Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Roller Derby 2

Man, I love drawing roller derby girls. Doing posters for the Rose City Rollers is the perfect excuse to draw sexy-super-heroine-punks (not that I need an excuse, but it does help me feel legitimate when my wife sees pages upon pages of vixens knocking each other silly in my sketchbook).

Here are two of the sketches. The first one got the go-ahead, but I'm really fond of the bratty jammer in the second one. Maybe I can re-use the character for next year.
On a side note, I changed the comment rules so that anybody can comment now (upon approval since I got spammed).

Saturday, December 26, 2009


...with the drawing. Now for hours of painting in PS. I got some acrylic paint from my rad in laws for Christmas, which I am sorely tempted to splash all over this thing, but I don't think its wise to learn a new medium on a drawing that took FOREVER. Getting the new Zelda and Call of Duty for my DS didn't help either. I also found out that I get to do another Roller Derby poster this year, so much of my holiday has been spent drawing pretty girls on roller skates slugging it out.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Portfolio 4 progress

Still plugging away at this one. Getting close to finishing up the line drawing, drawing bricks is as fun as drawing leaves, then its off to the land of Photoshop for a day or two (or three).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Portfolio #4

This one is taking a very, very, very long time to draw out. Here is a small section of it...pretty obvious what I'm working on. All yesterday was spent doing a perspective drawing, all today is hair.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Portfolio #3

This one didn't take very long too do, but it was fun to jump back into charcoal for a bit. My mom #2 (ie: beloved mother-in-law) raised the idea of a holiday card a few weeks ago. Originally my Goldilocks piece was going to be a standard "Goldigrizz and the 3 Humans" image, but with the holiday looming (and my wife's promise to help me print and mail cards) I decided to make it more along the lines of "Goldigrizz and the 3 Klinkits". I had thought of using a polar bear, but it looked too much like one of those CG coke adds, so I had to go back to the grizz.

On a side note, I lived with a Klinkit once, his name was chuck Chuck CHUCK CHUCK BOOM!

Also, I thought about coloring this in Photoshop, but I realized I'd be too tempted to make that bowl of porridge look like a bowl of blood...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

MDHP 4 On Sale!!

The fourth volume of the online comics anthology MySpace Dark Horse Presents continues to bring you a wide range of genres and classic characters in the Dark Horse tradition. For the first time, Star Wars debuts comic content online with Dark Times: Blue Harvest. Our commitment to webcomics continues to shine with contributions from online-strip creators Chris Onstad, David Malki, and Kate Beaton. Eric Powell’s backwoods-charm-filled series The Goon is the subject of an “interpretation” from Gossip Whore Ann Romano. Joss Whedon teams with Season Eight cover artist Jo Chen for a special Buffy the Vampire Slayer story, and Guy Davis brings us an all-new installment of The Marquis.

Oh, and my first short story is in it too. I'm curious to see how it looks in print because I may have totally botched the saturation in Photoshop.

MySpace Dark Horse Presents
Volume 4 collects 165 pages of the online anthology! (On Sale Dec. 2, 2009 / $19.95)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Portfolio #3, just right

Bet you can't guess my third Portfolio Piece is based on. I wasn't planning on doing this one, but I'm not quite sure how to go about doing the one I want to do yet. This piece just jumped into my sketchbook, so I think I'll pursue it for awhile while I stew my other idea for a bit.

Portfolio Piece #2, Reluctant Vegetarian

This is an old idea revisited. Originally I made an etching of the troll under the bridge giving up his carnivorous ways, but I never quite finished it because etching is a long and arduous way to make an image that I never really took to. I had a lot of fun working on this painting, even if I'm not quite happy with how the reflection turned out. I felt I was at risk of overdoing the blobs of color in the water, so I called it quits. I think I should have added some foreground rocks into the pool of water to break up the reflections, but working back into watercolor is risky business. Honestly, I think like the duck the most.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Portfolio #1 Color

Here's the Jack piece colored in Photoshop. I think I need to let it sit for a day or two to see if I like the washed out tones. The problem with Photoshop is that you can tweak stuff endlessly, it makes it even harder to know when something is "done".

