Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Margeaux McClelland

Artwork © Margeaux McClelland

Tuff-Girl ® and © Bryan Mon

Margeaux McClelland has a bubbly comic art style with obvious anime and manga influences (think "Lupin III"). Add too that her watercolors and her pieces often become an amalgam of saucer-eyed manga and comfy, spectral storybook qualities.

Margeaux is a young artist not too long graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design. She has collaborated with two other artists on a web comic and has on her resume work done for Carter's and

I met Margeaux when she interned with Cartoon Network for a summer. She created the pin-up above for the first issue of "Unstoppable Tuff-Girl."

Check out the web comic, "Burning Heart:"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stephanie Gladden

Tuff-Girl and Tuff-Mutt vs Rip Tyler
Artwork © Stephanie Gladden

Characters © Bryan Mon

Stephanie draws funny characters like Walt Kelly (Pogo) and draws cute like Fred Moore (Mickey Mouse), fresh, lively and always appealing. If that wasn't enough, she draws great dinosaurs - everything needs to have her dinosaurs in them.

Stephanie has been drawing professionally since 1991, where she got her start working in animation, including Disney’s “Pepper Ann.” Stephanie started drawing comics in ’93 and has drawn many licensed books over the years, such as “The Simpsons,” “Ren & Stimpy,” “Looney Tunes,” and “Tom & Jerry.” For nearly ten years, she worked as a character artist for Cartoon Network, creating art for “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” “Duck Dodgers,” and “The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.” In 1998, Bongo Comics published her own original comics creation, “Hopster’s Tracks.”

I met Stephanie working for Cartoon Network, Atlanta, where I estimate she drew 98% of all Powerpuff Girl (PPG) art ever to be used for marketing, advertising and licensing and a few PPG comic book adventures to boot; enough that I’d have to check myself and remember that some guy by the name of Craig and not Stephanie had created the super powered trio.

To see more of Stephanie’s work, visit her web site:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ruben Procopio

Tuff-Girl and Tuff-Mutt
Artwork © Ruben Procopio

Tuff-Girl ® and © Copyright Bryan Mon

Tuff-Girl and Tuff-Mutt
Artwork © Ruben Procopio

Tuff-Girl ® and © Copyright Bryan Mon

Ruben Procopio skills as an artist are expansive covering both 2-dimensional design and 3-dimensional sculpture. His concept and comic art has a romantic noir feeling that reminds me of classic action thriller comic strips of the 1940's and '50s. His character sculptures are lively and fresh and are doubly astounding given his prolific output.

Ruben has contributed his creative talents to over 16 Walt Disney Feature films, including "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," and "The Lion King." His father, Adolfo Procopio, was a long time artist with Walt Disney Imagineering having worked on attractions for nearly all the Disney theme parks.

I met Ruben through mutual friend Ed Murrieta when we were all working for Disney in some way or another. When I asked Ruben for an action pinup for the first issue of "Unstoppable Tuff-Girl" he obliged with not one but the two smash-up pieces (above).

For more about Ruben, check out his studio web site, Masked Avengers Studios or visit his web log for the latest from the creative dynamo. There's also an entry on Wikipedia.

Masked Avengers Studios

Web Log:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Water Gal!

Digital color over scan of black pencil.

I made this drawing to commemorate a milestone of Juan Ortiz's. She's based on the design of his own Sea-Bolt character whose stories can be found in his independently published "Silver Comics".

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Comic Talk

Charlotte, NC
June 4-6, 2010

Aside from being creeped out by the bizarre expression of Elongated Man on a Justice League tee-shirt hung on the wall of shirts across from the Monster Enterprises booth, the only thing I forgot to mention was the podcast interview of Merrill and myself by

I tripped up on the blog i.d. It appears that spelling it out is a bit harder for me than writing it out, kind of like "Mississippi" before learning it as a mnemonic. Otherwise, Merrill's by then well rehearsed 1-minute breakdown of what is Tuff-Girl pretty well covers things.

The bonus part is that this picture from the site is the only one I have of Merrill and I at the booth. In the back you can just make out the variant covers of the "G.I. Joe Origins" comic featuring a story Merrill wrote.

Podcast interview:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Girls for Sale

HeoresCon, June 4-6, 2010
Charlotte, NC

The general consensus around the hall was that business wasn't as good as hoped. Possibly attendance was lower. Definitely, folks just seemed to have a tighter hold on their monies - out side of the Saturday night auction I'm told.

Having naught but my experience drawing and painting personalized artwork on Disneyland's Main Street, my business of convention sketches surprised me by being fairly brisk.

Convention sketch.

With a 6.75" x 10.5" comic backing board advertising "CONVENTION SKETCHES $15.00 1 CHARACTER" I began Friday morning with a Rex from Cartoon Network's new action show "Generator Rex" in black sharpie on the slick side of another comic board.

"Ben, Big Chill"
Convention Sketch.

Second I drew a composition with half a Ben and half a Big Chill, one of Ben's alien hero transformations. Two halves equal one character sketch right? As I would on the remainder, I drew on the dull side of the comic board, except in the cases where I was drawing sketchbooks or other paper provided by the client (yes, some folks do anticipate having sketches done and bring their own paper stock).

