“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Here's another case where I wrote down the image someone wanted me to draw but completely neglected to note who it was for, their contact information, etc. So if *you*, person who maybe still visits my blog and have asked me to do a Deadman image, would be so kind as to drop me an e-mail at the address listed to the right and claim your original, I would greatly appreciate it.
Speaking of a dead man (well...less 'dead man' and more like 'dead-tired man', I suppose), an interview I did for the Comic Art Fans boards is up. If you're unfamiliar with this website, it's a fascinating community of collectors, artists, and fans (duh!) where they exhibit their personal collections of original comicbook art. Plug in any and all of your favorite comicbook artists and see what pops up! The folks there have the most insane collections.
Anyway, thanks to Jason Versaggi for the opportunity and for handling me with kid gloves (much appreciated, man!) - all part of the hype that is the forthcoming "Iron Man: Enter The Mandarin" mini-series. If you're so inclined, please visit [HERE] - read along, have a few laughs at my expense, then come back here and tell me how disgusting a veggie pizza with anchovies sounds to you.
Oh, wait! While I have the 'Deadman' theme going, here are a couple of pretty hilarious quotes from Sen. Larry Craig's statement about his recent...um...'excursion' to a men's public bathroom. Little did he know that he was soliciting an undercover police officer:
"In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision. While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct at the Minneapolis airport or anywhere else, I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of making it go away."
And another: "Let me be clear: I am not gay and never have been."
Haha! Brilliant! I have never heard a man backpedal so fast about his guilt, both public and private! Yet another reason to never ever trust a public official and much less a public official with two first names.
at 7:22 AM
Friday, August 24, 2007
I feel terrible because work hasn't allowed me to put up much of anything here on my poor little blog, I'm just going to have to post a bunch of stuff now so that I'm set for the next few days. And yeah, I know I've posted some of these cards before - deal with it. it is to say, that I'm not posting as consistently, and this ought to make up for the next week or two when I'm anticipating not posting even more. I mean, that's 54 little cards - that should be good for...what?...3 weeks? Heh.
I also didn't have time to make the card line up all pretty-like, but I figured it's the images you cared about and not how perpendicular and parallel they all are to each other. These are in no particular order - just slapped onto the scanner and uploaded here. Oh, and there's two Dr. Dooms because...well, you can never get enough Doom.
BTW, thanks to all for the words of encouragement and support over the last blog entry about the forthcoming Iron Man mini-series. I certainly appreciate those who have posted...and the guys who are lurking as well. Sneaky little lurkers.
Have a great weekend.
at 6:43 AM
Thursday, August 23, 2007
"September," people keep telling me. "That's when Iron Man: Enter The Mandarin comes out."
"Oh, good," I think to myself. Then my stomach turns a little.
Here's the thing, I don't pay attention to when my work debuts because, well...to be perfectly honest, it's a nerve-wracking concept for me. At least I *try* not to pay attention. I used to - I mean, I loved the attention that Cybernary 2.0 got when I saw the ad in Wizard magazine! It was a hoot to see those same ads run in a lot of DC books. I thought, "This is it! This is SO awesome!" I was *so* about the hype. Ugh - I was such a kid.
Now I'm an old man and the hype scares the hell out of me.
IM:ETM was/is a project and an experiment to do something under the radar; to do something for my again-foray into the comicbook scene without the pressures of a mainstream title. At least that's what I thought in my head. I don't know what I was thinking. Marvel is obviously doing all they can to promote the book and with the new movie coming out I'm not sure how under the radar it's going to be. The good news is the response, from people I've met at the shows and online (message boards can be an evil, evil place sometimes) has been , overall, pretty favorable. The bad news is... actually, come to think of it, there is no 'bad' news, per se. It's all decent news. I'm just so much more aware that people are...aware, and I'm obviously no longer 'under the radar'. It's an odd feeling of wondering whether or not the book will deliver.
But you know who DOES deliver? Motherf*ckin' DAVE STEWART! Look at the work he's done on this page! IM is going to be launched like a bomb and the mood and feel of that experience is enhanced and captured perfectly by Dave's awesome palette. There's some good people I'm working for on the creative front - from Dave to Joe Casey - and between the two of them, I hope I'm not the weakest link.
The point is, the book comes out next month. Please help out my experiment by checking it out and picking it up. I'd be much obliged.
My stomach is turning again.
at 8:21 AM
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
For those not in the know, I contributed images to an art book that was released at last year's San Diego Comic Con entitled 'FUSION JUNCTION'. And even though I participated, poured my unflattering, chicken scratches that I dug up from the bottom of a bird cage, the book was still a resounding success. That's probably due to, in no small part, the other artists in the book; Nox, Maggie, and Middleton. Awesome inspirations all.
