Monday, December 07, 2009

Flying Reindeer Paper Craft coming through!

So here he is in all his paper winged reindeer glory...the reindeer you've all been waiting for...Comet. He is NOT up at the CA site yet, but he will be soon-ish and as soon as he is I'll post a little linky here.


Let's get I wanna get Let me hear your digital painting talk...your digital painting talk. Let me's a real stretch so I'ma just stop. This is my first stab at digital painting in a long time...and I'm rustier than I thought I would be. Done a couple of weeks ago for a friend who works in the collectible card game industry. Goblins aren't really my strong suit, but it was an educational piece I suppose.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Illustrations with fun page design!

Not much to say about these other than...from time to time I like to think outside of the box...which means drawing outside of the box...and all over the page. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to collaborate and that presents more challenges...and as we all know from after school specials...challenges can be rewarding. You get a gold star!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A little collaboration?

Why not! Let's face it...I don't post that often and you were all seven of you probably tired of looking at zombie Shane. So why not look at this? This was a fun piece for two reasons. One was that I got to break out of the drawing norm and play around with something a little more...playful. I bought some hotwheels and that leads me to the second reason it was fun. I was able to collaborate with my good friend/co-worker the lovely and very talented Lindsey Turner. She takes awesome photographs whether or not she admits to it and she shot all the hotwheels for me. I like typing "hotwheels." I took all her pictures in to photoshop, cut them out and then placed them on a little drawing of a road and an inspection station. The story is about shelby county merging their inspections with the city of Memphis. The car at the very top left is a Plymouth barracuda. I want the big people version of this car and I want it now. Look at how nicely the photography and illustrations are playing with one another...cough cough...NPDA participants...cough cough. sigh. Maybe next year, NPDA. Maybe next year.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 shane??

I'm taking a stab at zombie artwork for a possible zombie-related project. I decided to suit up, zombie out and take some photos of myself. I haven't nailed down my process yet, but it starts with photos and involves some xerography and then inking with a brush...and then some coloring with le photoshop. Have a look. Tell me what's working and what's not. This piece is still in progress.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Graveyard Girl

I don't normally post images for print BEFORE they print, but this time I'll bend my rule. The N.I.E. (Newspapers in Education) folks at the C.A. are adapting a children's story called "The Graveyard Girl" as a serial starting in September. The book has 11 chapters that will be broken down into two chapters per week with two illustrations each. That means I have to get busy.
I don't want to give anything I won't. I will tell you that the story centers around 3 children who meet at Elmwood Cemetery during the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis during the late 1870's. I've been once this week just to get a few rough sketches of the caretaker's cottage, but I'll be going next week to spend a few days getting more detailed sketches of the interior as well as landscapes and headstone references. I love research! I've found very limited photographs of 1870's clothing, but if anyone has access to images of late 19th century clothing give me a shout!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Jupiter Jonah is my hero

Shobo and Shof are hard at work on some really awesome Jupiter Jonah stuff so I thought (as per Shof's recent request and Shobo's request from a fabillion years ago) I'd dust off the old sketchbook and post some of my Jonah sketches. When I couldn't find them I did this one! I can't quite place my finger on it, but Jonah looks real familiar. Hmmm.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Call Centers = Customer Service Nightmares

So...I don't really feel like writing at the moment so...I'm not going to. Read the title. Look at the image. Pretty self explanatory.

Monday, June 29, 2009

What do you get when you cross Luchadores, the 4th of July, and a Newsbot?

Give up??? THIS GUY! Just in time for Independence Day I'm releasing the very colorful and festive Independence Bot all bespangled and starred. Bestarred and spangled? Starred and Spangled? The templates will be up for a short time sometime this week and this little gem assembled and signed by yours truly will be available for the winning in some sort of contest super soon as well. I'll post a link to it when it's all set and stuff. I know I'm riding on the coattails of previous newsbots by simply redecorating them, but gosh-darnit if it isn't fun to do! I have quite a few more newsbots planned for the rest of the year. Maybe a back-2-school bot (thanks, Ashley) and some sweet-sweet newsbots in Halloween costumes just in time for...Halloween. I think I'm even feeling a festive, Holiday Newsbot or two and maybe...just maybe I'll go out with a bang with a Happy News Year Bot. That might be a stretch. We'll see. Maybe if everyone's the end of the year we'll collect them all in a book...that you could buy on our online store. It's an idea.