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Portfolio Piece #2

Here is the top half of the sketch for my next portfolio piece that I worked on today while at work. I was rather pleased with how it was coming along, but when I proudly showed my wife she gave it a "huh". With the help of my uber-tuned husband senses I was able to deduce that she was unimpressed. When I pressed her on her opinion she finally admitted, and I quote: "I just don't like monster drawings". This isn't as bad as the time she didn't recognize a certain character from Star Wars (which she let slip in front of my buddy Josh, nerd friend #1), but I was a bit taken aback since I have spent a considerable amount of time in my life drawing monsters. It's one of those skills I have been working on since childhood and which I imagine will only get better until I draw my last monster and drop dead at 98.

I mention all of this because my wife is my best critic, and I can always count on her to give me an honest opinion on my work, and she brings up a valid point: some people don't like monster drawings.

Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Portfolio Piece #1

I love drawing. This was so much fun to work on that its all I can do to not keep making images illustrating the "story".

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Illustration #2

Well, I've been dragging my feet on this one. I foolishly let myself paint the meatloaf early on (the part I was most excited about) and ended up having a hard time motivating myself to finish the whole piece. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with it. It feels nice to be painting again. Dusting off the cobwebs on my watercolor abilities is both fun and frustrating.

The main reason I finished this morning is that I'm super excited with how my future Jack in the Beanstalk image is coming along. I still have a lot of drawing to finish, but I am pretty sure its going to be a blast to paint.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

portfolio development

Per the advice of my agent, I'm going to be making a few portfolio pieces to show off to prospective art directors and editors. I asked Kelly if I should just pick some random scenes from some fairy tales and illustrate them (while showcasing my ability to draw kids, babies, hands, and talking animals), she said yes, but suggested that I don't make them all look "classic", and that I should make them in different genres (modern, futuristic, etc).

SO, I started sketching some ideas for Jack the Robot Killer (sounds too aggressive, I know), or Rocket Jack and the Beanstalk, or something like that. Pretty much I doodled this character design and decided to make a futuristic jack and the beanstalk. The giant is going to be a huge steam punk robot, obviously, but I'm not sure what the future golden goose would be.

Any ideas? Whoever suggests something cool that I use gets a present!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Here's the final drawing for the second painting, magic works on meatloaf too. My wife pointed out that kids don't do the dainty "pinch your nose in disgust" pose, so I reworked the character to have a more natural gross out pose.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hair pulling, and meat loaf

I've been pulling my hair out (by pulling my hair out, I mean taking the dog for a walk, deciding what new DS game to buy, and watching "the watchmen"...obviously) all day today trying to get my picture book character consistent for the second painting I'm going to do. It wasn't until I scanned the thing in to work on composition and placement on the page that I think I figured it out! Her arms are too lanky and her hands are too big...and there is probably something wrong with her eye. BUT, I am awfully fond of my depiction of Meat Loaf (the loaf, not the singer). Not that I have anything against meat loaf, mind you. I love foods in loaf form (bread, cheese, meat, etc), but it does conjure up unpleasant images when combine "meat" and "loaf". I ran the drawing by my wife to make sure it wasn't too gross for a picture book, kids love gross... right?

One of the things that I find helpful is a comic book trick, where you change your drawing to blue tones in Photoshop, print it out, ink it, scan it back in and remove the blue tones. Editing stuff tends to be a pain but it is essential to getting a good image, or good writing (not that I write, but I've heard there are these people who specialize in editing written things). In order to keep my momentum, tricks like the blue line thing are invaluable time savers. Below you can see what I'm talking about, my old drawing is in blues, and then I re-drew some new arms in pencil. I'll do this a couple of times till I get it right. I think in the old days people used tracing paper, but who owns tracing paper anymore? Normally I can just fix this on my original piece of paper with a good ol' fashioned eraser, but I've drawn and re-drawn this thing so much that my paper is getting unusable.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Here's the children's illustration painted. Not quite sure about the magic beam....may fuss with it in photoshop (more than I already have).

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Just something that made me happy today. The Andrea Brown Literary Agency just added me to their section of artists represented. Seeing my name on their site really made it seem real: I have an agent and I am making some headway towards my art career.

