Twilight Avenger: Cover Concepts

Posted in Comps, Twilight Avenger, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 7, 2014 by uncannymanfrog

Twilight Avenger comp a

Twilight Avenger compBI had fun at the studio today working on cover concepts for my upcoming Twilight Avenger graphic novel.

The second one is my favorite, not only because of the composition and action, but that it shows june bugs swarming his magnesium light and leaks in his gas weaponry.

Twilight Avenger , is a bit Steam Punk looking.  But John and I were doing this type of thing before Steam Punk became popular.

The publisher is Pulp 2.0 Press.   We’re finishing up the creative part in the next month or so.   Pages still need to be lettered, and art touched up a bit.

Illustration: Albert Einstein.

Posted in Illustration, Uncategorized with tags , on June 29, 2014 by uncannymanfrog

Photo on 2014-06-28 at 20.04 #2Here’s a  tight color comp for a book cover.     I’m working digitally, as usual these days.   Picture above is of me drawing with my Intuos 4 tablet.    This was fun to do as it combined two of my favorite subjects: illustration and physics.  I purchased Isaacson’s biography of Albert Einstein and plan on reading it this summer.   His bios on Ben Franklin and Steve Jobs are fascinating!

Einstein Squidd

Batman

Posted in Batman with tags , , , , , , on May 31, 2014 by uncannymanfrog

Retro klunk batma
This is the kind of thing I do sometimes when I’m bored to … you know, entertain myself.   I’m a huge Batman fan, since the sixth grade.   Strangely enough I’ve never cared much for the Batman movies, except maybe the one with Keith Ledger as the Joker.  That was pretty good.     What I don’t care for is the rubber suits, or even the body armored look of the last three Batman movies.  And the Batmobiles are trying to be way too cool.    So I’ve photoshopped together a still from a Batman movie I would like to see.   I like the klunkiness of it.  Klunk is cool!

Someone actually built this car and I grabbed it from the internet.   The Joker is the Joker from the “Dead End ” short by Sandy Collora on Youtube.  Which is by far the best live action Batman film.    I also think a Batman movie with a soundtrack by the Ramones would be kinda neat.    In my mind this “movie” was shot in perhaps East Germany in the mid seventies and never got play here in the states.   Here’s the link to BATMAN: DEAD END.

Illustration: Comic Book Cover

Posted in Illustration, Uncategorized with tags , , on March 23, 2014 by uncannymanfrog

The Grave Cover

Good photo reference and prep work makes a lot of difference in an illustration.   Here, I’ve googled reference for tombstones, graveyards, a 45 pistol and an ancient ceremonial knife.    I’m also the model for this, shooting pics with my Iphone camera.   Quick and easy to do.   I find , like every other illustrator, that good reference adds lots of detail you wouldn’t necessarily imagine, and once you set it up makes the actual drawing go very fast.
The Grave Cover pencilsHere are the digital pencils, which took me a couple of hours.   I found a really cool photo of trees in silhouette against a night sky.    Once approved by my publisher, the drawing will be  digitally inked and colored.    By the way I came up with the logo for this cover also.    “The Grave” is a spooky vigilante series set in the nineteen twenties.

Dallas Comic Con : Part 2 of 3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 22, 2013 by uncannymanfrog

adams

Neal Adams was appearing at the Dallas Comic Convention Fan Days.  Neal Adams was the first artist to bring a realistic approach to illustrating comics.  Maybe realistic isn’t the word….  Adams brought an intensity in facial expressions and detailed  anatomy that was beyond the scope of what had gone before.

Neal Collage Adams

These are examples of his covers in the late sixties, early seventies.   His work  was inspiring to me and made me want to draw better.  Do yourself a favor and look up some of these works being republished today.

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Look at these wild and dynamic page layouts.  Ingenious!   Click on the spread, especially to witness the details!   You may say, W’ell I don’t see anything unusual, it’s pretty commonplace!    What are you NUTS?   Oh, wait, sure ,you may be right….But Adams started it.   It was new and ground breaking for the times!

