tentacles and skulls... spoiler alert for people who I owe stuff to.

A little catch up first.  The 25th of last month [June] was my birthday!  I spent it in Traverse City as a guest of the Cherry Capital Con.  I really like that show, it's a small show in comparison with Heroes but the folks that put it on and the volunteers take care of you.  The city itself has lots of neat features as well. Good restaurants, you got a couple of vineyards like Black Star Farms, it's right on the water, there's the casino [which I'm told was very good to a couple of the comic guests], and one of the best mom and pop style used/new book stores I've ever been to- Horizon Books [which Emily and I were very good to].  If you live somewhat near by I suggest you think about planning on attending next year, I know I will be.

Heroes Con went by as well and I had an amazing time in Charlotte.  Again, thank you so very very much to Shelton, Rico, Andy and the rest of the crew for letting me be a part of it!  That's another show that I will be putting on the "Must attend every year from now on" list.

Mad Eye Moody
So I'm sure you all know how friggin slow I am, and I apologize to all the patrons who I still owe drawings to. I did warn you... I'm not saying I'm not a jerk, but I did warn you.  Here are a couple of con sketches I've finished up.  This isn't all the con sketches I have finished, so if yours isn't up here, that doesn't mean I haven't started and or finished it.

Older CPG
Emily and I just got back from celebrating her mother's birthday in a cottage she rented for this past weekend up north.  It was a cute little place right on a river [I don't know which so don't even ask].  It was about an hour away from Tawas MI. I know at least that much.  We arrived on Sat. just after lunch time and returned Sun. evening.  It was a short visit but turned out to be very beneficial. 

We love going to antique stores and there were a couple in town about 15 min. from the cottage.  We were practically rushed out of the first one because they were closing at 5 and we entered at quarter till.  Nothing quite remarkable in that store besides the large selection of antique farm equipment which Emily was drooling over.  The second shop had it's door wide open but the sign said it was also open until 5, at which point it was 5:08.  We inquired within and the gentleman replied "I'm still here so I guess I'm still open" and bid us to take our time.  It was at this store we came across the coolest thing we'd ever seen at a rinky dink little antique store.  And the best part was the price tag said $200.  We decided to sleep on it.  The next day it was the first thing we talked about and we both decided it was a MUST HAVE!  So after going to the beach in East Tawas we drove straight to the shop and made the purchase.  Anyway, here it is...
Pretty cool huh?!  We don't have a name yet but I'll let you know when we do.  This is our first BIG taxidermy purchase and we are loving it!  We just need a really good place to put it.

So here's one more image, a graduation gift.  Hopefully he doesn't follow my blog... :p  More fun with microns.  I had another pic I was going to put up that would have helped with the whole "tentacles and skulls" label but I was told I'd have to wait to post that.  So you'll be able to see a new T-shirt design probably after San Diego.  Which will probably be my next post. heh

Yesterday at the Antiquarian Book Fair

So by chance I remembered that there was an antiquarian book fair taking place yesterday at the Union at U of M.  I dragged my sister to it and proceeded to spend a little past what I was allowing myself to spend.  But can you really blame me [that's rhetorical].  I picked up a couple of books illustrating Napoleonic soldiers along with a couple of illustrated story books.  Of these last two, one jumps out and has indeed made itself my new obsession.  As far as illustrators go.  The book is The Brave Little Tailor and is illustrated by Olga Dugina and Andrej Dugin.  This duo has worked on only 3 other books, The Fine Round Cake, Dragon Feathers, and Madonna's the Adventures of Abdi.  There is also a large selection of illustrations from an Arabian Nights collaboration that I don't believe has come out yet, on their website.  Here are a couple of images from the Brave Little Tailor.

Inside the book it says that it took the duo six and a half years to complete the paintings that make up the book.  It's nice to hear it takes others a great deal of time to complete things as well.  This book has a lot of images that make me Extremely jealous and now I have to track down all the other books they have worked on.  I just wanted to share my find with you and encourage you to find this book and marvel at it like I do. 

