Friday, December 14, 2012

My Inner Will Eisner

Here's a recent illustration for the Writer's Chronicle magazine, created to accompany an article about using literary surprises in fiction. The idea of a Spirit-esque image immediately came to mind, and luckily the client turned out to be an Eisner fan. They loved it so much, they're making it the cover of their upcoming issue...

Friday, December 07, 2012

41 Days Later...

I was just looking over my blog here, and I notice that I'm pretty good about announcing new interesting events and projects before they happen, but not so good about following up with a report afterwards. At this point, nobody cares how my Comic-Con experience was in July (or back in 2008!), but I don't think the statutes of limitations has ended yet on TEDxUCLA, so I'll take a few moments here to write up my thoughts and share them with you...

First, to recap: TEDxUCLA was an independent TED event held on October 27th, that featured 19 speakers, who gave excellent talks on a variety of subjects like: teaching Shakespeare to prison inmates, AIDS activism, tall bicycle adventures, environmental artwork, libraries, fainting and a whole lot more. There were also art and music segments and a little fun with big red balls to round out the day.

In all, it was a fascinating experience for everyone who attended the day-long conference. My participation was a bit unusual. I was neither a speaker, nor part of the audience. In a way, I guess I was part of the journalism team who covered the event live using the TEDxUCLA blog and Twitter. But in another way, I was actually a part of the whole show.

My role at the event was "Live Illustrator." They set me up with an enormous digital drawing tablet (Cintiq) up in the front of the auditorium, and I spent the entire day sketching the speakers and uploading the art files to the rest of the media team who shared them online.

photo by Cindy Grant

I'm not sure who was following the live blogging and Twitter feeds, but my position in the auditorium put several hundred people behind my shoulder and watching me draw. It was an unusual experience, to put it mildly. Unusual and exhausting in a way that I did not anticipate.

The speakers all gave talks ranging from around 5 to 20 minutes in length. They got to go onstage, do their thing, and get off; relaxing in the Green Room for the rest of the day, where they could watch the event on screen, have snacks and socialize/network with the other participants. I, on the other hand, had to stay glued to my chair, frantically trying to keep up with each speaker on stage and try to create images that were at least remotely interesting, right on the spot. I've never done anything like this before, and I have new respect and admiration for courtroom artists who must have to do this every day.

Talk about pressure. As I mentioned, some of these talks were under 5 minutes long. Not enough time to do a real portrait or likeness... and it was difficult to follow what they were saying when I wanted to incorporate their themes into the visuals. Truly challenging and relentless!

The audience seemed to enjoy watching me work, and even liked some of the drawings, so this 'experiment' on live drawing appears to have been worthwhile. Here are a couple examples of my quick sketches...

You can see the rest here.

Part of the appeal of TED and TEDx events is supposed to be the social and networking opportunities that happen when you get a bunch of interesting thinkers and creative people together to 'spread ideas.' I'm disappointed that I didn't have the chance to do that very much (or at all!), but I still think my participation in the event was worthwhile, and what I can remember from each of the talks was fascinating.

When it was all over, after packing up my equipment, I turned to face an empty auditorium. Exhausted. Somewhat exhilarated. Starving. Not really sure what to do. In the end, I walked a long-route to my car, enjoying the calm and quiet of the UCLA campus on a Saturday evening in autumn. I drove home to my family and poured myself a drink, had some food and settled in to ponder a full day of new ideas.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

photo by Mai Koythong

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TEDxUCLA This Saturday

I'm very pleased to announce that this Saturday, October 27th, I will be participating in a TEDx event at the UCLA campus. I will not be giving a TED Talk, but I will be using art to "spread ideas," as it were; using digital drawings to report and comment on the day's events as they happen.

This interactive experience is kind of a last-minute addition to the program, conceived of by the event's organizer, Scott Hutchinson (avid TED fanatic and the Program Director for Visual Arts at UCLA Extension). Scott will have me set up to do digital sketches of all the inspirational speakers as they do their thing on stage, and my drawings will then be projected live to the blog(s) covering the event, and possibly projected up on stage at times.

