Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Here's two drawings of U Go Girl -- a superheroine I drew for a commission. I had actually never heard of this character before, so the client even had to send me some reference, since I knew nothing about the comics she appeared in (even though they were created by the fabulously talented Mike Allred).
Monday, November 17, 2008
Nerd Confession Time: ever since I was a teen, I've been a huge fan of text-adventure games, or interactive fiction (to use the high-brow term). Those who were computer geeks like me in the 80's will know what I'm talking about and might even remember games like Zork, Planetfall or the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy (all made by that classic interactive fiction company, Infocom).
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
My wife and I came up with this bumper sticker idea, combining our two ideal candidates for the upcoming US elections. It's just a bit of fun, really, but I get a real kick out of imagining what a Conan/Swamp Thing administration would be like. I figure national security wouldn't be a problem (who'd wanna mess with an axe wielding barbarian?) and environmental issues would definitely take center stage. Hell, even the current financial mess in the US would probably benefit -- you could imagine President Conan meeting with Wall Street heads and scowling, "Crom! You're all thieves! You should all be strung up by your fat necks!".
If you like these candidates, I suggest you download the image and print it up on your own sticker paper to paste on a car nearest you. It beats supporting the Nader/Thulsa Doom ticket!
Special thanks to my wife, Claudia, for her great type treatment on this one.
Now in all seriousness, I won't insult your intelligence by asking you not to write these fictional characters in on your ballot. I will suggest though, that if you don't want another 4 years of divisive politics, pointless wars or hateful muslim-bating and fear mongering -- then go out and vote for Obama/Biden on November 4th.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I posted earlier about a 10 page story I drew for Marvel's Age of the Sentry comic, and now that it's on the stands, I thought I'd post a couple pages of artwork from it. So here it is in good old black and white, free of word balloons or colour! If you're stopping by your local comic shop this week (they still have comic shops, right?) go check it out on the racks for yourself. It features a ton of guest stars from the glorious silver age of Marvel Comics, including many of my all-time favourite superheroes. And if you buy it, I recommend reading it while munching on some vintage hostess cupcakes...er...actually, maybe not. Those cakes are probably like, really moldy by now.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sorry for the long delay in posting, folks. I've just been very tied up with work and family lately and my poor blog is getting neglected (geez, I say that so often its getting to be a broken record). Anyway, one of my recent fun assignments was a 5 page story I drew for Marvel's X-men First Class comic. It's for their upcoming Halloween Special, which should come out in (duh) October. The writer of XFC, jazzy Jeff Parker, was gracious enough to let me draw something for his book and even let me draw it in my regular two-tone style, which was a real treat. Aside from being a fun sci-fi-homage-based script, the story was also special to me as it was an opportunity to draw Cyclops -- my all time favourite X-man (I'm not kidding, as you can see here).
I've drawn the original X-men before, as a poster, but you can check out page 1 of this story above and let me know what you think.
Monday, August 25, 2008
As well, it was great seeing and meeting some other artists who's work I know, but have never met, or with whom I've shared emails, but never had a chance to hang out with face to face. Like Eric Talbot, who is one supremely talented guy, and who was really great to chat with for the few minutes that we both got a chance to leave our tables. Same for Michael Choi -- who was really sweet to meet. We often get mistaken for each other at these things (or Frank Cho, or Brandon Choi), so I think it'd be great if one day all of us Korean comic artists could share a table together -- and cause some kind of matter/anti-matter explosion! And as is usual at these local cons, my tablemates like Scott Hepburn, Ramon Perez and Ray Fawkes made the experience as enjoyable as possible.
Anyway, my thanks to everyone who stopped by to buy a print, or some artwork or just to chat. Meeting and shooting the breeze with comic fans is always a highlight of any con I attend, and this one was no different. Comic fans come diverse, and there's a huge range of interests, which I enjoy hearing about. For the folks who drove in for hours from out of town -- I'm really flattered you stopped by the table for a bit. And of course, my apologies to anyone who's sketch requests I had to turn away -- honestly, I just can't draw any faster! I hope you'll look me up at a smaller event around town so I can make it up to you.