Also...I have a sunburn.
photo by Lindsey Awesome Turner

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Iron Giant or Wordy McWordsalot

So...this post is a little bit on the long-overdue side. I don't know if long and overdue are supposoed to get a hyphen or not, but we're going with it...partly because I'm a rebel when it comes to grammatical rules, but mostly because I'm a rebel when it comes to grammatical rules because I can't remember grammatical rules.

It's overdue because I'm something of a procrastinator and by procrastinator I mean lazy bastard. It's also overdue because I didn't really know how to approach blogging about it for fear of sounding like I'm bragging. Now, we all know bragging is something I'm not opposed to, but in this case I really don't want to come across that way.

Here's the deal. Two of my (now former) illustration students who shall remain nameless have left my tutelage. They won't be taking any more classes with me and they decided to do something special for me...something really special. They got me the sweet sweet Iron Giant toy you saw above all my words. That bad boy was in the original box for the last 10 years so I did the only logical thing...I opened it and played with it.

It all started when they wanted to meet shortly after the semester's end under the pretense of me looking at some of their work and discussing projects they might want to tackle over the summer. I should have known when I showed up and the previously mentioned artwork to be reviewed was nowhere in sight. Ultimately, the second student arrived and they proceeded to say wonderful things about me as a teacher and how much they appreciated the ways I helped them this past semester. It means a lot to me that they feel this way because there are times I really wonder whether or not I'm helping students. I have no formal training as a teacher and I can only hope that the knowledge and experience I pass on will help propel them further into their careers as students and artists. I know students like me because I'm funny, but I hope they like me because I challenge them and they learn from me. There are days I feel like I'm just a badass and I'm on top of my teaching game and then there are days I feel like a total hack and a fraud. It's esepecially scary because you find yourself caring about each and every student. They become peers and friends and you want to see them succeed. Not to mention I find msyelf learning from them as well and I think that's just fantastic. As I write this I feel myself wishing I'd waited another week to try and plan out something that flows a little more smoothly, uses fewer words and ultimately just sounds a little more eloquent, but one week will turn into two and this big giant thank you will remain unsaid for far too long.

While I didn't cry in front of those guys..I did well up a little. I'm an emotional guy. What can I say? They both worked overtime at their jobs so they could afford this thing...this thing that you can't just get anywhere anymore...because they don't make them anymore. I feel touched and completely unworthy, but not so much that I'll give it back. It's totally mine now. What's so awesome is that I never knew these toys even existed. I LOVE the Iron Giant.

So...I didn't cry in front of them at R.P. Tracks over my barbeque tofu sandwich...but I did cry in my goggles on my way home...on my motorcycle. Have you ever ridden a motorcycle wearing watery goggles? I don't recommend it.

At any rate...for what it's worth, you two, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You made my day. And to all my students who work so hard and bring so much enthusiasm to class...thank you as well. There's a bumper crop of really hard-working and talented students in the illustration/comics program at MCA right now and I'm fortunate to be a part of it. May the force be with you all.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ghost sketches

Howdy Gang,
I realize it's been quite some time since my last post, but really...isn't it always? So two, three. Actually, there may be more than three so I'm just going to get into it.

One: Me and Ashley have a house now and we're in the process of rendering the kitchen...less-wood-panely. That's a word. I looked it up. We're almost done...and by almost done I mean we need to repaint the kitchen AGAIN because we don't like the blue...and there are several cabinets left to be painted and put back on their magical hinges. You'll all have to come visit soon. I'll post pictures when the work's all done.
Two: I will be posting later tonight pictures of a sweet sweet gift bestowed unto me by two students who I will no longer have the privelage of teaching and who will be returning to the legendary tutelage of the legendary Joel Priddy. I'll save all the sappy verbal goodness for that post...but trust me when I say it's sappy and full of goodness...and ROBOTS!
Three: I've decided to try my hand at some pencil submissions of the Dark Horse character GHOST. She dresses all in white like a ghost and carries twin handguns like a ghost and goes around shooting up bad guys in a vengeful way like a ghost. I've only read a few of her comics, but I'm pretty sure that was the general plot...that apart from her cleavage. I'm pretty sure the comic was mostly about her cleavage. My GHOST is a bit more least in dress. I got rid of the little lacy window on the chest/abdomen of her suit because really, what purpose does it serve outside of reeling in 12-year old male readers? I think it would be nice to continue to show her shoulders so there's a moment of contrast when the scarf least that's what I think it is...drapes across said shoulders, but I may still end up covering her clavicle and upper chest so that when the cape/cloak is down she's completely white. A word on that cape/cloak/hood/scarf thing. I cannot for the life of me figure out the mechanics of that thing. I have no idea how it stays on. I'm guessing at it's construction in my sketches. I think the scarf attaches to the cloak and that's how it stays on...because it sure as $#*t doesn't tie on and it isn't like your average hooded cloak. No sir. It's like some sort of modified nun's habit or something. Anyway, to make a long post short (too late) these are my sketches. Just warm ups and screwing around mostly. I've downloaded the 8 page sample script from Dark Horse's website and am going to pencil it up and take it to Wizard World in Chicago this summer so as to get feedback from some industry folks. I'd love to snag myself some fill in work on a book and maybe get the proverbial foot in the door.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dudes, I'm so awesome.

