Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Michigan To Texas Birthday Wish 2012

For a few years now my friend Sandra has been collecting photos from her internet friends for her birthday and my photo for her this year is one from my trip to Iowa last month. This is a painting by Marvin Cone, a painter that hailed from Cedar Rapids. The painting is called Three Doorways and was painted in 1951. Cone was a friend and colleague of regionalist painter Grant Wood.

Happy Birthday, Sandra! Hope you enjoy the pic and your day!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Commission From Pencils To Colors

This is an 11x14 commission that I recently finished and thought that I would show the process from pencils to inks to colors. The scene depicted is a recreation of Red Sonja #14 (Marvel Comics) from the seventies that was originally done by the incredible Frank Brunner. The client wanted the same composition, but with his characters swapped in place of Brunner's Sonja and others.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Season's Greetings!

All the best to you and yours during this holiday season and may the new year be a peaceful and happy one.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Galactic Files Return Cards

My Galactic Files return/artist proof cards are finally in hand and here they are. The set was released by Topps earlier this year and the set has a feel of the sets released back when the original movies came out, but includes everything from the Star Wars universe.

The rancor card has been sold, but the rest are available for purchase.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ruby Thursday And The Clock Zombie Menace!

Ruby Thursday And The Clock Zombie Menace!
ink on bristol board

Above is a recent commission that I did that involved a creator owned character fighting a character of my own design. Michael's chosen character Ruby Thursday (created by Steve Gerber and Sal Buscema) vs my clock zombie from the Deadworld book, which he selected from my creations. I was happy that he chose the zombie and I think it's an interesting scenario. You can view Michael's commissions and creations here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Belle Isle Aquarium Holiday Stroll

If you are looking for something festive to do tonight, come on down to Belle Isle for the island's Holiday Stroll. It starts at 5pm and goes to 8pm and both the Conservatory and the Aquarium will be open for visitors. At the aquarium we will have entertainment in the form of a violinist named Ian D. Tran and Graham Morrison on the bagpipes. I have heard both of these gentlemen play at the aquarium and can tell you that they sound great and this is the perfect venue to have such a thing as the acoustics are just right with the tiled ceiling and all.

Volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions that you might have about the aquarium, as well.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Muck Man #29

The rather large sun-flowered dressed woman has made an appearance in my cartoons for some time now, from my 80's strip Wade's World right up through my single panel toons to Muck Man. I think she's a good vehicle to pitch a bitch and the innocent sun flowers gives a good contrast to the bilge she usually spews. And don't fret menfolk, because I also use a male version of this character from time to time, especially here in the Muck Man arena.

And don't forget, if you positively must have your Muck Man fix, you can purchase Muck Man #1, the comic book! Just contact me and I'll make sure you get a copy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fantasy Art Sketch Cards

Unstoppable Cards has just recently released their Fantasy Art card set and the above images were done for that set. On this set we had free rein on what we wanted to do just as long as it involved elements from fantasy, such as wizards, goblins, dragons, myth and legend.

I have two Artist Proof cards from this set if anyone is interested and they are the ghost-like entity (third row, last card) and the medusa (fourth row, second card).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Some Iowa Sketches

Here are a couple of very quick and loose sketches that I did after visiting the Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids, IA. The top is looking northish up the Cedar River and the bottom one is looking southish where the river bends. I had not so fond memories of driving through Iowa as a kid and remembering how flat and boring it was, but I found eastern Iowa to be very beautiful and scenic with hills and farmland. Even in the early November chill I found plenty to look at and appreciate.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I am participating in a fundraiser for a little boy named Matthew from northern Michigan who is receiving treatment for a brain tumor, which is being put together by the Cherry Capital Con's very own Rob Humphrey. Matthew is a huge Star Wars fan, so Rob contacted a bunch of us arty types to draw up something Star Wars related that we could give to him to uplift his spirits during his struggle. And from what I have heard, Lucasfilm and the 501st are involved with the assistance of creating a book of the artwork that can be sold to raise further funds for Matthew and his family. I will definitely post further details as I receive them.

Some of the other artists on tap for this project seem to be mostly Michigan based and they include such talents as Jay Jacot, Guy Allen, Jeff Manley, Matthew Minor, among others.

