Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cho-stuff for sale!

Thanks to the fine folks at, I've set up an online shop where you can now purchase clothing like hoodies and t-shirts featuring artwork by me! I've been wanting to do this for a while now and was looking for a way to deliver a really high-quality product. I thought about doing it through sites like cafepress, but wasn't blown away by the quality of the final items. However when Glarkware wanted to join forces with me, I was thrilled -- their items are really first rate. All the shirts are from American Apparel and feature silk-screened artwork for maximum durability and quality. There's 5 items online currently, with more items hopefully on the way.

Check it out for yourself if you're looking for a way to spend all the loot you got from granny this christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Transmission-X: Papercut - "Trinity" Part 2

My new Papercut webcomic for Transmission-x is now complete and online. It's the 2nd part of "Trinity", a historical comic story about the creation and testing of the first atomic bomb. This one ended up a bit longer than I originally planned -- it was set to be about 7 pages, but ended up coming in at 9. Usually, I like to keep my Transmission-x stories self contained and about 4-6 pages in length, but there was so much interesting information I found out during research that the story ended up being a 2 parter and running at 14 pages total. Still, it was definitely fun to write and draw, and I enjoyed the opportunity to visit a subject that I've been obsessed with since I was a teenager. You can see 2 pages of it above, minus the captions and balloons -- to read it, you'll just have to visit the site and check it out for yourself.

And, of course, since this is my sketchblog, I thought I'd share some of the process I went about in creating the comic. So you can check out the complete thumbnail artwork I did for the story below.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Now Magazine Cover

Here's a cover I did for this week's Now Magazine. Now is a venerable free weekly Toronto paper, one which I've picked up since college. Back then, I read it to see the art-show and concert listings, now I read it for the news articles. For this issue, they wanted to do a cover story on the 60th anniversary of the Horseshoe Tavern (a fantastic local concert venue) and they asked me for an image featuring the facade and some of the great acts that have played there over the years. At the top of their list of musicians was the legendary Stompin' Tom Connors. They gave me some latitude to pick the rest of the acts from a list, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to add the Ramones -- one of my all time fav bands!

Anyway, it all came together fairly quickly, due to the tight deadlines, and I was happy with how it turned out. I've never been too comfortable at drawing likenesses, but any chance to draw the Ramones is one I gotta jump at! For the record, the famous figures are (l to r) Loretta Lynn, Mick Jagger, Stompin' Tom and Johnny and Joey Ramone (rest in peace, guys).

You can see for yourself below the various steps I took to arrive at the final image.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Various Portrait sketches

These are a bunch of portraits and headshots I drew a while ago, while I was goofing around. The ones with the ziptone were done as an homage to the double-lighting thing that Wally Wood used to do so well in pen and ink. I used to look at his stuff for hours, trying to figure out how he did that! In an extra geeky note, I actually made the ziptone myself, with my computer and some transparent sticker paper...something I'll never do again! Its absolutely pointless in this day and age to sit there cutting and triming tone when you got a perfectly good version of photoshop nearby.

As for the big pen and ink drawing, its another in my series of portraits of nba basketball players. This time the model is big Ben Wallace, currently playing for the (sadly underachieving) Chicago Bulls. I drew this one a while ago too, but never got around to posting it, so I thought itd be good to do so now. If you're a b-ball junkie like me, you can check out my other pen and ink portraits of Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Lebron James, Kobe (ugg! I hate that dude, don't know why I ever drew him!) and Kevin Garnett posted earlier in my blog.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Kellogg School of Management (pt 2)

Two more drawings from the recent series of illustrations done for the Kellogg School of Management. See the previous post for more info.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Kellogg School of Management (pt 1)

Well, as I mentioned in a previous post, I've been busy busy busy lately, both with illustration assignments and with trying to write and draw some new comics. These two illos are part of the illustration assignment category. They were part of a campaign of 6 images drawn for the Kellogg School of Management which, shockingly, has nothing to do with corn flakes but everything to do with turning out top economic wizards. They were produced for the DDB & Downtown Partners agencies, based in Chicago, and art-directed by the exceptionally-easy-to-get-along-with Scott Drey (I call him Dr. Dre, but I'm geeky like that).