June shows

So I finished the charity piece that will be up for auction at Heroes Con in a couple of weeks.  It's based off of a Hendrik Goltzius engraving from 1586 entitled Haratius Cocles, from a series he did of The Roman Heroes. 

my sillied up version

I'm really looking forward to this show.  Last year I had really low expectations due to it was the first time I was doing the show and the fact that I was all alone.  My fears were completely unfounded and I had one of the greatest conventions ever!  So don't let me down Charlotte... ;]  This year I will also be doing the show solo but at least I have an idea of what to expect.  Olympian is still working on the added incentive Kickstarter poster, so I don't know if I will have any of those available at the show or not.  You can at least bid on an original Cursed Pirate Girl piece and help make next years show even better.  I believe I'll even be on a panel this year.  So you should definitely come to that and watch me be real nervous, I bet if you look closely enough you'll see my heart trying to escape the cavity of my chest just like a baby Alien. 

The rest of June will be spent working ferociously trying to make up for going to cons and then toward the end of the month the 25th and 26th Emily and I will be in Traverse City for C3 or Cherry Capital Con.  A couple of things that need to get done that weekend... First a trip to Horizon Books [to spend a bunch of money] and then we will need to find a theater so we can see the extended cut of LOTR Return of the King.  The 25th is also my birthday.  You should come just to say Happy Birthday.  You should also come because they're gonna have a bunch of great guests. Besides Traverse City is frickin gorgeous and tasty, what could you want more for a convention backdrop.  Hope to see you at either of these shows.

Cursed Pirate Girl chapter 4

So I'm really excited to be back working on the next book of CPG, I know I still owe a couple of people some con sketches, I haven't forgotten about you!  I just NEEDED to start the next issue.  So I thank you for your continued patience.  It will be quite a while before you see the next book laid out before you all printed up, soooo I thought it'd be okay to post a page or two along the way.  Mostly to convince you it will eventually happen and I will finish the story.  And no I don't need to convince myself, I know it will be accomplished. 

With that in mind here is the second page in Cursed Pirate Girl vol. 2 issue one -the Bright Star

                             Here are the steps that I take in doing pages. 
     -First I write out the script
     -then I break the script up into what I think will fit on a page
     -then I thumbnail out the script.  This I do almost literally, my thumbnails are 1 by 1 and a half inches and are very rough.  Some key dialog to let me know what I was thinking at that moment and usually just an idea of what panel structure I thought would work at the moment.
     -then I start working up a full size rough.  By full size I mean 6"x9" with a half inch border on the top and three quarters below and five sixteenths on each side.
     -then when I get the parts drawn up to what looks good I transfer the rough images to bristol.  With this page I worked up the main image then scanned it and adjusted the size of Haftu's head and then the whole figure.  I printed that out and worked up the fish on top of the print out.  I take a piece of tracing paper and trace it then transfer that to bristol.  I did it this way because of the minute details involved with the figures.  If there is an image with less complicated details I would have just lightboxed the print out.
     -once it's drawn out on bristol it's just a matter of inking. 
     -the last thing I do is erase any pencil I see and then put in the dialog.  While the entire piece is inked with a brush, I write the dialog in with a crow quill dip pen.

Here are the individual pages involved with making this page.

first rough, full size

print out w/ penciled water and fish added

tracing paper contour drawing, ready to be transferred

That print... part 4

Well here it is!  Here is that piece you've all been waiting for... maybe.  So here is the full thing with a couple of details, I'm guessing it was around 3 months but it could've been a bit more.  Emily tells me I should get a chess clock so I can time myself more exactly. 

The whole story behind it is pretty much this- CPG has put on a pirate festival to be a distraction so that her pirate crew can sneak into a secret royal treasure trove held in the small island city of Cub.  As the royal marines are attacking though she disarms them with the music she is playing with her concertina, it frightens the evil from their minds and hearts.  Transforming them into innocent festival goers. 

It's funny what are my favorite parts are, like the shading under the skeletons boot and the texture of the snails.  This was a very challenging thing for me to take on and I'm glad I did.  So far the only challenges I have set for myself were just to come up with strange characters and strain the limits of my imagination.  While this is a good thing, this was a different kind of challenge and I have already seen an improvement in the pages for vol. 2 of CPG.  I have definitely raised another bar on what I expect my work to look like.  In interviews and conversations I've always said that I do Cursed Pirate Girl for me.  And I am extremely lucky that I can afford to do it that way.  I'm also extremely lucky that there are people out there who appreciate what I create.  So thank you very very much for putting up with the slow progress of my little story and being open to something new/old. 

