Thursday, December 26, 2013

Chicago River CPD 70

This is an illustration I just finished up for my good friends over at CPD 70 (which stands for Chicago Police Department 1970), a comic book that explores the life of the Chicago Police in the 1970s.

They asked me to do a pin-up illustration for the back of the next issue of their comic which should be released this coming spring.

If you have not heard of CPD 70 and you love Chicago, you have to check out what these guys are doing.

Many thanks to Luke for asking me to work with him on this.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens


"A Christmas Carol" is one of my favourite books and one that I try rereading every year.

As a result of my fondness for the story, this year, I decided to attempt illustrating my own version for a book cover.

I wish I had those pants. 

...

It's nearly time to start reading.

Happy Christmas to you.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Restoration Movie Poster


A little while back, a good friend of mine asked me to illustrate and design a poster for his newly released short film entitled "Restoration." The above was the result.

It was quite fun to try and mimic Greek pottery but with a humorous twist. You will have to see the film, though, to fully appreciate the imagery. 

The film is a vintage-style visual feast shot in black in white and involving puppetry, dexterity, and mustachetry. Take a look at the movie's website here.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wizard World Follow-up


Sadly, this post has been a month in coming.

I still wanted to thank everyone, though, who came out to my table at Wizard World. I met so many great folks and enjoyed seeing a number of old friends.

A few special thanks go out to:

Michael Manomivibul
Gayne Darrow
Dan Johnson
Luke Stokes
Wesley and Brad Sun
Lee O'Hanlon

You are all incredible and an inspiration.

I also express my deep gratitude to Mr. Carlson, Princess Monokee, and tree spirits everywhere for all the assistance and goodness you provided over the convention.

And lastly, many thanks to you Gary, for the photo above.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wizard World 2013


Today through Sunday I will have a table in artist alley at the Wizard World Comic Con! My table number is: G35.

In addition to my books, I will also have a number of illustrations from my current project, "The Hunting Accident," on display.

Lastly, I am very excited (far more than I should be) that I now have glow-in-the-dark Moonboy buttons! Stop by my table, and I just might give you one.

(Did I mention that the buttons glow in the dark?)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ghettoblaster Magazine, Issue #35, Illustration

This is an illustration I did a while ago for Ghettoblaster Magazine. When I was given the assignment, I knew it was going to be a challenge.

The illustration was to accompany an article about a band called "Half-Japanese" from the 70s and 80s. The challenge came from the fact that their music is so eclectic, and also that one of the band members is also an illustrator who designed nearly all of their album covers. What I quickly realized was, that my typical illustration style in no way lined up with the music or album illustrations.

I ended up trying something completely atypical to how I would usually draw. It was slightly nerve inducing, but I think the risk was worth it. I hope to experiment more with this style soon.

Thank you to my friends Tracey and Dave for giving me another fun project to work on. 


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cicada Magazine Illustration


I posted this illustration at some point last year. However, I was excited to find out at the beginning of this year that it had been accepted into Cicada magazine. 

I have been meaning to post a picture of the magazine spread since January. 

Whoops.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Graphic Novel Process

I thought it would be interesting to post the progression of one of the graphic novel pages I am currently working on. Each page requires several distinct steps that offer a small glimpse into my creative process.

To start with, I will do a number of very rough sketches to gather some ideas for the page I am working on. After I am fairly confident with the direction I am going, I will do a more finished thumbnail composition in order to gauge if the page is working.

Even though this thumbnail is only a couple of inches in size, I can gather a pretty good sense of whether the images and composition are working properly. At this stage, I am also planning out how many panels are to be on the page, as well as their respective sizes and flow.


After the thumbnail, I roughly draw, with a blue pencil, the page to its actual size. The blue pencil can be easily removed later when I scan the final drawing into the computer, so I do not need to worry about erasing my lines.

At this stage in the process I rethink the actual composition and make alterations as needed. As you can see, I decided to change the third panel from a close up of the man's feet on the stairs to a close up of his face looking up. This accomplishes many things, but most notably, it adds to the emotion of the scene since you are seeing the character directly. Also, by having the man looking up, it better anticipates what happens in the bottom panel.


I will now go in and make an ink outline over the pencil. In a way, this is the most important stage of the drawing, even though it probably takes the least amount of time. By laying down the ink, I am essentially committing the drawing to its final form. The ink outline provides finality and decisiveness, allowing me to mentally shift from the composition to the actual rendering.


I now start filling in the drawing with cross-hatching. This step of the process is by far the most time consuming, and yet at the same time, I find it to be the most enjoyable. I will try to talk in future posts about cross-hatching in more detail, but in short I liken the process to painting. I slowly build up each section layer after layer, adjusting the value and texture in order to delineate each shape from its neighbor. 


The drawing is nearly complete, however, I still want to add the snow as well as to make a few minor corrections. In order to do this, I use opaque white ink and a brush to go over the black ink. After the white ink is dry, I am able to draw over it if needed. 

