Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The return of the dead.....or back from my trip.

At the 40th Andrews High School reunion, with me on the left, Danny Smith (owner of D group design and advertising firm out of Dallas Texas) and Eugene Solomon. Some friendships never change, and I am glad for that. Also I took these photos from a friends facebook page...since I didn't have my camera. So photo credit to Dorothy Coon Blanks.
Me, in profile...and again with Danny Smith, also at the table best friends Cheryl and Don McDonald. Again the great friendships never change. I hadn't seen Don and his wife for probably close to thirty years....and it seemed like we fit back together like a puzzle. Good times. We partied til 5:30 one morning. We just might be a bit old for that!!!! yikes. We knew we were in trouble when we went outside for a smoke and a gin pole truck driver staying at the same hotel exited his room and in good old West Texas fashion grunted 'morning' as he passed us. Don looked at his watch and said it was 5:30....ha. Amazing.
Also not all play. Worked some on the KiGor sequential story for Moonstone. Does the tune 'Running thru the Jungle' come to mind. ha.
Also a sketch for a new Lightning Legionnaire. He wrote me while I was out of touch. So as my mother's guilt always lives with me. He will receive this sketch when I mail his package out today.

When I was a kid, my dad would drive the Andrews Tx to Wymore Ne. trip in a day. My youngest son has done it a couple of times. Well my return trip I did it. Whew, it took me sixteen hours. I don't see well at night anymore so after the sun set I had to slow down. Plus I still don't like driving at night since I hit that deer last year. Shell-shocked I guess.
Well after driving all that time and way, I pulled around the house and in my headlights was of the horses. All of them were out and enjoying the grass in the yard. They had pushed thru the corral and gotten out. I think they were out most of the day, but I don't know for sure. Anyway, with my landlords help we got them back in the corral after a couple of hours since they went across the road onto other property and we had to find them in the dark.
So yesterday was a day of rest and recoop. Today I am moving around a bit faster and getting a few things done.
So like a zombie movie, I am recovering from driving over 2000 miles, sleeping in terrible hotels, getting plastered at the reunion, taking the grandkids to the Confederate Air Force museum, sorry I just can't call it the Commemorative Air Force, and visiting with my eldest son and his family.....I am beat.
But I had a fantastic time. Still don't look at it as a vacation. Seemed I was always on the go and no time for much of anything like thinking or writing or drawing.
It was great to see the old town and school....and all my friends from then. They even have my name carved in stone on a war memorial of all who served from the town. Even my older brother showed up. I thought about ' this is where my imagination comes from'. And that gave me alot to think about. Especially on the road back.
If you have never experienced west Texas, it is a strange place. I mean that in a landscape kind of thing. The horizon is as flat as a drawing board and there is an amazing amount of sky overhead. Especially the part of west texas that are on what is know as the Caprock. This is a prehistoric plateau which was a huge coral reef like during the devonian age. As a kid once I found this out it gave the place a magic quality. And being a plateau, altho not very high, I always felt with just a thought away I was on a place like Challenger's Lost World. To me it was a place filled with monsters and demons. The surface rock was pure white, the soil nothing but bright red sand like the sands of Burrough's Mars. Outside the reach of town's lights we lived and at night the millions of stars were a sight to see. It was amazing.
It may take me awhile to process all that again. But it fuels my imagination as no other place on earth. There are rifts as strange as Angor Wat, sands as red as Mars, and a night sky that would set any science fiction writers description of the galaxy to shame.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Final KiGor, and a journey into adventure...

Well Legionnaires, and Jungle pals, here is the last of the KiGor widevision pieces. I was a bit rushed on this one but felt I had to get it done before my journey begins tomorrow. I am headed to the great state of Texas for a visit with my eldest son and his family, and to attend my 40th high school reunion. It will be an adventure for sure. Tinged with the questions of 'will my truck make it', 'who will be around the reunion', and many other questions.
But I am confident that all will be well and fun no matter what. After all they do call it a vacation! Altho today has been filled with laundry, working on KiGor, doing a bit of cleaning, trying to pack, and all the fun things that make you ask yourself - 'this is vacation?'
So I will be out of pocket, as they say, for a bit over a week.
See ya soon, Legionnaires and Jungle pals.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trying to get it in the bag.....

Well Loyal Legionnaires and Jungle fans....another late night at the drawing table. I need to get this piece in the bag....finished this week as I am leaving for a week next monday. A visit to some of the texas side of my kids and grandkids, and a weekend of high school reunion stuff. The 40th so this will be the last big one probably.
Anyway wanted to scan this layout and get it out to you for a peek, before I add the background and finishes to it. This one will seal the finish to the widevision story, then on to the pages for 11 pager.
Hopefully traveling to texas will give me some time to think, and rethink the first issue of Captain Spectre so I can finish up the writing of that soon too. Then I can get started on the pencils and pages.
Thanks again for all who visit here, I do appreciate you stopping by. Tune in for a bit more on this piece later in the week. Thanks...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's been a long day...

