Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Father/Son Art

With the new school year in session, we've started a new project in my household. Every Wednesday for the past 3 weeks, after picking my son up from Kindergarten, the two of us have driven downtown to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Our mission: TO DRAW ANIMALS!

This has been loads of fun for me, and hopefully somewhat amusing for my son! The museum here in Los Angeles isn't as huge and comprehensive as the one I grew up with in New York, but it's not bad. My son really loves it,and used to visit practically every weekend. He even did a few weeks of summer camp there last year. However, until we started our new project, we haven't spent much time there of late.

So here's what we're doing: After spending some time wandering around, looking at the exhibits for the umpteenth time, we pick a few animals, and we each do a drawing. I also ask him to write the name of the animal, and sometimes a fact or two, like "lives in Kenya" or "Eats bugs." It's been fun to see what he comes up with and, obviously, good practice for his writing skills.

Here are two of today's sketches. An ostrich...

...and a chimpanzee...

Now, I think my ostrich is pretty good, but clearly his chimp beats mine, hands down. Isn't it awesome?

I really like drawing from those stuffed animals in the big dioramas. They are, of course, perfectly still models! You can't ask for better! Those rooms are so quiet and peaceful. At least, they are on Wednesday afternoons. In fact, the whole place is dead! Make me worry about the museum's future and the state of our youth in general, but at the same time, I really appreciate having the place to ourselves.

Right now, the museum is being renovated so some of the halls are closed. Also, it seems, the entire area around Exposition Park is under construction. They are doubling the size of the neighboring science museum and, I believe, they are reconstructing the light-rail system in the area. So parking is a huge pain. No street parking AT ALL, so visitors are forced to lay down $6 per car. Luckily, we're members of the museum, so parking is the only cost. In any case, the results have been well worth the trouble. As an activity to share with a child, I recommend it highly.

WeHo Signing This Weekend

This Sunday, September 30th, I'll be joining some fellow TOKYOPOP creators at the West Hollywood Book Fair. I'll be participating in the "Manga 101" panel from 3:14 - 4:15, and signing copies of my book, Battle of the Bands at the TOKYOPOP booth after that, from 4:15 - 6:00. The fair is free, lasts all day, and features appearances, workshops and readings by many authors. Check out the schedule on their website.

Here's a map:

View Larger Map

If you can make it, I look forward to meeting you and telling you about my book. I'll even throw in a free sketch!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Yet Another...

Okay, I promise that this is the last of the Elephantmen pages that I will be posting...

It's just that this page actually features Hip Flask, so I thought it was worth showing off. He's the hippo dude, in case you're wondering. This coloring on this page has more noodley texture than I usually do, but that's because I wanted it to be somewhat similar to the look Ladronn has established for the series. Does it work? YOU decide!

I'm starting work on a couple of new projects that are interesting. I'll write more about them soon. I also want to tell you about the pirate ships that I'm building. (YARR!) I'm just to tired to get into it right now ( I think I have a cold). I'll tease you with these images...


Reading: Three Comrades by Erich Maria Remarque
Watching (on Netflix): Nip/Tuck: Season Four and Smallville: Season Six
Listening to: The Voice of Reason

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One More...

I should probably stop posting these Elephantmen pages before I start with the "spoilers!"

Anyway, Here's one more...

This is a fun scene. In case you're wondering about the location, it is Piazza San Marco in Venice. "Venice, Italy," you ask??? Nope; Venice, California! In the future world of Elephantmen, the great Italian city has fallen into the sea! Thankfully, the historic monuments were moved to Southern California to preserve them for posterty.

I love that idea!

BTW, if you haven't seen the other pages that I've posted, you they are up in my "Sequential Art" Portfolio. Links are on the right side of this blog.

Monday, September 10, 2007

More Elephantmen

Here's another page from the Elephantmen story that I'm drawing. I'm quite pleased with how it's turning out...

The story is pretty much the origin of Hip Flask's partner, Vanity Case. It establishes many previously unknown things about her character--including the first look at her Venice Beach apartment. Richard crammed the script with all sorts of details. It's been challenging (and time consuming!), but also fun. I think it shows a side of my work that most people are not familiar with, and it's some of my best work to date.

I'll probably put a couple more in my online portfolio as I finish them. More art links are on the right, FYI...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ronald Reagan Reborn!

If I'm not mistaken, this week I have another new book out!

Ronald Reagan: A Graphic Biography is a project I worked on last year that is now being published as a hardcover graphic novel from Hill & Wang, written by Andy Helfer and with 100 pages of art drawn by me and Joe Staton. I drew this before my TOKYOPOP book, and I'm interested to see how people will respond to it. I'm also eager to get my hands on a printed copy to see how it all turned out!

When I was in high school, I was a big fan of Staton's E-Man comic. I'm proud to be associated with his work and I wonder how it will mesh or clash with my own.

Today a friend sent me THIS LINK to an online preview at SLATE.COM. Check it out! You can read more than half of the book there. I drew up to page 49 and the cover art.

If the link above doesn't work, you might want to consider a new web browser. Meanwhile, here's a redundant URL for you to copy and paste: