Friday, March 30, 2007
Two posts in one day! But this must be the last one until next week as I've got some painting to do in my office that's probably going to take all weekend. So yeah...I ran out of time and patience and that's why it's not fully rendered.
Have a great weekend everyone! BTW - April Fools! Hahahahahah! Um...I don't know what that's for but it's this Sunday, so watch yo' back!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
So the sales of HALOGEN:HALO have been going well. I guess when you put a PayPal button on it and make it available online it has a tendency to do better than if I were to just exclusively sell it at the shows. That said, I've been informed by the guys in the studio that the way things are going I'm probably not going to have any of the 200 sketchbooks left by the time SDCC rolls around. By last count, I'm down to my last 20, I think? That's good and bad - 'good' because that means the books are gone and that we've made enough monies to produce whatever cockamamie thing comes into our heads next, and 'bad' because what the hell am I going to do at SDCC if I'm not sitting behind the table trying to convince people to buy my stuff? I'm not about to walk around in that insane cattle drive. For those of you who have never gone, imagine a mass of people (at last year's show it was calculated to have had 150,000 people over the four day show) walking about, shoulder to shoulder, looking at and often buying pop culture memorabilia (because let's face it - ComicCon hasn't been about comic books for years now) and some of them neglect proper hygiene and, more often than not, their very specific and pungent odor either wafts in front of you or rubs off onto you.
Four days of that.
It's better the first day because it's a Thursday and the place isn't filled to the rafters with people yet. But by Saturday it's a madhouse. And to top it all off, because of its recent gain in popularity, hotels in the area have stopped offering up rooms at discounted rates to convention attendees because they figured, "Hell...enough people from large/major companies show up to this event, why bother giving them any discounts at all?" It is to say that it now costs an arm and a leg to go to San Diego and stay anywhere near the vicinity of the convention center.
Oh yeah, the committee that's in charge of the show have, in their questionable wisdom, have decided to cut the space for Artists' Alley in half this year. I guess to make room for all the other non-comic book related detritus that can ante up the ridiculous amounts of cash to lease for floor space. Awesome. I digress.
But, hey - HALOGEN:HALO is selling really well!
Speaking of shoulder to shoulder, here's an image my buddy Mikey (master production coordinator and the fella in charge of making sure all of my sketchbooks look as good as they do) brought by the house the other night. It's an image I did in his sketchbook 10 years ago! By the looks of it I started out with a full head of steam then as I got towards the guys to the far left and right, I kind of petered out. But this thing is TEN YEARS OLD! Ugh...I feel like such an old fart now. But look at the damn cuteness of all the Justice League kids! You wanna squeeze 'em like a pimple!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Here's a story I wrote. *Obviously* this story is fictional as no self-respecting company nor individuals would ever be this unprofessional. Things are good in the world and this is just a story. Pure fiction. But beware - it could happen. This is a story of tragedy, wasted time, and (mostly) comedy. Oh, and I'm not a very good writer and I typically take story cues from real life. Since this is fabricated I just know it'll be something I need to work on. Please be gentle if you review this. Thanks!
The story opens at an east coast comic book convention. Our tired and traveled artist, E, sits at his post, confounded by the amount of people still interested at the non-existent skills of the buffoon sitting two seats to his right. Little does he know that fate conspires to waste several days of his life working on a cover image that will never come to use. Fate's agents step to him then, as the curtains open:
WRITER X: Hey, E! My name is Writer X - you and I have spoken in the past and I love your work, man. This is my associate, Publisher Y - he's with Intelligence Deficit Workshop and we'd like to talk to you about doing a cover for our upcoming series. I think you're familiar with it: 'Final Frontier'? It's licensed to them by Studio Universus? It's been around since forever; A captain, an alien, and a doctor?
E: Oh hey, Writer X! Nice to see you again! And yeah, man, I'm familiar with it! And I'd be honored to do it - thanks for asking me. But...you're sure you want to use me? I mean, you've seen my work, yeah? I don't draw likenesses very well.
Publisher Y now steps forward, hand extended for a shake and an introduction;
PUBLISHER Y: Hello, E. I'm Publisher Y. Writer X has told me a ton about you - and yes, we know your work. We have an idea of what you do and what you bring to the table. And we'd love for you to do our cover. We'll set up the details within the next couple of weeks, but we just wanted to be sure you were willing to do it?