And luckily this time around, I had an opportunity to scan a few sketches before I gave them to the owners, so here's a small sampling of the 20 or so drawings did over the weekend:
I drew this Captain America one for a fellow who never picked it up. Even though those "secret invasion" covers are murder to draw on (they're glossy so they make my markers streak and take a while to dry), I kinda like the sketch, so maybe I'll keep it or sell it at another con in the future:
Same for this Wonder Woman one -- though the person who wanted this one paid me in advance. If you're the person who asked for this one, please email me and we'll work out some kind of delivery:
Thursday, August 21, 2008
When I first started attending cons like this a couple of years ago, I used to be petrified of doing sketches on the spot. After all, I'm used to working in the privacy and comfort of my studio, listening to my itunes or a with a TV playing in the background. I thought sketching at cons would be a horrible experience, but I quickly found out the reverse was true. I enjoy talking and goofing around with comic fans, and I quickly realized I had an innate ability to carry on a conversation while drawing a picture of Wolverine fighting Iron Man (trust me, its a totally necessary skill). I've also found it really pleasant to see some fans over and over again, and catch up with what they're doing in their lives. All in all, my con sketching experience has been pretty positive and I'm very thankful about that.
Now, if you're wondering what kind of sketches I do at events, you can check below for a sampling of drawings I've done for people over the last year or two. Bear in mind though that there's one cardinal rule about con sketches: the very best ones never make it online, and the worst ones always get the most exposure. So the cool Joker or Creeper drawing I did that I was really proud of will probably never be seen, while the horrible Captain America I busted out for free at the end of the night will get viewed by everyone. That's just the way it rolls in sketchland!
Special thanks to everyone who's sketches are posted here. Sorry I didn't contact you first for permission -- I really really hope you won't mind.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Here's a few sketches from a fun comic project I'm working on that I'm pretty excited about. Its for a new mini-series featuring the Marvel Super-hero, the Sentry! I was asked to ink the cover to issue #1, which was drawn by dashing Dave Bullock, and that lead to me drawing a 10 page story for issue #2. When I got the script by the talented Paul Tobin, I almost flipped out, as it featured pretty much everything and everyone I'd ever wanted to draw in a super-hero story! I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say that I'm drawing it right now, and I'm really jazzed about working on it.
Above are a few of my warm-up sketches of the Sentry, and below is the inked cover to issue #1, penciled by Dave Bullock and inked by yours truely.
Friday, July 18, 2008
This one's a commission request I did last weekend during the Paradise Comic Con. The owner of this piece is Steven Gettis, who has amassed an amazing collection of drawings of literary figures by illustrators. He also owns another piece by me, from my very very early years so its hilarious to see the evolution of my artwork.
His collection really is incredible, and you can see why being given the freedom to draw whatever author or character the illustrator wanted inspired the very best work from the artists. I know it was a pleasure for me to draw my piece.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Wow...long time between posts! Sorry about the delays in updating my blog, folks. All I can say is the usual -- deadlines, deadlines, deadlines, blah blah blah. I know its summer, but dang if I ain't retardedly busy lately. Its kinda sad, really -- every summer I tell myself "this is the year I'm finally gonna try and work less in the summer and get out more", and every summer I end up parked behind my drawing table, working feverishly away and watching the beautiful weather pass by in front of my window.
Since my last post, I've been busy with a lot of illustration assignments and events. I attended the 2008 National Magazine Awards, where my short comic "Stars" won the silver medal in the "words and pictures" category. The event was held at the swanky Carlu in Toronto, and was a swell time for me and my wife. I also made an appearance at the Paradise Toronto Comiccon last weekend, where I got to meet up with a lot of great comic fans and did a bunch of sketches too.