"Samurai Jack"
Convention sketch.

In keeping with the Cartoon Network theme and as a marketing ploy I drew Samurai Jack thinking that would start to attract art patrons.

"Tinker Bell"
Convention Sketch.

And with the red and blue pencils and black pens I had brought, I continued to sketch characters in between "Hello"s and "Have a free button"s to attract potential business to the Monster Enterprises booth.

Purchased sketch.

Early on I even gave away two sketches, Wonder Woman and Scarlet Witch, to two young girls whom I'm not even sure recognized who the characters were, but were looking for free stuff. Their father almost stopped them, but I let them keep them. Merrill laughed.

Purchased sketch.

At some point some body stopped at the booth and was admiring the "Supergirl vs. Kid Flash" print we had on display and risked $15 on a commission for a Supergirl sketch.

"Green Lantern"
Convention sketch.

And that got a ball slowly rolling. We sold 21 sketches, with a total of 24 characters; of those 24 characters 20 were girls, that's over 83%.


Saturday we (or I should say "I") were the busiest with the commissions with me drawing for most of the day. Merill had the brilliant idea to spread out some of the drawings I had done within easy view of passersbys. I even had repeat customers in the form of two brother a friend claiming to be patrons of the comic arts.

"Batman, Robin, Catwoman"
based on the cover of Batman #42


Alas it wasn't until Sunday morning after having drawing the three-character "Batman, Robin Catwoman" piece Saturday night, that I had the brilliant idea to take pictures of what I was drawing. I guess that shows you the value I place on a 20 minute sketch.

"Space girl"

So presented here are twelve pieces I had the presence on mind of which to take pictures starting Sunday morning. Pieces sold but of which I have no pictures are these:
4 - individual Supergirls
2 - individual Batgirls
Catwoman in some body's sketch book
Starfire in sketchbook
Mary Marvel
Supergirl vs. Kid Flash
Neil Gaimen's Death
Tinker Bell
Wonder Woman
Paul Chadwick's Concrete

... and as I said earlier, 1 - Wonder Woman and 1 - Scarlet Witch I gave away.


Sadly, even though Samurai Jack caught many an eye, my first three, Rex, Ben and Jack, were set out on the table unsold for three days.

"Jungle Girl"

Heroes Are Hard To Find

Heroes Convention, June 4-6, 2010
Charlotte, NC

Thursday, June 3 is set up day.
It was humid that day in Charlotte. It was humid that day in the convention hall. And if I failed to mention, it was humid that day in the Charlotte Convention Center as we were setting up.

At the last minute, I called my friend Garret Webb (seen here above) to help me with the set up duties when I learned that my planned help, well, wouldn't be there to help. The booth is a standard 10' x 10' footprint with 2 eight-foot tables with skirts and 2 folding chairs supplied by the convention center.

The front table where writer Merrill Hagan and myself sat to greet the attending masses was pretty well covered with book racks, prints, comics, sketches and free buttons (not pictured).

What I see in the photo above represents a lot of things I didn't have (nor had the notion of having) before last 6 month's effort to have the first copy of "Unstoppable Tuff-Girl" printed and a booth at HeroesCon: An original independent comic book (duh); 2 book racks; 1 DVD spinner rack for more books and cards, 1 vinyl banner; printed black "Tuff-Girl" hoodies; 2 hooks for hanging things like tee-shirts on hangers from the back scaffolding; 1 toilet paper roll floor stand for use as a make shift table top arm to hang things like tee-shirts on hangers, 10 boxes of various sizes to store and transport books and stuff; 2500 pin back buttons for promotions; 1 glass jar to hold the free promotional buttons; 4 business card holders, 100 laser-print posters, 18 sets of 12 ink-jet prints; a set of bed sheets and a table cloth to cover things between show days; a table top spinner intended to display a sculpture of Tuff-Girl; and about a half dozen other miscellaneous things.

Knowing what a struggle for attention it is for small independent start up publishers in a field dominated by Superman, Spider-Man and the like, I'd say the Monster Enterprises booth and Tuff-Girl received a bit less than moderate reception over the weekend. However, folks who stopped at the booth generally seemed pleased with our offering, most welcoming a free button.

We exchanged books with Tom Bancroft ("Mulan", "The Lion King", "Opposite Forces" comic), who was complimentary about our book. We also traded a few stories about our respective days with Disney.

Merrill passed a copy of UTG #1 to comic writer Mark Waid ("Kingdom Come") who said that he spotted our booth and was interested in what he saw.

Michael Neno, a contributor to Juan Oritz's "Silver Comics", was pleasantly surprise to see copies of Silver Comics" at our booth, although we only had up to issue #7.

Here are are 3 thing I learned:

1) There's no air-conditioning during loading and breakdown because the loading gates are open to the outside.

2) Kid's safety scissors can cut flesh.

3) The maid will not clean up your room if you leave a "do not disturb" sign hanging on your hotel room door knob.