Friday, May 28, 2010

20 Eyes in my Head

I discovered the Misfits pretty late, after college. Danzig had always seemed like a bit of a joke to me in high school. Then I listened to Walk Among Us. Anyway, I had 20 Eyes stuck in my head one day. I'd been singing it all day and decided to sit down and draw a guy with twenty eyes in his head. Not exactly the Misfits aesthetic, but I like it just the same.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Date

Seems like there's this belief among guys that when it comes to girls if you can you should. But it doesn't work that way for me. It's an ego boost to be desired, but if I'm not into a girl, I'm not into a girl, and I just don't see too much of a point.

Anyway, here are a few preliminary drawings of some of the characters that I think are going to be in the next book which I am tentatively calling Vengeance. These are some of the first inked versions of the characters that I have done and by the time the book is finished they might look quite different.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Inebriation Vs. Sobriety

It's amazing what a few drinks can do. It's practically magic. Walking home with a belly full of wine thinking about how great that girl I just met was. I got her phone number. I'm gonna call her. It's gonna be awesome. And meet without the belly full of wine and it just isn't the same. She's dull. I'm dull. We have nothing in common, and maybe it's just the light, but I don't think either one of us looks quite as good as we did that night we met. I wonder when her nose grew and she wonders if my ears could possibly have stuck out that much before.

In other news:

Outbound #2, which is put together by my friend Roho, is out and available and it features a story in by me. It's my first attempt at sci-fi. Post-apoclayptic-road-rage-cannibal-TV-heads!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Mawkish, sentimental, oversweet, oversentimental, a tear-jerking, mushy, slushy, sloppy, schmaltzy, cheesy, corny, soppy, cornball... maudlin. I don't know, you gotta be those things sometimes, no?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The funny thing about feedback is that you can get some strong, clear and persuasive feedback from one person, and then you can speak to someone else and get strong, clear and just as persuasive feedback saying the exact opposite. It takes some sifting, and I think that the more people who give feedback the better, so let me know what you think of the stuff I've been putting up here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Break Up

I haven't done too many break up comics (well... I've drawn a fair amount)(but I haven't posted many)(yet), but the responses I get can be broken into two categories. From people my age or younger I tend to get comments along the lines of, "Right on," or, "That's the stuff, man," or something to that extent. From people who are bit older than me or from my parent's generation I get comments that are more like, "Oh, that's so depressing!" or, "Are you all right?" or, "Have you thought about seeing a psychologist?"

It's an interesting dichotomy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If Comics Were Albums (or vice versa)

Blood on the Tracks is far and away my favorite album. I think it was my favorite album from the very first time I heard it, which I think was when I was twelve or thirteen riding in my dad's car. He had a bootleg copy of it from when he lived in Saudi Arabia (on the classic pirate 747 label)(named for the preferred means of getting albums into the country). I loved it then even before I knew about breaking up and broken hearts. There was just something so perfect about the sound. It's one of the few albums that I have never grown tired of.

And if I had to be asked what my favorite single comic book issue was... it would probably be Spider-Man #50, though to be honest any issue from that Stan Lee / John Romita Sr. run is pretty awesome.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A New System of Measurement


First you start with an idea. Ideas can come from any place. Sometimes a song reminds you of something. Sometimes something happens that just makes you really mad and you can't get it out of your head. Sometimes you just think, "What if..." Sometimes ideas just seem to pop up out of nowhere.

In this case the idea came from my friend Avani who said that she once had an ice cream cone that had "a baby's head of ice cream," on top of it. How grim is that? When I asked why she didn't describe it as a grapefruit or a softball, she said those two things didn't have the right texture.

I write down lists of ideas so I don't forget them. I generally write on anything handy, so an old envelope can end up having seven or eight ideas scrawled on the back of it. In this case, I wrote down the idea in my notebook while I was flying back from San Francisco to Boston.

I draw almost all my blog posts in my sketchbook. I use a non-photo blue pencil which will disappear when I scan the picture as line art. I prefer Staedtler pencils, but I've also used Prismacolor Non-Copy pencils (I find their lead a little too hard and difficult to erase). In this image I adjusted my scanner settings so that the lines could be seen. On the actual page they are much lighter.

Next I do the lettering. I use a dip pen to do this. I think most comics artists who do hand lettering use a C-5 or C-6 pen nib, which are both lettering nibs. I use a Hunt 512 pen nib, which is a drawing nib, but I like the way the letters come out with it. I use Speedball Super Black India Ink.

Panel borders and word balloons are next. I use a brush for this, generally a fine pointed round sable brush, size 3. Currently I'm using Raphael brushes, but I'm not really picky about the brand.

Characters come next. I'll use different brushes depending on how detailed the drawing is. This drawing isn't particularly detailed so I just used a fine pointed round sable brush, size 2 for all of it. If it were more detailed I would use a size 1 or 0. I generally never go smaller than that, but if there is some really fine line work to be done I will switch over to a dip pen and use a Hunt 102 pen nib (this creates a pretty flexible and expressive line similar to a brush)(good for people) or a Hunt 107 (much stiffer, which creates a more uniform line)(good for objects).

I scan the drawing into the computer at 600 dpi. I do all the coloring in Photoshop.

I don't worry about colors much at first. I'm more concerned about getting the different areas of color blocked out. Things can looks pretty garish at first.

Once I have the colors laid out, I start tweaking things and get to a color mix that I am happy with (like at the top). Some comics take less than an hour to do; everything just sort of flows out smoothly. Some take much longer. This one took awhile simply because I stopped to scan the progress of the page.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Heartbreak Wheel

I haven't been too sure what I should post about my recent breakup. How much of my bumming out is of interest to anybody else? And why do I even want to tell people? And will putting things down on ink and paper and then scanning them and coloring them and uploading them to a blog... will that do anything to make me feel any better?

It's hard to know what's right.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Personal Demons

The cynicism kicks in when I think it's all a waste of time and nothing worthwhile will come it. The doubt comes in when I think all the ideas that I really like are actually really rotten. Procrastination kicks in when I think watching Flatliners (again!) actually counts as doing work (it's research!)(right). Vacillation has been the most nasty one of late as I seem to have spent the last three months trying to make up my mind. It's a killer. And complacency, complacency, complacency, oh, oh, complacency. It's just so easy to keep doing the same thing. You get proficient at something and if you don't watch out you'll find yourself on auto-pilot without thinking at all.

But these aren't all my demons. Far from it... there's narrow-mindedness, petty thinking, malice, vapidity, all manner of affectations, hyper-sentimentality, tediousness, distraction, hesitation and indecisiveness (which go hand in hand), heavy-handedness, sheer bloody mindedness, sloppiness... Oh, there are so many nasty little demons kicking around.

Monday, May 3, 2010


There are some big hats in San Francisco. And I think the biggest hat. It was a great trip. I relaxed. I saw the sights. I drank some beer. I drank some wine. I went to so many book stores (the best one being Green Apple Books)(I could have bought the whole store)(But I held off and only bought a few things)(Which made my bag a little bit heavier on the flight home). I relaxed. I drew. I did a fair amount of work on the next book. I got excited about drawing again. Rejuvenated. Reenergized. Revived. Revivified. Refreshed. Reinvigorated. Breathing new life. Full of pep. Possibly even perky (if it is possible for me to be so). It was great.

Of course, now I'm back in Boston and back at work wearing the tie and teaching English, but hopefully the remomentumization will last.