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.