“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, June 28, 2010

EL MARIACHI_90 minutes




"So, I'm sitting there...and in walks the BIGGEST Mexican I have ever seen. Big as SHIT! Just walks in like he owns the place. Dark, too. I don't mean dark skinned; no, this was different. It was as if he was walking in a shadow. I mean every step he took towards the light--just when you thought his face was about to be revealed, it wasn't. It was as if the lights dimmed, just for him...

...Well, whatever he said pissed off the bartender plenty. And those unsavory characters I was telling you about? They got pissed too. Started pulling guns and knives and what have you--starting some shit. So the stranger jumps off the stool like you wouldn't believe. He grabs his case and dives in the middle of the floor. He's up in two shakes, pulling God knows what out of the case, but it was the biggest hand cannon I've ever fucking seen."

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And speaking of BIG Mexicans, have you ever noticed how slick my recent set art books look? Have any of you taken note of the high level of production value associated with them and the brilliant concepts that make the books themselves a work of art while still complimenting the images within? Have you come to appreciated that they are a cut above most of the 'convention sketchbooks' that you'd normally find at most... uhm... conventions? Have you seen the phenomenal "This Journal Belongs To..." art book that MING DOYLE has recently made available to the public?

Well, Ming and I have no one else to thank except for the multi-talented and highly creative mind that is VALERIE NUNEZ. Val has been responsible for designing, arranging and executing the books that you all have had the distinct pleasure of buying from me and Ming through Essential Sequential. I mention Val's name because she's told me that she had so much fun doing our individual projects, that it would be an interesting endeavor for her to tackle a couple other working professionals' works and see what original concepts she can come up with. I'm reluctant, of course - I'm a selfish bastard and I'd like to keep all her ideas for myself, but she is a dear, dear friend and I just know with her talent it's only a matter of time before she starts doing this production stuff full time.

That said, if any of you are interested in the magic and polish that Val can do, then please contact her directly via e-mail (click on her name above). A small heads up: the lady ain't cheap. But if you've got a pretty decent budget, the woman is well worth every penny and she's got the talent to execute something that'll really make your work shine.

Good luck, all. Have great week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

CABLE_commission




I don't know how the artists who draw this character do it panel to panel. From Liefild to Romita Jr. to whomever it is that's drawing this big bastard now, I don't know how they do it panel to panel, issue to issue. I mean, look at him. He's this guy with SO MUCH SH*T on him - so much detail and gear and bullets and guns and grenades and tech and babies and whatever else masturbatory detail you can put on one character - that I don't know how, by the third page, the book's artist doesn't put a gun in his mouth.

My bias probably has a lot to do with my overall laziness. I can't draw doohickeys and doodads anymore.

Drawing this much detail is a task left for the young. I remember loving this concept when I was a kid; pile on as much stuff as possible, draw until my hand falls off, be absolutely proud of that first awesome panel and realizing I have 21 more pages to go. And guess what? I was up to the task! Jeebus. Now if I can't be done with a page before a DVD is over I think I'm laboring over it.

Actually, the thing that I've come to find is that I'm just not as tenacious as I used to be. I've also found that my art is cyclical. I started drawing by doing very rudimentary stick figures. Those drawings steadily climbed to becoming more sophisticated and I started doing more detail. I discovered issues of Secret Wars and superhero comic books which then inspired me to drawing them and putting even more detail. Then I break into the animation industry where they intravenously pump the idea of simplifying and streamlining into your system from the moment you sit at your desk which forced me to pare down my work to its basics. And soon, probably as soon as next month, I'm gonna go back to drawing the stick figures again. Hell, I figure why wait until my skills devolve into that sad state? I'll just jump directly to that now and save myself the years of sitting in my office, overweight and eating through a couple bags of donuts, and weeping uncontrollably because no one buys my comics anymore. And in the spirit of devolution, I'm also just gonna start wearing Depends Adult Underwear.

I just laughed at myself because that level of bleakness is morbidly funny to me. Hehe.

Anyhoo... this is all to say that to those artists who have drawn this character, artists who are currently, bravely drawing him, and to those young, adventurous and upcoming artists who are going to draw the hell out of Cable - you have my utmost respect and admiration. But please don't put too much stock in that admiration. I'm the guy who's wearing a pair of OOPS, I CRAPPED MY PANTS.


Have a great weekend, all. And VIVA FIFA!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

ERIC_90 minutes

  


"There's a man going around taking names. And he decides who to free and who to blame. Everybody won't be treated all the same. There'll be a golden ladder reaching down, when the Man comes around...

...Whoever is unjust let him be unjust still. Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still. Whoever is filthy let him be filthy still. Listen to the words long written down, when the Man comes around."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

ELEKTRA_auction




Every year the HEROESCON in Charlotte, NC has an art auction over the weekend where fans and professionals co-mingle in a large banquet hall - all vying to bid on art donated by artists from the show's attendance.

The image above was my contribution. And as usual I waited until the last minute to actually do it. So in a state of panic the night before the auction (and a few hours right up until the submission deadline) I managed to rush out and finish off this Elektra drawing. It's done in COPIC markers and cleaned up with some white acrylic paint.

The whole event went off as it did in years past; entertaining, competitive and festive - all benefitting the show and its organizers. And at the end of the day, that's what mattered to me most. I've included a shot of the piece (kindly sent to me by the auction winner) next to the chair so you guys can have a point of reference regarding its size.  I hope now you can see where my "Holy sh*t! What the f*ck am I doing and who the hell said we could do this in color!? You're a loser and you're going to have harlequin babies, Canete!" state of mind came from. For a guy who does nothing but B&W images on 10x14" paper, this was like asking a kid who plays 'Operation' to do an actual triple bypass.