If you're so inclined (though I'm pretty sure only my mom is) here is the link:

I'm about halfway down.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Children's book drawing

Every now and then I dust off an old picture book idea and breath some new life into it. One of the nice things about this is that I get to see how much I've improved as an artist since the last time I touched the idea. I just finished the drawing for a painting I'll start working on tonight after work. As you can see, sometimes I get carried away with details like the leaves of the shrub (though it could just as well be scales on a monster, wood grain in a board, etc). I doubt most of those leaves will be in the final painting, but I find its usually helpful to start with too much information and then scale it back as the painting comes along.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Character Design of an Old Idea

I recently dusted off an old picture book idea and have been redesigning the characters. It is satisfying when you realize that you are improving as an artist. Not to toot my own horn, but I think this sketch is pretty adorable. No, I will not be tempted down the long dark hallway of sappy greeting card design, I was just happy to realize I designed a good character. Though I do feel compelled to draw kitties with bows and flowers and cupcakes and and and....

Monday, October 19, 2009


I think I am getting better at digitally coloring charcoal drawings. I'm not quite where I want to be (cough cough James Jean cough cough I'll never get that good cough), but I am getting closer to being competent in a timely manner. I think the trick with coloring a comic page, if you aren't strictly a colorist, is to figure out a way to do it as fast as possible without it looking like your great great aunt Nancy just bought Photoshop and thought she would do you a favor by working on your pet projects with you while she is crocheting afghans for the local DAR auction.

Monday, October 12, 2009

ah, sweet studio

Who Knows What Creativity
Lurks in the Hearts of Men?


Ok, that was lame, but it was better than me claiming to be batman with a lot of dramatic pauses and somehow typing in a gravely voice. I just retrieved my drafting table from my friend Damien who was helping me refinish the surface. I love this thing. Nothing is more satisfying than a brand new piece of equipment that you know will last the rest of your life.

Notice how the artist didn't even bother cleaning the studio before sharing it online? Stuff not pictured, bug collection, Daphne the stuffed armadillo (and studio mascot), Crossbow (for zombie attack), and longsword (in case zombie attack gets too close).

I'm not sure what to do with my old drafting table. I was going to toss it in the dump, but I am rather fond of it. My parents bought it for me when I was in 8th grade, so its fair to say that I learned to be an artist on that table. Drawing, watercolor, woodcut, and comics (junior high, high school, college, and "adulthood") all on one surface. I briefly entertained fantasies of my as yet unborn children all being better artists than me learning to draw on the same table, but its pretty beat up and I don't think it can stand safely for more than another year or so.

And, since mom asked to see a photo of him, here is the other studio mascot. This is my dog Grover, he was once a tiny tiny puppy and is now a pony. For Halloween he is going to be dressed up as Sirius Black (or, should I say, Padfoot), his favorite character from Harry Potter. Notice his steely gaze as he stays on the lookout for dark wizards. Phew, I got a lot of nerdy out on this post.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Super Muddy Muscles!

Here's a pin-up of some super hero do-goodery. Those kids thought that a mere mudslide could prevent them from going to school. Not if Muddy Boy has anything to say about it....

Though I imagine he doesn't make any friends this way, good thing he has a secret identity.

Collaborating with Liz has been a lot of fun, she is very receptive to suggestions and is a great brainstormer. I just wanted to draw MB picking up a bus for fun and she worked it into the story! Liz also had the idea of a Muddy Boy drawn in browns instead of black and white.

I really like it, and mud is brown after all. That fact that it was an easy fix in Photoshop is just icing on the cake.

I also recently bought an AWESOME new drafting table the other day. It's a monster (5 feet wide!!) classy table from the 30's. My studio is now a batcave of creative power. I'd post some photos, but I think I'm the only one that would find it interesting. Special thanks go to my lovely wife for giving up her small bit of sewing space in the studio.

And, saving the best for last, I recently acquired an agent!! Her name is Kelly Sonnack and she works for the prestigious Andrea Brown Literary Agency ( Kelly specializes in picture books and graphic novels, which is a perfect fit for everything I want to do at the moment. I am very excited to have Kelly representing me. She pretty much had me when she said "I don't want you worrying about the business stuff at all, your job is to create". I may have fallen over at that point, I can't remember.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Can't wait for October, and more headlessness

Every August I can't help but wish it was October. This is going to be my Halloween card for the year, though it may be in color if I can get photoshop to cooperate with me (getting the color to work well with charcoal has been a bit of a wrestling match). If any friends, family, or (gasp) fan would like one feel free to send me an email with your address. I can't guarantee that I'll send you one, since last year's card didn't make it out to all intended recipients (I'd like to blame it on the post office, but unfortunately it was my own undoing).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Collaboration, Part 3

Here are the pages I've completed for the collaboration I've been working on with Liz. I'm going to do two more to round out the scene.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Collaboration pt. 2

Here's some progress on the collaboration I've been working on. It is waaaay to hot in Portland to be drawing in charcoal. The powder that comes off the drawing mixes with my sweat and makes a filthy paste (usually centered around my elbow pits). Obviously I haven't added text to the first page yet. I am a total letterer-procrastinator...

