Thursday, November 30, 2006


Next card tease

I'm working on the art for my next series of cards for next year. Entertainers are more neutral to art directors. I'll take a pay check from either political side. I don't think they are looking out for me, so that's what I have to do! I've noticed that Bob Dlyan had/has a hair lip. His upper lip has become lopsided as he's aged. According to the biography I have, he did a ton of drugs in the 60's when he did a lot of (in my opinion) his better work. I'm not a hardcore Dylan fan, but I do have his three latest CDs. Modern Times is a nice CD. My favorite song is probably Pill Box Hat off of Blonde on Blonde. I'm pretty shallow and don't have the patience to listen to his deeper work that is also slower paced. I respectfully fast forward unless I'm in a mellow mood. I used to do a good Dylan impression, but I'm pretty out of practice now. Amusingly, I'm listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wild Cherry, and P Funk as I paint.

This is an acrylic wash under painting on linen. The next time this will be seen will be maybe Jan. after I've finished the 3 that I plan to do.


Friday, November 24, 2006


The peaceful slumber of my right arm.

Mailing, mailing, mailing! I mail things. Not every day and rarely two weeks in a row. Just 1300 postcards a month! It's a lot more manageable than 2600. I don't like mailing things. I don't like the post office. It isn't a horrible tragic experience, it's mostly just boring. Bushwick post office in Brooklyn seems like an after thought as far as POs go. Every time I buy postcard stamps there, I clean them out. I didn't need as many this time and STILL all they could muster was 500 stamps! I'd say there are more than 500 people living in the area, does this PO only serve the surrounding block of residents around here? I got better service out of a postal truck parked on Broadway and 40th than Bushwick's permanent building. The norm for most POs was also evident: 5 windows, one worker and they are going on break!

The image for the card is Rumsfeld and Bush trying to blow out dynamite candles in a cake of Iraq. This was originally a cover for The Week magazine whenever America hit the 3 year mark in Iraq. My card is going out this Monday.

The Week had me almost copy a B&W photo this past week. The scene was actually video footage from the American retreat from Saigon (I think). Anyway, I guess it's some of the most famous footage from the era. They had me ad a mosque in the BG. After I had finished the under drawing and scanned it to do a color ruff in photo shop, I didn't think it was clear enough. I threw the exit sign in. I figured it'd be easy enough to not paint in if they didn't like it since it was such a blatant departure from the approved sketch. They didn't say anything about it and I forgot to put it in when I painted it. I just got lost in the actual painting part, plus I had another spot I needed to paint due the next day as well...

I actually was in bed and sort of sleeping by 4AM. Right at 9AM my phone began to ring. I knew it was Brett, the art director, needing something fixed. I couldn't answer due to my entire arm being asleep. I had two flippers for arms! One was snoring soundly through the ringing while the other arm just wanted to roll over and hog the blankets. The cat had been peacefully sleeping on the caldera of my stomach when I erupted in a chaotic state of moving without direction and sleeping arms of sand spewing about. I was so deeply asleep I was having the "bends".

My arms returned to "human" form a few minutes later. I made some espresso and called Brett back. I had forgot to put the exit sign in. I did it in photo shop and was drinking more espresso in twenty minutes!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Finished... for now.

I drew the under drawing at Wycoff Starr coffee shop. I made a make shift studio set up at my girl's place and painted all night. She wasn't feeling well, so that is why I was at her place. The actual painting went pretty fast. I did a little more than I wanted in photoshop to "smooth out" the ruff areas. I sort of planned it that way because I had a couple deadlines looming. The story is about how prevalent steroids etc. still are in gyms in Mexico or something. I didn't get any copy as usual. They just described what they wanted on the phone and I shot them some comps.

