Saturday, December 26, 2009

White Christmas is a two sided coin!





Well I guess it is all my fault! I will admit I have been wishing for that white christmas thing for years. Yea, ok we have had snow on the ground for christmas - but never actual snow on christmas day like it is supposed to do for a 'white christmas'. We folks the weather gods must of been saving this one up for me. I am officially snowed in. Which as I mention is a two sided coin. On one side I am snowed in. I can't get out and no one can get in unless you walk. And use snow shoes. We know, because it has been tried. So if someone knocks at my door tonight, as the past couple of nights, they will be a crazed serial killer looking to hide out. Cause on one else is crazy enough to try it. The tractor couldn't even get around good enough to get the snow off the road.
The road in front of the house is covered with about three to four feet of snow and they haven't plowed it yet. I am sure this road is about last on the list of roads to get too. I may not be out of here until after new years!
Some areas of the yard are almost bare, while some places have five foot drifts. All due to the amount of wind. It was amazing. We were in a blizzard warning for two days. Amazing for sure. Most of the state hiways around here are closed or down to a snails pace as only one lane is open.
But today, the horses got a new bail of hay, Chopper got too much exercise out in the freezing weather, as did I.
So it is good and bad at the same time, this two sided coin. Thank the gods the power hasn't gone off, because I couldn't get out of here to a warm place if it did.
So if I ever wish for a white christmas again, someone remind me of this one.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I miss Christmas...

I am posting this rough drawing at both sites...here and the Captain Spectre site. I actually have a new page done, but thought I would do something for Christmas. Mainly because I miss Christmas. That may sound a bit funny, but it is true. I miss the feeling of Christmas. Anymore it just seems a strange time to me. I don't know what to get my kids or grandkids for the holiday. I wish I could find the Christmas spirit. I lost it along time ago and it has never returned. I wish I could find those Christmas times like I had as a kid. Those feelings were so strong. And I don't mean the presents and all that. I just mean the feelings of the holidays. Now I just use the time off to do work...of course it is work I want to do. Creative work. It is so odd too, because I don't even know the feelings that I am wanting back. They are beyond description...I can't put my finger on it but, I would know them when I felt them. Christmas around my Mom's house was a magical time. Time actually slowed down prior to Christmas, then shot by like a rocket starting the morning of Christmas. Maybe it was because returning to my Mom's house was 'going home'. Maybe it was all the food that she prepared, or seeing friends I hadn't seen in along time. I remember the feelings I got when I got a present for someone and it was something they wanted or needed. I was never good at finding presents for people, but sometimes you get lucky. I don't get lucky anymore. So I just usually get gift cards or money for the people I buy for. That seems to cover all bases, but misses the feeling. But then again I am back to the fact I don't have the feeling anymore.
Anyway, I hope you people out there have a little bit of those feelings left so you can have a great Christmas and a great New Year. I guess that is why I did this little drawing today....trying to find the Christmas spirit in my pencil....cause I have looked everywhere else and can't find it.
Merry Christmas to all my Loyal Legionnaires out there......I do hope you have a great Christmas!!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

The fog slowly clears.....

As my creative block slowly starts to wane, like a fog clearing just a little. My eyes see Eisenwald Castle. Remember it will Loyal Legionnaires because you may see it again somewhere. Hopefully sooner than later. Just a tease I guess. I have started putting together some of the material for a story I want to do. And if it turns out might be the one chosen for the stand alone Captain Spectre story I have been promising for over a year.
Mostly I just wanted to begin to let people know I am still kicking, just not very hard. The creative block fog is beginning to show signs of lifting. But it is a fight every day. Must have something to do with age too. I am slowing down it seems and have been at it a while, so not to sound like a totally depressed clinical case, I have been sleeping and resting alot. Everything seems to help a little, but nothing seems to help alot. Not to sound cosmic or anything, but it just takes time more than anything. So with updating here and a new strip over at the main site. I am slowly coming out of my self induced fog.
And again thanks to all out there sending your well wishes. I do appreciate it alot.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