Honestly, I don't know what to expect, but I know it will be fun, and an interesting challenge. The Talks are all pretty short... some only 5-6 minutes long... so, I'm not sure how detailed my drawings will be. It's my hope and aim to get across a general impression of what it's like to be there, from a different point of view than what the video cameras will record. I'm thinking it will be a little like doing courtroom drawings...but with a lot less time to dwell on the subjects.

Last year, UCLA hosted their first TEDx event, and it was an enormous success. If you're in the area this weekend, and want to do some networking and hear some passionate people spreading their ideas, I urge you to come down to Westwood and join the conversation. Tickets are still available, but probably not for long. And come say hello to the dude drawing on a big computer screen in the front row. That would be me.

I imagine it will be exactly like this...

(I'm kidding)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kick it!

We're a week into Kickstarting Don Hudson's new graphic novel project, and we need your help to keep (and grow) our momentum! Check out the link to see the fundraising page on Kickstarter for all the project details... if you think it looks cool, please show your support and help spread the word!

Don's got some great rewards set up for donors, including the printed graphic novel itself, once it is published. This new trend in comics gives independent artists a leg up; donating to campaigns like these is like pre-ordering the book, while helping the artist realize their vision! What could be wrong with that?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rambling Thoughts About Facebook, Politics, Privacy, Blah, Blah, Blah...

While walking the dogs this morning, I was thinking about the value of Facebook. My wife and I have a long-standing difference of opinion about FB and social networks, in general. She hates the whole concept, while I have always enjoyed using Facebook, even though I'm aware of its perils--especially as a time-suck. When we've discussed it in the past, I always say that I like keeping in "light contact" with a large group of friends and acquaintances. She thinks it's a superficial waste of time.

It's the difference between having an intimate dinner with one or two other couples and having a big, blow-out party where you invite everyone you know and encourage them to bring friends. The truth is, I like BOTH types of socializing, while my wife dislikes big parties for the same reason she hates Facebook. The small dinner allows for real, quality time with your guests that just can't happen in a big party. However, a big party lets you mingle with a larger group of friends all at once, meet new ones, and help foster connections between different groups. It wouldn't be possible to plan small dinner parties to include everyone in our combined social and professional groups, unless we had multiple dinner parties per week. Actually, that sounds awesome, but the idea is neither practical nor affordable!

Big parties and Facebook interactions may not be inherently "deep," but I find real value in maintaining these online encounters and feeling that I have a general sense of what's going on with my friends. Maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that I work at home by myself, and I don't have the "light contact" that everyone who works with other people take for granted. No water-cooler conversations going on here between me and the dogs, I'm afraid.

Anyway, this morning after a brief Facebook interaction, I got to thinking about the description "light contact," and I feel that I may need to revise that term. Before I continue with that let me tell you MY general "Facebook Policies:"

 #1. I only 'friend' people who I actually know in some way (either 'real' friends, relatives, people I've worked with in some capacity, and a few colleagues who I know by reputation). Because I work in comics and other parts of the entertainment biz, I get a ton of 'friend' requests from comics fans, but I generally don't accept those (sorry!), and refer people interested in my work to my "fan page." Many of my friends and colleagues will connect with anybody because they use FB primarily as a means to promote stuff, but I prefer to keep my page somewhat personal.

#2. That said, I do tend to keep things "light" on my FB page. I don't get too personal, and generally do not post anything political, religious, or otherwise controversial. I'm also very private about my family, so my friends won't find pics from my kid's birthday or anything. People who know me well have access to that in other ways, I prefer to post goofy stuff like photos from Comic-Con, or my new hat, and links to The Onion are as political as I like to get.

Which brings me to this morning, and the point of this blog post. Sort of. Yes, I tend not to post anything political on my FB page, but occasionally I can't help but comment on somebody else's post. When I do, it's almost always because I'm pointing out that something is unfair, inaccurate, or illogical; never to make a partisan argument in support of one party or the other. You can call that 'wishy-washy,' if you want, but I'm not interested in blasting my "friends" with my ideology. Frankly, from what I see every day in social media, I don't think anybody is actually listening to differing points-of-view anyway...

