Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Ki-Gor promo art....and other stuff

Well new KiGor art as in I haven't shown them yet to anyone, so as always Jungle pals you are the first - along with the Loyal Legionnaires who I hope are hanging in there.....waiting.
I should be working on new KiGor pages, well I did work on some layouts this weekend.
Ok here is the real any of you who know me know that I have had pain developing in my right hand for years now. Well I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to see if there is some other pain meds they can give me. Nothing over the counter works on it anymore. Thursday night was the worst in years I can remember. It felt like someone had shoved a two foot needle inbetween my fingers and up into my forearm between the bones. And honestly it is still sore to the touch, much less trying to draw or have a brain cell that works without feeling it. I just hope this doctor believes me as years ago I had one look at it and he said there was nothing wrong. Anyway I apologize for not turning out the work fast enough lately, believe me I am the most disappointed in my production rate. But things just can't be helped.
Sorry for whining, just thought you loyal Legionnaires and Jungle pals should know.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chicago Dum Dum of the greatest nights of my life....

What an awesome week it has been for me.....not only did I get invited to be the artist guest of honor at the Chicago Dum Dum, I won one of the two Golden Lion awards awarded this year. I might add it was the first time two Golden Lion awards were presented. I am still in a state of shock! I never dreamed anything like this could happen to me. But, as you can see, there it is. Awesome looking isn't it. I just can't figure out where to hang it, as I don't ever want it to leave my sight. It was one of the greatest moments of my entire life! I will never forget it, ever.
Also I have finally been to enough of these Dum Dum's, which to all who don't know is the council of the ape tribe in the Tarzan novels, that it has become like a family reunion. What a great bunch of people. Also as promised here is the speech I stammered thru.

I want to thank Joan for all the great work she has done on the book, and her taxi service. Thanks to all the Muckers for the event, and the Burroughs Bibliophiles. Also thanks to the members of the Burroughs family, and Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. And thanks to all here.

I do question the sanity of the group that wants me to make a speech. Which reminds me a of a saying from Groucho Marx, and I take liberties with it, ‘ I should be suspect of any group that would have me as a member.’

My reason for thinking of that was mainly the question in my mind of what could I possibly have to speak about to Burroughs collectors, scholars, and even members of the Burroughs family. Since I consider myself a fan - a rookie collector- probably never with as great a collection as some I know of and now seen, like Jerry’s. But, I am just mostly an artist who’s early imagination springs in a large part from the words and works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

So I sat down once again in front of the dreaded blank white page. It is a common problem with artists. We tend to face it often but, rarely with the intent of making a speech.

So I approached the problem like a drawing. With a drawing I try to let all my visual influences and visual memories guide me. But, this time it was for a speech.

My mind raced back to my childhood, and to my discovery of the works of ERB. And what a joy that was. Then I realized that the one thing we all have in common is our discovery of the stories that Edgar Rice Burroughs gave to each of us.

No matter if you prefer the the mist shrouded jungles of Africa, the ancient cities of Mars, the tall trees of Venus, the strangeness of the Earth’s Core, or worlds beyond the farthest stars - we have all discover these tales in our own way - and they have stuck in our imaginations.

This is our common ground, the thing that makes this a personal journey, and it is the thing that makes us a community.

So I thought about the Burroughs events I have attended. It seemed as though each time I saw two Burroughs fans meet, somewhere in the conversation, one or the other always referred to their own discovery of the stories, and characters of ERB. Even though each experience of discovery is slightly different, each one is very personal. Each story seems to have the same elements sort of like a good formula for pulp novel.

But I believe this is what makes us a community with a common ground. And this excitement of discovery is what we carry with us through the years.

For myself, I felt like many of Burroughs’s heroes - split between two worlds.

My parents lived in a small rural town in Nebraska, so small there was no hospital and only one doctor. This resulted in my birth in the closest town with a hospital - Beatrice Nebraska. I later discover that this was also the birthplace of Barney and Victoria Custer, which seemed to give me an even more personal connection to one of ERB’s heroes.

And yes to all the Burroughs scholars out there it is pronounced Be-at-ris to the citizens.

My father’s job carried us to another location in Nebraska before moving us to the wilds of west Texas. With each move we also found ourselves farther from the nearest town - while we continued to live in company houses at the compressor stations. While rural Nebraska was farmland and wooded areas, West Texas proved to be another world. I had expected cowboys and indians, and landscapes like in the movies. What I found was something more like the surface of Mars. Red sand, a straight line horizon in every direction and the night sky filled with millions of visible stars. Then of course the relentless sun, which seemed even larger.

About this time I discover the Weissmuller Tarzan movies that were shown on one of the two tv stations we could tune in. Going to town to see a movie was a logistical nightmare, as we lived 35 miles from the closest town.

So books became my main source of entertainment. The school library had a few Tarzan books but I wanted more.