There might be a light at the end of the tunnel.... I hope

Well seems I am still battling my so called creative block, or whatever you might want to call it. But I do think there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as my Mom always used to say. Of course it was never about a 'creative block' she was talking about, just mainly life itself. And I sure don't want to get to the next saying she used to tell me. Ha. I always dreaded the 'just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with it'. Honestly it struck fear into my heart most of the time. Most of the time I heard it later in life and I was back from overseas.
So anyway short of my Mom's ghost coming back to haunt me, I at least did some work today. Admittedly it was more costume, design, practice work.....but it was work.
Obviously it is of the fair Helene, KiGor's woman. Still trying to get a feel for her character, or how I think she would be. I finally decided to tie her hair to one side so it would cascade over one shoulder.....I thought a fairly sexy look and a good 'do' for long shots to identify her at a distance.
So hope you enjoy, and bare with me as I continue to claw my way out of my self made abyss.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ki-Gor, Lord of the Jungle

One of the things I have been meaning to post, and comment on is KiGor, The best Tarzan knockoff of the Jungle. I have always liked the KiGor character. He had a long journey from pulps to men's magazines into the 50's. He comes complete with a female character, Helene. Like Jane, at the first she wants to get KiGor back to his english roots. She always seemed a more solid character than Jane to me. Jane, now don't get me wrong, is great - especially when she goes missing from Tarzan and has to stand on her own. But Helene starts out a strong character by falling out of the sky as her plane is in trouble. She is a pilot, a good shot and of course the typical reason for alot of situations KiGor gets into. As the stories went along she becomes a much more sensual character than Jane ever did. This may be as the stories moved from Jungle Stories magazine into more of a men's magazine format later in the run.
Joe at Moonstone has given Martin Powell and I more or less a free reign with the stories, which will be eleven page back up style stories. We are going to do a couple and see what happens.
Martin and I are on the same page with these, mainly because Joe at Moonstone wanted to know what makes KiGor different from Tarzan.
We are going to play up a little used item from KiGor's history. He was raised by a shaman after his true father's death. Also we plan to make KiGor's Africa a very strange and scary place.
So hang around for some good old solid Jungle Action!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Easing into the flow....with something a bit sinister.

When the going gets tough, you design Nazi flying robots!
I have had this kicking around in my brain for awhile. Seems like a logical villain for Captain Spectre when the war breaks out on the western front. I guess there should be a Japanese version also, since they exchanged technologies at the end of the war.
Anyway I tried to keep the image and all of the German infantryman during World War 2, including the famous 'potato masher' in the boot, only on a large scale. I figure he should be about 12 ft tall, to make them scary on the battlefield and in the sky.
Yet another of the weird world war two weapons that are so fun to make up.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thanks for all the kind words and concern...

To all my loyal Legionnaires....Thanks. I do appreciate all the kind words and concern over the recent events.
It will still be awhile before I get back to the Captain Spectre strip. Mainly for two reasons.

One: I was kind of on a slump the last few weeks. I was running out of my very small backlog of strips, and to be honest I have been in kind of a creative block. Nothing seems to be flowing as far as creativity is concerned. I haven't been able to do good layouts, or storytelling. The drawing seems ok, just putting it all together and down on paper seems to be the rough part.
But I am sure that things will work out in a short time and all will be back on track sometime soon. I am sorry, because I was wanting to get this chapter wrapped up sometime soon and move on to the stand alone book shortly.

Two: I had been tired and fixing to start my vacation when the wreck happened. So on the top of needing some time to decompress mentally....I now had to contend with some physical pain from the wreck....it took a day or so but finally these old bones started hurting quite a bit. I am still limping around a bit. Plus now without a vehicle I will be homebound, which in my opinion is a great thing. But all the insurance stuff and arranging the repair of my totalled vehicle took some time and mental energy doing the vacation. So for the next week mostly, I will be working at home on work things. I wish it was on my things. But alas those bills must be paid. No government handouts seem to come my way.

So again thanks to all the Loyal Legionnaires for tuning in and for posting and sending kind words. Without the help of friends in times of need, where would we be.
Thanks to all my friends, and one in particular -- you know who you are.

Also to keep me company this next week, is my constant four footed companion - Chopper, seen above in one of the many drawing assistant positions.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Deer season opens!

Well the title to this post might be misleading. I mean it as a little joke since Friday night on the way home, to start a working vacation to get caught up on a few things, I broadsided a huge buck! I counted seven points with two or more broken off by the weapon of choice - My TRUCK.
The entire front end of the truck is crushed and destroyed. Thank goodness for seat beats and air bags, because I didn't even have time to blink. The buck came out of an approaching vehicles headlines as he bolted across the highway. I hit him full force and he flew to the other side of the highway as I slid into a ditch right in front of a cemetary. Sliding because the fenders were wrapped into one of my tires and I couldn't stear. Ha. The grim reaper missed me again.
So sore, in one piece, and without a vehicle I start my vacation with a bang!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

missed posting, before.