This morning I commented on someone's much-forwarded, election-themed meme, just because I thought it was completely nonsensical, and couldn't help myself. I only commented on the illogic, but I'm certain that someone I don't know, who is connected to the poster, will mistake my comment for championing the "other guy." I'm just waiting for the thread of abuse and party-lines that will follow in my comment's wake! This often happens when I chime in like this, and I'm always shocked at how vehement, disrespectful,or downright rude people will be to complete strangers posting on their "friend's" wall. Last time I did this, someone made all kinds of (incorrect) assumptions about my positions (and intelligence!), and called me many nasty things. Imagine if I'd posted something that actually took a side!

This whole election cycle makes me think about the concept of "light contact," and how eroneous that description might be. It seems to me that a huge percentage of my Facebook friends regularly post comments which may actually be a deeper view into their character than we'd normally find around the water cooler at work, or even at a party. On any given day, my news feed is filled with strongly stated opinions on politics, religion, news items, etc. It's definitely not all fluff and, in an era where everyone is conditioned to avoid hostile workplace accusations, much of the discource is decidedly "not safe for work!"

It's actually alarming to me how many people don't edit themselves online. In the past few months I have been shocked several times by the posts of people who made the cut into my 'friend' list. I've seen some truly stupid, hateful and even SCARY-CRAZY stuff posted by people I thought I knew... at least a little.

 I guess when you work with people, and have the friendly "light contact" that comes in the workplace, it's easy to assume that they are reasonably intelligent, relatively decent, and open-minded. Why not? The deepest conversation you may have had was about last night's episode of "The Walking Dead."

Could it be that Facebook is actually a means to really get to know someone on a deeper level than you ever could in person? I guess this is what people mean when they talk about the 'end of privacy.' The ironic thing is that Big Brother is irrelevant if you volunteer all your personal thoughts, beliefs and private information in exchange for the attention of an audience.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Help Support My Pal's Project!

My good friend Don Hudson is currently trying to raise enough money to finish his epic western graphic novel, Gunpowder Girl and the Outlaw Squaw: Escape to Mexico!

This is a 96-page sequel to the original GGATOS graphic novel published in 2005 by Active Images, and the awesome thing is that Don is already finished writing and drawing it! He has been working on this book steadily, in his spare time, for the past eight years, or so, since finishing the first book. Today he is raising funds to help pay for the stuff he can't do himself. That includes, coloring, lettering and package design, among other things.

Please follow the link to Don's page on Kickstarter, watch the video, look at all the pretty art, and check out the incentives he is offering to supporters. I am helping out by offering to color the work of some generous backers, so if you are an artist or publisher who would like to receive my services, this is your opportunity to do so, while simultaneously helping Don out with his project! Everyone wins!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Crowd-Funding Quandary

Not exactly breaking news, but the project-funding website Kickstarter continues to be a big topic of conversation among comic book creators and other creative professionals like me. This summer during the San Diego Comic-Con, I was surprised how often the subject came up. Since then, truly a week does not go by without at least one appeal for help from someone in my online social networks.

In case you're unfamiliar with it, Kickstarter is one of a few online fundraising sites that are set up to enable individuals or groups to finance their personal or business projects using "crowd funding." If that last sentence makes sense, you may skip my oversimplified explanation in the next paragraph...

Crowd-funding is an interesting concept. On Kickstarter, you can basically pitch your project idea out into the ether for a campaign lasting an average of 30 days, and hope that generous sponsors will back you with donations as small as $1.  The project creator sets a monetary goal, and if that number isn’t reached by the end of the campaign, the project is not funded, and money is returned to the backers. Backers support projects because they either know the creator personally or professionally, or because they are interested in the incentive rewards offered, or out of the goodness of their hearts. Other crowd-funding sites have different rules, but Kickstarter is the most popular website of it’s kind-- at least, in my business. Make sense?

Like most people I’ve talked to, when Kickstarter first appeared on my radar, my feelings were mixed. I didn’t know what to make of it. All of a sudden, there were these frequent ‘tweets’ appearing in my social networking feeds, with people asking me for money. Many of them “friends,” some even actual, honest-to-god friends. What is the etiquette for ignoring your friend’s public pleas for financial aid?