It did fairly well price-wise at the auction and the owner of the piece seemed very happy with his purchase. I'm grateful to him for bidding on it, and I was very shocked and humbled at how many people enjoyed seeing it while it was being exhibited before the auction started. All I remember from the experience of making it was late night HBO television, raiding the overly expensive hotel mini-bar for sweets, and Stephane rolling over in bed, mumbling something aggressive and scary in French as he slept.

Anyway... thanks to all in attendance who had kind words to say about the drawing. Thanks to the all the bidders and to the buyer, Andrew, for his patronage and for sending me the high quality photos that I neglected to take for myself (I swear, if my head wasn't attached I would've left it in my hotel room). And mostly thanks to COPIC for providing and manufacturing such wonderful products that I can make last minute magic like the image posted above.



You guys see what I did there, just now? I was kissing ass so that I could hopefully get sponsorship from the COPIC people for the rest of my life because I support their AWESOME products. Do you guys see how I'm *still* doing it? Because I have no shame and I'm willing stoop to all sorts of embarrassing levels? At the very least, I wanted to get refills for all of the red markers I bought. Do you guys have any idea how much red ink goes into a 20"x30" image of Daredevil and Elektra? A f*ckin' lot, that's how much.

Have a great week, everyone.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

HEROES CON & THANK YOU_update





What a great crowd, what a great city, what a great show.

I don't get excited about too many things anymore. I'm an old fogie. But what gets me up is going to a show such as the one they hold in Charlotte, NC every year; HEROESCON.

I want to tell you that my second year in attendance was even better than my first, which is almost unfathomable considering I had such a wonderful and marvelous experience the first time around that I couldn't imagine another visit could top it. It did. And it did so in spades.

What SHELTON DRUM and his cohorts put together is quite possibly the best modern convention experience a creator can have. He takes a standard comic book show and constructs an atmosphere of camaraderie between the guests, fun for the people and families in attendance and (in an almost foreign concept to the bigger shows in the country) actual comic books for people to see, read and purchase. Not once will you see a bullshit pavilion. What you will see is that half the convention floor is split specifically dedicated to the creators, artists, and writers. I dare anyone else do that.

And it is under this roof of a magnificent good time that I managed to do these commissions. And it took all of my focus because all I wanted to do was walk around the entire show and shake everyone's hand. I could go on and on about my experience on the floor, the old friends that I shared a hand shake and a smile with, and the new ones that were kind enough to speak with me - both professionals and fans. I could tell you about the art auction and the supportive fervor and enjoyable experience that everyone had there. I could make you laugh and tell you about about how I got lost running through the humid early morning streets of North Carolina. And I could tell you about the festivities and great conversations at the after hours get-togethers in local restaurants and hotel bars, and how sad I was that it had to end (as all good things must, I guess).

I could tell you about those things, but I won't. Instead, I'll tell you that if and when the show rolls around again and you're debating whether or not you should choose Heroes Con or another convention during the year - I'll tell you that it's not a choice at all. Come to Charlotte and find out what a real comic book show is supposed to be like and experience all these things for yourself. You'll thank me for it.

And before I forget - a few thanks.

Thanks to my fellow professionals who dropped by our table and to those who were kind enough to take time out of their schedules to talk to me when I managed to visit them at theirs. Thanks to the coordinators of the show for making everything run as seamlessly as possible. Thanks to my partners in crime: MING DOYLE - for her charm, her vicious comedic timing and for her over-the-shoulder-never-ending spring of inspiration. STEPHANE ROUX - for being the quiet man who always tries to lead by example and for always keeping things interesting when it came to lulls in our activities. Last but not least, I'd like to thank each and everyone one of you who visited us with kind words to say, with smiles and cordial hand shakes - without whom none of us would've had half as good a time. I am always grateful for all of your support and patronage. A million thanks... EACH and EVERY ONE of you.

Enjoy the images and have a great week.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

SAMURAI & DRAGON_commission




I'll get to a proper update with all the images of the commissions I did while I was at HEROESCON this past weekend, as well as some cool things that happened during our four day stay. But for now here's a colored commission piece I did for a guy who picked it up at the show. The image is done with COPIC markers with Pitt Artist Pens for some of the contour and outlines.

Also, here's something I learned in doing the image: Chinese dragons have five claws. Japanese ones have three.

Now, I don't know if that's at all true. JON TSUEI is the one who busted out that little factoid. But please keep in mind, Jon also comes into my house, switches all my toilet paper around so it dispenses the wrong way, and eats my cereal. What I'm saying is, take all what I've just said with a certain grain of salt and please consider the source.

More later. For now - enjoy.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

DR. GIRLFRIEND & HER MURDEROUS MOPPETS_commission




Actually, did she only have the little dwarfs when she was Lady Au Pair? I can't recall exactly and I read some place that the two eventually started dressing up in the standard henchmen outfits? That's so strange to me. But considering that I haven't watched a VENTURE BROS. episode in quite some time, things may have changed considerably.

That said, I think next to Brock Sampson, Dr. Girlfriend (aka: Dr. Mrs. The Monarch) is my most favorite character from the series. Why, you ask? The Harvey Fierstien-like voice, of course! It's such a great show and such an awesome premise. I can't wait until I have some free time so I can get caught up with the new episodes. Hmm... come to think of it, is the show even still on the air?

Anyway, this is a commission for a friend who was kind enough to wait for it since forever. I figured I'd try to give him something good to look at. Plus, if you consider the pedigree of the other artists in this book already, I thought I'd better step up my game so that I don't come off as the weak link. Thus the Copics and marker rendering. I hope I did okay by you, Jim.

Welcome back from the extended weekend, everyone. Did you guys gorge yourselves on BBQ'ed meats and other foods that aren't heart conscious? I hope so.