Monday, June 27, 2011

The Dailies

Whew! Another week come and gone.

And seriously, what is going on with that storage facility?? I'm so bummed I didn't get an answer this weekend. I can't believe I had to leave Vermont to come back to Boston without knowing at least what is inside.

But at least on the bus I got to see this. That Garrett Hedlund, so dreamy.

But I think this is dreamier.

While this is dreamy to the max.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Birthday Fett/Small Drawings

My friend Tara's little brother's birthday was on Wednesday, and she commissioned me to do a Boba Fett drawing for a gift. The results:
Probably one of the skinnier Fetts around. I love drawing Star Wars stuff because it gives me an excuse to put Star Wars in the DVD player and I can call it research. It also gets me thinking total geek thoughts, like which Boba Fett costume is more authentic, the one from Empire or the one from Jedi? The differences are slight, but I'm sure people (people more devoted than me) will notice. Is it okay to mix and match? "Oh, all the real Star Wars fans will hate it!" That's what I'm saying in my head as debate the placement of the little pouches hanging around Boba Fett's belt.

And here are a few small drawings drawn in my down time.

And this comic is awesome.

And these drawings are awesome.

And this dancing is awesome.

And this song is about to be the soundtrack to my weekend.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Dailies

Man, all I got to say is that a daily comic just doesn't do justice to a trip to New York. Hourly is the only way to go. I was down there seeing my friends Avani and Patrick who are expecting the arrival of a new baby in a couple of weeks, and helping them out with the getting ready. It was very informative. For example, I had no idea what a onesie was.

Anyway, they're going to have a rockin kid, and I finally get to be Uncle Jesse (though I'm not sure if it'll be the Dukes of Hazzard or the Full House version)(not that I'm related anyway)(but us only children have to insert ourselves into the uncle/aunt role whenever and wherever possible).

And I think the little guy should start off dancing to this (baby's can dance when they're born, right?).

And they should drive the family around in one of the these, and when people ask them how they're doing, they should say, "We're livin' large!"

And I can't wait to help make this!

They're probably going to hate it when Uncle Jesse comes to town.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The 300th Post!

Whoa. Number three hundred? How did that happen? Damn, I hope it's a good post.

My friend Erich (who has an awesome blog himself)(you should email him and tell him that his blog is awesome and that he should post more often)(seriously)(and compare him to me and tell him, "Jesse's at like post number 300")(no don't do that)(I mean do that)(no really don't)(DO IT!)... anyway, my friend Erich said:

"I really like the process pics. I think people really enjoy seeing how their preferred artists work. It gives them a sense of being a part of the thing."

And I don't know if I'm too many people's preferred artist, but here come some process pics.

Currently what I am working on is a story called Cold Wind which was written by my friend Dan Mazur. He originally submitted it for a horror comic anthology which I am editing called Hellbound. I rejected it because it wasn't really a horror story. Then I told him I'd like to draw it. And Dan was like, "I don't know whether I'm coming or going with you. You reject me. Then you pull me back."

And I was like, "It's just the rules of the game, baby."

So the process really starts with Dan's script. He didn't break it out into pages or panels, so there is a lot of leeway in terms of what happens on a page. The white area is the page I'm going to draw.

Next comes a rough sketch in my sketchbook. Depending on how awesome I am that day, this can go really quickly or really slowly. If I'm particularly awesome, I'll come up with something I like rather quickly. If my personal awesomeness is at low-tide, it will take forever. I'll draw and redraw, erase, draw, erase, doubt myself and every decision I have made in the last few years, and eventually decide to put on my headphones and go for a run because at least I can manage to put one foot in front of the other in a semi-competent manner most of the time.

Once the page is laid out, I'll do a little bit of visual research. The characters being machine gun toting wolf guards, I look up wolves, Nazi uniforms, and machine guns on the internet. Mainly, I look for photographs, but occasionally I'll look for some comic book references to see how other people have done something. In this case, I took a look at my friend Dirk's drawings (yeah, that's a signed page by him)(no I didn't look it up on the internet)(it's in my library)(it's awesome).

I always love looking up guns because it brings me to such interesting websites created by people who scare me.

Personally, I'm never really sure how useful much of the stuff I look up online is. It often feels like justified procrastinating. Did I really need to look up Nazi uniforms? This not being historical fiction there is no need for accuracy. I probably could have figured an intimidating guard uniform out on my own. I also definitely find myself getting a little off track and looking at things that have no relevance whatsoever.

