Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hands are difficult to draw - tutorial

Hands are difficult. Even if I had drawn a perfectly realistic hand like this photo of Jeremy, it would not look right. The pose doesn't look like a person would expect, and if you are like me- if you drew it you would not be satisfied.
The pressure is to make a hand that reflects the anatomy work you did (didn't you?). That looks like a hand that people would expect to see. And that does not look exactly like the way your favorite artist draws hands.

So here is my idea. If you draw a hand, and it looks pretty much ok:
1.Scan it in
2.Print out a lightened version of your almost-ok hand in a different size (usually bigger) and redraw over your original.

Writers do this all the time. You never see an author's actual writing, you are seeing the author's re-write of the stuff he or she thought was almost-ok on the initial draft.

Here is my example and a photo of Jeremy using arcane powers while on the road:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Girls have cooties - Alien Containment

Science has concluded what 6 year old boys have known all along.

Women have more diverse hand bacteria than men

"A new University of Colorado at Boulder study indicates that not
only do human hands harbor far higher numbers of bacteria species
than previously believed, women have a significantly greater
diversity of microbes on their palms than men."

Cooties don't wash off, which goes against the 6 year old boy
conventional wisdom:

"Although hand washing altered community composition, overall levels
of bacterial diversity were unrelated to the time since the last hand
washing," wrote the researchers in PNAS. "Either the bacterial
colonies rapidly re-establish after hand washing, or washing (as
practiced by the students included in this study) does not remove the
majority of bacteria taxa found on the skin surface."

Monday, November 3, 2008

22 UFO Panels

My PC is back. It was dead for a while there, but is reloaded and feeling much better.

I have decided to put the UFO back into Acme UFO Defence. Wally Wood's 22 Panel exercise is "in work" - Alien vs Space Marine style.

The point of the exercise is to stretch artistically and improve storytelling. It takes about 2 1/2 weeks doing 3 panels a day.

“Never draw what you can copy; never copy what you can trace; and never trace what you can cut out and paste up.” Wally Wood

You can see the original Wally Wood collection in hi res from the owner here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Alex and Paddington

Mr. Sava has not put out a request for quest strips in a while, but I have been toying around with a short "young Alex" story anyway.
I really like where the Dreamland Chronicles have been going - especially with the dwarves. Scott seems like a genuine good guy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Comic Book movie wait ahead

Long wait for Marvel movies: Iron Man 2 (May 7, 2010), Thor (July 16, 2010), The First Avenger: Captain America (May 6, 2011), and The Avengers (July 15, 2011). The distribution agreement also includes Iron Man 3.

"Coming off of 'Iron Man's' incredible success this summer, we could not be more excited about extending our relationship with Marvel," - Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Comics for Halloween handouts

Chris Wilson does a good job of recommending comics in his blog (I will have to check out his Shakespeare reviews – Merchant of Venice and Macbeth). He is also promoting a good idea.

You can buy 25 mini comics in a bundle for the low-low price of $3 per bundle. This year they offer five titles. – I think that you should order this week if you want to hand out Bone, Charlie Brown and Donald Duck.

Chris says, “Our family did this last year and it was a hit. The kids were very excited about getting comics and so were the parents. We allowed each child to choose his or her own book (and only one book) and they seemed to delight in that. (Children having choice of reading in the classroom, true choice, is strongly supported by research.)”

The Graphic Classroom is a resource for teachers and librarians to help them stock high quality, educational-worthy, comics and give it a rating as to appropriateness for the classroom.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What Pyrates did greatly fear

To amuse themselves, pirates held mock trials,
Mimicking what would happen to them if they were captured and came up before an Admiralty Court.
In A General History of the Pyrates, Daniel Defoe relates a sham trial that took place on an uninhabited cay off the coast of Cuba.
The judge, a pirate named George Bradley, sailing master of the Morning Star, sat in a tree with a tarpaulin over his shoulders by way of a robe, a shaggy cap on his head instead of a wig and large pair of spectacles on his nose. The officers of the ship carried handspikes as staves of authority and a hangman stood by with a noose.
The accused was then brought out ‘making a thousand sour faces’.

