Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Views of my studio


When i'm working at my art table and i glance up in the corner.. I see a photocopy of a defaced joker cover I once stabbed with an exact-o knife. It's always a good idea not to take yourself, or your art... too seriously. That's why ruined it, then i tapped it up to remind myself not to be too anal or detailed. 

The Nola drawing's not mine, Leigh did it, which is weird because Vassilis is drawing the Nola book. Leigh's doing Lust Police, which is Dana's book, but has Nola in it, briefly. 



When I'm sitting at computer and scanning pages, and i look LEFT,  I see this: 

It's a peek at part of a painting lying against my wall I keep doodling on. I can never decide if it's finished or not. Looks much better in person. Too big to scan. 


When i look DOWN, (still scanning) ... i see a cheezy cardboard box i made full of 'crap yet to be scanned', (which has the batman page in it, which shows you hold old this photo is. Because i already threw this batman page on the site, so it's no longer in the 'crap yet to be scanned' box.) Still awake? sorry.. kinda boring... 

I also see the stuff lying around on my round wooden table... (It may look like this stuff is carefully staged for this photo, bit it's just debris that's accumulated .) the pink hand was mine... one of those 'impression molds' some hobby stores have. 

'Sissy', upper left... is a prop from the Nola comics, complete with fake blood and dolls eye. 

It's weird how i make props for objects that appear in comics that are just comics, brings it to life for me. So that'll have to do for this week.  

...still chugging away on vampires for IDW. Here's an add for the first issue. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Something with Way$hak

I'm still in a rush on deadlines, (hence this post being a day late), so here's a  hulk old pieces I did a while back... might have been trading cards, can't remember.

Below are a couple unfinished some rough ideas I did for a future collaboration with Jon Wayshak, an amazing dude you may already know of.  We did an gallery show together years ago, and I've loved his stuff for years. He done a ton of paintings, prints, commercial stuff and is getting more into comics too.

The idea is, I start a piece and he finishes it... then i finished one of his. What one starts... and the other tries to blends into that. Or maybe doesn't try to match, maybe the difference is the point.

Trouble is we both keep finishing whatever we start painting ourselves, and I myself, eventually hate whatever it is i started and either chuck it or redraw it, which sounds like Jon does too. These two above were scanned a while back. I can't remember but I think I've finished one of these..

Once we finally DO pass along a bunch of stuff to the other, it will be interesting to see the finish piece.

Meantime, another card. Sorry if you've seen these before..

back to the drawing board.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why a Trout?

A lot of people ask me this... what's up with all this Trout crap? Well, if you're  inside my head, and don't know the 20 graphic novels and four art books and all the trout history clogging my brain (most of which aren't published yet),... then it's totally understandable to wonder. Hell, I'd ask too. 

But before I get into the Trout, first up goes back to how I draw... and think... in general. I notice I tend to unconsciously reduce everything I draw to shapes, like in Zero Girl. Nothing special there: most artists think in circles, squares, etc. In my mind all three of the examples above are all pretty much the same skeleton, only with different 'skin'. Here's what I mean: 

Legs was Maxx, who, before that, was the Magic Trout. While compiling stuff for the art book, I came across an old page that shows this pretty well. The Trout was just a side-ways S shape and so was Maxx... still unformed. Just doodles in dozens of sketchbooks. 

I layed out a crude story of the Trout as a grit salesmen, as a sort of joke. 

This idea was based on a frame from an old rare short film (that's long been lost) which supposedly shows one of few existing photos of the Trout. 

I used this 'mute man' from the film later in my Ojo comic. The Mute man was one of hundreds of folks dating back to the 1900s who (along with Annie), had a profound experience when they saw the Magic Trout. 

My sketchbook doodles of the trout are kinda like the source of everything, all of it... everything came from it. Nothing to do with actual fish or fishing for trouts.  It's just randomly evolved into this whole universe, which bookends my whole career. I tried to keep it separate from the Maxx universe, but, like everything I dream up, it's part of a 'family of everything' I create. For me the Trout world is already as fully formed as the Maxx world. All that remains is the act of patiently laying it down in print and online.  

These crude panels from the Ojo comic show that whenever the Trout 'speaks', it's utter nonsense to human ears. Yet we process it as what we want to hear. In the 1900s people tended to hear a weird noise from the Trout that sounded to human ears like the words 'cheese and garbage'. 

I have no idea what it means either, it's just another mystery of this Trout world. 

So why should you give a crap about all this? No reason. I don't know why believe in imaginary things like a big purple super hero. Or a skinny guy in black that Neil called the Sandman. It only exists because somebody doodled in a sketchbook or wrote in a note pad. 

Here's an old vintage Trout Balm advertisement for Balm from the turn of the century. Something people don't even remember anymore. 

All this Trout nonsense will make a little more sense as various books start tumbling out. Trust me. Creations are goofy things; creator and readers conspire to pretend something unreal happened, matters, and emotionally moves them. It's totally organic, starts inside, then pops out. Totally stupid.

Yeah, I know. I don't get it either. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Soap, Abstracts & a Sergio card.

Here's a layout and the finished Sergio Aragones Groo trading card i did during the Image days. So much gets lost in art for trading cards, so i figured you wouldn't mind seeing a higher-rez version. I bailed on the layout because it didn't look enough like Groo. 

Sergio is yet another a very cool guy who encouraged me during our brief exchanges over the years at conventions. 


The abstracts continue to roll out.

It's desperately needed therapy between work for hire gigs. Only so much abstraction a comic may allow. It just for me... and any fans out there that digs non-representational abstractions from my warped little brain. 

 'Texture junkie', is what my pal Terry Fitzgerald says draws him to this stuff. I guess i am too, or i wouldn't be doing it. But there is some thought behind it too. 

I'll speak a little more about this stuff in an interview about my sketchbooks art coming out soon. Let alone tons more bigger art books which will come over in the next few years. 


Here's a curiousity: My Mother dug up a piece of my art burnished onto a bar of soap she had made when i was a kid. 

Something I'd forgotten all about. Kinda cool. Obviously my crude pen line work makes it difficult to make the figure out.  Of course we can't use it, or it would wash away. Anyway... i thought it might be worth a peak.

More next week.