Monday, November 30, 2009

More Coverage

Thought I'd offer a peak at my next two R.E.B.E.L.S. covers. Looking at these here (along with the covers to R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 and Annual #1) I'm detecting a pattern. I seem to somehow have become Giant-Face-Guy.
How did this happen? I have a couple theories but I won't bore you with them. I do, however, pledge the following: a moratorium on enormous visages for the next few months. You heard it here first, True-believer!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blackest Night R.E.B.E.L.L.I.O.N.

I've been so nose-to-grindstone, that one of these puppies has even come out before I got around to posting about it. Issues #10 and #11 of R.E.B.E.L.S. cross over into nerdgasm-of-the-year, Blackest Night and are extra large-sized at 30 pages each. If #10 is any indication, they also feature Andy Clarke doing some of his best work yet, and that's saying something because he is a beast. They also feature a Yellow Lantern Sinestro-Dox design by Yours Truly.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh Hot Moo!

At last! I can finally reveal my new regular cover gig: Marvel Universe A to Z Updates!!
This is a nerdgasm of the first order for me. Back when I was wee kid, I read more Marvel Universe comics than actual comics, and it was a secret dream of mine to one day contribute to one. Once I started working in the industry, that even seemed possible.
But in the intervening time a few things had changed. They'd switched from commissioning original character art for the entries to clipping and/or redrawing panels from the comics.
So that's that, thought I. But then one day I got an email asking me to do covers... *shudder.*
Best of all it's for the update books, which means that each issue is chock-full of all the oddballs and morts that I love. For instance on the above cover I got to draw Gladiator, Nimrod AND Xemnu the Titan. Xemnu the fucking Titan!!
Next issue: American Eagle, Fat Cobra, and Pixie... booyah!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dungeons of the Past, Dragons of the Past

One of the things that's been keeping me away from you all is a new D&D book I'm contributing to called The Players Strategy Guide. This one should be interesting, as it's incorporating a totally new visual style distinct from other D&D products. As it's waaay to early to talk about posting any of that stuff yet, you'll just have to wait and see what I mean.

But it got me thinking back about all of the D&D art I've done over the last few years, that for one reason or another, I never got around to posting on the old site. So without further ado, I present for you here, a stroll back in time through my D&D folder.

I present these first two in glorious black & white, since with the benefit of hindsight, I'm not really feeling the colors. But enough yammer... onward!

The preceeding images appeared in Faiths of Eberron and Secrets of Sarlona, repsectively. Now for some good old fashioned mainstream D&D, from The Book of Nine Swords...

That last piece is from Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, as is this next one, which also features a break from form in that it's in pencil-tone, which, at the time, I think, was the mandate for D&D Chapter starts. It's also noteworthy in that it was co-opted and used as the Myspace icon for some metal band from Des Moines or something.

Pssst, hey, Metal Band from Des Moines, you can send royalty payments (and/or fruitbaskets) via the email address above. K thx.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Fell into a Burning King of Fire

So seen here, is a promo illustration commissioned by my NYX partner-in-crime, Marjorie Liu, for, among other things, the July/August web exclusive over at chez Liu. Since it's now September, I think it's safe to post it here too.

The Fire King is the ninth book in Marjorie's acclaimed Dirk & Steele series. You can learn all about the book and how to get it here.

Based on the comments left on Marjorie's blog here, it sounds like a lot of readers thought this was the actual cover art for the book. Since it features typographical elements like a book cover, I guess I can understand the confusion. Still, wanna know how you can tell that there is no way that this is an actual book cover?

The title is bigger than the author's name. No publisher would ever let that happen.

I had a great time interpreting Marjorie's characters and flexing some character design muscles... haven't really designed anything I've illustrated since NYX, and even those were re-designs.

Marjorie and I are hatching plans for future collaborations related to the world of Dirk & Steele. Can't say much more than that for now, but watch this space (or Marjorie's blog) for more soon!

Marjorie and I at NYCC 09, with an auspicious portent looming over Marjorie's shoulder.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spider-man Black (and White)

By request (talking to you Cyberweasel) the lineart for my cover art to Spider-man: The Clone Saga #3.

I was never a big Spider-fan as a kid, but the Bendis/Immonen run on Ultimate Spider-Man turned me around completely on the character. So much so, that I had real jitters breaking this piece down, trying to come up with something iconic and appropriate but also a little bit different.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spider-man Spider-man

...does whatever a spider can. Spins a web, any size. Catches thieves, just like pies.

How I thought the song went from age 4 to age 9.