Procrastination completed, I start doing some sketches of the wolves and one reference sketch of the guns that they will be carrying. Because these characters are only appearing on this page and one panel of the next, I don't sweat it too much. If they were main characters I would do more practice drawings (that's a lie)(I'm the worst)(I never do enough character studies)(I just make a lot of it up as I go and hope for the best).

Then I take out the 11x17 bristol board and get to work. I'll do the panel borders in blue first. Then, using a 3h graphite pencil I lightly draw in the contents of the panels. Basically, this is just to come up with the idea of where the perspective points should be. I don't use blue pencil for this because I don't think I draw as well with a blue pencil (I have also yet to find a blue pencil that erases well)(and I need to erase a lot)(my awesomeness is not immediate)(it only comes after lots of refinement)(I'm super jealous of people who are awesome right out of the box).

Once I've figured out where the perspective points are I'll use the blue pencil to draw all the perspective lines. For perspective points that are far off the page I'll just tape a piece of copier paper to the back of the page like a wing and put the perspective point on that. I do this because I really don't like taping pages down to my drawing board.

The perspective lines are just guide lines that won't actually appear on the finished page. When I ink, I don't use a ruler at all, so this may seem like a lot of work for nothing, but I find that having the perspective lines there underneath just makes the drawing tighter even if the final lines are not perfectly straight. Individuals lines are off, but everything is in the right place.

After that (what a ridiculous process!)(the only thing worse than someone sitting down and doing this would be somebody taking the time to break down the process bit by boring bit)(where are the dancing superheroes??)(damn it!), I do finished pencils with a mechanical pencil (in this case, a cheapo Bic #2 from CVS)(cause I can't find my good one)(cause somebody came into my house and stole it I bet).

And that's it until the inking... which I think I'll get to next week.

Also, everyone should check out my friend Patrick's blog. He's doing some awesome stuff about his coming baby.

And this guy isn't my friend, but I wish he was.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Dailies and a Belated MECAF Report

Never have I wanted to know Spanish more.

and MECAF!!!

All, right, so like a billion years ago I went to MECAF (actually I think it was three weeks ago) and, of course, it being an awesome independent comic book show I picked up a bunch of comics, and told myself I would read through them and then mention my favorites here. And then I got home and put all the minis in a pile and then got distracted and had a few dates and few beers out with friends and a couple of poker nights, and I created piles of dishes and piles of library books and piles of DVDs...

BUT Saturday I decided to finally get down to it and remove that nagging pile of MECAF comics from my list of piles (which is actually a pretty awesome chore to have)("oh, damn, I'm going to have to spend this worthless rainy Saturday afternoon listening to the Mekons and reading awesome comics")(sucks to be me).

So here we go. My favorites in reverse alphabetical order by title (because "in no particular order" is just lazy):

You're Never More at Home then When It's Time to Leave by Matt Young. An awesome collection of stories, including one called Not Band X which I wish I had written. If you were bummed out when you heard The Buzzcocks "What Do I Get" in a RAV 4 commercial, this story is for you.

Werewolf 4 and Werepups by a whole mess of people, but put together by Penina Gal, Betsey Swardlick, Josh Rosen, and Nick Patten. Awesome stuff about Werewolves. Highlights for me were Betsey Swardlick's stories in both books and Josh Rosen's old bones in Werewolf 4. Over all on a scale of Milli Vanilli to the Beatles I give the books a Aftermath Era Rolling Stones (the British, of course)(not that compromised American version).

Sugar Baby by Nomi Kane. This is just straight up great comic booking. Awesome comics that just nail childhood. She gets it right. It sort of hits all points, the good parts, the sad parts, the silly parts, the rough parts. It's all their. And she just told me it was about growing up with diabetes, which totally sells it short, because it's about so much more than that. Also, judging by the title of her website she's also a big Clash fan.

Inkbook by Bob Flynn. I think I might hate Bob Flynn because he draws so well and makes it look so easy. This is just a collection of doodles from his sketchbook and it's just great. I bet that even when Bob is putting ketchup on a burger it comes out as an awesome drawing.