Whether it happens on the street or in a tweet, most people have an adverse response to being asked for money. As recently as this June, I snarkily referred to the practice as “digital begging” in a podcast interview.  Even then, however, I was already coming around to a more nuanced position on the issue. Due, in part, to my close observation of my brother Brian’s own Kickstarter campaign, as well as having many conversations on the topic during Comic-Con, and since.

I want to use this post to express my own evolving feelings on the subject, but first I must state that in many cases, crowd-funding WORKS. Plain and simple. If you have access to a large online network, or are smart or creative enough to communicate your project’s needs in a way that appeals, this is a very exciting way to help realize your goals. For indie-comic book creators, this actually opens up a lot of possibilities in a market that is nigh-impossible to penetrate.

It seems to me that the people who can benefit the most are those who have built a large group of ‘followers’ on sites like Twitter or Facebook. Preferably by building their own ‘brand’ in a positive way.

The example I always think of is the indie artist who has been consistently working away on their web-comic, giving it away for free for a long time. There are a lot of these people, putting themselves and their work out there. They are not making any money, but they are growing a core group of loyal fans who want to see them succeed. They are trading on GOOD WILL, and we see it pay off again and again when their supporters step up and help turn their free web-comic into something more tangible.

So, let’s get back to me! My first impressions of Kickstarter were mixed-to-negative. Call me a skeptic, or just plain suspicious, but like everyone else, my responses are dictated by my own experience. So, when I see a bunch of people tweeting about how they need money to fund their self-published project, I automatically think back to my own forays into self-publishing. In 2002, I created the comics anthology magazine Comiculture. Several of my good friends contributed time and content, but the project was paid for out-of-pocket by my family, and put us in debt. It was a risk that did not pay off financially, but I knew the risks going in, and believed strongly in the project. I admit that part of me feels resentful when I see creators gambling with other people’s money instead of their own. Their stakes aren’t as high... we can only hope that their commitment is as high as it ought to be.

Another part of this complicated feelings-puzzle is that it’s easy to see how this system can be abused. There are a lot of campaigns on Kickstarter started by creators who are perfectly capable of getting their projects done by other means. Right now, there are  campaigns by well-established creators who would have no problem walking in to any publisher and making a deal. Some of these guys are very successful, and I’m pretty sure they have the financial wherewithal to invest in their own projects without help... if they really believe in them.

The problem is, creators like the the ones I’m describing are exactly the ones who are perfectly suited to make a Kickstarter campaign work! They are the people with 5,000 ‘friends’ on Facebook, and tens of thousands of Twitter followers. And, I’m pretty sure that with all that, they also have the resources to put together the slickest, most compelling viral Kickstarter video possible.

Sure, these guys have every right to work the system and take advantage of their star power. I assume they earned their fans fair and square (even if it may have been on someone else’s dime) Suffice to say that people like their work. But, I’m afraid to say, the practice of tapping into your fans as a resource you don’t need reminds me of the worst practices that our industry has perpetrated against ourselves and our fans in the past couple of decades (still talking about comics, btw).

It was not long ago when publishers (and even some big-name creators) used to routinely announce and solicit new projects, only to cancel them before publishing if the pre-orders did not meet their expectations. Similarly, if less egregious, many creators release and abandon their creations prematurely and often, in search of an instant hit.

What this does is to glut the market with a bunch of product that these creators and publishers have no commitment to. Throwing a bunch of half-baked story and character concepts out into the market to see what will sell, without any commitment, is a breach of the trust that holds together this thing we call “Fandom.”

It’s a little like the shopper who takes up an hour of a shop clerk’s time, only to seek a better price online. That waste of a person’s time is theft, plain and simple. I believe that putting out a glut of inferior product without committing to it is also a theft of a kind... a theft of that GOOD WILL. Why should I read your comic, or care about your characters, if there is no guarantee you will finish your story?

This is what I like the ambitious ‘web-comic’ guy in my previous example, and why I want to help HIS fundraising efforts, instead of giving to the guy with a dozen bestsellers under his belt. We know the little guy will see his project through to completion, because he has been producing for a long time without reward. This guy has earned the trust of his Fandom base, so why not help him get his project to the next level?

