Sunday, July 27, 2014

If you don't get it right the first time.....

Ok, i won't whine about being so busy and in ill health i can't update my blog... cause i always do that.  I hate to even mention anything about it.  So that is all i will say this time.

Anyway, what i wanted to talk a bit about is - if you don't get it right the first time, you might want to try again....

i got a script the other day, of course by Martin Powell - writer on Carson of Venus™, that said in one panel: Cut to a close-up of Nalte, wide-eyed with wonder.  So as the penciller/inker i have to translate that into some form of image.  Of course characters need to act in two ways. One way is thru the dialog, the spoken word or the thoughts in a caption block.  You know, caption blocks are the rectangular blocks of descriptors or thoughts in panels that help tell the story.  The other way for them to act is thru the body posture or body language of the character.  Think about that like the way actors in silent films push the limit and overact to get the point across.

In the Carson of Venus™ strip, the female character Nalte is on a quest with Carson Napier to find and rescue Duare, Carson's love in the story.  Anyway Nalte is a very strong and fiery character who has more or less fallen for Carson.  But, Carson only has eyes for Duare at first.  So i have to remember that when posing Nalte.  Thru her actions and expressions i am always trying to show a little of that forlorn love or lust.  During this current strip, Nalte watches as Carson takes on three armed zombies.  (That is right, Edgar Rice Burroughs in the 1930's was using zombies as an army of bad guys. Martin and i have dubbed them the "Zombies from Venus", cause that would make an awesome serial or film.)  So here is poor Nalte watching the man she wants showing off his prowess whooping up on these three zombies.  And she likes what she sees.  So i placed her partly in the shadows, as in the script the zombies have ignored her and ganged up on Carson.  And this was the original panel i created.


I wanted Nalte wide eyed, and i also thought that i would give her mouth that kind of 'hmmm, boy' like reaction.  This panel, well the idea was sound, didn't work out.  I tried more shadow and cross hatching, but nothing i did helped....it was crappy, and a lost cause.  The eyes didn't look right, they were also too far apart, the nose too small, and damn - just try drawing someone licking their lips and see how hard that really is to do.   i cut it out of the strip and now had a window to fill.  

So i thought i would go a bit more slutty. Pushing the acting, like in a silent movie.  So i pushed her head back, making her look thru her eyes in that over the cheek sexy look.  This also pushed the emphasis on her lips and tongue.  Which is still hard as hell to get right.  So this was the result. 


So i liked this version.  But then the more i thought about it and looked at it, the more slutty she seemed.  So i thought i would ask a couple of other people about this panel.  Well they got the same feeling i was feeling - too slutty.  And we can't have that.  So back to the drawing board.  And i was guided to more of a subtle up look with her, and this was the result...


So all you readers and fans out there - this is just a little peak into what a struggling comic artist goes thru on a daily basis.  If at first you don't succeed - go back to the drawing board !  Sometimes a drawing, a pose, some perspective, or atmosphere just doesn't work out like you want it.  So don't be afraid of that deadly tool : the eraser!!!  Sometimes you just have to start all over. And sometimes over and over...

Of course this adds to the time it takes to produce a page, a book, a story.  Some people just think it is all easy and just flows out in a few minutes.  But, there are so many processes in the production of a drawing or story.  Layout, design, posing, acting, anatomy and lighting are just a few of the things you have to try to be good at to tell your story.  

Just never give up.... keep drawing... keep drawing each day, day in and day out.  It doesn't matter if you are feeling bad, outright sick, tired, hot, cold, or depressed - you must try to draw each day.  You have to love it and crave it...... now go create something!!! 



Thursday, May 22, 2014

my god!!!! has it really been almost half a year gone by!

Well, loyal Legionnaires, i am truly sorry for not posting…but to be honest not much has changed. Health issues still abound, and the day job goes on and on, as does Carson of Venus™.

Carson is within weeks of completing the first full years run. And we should adventure on from there. We are well into the second book of the series, and we plan to get all five of them in, before we possibly move Carson Napier into new and exciting adventures on Venus. So stick around. As he is becoming more and more like Flash Gordon with all the extra women hanging around.


Also made it down to Kansas City twice this year. Once to the Kansas City PlanetComicCon. Man that show has gotten large. I sure wish i had a Captain Spectre book to sell, but i was there to try to get people to sign up for the Burroughs online strips. 