Now based on the success of that first publication, I'm guessing that the book did well enough to warrant a second volume. So the guys at AB.C Publishing is putting out another book aptly entitled 'FUSION JUNCTION 2' . This time around, the book contains the work of four new (count 'em - 4) diverse, brilliant and admirable illustrators: Agasang, Taira Akitu, Stoneman, and last but definitely not least, LeSean Thomas. By contrast and comparison, the people in charge of putting the second volume together outdid themselves from the first. Great job, George, Grace, and Alan - you're all rock stars and make my work look so much more legitimate than it really is. Thank you for making me look so good!
And to commemorate the awesomeness of this new book, there's going to be a book release party and an art show! Woot! Check out the flyer above for details or, if the print is too fine to read here's the info:
September 8, 2007
Saturday, 6pm - 11pm
R O B O C O N
988 N. HILL ST. #202
LOS ANGELES, CA
I'm going to be in attendance, along with Mssrs. Middleton and Thomas. We're going to be exhibiting original prints and making them available for sale through the Robocon store.
Those of you who missed out on the first publication should definitely NOT miss out on the second volume. It's so amazing and humbling. So, if you're in the area and you want to see either beautiful, exquisite art on display by Josh, LeSean, et al... please drop by and tell them how cool they are, support the effort and buy the book(s). Cool?
Thanks in advance, all. Have a great week.
at 1:49 PM
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
First off, please pardon the scan, as I've had to graft the whole image together because my large format scanner has been in storage since I don't know when. But the fact that I actually had to scan the damn thing in pieces is the whole point of this blog entry.
Anyhoo... a combination of a couple of things brought this image to mind as the next 90 minute exercise that I wanted to do: 1) An entry in Skottie Young's blog about his impassioned affinity and respect for the old-school Image guys (not to mention that great looking 'Grifter' sketch he put up), and 2) Jim Lee's birthday rolled around a couple of days ago. Respect the Jim Lee.
So this past Sunday I started this 'quickie' and...well...it got out of control. Way. Out. Of. Control.
I always had this composition in mind so as it was in my head so it is on the bristol - it's not like I started and just kept adding on and that was the problem. But it's twice the size length-wise than what I would normally do my sketches - basically from a standard 11x14" size now an unwieldy double-page spread. It's just become too much damn drawing for not enough immediate return and I don't know why I did it in the first place. Maybe I was really feeling my oats that morning, but I mean, seriously - ALL the motherf*cking Wildcats?! WTF, Eric! It was fun while I was in the thick of it, but it's come to the point where the concept finishing it up has become a laborious process and I don't think I'm going to have fun doing it. So I think that's it - this is as far as I go for the foreseeable future with this one. The whole point of doing the 90 minute stuff was for fun and for a quick warm-up. This beast, as it has become painfully obvious (at least as it stands now), is no longer either.
But since I hadn't put anything up in a couple of days, I thought it'd be nice to share an ambitious, horrible train wreck put to paper. Well, people *have* asked me how loose do I pencil before I go to ink. Here you go, you inquisitive bunch of crazies; the answer is very, VERY loose.
Okay, I'm gonna go do something else now, like..I dunno...Iron Man or something. Enjoy.
at 8:17 AM
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I was at city hall standing in line for something rather, thinking about how much this experience was going cost me - overdue dog licenses cost a lot, I was guessing - when from the corner of my eye I realize that the clerk behind the counter was smiling at me. She was a looker, this clerk and considering that flirting was the last thing on my mind, this was a nice distraction. So I smiled back and because I'm socially retarded, I looked away. Looking up again, I make eye contact with her, her smile was that much wider now - which is a killer to me because that's one of my weaknesses when it comes to the opposite sex...beautiful smiles. The same social retard in me kicks in and I look behind me to check to see if she was actually smiling at me and not some stunningly handsome cad that's a mix of Johnny Depp and whomever else Hollywood has manufactured to make womens' hearts swoon these days, who was standing behind me instead. And unless she had a weird fetish for older women who wore large, cable-knit sweaters and mom jeans (you know the kind of jeans I'm speaking of, yeah?), I stipulated that she was indeed - with that bright, beautiful smile - looking at me. Neato.
Now, this third time looking at her, I see her (sort of on the side and as inconspicuously as the large, open area that city hall counter tops would allow) motioning to me with her index finger to come to her. It was a nanosecond of a thought that passed through my head that said, "Dammit...I'm going to loose my place in line if I walk over there," but I decided that this kind of thing didn't happen very often (at least not to me) and I walked over to where she was. My heart was picking up in pace.
