Monthly Archives: September 2013
If you’ve ever looked at the work I produce, you might have guessed that I’m a big fan of sci-fi. One of my favorite series ever is Frank Herbert’s Dune novels. I think they’re just neat. And while I won’t dispute the total perfect, supremacy of the first novel, I often think my favorite might actually be the fourth, God Emperor of Dune. The evolved proto-worm Leto II is a fantastic character, being a blend of social philosopher, mystic leader, and monster. I’ve read the book countless times, and I never get tired of it.
I’ve tried to draw my interpretation of Leto II, the God Emperor, many times over the years, and I’m rarely happy with what I end up with. This one’s the closest to what I see in my mind’s eye when I read the novel yet. I kind of think that he’d look better with a more “cavernous mouth” of a head, but this drawing is according to the description in the book. I admit that the arms are a little larger than what Frank Herbert described, but every time I draw them smaller, it just doens’ look right…
Ultimately, this last of the Ducal line of Atreides was a tragic character, sacrificing himself to the Golden Path for the sake of all humanity, and I think he’s best portrayed looking regal and serene. I like his monstrous profile for inspiring my imagination.
About a year ago I collected a bunch of sketches, concept drawings, character studies, and finished pieces together in a printed collection. It was called “Robots” (you can buy it here if you’re really interested) and it was really fun to put together. It made me feel like the piles of paper and drawing/sketch books I have cluttering up my home had meaning. It made me feel like, when I held it in my hands and felt the weight, that I actually had some kind of cohesive body of work behind me. Also, it made my convention tables look less-empty.
Anyway, by its title, you can probably guess what it was about. I happened to have such a surplus of robots because, well, I love drawing robots, and because I had done a special blog page all about drawing them. You can still see those posts up on this blog (Robots For All). I had set a goal for myself to draw a new robot every day for a year. While that goal was a little too lofty to achieve (I had to abandon the daily-effort after about half a year), it pushed me to get lots more drawing practice in than I would have had otherwise. I like that, and I’m thinking of doing it again.
So, what should the new theme be? Spaceships? Aliens? How about spacesuits? I love spacesuits. I wish I had one. If I did, I would wear it all the time, no matter how stinky it got. Here’s a little sketch of one I did today when I should have been helping the world’s most-ungrateful people at work…
I’m sure that it’s obvious, but this one was inspired by those old diving suits people used to plunge to the bottom of oceans in. Strangely enough, while I love the idea of spacesuits, diving suits terrify me. Or, at least, the idea of getting in one does..
The hardest thing about being a comic book illustrator is budgeting. I mean both time and money. It seems to me that in order to accomplish all the things I want to do as an artist, I need to have money. I need supplies, websites, computers, reference, and don’t even get me started about conventions. This can get expensive. I’ve found myself having to get work in non-comics related fields just to pay these bills and keep myself fed. This other work takes away from my creative time, and, before I know, there is just means without the end.
While one might argue that the only thing an illustrator really needs is something to draw with and something to draw on, I find myself “requiring” all the bells and whistles to be a modern comics-creator. So, to have all these things, one needs that income. In an ideal world, the art would generate income, and the income could then be used to generate more art. As things remain less-than-ideal, I have been spending too much time trying to make money to pay bills and… well, this is all just a long-winded way of saying I’ve been drawing a lot less than I want to in the past month.
It feels horrible. However, I’m turning things around, and, as my work slows down, the real Work can begin… again.
Here’s a sketch I did today during lunch. It felt good to draw…
Last night mission Comics & Art hosted a gallery show opening, which featured my work from recent comics I’ve self-published. It was a fantastically fun event, with lots of friends, well-wishers, and interested comics fans showing up and sharing in the good times.
Leef, the owner of Mission Comics & Art, was a fantastic host. He took these photos from the event:
While at Zinefest last weekend, someone asked me what I learned from drawing the same characters over and over again (while making comics). The first thing that came to mind was something along the lines of “I got really comfortable drawing hands”. So, I think it’s funny that these sketches I did, probably while saying that line, both have really terrible renderings of hands in them. Oh well. Everyone knows I’m a tragically powerful jinx.
These are some quick takes on Reggie, from Father Robot. I think I like the jumpsuit better than the pants. Just like in real life…
Trying to get the big, robo-nemesis for Father Robot right. I’m thinking a substantial redesign might be in order. This sketch was done at ZInefest over the weekend. I picked up some new pens and marker paper recently, and it’s fun find out what can be done with different tools.
No matter what, get ready for a big bash-em-up finale in the book!
Nothing says “restive” after a long week of work like a convention table. Zinefest is one of the local (SF) events where you truly get to interact with the genuine aficionados and producers of indie press. I like it for that reason, and because I find there’s more folks attending who are looking for original artwork, prints, and unique items.
This time around was especially fun because Sarah (wonderful girlfriend) and shared a table. She had massive amounts of original creations (hand-bound books, photos taken with real film(!), hand-painted novelties, and so on) that went over fantastically.
I got to talk about Father Robot a little more and I think we built up some real excitement for the future of the series. I also got some nice sketching done, which I’ll put up here over the next few days. In the meantime, here’s a quick pic of happy me at my half of the table.