Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

All The News That's Fit To Print...

Well, It's going to be a busy month as I'm penciling the final issue of Blood & Thunder trying to finish it off by the 31st. It's been a great series to work on and I hope to do another for Boom! when it's done.

The exciting news of the day is that I've been interviewed by a local newspaper, the Missoula Independent. It's the first time I've been interviewed for anything so it's a bit of a milestone for me. Hopefully it turns out ok. I think I blathered and rambled on a bit more than I should have. I'll post some more info when I have it.

Another milestone is coming up as well. When issue #2 of Blood & Thunder hits stores I'll be doing my very first signing at Muse Comics and Games. The folks at Muse have been great and very supportive of the book. I don't have any details yet but I'll post them when I do.

That's all for now. I'm off to bed.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Grammy DeWick

Ups and downs, highs and lows. The circle of life goes on I suppose. My Grandmother, Marge DeWick, passed away this weekend. Grammy DeWick (as I will always remember her) played an important and prominent role in my childhood and I will always remember her. She and my late Grandfather helped to make me the person I am today and I will be forever grateful to them.

And Grammy made the best damned Corn Chowder you’ve ever had. It’s funny how the little things like food are so strongly linked to the most powerful memories. Thinking about Grammy’s corn chowder opens up the flood gates for me. There’s a smell that goes with it, a mix of milk, salt, potato and of course corn. I can see the spoon she’d always stirred it with, slightly tarnished, worn and uneven on the tip. I used to love to taste from that spoon. And then I’m in the kitchen in that old New England farmhouse in Maine, with its tall windows, stone sink and hardwood floor. Real hardwood too, not that fake 2mm thick crap that they paste down and call hardwood now. Everything in that house was real, most of it old, a little worn, but very well taken care of, a bit like my grandparents themselves. I spent a lot of time in that house as kid. It had an unmistakable calm and serenity, the like of which I’m never experienced any place else. The time I spent with Grammy and Grampy DeWick was magical. I miss them both. I suppose I could ramble on a bit more but I don’t know what else to say right now. I hope that’s enough.

If you can make it to Bath, Maine (sadly I cannot, though I’ll be there in spirit) there will be visiting hours on Thursday night, December 7th at the David E. Desmond Funeral Home, 638 High Street, Bath, Maine and a funeral the following day, Friday, December 8th. Sadly, I don't know the times of the services buf you follow the link there's a phone number on the funeral home's website.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Blood & Thunder Update

At long last!
Blood and Thunder #1 is officially in stores and on sale from Boom! Studios. I've finished the line art for issue 2 and am awaiting the script for issue 3. You can find a preview of 11 pages of issue 1 here on Comic Book Resources. You can also see the pencil line art for those pages in my Deviant art gallery. And the book has been reviewed here, here, and here.

Also, the previous Boom! Warhammer 40,000 series, Damnation Crusade, which I made a very small contribution to has been collected in trade paperback and hardback formats.

It's been a wonderful experience working for Boom! and I hope they keep me on for a while longer. I can't say enough good things about my editor, Joe Abraham, who's also a talented artist and penciller on Boom!'s Hero Squared. I think his experience as an artist had made him far more qualified for the job than many editors I've encountered. Issue 2 was a really rough one to get through. It seemed like every time I turned around something else was going wrong. Poor little Violet had a fever which we had to take her to the ER for, and which kept her restless and upset for nearly a week. On top of that my computer died about half way through the issue, leaving me incapable of delivering any artwork to Boom! until it could be replaced. Luckily the paycheck for issue 1 showed up at the same time and I was able to put in a emergency call to Dell. Somehow I got through it, though I know I went a little crazy before the end. I've now had nearly a week to relax since finishing issue 2, which I think I've badly needed. Nonetheless, I feel myself getting antsy and impatient. I'm very eager to get back to work and I hope the new script shows up soon.
That's all for now.
Take care,

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Beyond the Big Bang

Tuesday, September 4th on the History Channel, 8pm Eastern

"The universe began with a massive expansion, billions and billions of years ago, and it continues to expand with every passing second. The idea that the universe, and man's very existence, began with a "Big Bang" is no longer a topic of debate among most scientists--it is essentially taken as fact. How has man come to this conclusion, and how has our knowledge evolved so that we can recreate the very first seconds of our universe and all that has developed since? Interviews with theworld's leading physicists and historians are woven together with animated recreations and first-person accounts to explain concepts such as the formation of galaxies, the creation of elements and the formation of Earth itself."