E: Absolutely, Publisher Y! Again, thanks for asking me. Okay, talk to my Agent, F - and we can go from there.
Weeks pass. Our artist is now on the opposite coast. He meets with Writer X once more at another venue where he's assured things are moving along, that Agent F has had conversations with them and Intelligence Deficit Workshop. Agent F has also been assured that the artist's style and approach on likenesses of the licensed characters of Studio Universus would NOT be an issue. We fast forward another week from then. Now under the yoke of a solicitation deadline, semi-frantic e-mails are exchanged, schedules are defined and dates are set. Let it be known that Writer X bends over backwards, above and beyond what's to be expected by most, in order to facilitate meeting the solicitation deadline.
We open to a new scene where the artist finishes the roughs for the image for Writer X and Publisher Y (at this point Publisher Y is the deciding factor in all of this, but he has been lax in his communications to both the artist and Agent F - both still operating under the assumption that Studio Universus would not have any issues over the artist's interpretation of their property).
The artist sends in the rough image to both Writer X and Publisher Y for their notes and (more importantly) for final notes from Studio Universus. The curtains open:
WRITER X (via e-mail): Looks cool to me. Should we send it to Intelligence Deficit Workshop with the note about tech-ing up the helix? Thanks, E.
Another day passes. the deadlines loom even closer now. Then finally:
PUBLISHER Y (via e-mail): E - Writer X sent me the pencils for the cover--I love it. I'd say roll with it. I gotta get it into the (Ppp)views ad by next Wednesday. Doable? -Publisher Y.
The artist agrees (tight deadlines and all) and promises the delivery of the inks and colors by the promised day - Wednesday. All seems well. Then... it all spirals downward. Agent F calls the artist on Tuesday afternoon, the day before the deadline and harbingers the news. The curtains open:
Agent F: E, stop coloring the cover. I just got a call from Writer X, who just got off the phone with Publisher Y of Intelligence Deficit Workshop. He just got word back from Studio Universus. They have issues about you not drawing the likenesses of their licensed characters exactly as they are!
E: What?! Did we or did we not, at the very beginning of this drama and comedy, ask these people about that exact same motherF*CKING issue?! Didn't we say, 'You don't have a problem with me not drawing these characters exactly as they appear?'
Agent F: We did. They concurred and gave you the green light. Now they're backing out. What's worse is that because they're not going to use it they feel like they're not obligated to pay for the work you've done thus far.
E: WHAT!?! WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE AT INTELLIGENCE DEFICIT WORKSHOP!?! WHERE'S THE PROFESSIONALITY IN THAT!?! WHY ARE THEY WASTING MY MOTHERF*CKING TIME!?! WHO ARE THESE GOONS!?!
Agent F: I know...I know...
The story ends with Agent F and the artist vowing to never again do work for villains and hoods who look like men but whose eyes are slits and tongues are forked like snakes. Curtains close. The End.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Okay, another one that I practically did twice. One day, when I have about 300 of these images, I'm going to collect them all in one sketchbook - but before then, I'm going to post all of the images that never made it to completion including the ones that are on the backs of these B&W finished ones.
Nah, that's too ambitious.
And if you're thinking to yourself, "Hey, Eric...I think I've seen these elements in drawings that you've posted in the past, haven't I?" Then you, kind reader, are an aware and astute individual - you get the proverbial 'No-Prize'! I did, indeed, use similar (if not exact) elements in this image as I've used in the past. For example, the playing cards falling through the air are from a Rogue and Gambit image I did a while back. And even before that, I did a Lara Croft image that had her on her knees on a pile of gold coins - this time, obviously I've changed them to poker chips.
Yessir - nothing new or original here in Eric's House of Recycled Ideas. You want something new and cool (well, it's really quite vintage by way of subject matter) go look at Lauren's awesome Shining Voltron Force image! That image is hot like fire. But no Voltron?! C'mon, girl! That's just bein' lazy! Haha!