A pirate playing the attorney general then said:
An’t please your Lordship, and you gentlemen of the jury, here is a fellow before you that is a sad dog, a sad, sad dog; and I humbly hope your Lordship will order him to be hanged out the way immediately.

He has committed piracy upon the high seas, and we shall prove, an’t please your Lordship, that this fellow, this sad dog before you, has escaped a thousand storms, nay, has got safe ashore when the ship has been cast away, which was a certain sign he was not born to be drowned; yet not having the fear of hanging before his eyes, he went on robbing and ravishing man, woman and child, plundering ships’ cargoes fore and aft, burning and sinking ship, barky and boat, as if the Devil had been in him.
But this is not all, my Lord, he has committed worse villainies than all these, for we shall prove, that he has been guilty of drinking small beer, and your Lordship knows, there never was a sober fellow but what was a rogue.
My Lord, I should have spoke much finer than I do now, but that, as your Lordship knows, our rum is all out, and how should a man speak good law that has not drank a dram. However, I hope, your Lordship will order the fellow hanged.

The judge was scarcely impartial. From his seat in the mangrove tree he said:
Harkee me, sirrah, you lousy pitiful, ill-looked dog; what have you to say why you should not be tucked up immediately and set a sun-drying like a scarecrow?
The judge then asked the accused to plead. He pleaded not guilty, so the judge threatened to have him hanged without a trial.
In his defence, the accused said that he was an honest man who had been ‘taken by one George Bradley’ – the man who was now playing his judge – ‘a notorious pirate, a sad rogue as ever was hanged, and he forced me, an’t please your honour.’

Eventually, Bradley sentenced the accused to hang, giving three reasons:
First, because it is not fit I should sit here as judge and nobody be hanged.
Secondly, you must be hanged, because you have a damned hanging look.
And thirdly, you must be hanged because I am hungry; for know, sirrah, that whenever a judge’s dinner is ready before the trial is over, the prisoner is to be hanged of course.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pirate Mitt's Story

Pirate York Mitts made the rest of the crew happy when he stepped into the looped rope on the deck.
He was a terrible cook.
"Keep York Mitts off me grub"

11 Days to Talk Like a Pirate

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pax 2008 and Pirates of the Burning Sea

I went to Pax on Sunday - I would have liked to seen the discussion on Sex and Violence for an update on over-served immature adults. Did anyone who visits this blog go to the Raven Theatre? Did I miss much? Pax is amazing btw, much better than I expected.
I discovered while there that the talk like a pirate crew might very much like the Pirates of the Burning Sea game. I played it for a few minutes at the convention and my first impression is that it is like the great game that Akella created (Sea Dogs) with the fun factor bumped upward and a cool cel-shader turned on.

One thing that I can say: they had 3 working tee-shirt cannons firing into the crowd. Good marketing, and the booth pirates were very helpful.

The Pirate fun for computers that I have really really liked so far:
Curse of Monkey Island
Sea Dogs 2 (Released as Pirates of the Caribbean)

Maybe the Burning Sea will be another. I am very picky, but I will give it a try. It may be rated Arrrr, but aye don't think so.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pirate Cooper's story

Named Dom, but called Dommer, and Dommer boy. Ironically "x" does mark the spot in this case. Dom had squirreled away enough to retire when Jon Black payed him back. Jon also finished Dom's Pirate career with a cutlass to the back.

The weed of crime bears bitter fruit, crime does not pay. The shadow knows.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Talk Like a Pirate Day countdown begins

Just one month until September 19th. The site is still using last year's banner. I wonder if they are interested in a new one for variety? Plunder.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Darwin Debate continues to be interesting even when one-sided

LGF (Little Green Footballs) is not open to the great Darwin debate anymore. Even ID (Intelligent Design- which by the way, adheres to Natural Selection and Common Descent - 2 of 3 Evolution Pillars) has been linked at LGF to creationism, the worst Islamism and the recent Russian expansionism. The fun level is way down. I still go there however, and I do not want Charles to go away.

