Saturday, December 27, 2008

More Caperucitas Rojas

Still working on a look for the little hero:

I'm having trouble with the face and hair... Children are difficult to draw.

I drew a face, and I like it. But I still don't like the hair quite yet..

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Caperucita Roja

I'm thinking of doing a short comic of Little Red Riding Hood... Here's some rough illustrations so far:

Its been a while since I've posted any new art, so this is a nice jumpstart.

A second design. I may have to find a happy middle between the two. My idea behind this is a more of a Legend of Zelda: Link To The Past sort of feel in the style of art. Link was sorta squat like Little Red here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Asthma attacks + sleep = weird dreams

So I've been having trouble with my asthma the last week, maybe change of weather, probably because my dog insists on sleeping on my bed when I'm at work. Either way, I've been waking up several times at night, needing my inhaler. Well, last night, I ended up with some bizarre dreams, mainly because I probably felt really uncomfortable not being able to breathe during the night.

I just can't understand people who deliberately ruin their lungs, being able to not breathe is a nightmare. It's like wearing a plastic bag on your head some days.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


A friend at work collects old lunch boxes, everyday he has a different lunch box. The lunch box thing got me thinking, I should buy a couple old lunch boxes and repaint them! So I started the hunt today at the Christian Thrift store by my home. I did not see any lunch boxes unfortunately, but I did find something! Super Mario All Stars for Super Nintendo! The game generally goes for $20.00 on Ebay, and I picked it up for $3.00. I was pretty stoked, this has four Super Mario games on one cartridge.
Looking around the thrift shop made me think about how easily we toss things out, and buy new junk, just to toss that out as well. There were many nice and functional things there. I saw a French Press for $3.00! It looked brand new, and those generally go for $20.00 at Target or other stores. I may go back and pick it up for a friend. They had many bags as well. I'm thinking of going on a trip this summer or spring, I'll definitely be heading to a thrift store for a bag to pack my stuff, why pay $50.00+ for something new in a chain store, when I can spend a quarter of that in a charity based store.

I think a lot about how much I spend, and how in the past I burned through cash on ridiculous things. Nowadays, I buy my books either used, marked down, or with a coupon from Borders. I buy my graphic novels either used from The Comic Shop, or I buy several at a time through, which has free shipping on $50.00+ purchases, no tax, and generally a markdown of 30%. I rarely eat at fast food these days, preferring to buy from the grocery store and spend a couple extra minutes to prepare something.

I'm sure others are feeling the effects of our current economy, the dollar really doesn't go as far as we'd like these days. I'm not trying to be preachy or anything, I'm just trying to share the ways I am being frugal.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So last week I mailed out a bunch of copies of my 24 hour comic (printed, folded, stapled, cropped, it looks nice all together) to a bunch of mini comic/zine distros, people into mini comics, and I even sent it to the Isotope Mini Comics Annual Competition. I actually found out about this competition a couple days late for the event, but I decided to send it in anyway, just to see what they thought. Here's the email:


I just received and gave a read on your SOLAR FLARES book. It's a nice looking book thanks for sending it!

This year's Isotope Award competition was pretty fierce, I saw more amazing books from first-time comic creators than ever before, and I think Jonas Madden-Connor's OCHRE ELLIPSE (our 2008 winner) is definitely something really special. You can check out more about his work here:

We give out this award annually, I'm proud to say that the attention has helped get each of our five previous years winners picked up by pretty major indy publishers. We definitely do everything we can to make this award more than just a nifty trophy, I always consider my
winner a little like Ms America, and make sure every reviewer, news source, and publisher I know of gets their hands on a copy and gets a chance to talk to the winner if they want to. It definitely makes me happy to see both Joshua Cotter (2004 winner) and Danica Novgorodoff
(2006 winner) have gone on to get Eisner nominations for their next projects. So yeah, pretty cool!

But I digress. Here's really what I'm writing you to say:

#1. You've got a pretty sharp looking book despite cranking it out in just 24 hours. Very impressive!

#2. If you put some time into your submission for next year (and submit the book on time - laugh!) I wouldn't be surprised to see you ending up as a finalist.