I have mentioned before that this piece was created as an added incentive for those who were aware of and participated with the funding of the CPG trade on Kickstarter.  And I'm really happy that all of you will be getting a copy of this for free, and I'm really happy that Tom did offer to do it.  No matter how much I have whined in the past, it came out pretty ok and it was a good lesson to have learned.  And I hope it will pay off later when you're all waiting for the next issue of the comic to come out.  ;]

That print... part 3

Here are some shots of the previously mentioned left border figure.  These are from my phone so I know they are kinda fuzzy.  To show you a progression...

This was the first part completed.  So now you can see why I particularly liked this guy.  Some details you will not be able to see on these images include the nautical creatures on his cuffs and trim of his coat and the repeating fish pattern on his leather boots. Well you might be able to make out the latter a little bit.  I had fun doing that, it's the first time I've ever tried doing an Escheresque pattern.  And what Cursed Pirate Girl piece would be complete without a monkey.  Originally I wanted the two monkeys to be mermonkeys like in the comic and have their tales coming from out of the bottom of their ships.  That design just didn't make sense.

I have to say what really inspired this and it's opposing figure was the book Journey of the Imagination - the artwork of James Christensen, I was not familiar with Mr. Christensen until maybe a year ago.  I saw his book in Barnes and Noble and kept wanting to buy it but kept putting it off [I didn't have the $ and then when I did it was a destination too far out of the way... etc].  I'm glad I finally went out there and picked it up, it's really amazing.  Very wonderful and absurd, two qualities I hold in very high regard.  He also includes in many of his pieces floating fish.  Which is definitely something I wish I had come up with.  Anyway, you should gander at his site and search out his book, you won't regret it. Here's a couple of grabs off of the internet-

He reminds me a lot of Alan Aldridge, whom I believe you'll remember me talking about in an earlier post.

Speaking of amazing illustrators and artists of the fantastical, I don't recall if I've mentioned Kinuko Craft, who also has an art book out now Drawings and Paintings.  She is also one of my contemporary favorites.  We've picked up a couple of her illustrated story books, King Midas and Cinderella.  She's just as magical and magnificent as Aldridge, Christensen, Rackham, Dulac, Crane, Nielsen, Tenniel, and Ford.  To name a few... heh.  I hope some of these names are new to you, because then you've got plenty of exploring to do.  Here's a Kinuko Craft though, enjoy-

That print... part 2

So I'm again overdue, my apologies.  I was waiting to obtain scans of the finished product, my scanner is not that big and it's not the best for trying to get detail.  Tom has a good friend in Transmission Atelier who has an amazing scanner and it is from him I will be able to post images that will give you a decent look at what I have been up to.  He is still working on it.  I do have some of the surviving sketches I did in the creation process. So here they are-

The next couple are from the border. The first little one is a small sketch I did in one of my little sketchbooks and it turned out pretty cool so I decided to blow it up and use it as the top border that reaches from the two main figures that make up the sides of the border.  The second image is the figure that makes up the right side of the border.  The Cursed Pirate Girl on a merstag that I have posted earlier makes up the main figure on the bottom of the border.

What I could not find was the original sketch of the figure that makes up the left side of the border.  Which just happens to be one of the coolest things I've come up with thus far.  I really like him.  The figure above represents the "military might" the opposing force on the black waters of the Omertas.  At least after the first story arc of Cursed Pirate Girl.  The other figure represents the "Piratical will" on the Omertas.  The royal soldier above is capped with a giant key, I wanted that to suggest he is more of a wind up toy than he is a free willed character.

Hopefully I can get those scans soon and I will be able to show you some more. 

over due C2E2 blog

I know I said I'd do this yesterday... but, I didn't.  Here is what happened the whole weekend of C2E2.  It's not exceptionally entertaining but here you go.