I then scan the drawing into the computer, remove the blue pencil lines, adjust the image levels, and make any last minute changes. As you might notice, In the above drawing I had the man's breath visible in the cold. However, after adding the snow, I realized that the breath was lost and appeared as confusing white blotches. I ended up removing the breath digitally. 



This page is now basically complete! There will be a little bit of text that will be layered on top at a later time, but for now, the art itself is finished. 

So, on to the next page...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

C2E2



C2E2 is over, but my head is still steeped in the excitement. I can not stress enough what an incredible show it was. Aside from how smoothly and efficiently the show was run, the artists and fans which I met truly made the weekend something to remember. 

Inspiration and advice were freely passed around.

While I can not thank everyone that made the weekend special, I wanted to give some special shout outs, in no particular order:

Illustrators/artists:

Writers/other creatives:
Geek Chic (Robert and Brenda)
Tr!ckster (Anita Coulter)
Gary F. (for the fun photo you snapped above and sent my way)

Lastly, I want to give an especially big thank you to Amanda Palmer, the sun, and my colleague for all the help they provided to make the weekend easier and far far more enjoyable.




Thursday, April 25, 2013

C2E2 and a surprise...

I am very excited to announce that I will have a table at C2E2 over the next few days (4/26-28).

While there, I will be debuting my latest book. I am not going to reveal anything else for now, except to say that the above image is from the book.

I will be at booth number 05 in artist alley, and would love to have the chance to talk with you.

If you want more information about the show click here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ghettoblaster Illustration



The above illustration is my latest commissioned by my friends over at Ghettoblaster magazine. I am not sure if this issue is still on the newstands, but you can definitely find out more about the magazine here.

Many thanks to Tracey and David for giving me the chance to do this. *tips hat*

Monday, April 15, 2013

"They drove him in the car for a long time."


This is an illustration from my book "The Progressive Problem." While it is not an image I Have promoted much in the past, it brings me more joy than it probably should.

I am rather fond of how the exhaust in this illustration turned out. I was trying to come up with a way to show smoke/exhaust without drawing a cloud. I was a little wary at first about using cross-hatching, but after experimenting with some curved cross-hatching, I found the look I wanted.

Aside from the exhaust, the cat's wary eye still makes me smile.

I think you all know what happens next. If not, though, you can find out more information about the book here, including a link to get a free pdf of the book (and all my other books) in exchange for signing up for my newsletter.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Curly Man

Just an odd portrait for this morning.

No, I don't know this man...but he wants to know you.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

We Drove Home in a Dark Cloud of Sunshine




I have not posted many illustrations from my book "A Perfect Human," but these two have an interesting secret to them.

These illustrations are placed only two pages apart in the book. One was supposed to depict driving toward a destination, and the other driving back. What is odd, is that after drawing the images, I ended up flipping which was which.

The bottom image ended up being one of my more favourite illustrations in the book, and as I look at it now, I am shocked to think that I planned to use it for the previous page.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Escapologist


Last Fall I did this illustration for the magazine "New Escapologist." If you have not heard of them, they are definitely worth a look: New Escapologist.

The articles are always insightful, entertaining, and inspiring for anyone who feels a burning need to escape from the imposed constraints of society.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Yellow Cowboy

I did this portrait several months ago and never got around to posting it.

I have no idea why I am finally posting it tonight.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Alice in Wonderland


I recently did this illustration for a project that is commemorating the 150th anniversary of "Alice in Wonderland." The project is aiming to hire 150 illustrators to each do one illustration from the story. The 150 illustrations picked will ultimately be included in a coffee table book.

I was assigned to illustrate the scene where Alice is awarding comfits, as prizes, to the various animals.

Needless to say, this was exceedingly fun, and I hope it makes it into the book.




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stare

This portrait has been sitting over my desk for about a month, staring and accusing with its wandering eyes.

I thought I should post him before he is tucked into the dark.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Moon Portraits


A little while back I was asked to do a number of portraits for a creative app company called Paperplane. However, they did not want regular portraits...they wanted their staff depicted as if they were all the "man in the moon."

I have to say this was a rather fun and interesting job. What is even more exciting, however, is to see how they ended up using the faces on their website. If you want a treat, visit them here.

It is one of the most creative and exciting web pages I have ever seen. These people are brilliant. I will give you two hints: 1. wait for your browser to completely load the page before doing anything, and 2. scroll up. 

Have fun.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sitting Man

I am not quite sure why, but I really like this goofy little drawing.

It makes smile again and again.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fedora

Just a portrait sketch I did this evening.

I think he wants to eat me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Yorker Page!


A friend of mine pointed out to me the other day that my illustration, from the Eustace Tilly contest last year, has been included inside the New Yorker in the last couple of issues.

It is an advertisement for this year's Eustace Tilly contest, but nonetheless, this still makes me happier than it probably should.