Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to all!!!!

Well Merry Christmas to all out there in Lighting Legion land!  Again what can I say, except sorry for the lack of updates.  I do apologize again for not updating more often, but with my very very slow production rate anymore it just seems like I never get around to the blog. Sometimes I pop things up on Facebook, which is really starting to annoy me, but it seems to spread the work and the word you have to try to take advantage of all the media stuff you can.  I will try to make this the first spot I update in this coming NEW YEAR.    

Just a simple pin up shot of 'jack' Ms. Jacqueline O'Brien for the christmas season, it does have a bow in the picture! ha. 

I am also endeavoring to finish the reformatting of the KiGor story written a couple of years ago. It seems to have been dusted off and might be published by Moonstone sometime in the future. Here are the first four of ten final pieces for the story 'War of the Beast Men' written by Martin Powell.  

Again I want to wish all my Loyal Legionnaires out there a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very happy NEW YEAR!   I hope this year brings you better fortune and luck than the last! We could all use a good bit of that.... I know I can with my health issues and age problems.  I do promise I am working on Captain Spectre, when my health permits, and I do hope to have that first issue done sometime this coming year.....i hope.   Til next time Legionnaires!  thanks. 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Iowa....here i come!

 First off some art to look at.

Page 2 inks for the 'touch and go' story

cover concept for the first Captain Spectre print comic

I know it has been a long time since the last update.  I do apologize for the time going by so fast.  Again it seems the older you get the faster time slides by.   And thank the gods that election is almost over with.  Oh sure the winners will shout it out, and the losers will gripe and yell about how evil the winner is, and all that.  Probably a good bit of voting problems too.... computers not counting right, and all that sort of hanging chad type of stuff.   Man i am just plain sick of it all.  Almost 99 percent of it all is name calling and laughing at the other side.   Again i will never talk politics on this blog, as what i believe is what i believe and it is private..... and just something i am not truly interested in talking about.  Anyway most of the posts on facebook and the like just make me sick, no matter which side people are on.  If people talked or posted like that about other races, or sexual orientation they might be arrested.  I just don't understand it all.  I will shut up about all that now.

Ok on to the comics and Captain Spectre.   I have posted some new art.  I want any feedback you Legionnaires feel like giving.....as these are your books and stories too.  I wanted that cover to reflect the 'mystery man' kind of thing......maybe that is Captain Spectre and maybe not on the cover.  Also it will make a bit more sense when you read the whole story. ha.

Also I need some advice...... i am of course trying to take this series of books back to the good old days, so in that i am bringing back the thought ballon.  I have read articles about what non comic readers don't get when they read new comics.  One of the things is the thought block, you know the yellow block with inner voices in them.  People in these articles didn't know who was talking or thinking.  So the thought ballon will clear that up.... i want these books to be as accessible to everyone as possible, long time comic readers as well as new comic readers.   People also griped about not really knowing who the characters were....they were just showing up without any explanation at all.  So of course with that this is sort of an origin story as to who Chris Manes / Captain Spectre is.

But also i have been thinking about sound effects too..... in the on line strip i haven't used sound effects that most comic readers are used too.  I was going for more of the Alex Raymond/Flash Gordon or Foster's Prince Valiant thing with the on line strips.    So what do you loyal legionnaires think????? Sound effects or not????? So sound off and let me know. ok.

Anyway i do hope you Legionnaires enjoy this little story when i finally get it done.  I am keeping it fairly short and done in one so again it is accessible to all readers.  But even though it is 'done in one' it does set up alot of ideas and more story to come.

I will also be appearing at the ICON in Des Moines Iowa this coming weekend.  So if you are in the area... pop in and chat awhile.


Monday, September 3, 2012

the carnival is coming to town...

Well Loyal Legionnaires, once again i am late with a post. Where does the time go.

Anyway progress is being made on the first Captain Spectre print story. I know, I know you have heard all this before. But honestly the die is cast, the outline is in place, and production has started on the story. As before it is an intro story, short and sweet. Done in one, and all that other stuff.  I hope to get alot done on this story over the next few months. I hope.

Anyway without apologizing anymore for my lack of updates....here are some working pieces from this weekend.  This opening page was kind like the last one i put up, but the story location has changed and it has changed for the better.  Thanks to a Loyal Legionnaire for a brilliant idea about the carnival for the opening scene.  And she knows who she is, so i want to thank her outright for such a great idea that she is letting me steal. ha.   Also with the carnival, i needed some back story, as i really love carnivals or did when i actually went places.  So of course the fortune teller is part of the story, but then i had fun figuring out the freaks in the freak show.  Like JoJoe the monkey boy. And i also needed to know who the bosses were that ran the carnival.  So enjoy and hope you like these sketches and pencils.

thanks loyal legionnaires.....