Emily and I started off at about 8:00 pm Thurs. and did really good time wise.  The traffic was a piece of cake and we had the audio book "Lord of Chaos" from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Saga with us so that helped.  Got to Tom's around 11:20 or so Chicago time.

Headed out to the convention the next day, sorta took a wrong veer and ended up at Target.  Which was okay because we needed some things.  Then magically ended up in just the right parking structure for the show and got to our table hassle free.  The show went really well, artist alley was really packed full of people and it was almost non stop.  Highlight of the show was when a friend brought us home smoked uncut bacon and cookies, including a batch of his peanut butter and bacon cookies.  He actually brought us three parcels of bacon but we're supposed to give the other two to the Petersens and Katie Cook and her husband Ryan.  After the show we had dinner with the Petersens and Mark Smylie of Artesia fame.  The line for the restaurant was too long for our too hungry selves so we decided to try the bar.  It was loud and cramped and busy and we didn't get menus until Julia decided she would bus our table for us and took all the empties up to the bar and gave them to a waitress.  After that it didn't take long to get some notice.  I will say I think there were like two waitresses for the entire area, so I empathized. Getting back to the car was a fiasco, couldn't get to the right floor of the hotel to get to the sky bridge because after 11 you need a room key to get the elevator to work right.  Then I tried putting my self pay parking ticket into the machine at the hotel instead of across the street at where my car was parked.  Okay I know that sounds kinda dumb but, all the machines look alike and all the buildings are connected and no where on the frigging thing does it say "this machine is for hotel parking only" even if it had said "not for cars in lot A" I would've felt less of an idiot.  That wasn't the end of the troubles of trying to get to the car but I don't want to talk about the rest, sooo...

Sat.  was pretty darn the best con day I've had to date.  Got to the convention a little late due to traffic but when I did get there, there was a bit of a line at my table and my con sketch list for the day filled almost immediately.  Which was pretty cool.  Lots of people throughout the day and after picking up books from Tom last night I didn't have to worry at all about running out.  After the show Emily and I had planned to just go back to Tom's and order a pizza and just relax but Tom was over at a friend's birthday party so we met him there and received an awesome home cooked meal. 

Sun. was also really surprising for a Sun. usually I make about a third of what I can on a Fri. but it was about the same as Sat.  I had a nice talk with one of my favorite artists, which made me feel really cool.  Afterward we took a stroll and got some sushi with Gordon and Jennifer of Transylvania TV and Dave and Julia Petersen at a restaurant called Triad, just a few blocks from the convention center.  It was a delicious way to end the show.  We loaded the car up with CPG trades and said farewell to Tom and headed home.

That's about it, hope I didn't bore you too much, heh.  Among the things I had at the show I did have the finished Kickstarter print original there and a couple of the Pook the Tarantula plushies.  I successfully handed over the Kickstarter piece to Tom and he should have been able to get it scanned by now.  I will be able to post some art from it soon.  Here are a couple of the con sketches I managed to remember to take photos of.

The next con I'll be attending is the Comic Geek Speak Supershow in Reading Penn. April 30th and May 1st.  Hope to see you there.

the seagreen man

So it's kinda late for me, but I finally got around to finishing up that print, here you go.  It's 8 and 1/2 inches square, and they will be $10 ea.   See you at the show!

the sea green man

that print that Tom suckered me into doing. part 1

So for those who don't know what I'm talking about when I say "the Kickstarter print", what I mean is a Cursed Pirate Girl print that was made to be an extra bonus for anyone who contributed to the trade of CPG on Kickstarter.com.  This is a print that was not featured as an incentive initially during the run of CPG on Kickstarter.  Tom just thought it would be nice that if we met the goal of 500 backers we should do something extra.  So he commissioned me to do something "really special".  It's been a bunch of months after we first talked about it and... I finished it Mon. around 2:30 am.  I don't have a name yet, but it measures 13 inches tall by 18 and 1/2 inches length wise.  I will not be posting it until later... sorry... heh.  I will post several times on this subject and will show a bit of the process.

I just thought you'd like to know that it is done and when I get back from Chicago this weekend I will be getting back to Cursed Pirate Girl vol. 2 issue 1 "the Bright Star". 