Monday, March 26, 2007
Haha! Has anyone ever watched this show?! The damn episodes are HILARIOUS! Just got through watching Season One again last night and I was howling the entire time. My favorite episode thus far? It has to be the one where they stuck Race Bannon (of Johnny Quest fame - I'm a huge old school Johnny Quest fan and the fact that they got away with using Race in this show boggles the mind) in the beginning episode called 'ICE STATION--IMPOSSIBLE!'. In that very same episode, the folks at Noodle Soup and Astobase Go! also drop a Fantastic Four homage! Just a brilliant, brilliant show all around. I never have the time (nor the intelligence) to watch the show as they air so release the damn Season Two already!
Oh, and this took more than 90 minutes because A) I'm a retard and I couldn't draw the boys' run poses correctly the first time, so B) I drew it again - on the other side of the same piece of bristol board, no less. On the reverse side of this image is a fully rendered, blue line drawing almost identical to this one. Only I couldn't, for the life of me, draw Dean Venture in his signature run pose from the series' opening sequence. I still don't think I got it right, but whatever. So yeah...I guess you could say I drew it in 90 minutes. Twice. '180 minutes' doesn't sound as sexy though.
Anyway....BROCK SAMPSON IS THE MAN!!! That is all.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Did you know that back in the day, whenever publishers wanted to do something that had anything to do with the occult or horror genres, they'd turn the main protagonists/antagonists into a buxom babe type, take any of the multiple colloquialisms for the devil's name and add the letter 'A' at the end of them? Like these two images for example - Marvel's 'Satanna' and Ediperiodici's 'Lucifera'. I mean, seriously - had they run out of things to call the villainesses or was it just simpler to make their names and purpose *that* on the nose? I'm betting that wasn't the point at all. Based on the referrence material I got for these two, it was all about the T&A and less about being 'Satan's Daughter'. What's the difference between the two, you ask? Well...one's published by Marvel and the other's...not.
And here's what Wikipedia has on Lucifera:
'Lucifera' is the eponymous anti-heroine of an Italian comic book popular in the seventies.
The 'Lucifera' character is a demoness/succubus dedicated to fighting the forces of Goodness. A frequent visitor to Hell, she also enjoys sending others there to be tormented. Her adventures are full of quite explicit, if humorous, eroticism and in one memorable scene she is shown fellating the devil himself. Other storylines involve Sado-Masochism, executions, impalement and even molestation by a giant spider.
On the surface world she seems to inhabit a mythical and very violent Europe from the Middle Ages - populated by wenches, knights and three-headed dragon dogs.
'Dragon-dogs', it says. The three-headed variety, no less. Very interesting, eh? What? You're too busy looking at blocked-out boobs to worry about the trivial facts about this now-defunct character? Too mesmerized by overtly sexual and erotic characters obviously aimed at the misguided hormones of young boys? Guess what? You're their target audience! Congrats, Mr. Hairy Palms!
Monday, March 19, 2007
I had a fine time at the show! Between doing commissions, sketches, and trying to maintain a deadline, the weekend just flew by. Oh, on top of that we had to sell sketchbooks! Whew, I'm getting tired just thinking about the past few days' events. The best part of my convention was probably my extended chat with comic book legend and professional extraordinaire Whilce Portacio. He's such an awesome and kind individual. Or maybe the best part of my show was the fact that an extremely beautiful woman who dressed in different costumes throughout the weekend was walking up and down Artists' Alley. There's nothing that can break up the monotony of looking at a bunch of gnomes and trolls who pass for artists (I'm included in that group, mind you), head-down in their sketchbooks trying to look important, more than a brunette that's dressed like a superhero every day. Haha!
Okay, here's some of the sketches I did this weekend. Well, not the 'upside-down girl shooting at bikers' because that was a Gunslinger Girl commission - but I didn't want to have to post another whole new blog just for the one image. Again, not having a scanner on hand, I had to resort to taking pictures of the sketches and the commission with a digital camera - Jon's camera to be more specific. The one with Scarecrow and Catwoman was part of a jam piece (whoo-hoo! I'm on another one!) that had some serious talents contributing to it - not the least of whom is the incomparable Tim Sale (that's his Scarecrow next to my Catwoman, BTW...I forgot who did the Penguin on the left hand side there)
More later. Enjoy.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I *finally* got in on a jam piece type of a commission where I don't feel embarrassed about being the second-to-the-last person to contribute because everyone who's came before me was such a rockstar. In this case, I was the second guy adding to something (the distinguished gentleman Ryan Benjamin being the first) and I'm hoping that I'm going to be in good company.
