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Thursday June 17, 2010, at 7:25 pm

Things that are awesome: The CRYPTICS

The Cryptics, drawn by Seth Wolfshorndl

A great comic that I picked up a while ago is The Cryptics by Steve Niles and Ben Roman.  Basically, it’s about the adventures of Wolfman, Dracula, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Jekyll/Hyde… as kids.  It’s a really silly concept that leads to all sorts of awesomeness.  Ben Roman’s art is the perfect blend of edgy and cartoony… it really sells the whole thing.  I hope they make some more comics with these guys soon!

This image was a blast to draw.  I actually finished it quite a while ago, but just now got a chance to color it.  If you enjoy it, you should definitely check out the book!

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Monday March 15, 2010, at 10:09 am

Things that are awesome: THOR

Thor

Growing up, I enjoyed stories with Thor, but he was never my favorite.  I think the King James-style dialogue made it kind of hard to relate to him.  Well, a couple of months ago I picked up the Thor relaunch by J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel, and it blew me away.  Straczynski does such a great job of incorporating the mythological characters into modern day Earth in fun and unique way (Asgard in Oklahoma?).  And Coipel’s art… wow.  The guy’s characters really feel solid and powerful, without being over-the-top.  He’s just one the most impressive artists I’ve seen in years and has inspired me to get better.

My sketch of Thor has him in the new outfit from this series.  It was fun to work with the highlights of the lightning in white sharpie.

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Wednesday March 3, 2010, at 6:52 pm

Things that are awesome: KUNG FU PANDA

Master Oogway

Easily one of my favorite animated films from the last few years, Kung Fu Panda is full of so much fun energy and great character design.  Master Oogway here would have to be my favorite from that film.  I really enjoyed how they portrayed him as both frail and strong at the same time.

Apparently, there is a sequel on its way to theaters in 2011 (Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom) and a new series on Nickelodeon later this year… so thankfully we’re in for much more kung-fu goodness!

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Friday February 5, 2010, at 12:57 pm

Doug TenNapel video

I recently found this video of Doug TenNapel speaking at the Art Institute Inland Empire to a group of incoming freshmen art students. He covers a surprising amount of ground in this talk, including artists’ obligation to the truth, how to stay inspired, and his writing method. If you’re a fan of Doug’s (like me) or want to learn more about creating comics, you should definitely check it out!

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Saturday September 19, 2009, at 11:01 pm

Things That Are Awesome: FLAPJACK

Flapjack and his favorite thing in the world

This has to be one of the oddest cartoons every created. If you don’t know, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack tells the tale of young wanna-be adventure and his exploits with a loser pirate and a benevolent whale that they call home. For sheer quirkiness, only Ren & Stimpy seems to be competition. I’ve been watching it since it premiered last year. I keep coming back to it, because it is so unpredictable and creative… and sometimes disturbing. Between the plethora of wacky characters that show up every episode and Flapjack’s 150% enthusiasm… it’s a pretty unique ride.  I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I sure enjoy it.

I did the above sketch while watching an episode. It was fun to do some coloring in Photoshop on it. It’s been awhile…

By the way… keep checking back because soon we will have a HUGE announcement to share with you!

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Wednesday August 26, 2009, at 8:05 pm

Last Psychonauts… for now

Linda the Lungfish Citizens of Lungfishopolis

Ok, I think I got the Psychonauts bug out of my system for awhile. Above you can see Linda, the supposedly horrible monster that lurks within the lake at the psychic camp in the game. When you go inside her head, you discover that she really is more scared of you than you of her, as you become a giant Godzilla-like creature that is terrorizing the peaceful citizens of Lungfishopolis. I always thought it would be fun to smash some buildings, and it is.

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Friday August 7, 2009, at 11:55 am

Even more Psychonauts

Dr. Loboto and Crispen Lily from Psychonauts

That’s right… even more.  I told you I couldn’t stop drawing these Psychonauts characters, designed by the excellent Scott Campbell.  This time we have two of the main villains of the game and Lily, the pseudo-girlfriend of the main character, Raz.

At least a couple more of these are on the way…

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Thursday July 30, 2009, at 1:43 am

More Psychonauts

Ford Cruller Boyd

Psychonauts characters are just way too fun to draw. I couldn’t do it just once. Here’s two more… the first is Ford Cruller, who is your mentor in the game (and is summoned by waving a piece of bacon). The second is Boyd, the super paranoid security guard whose mind is my favorite level in the game.

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Friday July 17, 2009, at 11:09 am

Things that are awesome: DICK TRACY

Dick Tracy villains 2 Dick Tracy villains 1

Back when I was about ten years old, I went through a phase where Dick Tracy was about the coolest thing ever. The Warren Beatty movie was the main instigation of this. That was the first time I ever got to go to the midnight showing of a movie. Afterwords, I got a collection of the original Dick Tracy strips by Chester Gould with a story from each decade from 30’s to the 80’s. I read novelizations and even got a bunch of the toys one Christmas.

I think the main thing that always fascinated me about Dick Tracy was his villains. The sheer variety of weird faces they had is pretty legendary. I was so inspired by them that one of the very first comics I ever did was a Dick Tracy story (if I ever find it, I’ll post it here for you to laugh at).

It was incredibly fun to revisit these characters after 20 years and try drawing them again!  The inspiration to do this came by finding this post by Mike Lynch about 200 characters from the series, all designed by Chester Gould.  I chose some of my favorites from when I was a kid, many of which were in the movie or in that print collection I have.  Hope you enjoy them!

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Friday July 10, 2009, at 11:54 pm

Things that are awesome: JOHN COLTRANE

"Coltrane Reaches"

One of my favorite jazz musicians ever (and of course I’m not the only one).  What I love about Coltrane is how searching and powerful his playing was.  When you hear his solos, it just feels like he is reaching for some unattainable plateau and pushing the limits of the sax.  His work can be incredibly forceful and fast (such as in “Giant Steps”) or hypnotically elegant (check out “In a Sentimental Mood”… my wife’s favorite jazz song).  His masterpiece, A Love Supreme, is powerful musical meditation rightly considered one of the greatest jazz albums of all time.  I love the last track “Psalm” where he voices a prayer through his saxophone (the words of which are in the liner notes.)

This painting was the third in series of musician portraits I have been working on for several years.  The idea is to show the musician realistically, and then paint the background in an abstract way that somehow expresses their musical style visually.  Blue is the main color that comes to mind for me with Coltrane.  The crazy little scribble going across the piece is supposed to show how intricate some of his playing was, while the curvy thick blue line is trying to show that feeling of searching as it reaches towards the light.

If you’ve never listened to John Coltrane, you owe it yourself to give him a listen.  Here’s a few of his best songs…


Get a playlist! Standalone player

Here are the first two paintings from my musicians series… Miles Davis and B.B. King.  They were done entirely in ink.  Miles is another one of my top jazz favorites… the epitome of cool.   And B.B. is just the classic elder statesman of the blues.  I would love to see him live while he’s still touring.  We ate at his restaurant in Memphis one time, but unfortunately he was not playing that night.

"Miles Away" (Miles Davis) "Lucille Waxes Poetic" (B.B. King)

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