C2E2... dunh dunh duhhhhh...

For those who will be coming out to Chicago this upcoming weekend for the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo [also known as C2E2], I will be in artist alley at table I-3.  I will be there all weekend except for a signing with Archaia for the Legends of the Guard trade [which I still don't know when that will be] and the occasional bathroom break.  This year I will have tons of trades of CPG vol. 1 as well as buttons, prints, a special guest appearance by a small spikey potato, maybe portfolios, and I want to display the Kickstarter print.  We will see how that goes though, no promises.  I am working on a new print that is taken from said Kickstarter print and will be a little bit smaller than the stained prints.  I am planning on coloring it, so it will be a lot different than the other prints available.  Here is the black and white version though...

The original is from the border of the Kickstarter print, and measures 3 1/8 inches from coral crown to the end of his sea weedy mustache and 3 1/4 inches from sea shell to sea shell.  I will post the colored version later tonight after I finish it.

I will also be opening a commission list for con sketches, there will be 4 spots a day and they are just a measly $75.  So come early, if you can. 

Hope to see you there!  

Tink preview

Hey!  I almost forgot!  Thanks to Katie Cook I found out that Darkhorse has a preview for the Tink one shot book I did some work in on their site.  You can see one of the pages I did for it.  It's the last page in the preview, here check it out.  Heeeheeeheee!  I'm extremely thankful for this reeeeallly cool opportunity.  Thank you so much Felicia for wanting me to contribute to your baby and I don't mean in a procreative/Serpentor sort of way [you know cause they spliced a whole bunch of dead guy dna to create Serpentor, and cause I said contribute... errr... anyway]!  Dark Horse is my favorite publisher!

some me stuff and some more lucky images

I don't really have an agenda as far as what to post for right now.  I'm still on the Kickstarter print, and getting closer to the finish.  Emily suggested I post some stuff about me, soooo here's a couple of things.  I'll put some art at the bottom so if you want you could always just skip all this personal stuff, heh heh. 
I grew up in Ypsilanti MI, famous for the phallus shaped water tower just across from Eastern Michigan University.  Oh and home to Eastern Michigan University.  Some things you might not know about myself:

My mom worked at Katherine's Catering, the catering company that is used by Domino's world headquarters and located inside Domino's world headquarters.  That's Domino's Pizza by the way.  She got to meet a lot of famous people and collected some autographs for me.  I still have [somewhere] an autographed Al Kaline baseball, Tom Monahan owned [if not still owns] the Detroit Tigers baseball team.

additional items about Domino's world headquarters, there's a petting zoo, an antique car museum, a Franklin Lloyd Wright museum, and a secret Noid [you remember- avoid the noid] gift shop not open to the public.  At least that's what was there when I was like 11.

My dad worked for and retired from GM.  A job he did not particularly enjoy but had to endure due to having two sons and a wife to provide for.  He has always said that heaven on earth is making a career out of what you love to do.  I've very much taken those words to heart.

My brother is my best friend and always has been.  Growing up I did not socialize well.  He has always been more responsible than I and more technologicallly advanced. 

I started playing the saxophone in the 5th grade and only stopped after highschool.  By my senior year in highschool I was 1st chair [of two people...] tenor saxophone. 

Oh and I forgot my saxophone when Symphonic Band went to NY on band tour... heh ... heh... errr... I've always been a little freaked out by travel.  I've gotten better about forgetting reeeally important stuff.

I might have mentioned this one before, I apologize if I'm being repetitive about any of these.  My left ear was partially torn off by my dog when I was 17 and regardless of what was stitched back it is not a complete ear. 

I left Ypsilanti almost immediately after I graduated YHS in 96 and went out to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  Met some great creative people that I'm glad I can call friends.  I sometimes still have dreams about returning to AIP to take more classes.

I also still have nightmares about showing up for a band concert with a brand new reed and not being able to play.  You know what I'm talking about woodwinds...

So that's some inside info for ya, now here's some artwork.  These pieces are also from "Your Lucky Book".  The elephant piece I was very happy with until I saw it in print.  It was shrunk considerably and you couldn't see all the texture I put into him.  The second piece with the spider and the rabbit had to be split up a little in the book, so for the first time you can see what it was supposed to look like here.