Creature of the Black Lagoon poster 
image removed to check hit count.



I had posted this in the last update. But, being tired and strung out on work, I forgot to mention why I posted it.
Well at Fallcon there was a DVD dealer selling the 3D version of one of my all time favorite films. And quite possible, my favorite movie monster other than Kong.
I never was a fan of 3D movies as a kid. Something about my eyes and all, it just never really worked for me like it seemed to for other people. And I actually thought that most movies made like this just played to the 3D effect and just randomly put things in to make the audience go 'oh wow'. Like that annoying street vendor scene in 'House of Wax'.
Anyway I had never seen a showing of 'Creature' in 3D. So how could I resist? I bought one. Well now I have kind of seen it in 3D. I will stick with my 2D version thanks. Again it didn't really work for me. Oh, there were a couple of places I thought - that was neat, if it was more in focus - so once again my eyes or brain just doesn't get it. Ha.
Such a great film, and they didn't play to the 3D effects so I guess I never really never minded that it was in 3D and I never saw it.
I also bought Revenge of the Creature in 3D, just not in a big rush to see it. Maybe it was the cheap way the DVD's were made, I don't know. Because like I said, my eyes just don't get it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Return from Fallcon!

Well, I made it back from Fallcon, despite a few inches of snow and cold early in the winter season. It was a great trip. The Captain Spectre gliders were an offical hit. I liked wandering around the show watching people flying them and not keeping them in the bags. The adults eyes lit up remembering the great times they had as a kid with them. The little kids had to be shown a built one to understand that we used to assemble our toys, sometimes. It was great.
I got to chat with Jose Garcia Lopez, Michael T. Gilbert (of Mr. Monster fame), Phil Hester, Jim Keffe (the last man to draw the Flash Gordon strip), Martin Powell and Lisa, Brent Schoonover, Brandon Terrell, Ken Wind and crew, Joe Gentile from Moonstone, and all the Locals that are great.....always a great time.
I am pumped to have a book finished by next Fallcon, since I really didn't have anything for sale, I spent most of my time looking at others work, and checking out other artists....talking and having a good time. Poor Nick who runs the con, paid 500 bucks for my Superman charity piece. I couldn't believe what it went for. I had posted it earlier on the blog here. The Kong piece brought a good price too. I also had a piece that Mark Stegbaugh inked, that turned out fabulous and it sold high too. I wish I could afford to get him for more personal work. He had some great Phantom pages from Moonstone.
Of course I had work piled up on my return and a few things to do at night to get back to the regular schedule. Which I hope I can keep up with.
Tired and worn out, but back at the table trying to work.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Off to Fallcon!

Sorry not much of an update, just one letting all the Loyal Legionnaires that there won't be an update of the strip this week. I will slaving away at the table at Fallcon next to Martin Powell. I am finally looking forward to making the trip and getting set up for Saturday and Sunday.
Let me just say if you are anywhere in the area of Minneapolis-St. Paul you should go to this con!
It is an honest to goodness COMIC convention. From independent publishers, to silver-age artists it is a great con, and getting bigger every year. Every creator is treated like a king or queen as the case may be.
I am also going to be on a panel with Martin Powell, Joe Gentile from Moonstone and others. We are going to discuss the pulp era heroes and a resurgence of those heroes into comics and new prose adventures. Sounds like a great time.

Again some year I hope to see lots of Legionnaires show up at Fallcon !

Back next week, Legionnaires.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Gene...



Let it be known I am a huge Roy Rogers fan....but, you have to give the devil his due sometimes. Without Gene Autry there would be no Roy Rogers. After all, his first major on screen time came in a Gene Autry movie, with his real name Leonard Slye. When Autry walked out on his Republic Pictures contract in 1938 Slye was re-named Roy Rogers and the fight was on for the greatest screen cowboy in history.
As much as I love watching old Roy Rogers movies, I can still sit through any Gene Autry flick too. Even though I could never understand why he wore a two gun belt, with only one holster. I have seen that in many westerns with others also, and I can not figure that one out.
Anyway, Happy Birthday Gene.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Don't Drink and Draw!

