“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

Monday, November 26, 2007

MONSTER_commission



Going to be gone for a bit, folks. Head's full and I need to clear it out. Be back in a couple of weeks with new stuff and hopefully a fresh perspective. Until then...

[*Edit: Wasn't happy with the previous end product so I redrew it. And here it is. Enjoy.]

Saturday, November 24, 2007

SAMUS_90 minutes


They say turkey makes you sleepy due to some chemical called 'triptophan'. That may be true, but I've also come to find out that eating copious amounts of *any* food will also make you sleepy. That's called 'pigging out'. Like on BBQ chicken and ribs, for example. Come to think of it, watching friends eat copious amounts of food will also have the same effect on me.

Nothing like playing video games to stimulate the heart a little bit and keep the food coma at bay. Go 'Heavenly Sword'!

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving went well.

So...Samus is a girl?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

MARGOT_90 minutes



"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"

So here's another little story.

I had actually started and was almost finished with an earlier 'Margot Lane' 90 minute exercise. But before I get into that maybe you guys need a primer.

I chew on ice cubes. I like it. I dunno - psychiatrists may say it stems from some level of frustration; personal, professional, mental, physical...um...sexual? Whatever. I like to chew on ice. I like to load up whatever I'm drinking, something cold and something refreshing, and I like to load it up with ice. Then, after the drink is done, there's gonna be ice left. I chew on that because...well...I like to chew on ice. You get little hints of the previous drink because it's somehow permeated itself into the ice cube. It's a nice little treat, you know? Big cubes, little tiny ones, shaved mini-chunks, even the ones with the holes in the middle, I don't have a preference. Last night they were the kind from the ice trays in my fridge - I'd say medium size cubes at the very least.

Okay, so - I'm almost done with a previous Margot Lane image. I was working on the brim of The Shadow's hat, chewing on ice (because I like chewing on 'em) and I guess I'd lost my ice chewing skills or maybe the cube was just a tad too big for my mouth or I'd just forgotten to swallow the melted byproduct.... I don't know what the hell happened, but the next thing I know I've drooled on the original. So flabbergasted was I at this near-impossible and laughable event that I sat there looking at the water soluble ink run down the length of the page. I was mortified.

But then something else happened. After that disastrous tendril finally came to a halt, I started laughing. Laughing out loud like a madman. Laughing like a crazy person because I imagined the sight of me looking like a giant infant and were I wearing diapers and a bib, I'd more than complete the scene. You'd laugh your ass off too if you'd seen a grown man involuntarily drool on himself.

Anyway, there it is. At least I got a chance to redraw Margot to the point where I was actually happy with her. So that right there was a hidden little gift and silver lining. Oh, and I've included a cropped section of the ill-fated image where, you know... the 'magic' happened. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

KANEDA_90 minutes


Couple e-mails have come in asking, "Why only give yourself 90 minutes? What's the significance to that time limit ? Are you really doing these in 90 minutes?"

It's story time, kids!

Once upon a time...well, maybe about a year ago, when I was working in the kingdom of television animation and feeling quite uninspired by the show I was working on (I won't go into which show I'm speaking of), I'd get into work about 10:30am and being that it was such a soul-sucking experience to be there every morning, I tried to do everything in my power to pass the time without passing out at my desk. So I figured I'd draw some images that made for good exercise and burn an hour and half until lunch time rolled around. One of the things that would (typically) motivate the morning's subject matter was the movie I plugged into my portable DVD player - which coincidentally was also around ninety minutes long. Natch.

Yeah, I know what you're saying. "That just sounds like you were wasting your time while you're at work!" Or maybe, "So you didn't feel like working and you just found something else to draw?!"

Yes. Sort of. Well...yes.

And let me tell you, if you were in my shoes back then, it was either that or a sharp pencil to the eye. So instead I put that pencil to paper and it allowed me to get faster and disciplined (heh!) enough to get an image done in an hour or so. Things are different now, of course. I actually love my job and I absolutely love what I'm contributing to - but I still manage to (or try to) find an hour and a half every day in order to stay sharp. I didn't know it back then but doing those drawings with that time limit in mind allowed me to focus on the things that are really important and essential to my illustrations in order to communicate an idea or story point and disregard all the frivolous crap that I'd get caught up with in the past. I just think about how much I need to draw with as few lines or shapes or whatever else possible so that I can move on to the next thing. You know - don't get too fancy or precious with the drawing and get it off my desk because there's no time. I mean, that's put me in tough spots before. Reference, accuracy and whatever else sometimes can hold me up, but more often than not it's not such a task heavy process. Just draw whatever for 90 minutes and when the clock dings - I'm done.

So maybe it wasn't really wasting my time, per say. It gave me perspective and discipline and it's something I carry onto my work in comics and illustration now. Or at least I try to. Heh.