Back from Chicago

This one is a little late compared to the other posts, but that is because I was in Chicago.  Tom [from Olympian Publishing] set up a couple of signings for me at a couple of stores I had never been to before.  Comix Revolution in Evanston and Chicago Comics in one of the cooler spots in Chicago.  Comix Revolution reminds me a lot of Green Brain in Dearborn, they have an amazing selection of books.  I came out with a nice Taschen- Hieronymus Bosch book, hee hee.
I had actually been to Chicago Comics like 11 years ago, approximately, maybe.  I was visiting a friend who had recently moved to Chicago and a group of us went out walking and came across the shop by happenstance. I was just as impressed as I was back then, great store.  I was able to snag the VERY impressive Drawing Down The Moon: The Art of Charles Vess book.  A friend of mine has this and I've already scoured each page with my eyeballs but I really needed my own copy.

I had a great time at both shops and I would like to thank Jim and Joe from Comix Revolution and Caitlin and Harrison from Chicago Comics

It was a quick trip, I left the Ann Arbor train station at 7:48 am on Fri. the signing in Evanston was at 12:00, which I was an hour late for.  Then  I went over to the Century Guild Gallery space where we hung out and had some amazing take out from Chickpea .  I got to see some new Gail Potocki pieces up close.  Then went back to Tom's and fell asleep.  Tom's a bit of a late riser and since he had only slept 2 hours the previous night I had a lot of time to myself in the morning.  So after I figured out how to operate his entertainment system, I put in his copy of Dune and proceeded to do up some more sketch covers.  These were taken with my fairly out of date iPhone so they are a little bit fuzzy hope you don't mind.  I actually watched Dune twice in the time it took me to complete 8 covers [all of which aren't posted].  The last one I did when I was in Chicago signing Kickstarter books. 

 What you can't really see on these are the embossed titles.  For this special sketch cover series they wanted to try a different color with the title stamp, but all the colored inks just didn't show up well enough.  So what they did is use embossing powder on them and it turned out really cool.  The title is in Teal on the sketch cover variant.  They used the same effect for the special editions made up for higher bids on Kickstarter.  There is an orange and a red variant as well.  This last Pook cover was sketched on before they came up with the embossing process, but I know it got a title [sorry Julio ;] ]. 

After Tom got up we had about an hour and a half to head out to Chicago Comics.  The signing went really well, I received a lot of very nice feed back from people unfamiliar with CPG.  There were also a couple of fans I have met before at conventions and I really appreciate that you all came out. Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to come and say hi!  After that it was dinner and pretty much straight to unconsciousness.  I had to catch the train at Union Station at 7:30 am.  Which I managed to do with plenty of time to spare.  It was only at the station that I realized I left my phone charger at Tom's... wanh wah...

I have one more signing scheduled and that is going to be nice and close to home.  Mar. 2nd at Comic City in Canton.  After that I get all geared up for C2E2.  That's right Chicago, you haven't seen the last of me!  MwaAHaaaHaaaahaaaaaa!!  So if you are in that area the 18th through the 20th, of March, you should come to the show.

p.s. if you have been curious as to why I've always posted with a ] or a [ it is because my parentheses buttons do not work on my keyboard.  :[

a couple of things to tide you over

I had another great time at Vault of Midnight in Ann Arbor last Sat.  I'll be working on arranging an art show there, sometime in the fall I think.  I'll let you know more when I figure out the details.  Thanks again to Curtis and Liz for having me.  I can announce two more signings at this point.  I'll be at Comix Revolution in Evanston IL. Feb. 25th [I know it says the 23rd on this here link, however I had to reschedule for Fri the 25th] and I talked to the owner of Comic City today and we have discussed having a signing Wed. March 2nd at the Comic City in Plymouth MI. 

Here are a couple of things I dredged up you might not have seen.  I am still working on the Kickstarter print so I have nothing "new" to post yet.  It will be some time I'm afraid.  I have made a deadline for myself on that project, I wish to have it completed by C2E2.  I cannot say whether or not it will be available at the show, but I may be able to show it to any who stop by my table in artist alley. 