Recently LGF linked to a mock-admission of guilt from Adolf on his connection to Darwin. As if it is ridiculous to link Darwin to WW2 Eugenics.

This LGF entry falls into my list of top 10 interesting things about Darwin debate so, here is my contribution:

The original cover page from the original printing of Darwin’s life’s work with the full original title: The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.
The second image I was going to post would have been a mock up: The Origin of the Species …the Preservation for the Favored Aryan Races in My Struggle (Mein Kampf).

Between the title of the original Darwin book, and the complete abandonment of Eugenics after WW2 (after decades of increased commitment to the applied Darwinism called Eugenics) is it surprising that there is even a debate? These 2 points are compelling: Darwin Eugenics discredited by Nazi application and Darwin's connection to the racism of his clique.

This is not a debate on whether Darwin was wrong on all points. This is simply a measure of the saintlike devotion given to the founder. Fire-breathing, All-or-Nothing Evolution is currently deeply religious.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Trek to come

I will try again to upload my Star Trek sketch later. I wonder if the next trailer for new Star Trek movie will be out this week. I would like to be at the convention this week, if only to see the Trek Museum before it closes.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What you can expect from Monday

When I started this Blog I intended regular themes:

Biblical scaled epics, political salmon,
Video Game walkthroughs from a secret UFO defense bunker,
17th century pyrates, and dangerous animals.

I have decided to stay clear of politics excepting Darwin politics, which has generated the most comments, interestingly enough. I have been thinking about blogging-up the ideas behind the deeply emotional politics, I am not incendiary enough to unload all my politics, but I hope that everyone can agree on some things. I think that this is a very cool development for example: Obama and McCain.

My revised list of expectations after one year:
You can expect more of the same, these themes seem pretty good:

The 2 entertainment themes – “all ages” and “over-served immature adults”
Talk Like a Pirate Day of September 19th.
Dangerous Animals
Projects that I may start working on with greater diligence
That “fish to ape” evolution is harder to believe than “ape to man” and no one likes to admit it
Themes on my favorite storytellers like Aaron Williams, the Foglios, and other superior independent comics.
Cartoonists NW, Illustration Fridays and animation
Random thoughts on life and culture
Similar ideas to mine on other Blogs

For example; Khylov the storyboard artist. I have been meaning to reply to Khylov who left such good comments the other day. He seems much more professional than I and has a good style to his art. He has blogged far more effectively than I on the overall hard-to-believeness of fish-to-ape. (May 12th - the fish "fin" needs to dump the lepidotrichia)

I wonder if I will ever get around to blogging big epics… with sketch illustrations…

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Batman of Bruce Timm and Lego Batman

Looking at my last post- I did not communicate the 2 “all ages” themes that I would like to come back to from time to time. The latest Dark Night gives a significant challenge to my proposition: the best comics/ stories are all ages.

Since I have been examining my own thoughts on this I have noticed that some “all ages” rating standards are awful, but some encourage creative people to streamline the story as they should and present a worthy story to the largest audience possible.

My other proposition is that an over-served small audience is unfairly over-catered to. The immature adults and older teens compose the group that is way over-targeted for comics and films.

To balance what may be misconstrued as prudish un-funism, I present Bruce Timm’s tribute to the censors of his 90’s Batman.

I hold up the Bruce Timm Batman as the best example of all-ages story well told. The image above shows some of the reasonable and unreasonable limits to Batman the Animated Series. From Upper Left to Lower Right: child endangerment, open wounds, gun violence, strangle/ neck grab, religion, alcohol, nudity, and smoking. This is one of the many good reason’s to check out the Bruce Timm Art of Batman book.

The commentary for the DVD seasons are interesting too. I cracked up at how Batman had to restrain himself for the sensors while fighting people, but could literally rip the head off of a robot human.

Lego Batman is the next big thing that my capture my ideal all-ages:

Collider has Lego Batman images.
Traveler’s Tales Lego games make the fun happen.

