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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Science Fiction Book Club

It appears that the release date for the second Robotika mini series is getting closer as Archaia is finalizing it's arrangements with their new publishing partner.

In the meantime I just got the news that the first Robotika collection has been selected by the Science Fiction Book Club to be featured in one of it's catalogues.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Frankie and Lela get married!

My friends, Frank and Lela, have "tied the knot" and are now officially husband and wife. This is a wonderful thing and I was glad to be able to celebrate this joyful occasion with them. The day showed their mutual love and respect for each other and their appreciation of all of their say the least I was deeply touched.

One thing that I realized in the last few days is that since I have gotten to know Frank, I see him as a great friend...but sometimes I forget that he is also the man who has inspired me as an artist. His work on "Alien Legion" for Marvel is without equal and at the time of it's publication was an artistic event that opened up all sorts of creative doors for me. He continues to create great art and I am fortunate to be influeneced by it.

The lawn set-up.

All aboard.

It's a done deal.

The boys.

Frankie and Bobby.

THE dance.

The Cocktail Monkeys doing what they do best!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I see the the end of the tunnel

"Robotika: For a Few Rubles More" is finished and I believe the printing schedule has been worked out. I hope to be able to post it in the next few weeks :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Robotika Sketch Challenge!

Brett Barkley was kind enough to let me know that there was a Robotika sketch challenge going on over at the Ten Ton Studios Forum. You can see all the entries here: TenTonForum.

Brett entered a beautiful Niko action sketch that had just the right touch of color in it and had wonderful ambiance...I am totally blown away and humbled by all the great artwork.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I recently had the pleasure of seeing original art for Ryan Sook's Zorro covers, being published by Dynamite Entertainment. The work is awesome and I wanted to share some links to the black and white line art featured on Ryan's website:
  • Zorro5

  • Zorro6

  • Zorro7

  • The website,, also displays colored versions of the covers and it is very interesting to see how the color is handled to compliment the line drawings.

    This is me drooling over the covers:

    Tuesday, August 05, 2008

    San Diego 2008

    Even though ASP is going through restructuring, they still a "booth presence" at the convention. Lots of creators showed up to talk to fans and sign the books. Nick Tapalansky (writer "Awakenings") was our "booth guru" and rotated artists and writers for signings.

    I got to sit and chat with David and Julia Petersen for a bit, which was very nice. I also got have some time talking to Brian Churilla and Leif Jones. Both are super nice folks and it is a shame that I don't get to hangout with them more often.

    For me the big news was that I got to talk to Mark Smylie and he filled me in (as much as he could) on the situation with ASP. It sounds like he is actively talking to investors and is hoping to have someone step-up into Aki's role in the next few weeks. Things should be much clearer in about a month and hopefully Robotika will resume it's printing at that time.

    Some of the highlights:

    Met Michael Golden for the first time. I came over to buy a copy of his new sketchbook and chatted him up about some of his work. He looked at my badge while I was talking and said, "Oh, I know of your work. You do that ninja robot thing, right?" Close enough! I was blown away and just sort of melted at that point.

    Met Rick Bryant who back in the 80's produced some awesome portfolios ("Delicate Embrace" and "Oracle") and also did a cool inking job over Mike Mignola on the "World of Krypton" mini-series.

    Got to chat with JH Williams and he showed me the originals for the first 2 issues of "Batwoman" series that he is working on. Very, very cool work. I also got to see his pages for the upcoming Jonah Hex issue...I can't wait to buy it.

    Saw Ron Marz who was simply thrilled with the 11-page story that Ryan Sook did from his script. He just thought it was excellent and he could not wait to work with Ryan again. Stuff like that is always very cool to hear.

    I attended Eisner awards for the first time and got to see Frank Miller give a speech and David Petersen WINNING 2 (!!) Eisners (presented by Samuel Jackson).

    Looked at some new work by Joe Suitor, Brian Churilla and Jeremy Bastian...sweet.

    Spent $98 buying French comics and sketchbooks at Stuart Ng books. Och.

    Bought Travest Charest, Adam Hughes, Frank Cho and Mike Mignola sketchbooks.

    Traded original artwork with David Petersen...I am now a proud owner of a Mouse Guard original page (supposedly there is a faint smudge of blood on the border of the plan is to extract Petersen's DNA and clone him (three or four times)).

    Monday, June 09, 2008

    Archaia Studios Press (ASP) Restructuring

    No blog of a struggling new comic book artist can avoid having at least one entry devoted to the publishing aspect of comics. I have been very fortunate that Robotika was picked-up by Archaia from the first go around. Mark Smylie and Aki Lao, who selected Robotika to be part of ASP's initial line-up, are two of the most up standing guys I ever done business with, and after dealing with them for a few months, I started trusting them completely.

    When the first mini series was published, ASP published 3 books: Artesia, Mouse Guard and Robotika. Now, three years later, ASP has more than 25 titles in their catalogue...that is not counting all the special collections and reprints. It was pretty awesome to see how Mark and Aki have built the company up.

    From what I understand, Aki has decided to move on from ASP to pursue other endeavors. Change is part of life, and I am sure the fact that Aki works full time and has a wonderful family that he wants to spend as much time as possible, all contributed to his decision.