Warning to all aspiring artists, Don't Drink and Draw.... don't let cocktail hour get out of of hand because this is the results. Loose drawings! Tonight the arthritis in my hand and arm was acting up. The pain was throbbing, but I felt like I needed to work on something. A flight suit for 'Jack' - Jacqueline O'brian from the stand alone comic. I have never felt that I anchored her in the real world of the strip. I want her to be a strong female lead in the strip she appears in. So I patterned her after the strong female leads of the 30's films, like Ann Sheridan. But again this is a lesson in letting the Caniff cocktail hour getting out of hand. From what I read Milton Caniff had a passion for cocktail hour, but it seems I don't know when to stop when the pain in my hand and arm increase. Oh getting old sucks is all I can say. So the result is a very loose inked drawing of a flight suit of 'Jack's'. So I guess this sketch blog is about the good and the bad....so consider this the bottom of the barrel, or bottom of the bottle if you will.
Please excuse me .... the pain is so bad sometimes I just can't stand it, but I still have work to do to make headway. So just a warning to young artists. Control is a good thing, Lack of control is a bad thing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The unstoppable Kong!

Well, I didn't think I was going to get around to inking this yet....but, Kong proved once again to be unstoppable. Mainly I think since - to put it mildly, I felt like hell sunday. A total sinus attack for some reason, maybe because tomorrow is the beginning of fall. And it seems today isn't starting off any better. I just wanted to post this before leaving for work this morning. If I didn't have a deadline at work today, I would probably take a sick day. But, work goes on, the rent must be paid.....hell I have to pay for those gliders too. And yet this is another piece for the Fallcon charity auction. Irony, maybe, but more the call of duty. Plus I try each year to out do myself, and what I feel is a bit of competition at the auction. Or maybe I just feel there should be competition at it. Each year I almost feel like not letting the pieces go. But then I like seeing people bid on them and hope it helps in some small way.
And as I said, I felt like hell yesterday. So I would ink for a couple of minutes, then blow my nose for ten minutes or so trying to breathe. When that happens I can't really do much brain work, so this is just raw inking from me. Trying to follow the lines, balance some blacks and whites, and do a bit of drybrushing, and some of that fantastic split brush that Mark Schultz has mastered as a technical skill. I do feel this was rushed a bit, just trying to get one more thing off my plate because ... we are all living on borrowed time .... just like the Challengers of the Unknown.
Also wanted to throw in....there isn't a quill mark on this.....only brush, except I signed it with a marker. I love the brush.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Progress on KONG...

Well I had some time to get around to the pencils for the Kong piece. Not much has changed since the full sized layout drawing in the last post. It was torture to get this thing scanned, I installed a update to my operating system the other night, and tonight - or rather early this morning found out it took out my scanner. I would be lost without a scanner. So about three or four hours of messin' with it all - looking on forums and trying to find someone with the same problems with the scanner model I have....anyway it all ended up costing about 80 bucks, I had to go to the only software known that works with this scanner and operating system. And now it is 4:30 in the morning, and I haven't been to sleep yet.....I am going to try to head that direction now. So hope you enjoy the pencils to Kong. I probably won't get to the inks just yet, I need to do some other work tomorrow....or later today.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kong!!!

Ok I realize this was a suggestion by Martin Powell for me to try for the auction at the coming Fallcon show. But since he suggested it I couldn't get it out of my mind. Of course between Martin and I, I would hate to think of the number of viewings of Kong that we have. I probably put it in about once a week or two as I work. I watch alot of serials, horror, adventure, and of course Kong as I work. It helps with the snappy patter (the language), the background images, the sounds and all.
I rarely ever do full size roughs, and I should do them all the time....another suggestion make by a super artist that I met. I know there are some problems with placement on this one, but I do think the dinos tail, spine and all lead up to the action and Kong. The Fay Wray gal is just eye candy and fun, as she hides behind the rock ducking the dinos' tail. Although not an actual exact scene from the film, I was more after the spirit of the fight and I didn't want to draw the tree that traps Fay.
So anyway thanks to my good friend Martin....here is the first ever drawing of Kong I ever did. Hopefully I will have time to flesh it out and lightbox it for a finished drawing in time for Fallcon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Promotional item for cons and site



One thing I was thinking of, since I haven't finished a real Captain Spectre comic yet, was to add a promotional item to either help with sales of the patches and coins at cons. Or to just give away a few now and then to interested people that stop by the con table and talk with me about the strip. I remember as a kid buying hundreds of these cheap balsa wood gliders and having a blast flying them. So I found a place on line to order them. I have to buy a ton of them, but I think maybe in the long run it may help out. Again especially since I don't have a real comic to sell yet. Which really makes me mad at myself. But I really do plan on fixing that problem. Anyway here are the fast wing designs I did tonight. I am not real happy with them but I am running out of time to get them produced before Fallcon. I just think it might be great seeing them flying around the con as advertising. You never know if this stuff really works til you try it I guess. So Legionnaires let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Golden Age Superman Foreign Policy