This one is from "Your Lucky Book" by Jim Rose and Bebe Aschard-Rose.  Olympian Publishing has it available on their site.  Jim and Bebe wrote it and I was asked to do all the illustrations.  This is my favorite one.

This one is from my last portfolio "Serious Frivolity..." 

my very favorite book

Before I get into the titular topic I would like to thank a couple of blokes.  Mark Boss, Zack Smith, and Julio Pech.  These three gents have gone a considerable length in getting people interested in Cursed Pirate Girl.  Mr. Boss is solely responsible for this , the Cursed Pirate Girl Yahoo group.  There are tons of images of artwork for CPG, commission pieces, and even windows I had painted for the art store I used to work at.  I highly recommend signing in.

Well, my favorite book is called "the Ship's Cat".  I have mentioned this book before in various interviews but I have never really gushed, until now.  Have a look see-

Without this book I probably wouldn't be the artist I am now.  It is written by Richard Adams and illustrated by Alan Aldridge.  I grew up with this book and I think every one should own a copy.  Every time I see it in a used book store I have to resist buying it again and again.  It wasn't until about 4 years ago I discovered a series of other books he illustrated that I have become equally obsessed with.  
These books are absolutely marvelous!  You NEED these books!!  They all go deep into the fabric of Alan's imagination and it is a great experience.  That's all, you can thank me later.


Book signings

On Wed. I had a great time at Green Brain comics signing copies of the collected vol. one of CPG.  I would really like to thank Dan and Katie for letting me set up at their wonderful store.  It really is one of the friendliest comic shops I've ever been to.  If you're in the area, you have to stop by, they've got a lot of stock.  I was able to pick up Weathercraft by Jim Woodring while I was there.  They also have a great get together of local artists and do a comic jam every wed.
Green Brain's site 
this is me at the last Green Brain- Cursed Pirate Girl issue 3 signing

Tomorrow I will be signing at the coolest shop in Ann Arbor, Vault of Midnight.  Liz and Curtis have a really cool story of how they started their store.  They first sold comics and Spawn figures [that's one of the things I remember most, all those variant paint jobs hanging off twine on their walls] right out of their house.  Now they have a very prominent location on Main st. in Downtown Ann Arbor, the place is gorgeous and chocked full of neat stuff.  One of my favorite purchases I have made in the past is my three part promotional poster for Hellboy: Wake the Devil.  I had that up on my wall whilst I was living with some friends from highschool and the mother of one of my friends asked concernedly to her son, "does Jeremy worship the devil?" heh heh heh, I haven't razzed him about that in a while, I'll be seeing him tomorrow, if I can just remember... heh.  Oh and the answer is no... just in case you are too much of a dullard.   I still don't know how I'm gonna frame that poster triptych.  Anyhoo... Vault of Midnight If you're in Ann Arbor tomorrow around 4:00 pm and you see this store front, come on in and check out my lil comic book whydoncha.

a bit of catching up

So it has been awhile since I really tried to keep up a blog, so there has been a lot some might have missed.  For one I have finished all three issues of Cursed Pirate Girl vol. one.  Now a lot of you already do know that and might have even picked up the collection that is currently in comic shops.  If your local shop does not carry it, I would thank you to ask them to try.  It took a lot of work to accomplish and I'm still only half way there.  If you haven't purchased the trade then you won't know that vol. one is the first half of the story I wrote for the introduction of Cursed Pirate Girl.  There will be a volume two.  Sadly though I have not yet started working on it.  The story is written but that itself is only a very small portion of the whole.

Second, I have had the honor to work on two other comic titles.  The first came from the very talented David Petersen, who I am very lucky to call a good friend. I was asked to contribute a story to an off shoot project of his creation Mouse Guard called Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard.  It was an anthology book that gave comic professionals/fans the chance to immerse themselves in the world of Guardsmice.  My story was entitled The Battle of the Hawk's Mouse and the Fox's Mouse and can be found in issue one of Legends. 

I am very proud of this little ditty even though I colored it myself.  The following is one of my own pages from the story.

