Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Two Trees, or Blobs... or something...

Here's one of two wet-in-wet watercolor blobs i made..

...which i turned into a tree just for the heck of it.

it's pretty crude the closer up you get.. but like i said, their kinda small..

the second blob of color i used a white trunk, so now it looks more like lightning or a brain scan, doesn't it?

Or maybe a reversed (white) image of a tree trunk.

actually i'm not really sure what the second one is.. and since no one's demanding an answer, and people are use to me drawing weird crap to begin with..

it can be whatever people want it to be.

maybe two pieces of moldy brown broccoli? i dunno...

Thanks for all the supportive comments in the last post too!

- Sam

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cartoon Art Museum !!!

I'm BACK... with some great news too.

 I dug out this old cover because i've been fortunate enough to have the Cartoon Art Museum do a retrospective of the last 50 years of my work!  Here's a blurb for it on their web site.  It'll be in the San Francisco, from Feb 13th thru June 16th. About a third of it will be creator owned originals like (Maxx, Bimbo, Ojo), one third work for hire, Marvel and DC (wolvie and joker art).. and one third my newer Paintings and Trout related antiques.

Most of art you've probably seen before online... or in comics... but if you happen to be in the area it's a kinda cool chance to see them in person.  I'll probably pop in for some opening night thingy too. There's also a Museum/ book IDW's printing, sorta a catalogue or what's in the show and an interview with me.

Getting something like this for a dweeb like me means you probably have some sort of cult following... or it means your getting old... or since it's a museum, means your probably kicked the bucket.

Since i'm not currently dead, i assume it's the other two.

All sarcasm aside, I have someone very special I wanna thank though: ..... YOU.  All of my fans over these many years. No fans means no moldy dusty pile of art work to even get noticed!  No art work to get seen, then no one to enjoy it ( or flea in terror of disgust,  the *other* reaction my art inspires) - so no one to see/enjoy it, no museums will know who the heck you are to begin with.

I'd also like to than Scott Dunbier & Albert Moy for getting the ball rolling, Andrew Fargao at Museum for being so down to earth, patient and welcoming.

I also wanna thank the Head Gardener for putting up with my moody bastard ways for all these years.. and seeing things in me i'm apparently too blind to see myself.

Okay - enough of that crap. One last 'sam's finally throwing himself out there in public' opportunity is, if you happen to be near the Sacramento area....

 i'll be doing a signing at Dave Downy's comic shop: Worlds Best Comics... on Saturday, January 12th, from 2pm to 4pm. This is something i've been promising Dave i'd for *ever*... so we may as well get it out of our systems once and for all, eh?

The last sacramento signing i did was... well... way back when the first issue of Maxx was released, so it's been a while.  Don't worry if you don't happen to love in Sac or the SF area... i'll be in San Diego next year too and we can meet up there.

You know, if you didn't know my work... and you looked at this wolvie cover i did above, then looked at that little girl below?

You'd probably think they were drawn by totally different people, eh?

Weird thing is, it's kinda true.  I am different, for better or worse.  Time manages to have it's way with everyone, eventually.  I don't even think it's bad or good, but it's easier than beating yourself up over it, right?

Okay, it's been a long three weeks between posts, and i'm sorry for that.  Several balls in the air at once, finishing the last of Hollows, the Museum art book, the Worlds art book for next July...

so i'll see about getting some new stuff online again soon.

- Sam

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vassilis Gogtzilas, and Hollows.

Here's a montage of Hollow's art - i'm blown away and thankful retailers have ordered the first issue! Without fans and the few comic stores still out there, I wouldn't even still be working in comics, so a big THANK YOU to everyone who supports my goofy art style.

I know Hollows may not be for everyone. You might dig my old stuff or a less lose style than i'm using on the Hollows, but heck...  I'm always just surprised when anyone picks up a creator owned book anymore! No one gets rich of these suckers, their a labor of love.

Here's a Hollows piece you may have seen already, but if not...

Also those three Fantastic Four covers I drew for the Heros Charity are up if anyone's interested..  

Apologies i've been sluggish in posts the last few weeks.  Playing catch up on hollows last two issues left me kinda spent. But i'm recharging my creative battery so don't worry, new posts are in the works!


I waned to talk in this post about my old pal Vassilis Gogtzilas. Like a few other artists he saw my work when he first read comics, and gradually grew into a story that is his own. I did the same, tried to copy the styes of others when first read, then later trying to break in.

I tried to drag Vassilis into working with me on Nola... and he always blew me away with his amazing art. In the end I decided I wanted to draw that particular story myself. It was tough call, because I had become good friends  with him by then, be he understood why. No rejection of him, and he's been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.

See, the secret i never told Vassilis, was that while i asked him to help me on Nola... truth was i learned a lot from him. I think I learn from every artist i work with, but Vass is  special. He's so versatile,  humble, and one of the fastest artists i've ever met!

His art can get as 'big-foot' or cartoony as my cousin Dave Feiss's style got sometimes.

In fact i sorta flash back to Fred Flower and Uncle Italian Moose or the Cow and Chicken days when Vassilis is in cartoony mode. Yet his style is it's on animal here too.

Cartoons or Illustration.. either way: Frantic, energetic and full and life.

Another thing I admire is he can move to things like this... portraits and figure drawing that's solid as a rock, yet his pen or brush style stays lose...

Vassilis CAN add the detail, but like Eddie Campbell or Sienkiewicz do,

Vass has the skill to use a scratch pen style that strips the face bare... and seems to carves everything extraneous away.

Then he'll pop back over to something like this big-jawed guy.

This is why i love his stuff.  All over the place, in a good way!  (Plus bonus points because he's not afraid to draw big butts too!)

I'd be a fool NOT to learn and absorb from artists like Josh Hagler, Jon Way$hak, Vassilis, they 'teach" me things... change me, affect me... every time I look at their art.  Even if we never directly speak about it. Some of them may be young enough to look upon me how i look upon older comic pros. But that's irrelevant now.

They emerged from the shadow of my 'style' like I fought to emerge from being a Berni Wrightson or Bill Sienkiewicz clone, or a  clone of illustrators like Bernie Fuches or Bob Peak, or painters like the women of Klimt,  beauty/ugly of Schiele,  whimsy of Paul Klee,  elongated faces of Modigliani, or even variety of styles Kandinsky tried. Not throwing those names out to seem pretentious, but they all inspired when i first discovered them.

Then later when trying to break into comics.. their immense talent, skills, pure imagination... intimidated the hell out of me.

But i did tried to do.... what Way$ak, Hagler and Vassilis succeeded at. Emerging from another artists's shadow or style.  Now it's their OWN styles they get to enjoys the fruits of.  Or be frustrated by. Sure, questions still swirl in all our minds:

Am i just a clone of.......?

Do i look to much like........?

Meanwhile, as the questions fade, the good news is all we're all left with is ART. Cool art, different art. People miles apart that hardly look anything like one another now, but once part of a long chain or guys and gals inspire by each other.

So, this post is dedicated to Vassilis, one of the best kept secrets in comics in my humble view.  He's his own guy now, and his secret is starting to seep out.

Well known writer J.M. Dematteis talks about working with Vass on a new comic called Augusta Wind too - check it out!  

There's also lots of cool art from Vass in this piece too.

Okay, enough already, i will get back to throwing some of my crap up next post. I'll leave you with two sepia looking pages Vass drew from a comic, dealing with ordinary people. Seems appropriate since we've been talking about artists insecurities and failures.