Anyway, I'll try and post a few more drawings from this assignment a little later, but for now you can see what kind of work I've been up while I was away from my blog!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Quick Little Portrait

This is a commissioned portrait I did recently. The client sent me a very nice photo of her parents, and which I used as the basis for the two-colour painting. I was really inspired by the reference photo, since it had such a great retro-1950's feel to it. Honestly, it looked like it was right out of a car-ad or catalog from that era. I tried my best to keep that feel, and only changed up a few minor details in the background. All in all, this one was one of the quickest and most enjoyable commissions I've ever done.

You can also see the original pencil sketch I did for it below -- the only thing I modified from it during inking was the shadows on the man's coat. which I blacked out just to unify the blacks a bit more and help move the eye around.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Transmission-X: Papercut - "Trinity"

My new story for my webcomic Papercut is online now (check it out at transmission-x!), and its a bit of a departure for me. Its a non-fiction historical piece (something I don't usually write) and its also a two-parter. I originally planned Papercut to only feature self-contained, complete stories each month, but when I finished writing and thumbnailing this one, it came in 12 pages, which is a bit long for a webcomic. I personally prefer shorter length comics on the web, and would rather read longer stories on paper, and not on a monitor, so I thought I'd split this one up over two months.

The page above is the first page of the comic and, even without the lettering in place, you might be able to discern just what its about. And since I like to show sketches and process on this blog, you can check out page 3 below, and see how I go from thumbnail to finished art.

Wow! Has it really been TWO MONTHS??

Oh boy. For those who have been checking in on my blog from time to time, I apologize profusely for the massive gap between posts -a gap so big you could put a ramp on either side of it and have Evel Kenevel jump it. Wow.

Anyway, my only excuse is that I've been really, really busy the last couple of months, working on a lot of different illustration assignments, graphic novel projects and film artwork... along with writing and drawing a monthly webcomic for transmission-x. I also had a really bad bout of flu that knocked me out for couple of weeks earlier, and that caused everything to get a bit backed up once I was able to get back into the studio. The dog also ate my homework...well, ok, maybe not that. But the rest is true!

Still, I haven't forgotten this blog, and its been on my mind all the time. So, I'll be getting back to posting new artwork, sketches and doodles this week with the aim of returning to regular updates!

So for those of you who've patiently been waiting, my humble apologies and thanks for hanging in there!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Night View

Just a quick sketch - a view of the backyard from my second floor deck at night, painted quickly in gouache.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Transmission-X: Papercut - "Stars"

The page above is the first page of my new Transmission-X story, called "Stars". As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm now doing a webcomic called Papercut for the Transmission-X collective, which features a brand new short story from me each month. Last month's story, "Smoking" was a 4 pager, but this one comes in at 5 pages and took a bit longer to write and draw. I was pretty happy with the way turned out though, soI hope you'll visit the site and read it all for yourself.

Now, since this is my sketchblog, I thought I'd post some of the rough artwork I did while working on the story. You can see for yourself below the thumbnails, pencils and final inks (without lettering in place) from page one of the story. And yes, I do letter the entire story in the thunbnails. I know it seems crazy, but for me, I need to be able to read the text on the page in order to see if the pacing works or if my caption/balloon placement is correct. Call me obsessive, but its true...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

ShopFeeble is Online!

Ok, after a busy week and some tweaking, my new online shop is now open! Now you can order copies of my new sketchbook, or prints and comics by my talented wife through our site at You can also follow the banner link at the side of this page. All payment will be handled via paypal and delivered via the post -- we're going to try and keep things as lo-tech and simple as possible.

Right now, the site features 3 different items for purchase and ordering but I'll be sure to add more items in the future. If you've got suggestions on what you'd like to see added to shopfeeble, please let me know and I'll add try and 'em to the list!

And since this is my sketchblog, here's another page of pencil sketches and doodles from the sketchbook on sale. These are the kind of warm-ups I'll do at the drawingboard before starting in on my assignments for the day, of if I'm working on something really really boring.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hank Williams

Just thought I'd post a quick drawing of Hank Williams I did recently. I drew this one for fun, mainly because I've listened to his music while drawing for years now. Lost Highway is probably one of my favourite recordings of all time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Well, TCAF has come and gone, which is kinda sad, because its still my favourite show and I had a great time there. I met a lot of wonderful people and shared a display room with a lot of my local cartoonist buddies. My thanks to everyone who took the time to come out, buy a print or a sketchbook, or just hang out at our exhibit.

