Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oxford Comics Mini Con

In support of local Atlanta comic creators, Oxford Comics will be hosting a mini con.

Oxford Comics
2855 Piedmont Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30305
October 17, 2010
11 am - 7 pm

I'll be there as one of those local artists.

Bring the kids!

Monday, September 27, 2010

TAGS March 10 & 11, 1994

03/10: Light snacking.

03/11: Gastronomics.

March 10: Picking up here from the action of the March 08 strip, the closing crew sits down for a light snack or coffee at Stacy’s restaurant (panel 2, back row l-r: Brenda (mongoose), Checkov (dragon), Corina (Poodle); foreground, l-r: Nick (Skunk), Monster (monster), Barron (stuffed bear)).

The joke telling here is pretty soft. It would have been better, I now think, for the first five orders be one or two word balloons and Corina’s bubble to fill two-thirds of the second panel. Then in panel three, Checkov’s watch check doesn't help the joke, because they shouldn’t really have anywhere to go any time soon - well, except to get some sleep may be.

The basic TAGS character design is about three-heads tall, so the giraffe server would have been a unique looking character - if I had decided to draw her more completely.

This is Corina’s 5th appearance and Checkov’s 8th.

March 11: Typically, the closing shifts are staggered, so for things even as simple as getting together for a late night snack have their stragglers. John (greyhound, 2) and Al (beagle, 2) finally arrive at Stacy’s as mentioned in the Mar. 07 strip.

You know what, if all Checkov ordered was a float then what is it that he’s still finish eating?

Here’s a lost opportunity to really punch up the joke with big, expressive sound effects in the third and possibly fourth panels, and we really should see shock on John and Al’s face in the last panel.

Appearance roll: Brenda (5), Nick (11), Barron (13).

Also, the gang has kindly left Murray and Edie to them selves on their date.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Supergirl vs. Boy Toy

Red pencil on paper.
5.50 inches x 8.50 inches.

Here’s a concept drawing from one of my sketch/note books. I’m posting it just because I felt like sharing it.

Supergirl’s rubbery figure shows how I was still struggling with an animation friendly design.

“Supergirl Saves the World” is a book title idea I had the intention of pitching to DC Comics.

“Boy Toy” is pretty much just the Toy Man from Bruce Timm’s “Superman, The Animated Series” but more clearly here he’s a remote controlled robot. I had the thought, what if some GIRL stole the controls of the robot?

Um. I guess that’s about all that needs to be said about this piece.

SUPERGIRL and TOY MAN ™ and © DC Comics.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TAGS December 26, 1993

Digital composite of India ink line and water color.
B&W version originally posted October 2009.

That Hue You Do
Partly out of necessity, partly out of lack of time (or laziness), but mostly out of simple procrastination, most of the “full page” a.k.a. Sunday editions of TAGS were left as black and white inked line drawings.

Now that they have some thing of a second life here on monotonae, it just doesn't seem right to leave them unfinished.

My original process was to watercolor black and white xerographic copies. Invariably, the 20lb. copier paper wrinkles and warps. This go around, I’ve tone back the black to a 10% gray and ink jetted it on 110lb. card stock. It’s hardly a perfect system, however. For one thing, gray, of course with an ink jet, is an illusion created by little specs of black on white, and appear as such when you scan it at 300 dpi or higher. Second, the printing process, the watercolor painting and the scanning all introduce a bit of warping to the image. It’s nothing that a little Cut & Paste Photoshoppery can’t fix to match the clean line art.

Monday, September 13, 2010

TAGS, March 07 & 08, 1994

03/07: Wait for it…

03/08: You can have pancakes 24 hours a day.

March 07: Some times a closing crew will split up going their different ways and see each other at the next shift. Some times you all want to do... some thing.

Barron (stuffed bear) takes a head count on the group. Brenda (mongoose), check. Corina (poodle), check. Checkov (dragon), check-a-roo. Characters mentioned are John (greyhound, who has appeared only once before) and Al (beagle, who also has appeared only once before and in the same strip as John) who, as is turns out, do not show up in the next strip.

