Friday, January 9, 2015

UPDATE 1/10l15

Long live Missy! We'll miss seeing you on walks.

It’s a New Year! Here’s hoping that everyone has a great 2015!

Last night I hosted a dinner for a couple of artist friends of mine who dropped by and we spent the evening talking about the independent comics that we are all producing. One of them was Henry Cram, who worked with me as an assistant for a while. It was good to see that the exposure didn’t completely destroy his artistic sensibilities. Actually, it was a treat to see just how much his work has developed over the years, and while he has a day job, he has continued to pursue the comics material on his own time. A true artist.

My other friend was Rod Dryden a longtime associate from Bill Stout’s Sunday morning drawing class. Rod spent his career working in advertising and theme park design and was one of the best in the business. He has never done comics. When he talked about his project a couple of years back, I gave him the standard “doing this stuff is tougher than it looks” speech. When I saw the material I immediately told him to ignore everything I had just told him. Let’s just say it was like going to local community theater group and discovering that Lawrence Olivier is one of your neighbors and in the cast. 
From left, Rod Dryden, myself, and Henry Cram

Hopefully, both of these gentlemen will provide me with the examples of their incredible work for a future entry on the blog. And yes, I am desperately trying to talk Henry (who is working with another of my former assistants, Scott Gordon) into using one of their stories for a backup feature in my Mad Mummy book. Details as it happens….

Most of the week I’ve been working frantically on creating new web pages for my emended I’m hoping that work on that is completed and the revised site is up and functioning by early Feburary.  At the same time I finished the rough draft of the script for Mad Mummy #7. And here are the latest creative efforts I’ve been working on lately.

In the process, the left third of this picture got cropped.

There is the illustration I did for my friend Tony Bellisario that I went to high school with in Pontiac, Michigan. Tony had the prettiest jump shot this side of Jerry West. He also refurbished and managed a restaurant for a few years in the old home town.  There are a couple of Clint Eastwood portraits. I was working on the first one and had reservations about how it was going when I received my copy of the new Al Parker book. After looking at that material I decided you can’t ever give less than your best efforts, so I started over and did a second piece that I was much happier with. Then I went back and tried a couple of solutions in the original painting and managed to save that…by literally chopping off part of the picture.

The Iron Maiden I did just because I was looking at some of the art of Wally Wood recently and realized  what an influence he was on my work. You can also see that in the finished black and white work on the cover of Mad Mummy 6. I’ve decided to start integrating more of the pencil line/tone in the finished artwork; it adds a bit of needed dimension  and tone. As you can can see below in the life drawings from my sketchbook, there is a freshness and spontaneity in the combination of pencil and ink in those drawings that I don’t always see in my comic book work. So I’m trying something a little different.

And in the world of the vanishing art supplies, I finally found someone who carries the Seth Cote newsprint in a smooth finish. I use this paper to do my daily still life warmups in the morning. All I’ve been able to find in the last year or so is a rougher finish. It keeps you from noodling too much, but there is a greater sensitivity you get on the smooth paper that I prefer.

I need to start sending out press releases on the Mad Mummy books as well as getting them in the hands of reviewers. Anyone with any helpful hints?



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