Well the trial assignment is finally over. Now I can get back to the other things on my plate. And as I posted before one of them is to get some charity pieces ready for Fallcon. The Fallcon old website was down for awhile, but seems they were making a new one. So hit the link to see the guests list and all other sorts of goodies from a great comics convention.
So here is the Superman piece, I just finished inking it and had a blast doing this one. Hopefully I can think of some more pieces like this to get done before the con. Which is coming up fast!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

So many irons in the fire....

Believe me Loyal Legionnaires, I am not falling down on production of the Captain Spectre strip. But, I do have many, many irons in the fire - sort of speak. Fallcon, the great Minnesota comic convention, is rushing toward me. I always contribute to the three charity auctions that they have there. Just feel like I should pay back something for such a great con and a great time. I also always try to come up with something that Nick, the organizer of the con, wants to bid on. Sometimes I hit one, and sometimes I don't. Last year I pencilled a Doc Savage piece and Joe Rubenstein inked it. So this morning I had this idea of a golden age Superman borrowing bombs from an airfield to do a little foreign policy mission. So I just had to rough it out before I lost the idea. As I scanned it I noticed his forward leg is a bit too short, but I will fix that later. Just wanted to show it off a bit, mainly for the idea, and to make sure I got it down. I will need to do two more pieces at least in the next few weeks for the auctions. So I will be showing those here too.
As I said sometimes too many irons in the fire....game animation, a commission piece I owe a Loyal Legionnaire for doing me a great favor, the virus project, and of course continuing the Captain Spectre strip.

The Terror Hound from Planet X

I, of late, have been trying to design some creatures for various things. One mainly for the Captain Spectre strip. Don't worry he won't show up very soon. It is along way off. So I guess it really isn't a sneak peek. Just more of a development kind of thing. So I thought I would try a six legged type of creature. Creature design is an art unto itself. And I haven't ever done much of it. Guess I am better at robots and machinery and the like. I do need to work on my creatures more. So tonight I thought I would tackle one, mainly since I am not feeling up to par. But that is another story I don't plan to bore you with. Since hopefully you come here to see art, and take part in the process of creation - especially things to do with Captain Spectre. So without further ado - I present the Terror Hound of Planet X!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

A sneak peek into the distance future.



Also just to see all you loyal Legionnaires that no matter what, I always try and work on some kind of Captain Spectre project. It is the only thing keeping me sane in this world of today.

I am always thinking of ways to expand the character into all art forms. Animation, comics, or anything I can work on with the freedom to do anything I want.

So here is a tiny tiny piece of a storyboard I am working on, that hopefully someday will find it's way to my animation table.

I must apologize for the rotten verison, It doesn't really look very good in this format. Believe me the original looks alot better. But with size restrictions and all, it kind of broke up this small and with the low bandwidth. After all it is just a sneak peak. Just to give you an idea of the myriad of things I work on with the good Captain.


video

I kind of feel like a new age Milton Caniff...


As I read more of Milton Caniff's life, I of course learn that he worked as an illustrator for the press. Back in those days not all stories received the luxury of a camera. So editors used to get ahold of the art dept. which at the time contained artists!! What a concept. Anyway they used to come up with art for fires, trials, and of course the eventual filler space in the newspapers.
'Milton started this way' was all I kept saying in my mind as I sit on those church pew type very un-ergonomic govt. benches at the back of the courtroom.
Even though I can't discuss any of the trial I thought I would post a couple of the sketches just to give you a taste. I have been zapping out four or five of these a day so of course the quality isn't great.
Sometimes I even have to lay one out, and put it aside til the people get back into almost the positions they were in. And of course from the back people aren't very interesting, and I see alot of backs of heads. You may not think this is much of a problem but on any given day there are at least four guys in the room with shaved heads.....it must be some kind of tribal law thing going on now a days.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Myrna Loy Pastel Drawing