Above is my contribution, an aggressive Yoda fighting the good fight. As usual, click on the image to engorge.

And keep Matthew in your thoughts while he fights the good fight.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Treasure Chest Foundation Sketch cards

Periodically I'll do sketch cards for the Treasure Chest Foundation that raises funds for children's oncology research among other things,  I'm sure. This is the latest batch that I did for them and as you can see, they vary greatly among yesterday and today's pop culture icons. I don't know when these will be available, that depends on when they are put into the chests and purchased, I suppose.

More info can be seen here, as well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012

Happy Halloween all you pagans! Here is a little sketch whipped up for just the occasion. The tombstone was from a pic I took at a cemetery nearby a couple of years ago and the pumpkin is from one sitting in my backyard with its own guts hanging out courtesy of the local squirrels.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Detroit Fanfare 2012

The 3rd Detroit Fanfare kicks off tonight at 6pm and will run until Sunday. Check out the times on their site. Besides myself (you can find me at table 129 in the Great Lakes Ballroom), there will be a whole bunch of Michigan based artists and creators. Of course, there will be artists and such from out of state, as well. And don't forget the celebrities, such as David Prowse, Sam Jones and Michael Jai White, etc.

Voices From The Deadworld by Gary Reed will premiere at this show, which is an anthology of the characters that have appeared over the last twenty years, or so in the Deadworld comic. I have two pieces in the anthology and they are shown above as they will be seen in the book. I have color prints available for the two, as well. The top character is Tattoo and the bottom one is of my own creation, a zombie obsessed with time. I will have copies of the book and prints at my table, as well as my other books and prints, sketch cards and will be doing commissions as requested.

Don't forget to get your official fanfare print by Bill Pulkovski and get them signed by the actors. He did a great job on this one!

Monday, October 22, 2012

El Arto

El Arto is the studio name of a couple illustrator buddies of mine by the name of John Marroquin and Chris Sanchez and they have taken their mascot and studio image El Arto and turned him/it into a comic book, which will debut this weekend at Detroit Fanfare. I was honored to have been asked to do a pin up for the book, which is the image above. I wasn't sure at first about the background, but after finishing it and letting it sit for awhile, I think I achieved what I was going for in a claustrophobic and cluttered background, something seemingly impossible to escape from. Bullets, Bandito Goblins and death. But, our hero (or is it an anti-hero?), the undead mariachi has his six-shooters  ready to face the improbable.

Make sure to check out the artwork of John and Chris on their websites and be sure to come on by Detroit Fanfare this weekend in Dearborn, MI and check out the El Arto book! Oh, yeah, I'll be there, too.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cryptids Sketch Cards

A new sketch card company came on the scene this past year by the name of Viceroy Cards and I was asked to be a part of their first set, which is made up of cryptids. Cryptids are the stuff that urban legends are made from, local folklore so to speak. So, you might have creatures like yetis or sasquatch and mermaids to a more uncommon one like fur bearing trouts. An interesting collection of creatures to choose from. And what makes this set more unique from others is that the cards themselves are quite thick and are letterpressed (is that the right way of saying this?), stamped with the Viceroy logo on the front. A lot of care and detail went into making these cards. Fellow artist Ashleigh Popplewell was the designer and consultant for this set and she did a great job. You can check out her work here.

I do have Artist Proofs available for commissions if anyone is interested. Just give me a holler.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Halloween Pin Up

Over at Denver Brubaker's Tales of a Checkered Man he is having other cartoonists dress their own characters up as The Checkered Man for Halloween. This, of course, sounded like fun, so here is Muck man dressed as the acrophobic crime fighter.

Did you really think it wouldn't be messy?

You can check out this piece, as well as other cartoonists, such as Jay Fosgitt and Tom Dell'Aringa take of their characters dressed as the Checkered Man here. And check in all month long for more cartoons from more cartoony people!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Deadworld Sketch Cards

Let's roll with the Halloween theme and show some Deadworld sketch cards, shall we? Above are some of the 50 cards done for the set coming out soon by Breygent. Deadworld is a comic that was originally put out in the late 80's by Caliber Comics. The original stories were written by Stuart Kerr and illustrated by Vince Locke and are now written and published (as was then) by pal and colleague Gary Reed. As many in the industry will testify, Gary Reed is a good guy and I always learn something and enjoy the time spent when in his company. Definitely a straight shooter.