March 08: Stacy’s is one of those family restaurants that remain open late or better still are open 24 hours a day. Naturally there’s a Stacy’s near the Happiland theme park, and a good place for Murray (cheetah, 10th appearance) and Edie (squirrel, 8) to get a sundae.

From the previous strip, the gang has increased by two to include, Barron (11), Brenda (3), Corina (4), Checkov (7), Nick (skunk, 9), and Monster (monster).

I also managed to put in the family station wagon that monster drives.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ed at 50

Ed Murrieta celebrated his 50th birthday yesterday.

Little Eddy and Atlanta Skyline.

When last seen on monotonae, Ed was caricatured on a tee-shirt design (Nov 20, 2008).

Little Eddy Mug Shot.

Creating caricatures of Ed has all but become an annual practice, but this year the caricature is in three-dimensions. On a blank “Bub” figure from Kidrobot’s Munny World line, I worked at the last minute to squeeze his essence with acrylic paints on to the 4-inch tall form.

This may be the last caricature of Ed that I’ll do for a long time, because outside of getting one tattooed on my back, I can’t imagine being able to top this one.

Happy birthday, Ed.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Same Old Things

This is the 201st post on the blog called monotonae.

For the 200th post, a nice round number, I was digging through my files for some thing special, but instead colored up a sketchbook drawing of Eagle One and his Eaglets.

Here’s something special for the first post of the next 100 - if I stretch the definition of the word “special.”

Before there was monotonae, there was a printed newsletter called monotony.

If memory serves, some time in 1993 I decided to quit working in a Disneyland themed restaurant, to get serious about finishing my art studies and embarking a career in the field. Wanting to challenge myself with maintaining and regular newspaper style comic strip (TAGS), I compounded the pressure with the creation of monotony as the monthly outlet for that work, if only for a year. The newsletter format, in turn, was also a major impetus for the addition of the Sunday edition full page format to TAGS.

Production was crude compared to the home office setups that are common today. Most of the layouts and text blocking was done in a program called Pagemaker. With no access to a scanner, all illustration was subsequently added either directly on the master pages (or boards) or as photocopies pasted on the board. Then the boards were copied in the wee hours (to get that after midnight discount) at the local Kinko’s shop.

Initially, copies were sent to about a half dozen friends of my Disney days.

Here are scans of the six pages of the first issue, with the mailing addresses redacted.

And monotony came with two inserts:

1) A subscription order card.

2) A survey form.

This Makes Me Stranger Than You
Even as I was in the middle of doing monotony I had the sense that it was a huge expression of “hey, look at me!” In essence, it was a web-log (a.k.a. blog) without the web. Except for family updates people send out with Christmas greetings, no one else does this sort of thing. Perhaps giving the publication a bit of parody aspect helped to relieve some of that egotistical part.

The core of it, or course, was getting TAGS out there in some form, and after a year, maybe I’d have a good sample package to seek out syndication.

The Runty story is the type of satirical prose I would write in one sitting to fill up a page.

St. Nick and Monster
Here, for the first time published in color is the cover illustration.

water color on heavy cold press paper.

Eh. It’s no Rockwell, that’s for certain. Look at Santa’s huge mitts compared to his face.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

On the Wings of Eagle's

Eagle One and his Eaglets
Digital color over cleaned scan of ball-point pen on paper.
20.32 x 25.40 cm (8.00 inch x 10.00 inch)

From the pages of Wichita, the Tuff Mutt, here is Tuff-Girl adversary, Eagle One and his eaglets.

I imagine that from time to time E1 would have a near harem of hench-femmes, in the manner of Hugh Hefner. But the life of crime means that some times either he or they get caught and imprisoned, so the faces always change.

The drawing was done as concept in black ball-point pen over a red-pencil sketch across several lunch breaks in my sketchbook.