I'll be humble again tomorrow...but for the right now...I own. Srsly, ppls, I can haz you seen my new papercraft? No, for really! It's awesome. What's wrong with my speech? I don't know.

So I zombified my Newsbot just in time for the Zombie walk today. ('s almost today) Introducing Zombot. The phenomenally phantastic photographs below are by my pal Lindsey Turner. This particular pre-assembled Zombot comes with a sweet sweet severed Newsbot head and leg to munch on so as to satisfy his Zombot cravings for robot flesh...which is really just metal when you think about it...and THAT's really just paper when you think about it.

You can read more about the contest at If you feel like downloading Newsbot he's available from the CA website or right here on my blog. Download him. Put him together. Just don't leave him alone or he might eat your iPod.

Comment on my post and tell me how awesome I am...I mean...Zombot is.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Some robot designs

Because today's National Robot Day...didn't you know? Hmm. Really? Oh. Well...maybe I made it up. Anyway, to make a long story short (too late!) I'm finally getting back to "the moon story." These are designs for M.A.X and S.A.M, the two star-crossed robots that fall in love. S.A.M. is the only robot girl on earth and dresses like a human so as to fit in. M.A.X. wears a sweet sweet motorcycle jacket because it looks cool. Feedback?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Validation as an editorial illustrator or "Day of Infamy"

I've been at the C.A. for about 3 and a half years now. In that time I've won zero awards and it's left me feeling...well...shitty. I didn't expect to show up on the first day like some sort of Illustration rock star and sweep awards away from all the contests, but I must admit I hoped. It would seem, however, that this year I snagged two (COUNT EM!) TWO awards of excellence in the 30th annual Society of News Design competition. Woot! The first was an illustration I'm not too fond of and which I'm pretty sure won mostly because of page design...which had a little to do with me, but MOSTLY the very talented Richard Robbins. The second, however, was pretty much all me.

Go me! It's my birthday.

I mean...

Anyway, I don't immediately have the file for the one I'm not crazy about, but I do have the file for "Day of Infamy" which examines whether or not 9-11 replaced Pearl Harbor in the minds of Americans as our greatest national tragedy. I can't actually believe this illustration won anything, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth...because...well...I just don't.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More things Obama

These are two paintings I recently did for all the crazy buzz that was Obama's inauguration. The first was a painting that ran with quotes in the negative space above Obama and below Dr. King. I suppose I could get my hands on that file and post it. Maybe later. Anyway, it was an examination of how Obama's carrying on Dr. King's dream. The second was a center piece illustration for a fun facts page for kids. It's actually an old idea I had for an Obama illustration well before the election. I thought the stark contrast of the bright White House held carefully in the obviously African-American hands was just a nice image. It very quietly says everything I sort of feel in my heart. I'm particularly pleased with the way it printed in the paper. If only our stock was bright white instead of newspaper gray. Oh well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day Fun

So, kids, President-elect Barack Obama became President Obama today and I couldn't be happier. My friend Lindsey is there in the mix and I'm jealous. While I can't be there, I can be here...making semi-fabulous Obamacrafts for you to download and assemble. And...this is the wrong photo. I emailed myself the wrong photo. That's great. This one isn't horrible, but it isn't as good as the other shot...and neither are as good as they could be if one of our fine C.A. photographers had actually done it. I didn'g get the files finished until late last night so he may or may not actually make it to for download. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Print, cut and assemble your own President Obama anyway. Go!

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