Saturday, October 11, 2014

Crazy days...... normal in other words....

Again i apologize for not posting..... but it seems i am in a rut of sorts.

By day i am working three projects at the day job.  While i wait on feedback on one i work on the other ones and rotate on and on.  By night and weekends i pencil, ink and letter Carson of Venus™ for Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., as i am sure most of you know already.  here is a sneak peek of the next Carson..... he is the 'guest' in a Venusian mansion, but thinking he is really a prisoner.  Tune in to find out at: Edgar Rice Burroughs comics. 


It is still only 1.99 a month and you get close to 12 strips a week.  The talent is growing too.  Comic greats like Roy Thomas, Chuck Dixon, Rick Leonardi, Tom Grindberg, lots of others join Martin Powell, writer of several of the strips, me, and Diana Leto on Carson Napier's story.

Ok, that is my rut....my week.... and most all of my time.  Especially now as Carson's story is moving to new lands.  We are finally getting to more 'civilized' areas of the planet. So we have new monsters, new weapons, new styles of architecture, costumes, and even vehicles on the land and in the air to design.  All that takes some time.  So give it a try sometime. Design a whole world. Grab a book and try to make it come to life. Then you will know the world i live in.  The Carson story winds through five novels....well four novels and a novella.  We are only about two-thirds thru the second book, so we have a good bit to go.  And of course with more things to design, visualize, and figure out.

Oh also working on some ideas for some game illustrations, so make that three jobs i am trying to get thru, and with my hands and rotten nervous system it is getting tough.

'til next time Loyal Legionnaires..... things are also moving forward at a snails pace on your hero and mine..... Captain Spectre - Phantom Soldier of the Skies!!!!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

another one of those days.....

It always seems to happen. No matter what i try or do, when i get just a little bit ahead on the Carson of Venus™strip, somedays my nervous system falls apart.  I stay on my meds, i have too or it gets worse, but today my nerves took over and i have had the 'shakes' all day.  I never know from day to day when it is going to happen.  But today was one of those days when it hit with a vengeance.  I barely got the next Carson strip done and lettered and sent off.  Man i hate it.  With my eyes shaking, and hands it makes it really tough to hold a brush and pound out an inked page.  It also makes me very tired.  Think of it as trying to ink and see while being in one of those old style weight reduction machines....

.... remember those things???? well that is what today has been like.  Anyway i did finish the page for next week, and some color guides for some new people arriving in the strip.






Also we are getting to the more civilized areas of Venus in the strip, so actually working on more designs for buildings, cities, more ray guns, military uniforms, and even ground vehicles.  

Also one of the panels i previewed on Facebook got a good response from people so sneaking it here too as some readers don't do the Facebook thing.... yea you know who you are, and didn't want you guys to miss out.   it is a simple panel, but like i said got a good response from fans and even Jim at Edgar Rice Burroughs inc.  So all in all that made me happy.  



'til next time......thanks for tuning in.....i am going to go see if i can get rid of the 'shakes' ...... thanks for understanding.   

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Carson of Venus merchandise!!!

Edgar Rice Burroughs inc. has started producing tee shirts to help spread the word about all the online goodness that the strips are producing.  And of course one of the shirts is a cool Carson of Venus™ shirt.  They also have done shirts for all the other strips, from Tarzan to John Carter.... cool stuff is happening. And i expect more things to come from them.  so give them a look see at

http://www.edgarriceburroughs.com/store/


The shirts run just a bit small, so take that with a grain of salt when ordering your size.  I have one, yes of course a Carson one, and they are great quality shirts.

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!!!!!!