And then had a artist alley table at the Spectrum Live event there.  And got to talk with friends Mark Schultz and Greg Manchess.  Love talking with those guys if only for ten minutes. 




Well like i say every time….i will try to post more often. The strange thing is the older i get the faster time slips away!!!! Elders always told me this, but i never believed it until now.  

I have one more con in me before thinking of giving up the life of a con goer. It is just getting too expensive, and my traveling days are just about over.  But we shall see….i never know from day to day.   

thanks Loyal Legionnaires……keep the faith, one day Captain Spectre will return~~ 

tom

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Heading into 2014…...

Well here i am with my head hung low….. as i venture into 2014.

2013 wasn't the greatest year i have ever had, as i am sure if you look over some of the posts will tell you.  I am still stricken by the loss of my best friend, Chopper.  The toll the medicines are taking on my mind and body, and of course the failing of my nerves, joints, muscles etc.

I won't really go into any of the details, just know that i am NOT involved with the Tarzan - Jungle Tales book that will be coming out in 2014.  Some things happened with the deadline and i just couldn't produce the quality of art that i wanted to produce in the timeframe allowed.  Maybe if i didn't have a 40+ hours a week day job, and a page of Carson of Venus to pencil, ink, and letter each week maybe i could have made it.  i was sad to have to let Tarzan go like that, but i just couldn't think of putting out sub par work for that character.  So here are a couple of the 'pages' i had worked on for my part. And i hope you can see what i was planning on doing here.  Pushing it. The more time you have with art the better it gets, with this type of stuff.


So anyway, i can only seem to hope to hold down my day job, and the weekly Carson of Venus strip over at Edgar Rice Burroughs™ site.  

Of the Carson of Venus strip has reached a milestone for sure….. we have ended the first novel 'Pirates of Venus' in the strip and jump into the next novel of the five book series 'Lost on Venus'.  the Carson Napier novels have been a bit special to me since i was a kid.  They were my favorites behind the Tarzan novels in thrills for me.

Here is a extra special sneak at week 31 of the Carson of Venus™ series we are doing.  As we flash back to 1930s in LA at a ERB book signing/release of Pirates of Venus.  Also showing the psychic link between ERB and Carson Napier as the story builds.


Well again i can't promise updates more often, but again i will try.  This new year, i would like for my health to stabilize more, so i could produce more work….. and by work i mean CAPTAIN SPECTRE!!!  I have come to realize i am not much good to anyone but myself and Captain Spectre. So other than the day job, Carson and the Captain…..i am all alone here.  

thanks to my Loyal Legionnaires…..and you know who you are!!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

my best friend is gone..... for Chopper

well loyal legionnaires...... it pains me greatly to post this time around.... there will be no art, no talk of projects............... just my sadness.  the greatest friend i have ever had is gone. 


he was every my guardian and protector..... my alarm clock.... the boss of the whole place.  


he was and will be in my every thought..... forever.....


i would lose sight of him as he went off on his adventures on the farm... but then i would turn and see a sight like this and i would laugh....i don't laugh very much, and probably won't for a very long time.... not a real laugh, just those society ones. 


he sat with me the long hours i work somedays... he would only complain a little at the idleness of creating a comic page... but finally i would give in and we would walk and sit outside..... 


he loved to go to town to the store.... the people at the stores we visited knew him, the mailman knew him.... we went everywhere together for so long...... 


on cold nights he would jump up in the recliner with me.... you wouldn't think a dog of his size as a lapdog, but he would sleep thru the night in my arms...... 


he was the friend, companion, partner, guardian, alarm clock, and distraction i needed at the time..... now he rests outside in one of his favorite places.... it is outside one of his favorite windows to watch out of when he was on guard...... i will visit him everyday and feel the heaviest loss i have ever known... 

one last goodbye....................................................... chopper.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

my god how the time flies !!!!

Well looks like this week's Carson of Venus strip will be up sunday. I don't know why it didn't get posted saturday morning like always. I have no control of when they post them. I just pencil and ink them. So tune in, will ya? 



Well the time sure flies! I can't believe i only get around to these update once a month it seems. I get so wrapped up in Carson and trying to hit the deadlines, i don't have time for anything else it seems. And i am sorry about that.  I have done alot of behind the scenes work for Edgar Rice Burroughs inc. for the strips. Logos mainly.... I of course designed the Carson logo. And also did the upcoming Moon Men, a flyer for the Outlaw of Torn, the Eternal Savage logo, and the Land that Time Forgot one too.