#3. And seriously... keep up the excellent work, man!

- James

Yeah, so I am pretty excited about this!!! :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Daily Sketch Catchup!!

First off, I'm writing a bunch of ideas I've had for comics down into some books, and breaking them down into lengths to see what would be a quick one shot comic, or a short run, or something ongoing to kind of guage what I should be doing. I kind of want to print a book similar to my last comic, but with 48 pages or so, with a couple stories in it... I'll be working on that for the time being.

I've been drawing almost every evening, but I don't keep up with scanning as often as I should. Here's a few:

Francisco Valerio, from my 24 Hour Comic... I might actually finish a couple comics with him, people seem to respond to it.

Francisco is a little to strong, beefy, gallant, and confident here. It reminds me of Flash Gordon, and I want Francisco to be a little more lost and apprehensive.

Francisco Valerio running from a moon Zombie.

sketch from last night...

Doctor with a reanimator lab coat...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Spreading my comic to friends and strangers alike

So, I've been reading about zines for quite some time, but as far as I can tell, they are near impossible to find around town. The reason I got onto a zine kick was because of last year's 24 Hour Comic Day. I wanted to print my comic, and then I started reading online about mini comics and the zine subculture. I want to get into that, and share my comics on a more peer to peer basis.

I personally believe my printed 24hr comic looks really cool. Yes, some of the art is cheesy, but that's due to time constraints. I'm talking about the overall package. Its manga sized, 5"x7.5", full bleed, and strict black and white. The cover is #90 cardstock, and the inside pages are 24# paper (a little thicker than generic printer paper), double sided, and saddlestitched. I figure if my rush job 24 hour comic looks this nice, imagine actually spending the time to make a nice comic, utilizing screentones and grayscale effects, more time on the layout and design, everything!

This idea is really kickstarting my engines on getting comics out there. It wasn't expensive either. Honestly, if I buy the cardstock and heavier paper and have a print shop print on that, I think I could get even a better deal.

So, getting back to spreading my comics. With my 24hr comic, I have sent it to friends all over the world (seriously), and even to some zine places, and zine fans, in hopes of catching someone's eye. Some strangers out there will be getting a random mini comic in the mail, and I hope they enjoy this random surprise.

I'm thinking if I pursue this, I'd like to offer these comics on my website for sale via paypal. I have tons of ideas, and now I have proof that a nice looking comic can be made from home, so there is nothing stopping me from making my art. NOTHING! :D

I have several one shot stories that I'd like to render into a mini comic, as well as several longer stories. This practice could also help me build a portfolio to attract the eye of a real publisher... Hmm.. This also means that I'll have some comics to hustle at next years Spokane ComiCon.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

24 Hour Comic en Español

This was my 24 Hour Comic submission for this year. For those that don't know, 24hr Comic Day is a worldwide event where people have 24 hours to try to make a 24 page comic. Its quite difficult, and you can't refine your work, so you just make do and move on...

24 Hour Comic in English

This was my 24 Hour Comic submission for this year. For those that don't know, 24hr Comic Day is a worldwide event where people have 24 hours to try to make a 24 page comic. Its quite difficult, and you can't refine your work, so you just make do and move on...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Woes of Lettering Comics

Right now I am lettering my 24hr Comic I did last week in both English and Spanish. The English is done and up here if anyone is interested, and now I'm working on the Spanish translations. Main problem, most fonts don't carry the following characters: á é í ó ú ¿ ¡ ü ñ

So, my tedious task is to now manually go through each page and insert my ~ and ' over characters, and flip my ? and !... Its a major pain in the butt.

Has anyone else gone through any similar issues? Any better solutions?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Batgirl and Robin

Work and school is a volatile combination. For the first week of school I was very stressed out about my astronomy, health, and working full time. Finally, I moved into a pattern and I think it won't be as bad as first feared. But my art has really been slipping because of my studying. I've been working on this on and off for about a week:

Its drawn on 6.625"x10.25", so its actual comic size. I used a Pentel Brush Pen to do this whole thing. I'm really trying to learn how to ink and utilize more black areas. I'll be getting back to The Joker soon, its just such a pain to setup and photograph each step. With illustration, I can just start drawing on paper anywhere at anytime without having to setup to draw.