This is one of my favorites from the story, it shows the Hawk's mouse Faulknir.  My favorite part though are all the tiny mouse skulls dangling from the branches of the Hawk's nest.  The idea I had for that was since the mice were subservient to their lord the Hawk they would always be looking to show their loyalty to gain honor.  If a mouse family had little honor they could select among them a volunteer to go willingly to their lord and offer himself for supper.  This would bring the family much honor and the trophy of the offered mouse's skull would have a favorable place amongst the others.  The closer to their lord the more honored the sacrifice.  Those skulls that are placed in special shrines were of mice that accomplished great deeds in the name of their master.  I'm sure Faulknir's father has a very honored place among the top shrines.  For more about this story you can read about it on Dave's blog.  He featured each creator with an interview describing their stories and their creative processes.  my interview with David
I was also asked to contribute to a story from the pages of Felicia Day's -The Guild
The story I am in will be coming out in March, it is called The Guild: Tink [one shot].  I am just one of the artist's that have put ink to it and I am very happy I was asked to do so.  The story is written by Felicia and I humbly tried my best to make my part in it interesting to look at.  I'd post a sample if I could but you're just gonna have to wait.  Then again if you're an admirer of my work that shouldn't come as much of a surprise.  Here's a link to it on Dark Horse's site, Tink.

The only thing in my way of starting on vol. two of CPG is this little print I have to do for Olympian Publishing.  By little I really mean, the largest piece of artwork I've attempted thus far in the scope of Cursed Pirate Girl.  A while back Tom of Olympian Publishing had an idea to raise some money for printing the collection of vol. one, and that was to get it accepted on the site Kickstarter.com.  We were accepted and it was a runaway success.  We were able to raise a considerable sum at the end.  Towards the middle of our run on Kickstarter, Tom announces that if we reach the goal of 500 backers he would have me create a special print.  Well we reached 882 backers, and I'm about two months into creating this special print and I'm well over halfway.  Here is the link directly to Cursed Pirate Girl on Kickstarter, successfully funded.  I really like it so far I just hope everyone else feels it was worth the wait.  As soon as I accomplish this task I'm going right into work on the next issue of CPG.  I am reeeeeeeeaaaallly looking forward to it!  The next issue is titled The Bright Star. Hey... isn't that the name on that map she finds in Holly's cabin, you know, the one the skeleton hand gives her...?  Hmmmm... could be... Too bad it will be quite a while before any one finds out. 

Don't worry though, I'll put something up here from time to time.  Here, some more art to keep you wanting more.
This one was for one of my biggest supporters, Tiara Thayer.  It was a birthday present for her last year and I had a lot of fun doing it.  She agreed to let me turn it into a print.  I will have these available at all the conventions I will be attending this year.

instant second post!! or CPG vol. 1 book signings

If you're interested I will be doing a bunch of book signings at different comic shops here in Michigan and in Chicago later this month. 

Feb. 9th- Green Brain Comics
Feb 12th- Vault of Midnight
Feb 26th- Chicago Comics

That's not all, keep checking back, I have to hear back from Olympian on a couple of others I'm trying to plan out.  Thanks!

New Blog!

Helloooooo... well I've got a new blog.  You can all give thanks or sneers to my dear lovely wife Emily.  She seems to think I need to get out there on the ol interwebs, so she created a new spot for me to ramble on about what I'm up to and art and stuff like that.  So, well, I'm not doing much, I've been working on the special print for all the wonderful people who contributed to the trade of CPG vol. 1 via Kickstarter.com.  It's been a long time coming and I'm definitely past the 50% mark, so that's good.  I just want to let you all know it is still in the works and you will eventually get one... I'm having a lot of fun with it, which equates to -I'm making it more difficult with every new little critter and sculpture I come up with to pack into it.  I have Twittered a sneak peek at a part of it, that also appeared on my FB account here- cpg w/ merstag and Turnip.  I won't be posting any more of this until it's more completed, so there.

I will however, post some stuff up you won't have seen before.  These are some con sketches from last year's San Diego Comicon.  

There is a bunch to catch you up with, but I think I'll save some for another time.  I'm gonna try to do this more regularly, wish me luck.