The / link to the best image of the game’s cover to date. Apparently from the San Diego wish-I-were there fest.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Looking forward to Lego Batman

Records were broken this weekend. This has been a good summer for superheroes.
I saw many kids at all the movies this summer.
My rating from most “all ages” to least:

Kung Fu Panda – Most “all ages”
Iron Man
Batman - Least “all ages”

The huge numbers of kids at all these films says to me that the parent’s current standard “all ages” in for my area includes the racy bits in Iron Man and the Murderous bits in Batman. I have to think about this sometime.
Lego toys seem to be aimed at the least kid-friendly kid movie of the summer.
The Batman Lego game is less tied to the look of “Dark Night”. At the lego Batman site- many new things can be found including several fun short films of the Batman.

As a result of villain choices in the Batman relaunch, I have revisited my favorite Chuck Dixon Ras Al Ghul / Joker story. If anyone knows of a better Batman storyline from Chuck Dixon (or anyone in the last 10 years), I would like to see it! I doubt that Bruce Timm and Paul Dini will make any new Batman soon, so it would seem that all the good new comics are going to come from Mr. Dixon? The Demon Laughs was inspired.

Monday, July 14, 2008

This is what she ate

This is the first of the regular Monday updates!

My significant Mother celebrated this weekend. While eating out we reminisced about dad (gone 3 years now) and a poem he put to music. I did not know that the tune was made up and I wasted hours looking for A WW2 top 40 title that I thought would be called “She said she wasn’t hungry”. The poem is found in a book of collected American poetry.

That Anonymous guy can sure write well. I shortened it and added my bits.

I have a pretty good mom.

I had but 50 cent

She said she was not hungry but this is what she ate:
A dozen raw, a plate of slaw,
A chicken and a roast,
Some applesass, and sparagrass,
And soft-shell crabs on toast.
A big box of stew, and crackers too;
Her appetite was immense!
When she called for pie,
I thought I’d die,
For I had but fifty cents.

She said she wasn’t hungry
And didn’t care to eat,
But I’ve got money in my clothes
To bet she can’t be beat;

She took it in so cozy,
She had an awful tank;
She said she wasn’t thirsty but this is what she drank:

A ginger pop with foam on top
Some coffee down her throat
A malted shake washed down some cake
And a root beer ice cream float

When she called for more,
I fell on the floor,
For I had but fifty cents.

Take my advice, don’t try it twice
If you’ve got but fifty cents!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

More Good Shakespeare

Here Pease-Blossom addresses Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream. "you are that shrewd and knavish sprite Call’d Robin Goodfellow: are you not he That frights the maidens of the villagery;... sweet Puck?"

My Niece played an excellent Pease-Blossom, and I have been reminded that when High School aged actors run a play, they truly play. It was great fun, and this was teens at play as well as good greek-toga Shakespeare.

I went right after an excellent Comic Convention, I met Aaron William's (PS238) very cool spouse. Bought some, said "hi", convinced 3 really good artists to sign some comic boards. No Baldwin appearance, but this Emerald City Comicon gets better each year.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Emerald City Comicon

Busy week ahead.
WIL WHEATON has been added, as has ADAM BALDWIN, to the Emerald City Comicon. I have tickets to the early show for Iron Man and Aomic Robo has a free comic coming out. Cartoonist Northwest will be well represented as well. Good times.
shortly after that:
Iron Man, May 2nd in theatres
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, May 16th in theatres
Incredible Hulk, June 13th in theatres
WALL·E June 27th in theatres
Dark Knight, July 18th in theatres

However Lego Batman is still pretty far away - September 2008
New trailer

Friday, April 18, 2008

Expelled Movie

Ben Stein opens today. Freedom to think.
Amazing. Fun trailer.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Red 5 Comics

Red 5 is a great example of a publisher making comics - they are a part of a very cool trend: Creative people who made a pile of cash that they could retire on and decide to spend their time making really good comic books.

