Friday, March 14, 2008

Good Medicine

Last week I thought I'd kicked the dreaded cold/flu thing that seems to have plagued everyone I know. Then, on Wednesday night, it came back with a vengeance. To be honest, I'm pretty miserable right now, coughing up my lungs and aching with a bad sore throat. To compound matters, I've got the stress of falling behind on pretty much all of the varied projects I'm working on. It's been rough.

On the positive side, I logged in to my TOKYOPOP.COM Profile today, for the first time in a couple of months. I was pleased to receive a very nice "comment" from a guy I met briefly at Anime LA in January. I thought I'd post it here:

I had the privilege of meeting you in person and hear you talk about your manga in person at Anime LA... I didn't think much of your manga at the time.  I WAS DEAD WRONG.  I've read Naruto and One Piece which are some of the most successful mangas in the world and I think your manga is definitely as good as those two mangas I've mentioned.  I can't believe how funny it is like when Chet gets beaten up by Gina or how honest it can be like when Becky finally opens up to Chet.  The art is amazing and helps the story move and helps the humor as well.  I hope to one day meet you again and have you sign my copy of Battle of the Bands. --Mel Murph

That made my day. As it happens, just before I went to TOKYOPOP.COM, I was reading a much less flattering review of BOTB on the Barnes & Noble website (please ignore that one!). It bummed me out, so I was doubly pleased to get Mel's comment. It's nice to hear when someone "gets" what I was going for with that book. I will be honored to sign his book if we meet again.

Speaking of meeting people, it looks as though I will be flying to New York for the New York Comic-Con, from April 18-20. I'll be at the TOKYOPOP booth promoting both BOTB and my story in the new anthology book, Princess Ai: Rumors From The Other Side. If you plan to be there too, please come look for me!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beloved Characters From The 80's

Ah, yes. Who could forget Bronson Pinchot's performance as that rapscallion, "Serge" in Beverly Hills Cop? I'm chuckling just thinking about him saying, "would you like it with a lemon twist?"

That's comedy.

Really, they should bring that guy back.

Who are some of your favorite characters from that all-important, Gen-X Decade? C'mon! I wanna hear from you!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Is It Just Me...

...Or am i just a big nerd? Or both?!

I mean, doesn't this look too damned cool?

Robert Downey JR. is simply an amazing choice for this. Tony Stark as an absolute dick. Perfect. And then we grow to like the absolute dick. Awesome. And then he flies and blows stuff up and stuff. It just doesn't get better than that.

Jon Favreau: You've got my twelve dollars!

So Long, Laserdiscs...

...It's been good to know you.

Tonight my Ebay auctions are ending and my old laserdisc collection will be sold off. I'm pleased that all 5 lots have been bid on, so I'll be able to get rid of them all in one fell swoop. I'm curious to see how much (or little) I end up getting for them, but the real good news is that they are out of the garage!

Today I put up a new auction that includes my laserdisc player and, for a special treat, a boxed set of seven Star Trek laserdiscs. Some lucky stiff is gonna have fun with this puppy!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

New Drawings

Working on a bunch of varied stuff these days. Not the least of which is working on defeating this flu that has invaded my poor body. I feel like this:

(Thanks for the link, Mimi)

I'm doing more drawing work for a cetainComic Publisher based in the Mid-East these days. I guess they were pleased with the pinup that I drew last month, and I now have a couple of different assignments from them. Here are some pencils for one of them...

I don't think I can give you any more details about this particular project, but next week I'll be starting work on a 5-page strip that will run in a bunch of Middle Eastern newspapers. Should be fun!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Obsolete Treats On Ebay!

It has been many years since I sold anything on ebay. It's been about eight years since I last used ebay to sell my original color guides online. If you don’t know, “Color Guides” were a throwback from the days when comic book colorists hand-painted guides that were used in the printing process. Those days are long gone, and the “color separation” phase of the process has been put into the hands of the artists, instead of technicians or craftsmen. This is good thing, but one sad side effect is that colorists don’t have any “orginial art” to sell. It’s too bad, because colorists could really use the extra cash these days, given how far page rates have dropped in the past decade. Back in the "good old days," I used to earn at least twice what I now earn for a page of coloring.

Here’s a typical color guide:

The image on the left shows the hand-painted guide. The one on the right is the same guide, but with a tracing paper-overlay that has ‘codes' written on it. These numbers callout what colors the separators should use and where gradients appear. It was a messy process with mixed results. Often painful!

I’ve been thinking about getting back into the world of ebay for a while now. I stopped not because I ran out of color guides, but because the ebay market had become flooded with them. Not only were color artists selling their work, but collectors & dealers were buying them up, and immediately selling them again. The glut drove down the value of the guides. Maybe it’s time to try again. Also, my interest has been piqued by some artists who sell original art & sketches on ebay. I think I will be trying that out in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, in my never-ending quest to clear out my garage, I’ve finally decided to get rid of my collection of laserdiscs.

What is a laserdisc? Why it’s the forerunner of the DVD, of course. A format that was much loved, that never caught on with mainstream consumers: the digital movie-going equivalent of the 8-track tape. These LP-sized discs pioneered many of the features DVDs have today; special features, director’s commentaries, etc. The Criterion Collection were the elite packages of digitally re-mastered and restored films. They, like everyone else, finally abandoned the laserdisc format years ago.

It was a sad day when I finally decided to give up on laserdiscs and began replacing them with DVDs. I’d invested a lot of money and time building up a collection of over 100 films. That was a few years ago. But it was not until this weekend I finally went through them all, splitting them up into five “lots” to sell on ebay.

It was nostalgic. Not unlike digging through my old color guides. Relics of a bygone age, or whatever. Unfortunately, laserdiscs aren’t like art or other collectibles; they don’t increase in value over time. This week I’m selling my collection for pennies on the dollar. But bad news for me might be good news for someone out there. I think my collection of discs is pretty cool. A couple of junky films in there, but mostly great stuff. As I sorted through them, I wished I still had my laserdisc player hooked up so that I could give some of them one last play before selling. I’d forgotten about some of these great films, most of which I never replaced on DVD, some of which are unavailable on DVD.

Later this week I plan on putting my laserdisc player up on ebay also, along with a special treat as a buying incentive. So, if you’re reading this and you want an instant, cheap library of films and the means to play them, you should check out the links below! Oh yeah, the laserdisc player also plays karaoke discs. Isn’t that awesome???

Anyway, here are some links, if you want to check 'em out:

Lot A

Lot B

Lot C

Lot D

Lot E

And can you believe it’s March already? Yeesh!