A highlight of the show was the panel we did introducing Transmission-X, the webcomic site that I'm contributing to. All of the features are very strong, so its a real thrill to be associated with the group. My feature for Transmission-X is called Papercut, and will feature a new short comic story from me each month. The first one is already online so you can check it out for yourself instead of reading about me blabbing on about it. But just for the benefit of those who want to see a bit of artwork first, you can see the page 1 of the 4 page story below:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

TCAF is coming!

Its almost time for my favourite comics related show -- the Toronto Comic Arts Festival! TCAF, as its affectionately known, is a free event and takes place this weekend, August 18th and 19th. You can check out their website for all the details you need. I've always loved this show, especially since it was the first comic-con/event I ever attended as a professional. I really dig the focus of it, which is more geared toward the indie and alternative side of comics than the mainstream fare. Its an opportunity to see the sheer diversity of approaches that comics have to offer.

I'll be exhibiting again at this year's event, in a special room with the fine cartoonists and illustrators from R.A.I.D. and Transmission X where I'll be displaying and selling some new giclee prints I've had made for the occasion. I'll also be debuting a brand new sketchbook featuring a lot of the drawings, paintings and sketches I've done over the last year or so. It's almost 40 pages of black, white and grey goodness and I'll have it for sale starting this Saturday. Those of you who've visted my blog frequently will recognize some of the images in it, but there'll also be lots of previously unseen material, including pencil drawings and roughs. And since its got a bit of a super-hero theme this time around, I've posted a sample below of some of the pencil art you'll find between the covers!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

What I've Been Working on Lately

I've been away from my blog lately, attending the latest San Diego Comic Con, so I've been a bit lax in posting new art. Now that I'm more or less recovered from the insanity of SDCC, I thought I'd share some info on the new projects I've been working on lately.

Firstly, I'm still hard at work on my 'dream-project' -- a graphic novel of short stories told in comic book format. All the stories are what would be described as 'contemporary fiction' -- meaning they're really just straight fiction without zombies or dinosaurs or rocketships (not that I don't like all those things!). I've been working on it on and off for the last few months, and its been a great experience. The book is projected to be about 150 pages long, comprised of 5 short stories written and drawn by me, each about 30 pages in length. I've never worked on anything this big before, so its been a bit daunting working on something where I can't even see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the past, most of my comic stuff has been 2-6 pages in length per story, so working on even a 30 pager seems really long to me. Still, since I'm getting the chance to write it myself, I'm really enjoying the opportunity to tell my own stories. The page shown here is from the book, and its the first page of one of the stories. Once I get 2 or 3 stories completed for it, I'm hoping to shop it around and find a publisher for the book.

Secondly, I've been asked to join the fine cartoonists at Transmission X and contribute a strip for their web-comics project. To make it easier for me, they've allowed me to post a new self-contained 4 page story each month, instead doing it weekly like the rest of the gang. I've already completed my first story for it, and will debut it at the upcoming Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) on August 18th. After working on a lot of longer stories lately, I'm really enjoying the opportunity to write short 4 pagers. For those who haven't checked out the excellent work being done by the Transmission X guys, I urge you to visit the site and check it for yourself.

Finally, I'm still working on a lot of my regular editorial illustration assignments, and trying to get caught up after taking a week away to go to San Diego. So, with all that on my plate, I've been slow in updating this blog, and for that...well, my apologies once again!

That's it for me for now -- hopefully, I'll have some other work to show on a more regular basis!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

More Inks over Kirby Pencils

Again, another looooong delay between blog postings. I've been working so much on new stuff lately, but most of it is comics work which I really don't want to show until its all complete, so I've been scrambling for stuff to post here on my poor neglected blog. Hopefully, you won't mind looking at these samples of my inks over Jack Kirby's pencils while waiting for newer stuff.

As many of you know, I really dig practicing my inking over Kirby's artwork. He drew such complete pencil art that its usually a breeze to ink. I inked these over a few afternoons, a bit here and there at the start of my workday as a warm-up for the day's drawing. They were scanned from copies of the Jack Kirby Collector (a great Kirby zine) and printed out in blue before inking. I also have Ramon Perez to thank for scanning the final art for me (Ramon has a large-format scanner -- I gotta get one of those!).

Anyway, hopefully I'll be back soon to show some new comic art and stories I've written!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fist-A-Cuffs: Lucy Legless!

Some of you may be familiar with Sam Hiti's excellent Fist-a-Cuffs event -- a website where artists create characters to fight head to head (in the best thunderdome style) and voters pick who wins. I tried to enter a previous match before (see my previous blog entry here), but was a bit late getting in the deadline. However, for the recent gigantic-size Fist-a-cuffs 3, I was happy to enter a new fighter, whom my good friend Steve Manale dubbed "Lucy Legless"!

Unfortunately for Lucy, while she survived the first round, she was soundly defeated in the second. I can't complain too much though, as the fighter who defeated her went on to trounce the entire division. Still, she did get to get in some nice smack talk.

Now, in my opinion, Lucy was kinda doomed from the start as my original design and drawing for her was waaaay better but had to be changed due to rule restrictions. Originally, Lucy came with a crew of "nerdbots" whom she controlled the way a queen bee controls the hive. However, Fist-a-cuffs rules demanded that I remove her little platoon and just let her fight solo. Fortunately, I was able to redraw her to comply. Unfortunately, that meant that she lost most of her firepower. However, here on my blog, I can post my much-better original drawing for Lucy Legless below.

For those who voted for Lucy during the event, my most sincere thanks go out to you. And for those of you who are going "whaaa??" and have no idea what I'm talking about at all, I urge you to check out Fist-a-cuffs for yourself and join in the madness.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The (original) Uncanny X-Men!

Again, my apologies for not updating this blog much recently -- work and other projects seem to be taking up all my time lately, so I haven't had much personal work that I could post here. However, to make up for that, I thought I'd share this recent two-colour painting I did of everyone's favourite mutant super-team -- the Uncanny X-Men!

Now for some of you, this may not be an X-Men team that you recognize, as I've chosen to draw up the original Stan Lee/Jack Kirby created team instead of a more modern incarnation of the merry mutants. All I can say is that although I grew up reading the classic Chris Claremont/Dave Cockrum/John Byrne version of the team in the 80's (the one with Wolverine), I've always had a desire to draw the original lineup of Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Marvel Girl and the Beast (along with the ubiquitous Professor X).

I've always liked that team a lot, especially since they were actually teenagers and often acted like it. So, for this picture, I thought I'd try to emphasize that point. Cyclops is still Slim Summers here, Bobby Drake is the youngest kid on the team, Warren Worthington is a rich fashion-plate, Jean Grey is a society deb and Hank McCoy is a jock with the heart of a nerd. I Hope you like it and don't mind the few bits of redesign I did on their appearances!

And in keeping with recent tradition, you can check out the intial concept idea and rough pencil sketch for the drawing on the right.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Orion Fights for Earth!

Whoa! Sorry about the delays in updating this blog, folks. Its been a hectic week or two with the recent Toronto Paradise ComicCon and a couple of other signing events. My thanks go out to all the nice folks who stopped by my table to say hello -- I had a great time doing sketches and selling some fancy new giclee prints I had made.

Now, when I got back into to my studio after a few days away from the drawing board, I realized my artistic chops were stiff, stiff, stiff! Luckily, I was able to work out some of the kinks by drawing and colouring this little picture of one of my favourite Jack Kirby superheroes -- Orion of the New Gods! And since I was doing it purely for fun, I couldn't resist going all "super-deformed" with it and giving him a big head. It kinda makes him a bit more cute than killer, I know, but hey, its my blog and I'll draw what I want to!

And of course, as is usual lately, you can check out my original pencil sketch for the piece below.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Killing Girl

This is a piece I did a while ago, for the upcoming Image comic, The Killing Girl. Written by Glen Brunswick and illustrated by Frank Espinosa, its a high-action comic featuring the adventures of a mafia assassin with, shall we say, major memory issues. When Glen Brunswick asked me months ago if I wanted to contribute a piece for the back cover, of course I jumped at the opportunity. Not only is Glen a heck of a nice guy and talented writer, but Frank Espinosa is one of my favourite artists of recent years. To be associated with anything that the two of them have collaborated on was a huge honour for me!

Anyway, the book ships in august, and you should definitely check it out when it hits the shelves. The pages I've seen so far look fantastic. But don't take my word for it, check out the previews on the Killing Girl blog.