Well you may question why I did this. I do have a reason why I am spending a little time doing a pastel drawing of the great actress Myrna Loy. Well the reason is - Monday morning I am headed to the Federal courthouse in Omaha to do the courtroom sketches for a trial. The station is sending a camera crew also but they aren't allowed in the courtroom. So it up to me to document the trial for the show we are working on about it. (More on that show later.)
So as kind of a warm up, try out or something I figure I should test the waters. It has been awhile since I have tried anything like this courtroom drawing. I did it a couple of times before but that has been years and years.
Also I wanted a bit different look for the sketches. Most of courtroom sketches seem to be full blown pastel type drawings. The show this is a part of is the 'Murder House' show I did a couple of years ago. It had a 50's horror comic look, and the second show 'Profiler' is taking a more 60's Suspense Theater look, so I wanted the courtroom drawings to have a more hard line look to them. Also it helps with my speed to have a solid line down to color inside the lines. Ha. I never was much good with color alone. So with the sharpie lines I get a more graphic look.
At least I hope it all works out like that. I have to do 3 a day and have them done by 3PM so they can get on the 5 o'clock news in Omaha.
Anyway I tried to capture a bit of Myrna Loy's look. I don't think her forehead was the right height, but I do think it looks a bit like her. Probably good enough for courtroom sketching.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Jack!


Today as hundreds of blogs across the internet proclaim is Jack 'the King' Kirby's birthday. It was truly a sad day in my life when Jack passed on. I really only got to meet him twice. Like so many other people I know, when I got to shake hands and meet him the first time - I froze. I had never been struck with awe and wonder so much in my life. When I was a kid I got to shake hands with Roy Rogers and I didn't freeze as much as I did with Jack. All I could muster was a weak stammer then a 'thanks, jack for all the great stuff'. Sheesh what a moron I was at the time. Ha.
I have seen alot of tributes today, so why add mine to the mix, you ask. Well I don't know. Just seems it hit me harder today than in past years. You see when I was a kid, my brother was buying comics before me - him being the elder by five years. I remember having a couple of kid type comics of some kind, but my brother was discovering the better ones. And I wanted them. I wanted the adventure, the excitment, and the great art. I used to thumb through his books and look just for the Jack Kirby ones. I didn't know who the guy was but even at the age of looking and not really being able to read, I noticed Jacks work. I had never seen anything like it before or since.
Then suddenly I found a copy of Showcase with a new feature. It was like a spark on a gasoline soaked keg of dynamite. The Challengers of the Unknown hit a chord with me. Non-superpowered guys in a fast growing world of superheroes fighting to bridge the gap between man and superman. Til this day that is my favorite type of hero. These guys were 'living on borrowed time' and lucky to come out alive at the end of each exciting story. Of course Jack, with inks by Wally Wood on the first stories, got me hooked. As Jack left the book, I keep buying it. Always looked forward to the adventures of the Challengers. Jack seemed to jump around where he was needed. He was like a superhero himself it seemed to me. A cover here, a story there. Sometimes hard to find with my living locations as a kid.
Then Jack made the jump to Marvel full blast. Marvel launched it's superheroes and Jack seemed to draw them all. Which was fine with me. I followed each book as much as I could. With limited funds my brother and I would each buy certain books. Then a second explosion hit. And his name was Captain America!

The hook was deep into me now. I couldn't get enough of this character. I cherished every panel he was in. Avengers #4 was a landmark issue to me. I still have my beat up old copy. I resides in my collection with my collection of Avengers and Captain America comics showing it's age proudly. I lost count of the times I read that book. I felt I was a lucky kid because Cap began
to show up in alot of issues. Even before Avengers 4 a fake Captain America showed up to battle the Human Torch in an issue of Strange Tales, but after finding out the fake was the Acrobat it didn't really seem to matter to me. I wanted to know more about Captain America. And Avengers 4 gave that chance to me.

To my amazement Cap was given his own half book in Tales of Suspense. Jack brought out the big guns as far as I was concerned. He was close to the top of his game on these stories and I couldn't get enough. The pairings were great. The stories were just the action and excitement I wanted at the time. Soon came one of the greatest pairings of the silver age, in my opinion.

Among one of the most cherished issues I ever read. World War 2 action with the great Captain America and Bucky paired with the Howlers. I have never seen a scan or the original art for this cover. I truly envy the person who owes this. I am sure it is out there somewhere in a place of honor. I was never much for having riches, but I wish I had the money to own this piece of art.

My heroes have since been Jack's type of heroes. I miss them, I miss Jack..... Happy Birthday Jack and thanks for the adventures.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bunny girl run cycle

video

So here is the first of the Marine virus game character animations that I am working on. The game is going to be a side scroller like Mario. The bunny girl with jump, swim, run, climb a rope, throw stuff, and of course die. But, I have yet to draw all those, since this is the first one. It is a bit rough, but she is only going to be around 70 pixels tall so she looks alright when she is that size.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I couldn't resist...a sneek preview.


