Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hitting the jungle path running.....

During my stint on the 'Mucker' cover Joe at Moonstone contacted Martin Powell, writer of KiGor, and wanted us to turn out a Moonstone 'widevision' compact pulp story. This now will be the public's first contact with KiGor and his world that Martin and I plan to bring to Moonstone. Martin has written a whiz-bang story, and I plan to do about ten illos to go in the prose story. If you haven't seen one of these books, they are pretty cool. A cross between a pulp mag and a comic. Prose on each page and an illo spanning the whole open book on every other or every third page. So any way, I started on the rough layouts and designs inbetween all the other stuff going on. So stay tuned Loyal Legionnaires for more on "The War of the Beast-Men" starring KiGor and Helene. Coming to a comic shop soon....well as soon as I get it done.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Behind the scenes....

Well this animation will never see the light of day other than here on my blog. It's what happens when I envision something one way and others have their way with it. I took my inspiration from the Kraft Suspense theater opening from years ago. This was going to be a show about a FBI profiler and the science of catching or profiling killers. Anyway, people were 'offended' by some of the graphics and subject matter. Even tho the show is going to carry a mature rating.
The funny part is at the station they are always talking about getting a new younger audience... well that ain't gonna happen until we quit showing reruns of Lawerence Welk. ha.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Another great one journeys on....

Just a few quick thoughts before the work day begins....I am sure the news is all over the internet, and I probably won't add anything to all the thoughts out there. But I just wanted to pay my respects.
With the passing of Fess Parker the other day, I was again reminded of what great actors we had to view growing up. Not like the actors today that seem to be all cast from the same mold. No actors seem to stand out, not the way they used to with trademark styles and voices.
Robert Culp was one of the greats. I always enjoyed anything he was in. He had style. I think I first noticed him in shows like the Rifleman. He played parts on alot of tv shows from that time. He then played a texas ranger in Hoby Gilman, which was a show I really liked as a kid. Then he caught the spy bug and was in "I Spy". I always thought he might play a good Nick Fury Agent of Shield. Think about it a bit.
Anyway I even liked the comedy of the Greatest American Hero where he played a dog biscuit eating FBI agent. But to me he will always be best known as 'trent' in the Outer Limits episode 'Demon with a Glass Hand'. That episode really opened my eyes to alot of things.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine was at the San Diego con and saw Robert Culp there, and got me an autographed pic of Robert Culp as Trent. That pic means alot to me even more now.
Thanks Robert for your acting and the many parts you was a real joy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Progress report....the Mucker

Well it almost 4:30 Sunday afternoon. I am about 22 hours into the paint of this. I think it is time for a little break. Plus I need to cook some food, do a bit more laundry and get ready for another exciting monday at the day job.....yuck.
I smoothed up some areas, still needs some work, and actually have some paint in all the areas where paint goes. Hopefully it is coming along. I sure wish I was a better painter. I still prefer colored line art like a comic. Just something about it full fills all I like about images. I never was much of a painter. But for what it is worth I think the gun belt is ok. ha.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Long day at the office.....

Well it was a long day at the 'office'. I started finishing the inks this morning about seven. It is now after 8 at night and I am starting to see cross-eyed. ha. I finished the inks and started on the painting. As you can see the painting has a very long way to go. It is a very slow process for sure. But, I think I have an ok start on things. I wanted an inked version of the piece before moving on to the painted version. I think I am also going to actually ink the pencilled piece sometime before the con. But there is time for that later on. I do need something physical to sell. Anyway I have found out I am as horrible of a painter as I always was. But thought I would let everyone in on the progress I made today. The inks were about a third of the way done as I started this morning.
So now I think I will find some supper, and a good video to watch.
Maybe I will put in the Davy Crockett Disney series, since we lost Fess Parker the other day. It was sad news to me. I never missed a showing of that series on the Disney show. Ha, the wonderful world of color on a black and white TV.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mucking around....

Well here are the rough pencils for the Mucker cover. Not very exciting is it?
I had a problem with making an exciting cover for this book. I have read the list of contributor illustrations and if all the artists contribute then the excitement is all in the book. So I thought I would go with a tone or mood piece for the cover. Also I was requested to have Billy, Babs, and the pony Brazos on the cover. Well they only appear for a split second together in the book. So actually illustrating a scene from the book was totally out from the beginning. Which poses a problem in itself.
Billy, the Mucker, tries to make good thru out the book for the love he has for Barbara Harding. He fights his inner demons of violence and isolation. Barbara tames those feelings and makes him want to be a better man. A man like she would want. Hence the shirtless Billy ready to fight at the drop of a hat, and Babs beside him gently pushing his hand down.
I sure hope it works on that level. I try, what can I say.
Also the costuming in this piece was difficult. Burroughs, usually descriptive as hell, in this book left out alot of visual information. Babs is mentioned about half way thru the Return of the Mucker as wearing 'riding togs'.....ok then her clothing is never mentioned again. So in Mexico around the turn of the century riding togs I took as a rough shirt, riding breeches, and added the scarf around her neck as some color, and to offset the fact I didn't show the full figure.
Now comes the tough decision: how to finish the piece. Digitally or traditionally.
The pros and cons are with digital there is no original to sell. I thought I would ink the pencils to sell them to offset the fact there wouldn't be a finished painting. Also with my lack of painting the last few years, at least traditionally, there are the screw ups which will happen. I don't really have the time to screw up on this and start over.
So I have to ponder what to do next. Any thoughts, Legionnaires?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