Now, in keeping with my recent habit of posting the preliminary process work for my paintings and drawings, you can see for yourself the various roughs, pencils and colour-studies I did for this pin-up below:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Max Finder Mystery: Collected Casebook 2

Hurrays! The 2nd volume of the Max Finder Mystery: Collected Casebook is out, featuring artwork by yours truely. Now, I've posted about Max Finder before (you can check out my post about volume 1 here), but for those who don't know, Max is a 7th grade detective who solves mysteries in and around his hometown with the aid of his trusty sidekick, Alison Santos. Written in a you-solve-it format, his adventures were originally featured in the excellent canadian children's magazine Owl. This 2nd volume collects another 10 mystery comic stories, mostly from the 2nd year of the series' run, along with a bonus section featuring puzzles and an artists sketchbook. Its available at fine bookstores everywhere but you can also order it online from the publisher Owlkids, or from online retailers like or It makes a great gift for readers aged 9 to 13.

Actually, Volume 2 has been out since late March, but I thought I'd make a post here, as I'll be appearing at a special signing at the Toronto comic shop the Beguiling on Saturday June 9th, from 2pm along with Max's writer and creator Liam O'Donnell. So if you're in the Toronto area, come on by and say hello -- I'll even draw you a sketch for attending!

And since this is a sketchblog, you can check out my sketches and the evolution of the cover of Casebook 2 below:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sketchbook gags

These are the kind of gag cartoons I'll doodle in my sketchbook, which probably goes a long way to explaining why I could never be a gag cartoonist. Most of these are pretty old, and were printed in my old zine, Papercut.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I actually don't have much interest in Supergirl as a comic-book character, but after seeing all the excellent redesigns of her that other artists have posted on the, I thought I'd doodle up one my own. I drew up and painted this one fairly quickly, so its a bit looser and sketchier than some of my other two-tone paintings. And thinking about it, I really don't think its so much a painting of Supergirl as it is a of a girl wearing a Supergirl outfit -- at least, that's how I saw it my head while I was working on it.

In keeping with some of my other posts lately, you can compare the final marker painting to my original pencil rough below. Personally, I think the pencil drawing was a bit more successful than the painting but, hey -- you can't win 'em all!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Free Comic Book Day...

...has come and gone! Yup, for those who missed it, it was Saturday, May 5th. For my part, I spent it at the fine Toronto comicshop The Beguiling, signing books and doing free sketches for anyone who wanted one (Spider-man and Venom seemed the most popular requests). The weather was great, the turnout was even better and I had such a good time drawing in the sun that I got a farmer's tan. Thanks to everyone who came out and looked for me (hey, Doodlers!) -- I hope you all had a good time and got some nice comics to take home.

Below is my contribution to one of the fine books being offered for FCBD, the excellent Comics Festival comic. Its a one-pager, written by Brian Mclachlan, pencilled by me and inked by Darwyn Cooke. I've posted it here in black and white, but its printed in full colour in the free comic -- maybe that will make you hunt down a copy!

Incidentally, this is the 2nd year that the three of us have collaborated on a page for the Comics Festival book. You can check out our previous effort in an older post from my blog here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More Portraits

This one's an illustration I did for a wedding invitation. The happy couple in the drawing are friends of mine, and they asked my wife and I to design their invites. Naturally, we couldn't refuse!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


This one's just a playful little sketch I did up earlier this week. As most of my friends know, and as I've mentioned in previous posts, I just love drawing big-headed (or "super-deformed") super-heroes.

And I know the powers-that-be at Marvel Comics have "ret-conned" Wolverine so that he's not Canadian anymore, but to me, he'll always be a short, hairy canuck.

Note: Ok, ok, looks like I was a bit premature about my scorn for wolvie not being a Canadian. Turns out several people have pointed out that he was born in Alberta, so he's still a canuck. But that still doesn't make up for him being named "James Howlett" me that's kinda like naming him "Fangs Wolvington" or something.

Thanks to everyone who sent in the correct info! Glad to see Canadians still love their unofficial super-hero mascot.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Kirby's OMAC

OMAC actually stands for One Man Army Corps, but to me he's just One More Awesome Character created by Jack Kirby. Really, you can't go wrong with a superhero who wears a mohawk and sideburns!

I penciled this one during an afternoon as a warmup, put it in a drawer, then pulled it out and inked it one evening when I had some spare time. As you might tell, I was doing my best to unleash my "inner Kirby" while working on it. And since I don't work much in full colour anymore, I thought it might be fun to take a crack at colouring it and adding some tones in photoshop. As with a lot of my recent posts, you can see the original pencil drawing for it below.