy of my 14 year old self. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Overhauling a Tragic Past

Sometimes an artist will look back into their past sketchbooks from the days of their youth and discover they were chock full of great ideas.  That being college years in the mid 1990’s were, apparently, a bit....rough.  I recently went through some old file cabinets and storage boxes in search of a vehicle title and in my search I stumbled upon alot of old drawings from, what I’m conservatively calling, THE YEARS OF SELF-DELUSION. 

For as long as I can remember, I had big dreams of making it big in the comics industry.   I spent my days and nights churning out artwork and immersing myself in all things comics because I was optimistic that I would make it in the biz someday very soon.  I was sure I could be the next J. Scott Campbell.  But....They’re called dreams for a reason.....The reality was apparently not so promising. 

As I was sifting through pages of hideous scrawlings, I came across an old Trapper Portfolio folder.  This thing screamed of 80’s and 90’s with it’s teal and hot pink color scheme.  I opened it up and out fell a bunch of cut-outs of characters I designed for my comic series THE VOID back in spring of 1995.  These characters had, at one time, been tacked to the cork-board next to my art desk and I used to gaze up at them almost daily.  I cringed at the bad anatomy, winced at the haphazard use of cross-hatching, and I almost cried at the sheer terribleness that was once thought of as “cool ideas” back in 1995.  But were these characters really all that bad?  It’s been said that a comic artist/writer sometimes comes up with their best ideas when they’re young and will revisit those ideas for inspiration throughout their lives and careers.  Being that THE VOID, JAMES CROW, and THE BABY NINJAS were all brainchildren of my youth, I’m not one to argue with that.  So as I gazed at these sad little cutout designs from the misguided youth of a wannabe comic-superstar, I could hear the guy from the 6-Million Dollar Man. “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology....”.  I suddenly was compelled to give these wayward souls another shot at greatness.  I was going to redraw and update them!  That was a week and a half ago and now I’m feeling the need to have a reveal of my painstaking work to make these characters workable.


The first one on this list is a character that I loved the design of back in 1995 and still kinda do.  Her name apparently was Zelena MacBride....because I thought that was cool or something.  I dunno.  But her superhero name was Range.  I think her original power had something to do with optic blasts which is why she wore the kerchief but now I think she actually wears it because she has a messed up eye or no eye.  I’m still toying with a power for her.  

I realize I did very minimal tweaking to this design.  She’s still in cut-offs and a tank (only this one actually fits her), and the overall package remained mostly the same.  Guess she really wasn’t so bad off after all.


Next up is Dominion and Breeze.  I really don’t know what I was doing when I created whatever Dominion is supposed to be.  He looks like a tumor carrying a hoe.  I mostly kept him the same too.  I just made his anatomy actually work. Breeze is my attempt at diversity in my comics as she’s Native American.  I was mostly trying to un-90’s her uniform a bit and actually attempt to make her look more ethnic. The guy at the bottom of the page is just a headshot of my character Kyle from my comic idea FOURPENNY ONE, that I hope to put out there someday.


In THE VOID, I had plans to introduce the Greek and Egyptian gods as ancient warring factions of space mutants and genetic experiments.  This is the Greek goddess NYX.  The goddess of the night.  I really just redrew here here, used better anatomy and tweaked her armor a bit.  Nothing to heavy.


In an attempt to be cool and score brownie points, I decided to use my friend Sanna as inspiration for leader of a band of crusading mutant refugees.  She herself not being a mutant but having as sister who was.  Sanna sorta helped me out with this one and named her (herself) Contrabandier....because she thought it would be cooler to have a French name I guess.  Anyway, Contrabandier and Her crusaders were to have a Yacht that they traveled the globe in, seeking out injustice to thwart.  Enigma was the right hand (wo)man to Sanna’s character.  She had a martial arts instinct but with no formal training.  

With Enigma, I mostly just added the belly wrap, fixed up the arm-guards and changed the hair.  With Contrabandier, I obviously had to do alot more.  Again, I really needed to de-90’s this one and her outfit sort of ended up looking kind of like Huntress from Batman lore.  I am very pleased at the outcome though.  I think Sanna would be happy with it.  


This next one is *ahem* a little bit...well you could sure tell I was 19.  Just for the record....I wasn’t popular AT ALL with the things like this happened.  Back at that time Marvel was doing this AGE OF APOCALYPSE thing in the X-books.  So naturally, I conceptualized ideas of what MY characters would be like in a post-apocalyptic future.  I called this possible idea THE CENTURION AGE.  I had Heavy-Metalesque versions of many of my characters figured out, including Void and this chick.  To be honest, I don’t really remember if this was supposed to Void’s girlfriend, Shanna, or a thrashed up, underdressed version of the Contrabandier character above.  

I know it’s gonna sound like I’m still the pervo that drew this 17 years ago, but I kinda wanted to keep that techno-tribal, almost not clothed thing on this.  So I mostly cleaned up the anatomy, armor and added the string clasp things to help keep that vest somewhat covering this gal’s chest area.  


BLOOD!  Pretty much my version of a Sabretooth character from X-men.  Not sure why I chose to have his mouth all bandaged up but then I’m not really sure why he’s wearing all that spandex either.

I really only kept the do-rag and the fact that his mouth is covered.  Other than that, it’s an obvious overhaul on old Blood here.


The next two are Sapphire and Synergy.  I never would have guessed that two of my least favorites from the bunch would be two of my favorites after their overhauls.  Sapphire was this nigh-invunerable and apparently gigantically tall woman.  Probably based on Gen 13’s Fairchild.  And Synergy was supposed to get her poweres from the earth.....and she wears some weird leg thingy.

