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


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mouse Guard : Legends of the Guard

The newest Preview catalogue is out and in it is the solicitation for "Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard" #1. This will be an anthology series with the premise that a few of the regular Mouse Guard characters will get together to swap stories, and different creators are invited to tell the different stories. The framing sequence would be handled by David Petersen, and for the first issue Jeremy Bastian, Ted Naifeh, and...Alex Sheikman will provide "legends".

My "legend", is a 9 page story called "Oleg The Wise". I wrote and drew it about a month ago and I look forward to seeing it in color and in print in the next few months. I will probably spend a few posts talking about this assignment and I wanted in the first post to tell how the my involvement with "Legends" came about.

From the Start:

I met David Petersen back in 2006 when we both got signed-up by Archaia to publish our books through their creator-owned line, I even think that Mouse Guard #1 and Robotika #1 came out the same month. We met at San Diego that year and I very much enjoyed my time talking to David and his wife Julia. We continued meeting at conventions and staying in touch through occasional e-mails.

David is a natural storyteller and a terrific artist...and just an all around nice guy who is easy to talk to. I love the fact that David is as much a fan of comics and art now, after he became a professional, as he was when he first started getting published. A lot of folks loose interest in being exposed to new art after they turn pro. It probably has to do with over saturation. When you have comics as a hobby it is kind of nice to relax and look through some new art and read a few new stories, but when you are drawing all day long, trying to workout storytelling mechanics, lots of artists look for other hobbies to occupy their after work hours. David has lots of hobbies...but he is always open to hear about a new artist or a new book with something interesting inside.

At the end of 2009, I read an article on the web in which David announced the "Legends" title and I immediately thought "Hey, that would be awesome to try to contribute to." But I was not sure if I had a story that would fit the book, so I decided that unless I was able to come-up with a good concept, I was not going to bother David about being a part of the project. Funny enough, the story materialized a few hours later and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I e-mailed David and asked if there was any possibility of my being part of "Legends". He said that they were still working on the line-up and currently there were still pages available. I promised him to do layouts to define the exact number of pages I thought the story would take and hope for the best.

Next time: "From Layouts to Pencils".

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olivier Vatine

One of my full page illustrations for a role playing book about virtual reality.
Believe it or not, but I did all those little squares by hand with a ruler :)

Olivier Vatine is a French comic book artist who got pretty famous in France 20 years ago when he started working on a series called "Aquablue". He did the first 4 hardcover collections and then moved on to working on other projects and eventually even got to edit his own art-oriented line of comics. As far as I know there are only two works that he did exclusively for American comics. First was a 4 issue Star Wars series adapted by Mike Baron and published by Dark Horse, called "Heir to an Empire" and the second is a Hellboy pin-up he did in the first Hellboy collection "Seeds of Destruction". I got both of those...but I also tried to put on hands on as much of his French work as I could. My favorites are: a collection of his art called "Pink Planet" and a black and white western called "Angela".

Last week I got another book of his, a black and white edition of a light hearted fantasy called: Cixi de Troy. You can see a preview here (first presented in black and white and then in color):
  • Cixi de Troy
  • Monday, February 22, 2010

    High contrast

    New Robotika review (thanks to John for keeping a look out!):
  • DriveThruComics

  • And a few more role playing illustrations from my files. These were done at the very end of my involvement with White Wolf. The storyline was coming to an end and the art directors tried to pull together everyone who has contributed artwork to the books that culminated in the "apocalypse". I wanted to try to do something different and I focused on trying a more contrast oriented, style with simple shapes and not much rendering.
    Killing Ground

    The End

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Sketchbook sketches...

    I started getting some orders for the Sketchbooks with the original drawings in them and I wanted to show what a few of them look like:

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Sketchbook 2010

    I have just picked-up my sketchbooks from the printer. I am very happy with the printing...I really like the paper and how the ink impressions look.