Well, Loyal Legionnaires, it was such a long day that my dog was even feeling neglected. That is until I bought him a new rawhide bone at the market. My day started this morning at three thirty....a clap of thunder signaled the oncoming storm. And with my last lightning strike costing me a bit of money and trouble, I didn't want that to happen this time. So I got up and ran around unplugging electronic stuff. And since one of those things is satellite tv, I put in a good stormy weather dvd.....the one and only King Kong. I watched about half and then decided it was time to get to work..... finished the Phantom for the second time, finally late in the day. And also did some prelim work for another KiGor piece. Then I remembered I needed to grayscale this piece for the KiGor story. So just another busy, and productive day at Lightning Legion Secret HQ.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dancing is hard to do....

....but drawing it is even harder.
I know this isn't right, but it is a start. I don't think I have ever drawn two people slow dancing before. It is tough for sure. But with resizing pages and lettering for the second issue of the Phantom today....and six hours of mowing and yardwork, the day has been a tough one. So I settled in for a little bit of sketch time before more page sizing. And officially I guess this could be classified as a sneak peek to the first issue. Captain Spectre out on the town with some lucky lady.....or is she really lucky? We shall see.
I also feel compelled to update here more often with whatever I have, since the strip isn't being updated. I feel guilty about all of that. Just too many irons in the back to work for me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Time is the enemy.....

Sorry for the rant, but isn't that what blogs are for sometimes? It sure seems that way. Anyway, as reported earlier the Phantom Mini series was done being lettered. Well that isn't the case. And that brings me to a larger issue in my life. An issue I am sure all freelancers are used to. But is isn't always freelancers. And again please excuse my rant here.
I just wish sometimes I had the time back from going down the wrong road with projects. Spending time coming up with a design or an image only to find out it isn't what the client had in mind. Goddamn I wish I could get all that wasted time back. It seems so useless to travel down the wrong road all the time, just because the client doesn't have any kind of idea what they want, or my pet peeve, can't visualize something. Most clients have very limited imaginations, that tend to rely on what they have seen...."oh, I want it like that, or this thing, because it is supposed to be cool" kind of mentality. It is so frustrating.
I just wish I could have that lost time back. Wasted time because of ignorant people. This rant isn't directed at anyone specific ....just at all clients in general. I am sure we would all like to have that creative time back. That special time that we spend on art for hire. Also we bid on jobs and then find out they entail many more hours than we have bid on. It is amazing to think that no one wants to pay for a skill like art, or trust the skill of years of producing art.... they would pay a plumber any amount to stop a messed up crapper, but they don't want to pay an artist anything to do what it took many many years to learn. Knowledge is nothing, but shit backing up in your pipes is worth any amount to stop.
I will be glad when I take early retirement and try to just do my own comics as a extra income. It is truly amazing what artists go thru for just the feeling of producing art. Amazing. So don't wish art on is a curse not a savior!!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Progress report....

Well, Loyal promised I will keep you appraised of the work and situations around the Secret Headquarters. Issue 2 of the Phantom Unmasked mini series is lettered and delivered. You will want to pick up both issues, it is a short but quality Phantom story. Written by my good friend Martin Powell, these might be the last Phantom issues from Moonstone (I don't know that for sure but the Phantom goes to the Ross factory next) but what a great ending.
So with that job done I am back on the widevision KiGor story, also written by Martin Powell....Hey what can I say the guy can write the kind of stories I like to be involved with. So as before I got the word the widevision books of Moonstone are greyscaled. So I am going back and shading the pieces I thought were done. Then two more to create and I will post progress and finals on those here too.
Then on to the KiGor ten page story to be published in one of Moonstones' pulp books coming up. If you haven't heard Moonstone is doing a line of pulp influenced books and calling them the 'Originals'. I think it is great, especially since the Spider is one of the books and looks to be a real winner with the team that is in charge. Finally Spider comics, altho Martin and I did a Spider Christmas story a couple of years back.
I am almost finished writing the first draft of the first stand alone Capt. Spectre comic. As voted on here at the blog, it will be a pulp action slobberknocker.
So stay tuned Legionnaires, for updates, concept art, and sneak peeks ..... thanks.... after all it is all for you.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Birthday America....

Happy Birthday America! I hope all my Loyal Legionnaires have a safe and happy fourth of July. To me it brings back memories of summer, baseball games in the local ballpark, fireworks displays after the ballgames, hotdogs and potato salad.
I remember coming back to Nebraska as a kid, we lived in Texas then, and spending the fourth watching a legion (not Lightning Legion) ballgame and then the fireworks display...which was then one of the best in the area. What great memories those are.
I won't go into any kind of politics, because if you know me you know my politics...but bottom line I am a veteran, a patriot, and a old fashioned American that still believes in the American dream.
But this isn't the time for politics, it is a time for celebration of our freedoms, and remembering the people that fought for it and paid the ultimate sacrifice. At least it is to me. I paid a price for freedom, and saw alot of guys that paid the high price. I see their faces everyday and night, I hear their voices as the fireworks go off as I watch from my backyard...I hear the concussion of the mortar and rocket fire inside the beautiful flowering fireworks...I hear the ache of young boys paying a high price for freedom, individual freedom, to live a life they dreamed save the things they believed in...
...and then it is over and we go back to our daily lives enjoying freedom but not thinking of the price that freedom costs. It is a high price, for a high ideal...enjoy it because there are people that will fight for it no matter what the price. I am one of those people. I did it, and I would do it again.
Not for the politics, but for the American may not be the same dream as others, but the dream I have for America. The spirit of America.