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Where does all the time go anymore!

Well Loyal Legionnaires, bet you gave up on me.  Well I almost gave up on myself.  I have been working on things, and doing my normal job too.

But since the last post I have just been exhausted.  Blame it on the heat, blame it on the total lack of rain killing crops and yards, but mostly blame it on me.  It seems to happen about this time every year, and I never knew what caused it.  Then one day a friend of mine said, 'hey isn't this the time you went into the service'?  And guess what, my enter day into the US Army was Aug 3rd.  So it seems weeks before that date and a week or so after that date are the toughest times of the year for me.  Like when some people get the holiday blues....I guess I get the 'oh god, i got drafted' blues. heh.

Also I have been trying to increase my writing ability by doing various things.  But never fear Legionnaires, I am actually working on Captain Spectre from time to time.  And you will begin to see the results pretty soon.  I hope.

So in the mean time I am continuing work on the Dark Horse project, Number 13, I have toned the Spider Christmas story that Martin Powell wrote and it appeared in color in a Christmas annual - but now is going to be reprinted in a Spider collection of stories just written by Martin Powell. That will come from Moonstone later this year and I will post more about it so you can pick it up if you like. Also working on a set of illustrations for a prose KiGor story, once again written by Martin Powell and showing up in a series of books called the Return of the Monsters from Moonstone.  And like i said i squeeze Captain Spectre in there too. whew.

So anyway I also did some sketch cards for one of my favorite comic conventions..... and some designs for a nether water creature for the KiGor story that I will let you in on.

So all for now Loyal Legionnaires, and watch the skies because Captain Spectre is coming!!!!!!!


Monday, June 11, 2012

just not having much luck.....

Well it seems I am just not breaking on the good side of Lady Luck lately.  Health, Mental and all other things are closing in on me.  Sorry to whine a bit but, that is about the size of it all.

At least I did finish the inks on this Conan piece. I hope thru all of this stuff it is a good piece.  My production rate is almost at a standstill because of all these things. Sorry.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day already?

Wow, the year is racing by.  Of course various things help it along. Like old age.  I used to think older people were crazy when they said 'it goes faster the older you get'.  Well Legionnaires, believe me, it is so true!  I just can't believe how fast a month flies by, then the year follows right after that.

So everyone have a great Memorial Day weekend. And be safe out there.

Also a couple of pieces for you to hopefully enjoy.

Stay tuned Loyal Legionnaires!

Monday, May 7, 2012

rigor mortis has not set in yet!!!

Wow, I can't believe it has been so long since I posted an update. Again I hate posting just to update unless I have something good to show off.

So I don't have much, I finally finished inking this page from 'number 13' ....and jeez it is only page 2.  But anyway, enjoy it in all its blackline glory before i slop it up with bad coloring.

Also been working on a special piece for someone out there in the Legion.  Won't say much about it yet as i am still playing around with the design some.  But it is a piece that i plan to do my best on.  I think most fans of sword and sorcery will recognize the cliches in the piece.....girl captive, check.....barbarian, check.....a monster or too, check.....a temple setting, check.....anyway it will be fun to finish up.
Here is a rough layout of it....

Also forgive me if I pump the Avengers movie......jeez I felt like a kid again watching that film.  The director/writer hit all the great things about early Marvel comics that I liked about it..... i won't spoil anything here, just go see this movie, get a big bucket of popcorn and maybe a small coke as you don't want to get up to go pee during this movie as there is no dull parts to miss.  Sure there are things i wish had changed....like Cap's suit....man what is with that thing, but i got over it.  But, i actually laughed until i had to wipe my eyes at a couple of funny parts.....and probably only funny to old farts like me that enjoyed the feeling of the early comics.....because these are the characters i grew up with, not the grim brooding grim and gritty characters i don't recognize in the comics anymore. Enjoy the movie, Legionnaires. it is fun!!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And now for something completely different...

Here is the pin up for Martin Powell's Halloween Legion characters.  If you like all ages spooky stuff, go find this book.
Halloween Legion

And that is just the first book in a wonderful series coming from Martin.  Soon there will be a graphic novel, and another prose novel.  This is a pin up that might appear on one of those in the future.

Sorry Legionnaires, not much else is new that I can show, or even have to show.  I tend to hate that as much as you Loyal Legionnaires do. But, it just couldn't be helped this week, with work and health issues. Sorry.

I am working on a couple of commissions and some more layouts for Number 13, as well as some Captain Spectre pages, but nothing is good enough to even show yet.....one day soon I will post them all here..... so stay tuned Legionnaires.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A rough week...in more ways than one.

