Sunday, February 15, 2009

Daily Sketches - 2/14/09

Wow, I haven't posted any daily sketches in a LONG time... I've been drawing, painting, and doing all sorts of other shenanigans, yet I haven't really had time to share.. so this is a good opportunity to get back to that business again :)

First, a recent acrylic painting:

11" x 14" - Acrylic on Masonite. This was a Valentine's gift for a great friend of mine, I think she loved it, at least I hope so :) Its her favorite character, Harley Quinn, from Batman. This was a lot of fun to do, because I put down the brush and paint for a couple month hiatus because of school and my current work on my Little Red Riding comic. This reinvigorated me to do some painting again, I'm planning on at least some small paintings like this, and maybe a large one or two that will be ready for the Spokane ComiCon on May 30th... BTW, I need to buy a booth for Artist's Alley soon.

The daily sketches from today:

Today at work was slow, real slow... and a real blessing. I spent all my breaks and other free time doodling these. I might do a portrait of Joker similar to the sketch above, as a small 11x14 painting like the Harley one. Also, I want to do a 16x20 painting of Batgirl there. I love the action of her fist fighting, it looks exciting and vivid. I think fans would appreciate them at the con and buy the paintings.

Lastly, I went to a curiosity shop and picked up a bunch of old 50s - 70s comics. They really inspired me for my upcoming Little Red Riding Hood comics and Solar Flares volume 1. The old comics have ridiculously stupid ads inside, and I've decided to mimic them and make my own. Here's one that I put together last night:

It mimics another Growth exercise program that was in the comics, I took a lot of the wording straight from the comic; it was too good to change! Lastly, if you reread it as those "special" enlargement ads we see today, this advertisement is even more hilarious..

So, that's a mighty blog entry, I hope it satisfies my few readers. Its time to get back to drawing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I LOVE Magnus Robot Fighter

So today I came across an obscure comic while browsing. Its called Magnus Robot Fighter 4000ad, printed by Gold Key Comics. First thing that drew me was the painted covers, very pulp magazine like on the cover. Second, its a Flash Gordon type guy beating up robots! I love it! I have an affinity for '50s era robots too, so this is my thing. Now I have a an urge to find as many of these as possible, Magnus is amazing! I'll definitely be looking out for other issues or collections at comic cons, etc.

If I had the opportunity to get the rights, I so totally would. I just get so giddy with golden age heroes, pulp heroes, and the like. There's a sort of awesome charm to them that is hard to find in today's comics. Is it the art style? The stories? The smell of the old comics? A time I long for yet never experienced? I don't know what draws me to this stuff so much, but it definitely gets me excited to draw something. It also gave me some ideas for a future Solar Flares comic. Perhaps Francisco needs to battle robots at some point!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Scott Pilgrim #5 - A Review

New book by Bryan Lee O'Malley, in the ongoing trials of Scott Pilgrim released last week

I think I could use my journal entries here to be of more use to people, so I think I'll start doing occasional reviews of the things in my life, namely art related goodies.

So on Friday I went to the Comic Shop to pick up my latest books, plus see if they had received shipment of the new Scott Pilgrim book. They had one copy, it was destiny for me to purchase it!

One of my favorite things about reading comics is finding a relatively new artist, and watch them grow. I believe that #5 is the strongest of Lee's visual storytelling. His line quality gets stronger and cleaner, his panel layouts more interesting, and his toning becomes more dynamic. One sequence in particular really impressed me. There's a moment where Scott and Ramona have a heart to heart, and she starts to disappear into a white flash. It looked really nice, I think it would be fun to play and try to replicate the effect.
One of the things that threw me off in previous books was the similarity in character's looks. One is supposed to happen, Young Neil is supposed to look a lot like Scott. Unfortunately, that can make it difficult for the reader. Second, Ramona changes her hair quite a bit, also making it difficult to follow. Sometimes I also think Ramona and Kim look quite alike as well. This is very difficult for a black and white comic, if it were color, we could notice the changes more dramatically with the different color hair and such. Again though, by volume 5, O'Malley has made these characters much more distinct and easier to differentiate.

As for the story, its kind of sad in this one. It was told well, I loved the art, and it was a fun easy read; but man was it a sad story. I guess I can't say sad = bad, but I guess I've liked the care free happy-go-lucky attitude the book carried previously. This change of pace is good though, I'm hooked, maybe more than ever now, to see what happens in the next volume.

If you have not read the series, please check it out: - Website for Artist and Creator Bryan Lee O'Malley - Official Scott Pilgrim website - Oni Press, Publisher of Scott Pilgrim, and many other great comics