Red 5 had movie deals before they put their first comic up for sale. I followed this company out of interest- "how did they do that"
The answer is found in the creators past. Heavily connected with success and Lucas Arts.

Abyss conclusion comes out 4/30.

Atomic Robo will next appear on Free Comic Book Day with Neozoic

Red5 Comics are people who have kid- hearts (adventure, humor, great stories and heroes) but put out comics that a parent would think 2x about giving to children. I do not think that they dropped the F bomb yet but ... maybe they have. The current comic world makes all ages comics with occasional dialogue that should have read like !!$&* instead of ...

Maybe I am off here, but these great stories deserve a bigger audience, they have cut themselves off from a good chunk of it, I am not sure why.

Enough angst- I really like Kevin Rubio, and Atomic Robo, and dinosaur herds attacking cities.

Abyss especially is fun. It was made by the same team that created Tag and Bink. I have a couple copies of the Tag and Bink collection on order that I intend to hold for gifts. If you work for the distributors, get more.

Just look at the cover art for a summary of the Tag and Bink coolness: here

Monday, March 24, 2008

PS 238 Aaron Williams

One of the best all-ages comics for me lately has been PS238 by Aaron Williams. I have about a dozen of his collections and single issues - more than half have a great sketch and signature. His blog is a great source of amusement for hero/adventure people too.
He seems proud to be the writer for one of the new Spider-Man Unlimited issue #13 stories. I like his work.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Kids Love Comics

My cartoonist group, Cartoonists NW. has a large number of projects going on that are not intended for kids at all. (they are very original and amazing) And I have been reading a lot of Scott McCloud lately who considers the kid-comics mental association to be a very bad thing for comics. Scott goes on to say that he is not happy with current trend to only cater to males aged 25 to 40.
This has started me thinking more about the state of me, and what I want for comics.
I recently came across a kid’s comics site aimed at educators, and it reminded me of how kid’s comics are a very very good thing:

Because Kids Love Comics like no one else.

Kids Love Comics
-- Promoting literacy (and fun!) through Graphic Novels & Comics! KLC aims to promote quality, age-appropriate comic books available to kids through awareness campaigns, and creator tours & signings that tie in with local education and business communities.
Comic books are a valuable resource for kids' entertainment & education!

My wife is a Public School teacher (which is an influence on me) and I always have kid sketches in my sketchbook alongside of my pirates, characters and heroes. So that obviously is one thing that I want for my comics. Kid participation.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I win again!

I win again! I made it past the Editor and was given these kind words by Mark.
Even though I am now represented by Stickman # 656, I have to admit that my favorite is still #17

My 2 best reasons today to like Mark Monlux:
1.) Mark told me about some good things over the years: Cartoonists Northwest and about how art pricing works (more people see the art - over time and by distribution, more the fair pay for the creator) which I find very interesting and may have to do someting about someday.
2.) Mark also is living proof that you can turn out good illustrations, and run a business without losing your mind. He is a pro and fun. I cannot imagine that this is an accident. He must be smart of sumthin'.
BTW Mark is an active member in Seattle GAG. This is the place to get the Pricing and Ethical Guidelines book for people who may someday have a product. Mark is an artists advocate, I am proud to know the Grand Poobah.
He has a great site - love the movie reviews and the Hawaii story.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Return of Stickman entry now away

Now for another StickMan adventure. Can StickMan get past the Monlux editor process.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I am a winner!

My “Sunburned Pirate” entry won for the sculpture-before-dinner activity (probably because of the salad leaf that was added to simulate seaweed?- Hat tip to Jeff Hammill and my table.)
The Toonie Awards banquet was great as usual – the best so far by my thinking. Some greats were missed – Scott, and Scott and Georgia and… plenty of other people that you cannot help but like.
I have met many talented, fine toonists over my almost 2 years of participation.
If I ever do a project with Dillon Works this recognition could come in handy.