    The book is 60 pages, 8.5"x11", and contains my sketchbook pages from the "One-a-Day" sketchbook I kept last year, pin-ups that I did for various publications (some got printed and some never saw the light), a couple of my favorite illustrations I did for role playing games, personal drawings, and a few commissions I did over the last 2 years. Here is a sample from Front cover to Back cover:

    I printed 100 copies.
    I will draw a sketch in the first 50 copies and sell them for $20 each + $3 shipping.
    The last 50 will be without a sketch and will sell for $10 each + $3 shipping.
    You can avoid paying shipping if you buy the book from me at WonderCon, where I will be sharing a table with Matt Maxwell (Highway 62).

    I accept PayPal (please paypal to, checks, cash.... :)

    To everyone who follows the blog: PLEASE help to spread the word about the sketchbook :)

    Haiku...and "Has anyone heard about this Steranko book?"

    I found a cool book called "Steranko: Visual Theory, Volume 1" that Steranko published himself back in 2003. I found it through a review printed HERE.

    I followed the link at the bottom of the review and found this:
  • Visual Theory

  • It appears that is it still available for purchase (!). Is this real? Has anyone tried ordering this before from this site?

    Sunday, February 07, 2010

    Role Playing Illustrations...and best books of 2009!

    2009 turned out to be a great year for printed books. In fact, thinking about it, I realize that a plethora of books like that was only dreamed of by me 5-10 years ago...and 2010 looks even better! So tried to think of the books that I really enjoyed in 2009 and here are my "picks":

    Flash Gordon by Al Williamson. All of Al Williamson's Flash Gordon strips reprinted (most from the originals) in a large black and white format. I loved looking at all the storytelling tricks and all the wonderful detail. I would love to see the same treatment done for Al Williamson's "Star Wars" and "Blade Runner" comics.

    Dames, Dolls, And Gun Molls: The Art of Robert A. Maguire. Wonderful collection of paperback cover art by Maguire. Everything from crime noir and barbarians to romance novels. The book is full of great reproductions and there are even original photo reference that was used by Maguire. I loved seeing the covers and the different types used in design.

    Spies, Vixens, and Masters of Kung Fu: The Art of Paul Gulacy. This was real fun. I have not been a huge fan of Gulacy's work throughout the years, but this books pulled together all of his best covers, pages, and illustrations. After I read this book I went back and started picking up his work. In a $1 box, I found his 5 part "Prey" storyarc and and just loved it.

    Best comics reprint:
    Grimswood Daughter by Kevin Nowlan. All sorts of extras including newly re-inked pages and all the artwork reprinted from original in black and white.

    Best used book purchase:
    In 2009, I "discovered" Steranko. I think it started with me buying a copy of "Tower of Shadows" #1 for 50 cents and I loved his story in it. So I went on and bought Captain America and Nick Fury reprints...again, loved it. I already had "Red Tide" and I got to re-read it..yap, loved it. So I went on e-bay and bought a French reprint collection of his Outland adaptation. Now I am looking forward to his new book from Vanguard in 2010.

    Thursday, February 04, 2010

    Blood on the Snow and Michael Golden

    I did not discover Michael Golden's art until late, but once I did my collector instinct kicked in and I started tracking down everything he ever did. This was all before internet, so my search involved reading through the comics price guide (he already had an entry for himself), talking to the comic shop owners, going through the credits of all the back issues...

    So back in the day I found some early Golden work that he did for DC: a couple of issues of "House of Mystery", "Batman Family" issues (wonderful 20-24 page Batman stories inked by Joseph Rubenstein and Craig Russell), a story in "Ghosts", a couple of "Batman" issues (one inked by Golden himself), his issues of Mister Miracle (inked by Russ Heath!), and his 2 issue "Detective Comics" story featuring Man-Bat and Demon . The issues were in terrible shape, so I ripped out his pages and saved them in a binder. I still have that binder and look through it once in a while. Simply gorgeous work.

    Last week I stumbled on a "new" Golden story: House of Secrets #151 (1978). It's a 6 page story (title page plus 5 pages of panel to panel work) and it is amazing to see how well developed Golden's style already was...within his first few jobs! He is like Athena, who has sprung from Zeus' head already mature upon her birth!
    The title page:

    This is the scan of the original black/white line art from that title page that I found on line:

    Wednesday, February 03, 2010

    Pirate ABC

    A great way to introduce my kid to reading.....