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2010 SKETCHBOOK (60 pages, black/white/tone, print run 100 copies)


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Satoshi Kon "Opus" and "Tropic of the Sea"

I'll start out by saying that I am not a huge manga fan. Back in the early 90's I tried reading "Lone Wolf and Cub" because Frank Miller was inspired by was very good, but I liked Frank Miller's interpretation of that more than the original material.

I was blown away when I read "Domu" by Otomo Katsuhiro. Since then, I have also read "Akira" and purchased a few art books by Otomo Katsuhiro. Also, when I was in Japan in late 1990's, I somehow stumbled onto the work of Katsuya Terada and I have been keeping up with his art books and his Monkey King comics. But apart from those two creators I don't really read a lot of manga.

At least that was true until about a month ago when I "discovered" the manga work of Satoshi Kon. WOW!

As I understand it, Otomo Katsuhiro was his artistic mentor and I guess the art style was the first thing that I noticed. I liked the art and thought the story idea behind "Tropic of the Sea" was interesting. Big development firm moving into a small sleepy sea side village and starting to change the way of life. The catch is that the village supposedly has a pack with the mermaids. Will the fisherman be pushed out? Will the economic factors outweigh tradition? Are there really such things as mermaids?

I gave it a try and loved it. As always there were a couple of places in the story, where I felt that there was a cultural factor that I didn't understand, but overall it was an excellent story, beautifully drawn, and wonderfully laid out (I still get chills when I remember those night time scenes in the still waters of the bay).

So I looked for other books and found "Opus", the story of a manga artist who ends up being sucked into his manga and eventually pulls his creations into his own "reality". That was just fantastic (in any sense of the word). The only regret is that the story was never finished...but that is OK.

I have just purchase a 420 page collection of earlier Satoshi Kon's short stories from the 1980's called "Dream Fossil". I am looking forward to start reading it :)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Muirwood from Amazon's Jet City Comics

For the last few months I have been working on a comic book adaptation of "Lost Abbey", a short novella by Jeff Wheeler. The comic book will be a bridge between Muirwood trilogies and apart from the book covers will be the first graphic visualization of the special world that Jeff created in his books.

I am working on this project with writers Matt Sturges and David Justus. On the art side of things I am re-united with Lizzy John, who did such brilliant work painting my Dark Crystal pages (as well as the Cave Girl story from Moon Lake). 

I am also re-united with editor Paul Morrissey. Paul and I worked together on "Legends of Mouse Guard" #1 as well as a portion of Dark Crystal Vol 2.

I had the pleasure of exchanging e-mails with Jeff Wheeler, who reviews all the artwork, and provides feedback when we don't quite "hit all the notes" just right. I think with Jeff's involvement we will be able to create a graphic novel that will enhance his creations and give his fans a visual treat.

So, 5 issues, 22 pages of 110 pages :)

More info as images get released!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dark Crystal III is complete, now on to Amazon!

It is hard for me to believe, but after almost 4 years of work, I have completed the art for three original Dark Crystal graphic novels. There were other projects throughout (Strangeways story with Matt Maxwell, Outlaw Territory story with Ryan Sook, Cave Girl with Dan Fogler, Kristo with Sam Roads, and the newly printed Odd Ball with Norman Felchle), but Dark Crystal work has always been it is out of my hands, going through lettering/coloring/formatting. The solicitation states that the final third volume will be out by August of 2015.

Dark Crystal volumes 1 and 2 have already sold out and volume 1 (that once made it onto the New Year Bestseller List) will get a new softcover edition this year.

Working on Dark Crystal helped push me in developing as a better visual storyteller and I got a chance to work more on my process of actually drawing finished comic book pages. I am far from my ideal goal, but I am making progress (in the right direction).

As I was nearing the end of my work on Dark Crystal, I got a call from Paul Morrissey. Paul was my editor on Dark Crystal volume 2, as well as Legends of Mouse Guard volume 1. He was now working for Jet City Comics (a graphic novel division of and wanted to see if I would be available to work on one of his projects. I have always enjoyed working with Paul, so the answer was "yes", but Paul also told me that he would like to also have Lizzy John on the art team. Lizzy has done a fantastic job painting over my scribbles for all three Dark Crystal volumes and on the 50+ page Cave Girl story. My "yes" became a resounding "YES"!

There hasn't been an official announcement yet, so I'll hold off until the next post to talk about the actual title of the project and the writer associated with it, but I can mention that apart from a chance to work with Paul and Lizzy again, I am really excited about a chance to draw a fantasy graphic novel of over 100 pages and try to make it as unique as the source material!

More next time...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dark Crystal III starts ... now

I have started drawing pages for Dark Crystal: Creation Myths III for BOOM! Studios. Written by Matt Smith and colored by Lizzy, this promises to be a great project.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kristo is now available for sale!

"Kristo" is a re-imagining of Alexander Duma's "The Count of Monte Cristo", set in Stalinist Soviet Union of 1930-1950s. It is a story that I wanted to do for a while, but until Sam Roads got involved in finishing the script and helping raise funds to pay for finishing/coloring/lettering all of the artwork it was just a dream. Now, thanks to Sam and to the folks who got involved in the Kickstarter campaign, "Kristo", a 50 page graphic novel, is available for purchase from an online on-demand printer:

Here is the preview, the first 6 pages of "Kristo":

If you like what you see, please help spread the word about the book!