I got a few hours of sleep and boogied back home to scan. Went into The Week magazine for the cover meeting. They had a less than exciting image they wanted for the cover. (shrug) It's their cover. I guess I spoil them. They wanted a landscape. They didn't ask me IF I could do one. I don't show that in my portfolio, and they wanted a more realistic style almost copied from a photo. I just finished it a little while ago. It won't be in my portfolio.
I still try to do them with the same intensity as if I was doing a piece that would be good to enter into a show, but you can only do so much with some subjects. I liked the colors I used, at least there's that!

I missed the figure drawing at Sachmos on Monday! Aargh.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


His name was Melvin...

...he is my neighbor who lives across the street from my building. He's from Puerto Rico and the details are garbled after that. He dresses like a thug... if that's a style. He came up to me spewing words about 300 per second. I was approaching my door as he walked across the street toward me. I thought it wise to give him the respect of listening to what he had to say.

Basically what happened is I ended up giving him $10. He started with an introduction, next he suggest I buy him some milk at the deli down the street. So we walked down the block to the deli on the corner were he managed to communicate that he'd help me out if I was ever in trouble in the neighborhood. He also said he could hook me up with any weed or stuff you sniff, (he was very good at pantomime). I caught on right away! The deli was open and we went in and I handed him a ten since I didn't have the 5 he was asking for. Damn cash machines. I noticed he was watching where I kept my cash.
I still had a wad of it in my pocket from the comic con. Damn! now he's going to think I walk around with a lot of the stuff you spend or the stuff he steals! I don't know, Melvin might be a nice guy anyway. Of course now I'm going to leave my place like a ninja.

Speaking of the comic con. These are my views I got to stare at all weekend. My friend, Mark, got me the table and only hung out at his on Fri. Turned out his dad died Fri night. Some guy who lived by him picked up his easel, came to the con, and set it up for when he arrived later. Mark has roadies! His easel sat there all day like some sculpture that visitors just looked at not quite sure what to make of it.

My brunch on Sat consisted of coffee and a doughnut. I did a convention color piece of
the female character from Battle of the Planets for Rich, a guy who normally shells out a lot of cash to Mark for original art. I couldn't survive on what original comic art brings in, but on the other hand it's usually cash! wink.

Val Kilmer and Adam West were the big draws for signing autographs. Law and Order was shooting a piece out front for an episode. Everyone just went on and on about one of the actors who has a big head. I don't know, I really quit watching television 2 weeks into the OJ trial in the 90's.

The pencil drawing is my sketch for an illo for Muscular Development due tomorrow. I did it in the Wycoff Starr coffee shop just before meeting Melvin.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Comics and Sci Fi

I finally joined up with the NCN again. They wanted a self portrait and a few other pieces to put up on the site, I hadn't drawn myself for quite a while. Lately I've had a lot of small black and white jobs
which I've been doing in pencil and playing around in photo shop. So I did my portrait from a recent photo. I'm starting to play around more with a decorative hatch mark.

Gearing up for the con, I dug up some old stuff. Wolverine, I added more color and tried to resolve the anatomy a little. I was too lazy to shoot new ref. I tried to fix what I didn't like on Elektra... (shrug) The gangsters are from a White Wolf gaming book project. I don't game so I couldn't say what was going on. I think it was something about an underworld ... world. You were in the mob in life, now you are in the mob in death. I never understood what the theory was when you you were "killed" again. I think they just put you in a worse layer or something. I don't know who "they" was in the game either. I had a lot of fun doing the 35 illustrations or so for the book.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Some Draw- ings

I had a poor view of the model for this twenty minute drawing, so I drew Dan, the host of "Go Figure". The natural composition with the angle of the wall divide behind Dan (white wall on top, dark wood on bottom) and Dan's black bandanna on his head were too hard to pass up. This was done with a fresh disposable synthetic brush pen.

The reason I couldn't see was my girl, the now author Molly Crabapple, was sitting in front of me eating the slice of pizza (my supper) and drawing Lady J who had struck a pose on the floor. It was crowded so I couldn't move anywhere else. Dan didn't move much and I liked seeing how he held his pencil and drew.