I know from my experience that it’s a hell of a lot of work to produce and stand behind a project you believe in if you don’t have the budget. It’s also a hell of a lot of work to run a successful Kickstarter campaign. Watching my brother’s campaign, and that of a few others by friends and colleagues, I have come to see that this kind of fundraising is not just “digital begging.” It may, in fact, be the hardest part of the project for some. Especially for people (like me!) who are not especially good at tooting one’s own horn.

Unfortunately, I can see no way to regulate this kind of thing to benefit the “little guy,” who needs it, over the abuser who takes advantage. In all likelihood, Kickstarter will reach a fatigue point, maybe sometime soon. Maybe due to cynicism produced by abusers like Amanda Palmer. In the aftermath of such a breakdown, wouldn’t it be great if the abusers just moved on to the next big thing, and left Kickstarter to the little guy?

To be continued...

Postscript: As an aside, I find the whole concept of crowd-funding and micro-financing to be fascinating! In March 2011, I attended a talk by Jessica Jackley who founded and, read about that here and watch the TED video

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Foster Signing

Just wanted to report back that the FOSTER signing at Phat Collectibles in Anaheim went really well. That shop is HUGE. The fans that came out to meet us were all very welcoming, as was the staff. I barely had time to socialize with my fellow creators, as we were so busy signing autographs and doing sketches. Thanks to everyone who came by to show their support!

 Below: Foster creator (and my bother); Brian Buccellato,
with some of the Anthology's creative team...
 Some sketchies...

 Family Business: me and my brother & nephew,
who also contributed to the book...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Saturday Signing in Anaheim!

Hey there, nice people!

Tomorrow (Saturday, September 22nd) I will be signing comics at Phat Collectibles in Anaheim along with a whole mess of comic book creative-types. We're all contributors to the awesome new Foster Anthology, written and created by my brother Brian (co-writer of The Flash for DC Comics, btw). If you are nice, I'll even autograph your back issues of X-Men and stuff!

The fun starts at 1:00 PM, so if you happen to be in the area, skip Disneyland and come by for some good, wholesome COMICS! Here's a map...

View Larger Map

(see how I make it easy for you?)

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saying Stuff

Have an hour and a half to kill? Then check out this new podcast interview of me on Gregg Schigiel's Stuff Said! Actually, why don't you just put it on in the background while you're doing some other mindless task.

Gregg's an old colleague of mine from our Marvel days, when I used to color Hulk stuff. More recently, I see him every year at Comic-Con, where he sells his original art and his Pix comic in Artist's Alley. He also hosts Stuff Said on the side, recording conversations with notable comics pros...and me! He came by my studio the week before the Big Con last month, and we recorded for about 2 hours, chatting about my early Marvel years, the rise of digital coloring, mentors like Klaus Janson and Archie Goodwin, the creation of Weasel Guy, Power Pack, self-publishing, working for Tokyopop, and much, much more. I dare say our chat is mildly entertaining! And thankfully, he's edited it down to about 1 hour, 20 minutes, plus a few bonus tracks.

Other "special features" include some art that I just sent Gregg today... Including the REALLY old stuff from my high school days, when I first created Weasel Guy and started my career as a 16 year-old intern at Marvel. Yes, it's been a walk down memory lane...

Here are some slideshows of some of my earliest surviving work! NOTE: these are NOT my current portfolio samples!!!

First, from my high school days, when I formed the publishing imprint, PATHETIC COMICS...(don't ask)...

That's right, next year Weasel Guy will be turning 30!

In 1996, I revamped Weasel Guy for a new web-based series that never took off, but two years later in 1998, he finally hit the big time when Weasel Guy was published by Hyperwerks and Image Comics...

Gregg and I also discussed some of the penciling work that I did for Marvel in the early 90s (he's a big Power Pack fan). Here's a sample of that old stuff...

Did I mention that this is NOT my most recent work?

Fun to look at though. For more context, I encourage you to listen to the podcast, and bookmark Stuff Said. Gregg has some real gems up on his site, and he's a terrific, thoughtful host. It was a blast. Thanks, Gregg!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mythical Creatures Contest!

