Monday, November 7, 2011
The above is a re-drawn figure from the previous post. It was driving me crazy so I re did it on another piece of paper. The lesson here is that you don't go to ink until your structure and proportions are where they should be. In my zeal to produce new work I sometimes get ahead of myself.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
The character depicted above was created in High School. His name is SkyStriker and he was part of a team of superheroes. Like most teenage comic fans who aspired to become comic book creators my best friend and I created our own comics on copy paper we "acquired" from our school. I've no idea what became of those copy paper comics but I remember them fondly. We gave it our best and we didn't let a lack of skill or guidance hinder us. I still recall going to the Seuling Cons in NYC and showing our comics to the established pros there. Considering how crude our product was the pros were very nice to my buddy and I. Perhaps we reminded them of their youth. My friend Dave moved on to electronics after High School and my life took it's own twists and turns but here I am still creating comics and hoping for a better tomorrow. Dave is still one of my dearest friends and has been incredibly supportive all these years. If I ever get to be on the other side of the table he'll be right there with me. Just like the old days...
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Earlier this summer my girlfriend and I spent three days in Maine. One of the places we visited was a lighthouse in Portland. While browsing the lighthouse gift shop I was intrigued by a lobster fridge magnet. I immediately thought to myself "I can do something with this". And the above drawing is the result.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Hello everyone. The first drawing was done in high school and it was recently unearthed by a classmate. The second piece was done because I've always thought that high contrast imagery is attractive. The third and fourth image was done off the cuff, so to speak, not intended for use in a story. But it does make me wonder: why are drawings not intended for publication so much more energetic than the ones I want you to see? I can only conclude that it's fear of failure, fear of being thought a fraud and constantly bumping into my limitations as an artist that conspires to drain the life out of the finished works. Take it from me friends : it's all too easy to live a fear based life. It's too easy to play it safe and keep yourself in a potential state rather than put your work out there to be seen and judged. It's too easy to become intimidated by the volume of great work of past and present. I've met many amateur artists who were much better than I was then or am now. But they were crippled by the fears I described above. With only one exception did any of them become a pro. Fear is easy but in the end it leaves us with nothing but itself.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Wrestler Zero used to wrestle humans. Now he wrestles against agents of darkness than neither science nor religion can explain. I wrestle against my own limitations as a comics creator. I wrestle with being torn between different influences that guide me and the second guessing that keeps me from producing more material. I wrestle with the gulf between dreams and day to day life. I wrestle with the impulse to dream big and the desire to "keep it real". What I don't wrestle with is my desire to improve my work. I'm not in this for fame or fortune. Fame I don't need or want. Fortune would be nice though. Fulfillment is what I want. How I get there is through desire and hard work. If it came easy to me it perhaps wouldn't be worth doing. I've met many artists over the years. Some were pros but the bulk of them were amateurs like me. I consider virtually all of them to be more talented than me. Some could draw effortlessly things that would push me to my limits and beyond. Only one of them ever became a professional and as far as I know his career was short lived. It's both inspiring and sobering that Gil Kane, one of the greats, struggled to improve his craft until his death. If I could draw half as well as he could I'd quit my day job tommorow. Perhaps one day. But for now the wrestling match against my limitations continues.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Hello everyone. Here's a page from what I'm currently working on. I've recently had the opportunity to teach a one day cartooning class at a local library and later this week I'll be doing the same at a elementary school. There are artists that we revere in our youth. For me that man was John Byrne. In my high school days you couldn't convince me that a better artist had ever lived. In time I outgrew my obsession with Byrne but I still think he is an excellent writer/artist. There was another artist whose work I hated during that same period of Byrne worship: Frank Robbins. You may know of him from his work on "The Invaders" and his own strip "Johnny Hazard". If you're unfamiliar with his work I strongly suggest you seek it out. There are artists who serve as milestones in the evolution of our tastes. Work that seemed inferior to our younger eyes takes on a new meaning and life when viewed through a more mature perspective. As I continue my never ending education I've learned to see things better. Frank Robbins work had a vitality and an energy to it. Although his anatomical stylizations might seem unorthodox compared to the post Neal Adams/Jack Kirby school of comic art, his work is based on solid knowledge of the fundamentals of structure, anatomy and composition. His early 70's Batman stories reveal another facet of his talent: his energetic brushwork. Frank Robbins work stands as a testament to an artist of unique vision whose work was solidly rooted in the fundamentals of art and coupled with a strong work ethic fueled by a desire to improve his work. That's a lesson for us all.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Hello everyone. The above is from WRESTLER ZERO #2. Initially I wanted to produce a short story, maybe eight pages in length. That is still a goal but this story ended up becoming my second full length issue. I'm an avid reader but I learn best by doing. And nothing teaches you the craft of comic book creation better than actually producing you own publication. I also think it's vital for amateurs like me to continue to produce consistently and publish work, even if it's a pin up or sketches. Or in the case above, a panel or page from a work in progress. I knew when I published WRESTLER ZERO #1 last year that while it was the best I was capable of at the time, it had flaws that were painfully apparent to me. As much as I'd like to go back and fix those flaws I've got to move forward not backward. I'm grateful that WRESTLER ZERO #1 was well received and for the kind words. But the need for improvement of my craft compels me to produce new material instead of repairing the older work. The exception to this would be if I were to reprint the first issue in a more upscale format in the hopes of reaching a much wider readership. But first things first. And now back to my regulary scheduled program of learning how to write, draw and ink.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Hello everyone. This is a panel from the currently in progress Wrestler Zero story. It didn't occur to me as I was inking this panel that I'm an admirer of the "Filipino school" of art. I grew up reading many of the Marvel black and white magazines where the work of Alfredo Alcala, Rudy Nebres and Tony DeZuniga was featured. I'M NOT TRYING TO COMPARE MYSELF IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM TO THESE ARTISTS. In looking at the posted panel here all of the cross hatching and shading was definitely influenced in some way by these terrific artists. Do yourself a favor the next time you're in a well stocked comic book shop and expose yourself to these great artists from the Phillipines. This panel was inked with a Hunt 102 pen, Micron .005 and .01 pens and Pitt brush pens. My ink is Dr. Martin's Bombay black. Take care out there.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
A very belated Happy New Year to all of you. I hope this new year finds you in good health and in fine spirit. I've been absent from this blog but not from creating. I work a full time blue collar job and I'm a single father as well as a nascent self publisher. Time management is a must for me. This is a page from my latest WRESTLER ZERO story. As I've said previously this is a shorter story than the one in the first issue and will be posted here in it's entirety. I always feel invigorated at the start of each new year. I hope to take a drawing class this year in my never ending attempt to improve my drawing. Thanks for stopping by. And a special thanks to my friends in Latin America: Saludos a mis seguidores en LatinoAmerica. Les deseo un feliz y prospero ano nuevo y les agradesco sus comentarios y apollo.