This is the cover art to Spider-man: The Clone Saga #3. Yep, you heard right.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Some New Covers

In the throes of a nasty deadline crunch, so this is going to be a terse post with a bland title. Behold the cover art for R.E.B.E.L.s annual: STARRO the Conqueror, and for #9. I'm doing a 9 page chapter in the annual featuring the secret origin of STARRO!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Peek Behind the Colors

While on the Deviantart page of the monumentally talented David Williams, I realised something. I really like looking at line art. Dave's posted the final lineart alongside every finished cover he's done (Click the link if you're curious, this is my blog...)

Sure a finished colored piece is great, but there's just something about black & white, so I'm taking a page from Dave's book and catching you up on my last bunch of covers in lineart versions.

Maybe, like me, you'll realise you like looking at lineart too.
As an added bonus, here's the lineart for my as-yet-unseen cover for STARRO: Unleashed. Color version to follow once solicitation imagery is released...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Some Props

A nice little piece about me and my R.E.B.E.L.s covers went up today over at the DCU Blog (thanks guys!) Since they've done so, I'm going to go ahead and also post my cover for R.E.B.E.L.s #8.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Will Vril Dox meet his end in the murky waters of Gil'Dishpan? And what is this ominous, uniquely shaped shadow looming over him? Find out all that and more in R.E.B.E.L.S #7.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Candied Bacon Testimonial

Despite being one of the most erratic and inconsistent bloggers I've ever met, I've somehow found myself enough in demand to be doing some guest blogging.

Step on over to pageslap to read my heartfelt candied bacon elocution. Wait... candied what? Relax, just read the original post and learn what all the fuss was about. Of course, to really find out, you'll just have to make some yourself, and then post your heartfelt testimonial.

Pageslap is the blog of Nicole Stamp, a ninja of the acting and the Lara Croft of internet strangeness.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Just Lines on a Page, Dude...

Out Wednesday May 20 at finer comics peddling establishments -- NYX: No Way Home the premier hardcover. Offered in both handsome LCS-friendly edition and plucky mass-market edition (pictured below).

Strange, how flipping through this handsome volume, I don't feel at all what I felt flipping through the individual issues as they came out. That is, I don't feel like I'm being bayonetted in the side with each flip. Instead, enough time has passed that it just looks like comics to me.

The title of this blog post is something our resident studio zen master has been known to utter, particularly when I get worked up over the minutia of knuckle-structure, or some other such thing. Flipping through this volume, it's obvious he's right.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Little Red Vectors

Musical obsession du jour: Slagsmålsklubben. It's simple, but it works, and it's been getting me through the long stretches of inking plants, curtains, windows, and flying star-spangled shields, as I bring my Captain America story on home.
Yes, the visuals are very much inspired by the video for Remind Me by Röyksopp. Young Tomas Nilsson is very up front about that, plus, it's a student work (!) so the kid gets a pass.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Daft Love

Very very occasionally, a working stiff like me will get a moment to breathe, a chance to step away from the drawing table and experience normal life, like all those multitudes in the world who get two days off for every five they work. What do guys like me do when those rare, precious moments arise...?

Um, draw. Sad but true.

And here's the real testament to just how rare and precious those moments actually are: I started the Daft Punk fan art above some time in August of 2008.

I came late to the Daft Punk party. Despite being a fiend for all kinds of electronica and digging the 'Da Funk' video, I didn't really pay close attention to these guys until I caught a screening of their Interstella 5555 at RESfest (RIP) years ago. After that I was hooked.

It was to be their next film Electroma, though, that would really get under my skin, despite not actually having any music by Daft Punk in it.
Who knew, back in the late 90's that Daft Punk would turn into what they turned into? They showed up hawking a minimalist, just-out-of-date electro groove, at, what was arguably the heydey of lavish, high-production electronica, but it clicked and, strangely, they were totally embraced by indie-rock kids too. More than 10 years later, it's inarguable that they've spawned their own sub-genre of fuzzy, thumping dance music. Without Daft Punk there would be no MSTRKRFT, no Boyz Noise or Justice. Maybe even no Chromeo. DFA records might still exist, but it would probably sound a little different.

I wasn't sure if I liked Electroma after my first viewing. I found myself thinking that maybe it was a bit self-indulgent and, I'm ashamed to admit, I fast forwarded through some of the slow parts. And there were many slow parts, or, not slow exactly. Rather, long. Long takes, long shots, many of them eerily silent. But as days went by, it haunted me. I found myself going back to youtube again and again to re-watch certain scenes, like this one:

And this one:

Electroma is not about narrative satisfaction. There is a story, but it's extremely decompressed and archetypal to the point where it's debateable that it's there at all. What Electroma is about is moment and mood. It's haunting and beautiful and it will get under your skin and stay with you if you let it. Needless to say, it is excellent background to draw and write to. Especially if what you are drawing or writing is sweeping and morose, as what I do so often is.
Apparently, Electroma was originally conceived, shot, and editied as a visual accompaniment for the Human After All album, and the film is said to sync up perfectly with it (see below) which explains some of the long stretches of silence in the official score. The sync job down there is a little shakey, and I have yet to try it out with the whole film and the whole album, but you get the idea. Further below that is the same opening scene with a custom score featuring M83, which, I think, works even better, both in terms of tone and syncing. See the whole movie re-scored by that guy here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

And now, Some for the Other Side

This month's PREVIEWS magazine is a first for me. One man, one month, 3 covers. We in the industry call that a 'hat trick.', not really.