Hello there! Comic-Con was awesome this year, and I'll need to dedicate a blog post towards summing up the highlights soon. Meanwhile, thanks to all of you who dropped by my Artist's Alley table to say hello and/or pick up one of my themed sketches.
This was the second year the DeviantArt has hosted Artist's Alley at Comic-Con, and they have definitely added something new and exciting to the mix. I've been an on-again-off-again member of the DeviantArt community for several years, and find it to be a very worthwhile community of talented artists (many of whom I'm currently collaborating with--but that's another story).
Right now there is a cool contest going on at the DeviantArt website, where artists have submitted T-Shirt designs featuring mythological creatures. I've never participated in any of these contests...til now! I happen to have had a couple recent drawings that fit the bill, so I mocked them up and entered these two designs:
Like 'em? If you are a fellow Deviant, you can follow these links to give me your vote for CYCLOPS! or MERMAID! If you are a DeviantArt member, you will see a button that says "I WANT THIS!" -- That's the button to press to cast your vote (yeah, that's a bit confusing...)

Anywho...Thanks Much!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Comic-Con 2012: Update!

Hello friends,

As previously posted, I will be down in Comic-Con this week, and doing sketches and stuff in ARTIST'S ALLEY. My table # is FF-20, and I thought I'd better let you know what I'll be doing there...

First of all, I'm happy to help promote my brother Brian's new self-published book, Foster. As you may, or may not know, Brian is also a comic book creator who has been largely known as a colorist for Marvel & DC for many years (just like me!). But recently, he has also received a lot of attention as co-writer of The Flash (collaborating with artist Francis Manapul). His new-found fame has enabled him to launch a series of his own called Foster, which now has four issues in print, plus an exciting anthology of new stories that has been produced just in time for the 'Con.

Why am I telling you this? Because I am a proud contributor to Foster Anthology, having drawn one story, plus one of the 6 different variant covers. The whole line of Foster books will be available for sale at my Artist's Alley table, and I'll be happy to sell them to anyone who wants one! I'll even include a special CUSTOM SKETCH CARD!

On the other hand, I refuse to sell Brian's ridiculous tee shirt...

You'll need to get in touch with him yourself if you want one. I refuse to get involved. Brian will also be hanging around my table at some specifically scheduled times if you want to meet him. Or ask him about his shirt. For more info on his busy schedule, read this.

Besides sketching and hawking Foster products, I will also be carrying a selection of my own comics from days past (Weasel Guy, Battle of the Bands, Comiculture, etc.) and drawing CUSTOM SKETCHES of anything your heart desires! (Unless your hear desires some sicko stuff that I refuse to draw!). Prices of sketches will vary, depending on subject matter and on how 'tight' or detailed a sketch you want 'em.

For art-lovers on a budget, I am also continuing a new tradition that I started last year by offering SPECIAL $5 THEMED SKETCHES!!! Last year, I drew ELVES all Sunday, and decreed it to be "ELF DAY." It was so much fun, that I decided to do a different theme each day this year. Themes were chosen by a Facebook poll, and the results have determined the following sketch schedule:

• Wednesday, July 11 (Preview Night): $5 WEASELS!

• Thursday, July 12 (Morning only): $5 SASQUATCHES!

• Thursday, July 12 (Afternoon only): $5 MERMAIDS!

• Friday, July 13 (All day): $5 JUNGLE GIRLS!

• Saturday, July 14 (Morning only): $5 OCTOPHANTS!

• Saturday, July 14 (Afternoon only): $5 MUTANTS!

• Sunday, July 15 (Morning only): $5 ELVES!

If you'd like a sketch from one of these categories, please find me on the days above. Unfortunately, I will need to leave early-ish on Sunday (the traditional Elf-Day), so find me EARLY! Once more, I'll be in ARTIST'S ALLEY, TABLE FF-20! See you there! And follow my Twitter feed here: @SteveBuccellato

Thanks! I hope to meet you in San Diego! Steve

Monday, July 02, 2012

Comic-Con 2012 and Foster Anthology

Hey everyone! It's that time of year again, Comic-Con International is coming again to San Diego next week! (Time sure flies...) Once again, I'll be there, and I'll be set up with a table in Artist's Alley, doing sketches, signing and selling books that I've worked on. I'm really looking forward to it! If you are attending, you can find me at TABLE FF-20 in the Artist's Alley section, way over to the right.