Apart from that, I've also finished up the conclusion of my latest comic story for my webcomic, Papercut. It's a 29 pager in total, and you can read it online from the beginning here. The page at the top of this post is from the conclusion of the story.
Now I've got to get back to the drawing board, but I'll be back soon to post more stuff on here -- honest!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Ok, I drew this for a commission that was really, really late. I was asked to draw Doctor Fate, and threw in Doctor Strange as well, 'cause I thought they'd make a cool combo. I grew up reading those Ditko Dr Strange comics (and need I say I loved them?), but I never really read anything with Doctor Fate until about a year ago when my buddy, Steve Manale, pointed out the original golden age stories featuring the bell-headed guy. Steve is rarely wrong about his comic recommendations and he was certainly on the money in this case. The original Doctor Fate stories from the 1940's by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman are pure gold.
Fox was apparently just a teen when he wrote them, and hadn't yet descended into the lower circles of demented hackery he'd hit by the time he got to the silver age DC heroes in the 1960's (I swear, that man's later work is unreadable). He filled those early stories with a kind of schoolboy-meets-lovecraft vibe that's really charming in its primitivism. And Howard Sherman's art was my kind of crazy -- bizarre and yet possessing a strange logic and accidental beauty all its own. The stuff just crackles with the raw energy found in the best golden-age comics.
Anyway, for those interested, you can check out the Doctor Fate Archives hardcover collection from DC and see for yourself. And if you want to check out my rough pencil sketch for this drawing, you can do so by pointing your eyes just a little lower.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Here's another superhero themed drawing, this one of the first (and most famous) superhero: Superman!
I drew this one up as my contribution to the upcoming "Visions of an Icon" art exhibition, which will feature tons of drawings of Kal-El (that's his Kryptonian name -- I know this because I'm geeky) by canadian illustrators and comic artists. All the drawings in the show, including mine, will be auctioned off as a fundraiser for the Shuster Awards -- the canadian comic creator awards named after Superman co-creator Joe Shuster.
I have to admit this one was pretty quick and fun to draw -- I drew the thumbnail sketch shown below really quickly, like in 20 minutes or so, and did only the most minor tweaks to it on the way to the final art. The biggest change was that I went with green as my tone-colour -- mainly because my wife noted that green fit the krypton/kryptonite connection.
Mind you, I do have a tendency to go with green anyway...
Incidentally, I got the inspiration for the composition of this drawing from a non-superman related source. There's a very famous Will Eisner Spirit story called, I think, "the Visitor" or something like that, with a great splash page featuring a portrait of the Spirit framed inside a planet. I remember seeing that page when I was about 14 or 15 years old and staring at it for a long time, just absorbed in the beauty and mood of that piece. I was thinking again of that splash page and the kind of atmosphere it evoked when I came up with the thumbnail.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Part 3 of my story "waiting" is now online at my webcomic Papercut. As frequent visitors to my blog might know, Papercut is part of the Transmission-X group of webcomics, all created and owned by a talented group of Toronto based cartoonists. Well, except Karl Kershl's Abominable Charles Christopher -- Karl moved away to Montreal a few months back, and we sorely miss him.
Anyway, I hope you'll check out the site and read the story for yourselves. For those interested, and in keeping with my regular posting trend, you can examine the process from thumbnail to finished art for the page below:
Thursday, May 08, 2008
I drew this up for a toronto comic-con, and the assigned theme was (duh!) the Incredible Hulk. A few of us Toronto comic artists were doing Hulk images for it, kinda like a "Hulk thru the years" thing, and I chose to draw original Jack Kirby designed Hulk. The final artwork is meant to fit on a badge, so it'll be printed really really small, like 2" x 2" or so. And of course, my usual green-toned drawing style was a natural fit for the subject.