Monday, September 22, 2008

School Daze

First, my daily art:

On break at work I cleaned up the page, spotted some more black onto Robin's coat which I think really helped. Then I did my usual fun coloring out of boredom. Its nice to have colored pages in a sketchbook, its more striking, even if my coloring is pretty flat. It has been a while since I used colored pencils, I need to get into a rhythm before I start getting too creative.

Now a more imperative topic. School started today... Oh the horror. I could not fall asleep for the life of me last night. If something important is happening the next day, I can't sleep. Anyway, I woke up and got online to check out my online courses. Health and Astronomy. My Health class doesn't seem too bad, but my Astronomy seems to be a nightmare. I will have to be extra organized and assertive to accomplish my classes, art, and everything else I want to happen this quarter.
My Astronomy teacher wrote a novella worth of information. The syllabus, an intro letter, discussion questions, a lecture, this week's agenda. It was a lot. I just read through it and my eyes are bugging out. I had to write notes on just what he expects each week from me! Tomorrow I have to get up early to pick up my books, my financial aid check, and a parking pass just in case I need to do something on campus. I'm frightened by the amount of work this teacher is demanding. I am very interested in Astronomy, but I am hokey pokey about my pace. Maybe I need a fire under my ass to jump start my mindset back into a school sort of pace.

In other news, I totally forgot my Spanish Instructor's birthday party. We are good friends, and hang out a bit outside of classes. I have been so bogged down getting over being sick, kind of feeling in a rut, trying to get art ready for a few events, and mentally preparing/fearing school. My mind was elsewhere all weekend, I totally forgot it and I feel horrible. After I am done posting this entry, I will be drawing her a birthday card. It will be personal and it will mean a lot to her. I also packed up my guitar and a folding music stand. For her belated present, I am going to play a couple classical songs. I was also wanting to paint a sign for her class as a surprise. She just got a new office for her school, and needs to decorate. I am going to hand paint her Spanish class sign, I think she will like it. Unfortunately, do to time constraints, it won't be in her hands until probably next week.

Last bit of info. Last night, during my insomnia, I watched the very tail end of a PBS program. There is a black scientist guy I see all the time on tv. I've seen him on Conan O'brien talking about astronomy, he gets so excited about it. I've seen him interviewed on news networks, he's somehow some kind of big science geek. Anyway, he had some show on, and he was talking about the evolution of writing. I would have LOVED to watch the whole program, history is awesome, especially about things I am interested in. Anyway, he started talking about his crow quill pen (basically the same thing I use to ink, but I use steel nibs rather than an actual cut feather tip). He said that if he is going to write something important like an article or a speach, he uses a crow quill pen. Each time he dips for new ink, he gets about six or seven words before redipping. He states that this process gives the piece a cadence feel to his writing, he thinks a lot more, and there is a unique thoughtful flow that is lost in the 'now now now' technology of a keyboard.
I really think he stumbled onto something so true. Even when I use a brush to ink, I am so much more thoughtful with each stroke. It is so different, and has a more organic flow than any pen.

Okay, enough yammering. Time to draw a Birthday Card.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Doodling and La Bamba

I think I mentioned this before, but I bought a new sketchbook. This book is just for me to practice 100% comic stuff. I want to have nice complete work in it, inking, colors, panel layouts, whatever.
So, while watching La Bamba, I drew up this:

All using the pentel brush pen. I haven't erased pencil marks yet because its still too wet to brush an eraser over. Approximately 45 minutes all together. Another thing I am trying to do is loosen up and have fun, when I participate in the 24 hour comic day, I don't want to stall and just stare at a blank page. I did a lot of that last year. I notice if I start doing something, anything, it makes it easier to keep going.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Daily Work Doodles

I've been drawing a lot of Batman and Robin at work lately. Trying to not worry so much about being perfect, and just having fun. This is actually the first Batman I have drawn that I actually like.