The other drawings are people on the subway.
This was a message.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Dog Thing

It just couldn't put it's tongue back in it's mouth! I came up out of the subway onto the street by my new coffee shop (Wycoff Coffee) and this is what I see.
The damn thing was so cute, the few people on the sidewalk were "oooing" and "awwing", so he wouldn't hold still for a good shot
of his front. He was looking for the next scratch from a stranger as his owner was inside getting coffee. They need a horse post outside and we'll have a regular wildlife-coffee-refuge!

I walked on down the street, turned the corner and approached my outside door... Opened my door and was greeted by Buzzard (as always) and then he runs to the middle of the studio to await his treat for doing such a good job at getting in my way at the door. I'd rather reward him for that than have him running out the door when I come in. They leave the back door open for air sometimes.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Last night's study

Gearing up for the Big Apple Con. I don't know if this is Electra's current costume. I'm so not a comic book artist anymore. I was torn on how to approach the value structure. Classic black and white comics is everything goes to black in the shadows. For me, there is no black, the darks are a color. I started mixing burnt umber with purple in some areas and letting it range from a dark brown to a grey blue. I wanted the skin to have some of that hot orange glow of sunset or sunrise.

I invented the figure so now after I've scanned it and can see it on the screen, I'm cringing at the anatomy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Another election...

Last night's work. I'm a zombie as I write. I barely followed the election. No time to really study what the politicians are actually about, and I find it never seems to matter. Someone gets screwed either way some how. The Week commissioned me for two pieces. One was for a democratic win. The other a demo loss. Guess which is which.

Personally I enjoy drawing the elephant. Donkeys aren't as interesting, plus I don't have very good reference of them. I have some great pictures I took of cows and chickens while visiting the New York state fair this last Sept. in Syracuse. Too bad there isn't another political party that has a different animal other than a donkey (Is it even native to America?) and an elephant (definitely not native to America!) Nobody does the eagle very much anymore. The Uncle Sam done by Montgomery Flagg is done to death.. but he is not an animal. Ben Franklin wanted the turkey. At least that makes sense, as boring as that would be. I have a little Scottish and Welsh ancestry, maybe I have a few animal symbols that are cool. It's probably a shrew or something. Ack.

Speaking of animals, I'm checking out headlines on Drudge Report and the only one that sticks in my head is, "Woman dies after bit by snake in church."

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Big Apple Comic Con!!!

I'll be at the Big Apple Comic Con Nov. 17th-19th. I'll be in artist's alley or whatever it's called. My friend Mark Texeira put me on the list. I'm just testing the waters, maybe make a little cash doing some sketches for fans. Fans of characters not fans of me. It's been so long since I've done any comic books I doubt there is anyone around who would remember me. I was barely in comics when I did them for a living. Nobody new who I was then! I was a horrible self promoter. No business sense. I didn't learn about tooting your own horn until I started doing editorial and I'm not that great at it still! My girl Molly Crabapple certainly is. I've learned a lot from her.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


No Pain No Gain!

Nothing like a good work out! I'm not setting any records. I don't do any cardio. I know I should. I just lift weights. I'm slowly picking up some extra weights here some other equipment there. The best things I recently bought were some weightlifting gloves that give my wrists a little extra support. The other is a weight "tree" to hold the Olympic plates I use. And the 3rd thing are 2 twenty five pound cast iron plates that have handles cut into them!

The gloves are the "cool" macho kind with the ends of the fingers cut off. I didn't really want that special feature, it just came with the one I wanted, the wrist support. There is a strap with a few velcro patches on each glove. You wrap the strap, which starts at the wrist of the glove, tightly around your wrist and snug it up on the velcro. It goes around about 2 1/2 times and makes a nice support. I had been finding that when I benched over a certain weight, I'd sometimes tweak one of my wrists. Being pretty protective of my right arm from top to bottom, I'd stop at the first sign of the slightest pain. Well my pecs were pissed! "We're not done shredding yet!" they'd wine into my inner ear. As soon as I saw the gloves on a website I had to get them and they work GREAT!