My sideshow paintings of Albert Einstein and the human brain appear in one of the segments. Be sure to tune in if you're in the States. It will probably air a few time in case you miss it.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Damnation Crusade #6

My contibution to the issue was very small (a handful of panel revisions and a few fill-in pages), but my work is in there and the book should be in stores soon. I'll post when the issue is released, but in the meantime you can find more info here and here on the Boom! webpage. Also, a trade collection of the entire series is available for pre-order from Amazon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blood & Thunder Day 14

Or thereabouts. I'm not quite sure how accurate that count is at this point, but it's pretty close.
Layouts have officially been approved, and though I've got just a few character details to sort out, I'm free to move ahead into penciling. There's a small crunch as things are a few days behind schedule, but it should all be fine if I can get up to a good pace. The only delays have been due to the time it takes to get everything to all the right people so the material can be cleared to move ahead. Such is the nature of licensed properties. It means things are probably going to continue at a somewhat frantic pace for the entire project, but so be it. There's really no way around that. The gratifying part was that my layouts were approved without any real requests for changes. I've got a pretty clear vision of how I'm going to move ahead and I'm glad that powers that be trust me enough to let me do so.
OK, that's it for now. I'm going to rule out a few more panel borders and then I'm off to bed. More to come...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Blood & Thunder Day 9

The saga continues.
It's just about 8am and I can finally go to bed. Layouts are about three quarters of the way done, and should be finished by the end of the day barring any revision work. I'd like to spend some more time on character designs, but otherwise things should be moving to the pencil stage very soon. Everything I've done so far is very "hush hush" so I've unfortunately no art work to post at present.
Oh, and Workaholic got back to me with two more storyboard sequences. It's going to be a while before I can really relax or rest.
More to come...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Small Reminder... honor of our current regime of crooks and liars:

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

“Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

Try to have a happy 4th of July.
Thanks to G. Michael Dobbs for the the above quote.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Blood & Thunder Day 1

Well, so far so good, though there's not much to report yet. I'm into layouts and character design and having a lot of fun with the material. After Checking with Boom! the word from on high is that I should reveal as little as possible before anything is actually in print. Perfectly understandable of course, but it means I'll have a bit less to put up here than I'd planned. For the mean time I'll be throwing out the occasional warm up-type sketch as seen above. The sketch today isn't anything that's actually going to end up in the comic, just a quick Ork study so I can get a better grasp of the nasty buggers.
More to come...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

And so, it begins...

I’m starting today on a project for Boom! Studios which is going to consume my time and attention for the next four or five months. I’ve signed up to do short monthly series written by Dan Abnett and Ian Edgington, Warhammer 40,000: Blood & Thunder, a story of Orks in the Warhammer 40k universe. I’m planning to use the old blog here to document the process and experience. This means that, hopefully, I’ll be posting a bit more regularly if I have the time. It also means this little blog may finally live up to its name as Orks are very disorderly. I won’t be showing too much of the work here, as it’s intended for publication, but I would like to show some experts and a bit of sketch work as I go. Blood & Thunder #1 should be available for sale sometime in August.

Also, be sure to pick up Warhammer 40,000: Damnation Crusade #6 as I made a small contibution as a last minute fill-in artist.

In other news, I’ve also been doing some storyboard work for a series pitch Workaholic Productions is making to the Discovery Channel. It’s a bit of trying to look at the facts behind oddball science fiction concepts and tabloid newspaper articles (think Weekly World News and such). The story boards so far have been lots of flying saucers and little green men, fun stuff. I’ll try to post some of that here if I’m allowed.

Ok, I need to make some more coffee and start breaking down this first script into layouts. More to come…

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Various and Sundry, some random notes in the wee hours of the morning

Eddie Ching Lives
Honestly, I have no idea what that means, if anything, or who Eddie Ching is. However, EddieChingLives is the online nickname a very talented and funny cartoonist named Ryan Santangelo who’s putting out a humorous slice of life mini-comic with his wife, Renee.

The Stupidity Continues… No.1 is an amusing and honest look at the life of a struggling cartoonist and his wife and son. Check out the preview he’s provided here, and if you like what you see drop him an email ( and send him 3 bucks and he’ll send you a copy of the book and an original sketch. If you ask nicely he might even throw in a dvd of videos showing how he makes his comics.
Keeping Busy
It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about work, but I’ve managed to keep pretty busy since Violet was born. Shortly before we went into hospital now ten months back, I had started working with a young writer (well, younger than my aging ass at least), Adnan Virk, on an excerpt from a comic book he had written called My Second Life. Obviously I had to put the project aside for several weeks as Samantha and I adjusted to our new status as parents. Eventually I was able to return to work, though I’ll admit the going was rough at first and I definitely learned a lot about the new limitations on my time and energies. Thankfully, Adnan had to patience to let me work through the period of adjustment and I was able to complete the work in a somewhat timely, though very terribly distracted fashion. You can see the results of my efforts here. At present the pages have been lettered and coloured, and Adnan is seeking a publisher interested in the book. I wish him all the best, and if he finds one I’d gladly return to the project if possible.
Einstein’s Brain

