I have weird life goals. I think in comics, people strive to be like the greats- the marquis, big two comic household names like a Jim Lee, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, McFarlane, Kane, Finger, Schuster, Seigel, etc. My thinking as of late is I’d just like to make a footprint and create something people will enjoy that may stir up a little dust. I’m gunning for James O’Barr, Mike Mignola, Robert Kirkman, Eastman and Laird, Jamie Hewlett level. Although those are also big names, they cemented their legend in indie.
So, I’m not saying Pablo the Gorilla will hit those heights, but I’m not saying it won’t. What I am saying is when I finish this book, you should pick up a copy. There won’t be many (unless it goes it goes to reprint) and I think you’ll enjoy it. I certainly have enjoyed making it and I hope you can tell from the previews of this labor of love.
Awhile back I did a doodle where I tried to emulate Rob Liefeld’s style from the 90’s. Here I try channeling my Jim Lee influence. There’s a bit of a Travis Charest and Marc Silvestri in there too 🙂
In 2012, I left my job at a major think tank to pursue my dream of drawing comics. If you follow the blog, you have no doubt seen the progress I’ve made and the work I’ve put in to get better. Year after year, I built upon my skills.
For my Throwback Thursday tweet & Insta posts today, I talked about the amazing crossroad of luck and opportunity. In 2015, you may remember I had the chance to be on stage with the great Jim Lee, one of my comic idols growing up. I also lent the amazing Ed McGuinness my drawing pad. I received original artwork from both and was able to talk to them about drawing. I also got to meet Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos, 2 of the 3 artists whose work brought me back to comics (the third being Chris Bachalo whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting since). I geeked out pretty hard as a fan. I mean, how could you not?
However, I always wanted to be a creator. I kept drawing and learning. I’m thankful for an amazing support network that has kept me with jobs throughout the years. I’ve done commercial art, some graphic design and cartooning, commissions, concept art, and storyboards. I’ve made some web comics.
This year, Andy Nordvall and I put out Siren’s Song, available on Amazon , Barnes and Noble and any local bookstore by request. I did my first signing at the Comic Bug, here in Los Angeles.
Here are the next two things I’ll be participating in:
This upcoming Saturday, July 14th at Southern California Comics in San Diego, I’ll be joining an amazing collection of talent as we share our wares and prepare for Comic-Con the week after. If you’re in San Diego, I hope you can make it!
And, yes, this year sees me as a creator at San Diego Comic-Con. If you’re there, my schedule is above. Drop by, say hi and tell me you read this post!
I have a lot of people to thank throughout the years for this: my wife, Brian Stelfreeze, Steve Epting, Frank Cho, Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Victor Glover from VZAAge. Nathaniel Osollo, Adriano DiBenedetto, Neal Yamamoto, Andy Nordvall, Matt Jackson, Mike Korpi, Suzanne Land, Ben Evans, Mike Korpi, Eric Wilder, Carree Michel, Christina Jordan, Maddie Gygli, the Comic Bug, Terry Mayo, Jose Cardenas, Will Van Stone Jr., Jorge Urbina, Jonathan London, Kevin Schmidt, Ry Rocklen, Bonnie Burton, Cory Doctorrow, Lucienne Silva, Kat Rocha, Josh Finney and anyone who ever purchased any merchandise or stopped by to check out my work. There are so many more people to thank, but I’ll stop here and get back to work.
If you are going to a convention and Jim Lee is doing a panel, do not miss it. If you are an aspiring comic artist, every Jim Lee panel should be mandatory. The man is a wealth of information. I hope I do this tip & trick he showed today at WonderCon justice. I had asked him about this before but today he demo’d another method on quickly laying down a background. He quickly ruled parallel lines of varying widths, distances and heights. Then, he went in with detail to sketch out the buildings. I’m going to keep practicing this!
Also, today’s highlight- meeting Dustin Nguyen and getting a doodle of Descender’s Bandit! Squeeeeee!
This goes out to Visual Zen Advocate for putting forth the effort to create an amazing video reference library of working comic artists showing how things are done. Right now, VZA is hosting an album cover homage contest. If you haven’t heard, Marvel is putting out variant covers paying homage to the artwork of some of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Visual Zen Advocate is running a contest with that theme in mind, but expanding on the idea. Check out the details here.
Since I met them at San Diego Comic-Con while drawing the Joker on stage with Jim Lee, I thought I’d continue the theme. I love hip hop, but let’s give rock’n’roll some love. Per yoozh, this one’s done on my phone using Sketchbook Pro Mobile and my phone’s photo editor app.
This one is from Jim Lee, one of my favorite comic artists and panelists. If you looked at the Batman sketch from Comic-Con the other day, you might have seen it. An audience member asked him about perspective cityscapes and he quickly drew radiated lines for 1 point perspective that went from narrow to wider gaps. He indicated this was a quick way to estimate perspective. This works well once you have studied perspective and done enough drawing to recognize when something looks out of place. You can do this quickly and lay in your buildings, and pull back the drawing to look at what needs correction. Also doing it by hand gives a more realistic feel. Using a straight edge gives the drawing a more diagram like sensibility.
So this happened today at Comic-Con. Jim Lee called me up at his panel to sketch then he went over my loose sketch! So amazing!
Then I also doodled Batman. If you can see on the drawing, I took notes from Jim Lee about drawing cityscapes.
Here’s a quick character study of the tooth fairy. I tried to draw her with different expressions so I could get a sense of personality down. Then, I drew the basic front, profile and 3/4 view on the face. This one goes out to the Grimm Report.
My wife and I went to Wonder-Con over last weekend and got to watch some of the masters at work drawing comic book women: Jim Lee and the great Terry Moore. They imparted some knowledge and I hope to employ it in my work.