The funny thing is, as many people who came up to me at the table at this year's Wizard World: LA show, most of them seem to remember this specific book, this *one* book I did of Wildstorm's character 'Ladytron'. I mean, who pays attention to a character like this? Especially since there wasn't some super hype behind it when it was released? And more importantly, who'd remember this book when *I* was drawing her? Boggles the mind. But I'm certainly glad and appreciative that people remember. If anything else to remind me that I actually did the book so many years back:
"Hey, did you do 'Wildcats: Ladytron' for Wildstorm a while back?" they'd say.
"I did? Oh...um...I guess I did!?" I'd respond.
"Cool, man. I loved that stuff. That and 'Cybernary 2.0' was some of the best work I've seen from you!"
"Oh...right on. (LONG PAUSE) What the hell is 'Cybernary 2.0'?" I'd say.
I'm just getting old, I tell you.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
For those of you who don't know, Wizard World:Los Angeles is in town until Sunday and I have a table in Artists' Alley between the incomparable Dustin Nguyen and the legendary Whilce Portacio. Please drop by, pick up some free postcards, and check out my new sketchbook, HALOGEN:HALO. I'm also selling a handful of the 90 minute sketches I've posted on this blog, so if you're interested in picking up originals from yours truly, I'll have them on the table.
Speaking of sketchbooks, HALOGEN:HALO is now available online for purchase by clicking on this here link: LINK. You must have a PayPal account, however and if you don't well that's just tough balls. Haha! Seriously, it's easy enough to set up with a major credit card, you'll support my habitual art supply tendencies and once all 200 copies of the books are sold, that's all there is! So please pick one up from me at the show or via the BVS website. Thanks in advance for the support!
Oh, yeah - here's an image I did as a commission at the show. More later - especially about the new book I'm working on. See yah!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
So back when I used to draw comics for a living (and I use that term very loosely considering I was never really fast enough to do comics as a living) I would painstakingly lay out each an every single page before I actually get to drawing them on the 11x17 bristol that's the industry standard. Some call it 'thumbnails', others call it 'roughs'...whatever - all I know is that I did it too.
Last night, as I'm cleaning out my office to make room for new furniture, I came across old sketchbooks that had my 'layouts' in them. And sweet lord almighty - it hit me why I was never fast enough to draw comics back then. Here now, for your amusement (maybe even amazement), are those roughs that I would later Xerox up to the proper size and redraw again. In essence, as tight as I drew the damn things (and by the way, the size they're coming up on your screen by way of inches is the *actual* size they are in my sketchbook), I went and redrew them...again. Larger, even. I. Drew. Every. Issue. Twice. I look at these now and I'm exhausted! No wonder I was so burned out by the end of every issue! And lemme tell you - there's pages, and pages, and pages, and pages of this stuff! About 6 full sketchbooks' worth! Who the hell drew all of this?! I swear if I could get my hands on a Flux Capacitor powered DeLorian, I'd hit 88MPH, travel back in time to La Jolla, and slap some common sense into myself! I'd say, "We get it! You can f*ckin' DRAW! No one's questioning your ability to put lines down on paper! Stop trying to impress everyone!" Also I'd tell myself to quit eating so much, you fat bastard.
Anyhoo - just thought you'd all like to see what a younger, hungrier version of my work looked like by way of comic book pages so when the new stuff comes out ("What new stuff?" you ask. I'll have panels from it in the next post - I promise) you can rail on me about how I'm not working as hard. Good night all. I'm sleepy.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Got back from the Wondercon show this past Sunday and I'm still recovering. Like I said, I'll post pictures as soon as I can collate them. But for now here are the three commissions I did at the NYCC show the previous week. Forgive the quality of a couple of the images as I didn't have a scanner handy to keep records for myself and I ended up using my handy-dandy digital camera to take pictures. Thanks to the guys who were kind enough to ask me for the images - they were a challenge and so much fun to do! I mean, how many times are you gonna have a guy ask you to draw 'Thanos' of all characters?! That was totally different.
BTW, if you're reading this Drew Cheskin, if it's not too much trouble, will you please send me a high-res scan of that Thanos image I did for you? I wasn't smart enough to snap a picture before I gave it to you on the last day of the show and had to pull the image I have up now from your Comicartfans.com gallery. I'd really appreciate it, man. Thanks in advance.