Friday, August 30, 2013

Leaves, Fires, and a Hundred Trees...

A burnt leaf.  Rough times out here on the west coast.. all these damned Fires are turning a lot of lives upside down.  Emotionally.  Psychically.  Tons of ways.  My thoughts and sympathies to all those affected, some I don't even know personally.

Also, i wanted to also Thanks Ted Adams and the guys at IDW for getting behind the Hollows, and my art books.  Ted the guys and gals at IDW have been a safe port in a turbulent sea.

Speaking of that, here's some loooooong over-due Hollows covers.  There's over a hundred of them.  I was discouraged by drawing these... so I decided to draw a bunch of Trees on these comic covers,....

.....because Trees always inspire me.

Can't go wrong with a tree. Well, you *can*.

Yikes - i learned that during the first 40 or so that i drew.

These are comic cover sketches for retailers who ordered the hollows.. but i'll throw some scans of them into an art book so you can check 'em all out next year. Maybe do a separate art book full of just Trees and Bonsai?

Yeah, Sam's Big gook of Trees n' Bonsai" ~ that'll give the super hero comics a run for their money, sales wise. : )

Don't worry, i know there's a lot of you out there who want a sketch on a comic book like this. I'm sure some of these will pop up on eBay down the road too.

Meanwhile... these really show one thing... there's only so many ways to DRAW a hundred trees without repeating oneself, isn't there? : )

Hopefully these retailers won't be too horrified their getting a tree.  Least most are in color.

But i prefer the simpler ones...

I don't know what it is with me and trees.

Thanks to everyone for sticking with me through various personal and artistic slumps.  We all go through them.  Sometimes ... I think i'm pretty much done creatively.  Worry i'm out of things to say. Out of 'ink'.

But then, something.. somehow, a new day starts, and new crap pops out of me, just like the rest of you. Life, finds a way.  Sheesh ~ ow i'm quoting Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic.

Time to quit this post before i embarrass myself any further, eh?


Monday, August 12, 2013


Scanning - scanning-scanning... I'll probably be soooooo sick of seeing Maxx at the end of all this, but has to be done!  That my camera cord dangling across the Maxx art.

People who see page one often ask if there's some significance to all those maxx 'logo' lettering in the upper left.  Just a artsy design element, nothing more.

Here's a little friend of maxx cover.. on small paper.. i did the previous friend cover on larger paper, but it has less detail than this smaller version. Really no rhyme or reason to why pages are different sizes.

For ease of printing headaches most Maxx pagers were mostly 10 x 15, the comic art size. This just fit those big 11x 17 scanners.

Sometimes the art was a little bigger on the Darker Image Maxx pages. Course i need to stop taking pics and put the art on face down if we're gonna scan now, eh?

Here's probably one of my favorites... i don't mean it egotistical way.

I just mean... *this* kind of creature is more like what i'd naturally draw, instead of trying to stuff Wolverine or Ghost Rider into my usual oddly-shaped proportions.

I could totally relax... be myself... while drawing this guy.. Maxx is really more of a fantasy book than super hero if you think about it.

Another nice part of the collected and Artists edition is.. i always intended to have the whole series start with darker image 8 pager ... following by Maxx issue 1.    I never got around to doing it in the old Maxx reprint trades from Wildstorm.

But we may as well get it right this go-around. Above is a little panel that kinda gets lost in the color. Kinda crude actually... but it's easier to see original art size.

I felt kinda embarrassed about a Artist Edition. Walt Simonson,  Mingola, sure. They deserve it. Honestly a lot of later issues of the Maxx have really hit and miss art. My fault mostly. Not Jim Sinclairs'.

I'm not fool enough to equate myself with the classic artists who IDW's done. I know it's just commercial popularity of the Maxx that would call for a Maxx artists edition.

I'd love to see an 'Epicurus' Artist Edition too... but that's much less popular (and not as well known. ) What i should really do is shut-the-heck-up and be grateful their even including Maxx in this series.

Yeah, while old school classic golden and silver age art collectors may cringe a 90's 'Image' comic made it in Artists Editions ... remember, Maxx is 20 years old. Some fans who were in high school at the time,

....those who grew up on it... *they* might dig checking the originals, right?

And if not, don't buy it, right?   I'll never be able to please everybody out there.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

SDCC, 25th Years Sandman Panel, Tons of Fans, and a little Closure.

( Okay - this is a little confusing.. but i'm thanking Donnovan, Proxy and Ramon Kool for retrieving the Sandman post i lost, which i've edited down a little bit. Also Hey to Random Toxy. Also to Jenn: Yeah, the SDCC edition of Worlds wrap around cover swallows up the 'stick bird' on the back, but luckily the majority of fans will see the sticky bird in the regular edition.  Thanks to Adam S. and Amy B.. thanks and i'll try to sign some more copies soon... also have fallen behind on tons of old comments.. but thanks to my old small press pals John Holland and Tom Stazer for saying 'hey'.. and to anyone else i've missed. THANKS...!!! )

San Diego was NUTS... as expected, but the con crazies was all made worth it by everyone who stopped by! Praise to Ted Adams and the IDW folks for bring me out in the first place too! I'm afraid i was too bus signing to take more pics of myself signing, but there's enough of those online.

An old pal Joseph Melchior showed me his Sandman page (above), which I drew some 25 years ago. Way back in the day, Neil asked for the Sandman's cape to not go outside of the circle, so they shrunk Morpheus down on a state, which Joseph removed and had put on a stat.

After the Sandman panel Both Neil and I stared at the page.. so weird to see it after all these years...

Todd Klein took this cool pic of Neil checking the Sandman page.

I've always tried to keep a respectful distance from the whole Sandman thing. As I've said 
before, was less that proud of my brief contribution to it all. Also I struggled to have a career on my own after the Sandman too, without dissing Neil or the book itself. Fear of always seeming like Neil's little brother caused me to hermit away and I failed in staying in touch with him for too many years. Working together on the Charity Book for Heros.. helped mended those fences.

Above is a short video.. you may have to use headphone to hear what we're saying. 

Below is how the panel must have looked to fans in the audience.

Below how it felt inside...

Okay, I have no evidence Dave Mckean was checking out a hot babe, but J.H. Williams did tell me after the panel he was nervous too. Who wouldn't be? - it was a friggin' huge crowd.

But to jump back for a sec, when I finally saw Neil in person back stage for the first time in almost 20 years, and was intense. I sensed the PURE appreciation and love of all his fans flooding the audience with cheers and support even before we got on stage, it was damned near impossibly not to be moved. Yeah, it was Neil's night, righty so. And he proved he's an awesome verbal storyteller too.. and sure, i was proud for the small role I played in the book. Towards the end of the panel, I got kinda of flustered and started to ramble, but I thanks to Neil's graceful assurance that I was helpful in bring the Sandman to life. .... hopefully I didn't make too big a fool of myself.

Here's a big wolvie... and a little one. 

Seeing everyone, Neil, the fans.. kinda overwhelming, in a good way. 

For a guy who's often told he's often too hard on himself... was an kinda of emotional moment, 

and it sorta was a kind of 'closure' of sorts for me. 

ps: Thanks to my pal Tal Vigderson and Justin Eisinger for the sandman pic up top.