Friday, July 24, 2009


Among the many wonderful things that happened at Stumptown this year, was meeting Liz Rusch. Liz is a local children's book author who approached me with the idea of collaborating on a pitch to a publisher. Now that the summer is settling down a bit I've been drawing away on the project and am having a lot of fun with it. I won't say anything about the story, since its Liz's baby, so I'm not sure how much sense you will be able to make of it.

Anyhoo, here is a pencil rough of page 4. This is what I draw in my sketch book before blowing it up 125% and rendering it in charcoal.

The final charcoal version is done, so once I scan it into my computer I'll post it up so you can see some process.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Capitalism HO!

Comixpress, the fine folks who print my comics for me, just added my book to their online store! That means you can pay me your hard earned cash from the comfort of your own home!

The link directly to my comic is:

I also added a link to the right for your clicking pleasure.

Comixpress prints to order I believe, so I'm not sure how long it takes from ordering it to getting it shipped....if anybody does this please let me know what the time frame is.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Well, of course Myspace chooses my semi-pro debut to have massive financial trouble! Until further notice I guess Dark Horse Presents is going to be hosted on Dark Horse's own website. Upon seeing online I have to admit I was a little disappointed, some of the colors don't look the same as they did on my monitor (a mistake I will learn from you!), so next time I will be checking my work on other monitors....or letting Dark Horse hire a pro colorist for me.....Anyhoo, enough apologizing for my work, which one should never do (unless you draw a mean picture of somebodies mom and they didn't deserve it).

In other work news, I am currently working on a collaborative pitch with a local children's book author (look out Random House! Prepare to be floored! You might as well whip out your checkbook now just to save yourself the trouble! you have been warned). Once I clear it with her I'll start posting some process shots that are pretty fun.

Oh, and I recently found a blog called "terrible yellow eyes" that is a tribute the great Maurice Sendak (a huge influence on my artistic development), the submissions are invite only, but I think I'm going to try so slip in under their radar.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Minor fame, here I come!

I never thought seeing my name on a website would give me a thrill.
Only weeks away before my comic goes live on DARK HORSE!!

For those of you not in the know, I'm the only non-famous/respected guy in the bunch! I envision myself as one of those birds that perch on rhinos in order to eat the bugs that land on them...except instead of a Rhino its Joss Whedon...and instead of bugs its little bits of fame that drip from his ravenous jaws! Luckily Joss (I can call him that now) will never read this post and never know that I compared him to a rhino of fame.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Notice the official DARK HORSE PAPER!!!!


And (most importantly) the OFFICIAL CONTRACT!! I can't tell you what's in it because it told me not to....well, I shouldn't have told you that.

I haven't posted anything in a bit, but for good reason. I've been up to my ears working on my short story for Dark Horse Presents and don't feel like posting progress shots on a comic that is going to be online anyway in about a month. SO, I'll just post some pics of me beginning to work on it instead. I just turned my pencils in, so now its time to letter and ink (as long as the editor gives me the thumbs up)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Character Doodles

Well, my script was just approved for Dark Horse Presents and I just received my fancy official Dark Horse Comic Paper! Here are my initial character designs for my main characters, I'm sure they'll change 40 times this weekend once I get down to drawing out the story. I'll be sure to post a link to the story once it goes live! My very first PAID comic job...oh validation, you taste so sweet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stumptown, I shall miss you

Well, Stumptown wrapped up on Sunday night and it couldn't have gone any better (well, maybe a little better, since I didn't find a winning lotto ticket while flying a jet pack or anything). I had a complete blast, met a ton of awesome people who were excited about my work, sold out all of my comics, and had a great turnout of friends and family. Thank you all who were able to attend and stop by my table.

Here is a link to some photos from the event, with Ash acting as a puppeteer forcing me to draw draw draw.

Also, I just got the final back on the Roller Derby poster I did for the Rose City Rollers! I did the illustration and the Art Director (Nami, aka "Draggin") did the text layout. I think it looks pretty dang good, the font reminds me of boogie nights with a splash of vidal sassoon.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stumptown here I COME!