If I ever worked for Marvel or DC, I'd love to do one of their kid's comics. Teen Titans or something. Anyway, I need to clean up and get painting again. I've been painting on Joker, but I haven't been able to photograph much.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

All Spanish Today

He estado trabajando en varias pinturas en los ultimos meses. Quiero tener otra exhibición de arte pronto. Invitaré a todos mis amigos y familia de nuevo. Se siente bien tener amigos cercanos que vengan a apoyar mis intereses.
Hablé con el dueño de "The Missing Piece Tatto" y le gustaría llevar algunas de mis pinturas. Su taller tiene muchas pinturas, muchas de éstas vendidas. Me gustaría vender algunos de mi trabajos y posiblemente conseguir algún reconocimiento.
Este año venderé libros de dibujos, pinturas y dibujos de comisión en la Segunda Convencion Anual de cómics. Algunas de mis amistades han conseguido beneficiarse de ello y han hecho conecciones. Con mis nuevas pinturas, y un portafolio mas grande, me gustaría ver si puedo encontrar trabajo pintando portadas para compañías de cómics independientes. Oni Press y Blue Water Productions son bastante grandes y no lejos de Spokane.

Just practing my Spanish for a change.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Robin in the style of Damion Scott

Sorry I've been so sluggish with the Joker tutorial. I was sick last week, and this week catching up on bills, just lots of stuff going on so I haven't been able to photograph anything new.

I just realized I have been rusty at drawing since Ive been painting Joker for so long. So, to prepare for the 24 Hour Comic Day I will be participating in again, I am filling a sketch book with tons of fun gestures. I want to really make something cool this time.

I've been liking Damion Scott's art a lot, especially his work in Robin: To Kill A Bird. So to try to learn some techniques from him, I drew the same Robin he did as a cover in the back, but with a bit of my style to it. I like his animated feel to it, he's not worrying about rendering everything to infinity like Jim Lee.

The sketch was probably 15 minutes at the most.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Joker Painting Tutorial Pt 7

Sorry it has been a while since the last update. I never realized how draining it is for me to try to think of painting in steps, it really slows me down and makes me not want to paint! Step by step is hard, because I generally don't work in one fashion. I like to fool around a lot with the paint, sometimes I work on more interesting parts when I get bored with the monotony of some parts of the painting.

Okay, so now I'm going to introduce a new acrylic additive, a retarder:

This stuff is really nice, it thins the paint a bit, and it lets it sit longer before drying. This will be useful for wet on wet blending action.

This is where I left off last. I was fooling around with water and darker greyish blues to make shadows on the bottom of the strait jacket. I didn't like the outcome so much, so I went out and bought the retarder since I knew it would be easier for this effect.

Here's I've mixed my Payne's Grey (the darkest background color) with Azrilian Crimson to make a purple. I mixed about a dime size amount of the color, and added about four drops of the retarder to it and mixed it in. Then I painted the upper portion of the face with it. After that, I used some titanium white and the purple together to make a lavender middle tone:

This is where the excitement begins! I can now use that retarder to make my paint take longer to dry. I can have a wet dark purple, and a lavender, then blend them together on canvas using a swirl motion with the brush. I try to keep a lot of strokes in the look to give a real painterly look. I'm heavily influenced by the old pulp covers and movie posters of the 40s, they really had a cool painted look to them.

After a good transition of purples, I add on top of it a small amount of titanium white and retarder to get some bright white on the forehead, and cheek. This is really my favorite part of painting, its about building volume. I add dark colors, medium colors, then lighter colors, then I can darken it if need be, or brighten it more, until I am satisfied.

Here's the whole thing at the moment. Yes, Joker's face is very purple at the moment, but I'll be lightening it up a bit later on, after I get the face and everything else finished.

That's pretty much it for now. I'll probably be finishing the face, then going back to the strait jacket again. After that, I'll be working on the pants, then I'm going to have the pants fade back into the background by adding some more Payne's Grey and impasto. From there, it will be about tweaking little things and making minor adjustments.