Time flies by so fast now, it seems. Between all I have on the drawing table and just getting thru the day. Some days are of course tough to make it thru, and some days are pretty good days. And by pretty good I mean productive days.  Mostly this past week has been just roughs and layouts and such.  Above is a warm up of one of everybody's favorite sketch icons, Bob Howard's Conan. 

 And here, again in rough stages are a couple of pages from the first part of the Number 13 project. I need to get kicking on these pages, but of course there is the initial layout process.  But any project I work on with Martin Powell is a joy, both in our understanding of how each other works and of course in the Edgar Rice Burroughs subject matter.

This scene takes place at a railway station in 1913, so I will have to pull out the good old web and reference some clothing and decorations from that time frame.

And here are the finished inks of the KiGor and Helene piece I was working on. Really no place for this piece, just felt with the renewed interest in these projects that I should spend a little time getting to know them again.

And also in a Captain Spectre update, no real art, but a major story problem has been solved. Wish I could expose more of it to you Loyal Legionnaires, but then that would ruin the first arc of three issues I have planned.  But more on that later Legionnaires, so stay tuned!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

my how time flies....

Hey all you Loyal Legionnaires....are you still out there in internet land??? Hope so.

Once again apologizing for the lack of updates. Time just flies the older you get. ha.

I have been a little busy with projects, but it seems to be all over the place so this post is going to wander by the nature of the times.

Well seems that old KiGor wide vision  story I did a couple of years ago for Moonstone is finally going to surface.  If you remember it is a prose story with I think five illustrations I did that spread across the double page spread.  Remember, this is the one.  Written by the great Martin Powell, so look for 'War of the Beast-Men' sometime in the future....I will keep you posted...I promise.

Also been working on another proposed KiGor thing, after all I need a few bucks to pay down some of my medical bills that roll in. Believe me it isn't much of a chance at some money, but then again no publisher pays much at all anymore. It is all back end money and promises mostly. Shame the industry has to resort to this kind of treatment of the talent. Anyway, I feel I draw a bit better than a couple of years ago, so went for a slight redesign of the KiGor character last night while watching 'the Spider Returns' serial. 

I was also dealing with a haunting feeling that the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Deep Ones from HP Lovecrafts tales are closely related. So was playing around with that in my daily warm up sketches...and it is thinking toward another little project for bucks I may have going. 

Also I have been playing around with some color, especially for the Number 13 project for Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse.  I consider myself one of the worst color theorists in the business. Plus I seem to agonize over it way too much when I color something, and it just takes so much time hitting the art one more time after inking it. Sometimes after I ink something, I feel done with it. ha. Anyway here is a un-refined color version of the first page of Number 13. 
Also, since I am thinking ahead to doing more conventions next year and the year after, and also wishing and hoping I can take early retirement....so I figured while I had a pay check coming in I thought I would go ahead and get a business card....then I figured I needed two....one kind of serious one, and one spotlighting the cartooning aspect of everything from cartoony to serious illustration type stuff. So here those are.....

So see even tho I don't make it around to posting, and feel I don't have anything new to show, I guess I really do most of the time.....it may not all be finished stuff, or good stuff.....but it is stuff! ha. 

And of course once again I am slowing down due to my health, can't seem to sit at the board for ultra long periods like I used too.  So some days when the day job is long and tough, the evening just isn't very productive.   

So Loyal Legionnaires hope you are still tuning in........and if you are, Thanks for hanging around and waiting on the old man. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Page 1 inks as promised...

Hey all, well it was a day yesterday, a long day it seemed. And it was early to rise around Lightning Legion HQ this morning, as I churned out the inks for page 1 from the Number 13 story to be adapted by Martin Powell and myself.

I will try to color this thing, but the more I think about it all I may try to find someone to do the 'flats' at least for me. The reason for this is going to be TIME, as always. Also I truly don't do well with color. My color theory, in my eyes, is the worst thing I do....well other than write, pencil, ink, and everything else...ha. Just a thought anyway. As I would like to find a good colorist to work with for most things I am trying to do....anyway more on that at a later date.

I did have a blast inking this, altho it took a bit of time. Has been awhile since I inked much and with my hands and all I have to get used to it all over again it seems. Getting old isn't fun, so don't try it at home - unsupervised...ha.

I have been trying to cut back on buying stuff, since my try for an early retirement is coming up in a couple of years. I will probably starve to death, but at least I will starve happy, working on my own stuff or doing freelance comics. But sometimes you just can't pass something up. These Artist Editions are truly amazing!!!! Especially this one. I missed out on the Rocketeer one as I didn't really know what they were going to look like. I say my friend Scott's copy of the Rocketeer, and kind of wished I had gotten it. But now it is too high.