...and so it begins....

As the title says, it begins. And sometimes you just have to clear your stuff out - of your studio and in turn clears out the mind. As I begin the actual production on the Mucker cover painting today, I determined it was time to clear out the studio a little bit. Mainly so I would have room to work. So as a first item of business I thought I might take some shots of the 'studio' area in it's maddening state.
Most of the work goes on here at the drawing board. It is kind of an over all mess all the time. Ten minutes after I clean it and get to work it mostly looks like this at any given time.This is the view from the drawing board, that is'Tarzan finds a Mate' on the tube. I grew up as a TV kid, and it hasn't ever stopped. I don't listen to music, I listen to dialog, stories, and when I look up from the board I like having something visual to focus on. Most of the time you can catch a dvd of an old movie, or serial if Turner Classic Movies has nothing good on.
I have a bookshelf on one side containing all the Raymond and Caniff stuff I can find and afford.
Also by the computer you can see some of my inspirational toys.
And of course the manager of the studio laying on the floor under the drawing board table, Chopper himself. At the moment probably contemplating a new marketing plan for Captain Spectre, or maybe just what is going to be for lunch.
Also there are always some rare finds, and good memories....the Snowman is the villain of the Christmas Spider story that Martin Powell and I did for Moonstone some years ago. This was the first go around on the concept. He ended up being a disfigured person, but I liked the original costume. Finding it today, I just had to scan and post it. One of the many rare finds in my piles of drawings today.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Yet another Mucker....

Still trying to nail down the image of the Mucker, Billy Byrne. This one a bit more 'fleshed out'. Or maybe more normal in structure. Also Barbara looking a bit more to Billy as her protector. Also I need to work on the design of the cover, but all in good time.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Enter the Mucker...

As many of you Loyal Legionnaires know, I have been invited to be the Artist Guest of Honor at the Burroughs Bibliophiles con this year. It isn't until August but to go along with the honor is the duty of producing a cover for the new edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs - the Mucker.
For those that aren't familiar with the is a pure adventure/romance yarn. Not the usual fantastic genres of Burroughs, like Tarzan or John Carter of Mars.
Anyway in the production of the book cover, which by the way will be also illustrated by many different Burroughs artists inside. I don't know for sure who's illustrations will be in the book until a later date as they are organizing it.
But as a starting place of course I am re-reading the book, which is a combo of both Mucker books. Also I am trying to pin down the look of the two major characters that will be on the cover, also the Brazos pony will be there too - it was requested by the organizer. But first is the Mucker himself - Billy Byrne. A tough guy from Chicago, who frankly is a jack-ass thru most of the story. But he is changed by his meeting with Barbara Harding, a woman from the rich part of town.
So this is the beginning of the process of feeling out the characters, how to visually represent them and their personalities, and then moving to a design.
So in place of updates to the strip for a bit, you Loyal Legionnaires will have to put up with this. After all it is the first time I will be able to take advantage of a real Guest of Honor status. So please bear with me as I want to do a good job on it and be worthy of the invitation.

Also, Legionnaires, please vote on the poll at the right of the page here. I am ready to start on the stand alone comic and have developed several storylines, but I want you to be a part of the selection. So Vote!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Loose ends....

I was doing some stray scanning this morning of drawings done earlier. So thought I would post a couple of Jacqueline "Jack" O'Brien from the Captain Spectre strip. I have had trouble getting the right feel for this character. Probably because I don't draw very pretty women. ha. I always wanted Jack to have kind of a exotic quality without having her be totally helpless. After all she is a damn good pilot, an adventuress, with sort of a shady past. Anyway I think I was getting a bit closer with these drawings. Actually the 'dressed up' version was a warm up drawing I did that just developed into Jack. I know lately the strip hasn't had too many appearances of the other characters, and I kind of miss them. As always I just wish I could do nothing but Captain Spectre strips so I could use all the ideas I have for the characters. Anyway in the place of an update this week, which I will explain in another post this weekend, enjoy Miss O'Brien.