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Happy Aliens Day!

In celebration of Aliens Day (4/26, as in LV-426… c’mon, people!), I thought it’d be nice to finish the Colonial Marine spacesuit from earlier.  This is based on a Tony Akins design from 1993’s Aliens: Colonial Marines comic.  I added some sweet modifications…spacesuit_15

I should have a color version to share soon, as well.

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Just for fun.

I’ve been working on a superhero commission all weekend.  While the design we went with was ultimately different, I thought this unused design was pretty damn fun:

I showed it to my buddy/fellow artist Cody, and he liked it too.  Enough so, that he took his mad digital coloring skills to it.  If you’d like to see the color version, by the talented Mr. Hagman, check it out here.

Send in the Space Marines!

There were some very pivotal encounters in my childhood that set the tone for much of the rest of my life.  Seeing the movie Aliens was definitely one of those encounters.  Finding out, a few years later, that there were also comic books based on the Alien Franchise, was just as profound but in a slightly different way.  At that point, I felt that I could not only enjoy the world those stories were set in, I could participate!

I started drawing the space (Colonial) Marines from the world of the Alien/Aliens movies.  Back then, in the late 80’s/early 90’s, references were hard to come by.  So, when I series like Aliens: Colonial Marines came out in 1993, I was ecstatic.  The first three issues, drawn by Tony Akins, inked by Paul Guinan, and colored by Matt Hollingsworth, were just… phenomenal!  The first three issues were chock-full of new spacesuit designs, space guns, star ships, and dynamic action scenes.

Having gotten a new lease on my drawing-life recently, I’ve been inspired to start drawing some of those designs myself.  Here’s a pencil sketch of the security from the Sungun station:

sugun security

I’ll clean it up in the near future.  In the meantime, here’s a taste of one of the wonderful treats that series offered up:

Colonial Marine low res.jpg

Arrested development… thwarted!

Every freelance artist knows the pain of trying to be a business person when all they really want to do is make art.  The whole “getting paid” part is more about a desire for spending all your time getting to create instead of having another job to pay the bills.  It’s a tough proposition.  Either you spend more time ( a LOT more) operating the business-side of freelancing than one would want, or, like me, you end up getting another job so that the art-making doesn’t become just amount the money.  There’s many pitfalls with either, and the one I have fallen into for the past few years is spending so much time working elsewhere that my freelance efforts have suffered.

Recently, however, a series of events have coinciding in my life, giving me a second wind, and I feel a powerful push to do more freelancing.  One of those events have been an inexplicable upswing in commissions, encouraging me to keep going as well as giving me a good reason to draw more!

So, I’ve been in my studio a lot more lately, and I feel the desire to finish old projects as well as really dig into new ones.  In keeping with that, I want to start making available the long-awaited issue #3 of Father Robot:

Father Robot_Ch03_Cover

Want one?  Well, you certainly can right here!

 

 

 

 

How do we do it?!

Cody Hagman and I are working on a new project. You’ve seen a few things I’ve been working on for it, but I thought folks might enjoy seeing the steps it takes for us working together.

I work in a fishbowl.

Some people complain because they work in a cubicle. I feel like my desk, which sits in the middle of an intersection of busy hallways and has absolutely no privacy, is like working in a fishbowl. That being said, I’d gladly don a big round fishbowl-like helmet if it attached to a spacesuit for work. There’s just something about a techno suit that has everything you need to stay alive that I love.

New year, new gear.

I’m feeling spacesuits that are too heavy. Remember that movie Deadman? These cowboy-types are out in the wild, being cold, and one guy says, “don’t worry about your arms, they’ll take care of themselves. Keep you body warm.” I’ve always felt that way about spacesuits. The armor has gotta be on top.

Time is a thief and my passion is a monster.

Yes, the days slip by, becoming weeks and months.  There’s so many things I want to draw and stories I want to share, but my minutes of free time are few and I’m tired.  Nevertheless, it’s impossible to ignore desire , as nagging and vicious as it can be, and once in a while I still manage to get a little something on paper.

Here’s my little friend.  I thought he came out looking neat.  Someone else told me he’s scary, and one other said he was cute.

monster

Breathe deep…

Up to a few months ago, I was working on a project about the experience certain children (young adults?) have when they have to go in the hospital for fairly serious procedures.  It was a difficult project because of the subject matter, and very personally challenging for me because it was a drastic change-of-subject for me.  No robots or spacesuits in this story…

Anyway, I posted a few panels from the pages while they were in-progress, but I wanted to share one of my favorite pages as well.  The finished page was colored and has some dialogue where the poor kid is being warned that he’s about to be put under (breathe deep!), but I kind of like just the cleaned-up line work.  I feel like the “fading” visual works better in black & white.

One funny thing, when drawing this POV, I used my own legs as reference.  I guess it’s not enough that the poor teen had to be in the hospital, but I had to go and give him 40-year-old-man-legs.

LoaP_preview

Dress for success.

I’m trying to wind myself up for a new project.  It involves lots of spacesuits, robots, and ruined, industrial sci-fi settings.  Really, everything I love in life… imaginary life.

One of the most-difficult ongoing struggles I face is finding enough time to draw.  The last year has been so busy, I’m thinking about not taking on more freelance commissions for the near future, at least until I’ve finished drawing a few things that have been waiting for a while now and are pounding at the door on my conscience.

Enough of that, you came here for the drawing, right?  So, here’s a little sketch I cleaned up to get the juices flowing.  It’s going to be on the table for that upcoming project.  More on that soon…

spacesuit_13