What is this you Loyal Legionnaires might be asking!!?? Captain Spectre in color? What is wrong with the world, it must be the end of days as predicted.
Well don't worry Legionnaires, it is a little sneek preview. Last weekend I was working and thought to myself--well why not?!
The strip is an experiment, so format changes, switches from color to black and white, switches back and all things should be considered. Plus when you get pissed off at the world, your characters tend to get pissed off at the world. So maybe Captain Spectre is in a form me. Things I wish I could do, I can through the good Captain.
Sometimes I or my mind just screams to be left alone so I can work on my strip. So when things at work turn to shit. When freelance jobs are ridiculous beyond all means of reason, when your personal life is turned to crap -- what happens at the Lightning Legion Secret Headquarters you might ask. Well Legionnaires work gets done!!! When you get pissed off pick up a pencil and draw! That is what I try to do.
Captain Spectre is an extension of a personal dream...a childhood dream to create comics. I once wanted nothing in my life but to grow up and create comics. I actually thought once I could maybe grow up and work with great characters like Captain America or so many other great characters back then. The only problem now is I don't recognize any of them anymore. So that version of the dream has kind of died. So now despite rejection letters from the finest comics, despite a lack of skills....none of that 'god given talent' around here folks just hard work, rough learning, and doing things over and over trying to get it right. And of course now because of the internet, digital printing, and things like that anyone can be a comics creator. Technology has at least helped a little with one old man's dreams.

....and sometimes dreams are all we have to hold on too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Warm Ups, high contrast



Some days as most of you know, the ideas just don't come very easy. When that happens sometimes I try something a bit different. A different style, A different tool, A different paper...anything to break the pattern. Well seems as though tonight was one of those nights. So I just kind of let it flow. I didn't feel like working on my animations for the virus game, I am ahead by five weeks on the Captain Spectre strip, I am still not ready to start the stand alone Captain Spectre comic - so here are a couple of doodles to help wake the brain up.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tarzan, for maybe a book mark to give away...



Well here is another Tarzan piece. Thanks to some great advice, I am trying some different things. I will have to wrap my mind around what I am trying to do. Well that doesn't make much sense, does it. I tend to rush things a bit. So one thing I have to do is slow down and think. I sometimes get in the 'I gotta get this done and move on' kind of thing. I should be trying to produce better pieces, not alot of so-so pieces. I need to try and plan things a bit better. But more on that later. Anyway here is an experimental piece. Maybe I will make a Tarzan bookmark from it or something.
I added some digital color to it too see if I could make it read better. I felt the black and white one was a bit confusing. Yet another thing I need to work on is my uses of black and white to separate the forms.
Anyway, guess you can't win them all.

Some days it ain't all rocketpacks and heroes!



Ha, thought I would post some progress on a side scrolling game based on the Marine Virus comic that Martin Powell wrote and Brent Schoonover is drawing. The game is being produced at the university here, and of course I got trapped into doing the animations for the game characters. The game takes a left turn from the idea in the comic, but anyway here is the little native american girl that will be running around in the game. She is supposed to be in bed reading the virus comic as the game starts. Most of the game characters for this type of game seemed squat and cutesy. So that is the route I went with. Hence the bunny suit PJ's. She isn't cute enough yet for me, so I have to work on that. But at least the powers that be went for the idea. So the never ending battle continues as I go forward with the animations. I will post them here when I get to them. And other character designs.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yet another slap in the face....

BRIAN AZZARELLO: “Fan” might be a strong word but I was definitely aware of him. I read a lot of books when I was younger. If [DC] wanted Doc Savage straight ahead Doc Savage, I probably wouldn’t be involved but the way that we’re doing it, I’m pretty excited about it.

Will readers need prior knowledge of Doc Savage heading into the one-shot or the series?

What. Do you think I want 10 guys reading this?

Ten guys in their seventies.

Those 10 guys in their seventies are going to be the guys who get pissed off. “He obviously doesn’t understand Doc Savage. That’s not my Doc Savage” That’s exactly what I want them to say.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Well I guess I will be one of the ten guys pissed off.....thanks to Azzarello and DC comics for 're-imagining' a timeless character.
But actually I think there are more than 10 guys who should be pissed off....after all I think the new Doc Savage reprints probably sell a few more than 10 copies, or else they wouldn't be reprinting them.