The revamp on Sapphire is really only the boots and the addition of the gloves.  That, and she’s not 10 feet tall anymore.  I really like how this one turned out and think she’d be fun in a Rogue was in the early 1990’s only with slightly less (depending on who drew her back then) clothing.  Synergy’s outfit got an overhaul, making it sleeveless and with shorts.  I also added running shoes and decided the thing on her leg would be an armored leg brace.  Oh and her “earth powers” are now geothermic in nature.  


What can I say about Sonnet and Prism?  Sonnet was supposed to be this ballet dancer turned martial artist and Prism....Prism was a trainwrecked version of a raver-chick with light manipulation powers.  In my defense, I lived in Alaska at the time, so any fashion or pop culture that came up there was either 6 years our of date in the rest of the world or it was a completely bastardized ghetto version of it.  So between that and MTV.....this must’ve been what I actually thought a raver-girl looked like.  UGH!
Well Sonnet needed a less shiny unitard and I decided to give her brown curly hair instead of slicked back black.  I still wanted her to be this dancer-turned martial artist but I decided to take the ankle guards and add some to her forearms as well. So when she’s pirouetting, vaulting and twirling, she could cause maximum damage on her foes.  Prism I actually revamped years ago as one of the best friends of my character, Jane, from FOURPENNY ONE.  I did away with the neurotic, demented raver things and made her a high-school punk chick.  Same light manipulation powers though....just in a less tragic package.


Finally we have Nicodemus.  Yeah....A man-bear.  Not sure why I chose a Biblical name for this guy but it still seems to work for me.  His powers are.....He’s a man-bear....And YES....I'm aware of that one episode of South Park.

First off, on this revamp, I wanted to make Nicodemus resemble an actual bear and not the weird otter thing in the 1995 version.  Fattened him up, streamlined his armbands and tweaked his pants and just made him so much better.  

I guess the moral of this whole story is for my fellow artists.  Don’t disgard you old ideas.  You never know what turd, with the right amount of polishing, might be gold. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Well...more like SLUSH DAY! It's been raining, freezing, snowing and then raining s'more so it's just plain messy out. Being that much of my day job involves driving to far away theatre locations, my boss texted me to stay home today so that's what I'm doing. I figured I'd take this opportunity to post something on my Art Blog since I've kinda made a resolution to do that more in hopes of motivating me. So here's some recent CREATIVE EXERCISE sketches from this last winter session of our Super-Hero and Manga drawing class we teach at the Art Academy.

The first and last sketch of the sessions are always free draw. We give the kids an opportunity to let their creativity shine here. They often make lazy excuses and choose not to shine but you can't say we don't give them a shot at it. Anyway...Becky and I try to show them what they have the potential to do with our sketches. Being immersed in my TMNT obsession...I decided to do one of Michaelangelo dropping onto the scene.

This exercise was to draw an evil alien of some kind. I sorta drew a rough frame that resembled the Alien from the Sigourney Weaver films and kept noodling with it until I got this...this....Thing.

For this exercise the directions were to draw a super-hero with one of three super-powers.
Flight, Super-Strength, or Super-Speed. I chose to draw a super-speedster and decided to give her a high-tech baton thing...kinda like a marathon runner.

This is my CROWN JEWEL so far. Last night I was overwhelemed with great inspiration as I saw the Creative Exercise directions Becky put on the whiteboard. Because we were all anticipating this winter storm the directions were....."Draw a female character with ICE POWERS." Immediately I saw the Tiger-Beat poster of VANILLA ICE that we have in our downstairs bathroom in my mind and couldn't hide the mischievious grins and chuckles as I drew this masterpiece. Ice Powers....How about VANILLA ICE POWERS?! BAM!!!!! I just blew your mind didn't I?!
Anyway...the kids that knew who Vanilla was got a good laugh out of it so my mission was a success. Becky still thinks I'm a huge dork though.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fashionably Late.....HAPPY 2012!!

That's right....2012 is officially here....and my motivation to not. Okay...It's sporatic at best but I've been kinda suffering from a case of "Artist's Block" lately. On New Years eve, I tried to nip it in the bud by having a "Drink and Draw" New Years with my wife Becky. It was good and I managed to get a couple passable scribbles out while I consumed alchoholic beverages and sat in the living room chair. Scribbles like the above Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles piece. I've been obsessing over the green teens alot lately. So much that I think I'm channeling my 13-15 year old self. Once I drag myself out of this funk, I'm seriously considering doing some TMNT art submission pages. Drawing TMNT would be my dream job just under drawing my own titles for a living. So...uh...Mirage Group...IDW...Nickelodeon Studios...Kevin Eastman or Peter Laird...Or whoever is doing the Turtles....If I'm going to sell out...It'll be for you guys.

The next one is of a random fat guy with hot bikini girls. No real reason for this one other than I enjoy drawing fat dudes once in a while.

And Finally...since it's an election year and all the candidates have been tearing into each other like fighting pitbulls, I figure I would submit a poster for a dream candidate. One that can bring America and American Values back and restore our great nation to one of strength, integrity and wisdom. A no-nonsense man who's a straight shooter and demands respect just by breathing. A man that ain't afraid of nothin...Not even "the Beetus". So eat your Quaker Oats and get yourself checked for diabeetus people....Because Brimly's gonna bring back real "Hope and Change."

Ta ta for now.