One new item I'll have for sale will be the new Foster Anthology book, created by my brother Brian. This collection of stories expands upon the world and characters in his ongoing series Foster, which Brian writes and self-publishes. If you are a fan of his work on The Flash, you owe it to yourself to check out his labor of love. I contributed to the book by illustrating one of his stories, and providing this awesome cover...

Come by and I will happily sell you one with my big, fat signature on it, and even a sketch if you ask nicely! :)

That's right, I will be doing sketches all weekend, too. Last year I especially enjoyed sketching on Sunday, because I arbitrarily declared it to be ELF DAY, and offered up sketches of elves for a mere $5...

I'm not sure why, but I thought it was a blast. And the beginning of a new tradition! This year, I'm going to choose a different theme for each day, offering affordable sketches to enthusiastic art lovers! I'm not yet decided on what the themes will be, but one day will certainly be reserved for ELVES. Maybe Saturday. You can help me decide on daily themes by voting in the poll on my facebook page. Check it out. And please "like" the page, while you're at it. I could use more "likes!"

That's all for now. I'll keep you posted as things develop!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

New Comic-Con Banner

Hey there, everyone. I've been CRAZY BUSY lately, which is a good thing. Happily, I've still managed to squeeze out this new piece of art for Comic-Con, working on it a little bit at a time here & there over the past few weeks.

Can you believe it? Next month is Comic-Con again in San Diego. This year I'm feeling pretty jazzed about it. I was lucky enough to be offered a table again in Artist's Alley, so I plan to be there, showing off some new comics work and drawing sketches for all my adoring fans! ;)

When it gets closer to the date I'll post more info about what I'm cooking up, and where you can find me in the enormous black hole that is the San Diego Convention center!

(by the way... don't bother trying to visit the website listed on the banner just yet. My new site,, is still under construction, so there's nothing to see there yet. Hopefully that will change before Comic-Con!)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Nifty Echo Park Shirt

This is what all the cool kids will be wearing to this year's annual Echo Park Art Walk...

...will YOU be among the elite???

Friday, May 04, 2012

Writer's Chronicle Cover

Got this in the mail the other day; it's a recent magazine cover illustrated by Yours Truly. Came out pretty good!
This was a fun job, because they pretty much let me do whatever I wanted, based on the feature story. Below are some of my thumbnail concepts. I actually liked them all, for different reasons, but you can see they chose my first go...
I guess sometimes the first instinct is the best. Below is the finished art without the logo...
More art soon! Happy May.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Hey, Kids...Comics!

Hey there! So, my brother Brian has been working on a lot of cool comic book stuff lately (more than me!), and so I thought I'd give him a little shout-out. He's recently gotten a lot of attention as co-writer on DC Comics' The Flash, working with artist Francis Manapul on the New 52 reboot.

He's also doing some darn-fine coloring on that book, I must say. (taught him everything he knows!) ;)

Additionally, he has been self-publishing a book of his own creation called Foster. It's a small-press affair that has been gaining momentum and some really nice press. So far he's published 3 small feat. As a sometimes=self publisher myself, I'm very pleased and appreciate the hard work behind a venture like that. You all should check it out, there are links on his website.
And while you're at it, take a look at his new Kickstarter campaign. In another ambitious move, Brian plans to publish an anthology of stories that will provide a deeper look in to the world of Foster... and get it printed in time for Comic-Con this July. That's just around the corner, so this will require some minor miracles.

But YOU can help him out! Just follow the links to his Kickstarter page where you can pledge any amount of cash, large or small. In return, you can receive some interesting rewards. For example, pledge $50 and you can get a copy of the printed anthology that includes an original sketch cover by Yours Truly. Oh, did I mention that I'm drawing something on the inside?

Personally, I'm hoping this all comes together as planned. This year I will be at Comic-Con again, with a table in Artist's Alley. And I will have copies of the book. If you plan to be in San Diego too, you really need to come by and take a look-see.

Meanwhile, a word from my handsome little brother...

Friday, March 09, 2012


Here's a sample from a recent illustration job for DARE. Been busy with some other random illustration & design work, lately. Will share when I can!