Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I have a friend (in HERO CORP. he's The Man from Mars) who doesn't watch movie trailers. At all. He'll literally close his eyes in a movie theater, or go to the concession stand until they are over. He believes trailers influence your expectations of the actual movie so much, they typically ruin the final experience. I'm nowhere near as all-or-nothing as he is on this topic, but he's got a big point.

Most of my artwork is currently being channeled into issue two of H.C., and as every panel is finished there is a large part of me that wants to show it off immediately. It doesn't help that so many of the characters in the story are essentially me and my friends. They have no idea of how often I want to pick up the phone and say, "Guess what? I'm drawing you right now!" More than once I've received calls from friends as I was looking at their photo-references and drawing them. Yes, it's a little spooky.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sponsor My Spotify!

I constantly listen to music while I work, as it helps to fill in the spaces when I'm not talking to myself, and to this end, Spotify is a wonder. (If you're not familiar with it, follow the link and check it out.) I have a sizable music collection of my own (nothing MASSIVE, but it's pretty far-ranging), and Spotify just allows me to expand on that, listening to whatever I want to listen to, whenever I want to hear it. For someone as mercurial as me, nothing better could exist.

But I've only been utilizing their Free version up until now, which is fine and wonderful...but it is limited. After six months you're only allowed x-number of playtime hours per week, and can only listen to any given song 5 times. And trust me, I'm drawing in my studio at least xx-number of hours a week, and will sing along to songs I like ad-nauseum. Seriously, you might not be able to hang with me when I get to liking something. It's pretty bad and good all at once.

Here's where the exploitation enlistment of my friends comes into play -- I would like you to be my heroes and sponsor my upgrade to a Premium Spotify account!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Update: Drawing, drawing, drawing...!

All I do anymore is draw. That's it. Seriously. And it's weird. And there's so much distracting stuff that happens while you're trying to draw, it's amazing that any drawing gets done at all.

I also just purchased a new Multi-Function Center (ooooooooo! aaaaaaaahhhh!), which is a fancy tech term for a copier/printer/scanner/fax machine. This is notable because in all the years I worked in print services, I've never owned a printer...'cause I never had to. AND this is my first scanner that allows me to scan ledger-size pages, so no more piecing together artwork in multiple scans for this cartoonist!

I actually want to write a long, rambling entry on these subjects, but I'm going back to the drawing table now. In the meantime, here's a peek at the thumbnail layout and pencils (which I scanned on my new scanner!) for the first page of issue 2.
Actual size: 2.75" x 4.25"
Actual size: 11" x 17"

Real quick before I go, I mentioned last time that I was gonna have a special request of some of you soon. I meant it, so stay tuned...I'm gonna let you in on a way you can help keep me even more inspired than you already do!

Yesterday's Music: Vincent Ingala; The Osmonds; The Carpenters; Bobby McFerrin; Lambert, Hendricks & Ross

Monday, March 5, 2012

Issue Two, Page One

Here we go again.

I'm not on sabbatical now, per se, but I do have time to work on the book and a new deadline, so we'll see how this comes together. The plan is to debut H.C.I. #2 (of 6) on May 5th, and I'll give folks a heads-up as to the where and when as the days draw closer. Suffice it to say, I'm at the drawing board again, and in many ways it's like I never left.

I actually started the preliminary work for this issue a while back, and kicked it into high gear last week by jumping back on my layout scroll. For those of you not familiar with this, I start most of my issues now by throwing a long roll of paper on the floor and blocking out the pages in black marker (highlighted with whatever else is laying near me). It looks like this when it's completed:

From beginning to end, from end to the beginning...
that's right y'all, I'm winning! 
I actually started on this months ago at PIX (the Pittsburgh Indy-comics eXpo) where I was seated at an eight-foot long table, and was rather inspired for two days. Sitting down on the floor to pick up where I'd left off, I realized two things...

1.) I'm getting older. Sitting on the floor for extended periods of time? Used to be no big deal. Now? Cramp-inducing!

2.) It wasn't flowing as smoothly as last time. At least, not right off the bat.

I spend more time at this stage debating the arrangement of everything than I'd care to admit. The reason I started working this way was because of the free-form, stream-of-consciousness manner that the storytelling unfolded.  I could work in a straight line, or circles, or jump backward whenever I wanted. Stray thoughts and conscious decisions all had a place, and somehow the best ideas tended to make it to the next stage. Great, right?