So anyway some behind the scenes things, and things to hopefully come from ERB inc.'s comic universe online!  Below also is a tease of Duare from the Carson of Venus strip.  



So all you legionnaires take care..... Captain Spectre is waiting in the wings and you will see things sometimes in the near future!!!! Hang in there and tell your friends and other legionnaires to sign up for the ERB comics.  Everyone helps get us to a large readership that helps support the production of the strips!!! Help!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

busy busy busy.....

jumping catfish has it been a month already....wow.... sorry for the long month between updates, just kind of been a bit busy with Carson and some other ERB things..... like this postcard for them to give away at shows to promote the ERB comics!




And more and more Carson stuff..... i have been designing ships, beasts, swords, rayguns and all cool things for the strip.


Venus is a very strange world. ha!



....and this was a rejected scene as no one wanted to show a cigarette.... sigh.  Even tho Burroughs smoked and it was the 30's when just about everyone did.  oh well. i reworked it.  So no worries.  I do think people go overboard with the 'not showing' it side of history. 


....and here is a shot of our hero Carson Napier as he talks with Mr. Burroughs about his planning to go to Mars.   ooops. That didn't work out so well, did it. 

Well Loyal Legionnaires.... until next time....keep watching the skies! 



Friday, May 31, 2013

Venus is a busy place.....



Well for the current time being, the Lightning Legion Secret Headquarters has been converted to the planet Venus.... or Amtor as it is known on the surface.  If you are a reader of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  


This is mostly the second time i have traveled to Venus.  Once before officially for Bison Books, I did a cover and a few interior pieces for Pirates of Venus.  But this time it is all out full blown sequential art version of the whole series!  wow, I am nervous for sure.  I have been super busy with design and promo work for the series, and trying to get some strips ahead so i don't fall into the trap of being late, as it is a weekly comic strip.  


As i get into the weeks of the strip, i am really starting to feel like Alex Raymond, or Milton Caniff.  The syndicated comic strip was the high point of cartoonists, back in the day.  Bringing the adventures of far away lands, heroes, other worlds, adventure and romance to readers each week is a thrill for me. I hope everyone will come along for the ride.  As the more people signing up, the better the site preforms and the more we will do.  


I have been knee deep in designing spaceships, costumes, monsters, creatures, ray guns, swords, and people for the strip.  It's sure alot of work in such a short time.  But exciting for sure.  


The Burroughs people are increasing the number of strips, and keeping the price the same. So for $1.99 a month you are going to get 7 strips in the months to come.... I can't name them all now as some are secret.  But in addition to the current running Tarzan adventures, you will get the adaption of the whole Venus series, and new adventures in Pellucidar by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle.   It's gonna be a site to visit over and over..... each strip being weekly it will be like laying on the floor on sunday morning with the newspaper spread out in front of you....and adventure on every page!!!! 


SO JOIN UP NOW!!!!!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rocket to Venus!!!!


Love Forbidden. Adventure Unending. Terror Eternal

Well Loyal Legionnaires..... it seems the good Captain is going to take a bit of a u-turn.  The news is out and i will be pencilling and inking the adventures of Wrong Way Carson Napier.  With the first strip appearing on the ERB inc. sites comic section starting June 1.    With me on the team is Martin Powell handling the script of Pirates of Venus and Lost on Venus, which we will rocket through this year.  I will be producing a strip a week, with Diana Leto adding the colors.  It's going to be a fun ride. 

The ERB inc. site is a pay site, but more strips are going to be added in the next few months.  I think the total will be six or seven....all for a buck 99 a month.  Not a bad deal considering all the talent lined up.  Currently they are running the Tarzan strip by Roy Thomas and Tom Grindberg.  But then June 1 Carson of Venus starts and more will follow. 

So i have been a bit busy designing logos, and all the costumes, weapons, ships and all that go with these huge planetary romance adventures.   


For the 'look' of Carson i tried to get a mix of the great serial actor Kane Richmond with a dash of Flash Gordon thrown in.  


The nose section of Carson's rocket appearing in the strip.  Sorry i can't show a lot.... you will just have to sign up and read along on a great adventure!!!  

Also at the end of the first years strips, Dark Horse will collect it all and if enough people sign up we will rocket right into the second year of Carson's adventures on Venus.  