Green-Lantern-Green-Arrow-Social-IssuesGREEN-LANTERN-076-008-709082

Neal, along with Denny O’Neil  { the writer}  brought social revelence into comics.   Here is a scene from Green Lantern # 76

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And here  Neal, again with Denny O’Neil, tackles the subject of drug use.   Green Arrow’s sidekick ,Speedy, has become a junkie.  Yeah, I know, create your own joke here.

BraveAndBold079-01deadman spread

Here’s  3 pagse of Neal’s panel to panel work from  Brave and the Bold #79.   They are among my personal favorites!   Marvel at the cinematic storytelling.

neal adamsk

As I said in a previous blog post, the con was packed with people.  I was thinking I may not get a chance to see Mr. Adams, my main reason for attending.  But I was lucky and spotted him before the masses realized he had seated himself among us…. the common nerds!

I got so spend quite a bit of time in conversation with him.  But oddly enough  instead of comics we discussed ….Particle Physics!   I used to be a physics major, and  Neal  was well versed  about the subject.  Neal has his own theories concerning  expanding planets.   No, really, and they are unique and mind blowing.  Check out these two Youtube videos.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJfBSc6e7QQ   and   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy3_sWF7tv4 .

adams print

I purchased a print from Neal, of a pencil drawing of the Green Arrow.   He signed it, and now it hangs in my domicile.

Mundane Missions: Christmas Mailing!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 21, 2013 by uncannymanfrog

Not everything I do, as an illustrator, is as glamorous and exciting as you may think.  For example this…….Image

I spent the day going to the office supply store buying cardboard mailers, then off to Starbucks to buy a load of gift cards. Yeah ,Starbucks gift cards.  I know, classy, right? Gift cards we send  to our clients and agents, and other people who help and support Miracle Studios. We want them to know we appreciate them, because, yeah, they help us a ton!  Actually, this should probably be a blog post at my Miracle Studios Blog , and it will ,in a more expanded form.  I’m killing two birds with one post!  No, I’m not lazy, that’s just working smart!   I spent a lot more time sorting , wrapping, writing thank you notes, and…. waiting in the post office in this very long line.   In other words experiencing the Christmas season!

Here’s a question for my fellow illustrators and artists:  What do you do to show appreciation to your clients and friends?

Tools and Tech: Yiynova DP1OU

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 17, 2013 by uncannymanfrog

I’ve been working digitally almost exclusively for about 3 years, using Wacom’s Intuos 4 drawing tablet hooked up to my MacBook Pro 17 laptop.  This techno combo has freed me from working at the studio.   I spend my days in coffee shops and cafes working away with this set up.

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The Intuos 4 has high sensitivity and drawing with it is a breeze, but notice the one drawback.   There is no visual screen to draw on.  You have to look up at the screen on your computer while your hand moves the pen while drawing.  This seems akward at first but in a couple of hours your brain adjusts and it starts to seem very natural.  I looked at Cintiqs initially but balked at the price.  Then I read about the Chinese drawing tablet the Yiynova DP10U.  It was about $360,  which is about a third of the cost of the smallest Cintiq.   So I ordered one.

yiynova3

After messing with the Chinese instructions, they never seem to get the English just right–ha, I couldn’t get it to work.  I ended up calling customer service and a Yiynova tech picked up the phone.   I could hear a kid crying in the background and a television on, and assumed he was working from his home.   He was very nice and informative and had me up and running shortly.  Excellent tech support, based on the one phone call.

yiynova

The Yiynova mirrors what’s on your computer screen.   Drawing on it was almost like drawing on paper!  There is a slight gap due to the thickness of the glass and the image, which you adapt to very quickly.  If there was any lag time I didn’t notice it.

yiynova one

What did annoy me though was…. My HAND was in the WAY!   I am so  accustomed to not looking down at my Intuos tablet that my hand seemed like an obstruction.   It’s that way when I draw in my sketch books too.   When I work with my Yiynova, I generally don’t look down at the Yiynova screen, I look at the computer screen.   So it seems like kind of a waste of money.  But I’m sure as time goes on I will get used to it.  Here’s a Youtube vid  review of one.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E4IDM2tPaY

yiynova test

Here’s a jpeg of what I was drawing on the Yiy.    It’s a rough comp of a character I made up when I was in grade school.  His name is A1.   Yes, I named him after a steak sauce.