"Hi there," she said. I can see her eyes were a light crystal blue and she smelled heavenly. Killed me on the spot. "My name's Sarah."
"Oh, hi! How are you, Sarah? My name's Eric. How are you?" Yeah...I really did say it twice. At this point I was feeling sort of good about myself because this woman saw something in me that actually inspired her enough to first of all, wave me over and second of all, talk to me. I'm not much by way of being slick or suave or someone who knows how this works, so these experiences don't ever, EVER happen to me. This was new and it was awesome.
"Oh, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she replies.
Oh, you ARE indeed "fine", Sarah The Cute Clerk From City Hall. I'm about to have a random conversation with a pretty, pretty girl and how insane was this? Ba-bump, Ba-bump, Ba-bump went my chest.
She leaned in closer - you know, in that way that people do when they're about to tell you something they don't want broadcast to the world - opting me to do the same. At this point either my heart stopped or I became confused. Either or.
"Eric..." she started.
My eyebrow raises, inquisitively.
"Your fly is open."
at 2:46 PM
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Well, sort of. After all was said and done, it probably totaled to about 3.5 hours from start to finish, but there's a pretty good reason why. The reason has a primer, so bear with me.
If you can, go and buy the "Space Ghost and Dino Boy: The Complete Series (1966)" - not necessarily for the cartoon itself. I mean, I'm sure it's a hoot and all, but the reason why *I* bought it was because of the supplemental disc that has an AWESOME Alex Toth retrospective. If you're unaware of Toth's contribution to the series (along with the other classics he's helped create for Hanna Barbera) it would do you well to go check out his Wikipedia listing. Just click on his high-lighted name above and read along.
So about the retrospective - it's a small documentary that reflects on his life, his contribution and long-lasting impact to the medium of comics and animation . Throughout the segment it has people speaking about him; from well renowned professionals of the industry to close family members. And the level of candidness in which these interviews were conducted shows how personal and how connected these people truly were to this brilliant, talented illustrator - they speak not only of the accomplishments of a legend, but also the frailties of the man. Really, really touching stuff. One of the most poignant moments is when Mark Chiarello (Art Director for some of DC Comics' nigh-profile projects) speaks about Toth's last days and how he had tried to re-establish their strained relationship by writing him a letter, only to have Toth pass a few days later. Then about a week after that, Chiarello receives a reply back from his old friend - postmortem. It's eerie and touching at the same time and only really hit upon very briefly in the documentary. As a creator and illustrator, one can only hope to have that kind of longevity and resonance. Toth does. And to top it all off they showed different samples of his artwork! Not enough, in my opinion, but whatever! The images were just so awe-insipiringly simple that I got this exhilarating creative charge.
It is to say that I was genuinely inspired.
So much so, that I decided that Space Ghost was going to be my next 90 minute exercise. Now I don't typically start and stop on my warm-up images (well, lately I've been hitting a couple of those speed bumps, but I've since gotten over that), but this one took me a couple of tries because I just wanted to draw the character with some justice. Some of the earlier versions were terribly posed with no weight or tension to their bodies, or the compositions were terrible, or I couldn't get that signature SG head right or that's not Toth would do it or...well, you get what I'm saying - they just weren't working. I guess thinking about all of those Toth images was, to a degree, intimidating because all you wanna do is to do it as well as he did. Then, after try #4 I realized, "Screw this. All I can do is try my best. I'm never going to be as good as that guy so why don't I just draw for fun?!"
And there it was. I turned off and above is the result of that attempt. Not great. Not terrible. Nowhere as good as the original. But there it is. Anyway - go get the DVDs. Get a book called 'Alex Toth: Black and White. Get inspired.
at 10:36 AM
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I don't know why it's taken me so long, but I wanted to come on here and tell all five of you who visit this blog that I will *NOT* be attending this year's Wizard World: Chicago. The reason being is that SDCC really killed my schedule and now deadlines are bearing down on me like a two ton elephant. So yeah - sorry folks, no Chicago for me. And again, my apologies for not coming on here and saying so earlier than I am right now.
On another note, Ivan Brandon's new TPB/Anthology "24/7 Vol.2" premiered at San Diego Comic Con this year, and then the launch party rolled into L.A.'s Meltdown Comics a week thereafter. I had a story in the first collection (thanks to Ivan's invitation and his crisp writing style - he wrote the story I did. Natch), but I am *so* genuinely jealous because of the set of creators that have participated in this latest incarnation. My suggestion is that you go check it out (better yet - BUY IT!), go to the Image Comics Message Board and tell Ivan what a genius/monster he is for gathering such a talented bunch of forward-thinking creators to work on the book. I don't know how he pulled it off (he wouldn't tell me when I was grilling him about it), but here's hoping he does a Vol. 3 so that I can make up for the mess I turned in the first time 'round. Haha! Just kidding, Ivan.