It was a lot of fun to work on this set and explore the many different characters that populate the Deadworld universe. I even made Gary a zombie on a couple of cards.

In a couple of weeks I should have news regarding another Deadworld project that I am a part of as Detroit Fanfare nears.

Monday, October 8, 2012

fish poop

So, this is kinda sorta an unofficial 'aquarium' cartoon since it has some 'negative' connotations. I started this one months back before the 'aquarium' opened at a one day event that drew about 4, 000 people to see a half filled with fish building. A pretty good draw for some 'officials' who stated that it was an old building that no one wanted. And since we usually get yelled at in some way by the 'powers that be' for positively promoting what is happening, this would definitely give them an aneurism. But, I felt it needed to be said and to be shown. Just not with blessings.

So, it's Rebel Underground Cartoon Alliance day! Operating from an undisclosed location, of course. Until they shut me down I will have pen in hand! Viva la Ink!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Avengers 50 Sketch Cards

Here are most of the 55 sketch cards that I did for the Avengers 50th anniversary set, based on the 1960's British tv series, of course. This set was put out last month by Unstoppable Cards.

This has been the year of the sketch card, for certain. And there's more coming, so stay tuned if that's your thang.

Monday, October 1, 2012

More Sketch Covers

I haven't done too many of these sketch cover thingies, but after attending Wizard World Chicago back in August I can certainly see the potential for them. I'm sure it depends on the show, but for that one I did alright with the covers. So, while I was there I drew up a couple more to replace the ones that I sold and were commissioned to do. I will have these on hand at this month's Detroit Fanfare if anyone is interested in them!

Friday, September 28, 2012

DC New 52 Sketch Cards

Above are some of the 79 cards that I did for the DC Comics New 52 set that was just recently released by Cryptozoic Entertainment. This was my first time working with the DC licenses and for Cryptozoic, so this was a fun and rewarding experience. Firestorm is a hoot and a half to draw.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wislawa Szymboska

I haven't posted one of these watercolor portraits in awhile and I wrestled with the notion of putting this one up. I'm not sure what I think of it and after some time to look at it more I think I like it less than I did. So, of course, I post it.

As with authors, not all of my inspirations are visual ones, such as painters and sculptors. Some are poets, too. Well, maybe quite a few are poets as they stir a different pot for me, or within me, as the case may be. Such has it been with Wislawa Szymborska, the Polish poet who passed away earlier this year. I discovered her writings with her 1995 book, View With A Grain Of Sand. She certainly painted and sculpted with words and filled me with visuals that I could and will never experience.

A bit of humor here from the poem, A Moment In Troy:

"Those tall, dark movie stars,
  their girlfriends' older brothers,
  the teacher from art class,
  alas, they must all be slain."

Or, this passage from the poem One Version Of Events, which has always haunted me:

"Each of us wished to have a homeland
 free of neighbors
 and to live his entire life
 in the intervals between wars."

I tried a different color scheme with this portrait and I wonder if this glows too much. I wanted warmth, I may have achieved something else.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Some Recent Sketch Card Commissions

As the title suggests here are some recent Star Wars and Lord of the Rings sketch card commissions that I've done as of late for various collectors.

Grond! Grond! Grond!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Contour Drawings

Yesterday, I subbed for the figure illustration class at Macomb Community College and the lesson plan for the afternoon was contour drawings. For those not in the know, a contour drawing is a sketch where you use a continuous line while not looking at your drawing surface. This exercise makes you look at what you are drawing and to draw what you see and not what you think it should look like. Preferably, one should not even lift the pencil from the paper, just keep that line going. I did a few of these drawings myself to give some students that were having a hard time understanding just what they should be doing, and these are some of them above. When a student is first learning this exercise it is sometimes a difficult one to grasp at first, because it goes against everything that they know. I think one student was actually sweating. Even if it wasn't sinking in to them, they were getting it down and it will come in time.

I like doing these kinds of sketches and feel that all artists regardless of their skill level should do these from time to time to hone their observational skills. As you can see, the results can be interesting and somewhat abstract.