Mark Monlux (who normally takes top sculpting honor) successfully challenged me to contribute to his Stickman webcomic – look for an entry later this week?
The Cartoonists Northwest club is going through some changes. I hope that we do not lose the old website, but I like the “yahoo groups” idea. The new ties with the Art Institute of Seattle (a CNW show is in progress since Friday) have been welcome, and more people are recognizing what a uniquely great thing CNW (Cartoonists Northwest) is. (It looks like Philadelphia has something going, but too few cities seem to have what Seattle has.)

Happy to be here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Taproot As You Like It

I had a great time introducing “me Olives” to Shakespeare this weekend. We saw “As You Like It” directed by Karen Lund (read as a pdf at wowio). I think that the title is excellent 17th Century marketing. Taproot Theater is excellent once again.

"The result is good, good, good vibrations."
- Joe Adcock, Seattle PI

One of the devices in this play is that the banished Duke becomes a hippie in the woods (1960s music for transitions, but faithful iambic pentameter otherwise) which worked well for me.

As hoped, Olives loved the play and I found it very familiar – I had never seen this particular comedy before but if follows the formula: A woman pretends to be a man to test the true heart of the male lead. One of the characters says something amazingly profound in a brief monologue, and everybody gets married at the end.
As the Reduced Shakespeare Company has rightly observed – this never gets old.

BTW – you can always tell the difference between tragedy and comedy with Shakespeare:
Tragedy – everybody dies
Comedy – everybody gets married

“Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must speak.”
- ROSALIND — Daughter to the banished Duke.

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”
- JAQUES — A Lord attending upon the banished Duke.

I think that Orlando Bloom should make like Kenneth Branagh and try out a film version of this play. Fittingly enough the male lead is named “Orlando”. If he does a good enough job on this he could then (when he is older) play the lead in “Midsummer Night’s Dream”… as an elf… well technically a fairy.

I toyed with the idea of traveling all the way down to Ashland Oregon to see “A Midsummer Night's Dream”. I wonder if it would have been worth the long drive, and worth missing this gem from Taproot.

Thank you to: Marianne Savell (Rosalind), Anne Kennedy (Celia) and Bob Borwick (Touchstone) for genuine enjoyment of one of my favorite things – Shakespeare.

My sketch today is a caricature of the much-used device: A woman pretends to be a man to test the true heart of the male lead.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Nintendo DS Sketch Pad

I have to give honorable mention to Jens Andersson (in Sweden?). For his excellent programming for the Nintendo DS. His application reminds me of the drawing hand screensaver software which I also like. Here are two of my sketches on the go. DS conclusively beats PSP because of this.

4 Words: Pressure sensitive drawing pad
Colors! is a simplistic digital application for Nintendo DS based on modern painting-techniques developed for drawing tablets in programs like Photoshop. By taking advantage of the pressure sensitivity of the DS touch-screen it becomes a perfect portable digital sketch-book.

Current features
Hard and soft circular brush
Pressure-sensitivity can affect opacity and brush-size
512×384 image resolution with 2 stage zoom

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Donald problems in work page 3 panel 1

The move from sketchbook to artboard did not go well. Even simple things became harder so I am focusing on one panel for the moment. Looking back at the script - the car is all wrong and what was intended to be a final pencil did not look as good (composition) as the thumbnail that I started with. To top it all off, Donald looked a lot like Daffy. I was doing fine Donald drawings (with audience) without reference - but the panel 1 Donald... just ugg. But before hitting these problems I went to the font size problem using my math brain.

The Comic book dimensions are 6 ¾ x 10 inches. From there I determined that 300 pixels per inch figures a panel of 2025 (half 2025 is 1012 1/2) pixels by 3000.
So each panel (assuming 8 panels per page) can be worked on in a single image of a little over 1000 pixels

I was able to get a pretty good match with a 11 point comic book like font (hair larger than sample page) at 300 pixels per inch. (I used a scan of a Donald Duck like comic for comparison).

For people using prepped artboard the dimensions are: 10x15 drawing area on drawing board with bleed of ½ inch all around (1 ¼ bleed on the bottom margin)

Math brain off.