Now, for something that's so small, I actually went through a bit of a process coming up with the final art. A failed thumbnail, a couple of revisions and a helpful critique from fellow artist Ron Salas were all part of the journey to the finished piece. But even though it might look like it was labour intensive, the whole thing took probably about 3 or 4 hours in total. If you're interested in the process, you can check out my various sketches below:
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Taddle Creek is a local literary magazine which was kind enough to run one of my comics years ago as their very first comic feature. Since then, I've drawn a few other comics for them, and have always enjoyed the experience. A couple of months ago the editor, Conan Tobias, approached me with the idea of having me do a cover for them which was very flattering. I always like the freedom Conan gives me to do whatever I want, and this case was no different. So, of course, I had a great time working on this image.
The concept was easy enough, and came to me in an inspired moment, and I knocked out a sketch and colour rough over the course of a couple hours. The final itself also came together nicely, without any real problems. I usually prefer to work on drawings with this kind of vibe really late at night, while listening to music on my headphones. I like it when my whole downtown neighbourhood is quiet and I can just lose track of time while drawing.
For those who are interested, you can check out some steps of my process toward the final below. I actually did a really quick marker drawing before the thumbnail pencil, but it was so dodgy I decided to not even scan it. The colour rough was what made the whole thing work for me. Once I drew that one, I knew the final piece would work out fine.
Monday, April 21, 2008
My latest installment of my webcomic Papercut is now online at Transmission-x. It's the second part of "Waiting", a 30 page story, which I'm serializing over the course of a few months. I was actually quite late with this update, as I meant to post it last month, but due to illness and deadlines, I was very delayed and it had to wait until just a few days ago. Hopefully, some of you will visit the site and check it out.
And, of course, if you're interested, you can check out the process from rough thumbnail to final art for the page below.
Also, in related news, Papercut has been nominated for a Shuster Award (the award for Canadian comics creators). It's been nominated under the "outstanding webcomic" category, along with fellow Transmission-X creators Cameron Stewart (for Sin Titulo), Karl Kershl (for the Abominable Charles Christopher), Ramon Perez (for both Kukuburi and Butternut Squash co-written by Rob Coughler) and Scott Hepburn (for The Port). The other nominees in the category are Gisele Lagace (for Penny and Aggie), Scott Ransoomer (for Vg Cats) and Ryan Shomer and Lar De Souza (for Least I Could Do).
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Here's another in a series of portraits I drew for the swedish agency, Karnhuset. Like the others, this one is a portrait of one of their employees, and I was again asked to try and draw the person engaged in a favourite hobby. In this case, it was (duh) golfing. I enjoyed the opportunity to try and capture some motion and life in the pose, and it was a fun assignment (much like the other ones). You can also check out my preliminary pencil and colour rough below, drawn before I had a good grasp of the likeness needed for the portrait.
If you're interested in my other illustrations drawn for Karnhuset. you can check them out here, here, here and here.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Here's a couple of pages of from an inking job I did for the Justice League: New Frontier Special comic that came out recently. They're from a 7 page backup story starring Robin and Kid Flash (two of my fav original Teen Titans). The entire comic was written by the maestro of the New Frontier, Darwyn Cooke, and this particular story was pencilled by none other than the director of the recently released animated feature film version of the New Frontier, "Dashing" Dave Bullock. Darwyn also drew the main story for the comic, while fellow Torontian J. Bone did the art chores on another fabulous backup story, featuring Wonder Woman (J. was BORN to draw Wonder Woman, I swear).
The entire comic is a treat to read but, honestly, my part in it is, like, infintesimal. I was after all, only the inker on a short 7 pager. However, it was an absolute joy to work with all the above mentioned talents. Darwyn, J. and I have known each other for a while now, but I only met Dave last year at the San Diego Comic Con (the biggest frikkin comic con thing you will ever see in your lifetime) . Meeting and hanging out with him was one of the highlights of that event -- apart from being incredibly talented, Dave is just a cool guy. The fact that he bears a passing resemblance to Jack Kirby made it all extra perfect, and I was hoping we'd get the chance to work together someday when we met.