Well, we're down to the final week! My books came yesterday and they look pretty good (wish I could afford to print a grayscale comic in COLOR, then maybe it'd look more like my drawings). They really look nice though, I feel a small spark of pride when I look at them.

My lil' sis took some photos from the gallery opening, thanks to all of you that came! I think the printer I chose will be selling my comic through their online store, so those of you who'd like to buy a comic (no pressure) but can't make it to Stumptown, keep you're eyes peeled for a link to their store soon.


This is me pointing to something at the show. Probably Craig Thompson...did I mention that he had some pieces there? Oh, I did? How silly of me.

And here I am with my lovely wife and greatest critic/moral supporter/editor/self esteem booster/marketing forcer on-er in front of some of my pieces, doing who knows what.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Roller Doodle

Here's a sketch of a sexy gal on skates. I've been doodling roller derby ladies in my spare time lately since my friend Heather put me in contact with the Rose City Rollers art director in hopes of doing a poster for one of their bouts. So, I guess I just have to whittle the hours away drawing sexy girls being tough and graceful, it's hard to be me. In other news, the opening of the Stumptown Art Show went EXTREMELY well and I got to meet a lot of great people (rubbin' elbows and taking names). Plus, tons of my friends and family showed up, so I felt warm and fuzzy on the inside the entire time.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Art Opening

Here is the press release for the art opening on Thursday! I didn't make the image cut, but I did get on the list with such luminaries Craig Thompson and Farel Darlymple!! Hope to see some of you at the show!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

STUMPTOWN!! and a tiny painting

Here's the color study I did real quick in Photoshop.

And here's the actual painting.

And here is the digitally touched up painting looks nothing like the original, the wonderful magic of Photoshop has once again saved me from my deficiencies (ie, not so good at painting or color).

In other news, I have a slew of events coming up in relation to the Stumptown Comics Fest.
First, I'll be participating in the "Drink and Draw" on April 1st at MacTarnahan's Taproom on 2730 NW 31st., where I'll be drinkin' and drawin' from 7 to 10 with some other artsy folks. Come by and have a pint and keep me company!
Second, I am participating in the Stumptown art show, which has an opening reception for the First Thursday downtown on April 2nd at 1111 SW Broadway (right next to the Schnitzer Concert Hall). Come by and rub elbows!
Third, the actual comics fest itself! It takes place on April 18-19th at the Lloyd Center Doubletree. In addition to geeking out that my comic book idol JEFF SMITH will be in the same (admittedly large) room with me, I'll be selling comics, cards, posters, prints, originals.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

what's this...a REAL website?

Well, I finally got off my duff and made a real website. Eventually Kuyler will be on it too but he is a butt and never sends me, without further ado:

let me know if anything doesn't work, since I have no idea what I'm doing

Friday, March 13, 2009

Done, for now

Well, I sent my files off to the printer. Now all I have to do is wait for my proof to show up, oh and build a display, and print posters and prints, and think of all the things I have forgotten to do, and, oh yeah...finish the entire book. I found out that the good folks at Stumptown are putting on an art show downtown for the month of April and May. So, I get to put a couple of the originals from my comic up for display, which I am super excited about. The show is at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts ( and the opening reception is on April 2nd, for anybody in Portland who feels like coming.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

today is a good day

Well, I started the day in a bad mood, but then I sold a drawing....and money makes me happy! I'm currently wrapping up issue one of the ol' comic ( which needs to be sent to the publishers by Tuesday! EEEK! A perfect time to add a whole new page...add details to almost every page...oh, and letter!). Also, my lovely wife made a suggestion of drawing wallpaper in the backgrounds of the which I scoffed because of how long that would take. BUT, I decided to cheat! So, I went to a scrap store, bought a book of silk upholstery fabrics, scanned them in and did some digital fiddlin'... and voila! Wallpaper!
Oh, I forgot one other great idea Ash had, which was to add more sneakin' salamanders hiding in the there are three in this one.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just because

I know I posted yesterday, but I'm online and thought I'd share some panels that I like. I recently had to re size/reformat ALL of my pages (boring), but on the bright side I got to look at pages I hadn't looked at in awhile.
Oh, and thank you to those of you who wrote to me saying that you are a fan and NOT my mom. My self depreciating cry for compliments was successful! Mike 1, Depression 0.