I sure hope this 'new' Doc fails and leaves Azzarello holding his bag!

jackasses......

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This is Entertainment?????....or I am officially out of the demographic!

"Ultimate Avengers will have a Red Skull villain variant cover. This Red Skull will be the illegitimate son of Cap from the ‘40s. You’ll see the “Cap sex scene” in issue #2; Cap’s girlfriend has to give the baby up to SHIELD, and this is the result."

This is a direct quote from Marvel's panel at the Comic convention being held in Chicago by Mark Millar. The architect of the new Ultimate's comic line from Marvel.
When I was a kid, all I could think about each day was when I grew up maybe I could work for Marvel drawing all those great heroes and stories. And maybe if I could draw good enough I could get to draw the great Captain America. It was a dream, and that dream officially ended today. That statement above drove the final nail in the coffin of a dream....thanks Mark Millar. I guess I am too old, to set in my ways to even care about a storyline that has sex and illegitimate children of heroes as the central story points. Hell even as a kid I figured Cap had sex sometimes, he was a man after all, But I sure as hell didn't care to peek in on it. Or really even care who it was with. I figured that was his business. Hell they are just characters anyway so why do I even care. After all dropping comics like this from purchase only saves me money....thanks again Marvel. You have cured a comics junkie, or Marvel zombie or whatever you want to call me. I have been gradually breaking the comic habit for years. Especially since companies are reprinting so much classic material I never really had access to before. Complete collections of Raymond's Flash Gordon, Complete Caniff Terry and the Pirates, and the upcoming Rip Kirby books. Of course I am more interested in the art of these creators, the storytelling, the framing, and all the aspects of storytelling.
I don't even recognize most comic book heroes anymore. The hero with 'feet of clay' thing has pretty much gone too far for me. It is becoming harder to tell the heroes from the bad guys. I realize that is the point of some of the stories, but for me that just doesn't really entertain me time after time after time. I kind of like my heroes to have less faults than I do, that is what makes them heroes along with the fact they do the right thing.
Forgive me for the rant, but it is a important thing to me. And hopefully my heroes are more hero than they are normal people. I know alot of normal people and I don't really want to read their adventures anymore than I want to read some of the comics I have seen in the last few years.

Tarzan Inks...

Well it has been a hell of a week for sure. I am still picking up branches, limbs, and all sorts of parts of trees. But at least it was a productive Friday evening after getting home. Here are the inks to the Tarzan piece I posted a few days ago. I actually inked the Tarzan figure Thursday night mostly, and finished it off today. I felt I needed to get this one out of my system first. I hope you enjoy it. This is entirely inked with a brush and is on 11x17 bristol.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More storm...but the yard rabbits survived!




More pics from around the house after the sudden storm. Also before I spent six hours moving branches, most of these are moved, cleaned up or whatever you want to call it.

Storm!





With the sound of a crabapple tree traveling all the way across the yard and hitting the corner of the house, I awoke! I didn't even know a storm was in the offing. It hit about 4 o'clock this morning. But all is safe at Lightning Legion Secret HQ.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Burroughs Sketchbook project begins...

As posted a bit earlier, I have been invited to be the guest of honor at the Burroughs Dum-Dum next year in Chicago sponsored by the "Muckers", the groups of Burroughs fans in and around Chicago. I have also thought of how to maximize my visit. In other words to help spread the word about my work. So I thought I would make a project and produce some works based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' fantastic range of works. From Tarzan's Africa, to John Carter's Mars, to Carson Napier's Venus, and all points inbetween and beyond. I don't know how many I will be able to create before I go, but I thought I would stretch my creative legs a bit. Especially since I think in my whole life I have only done one or two Mars drawings. I was always a bigger fan of the Tarzan adventures.
Also to make these works affordable I thought I would put them together in a Burroughs sketchbook type of thing. Mostly it will all be in black and white, since I am more interested in that form recently. I might compile it with all my other Burroughs works from the other books I have illustrated. But mainly I wanted to produce new works.
So it begins....here is a pencilled piece I had an idea for the other day and had a bit of free time to pencil it out a bit. I will be inking it sometime soon so I will post that version soon. Kind of a progress thing to post here too.
Of course don't worry Loyal Legionnaires, I will not take anything away from the strip to do this, it is of course above and beyond the ending of Chapter 4 and the stand alone comic adventure. So no worries Legionnaires.