Okay, I don't have much by way of commentary about the image above. It's an Aztec/Mayan guy bashing a guy's jaw off. Don't talk to me about reference or accuracy either - I don't know what that is. You want accurate?! YOU effin' draw it!
Ah... nothing says 'professional' like bringing an overly defensive argument down to a 4th grade level. Have a great week, everyone.
at 1:19 PM
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Because I came off like such a downer on the previous post, I wanted to put up the images I drew at the convention and make up for the 'tired as hell' post. I'm sorry for the poor quality of these images as most of this stuff was taken with my digital camera. But whatever.
So, the first three (you know, the ones that are really blown-out in white) are images from peoples' sketchbooks. The one titled 'Courtesan' is from Gabriele Pennacchioli's book (in which I'm in way over my head because the other illustrators found therein are such delicate, talented craftsmen). The single Wolverine image was done for the ninja-like commissioner Cory Walker - the brilliant illustrator who received well-due notoriety for his initial run on the critically acclaimed book 'Invincible' from Image Comics. I say 'ninja-like' because Cory and I didn't even make formal introductions at all! He came by the table, asked for the sketch (I smiled a little at the request as I found it quite amusing that I was about to draw Wolverine again - a character I have no business drawing because I depict him like such a mongoloid), I charged him money, drew the image and off he went! Only later did I get an e-mail from him with the attached image and a note thanking me for my time. Dang-nabbit! I'm a proponent for Cory's work and I wish we could've chatted a bit. Maybe next time.
The last three (Warmachine, X-23&Wolverine, Preacher) are commissions. The 'Preacher' one was quite a weird challenge - someone wanted me to recreate the cover that Glenn Fabry did and I was more happy to do so, but it's embarrassing to realize that I'm not going to do it as well as the original. So the challenge was to not make a complete ass of myself by re-drawing it. I've included the original cover (sans logo) next to it so you all can compare and see the tragic attempt in which I tried to reproduced it. Ugh.
I drew more images, mind you - sketches and such. But I wasn't mindful enough to take photos of those. Only later (much, much later) did I realize, "Oh, wait...I'm supposed to take pictures of these damn things for my own records." Ah, well. So if you are one of the few who were actually kind enough to ask me for a sketch and are actually still visiting this blog, would you mind terribly if you sent me a scan of whatever chicken scratches I managed to draw in your books? If it's not too much trouble, that is. Just go into my profile there on the right and you should find an e-mail to send a scan/photo/whatever to, yeah? Okay, thanks in advance.
I also took a picture (the only voluntary one I took all weekend) with a cosplayer who dressed up like Molotov Cocktease from the 'Venture Bros.' teevee show and I was about to put it up here. But I have a sh*t-eating grin on my face which is really embarrassing. Though the funnier aside is the way I got her attention in order to take said picture.
"Hey! Cocktease!" I said, pointing at her with my fanboy finger. Why do the ladies stay away, I wonder to myself daily. I have my theories.
Anyway - many, many, MANY thanks to those of you who dropped by the table, talked it up with me, bought a print, original art, sketchbooks, etc. You made my convention experience a very pleasurable one.
at 12:51 PM
Friday, August 03, 2007
I'm home and I'm tired. Go figure. It might be because that San Diego Comic Con is creatively exhilarating when you're there, but much like a candy bar-induced sugar high, you'll go through a crash once that sh*t wears out. Anyhoo, I tried to get back into the swing of things by doing the 90 minute exercises again... and... um... for those who've asked if I ever have an off day creatively, the answer is, "Yes. Yes, I do. And that day is every day this week after I got home from the Comic Con." Ugh. I'll post cards later instead. I feel terrible about neglecting my blog.
If you want inspiration, go visit Gabriele Pennacchioli's blog - inspiration galore. He was very, very kind to me when we met at the show and even afforded me some of his time for a small chat. I can only hope to draw as well as him someday. Oh, and notice the picture he has up of himself (left, back to camera), animation legend Eric Goldberg (right) and me (middle). It's like that seminal scene in the movie 'Heat' where Paccino finally does a face to face with DeNiro in the diner. It's totally f*ckin' awesome, right? Two men representing a craft that only a lucky few can even *dream* of being close to, both in the same place? But in this version a 'roided up Carrot Top shows up, does that creepy smile of his, and screws the whole thing up.
I am Carrot Top.
at 6:03 PM