Heavy Flow by Jen Vaughn. I few years ago, my girlfriend at the time had a boss who told her that she should have life consultants, specific people chosen to offer specific advice for specific situations. So you'd have a legal consultant. A relationship consultant. Whenever I thought about this I would always find myself drifting off topic and deciding on things like my Star Wars consultant or my Clash consultant. Anyway, Jen Vaughn would be my lady fluids (I believe she coined the term) consultant. Seriously, before Jen Vaughn came along the only thing I knew about menstruation came from the Kids in the Hall. Even more seriously, this is an awesome comic book that made me laugh a lot. Especially the bit about plungers and giants.

Grune by Zack Giallongo. There is a lot of sci-fi and fantasy that I hate. There seems to be this fictional history lesson at the beginning of the story, where the writer takes all this time explaining the rules of the fictional world to you, giving all this backstory and history, while nothing actually happens in the book. It's like that begat section from the Bible (I mean really, couldn't they just have written "sometime later" and be done with it?)(that would save us all a lot of trouble)(it would also mean the fundamentalist Christians wouldn't have to count all the years that people live in order to figure out the age of the earth incorrectly). Zack doesn't fall for this trap. He drops you right into the story and you the reader are left a little behind, but he tells the story so well that you know he's going to clue you in later.

Whew and I think that about covers it.

I promise I'll be faster after SPX.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Small Drawings

A little less doodling and a little more paying attention to where I am. For these I'm using a Micron, the first few an 05, the last bunch an 08. Again, most of these are drawn while waiting for the bus, the train, or my friends (because I'm always early).

Man, but sometimes I'll see someone else's awesome sketchbook and think, "Oh, damn, I should draw like that! (if I could draw like that)"

And you should check out these pieces of awesomeness.

1. My friend Dan Mazur reveals where Sarah Palin gets her facts from. How sweet is that?

2. Go into your itunes and buy the Best of Loma Records cause it's wicked awesome soul music that you need to have in your life, and I don't know if it's a mistake or what, but it's got fifty songs and it only costs ten dollars. How sweet is that? Before you were like, "I wish I had a wicked cool soul music collection," and then ten dollars later you've got it on your ipod and you're on the bus and you're like, "Damn, I've got way cooler music than everybody else on this bus." And if you're unsure just listen to Stay with Me by Lorraine Ellison. I was listening to it and all of a sudden I was like, "Where are my socks? Oh, damn, I know, Lorraine Ellison just knocked them off."

3. Know that you live in a world where you can get gin in a bag.

4. And you've probably already seen this, but you should see it again.

5. And I think this guy is my hero. FREEHAND!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Dailies

The idea with these daily comics is that I just sit down and draw whatever I feel like at the end of the day, but what I find happening is I debate if what I am doing at any particular moment is what the comic is going to be about that night. I really don't want this. I don't want these comics to be planned. I tell myself not to think about it until the end of the day, but it's kind of like a bug bite. I'll just find my mind scratching at it.

"That girl on the bus is staring at me again! Should I draw todays comic about her?"

Or, I'll kick myself the next day because I'll remember something way better that I should have drawn the comic about.

But really, I'm trying no to think about it and keep it unaffected.

And everybody should listen to this song, which I regularly butcher on guitar.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Small Drawings

More drawings done while riding the bus. While nobody pays any attention to someone fixated on a smart phone, drawing in a little book does get noticed. People take little sideways glances at my book, trying to see what it is I am drawing without having me notice that they are trying to get a peak. I know what they are doing because I look at people in almost the exact same manner when I am drawing them. A quick passing glance that will hopefully appear inadvertent. "I'm not looking at you. No, no, no, my eyes just happened to pass over you as they made their way from those incredibly interesting flip flops on the man next to you to the thought provoking Diabetes Foundation advertisement above your head. Any attention paid to you was purely accidental."

My fear is that sometime I'll be drawing some snotty drawing and then get caught by the person on the bus who was the inspiration.

"No, no, no! Not only was that an inadvertent glance that had no intention behind it, but this is also an inadvertent drawing. Any resemblance to you is purely coincidental. What? You think that drawing of a guy with a handlebar mustache is you?? No, lots of assholes have handlebar... Not that you're an asshole, I mean, on you it looks good and unaffected. Really. I mean it. No, I'm not being sarcastic. It's just the way I talk."

And then I'll quickly get off at the next stop.