Friday, May 25, 2012

Challengers Assemble! submission 5/24/12:

This week's theme was capes, or lack thereof.  Participants were charged with adding a cape to a character who doesn't normally wear one.  I chose a little-known character in the DC universe named Ambush Bug:

Here is my daydream-y take on Ambush Bug with a cape.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Challengers Assemble!

This is my submission for Challengers Assemble!, the weekly free-for-all collection of local artists's work for Challengers Comics & Conversation in Bucktown.  The theme this week was to "robotize" members of the Avengers.  I chose Falcon, aka Sam Wilson.  Here's the wiki link:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some words about a friend

In 2006 I became friends with John. We met through our now ex-girlfriends, who were both roller derby bad-asses at the time. Although those relationships ended, John and I remained friends. We share many interests; old bikes, comic books, music, movies and art. John, aside from being an excellent bartender, is also a great illustrator in traditional media. His website, showcases not only his illustrative talent, but his humor.

Regarding comics, John is a big fan of the Mike Mignola created universe of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (the BPRD). The likes of Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Johann Krauss populate this world and are all truly unique. An ancillary character in the Mignola-verse is Lobster Johnson.
I've become a fan of Lobster and he has been given treatment in several of my sketches (see November 10 blog entry). As Mike Mignola has a very unique and stylized technique, I thought I would try to draw the vigilante "realistically". He looks a little tired and beat-up, but he probably was.

John is a big reason I got back into drawing after a 15-year hiatus. We've often discussed technique and I have picked his brain for how-to information regarding pencilling, inking and some digital work. As much of an inspiration, he's also been a big supporter and advocate. I believe I would have hung up the non-photo blue pencil already if not for John's words of advice and encouragement.

This Lobster's for you, Johnny. Thanks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mike Mignola night - Nov 9 Drink n' Draw

Kyle challenged us to "draw like Mignola" tonight. Mike Mignola is the creator of comic icons Hellboy and the BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense). He has a unique style and incorporates many historical and occult elements. I did a portrait of Hellboy and a sketch of Lobster Johnson tackling many Mignola-verse elements. Fun times.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


October 5 Drink n' Draw: Had a really fun night. The weather was crazy warm for this time of year, so I rode my bike the 5 miles to Latitude. Got some fun sketches done and am beginning to trust myself a little more. Nothing is irreparable. That is why we sketch - to lay out a general idea and refine it as we go. The skull is a character I'm thinking of working into a web-comic that I'm planning. The simian creature was my take on a troll after listening to Tom Stilwell and Dave Pascuito talk about their impressions of what a troll should look like. I started with the face and then kind of ran out of imagination in terms of the head and body, so I cheated and covered him in fur. He winds up looking more ape-like than troll-like. The other guy was another attempt at a lumbering type of character, but just a quick sketch.

I spent the past few weeks catching up on the Bendis and Brubaker runs on Daredevil, hence Bullseye and the Owl. The Owl looks a little too much like Logan/Wolverine. Probably need to work on drawing "old people".

I also spent some time sketching ideas for this year's Christmas card, but they are not yet scan-worthy.


Monday, October 3, 2011


Audrey Conners, loyal friend of Dan Conners, passed away on September 21st. She was a unique dog, as quirky as she was amazing. I had the good fortune to house/pet-sit for Dan several times over the years and it was less a chore and more a welcome, calming respite from my everyday life. Audrey was loving, empathetic and curious. She was an obedient dog, but also loved people food and would stare tirelessly at you until you relented. She'll be missed.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Short and Sweet

Last week I churned out quite a few sketches at Drink n' Draw. This week, I wanted to attend a show at Martyr's so I showed up early. We had a good crowd again, with easily 20 people by 8:30. I got a chance to chat with Tom Stillwell , Kyle Bice and Mike Norton before things got too crazy.

I managed only two drawings. I did a self-portrait on the iPad and a traditional sketch of the Creeper. He's a Steve Ditko created character who is definitely a B-lister in the DC universe, but he has something of a cult following. I wanted to draw him because I knew it would be difficult, with his curly hair and furry tendril cape thingy. He's also one of these characters, like Daredevil, who is always in motion and very acrobatic. This characteristic lends itself to challenging oneself to draw the human form in odd or contorted poses. Several of my characters over the last weeks have been in action, which challenges me as an artist with things like perspective, i.e. truncation of limbs and situations where the shoulders and chest are not squared with the head. I'm not in love with this piece (the eyes are a little messed up), but all-in-all I'm happy with the contortion of the body.

I'm discovering that drawing on the iPad doesn't work well in a social environment, at least for me. I'm too self-conscious and that leads to impatience. I end up rushing things, which you really can't do when working with layers. I'm also, perhaps needlessly, aware that I am about the only person in the room who doesn't "do art" for a living. I am constantly playing catch-up, having had no formal training since high school. I feel like the guys looking over my shoulder are thinking "god, this guy sucks." That being said, most guys are pretty encouraging, one even asking me if the Daredevil I was drawing a few weeks ago was for a Marvel cover. "No, but if you think so, thanks!" I'm making my peace with my lack of experience, though, and am realizing the only way to catch up is to practice my sweet patootie off.

Really looking forward to visiting some of these guys at the 24 hour comic book marathon at Challengers this weekend.