    While Aki and Mark are trying to figure out how to fairly restructure the company, the publication of Robotika is suspended. This of course is a bummer, because I am very eager to share the last 100 or so pages of new material, but I am very hopeful that everything will work out just fine. ASP is continuing to do pre-press on issues 2 and 3, and I am almost done with issue #4 (the cover of which has already been colored by Joel Chua). In fact, the silver lining of this news is that I will be totally done with all the art and writing on the whole series before it will be published and I will be able to focus on trying to promote it.

    Someone asked me if it is possible that Robotika will never be published...I guess so. Lots of weird unexpected things happen all the time and I am sure there are lots of comics that have been completed that never saw the light of day. I do trust ASP to come through this "restructuring" healthy and able to put out the rest of the books under their banner. I guess I'll just have to wait and see :)

    Tuesday, June 03, 2008


    San Jose now has a comic book convention. I believe it was the same show that started in Oakland a few years back, but has now been held at the San Jose Convention Center for the second time. I hope it continues here and I am planning on getting a table next time around.

    I did not go this time, but I got to have lunch with Ryan who drove down to attend. We had lunch and ended-up talking comics for a few hours. Ryan also showed me an antique book illustrated by Franklin Booth called "Flying Islands of the Night". Michelle found it for Ryan and was able to buy it with out having to take out a huge loan. It is one of the few books that showcases Booth's color illustrations...and he was as good with color as he was with a line. Simply beautiful work and it sparked a talk about some old school illustrators that was real fun.

    Ryan was also kind enough to show me some of his latest work. I was blown away by the story that he has done for the Top Cow's "First Born" storyline, featuring Magdelena. Ryan's covers are awesome, but I originally fell in love with his story pages (from Arkham Asylum) so it is a real pleasure for me to see his new panel-to-panel work. This is going to be a great story and I am waiting to see it piblished.

    After talking to Ryan about sorytelling and rendering I walked away being totally excited about drawing...I was also reminded about how hard it is to be a professional artist. Even though Ryan is always positive and very upbeat about everything, I imagine it must be hard (at least it would be hard for me) to wake-up every day and be "on". By "on", I mean being able to draw, draw well, and draw whatever someone put infront of you. Something like that could be a real challenge.

    Some new pages:

    Monday, April 28, 2008


    My approach to the new pages has been to draw the foreground figures in ink and then draw the backgrounds in gray tones, either with ink wash or markers. This did not work out as well as I hoped, because I ruined some of the panels. I am now drawing the backgrounds on separate paper and combining the foreground and background digitally.

    Friday, April 25, 2008

    Artist's Alley

    Together with Marvin Mann and David Moran, I participated in an interview that covered all aspects of creating independent comic book making. I got to talk about my influences and inspirations, as well as what my thought process is for writing and laying out storytelling.

    The first part is here:

  • Artist's Alley at Broken Frontier


    and from there you can follow the links to the subsequent chapters.

    Below is the inside front cover for issue #4 of "Robotika: For A Few Rubles More":

    Thursday, April 03, 2008

    Random fight panels from #4

    Another fight

    More fighting in the "danger room".

    New art

    I am currently penciling issue #4. It's a bit slow going, but I am making progress. The storytelling is a bit complicated for this last issue (because there is so much content that had to be included, I had to be creative with page layouts...and still I had to expand the issue to 28 pages). Here are snips of pencils from a few pages showing a fight scene.

    Monday, February 25, 2008

    WonderCon 2008

    This was my first con of the year and it was one of the best conventions I have ever attended. This was in large part due to the fact that I got to share a table with two other ASP creators: Marvin Mann and Patrick McEvoy. Apart from being way talented, these two are the nicest guys and were a fun bunch to hang out with.

    It was also a blast to met some folks who read Robotika and to sell the book to a few new potential readers. In fact I sold out of the hardcover collection of the first!

    I spent most of the time at the table, which kept me from walking around and spending money (good), but also limited my ability to pick up new art (bad). However, I did manage to re-introduce myself to Alex Nino and again express my appreciation for his past and current work. I was very excited to hear that he will have a new art book out for San Diego, and a new illustrated Graphic Novel in March. Also by accident (and kind of rudely) I introduced myself to Timothy Green II whose work I have followed from Aeon Flux (Dark Horse) to Starlord (Marvel). He was great to talk to and we chatted about old school illustrators and different rendering techniques. Timothy showed me a few of the pages from his upcoming Image project "Robota", based on a Doug Chiang art book. The pages look absolutely beautiful, and it was great to see someone else draw robots other than myself!

    Richard Becker (the artist on anything and everything that has to do with pirates) and Joshua Dysart (the talented writer of many excellent books like: Violent Messiahs, Swamp Thing, 1946), as well as my old friends whom I met at signings around the area, stopped by and were super supportive of my current efforts. I want to thank everyone who took a few minutes to chat and encourage me. Thank you!

    Here are a few images from the convention:

    Marvin and Patrick on Friday before the start of the show.

    "Robotika" in full force!


    Working harder...

    Marv doing a sketch for one of the fans.

    This is Patrick using the time to pencil one of the panels from the upcoming Starkweather issues.

    A late dinner with Ryan, Nick, and Chris.

    Monday, February 04, 2008

    Issue #3 is done!

    I am now done with issue #3 and I feel it is the best art I have ever done. Here is the inside front cover:

    And here are a few other pages: