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


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Creepy Presents Alex Toth!

I don't claim to be a scholar of Alex Toth's work. I have been aware of his work for years and even blogged about it here , but I feel that there is a lack of Alex Toth centric reprint collections and thus unless you stumble on one of his short stories by accident in some House of Mystery collection, you won't be exposed to his art.

A lot more Alex Toth art is now available thanks to the recent release of IDWs three volume collection. Seeing a number of individual pages scanned in from the originals was awesome and very inspirational for me. However I feel that Alex Toth can truly be appreciated as a storyteller, only if you read his complete stories. At least that has been my desire.

And my desire has been satisfied! I just received "Creepy Presents Alex Toth" from Dark Horse. The book stands at 168 pages! All pages are sequential stories!

I might upset some folks when I state that, for me, the material is somewhat uneven. It appears that Toth tried to experiment on almost every story... and some are much more successful results than others. Lots of stories that I never seen before, which is a pleasant surprise AND 4 stories that are penciled by other artists and inked/finished by Toth. Toth was a "heavy handed" inker and there is a lot more "Toth" in the finished art than Carmine Infantino, Leo Duranona, Leo Summers or Alexis Romero. But that is fascinating and all good. In fact, I think one of the BEST stories in the collection (artwise) is a collaboration between Toth and Duranona called "The Killing".

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Video from Flesk Publishing!

A few months ago I visited with John Fleskes and we got to hang out for a bit and talk about art. I brought a bunch of artwork to share and John filmed me talking about my experiences in comics. It was a good time, mostly because John is a very easy going guy and easy to talk to.

John talked about putting a video together and I thought that would be pretty cool. I didn't realize just how professional the whole production is going to be! John just posted the video, and I would like to invite you to check it out. John used his wonderful editing skills to make it look like I can carry a conversation :)

Sheikman Interview

Happy New Year!

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...