As some of you know i am not a stranger to Venus....i worked on the Bison Books version some years back.  

Also i have talked about projects like this....i need these paying projects so i can maybe hit that early retirement, then i can work on more projects like the reason you are here.....Captain Spectre!!!!  So help spread the word about signing up and reading Carson.  And just imagine all the practice i am getting, ha.     Thanks so much for your support and understanding Loyal Legionnaires.  Every thing like this i try gets me a little closer to early retirement and working full time on the stuff i love.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

....things are happening!!


Hey loyal Legionnaires, well i know i should be posting more updates with all the things that are going on it is tough for several reasons.  One reason is i have just been so busy. Another reason is, just like the sign says above, some of it is top secret!  But i will hint at a few things, just because i can't stand keeping some secrets, ha.

With my early retirement age rapidly approaching - at around a year and a half - things are really starting to happen.  One of the reasons or conditions that i might be able to do the early retirement thing is finding a bit of sideline comic book/strip work to add to my paltry sum that social security and what little retirement money i have saved will bring me.  Well again no deal is final, but that might be coming together at just about the right time.  Also one of the things i wish to do is be able to retire and then just do comics!!! My own comics i have planned and something for a little income.   So anyway i sure hope it all comes together and then the future will look so much better to me - and to all the loyal Legionnaires - because that means more time to work on Captain Spectre, and this other thing that you loyal Legionnaires will also enjoy!!!!

So everybody wish me luck and i will spill the news as i can.  And now let me find some recent things to post for your enjoyment...... thanks Legionnaires...... i do appreciate all of you!!!

Also i have started on my part of the 'Jungle Tales of Tarzan' that should be published probably late this year or first of next year.  This is a great project as it is an authorized adaption of the collection of Burroughs short stories.
I have been given the chance to illustrate the last tale in the book. Tarzan rescues the Moon, wish will be adapted by Martin Powell.  Each tale or story in the book will be illustrated by different artist..... everything from Terry Beatty (of the Phantom Sunday fame) to Pablos Marcos, to slubs like me. ha. So here are some items from the beginning of that project - coming from Dark Horse!








Also here are a few extras i did as warm ups and such.....again enjoy all, and thanks. 






until next time Legionnaires!!!! take care and enjoy life ---- and thanks for looking in!!!! 

tom


Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Future is rapidly approaching...!!!!

Hello Loyal Legionnaires....again sorry for the flagrant lack of posts here, but I have been really busy lately and will give the low down on most projects in a minute.
But first the reason for this post's title.  My future is something that is rushing headlong towards me, and I will have to deal with it sooner than later.   I for one have always hated working for other people, but I was always scared to strike out on my own.....doubting my talent and everything else.  When i had a family there was almost no way to strike out on your own, too many responsibilities and all of keeping everyone feed, clothed, and all the things that go with living.
But now i am coming rapidly up on the age of 'early' retirement.  To early retire, or not to early retire, that is the question!!!  First of all i vowed to myself that i would never be one of those people i had seen in my childhood years that gave all to his company or job, and had no life outside of it.  I have seen people like that work at a job until they dropped dead, or worked until forced to retire and had nothing to do, or didn't know what to do when left alone to themselves.  Oh sure i had a strong work ethic and all that, and did my jobs, and even over and above most of the time, but i always wanted to do my own thing and just couldn't wait to get done with the day so i could at least think about what i wanted to do.
Anyway that all leads me to me being very busy lately.
I have a few projects in the works, and have actually over reached in that department.  But you can never count on all projects going forward.  But with some of these projects, it just might bring in a bit of money to help me reach that 'early' retirement status.   I hope.

So the list goes like this.....

A famous jungle project that might happen.....
A famous planetary romance that might happen....
An famous aviation strip that might happen....
A pitch to a comics company for a rocket powered person you might know.....

and.....to go along with all that......

   i am lettering the Halloween Legion graphic novel written by Martin Powell that will appear later this year, hopefully from Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse.....

   i am working on a tee shirt design for a hot musical group out of Texas.....

Also have some projects floating around the edges like:

Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs adaption......

and above all CAPTAIN SPECTRE!!!!  which is the point of retiring early!!!!!! So i can work on Captain Spectre!!!!

So here are some pieces to fuel your imaginations!!!! enjoy Legionnaires!!!!