Lifting at a gym used to be my only social activity. I've been lifting weights for almost 30 years! You'd think I'd be a monster by now. I worked out at Gold's in downtown Brooklyn for the most part. One of my favorite ones was Johnny Lats on 17th St. in Manhattan. I think it closed down a few years ago. It was open 24 hours a day. A big plus for me at the time. You didn't have to rush to get your workout in before closing time. They had some freaky steroid monsters there! It was great.

I go to coffee shops to see other humans now. I always toyed with the idea to go to some special group like the character in Fight Club, just to see a different side of reality. I went to a couple Narcotics Anonymous meetings as a 17 year old. I had only tasted alcohol once or twice at that age. Even though my parents owned a bar. I definitely had never done any other drugs. The reason I went was to support a neighborhood friend who was trying to get over being addicted to everything. He really bought in to the "I have an addictive personality" thing. I think admitting that helped him relapse several times. Anyway, A friend called me about an hour ago, or between the last paragraph and this one. I mixed a gin and tonic and chatted with him. Now it's beddy-by time!

This was a message.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


This was my Wall Street Journal job. They asked for color, but they ended up printing it in Black and white. I pushed the value range in photoshop, who knows what they did to it to get it ready for B&W. This is the first job I scanned with my new scanner.
The color version is almost a raw scan.

I can hardly wait for my neighborhood to be safe enough to have all night diners and the like! I live in a ghost town here in Bushwick. The new upscale bar on the corner closes around midnight. I don't really want a drink after I'm done, but it'd be nice to see another person or people I know after finishing a painting or taking a break around one or two in the morning. There is a bar I went to after a Society of Illustrators party last year that was open until 4AM. They don't kick you out at that time. Instead, they lock everyone in and don't sell anymore alcohol until they open back up at 6AM. They just clean around the drunks I guess. I left at 4 that night. New York city really isn't the city that never sleeps anymore.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


UPS What brown did... I hate that fricking campaign

UPS delivered my new scanner this morning! I set it up after I shot off a sketch for a Wall Street Journal job. I did the sketch in photo shop and a Wacom tablet. I'm going to take my time to paint it this evening. I think it might make a good portfolio piece. The mixing and painting has really been flowing lately.

Here's a pitch for my girl's new book she wrote and illustrated. "the perfect combination of cheesecake and mindcandy"- Lily Burana (Strip City)
Finally in print - the official companion volume to Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School! "Dr. Sketchy's Official Rainy Day Colouring Book" is one part DIY handbook, one part activity book on acid, and one part history of the Sketch Revolution. To sweeten the broth, we've added dozens of photos, paper dolls, colouring book pages and puppets of Amber Ray, Lolita Haze, Little Brooklyn, Audra Gwarskitty,and all your other favorite Dr. Sketchy's models.

Much like popular Victorian cure-all tonics, Dr. Sketchy's Official Rainy Day Colouring Book is a natrual cure for boredom, apathy, shingles, gout, sobriety, and erectile dysfunction. It can even buy you Love! (or at least explain how to hire her for an evening to strip down to her pasties). Lovingly illustrated, adorned with dirty humor and black wit, this book is twice as good as James Joyce's Ulysses- and three times as sexy.

This Book Contains: 208 Pages. 11 Paper Dolls. 9 Colouring Book Pages. 6 Interviews. 1 Maze. 3 Word Puzzles. 1 Board Game. 7 Good Ideas. 4 Bad Ideas. 2 ways to make Invisible Ink. 9 drink recipies. 1 Evil Curse. 2 cut-out pasties. 68 new Molly Crabapple Illustrations. 17 John Leavitt Cartoons. 1 Fred Harper cartoon. 4 playlists. 1 false history. 2 accurate histories. 1 way to rule the world.

Published by Sepulculture Books

Ships December 1, just in time for Christmas

I'm autographing the first 66 books

$20 USD

I've seen the whole thing and it's a really fun little book!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?