Late February of this year I did another project for Workaholic Productions who produced the Sharpshooters documentary that I worked on last year. This time the subject was the Big Bang Theory. A segment of the show was based around the idea of Einstein’s World, a mix of a carnival side show and theme park that focused on Einstein’s theories and scientific breakthroughs. I was contracted to do up two paintings to be used as props onscreen. This was a bit daunting, as I hadn’t painted on canvas in over ten years and I’d have to create two large (I think they were about 3’x4’ or so), camera ready paintings in a very short time. Still, I took the challenge as it sounded like fun, and I had a blast. This was easily some of the most rewarding work I’ve done in awhile, and reminded me how much I enjoy painting on canvas. If I had it to do all over again the only thing I’d change would be to work in oil instead of acrylic. I’d never worked with acrylic and it was a bit frustrating as the paint is so thin and dries so quickly. While I know there are ways to do so, in the short time I had I couldn’t really figure out how to mix and blend the colours on the canvas and build them up in the manner I was used to. Instead I went for a layered colour approach, which is a bit crude but actually fit with the intended look very well. And despite the minor frustrations, I’m very pleased with the results. I don’t have much information on the show besides the fact that it should air on the History Channel sometime in September or August, but I’ll post an update when I have it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Violet Eve Meets Scott McCloud

Here's a picture of Violet from the McCloud tour stop at Muse this Saturday.

More photos of the event, courtesy of thewylddream, can be found here.

Monday, May 21, 2007


…this Saturday at Muse Comics & Games in Missoula, MT.

Scott McCloud and clan made their singular Montana appearance for the “Making Comics Fifty State Tour”, and little Violet and I went down to see the show. It was a rewarding day on so many levels.

First, Scott and his family wonderful to meet in person. I, of course, have been a fan of Scott’s work since “Understanding Comics” was a relatively new book. I was in college at the time, writing an undergraduate thesis on comics and how they work. At the time there was very little written about the medium and its storytelling mechanics and language. If not for “Understanding Comics” and Will Eisner’s two books (“Comics & Sequential Art” and “Graphic Storytelling”) I would have had to make most of it up myself. Since then it seems there’s been an explosion of serious academic writing about comics, and serious study devoted to the medium. Most of the small crowd at Muse were University of Montana students writing about, or in, comics in one form or another. There was also Linette Ivanovich, a Missoula Public Library Young Adult Librarian who had helped organize getting Neil Gaiman to come to Montana for a talk the month before. And it looks to me like there’s a rise in programs like the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT, all allowing the serious student and artist to really tackle comics academically in a way that was impossible when I was in school now ten years back. I find this both encouraging and exciting, and I think Scott played a big part in getting the ball rolling.

Scott and his little family troupe were very friendly and approachable. The turnout was rather small, perhaps a disappointment, but that just made the event more intimate and friendly. Where else could you spend the better part of two hours talking about comics, fatherhood, and the differences between east and west coast life, or listen, while making a bottle for your baby daughter, to other interested comics academics have similarly diverse conversations with a man who’s changed the face of the comics medium?

Bringing Violet was wonderful as well. Her friendly smile and bright blue/grey eyes just draw people to her, and provide daddy with instant conversation material. (I am, as anyone who knows me can verify, a bit quiet and somewhat conversationally challenged. Having Violet in my arms completely changes that.) The McClouds and the gathered assembly all loved her, and she had several pictures taken. It was very amusing to watch Scott and his wife, Ivy, waving their Doctor Pepper bottles around in front of her as she followed them with her eyes (Violet currently has an obsession with the colour red, and will go out of her way to get her hands on any red thing she sees).

It was also a rewarding day because it was really the first time Violet and I have done anything just the two of us out and about in the world. Little miss was a perfect angel the whole time. She expressed a small bit of fuss when hungry (quickly solved by a bottle) and grew a bit restless as the day wore on. That was easily solved by a quick roll around the parking lot in the stroller.

Many thanks to the staff at Muse Comics & Games for putting on the event, and to Scott McCloud and family for taking the time to make the stop.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sledding on Christmas Eve

That's what Samantha and I were doing and we had a blast. Christmas and New Years in Montana were very appropriately cold and white, a welcome change from the brown and balmy California Christmases of recent years. Samantha and I have had a good, though often stressful year. Christmas marked the end of our first year with Violet, from a tiny, yet to be discovered fetus to her current teething, gurgling, often fussy but ultimately charming form.

There she is in all her cuteness and she brightens every day we get to share with her. Really, through all the trials and tribulations, relocating, desperately looking for work while adjusting to a new location, trying to figure out how to work as an artist while learning to care for her, she is the true reward.

This was a little Christmas present I made for Samantha, an attempt to capture a moment from mother and daughter's first night together.

And this was done when Violet was just ten days old on a car ride into town. If you're feeling generous and wish to add to the diaper and formula fund both of these pieces can be purchased as prints.

As I said, it's been a good year, and I'm obviously feeling a bit sentimental this morning. 2007 is also shaping up to be a very good year. I've got some exciting project information to announce and some updates on older projects, but I'll save that for another time.

I'll leave you with a few more shots from our sledding escapades, this time from Christmas Day.

Take care,