Dave's art for this story was beautiful, and really made my job very easy to do. I don't get the chance to ink other people's work much, but when I do, my philosophy is to try and ink it "as if the penciller inked it himself" -- that is, I try not to put much of my own style into the art. Hence, I feel like I can only ink people who are in the same kind of artistic headspace as me. So, for this job, all the credit has to go to Dave for the art, since he provided such great pencils that made it very clear what I should do on each page.
Friday, March 14, 2008
...is actually one of my favourite artistic exercises. I'm the kind of guy who gets fidgety if I just sit and watch a movie, so I like to doodle sometimes while a movie is on. Especially if its an old black and white one from the 1930's to the 1950's. I really enjoy studying films from that era, especially the noir ones, for their incredible staging and lighting design. Because the films were black and white, the cinematographers and lighting designers really had to plan their shots for maximum effectiveness and emotional impact. Hence, when I watch certain films from that period, I'm often very impressed with how they balance blacks and problem solve things like a white dress against a white wall. Studying that stuff really helps me out with my own artistic process.
Anyway, the doodles above were drawn while watching a certain film from that period. I drew them really quickly, usually just straight up in ink and often not even bothering to pause the movie, so there was no attempt at capturing likenesses or such. I really just wanted to jot down the lighting and shot ideas that I thought were interesting as quickly as pssible.
Now, to make it all very interesting, I'm going to turn this into a little contest. The first person who can guess what film these drawings are from, will win an original drawing and a goody-pack of comics and anthology books from me. Just post your guess in the comments section and the first one to get it right, I'll declare as the winner. In case of a tie or something weird, I'll do drawings for all the winners...or work out something else to everyone's satisfaction. Honest. The only clue I'll offer here here is that the film is pretty damn famous -- and justifiably so -- the lighting design is just the best I've ever seen in black and white.
Geez, I really hope someone doesn't guess it correctly in the first post or something... guess we'll have to see how this goes!
Monday, March 10, 2008
My sincerest thanks to everyone for all the nice comments and well-wishes. I'm really feeling a whole lot better since I was released from the hospital, and getting back to my old self. I didn't eat or do much except sleep and writhe in pain for the 3 weeks or so I was sick, so I'm a bit weak and trying to ease into my daily routine, but one of the things I wanted to do right away was try and get back to drawing.
After such a long layoff, I was quite rusty when I got back to the studio, so I spent some time over the last few days doodling and getting my chops back. I always find that I lose the finer control I need for inking clean lines or drawing things like curves after a few days away from the board. And after such an extended layoff like this one, it took a few hours of doodling and doing some practice inking to get the kinks out. As an excerise, I drew the doodle above, which pretty much sums up my feelings about my hospital stay. Hope you like it -- and I sincerely hope you never go through such an illness!
BTW, for an example of the kind of 'practice inking' I do to get the barnacles off my drawing hand, you can check out the sheet below. Its kind of like doing drills or noodling with the guitar. I usually do something like it, with the initial lines looking sloppy and rough. But by the time I fill up the page, I usually have all my fine control back. I did this one while watching a basketball game this afternoon and believe me, when I started I was cursing myself for how shaky my hand was. Luckily it all worked out by the end, and my team even won the game. Hurrays!
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Anyway, I've since been discharged to complete the rest of my recovery at home, and I gotta say I'm feeling a whole lot better. I haven't done a line of drawing in the last 3 weeks, but I'm hoping to get back into the studio and ease into some artwork over the next few days. So more updates on this blog will be up shortly, but for now I hope you'll understand why there weren't any replies to emails or posts in the last little while.
In the meantime however, here's an illustration I did shortly before I was incapacitated -- this one was done for the fine Canadian Business magazine. The subject of the article was about an investment instructor who taught students using anecdotes from chinese philosophy. Esoteric, I know.. but it lent itself to a fun assignment to draw!