Throughout the years we retained our connection to Nebraska. Each year when school was out my brother and I were transported back to Nebraska to my grandparents from the summer. Luckily once each summer we journeyed into Beatrice, where I had found a bookstore. This bookstore became my ultimate goal each year. The owner must of been a Burroughs reader or a fan and kept a full line of the Ace pocket books. Either that or I was the only Burroughs reader to enter his shop each year. I would save what little money I could scrape together with doing summer jobs and saving my money all year long to make that journey once a year. As my parents thought it was a waste of time and money I had to sort of sneak around and pretend I only had a few Burroughs books and I was just reading the same ones over and over.

A few years after our move to texas my father passed on. I was still very young so books and the heroes found in them became even more important. Also with my father’s passing, we were ousted from the life of living in company houses in the middle of nowhere. We moved into town and I now had access to more books and the movies.

The stories of ERB also gave me a wanderlust that has taken me around the world several times. I have landed on the shores of Africa, walked in the Cambodian jungles, set foot on the steppes of Russia, and fought the cold of Arctic winds.

The heroes and worlds of the tales of ERB fired my imagination, took me to lost worlds, and other worlds, and taught me honor and duty…..but most of all made my world liveable.

Thank you…….

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Off to the Chicago

That's right Jungle Pals, and Loyal Legionnaires....I am off to Chi-town tomorrow at the butt crack of dawn, to attend the annual meeting of the apes....better known as the DumDum. This year it is being held by the Muckers....a rebel offshoot of the Burroughs Society. I have the posters of the Mucker cover signed, along with the Tarzan posters that I previously previewed here on the blog. I am sure I will have some of each left on my return, so if you would like one I will post the price and all when I return. I would like the Burroughs folks that invited me the first shot at them, of course.
I am looking forward to the trip and meeting up with all the great people at the Burroughs event. Not looking forward to the speech I have to make though. But I will post it here when I get back next week.
Also I would like to make it over to wizard world chicago con, which is being held this weekend also. But money and time will tell that story when I get to it. Not a big fan of finding my way alone in Chicago traffic, but I guess if I was to go Sunday would be the day. Of course I also have to think about getting back home to all the work that is piling up on the drawing table.
So if you are around Hillside Ill. this weekend, drop by and see what's up in the Burroughs fan world. It is always a fun time.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New KiGor page....

As promised....a peek into all things around here. Here is the second page of the KiGor short. This will serve as the only splash in the strip, since space is very limited in a short story like this even the splash gets two panels. But I do like the short form story telling. I am so tired of those 'big two' giant events that go on and on. I prefer the short formats. At this time mainly since I just don't have time to do long stories. And also the fact that some I have seen and even read some of, just go on with talking head pages and movie dialog in which nothing happens.
Anyway here is the page, finished just moments ago and it is a bit after ten on Sunday. It has been along day for sure. And a hot one ... outside anyway.
Also some of you may know. I am also getting ready to journey to Chicago for the Burroughs Society as a guest of honor....and what an honor it is. I have to prepare a speech, of which I have an idea for. Just have to flesh it out, then trim it down ....cause who the hell wants to hear me drone on about something. ha. But more on that a bit later in the week.
Stay tuned Legionnaires, and Jungle pals....more to come soon.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Time Marches On.....Production continues....

Well Jungle Pals, and of course you Loyal Legionnaires....I am posting a sneak peek at the first page of the KiGor short story for Moonstone...written by the great pulp/wordsmith Martin Powell. And of course art by yours truly. I know production on my end is always so slow, but I think I turned this page around in a goodly amount of time. I wish I could make a living at this so I could really produce pages on a timely basis. But Monday, and going back to the day job, comes tomorrow. And I am sure there are some piled up things to take care of on my desk at work.
Along with work things starting up again. I have to work on my speech for the Burroughs Society dinner. I actually thought I would work on it while driving to Texas, along with details of the first issue of Captain Spectre. Well, it seems the older I get the less I can do two things at one time. When I drive it seems anymore, all I can do is drive. Bad roads and Bad Drivers tend to worry me a bit more than they used too. I had a couple close calls on the trip, probably because of cell phone use on the part of others. Hell, I took books on disc with me, and didn't listen to a one of them. ha. I am getting old it seems.
So my list of things grows.
Speech for Burroughs Society dinner.
Getting files for Tarzan and Mucker prints to the printer. And covering the cost.
Working on KiGor sequential pages.
Finishing touches on all the KiGor widevision pieces.
Finish writing the Captain Spectre first issue.
So stay tuned this is a strange time of year for me. I used to get into a funk this time of year, then someone pointed out to me that it was the 3rd of August in the year 1971 that I found myself at Fort Polk Louisiana at 3:30 in the morning standing in my underwear as a Sargent searched thru my personal item for things like knives, drugs, and things. Then about 5 a.m. I found myself guarding a wooden bridge, that went nowhere I could find. The start of an short stint in the US Army. Funny how it still effects me to this day. It always reminds me of those great lines in the movie 'the Best years of our Lives' when Virginia Mayo tells Dana Andrews, 'well just get over it, the war is over.' I wish it was so very simple.