Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Stuff and a Regret

I've been a busy boy.

As I mentioned in the last blog, my wonderful, beautiful wife and I are having a little baby boy, so I've been preparing my house for the little bundle of Dave.

But that's boring stuff!

Here's what I've actually been up to:

And that's not all! (really, the above cartoon took 10 minutes, tops)

Special thanks to Leif Peng for providing the image I've used without permission. If you aren't reading his blog, Today's Inspiration, you should.

As I was saying, I've been doing stuff.

This last weekend, I laid out 3 pages of a Thing comic that a buddy of mine scripted (just for us and to flesh out the old portfolio). In addition to that monumental task (and, if you haven't learned by now, my accomplishing anything is monumental)I designed two characters for a possible ongoing submission by the same writer!! When we are a bit further along in our process, I'll post the drawings and (hopefully) completed pages.

The stars aligned and I actually accomplished something.

Life is good.

Which brings me to a regret.

There's a good friend of mine who also writes a blog that I happen to follow. 'Bout a year and a half ago, I petitioned him to let me illustrate a story he wrote. Long story short, I never completed the assignment and I've been upset about it ever since. He and I have talked about it and I've been forgiven, blah blah blah.

Maybe for peace of mind, I'll take another whack at it. To be honest, at the time, my skills weren't really up to the level his story demanded. Well, that's different now.

Who knows what the future could bring?


Oops! I forgot to mention that the character designs and the Thing layouts were done completely on computer via Wacom. This was the first I've actually done that. Been thinking about it for ages, though. I have to say that I'll probably never do layouts with traditional pencil and paper ever again. Doing it with the Wacom saved me scan time, erasing time and gave me a level of compositional control that made me pee a little bit from excitement.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's a boy!

I'm going to have a son.

We packed 6 of us and an ultrasound tech into a closet of a room and watched a blob on TV become my son. As soon as the tech put the weird looking Mr. Microphone on my wife's belly - there was my kid - his feet up in the air and his nethers exposed for all to see.

I can't really describe the feeling. Proud? Yes. Amazed? Absolutely. A bit scared? You bet. All I can really tell you is that, when I walked out of the office, everything looked different. I was a different man then when I walked in.


I'm into something new. I'm not going to say what it is but is sounds like "comics". More later.


Tonight, on "Lost", a friend of mine is going to become a recurring character. His name is Eric Lange and he was present when I had my terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad, table saw accident in 1993. We were part of a summer stock theatre program at Ashland University. I'd like to say that we kept in touch but we didn't. After that summer, we parted ways (as all of us did) and I haven't seen or heard about him until recently on Facebook. So, since the opportunity has risen, I'm going to be one of those obnoxious "friends" who pops up when a person becomes slightly famous.

Ah... I knew him when...:)

Anyway, congrats to you, Eric! Thanks for getting me one degree closer to Kevin Bacon!


Here's a picture of Naked Frankenstein to tide you over till next time...

Smell ya, later!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Heard our baby's heart beating today.

Absolutely unreal.

Becky's wardrobe? All paper, all places.

We have an ultrasound on Thursday. I hope I get a picture!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Forget all that

I'm doing something else now.

My wife and I are having a baby! Oh yeah!!!

I too excited to do anything else right now.

I'll be back later.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Well, that went down the toilet fast.

I've blown so far past my self-imposed deadline that I can't even see it anymore!

I say "self-imposed" because I actually have all the time I need to finish my first project. After I turn that one in, then the deadlines appear every 30 days.

I promised some photos so I'm going to post a few so you can see what I'm working on. The first project is simple; it's a Western. Design a character and draw him in three panels.

First: the character...

.. this is just a cowboy I drew to get used to drawing hats on a fella. Not that impressive.

He's just too generic for me. I've wasted alot of time trying to figure out something more dynamic.

This is better but he still isn't quite there. I wanted to do something different so I decided to go all "Zatoichi" with him. He's a blind gunfighter. How cool is that?

Again, I wasted a boatload of time working out his backstory when I just should have been drawing.

I liked this idea so I found some model reference (Bruce Willis) and went to town. These are preliminary sketches that will be fleshed out next week for the final page.

Lastly, here's a rough of the final page with the 3 Panel Sequence at the bottom. Next week, I'll post the final product and go through the sequence for you.

Smell ya later!


Friday, July 20, 2007

Details and Distractions

I'm guilty of making a "rookie" mistake - I'm over-thinking everything!

My assignment is a simple one, create a cowboy character then use that character in 3 panels. The 3 panels are classic in structure; establishing shot of a town, full shot of the character of horseback then a view of a second character looking at our hero.

No problem, right?


I'm spending way too much time trying to figure out where this old west town exists. Should I go for a mountainous, Dakota look or stick with the desert, Sergio Leone look? What time of year is it? What time of day or night? How large is the town?

And if you think that I'm spending too much time on the details of the town, imagine how much time I'm wasting on the character!!

A few years ago, I created an old west gunfighter (no name) that was blind. Actually, he has no eyes at all because they had been shot out (it's a long story). I was dying to use this guy for the assignment. Well, I began worrying that my instructor might not like a character whose eyes are hidden behind a blindfold. I mean, this assignment is to show off my ability to draw the human form and I would be covering up the most personality revealing feature on the character. But the blind gunfighter is so damn cool that I almost can't resist it!

See? Rookie mistake. I'm stuck on the details instead of focusing on the overall story.

On top of what I mentioned above, the wife and I were on vacation all last week. We stayed at home and painted the kitchen and living room, played the Wii till we threw up and had an EPIC party last Friday! I mean EPIC!! We had a bonfire in the backyard of Hearn's Half-Acre and ran out of seating so my buddy, T!X and I brought out a couch from the garage and partyed on. How "hillbillly" is that?

Oh, and we fed bats for about an hour with little bits of hamburger. The bats now have high cholesterol.

Things are back to normal now and my deadline is approaching quickly.

Smell ya later!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Perspective Pain

Hey there! Welcome back to the Manic Mindfart.

Did lots of drawing this past week. Only two and a half weeks until my first project is due and I think I'm on the right track. It's a simple project; a Character Design and 3 story panels.

No problem.

Although I tend to create my own problems at times.

You see, I really hate drawing in perspective. That's not true, I hate setting up to draw in perspective. All the straight edges and my triangles, figuring out which perpective to use (I dig mutiple point) and the endless piles of crumpled paper that gather around my feet because I have to "do it over".

The thing is, in comics, backgrounds are everything! They set the scene, the mood, often they hint toward genre as well. The proper "camera angle" will tell the story more effectively than a word balloon.

This is where my trouble lies. It takes too damn long to experiment with angles using a pencil and paper!! In an ideal world, I should be able to draw a page a day. On that page there might be 5 to 9 panels, each with different camera angles. It's a knucklebuster to draw and I can't experiment to my satisfaction.

Well, I found a way to cheat.

I've been using Google SketchUp to set up my backgrounds. SketchUp is a program to create 3-D models from 2-D shapes. I've found that I can layout my background, create a 3-D model then move my "camera" around to find an intertesting angle to best convey the story. All I have to do is take a screen shot and drop it into a comic page via Photoshop, print it then draw the actual page over a lightbox, add detail and...

...Presto! Perfect Perspective!!

Figures are no problem at all since you can create people out of geometric shapes (and I do that anyway). Thanks to my handy dandy computer, I can place my figure sketches right onto my previously created backgrounds and get them perfect before I actually draw the page. Plenty of room for experimentation and hours upon hours of time saved!!


Smell ya later,