Anyway, there's the story behind that. I've seen and have been told about other people doing the same thing and I don't know if they're doing the exercise because they got it from me (in which case you guys owe me a nickel) or because it's something they've come to on their own. But I hope they have the same eye-opening experience that I had. One of the many benefits I've found is that I can look back however many days/months/years from now and I'll have a point of reference as far as how far I've progressed. If you want to be witness to that, you can look back at older posts that I've uploaded on this here blog and you can see how rough those early drawings were. Or I dunno...maybe they were better back then because they were such crude cave man drawings. Who knows? But that's the whole point, isn't it? Learn. Apply. Analyze. Repeat. And as Kanye says (actually, Daft Punk said it first):

"Work it harder make it better, do it faster makes us stronger, more than ever, hour after hour work is never over..."

Heh. Enough of that talk. Here's Kaneda. Enjoy.

Oh - sometimes, some of the images take longer than 90 minutes. But I'm very honest about which one of these are. I ain't trying to pull a fast one on ya'. Promise.

[*EDIT: Thanks to all who wrote in for the correction of the character's name. Much appreciated.]




Saturday, November 17, 2007

GREEN PANTS


If you don't know who Robert McGinnis is, then good. You won't know who I ripped the feeling of this painting off from.

Also, I got sick of painting it so that's the end of that. Okay, that's all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

"I'VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS..."_90 minutes


This image took more than 90 minutes for a couple of reasons. One reason is because I did it three times. Three motherf*ckin' times. So that would make it, what... 270 minutes? Heh. That ain't so bad - there's no better remedy than getting it right, I say.

The other reason (the more egregious, blasphemous of the two) is because even though one has watched Star Wars'... oh, I dunno - a bazillion times...it doesn't necessarily mean one can draw the characters from memory. Unless you're my boss, Glen Murakami - but he's a freak.

So you think to yourself, "Well...it's Star Wars! I've watched the real trilogy so many times I can't even remember the exact number. Okay - that ought to make this exercise *super* easy, yeah?"

Wrong.

What does Han's belt/costume/gun look like? Or Leia's for that matter? How do those buns in her head go again? How does that bowcaster of Chewbacca's look like? What the hell is a 'bowcaster'? What does Chewie's face look like? Ugh. And that's why it took so damn long.

Anyway, I just wanted to put up another image before the week ended. Enjoy your weekend, all. And remember what Darth Vader said:

"I've got *you* now....WHAT...?!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ARZACH_90 minutes


In speaking with a friend the other night, the works of Moebius came up in the conversation, which planted the seed in my mind to do this image. When I look at Moebius' work I'm constantly trying to recalibrate whatever concepts I'm looking at because I'm either just really slow or he's just an illustrator way ahead of his time. It's a little of both, I think.

Enjoy.

Oh wait! Well wishes to my dear, dear friend and mentor Sam Liu (visit his blog, marvel at The Liu, and leave comments telling him how awesome he is) - who just got out of the hospital after getting his gall bladder removed and replaced with a cybernetic one that has X-ray capabilities, transforms into a pulse rifle, and reads high definition BluRay discs. Okay, only part of that statement is true.

So, I guess I dedicate this image to Sam because much like Arzach he also...um...likes to fish for...um...giant eggs? I dunno. Anyhoo - feel better Sam! You're gonna be back on your feet in no time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

MEDUSABOLT_90 minutes



Could've done more, but I was fussy with her face. Moving on.

[*EDIT: Yeah, so I had found some time and went back and messed with it more - especially her ear. Damn that thing was bad. But I swear that's the last time.]

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

L.A. COMIC BOOK & SCI-FI CON_sketches




A few sketches from this past Sunday's comic book and sci-fi in Los Angeles. And you know this because that's the title/header for this entry. Duh.

The show went well. Thanks to Bruce Schwartz (the show's organizer/coordinator) for inviting me. Thanks to my buddy Jon who made sure I had everything with me - including my oft-times missing head. I got the chance to meet and chat it up a bit with cartoonist supreme Dean Yeagle (search for his work online if you don't know who he is). Simply amazing work. Most of all, I'd like to thank the dozen or so fans who stopped by the table to buy my books.

So here are just three sketches of the however many I did that afternoon. I figured: buy a book from me, get a free sketch. Which worked out fine. Thanks to the guys who were kind enough to scan and send me these. Much appreciated, gents. Okay, back to work.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

ICHABOD_90 minutes


This one's a bit late as I had meant it to be my Happy Halloween greeting. 'Better late than even later,' I always say.

So instead, I'm going to tell you guys about my appearance at a local (read: small and intimate - which is really cool to me) comic book convention here in L.A. - the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention at the Shrine Auditorium tomorrow. I'll be there from 12PM to 3PM, signing/selling some copies of IM:ETM (I don't know how many copies of issues #1 and #2 I have so if you've bought your own please bring them by) and doing sketches. If you can, please drop by and say 'hello' so I don't make a complete fool of myself, sitting there all by my lonesome. Heh.

Seriously though, please click on the link above to find out the details (address/directions, featured guests, etc.) - the highlight of the show for me is that *maybe* they'll show clips from the new 'Aliens vs Predator' movie! I'm such a nerd.

Anyway - Happy Halloween, everybody! Have fun trick or treating, and don't eat too much candy! It'll give you a stomach ache!