For those that don't know of these books, you need to see them. They are full color scans of the original art boards and printed in color at full size. Amazing. You might ask about the 'color' of black and white art, but if you think about it they need to be in color. As many artists used blue line pencils, or litho markers or crayons, and white out and tons of other stuff to make the art. With these scans you get to see it all! So if someone spilled grape juice on the art, then it would be purple. ha.

And of course being printed at full size is amazing. You get to see all the detail, the mistakes, the corrections and all. This Wally Wood book is an amazing 15 x 22 inches....holy moley it is huge!!! As older comic art was on bigger boards, and believe me this shows it all.

And of course these are some of the great EC stories that Wally Wood illustrated. Even one of the Ray Bradbury stories is there. Again Amazing stuff....these pages are a true inspiration to any artist, or comic fan for sure. The price is high, but worth every penny.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

the beginning of #13 and stuff

Well here are the long awaited pencils to page 1 of Number 13. Number 13 is the adaption of ERB's Monster Men written by Martin Powell with art scribbles by me, coming in the future from Sequential Pulp imprint of Dark Horse comics.

While doing the pencils, and now while doing the inks this weekend, I can't seem to get that old 'monster mash' song out of my mind. ha.

Also, it has been a very long time since I updated the Legion blog here.  I won't go into details since it is the old standard things and I hate even using an excuse. Really there is no excuse other than the medical and all. My mother used to have a saying, 'just pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get going'. That keeps running thru my mind too. Needless to say sometimes it doesn't work really well remembering that. And since I hate to post if I don't have anything solid to show. Oh sure there are sketches, mostly bad ones lately, and there are writing ideas and all, but again nothing solid. So I will try and post the inks to this page later this weekend. I should finish it up tomorrow, if all goes well, so look for it later tomorrow.

I always think of tons of stuff I should post about, but then when I start posting it all seems to go away. Ha, one of the worst things of getting old.

I am kind of pumped because of the newer footage of the John Carter movie. It does look like a good adventure film.  And if you can believe the leaking reviews, it is trending as an adventure film with heart and a story. I sure hope so as more people need to know of Edgar Rice Burroughs and his works. Most modern readers or first timers will probably think his writing is stilted and old fashioned, and well it might be in places for the modern mind.  But people need to realize where all the stuff they have been watching for decades comes from.

I was always a bigger fan of the Tarzan novels than the Mars. I enjoy them both a lot, just always could really get into the Tarzan and some of the other series more. I don't remember ever playing John Carter as a kid, but I do remember trying to be like Tarzan. ha.

Also, as a bit of news, I started a page on Facebook for Action Science Adventures magazine. This, if you don't know, was the fictional pulp mag that I created when I started Captain Spectre years ago. His adventures, sequential and prose, would have appeared in this magazine.  But lately with the growing new pulp comics and prose items, I have noticed people from time to time will stumble on the term 'action science' for a description of some adventures here and there. So since I came up with the term when Cap started I thought I had better put out some stuff to anchor my claim to it.  The future Captain Spectre stuff will be under this banner or publishing house.
I would hope in the future to achieve to actually put out issues of this, with sequential and prose stories in it. I really like the combo of comics and prose together in one magazine. I have seen a couple of later day pulps that did this and thought it was something I would like to do.  All in the future, but the mind likes to have something to shoot for. ha.

Also the other day I was churning thru old archive discs looking for a couple of files, haven't found them yet but did find some of my discs are losing date.  But in the process found some older stuff. This maybe be a piece not many of you have seen. I did this cover for a game supplement book for a pulp game company a few years ago. Ha a blast doing it.....I sure need to get back on the painting wagon some day soon.....but time is my enemy.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

overdue post

 Here are some of the things I have been slowly working on. These are a couple of additional pages for 'Pre-flight' - the stand alone Captain Spectre adventure I am currently working on. I don't want to give it all away as I want some surprizes left in the book. But I do like getting reactions to the storytelling and art from everyone so I will post as much as I can. Alot of it will be process stuff, from pencils to inks into the color process. I am trying to keep this story short and simple and that is tough to do as I want to pack all kinds of things into it. But I have to try and keep it manageable so I will finally finish one book at a time. ha. I want it to be action packed so keeping the speeches down is tough to get some ideas across. After all it's about the action for Captain Spectre.
Also a character piece for 'Number 13'. Here we have Virginia manning the Maxium machine gun mounted on the foredeck of the yacht, with the chinese cook bringing ammo to her as they strike back at the pirates.

And again apologies to all the loyal Legionnaires for the lack of posts. I have been having a very hard time with my physical and mental states lately. But I will leave all that up to my biographer when they write my pitiful life story.....ha.