Two of the three feature below, and are my first ever covers for Marvel. Hopefully the first of many (hint hint). First up, Dark Reign: The Goblin Legacy, apparently reprinting some Gobliny Greatest Hits.

Next up, (and a real feather in my cap,) an alternate cover for Tomb of Dracula Omnibus Vol. 2. All of these deluxe hardcover omnibi feature re-interpretations of classic covers by contemporary artists as alternate covers, and I got to do the Gene Colan cover For Tomb #70 seen below.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bad Blogger

Yeah I'll cop.

New York Travelogue? Sorry. Kind of past it's sell-by date now though, no? Why don't we just move forward and forget all those broken promises that hurt you so?

One of the good things that happened in New York was landing the regular cover gig on DC's new sci-fi series R.E.B.E.L.s. It's kind of a Legion-ish thing, but set in the present. Perhaps you remember L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 from back in the day...?

No? How old were you again?

Anyway, here are the covers to #5 (NOT drawn by Ed Benes, as erroneously reported by Diamond... hissssssss...) and #6, out in June & July respectively.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Final Countdown...

Well kids, this is it. The final issue of NYX: No Way Home hits stands today.
What a bizarre little rodeo it's been. If I could do it over, I'd probably do, oh... everything differently, but that's the beauty of monthly comics: no looking back, only forward, soldier, onward and upward. There really is no better type of work to kickstart evolution when you're too self satisfied and/or too caught up in your own bullshit.
To celebrate the occasion, my co-conspiritor Marjorie Liu is blogging short "look back" interviews all this week with various members of the creative team. Today happens to be my turn. If you were ever curious about my cats (and why wouldn't you be?) you can finally satisfy yourself by clicking on over there.
What's next for your humble narrator, you ask? You mean other than going outside and talking to other human beings for a change? Right now I'm working on a new D&D book, a piece for the Darkstalkers Tribute Book out in a few months, and the first of what looks like a new regular cover gig. More in this space when They let me talk about it.
Also NYX: No Way Home will be collected in a hardcover edition, which is royalty, er, I mean royally amazing!
Up next: My NYC Travelogue!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

NYCC on the horizon

Just a quick note to say I'll be attending the New York Comicon again this year.  I won't have a table, but I'll be signing (and maybe sketching, if you're good) at the Marvel booth (#1141) on Saturday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM.

If you miss me there, and you're interested in getting something signed or sketched, feel free to bug Karl at table C1 in artist's alley, he'll likely know how to find me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chasing the Dragon

I think I may have discovered the secret to more frequent blogging. Post something you can't stand to look at, so you're forced to post more just to force that image off the screen!
The image above is a wrap-around cover I did a while back for a manga adaptation of a novel called Chasing the Dragon. Published by Houder & Stouton UK, The story is the first-hand the account of author Jackie Pullinger's misadventures in the massive lawless slum Kowloon walled City, or KWC as it is affectionately known to it's many admirers. No joke, I'm one of them. How could I say no to this gig?
From the excellently comprehensive KWC section of
Inhabiting a block the size of the Tokyo Dome, Kowloon Walled City resembed a
living, breathing creature, born from its inhabitants over its long lifespan.
But the walled city was more than a physical conglomeration of buildings and
people, it was an inadvertent symbol of the long struggle between China and Hong
Kong, ruled by neither. It was an "in-between zone" whose remarkable existence
today can best be comprehended through images, statistics and interviews. These
pages give a brief overview of Kowloon Walled City (KWC) in historical,
personal, architectural and political terms.

Sadly KWC was finally demolished in 1993, but not before getting immortalized as a set piece in Bloodsport (!).

Monday, January 12, 2009

The other Flash

Welcome my friends to the first of many studio sketch-offs. Yes that's right, after a hiatus of almost two years, we're back in action. We're going to try to keep them up every Monday, as a way to keep sharp, get the work week rolling right, and to offer a momentary escape from our various obligations.
Today's topic: Flash Gordon. Participating today: Action Andy B and Ragin' Ramon Perez, and, of course, me, your humble narrator.
Being a child of the 80's, Flash to me will always be a flaxen haired Sam Jones, in tight, tight pants. But that's just me! The beauty of the sketch-off is, you can interpret the topic any way you want! For my studiomates' interpretations click here and here.
The verdict? I'm rusty. These'll be good for me.