Sunday, December 19, 2010

Not too late...

Despite the holidays coming up there were still some really great suggestions and I wish I could've gotten to a few more. But, because of the holidays coming up, I have quite a few deadlines that needed to be tackled and those, unfortunately, come first. Crazy, huh?
Maybe I'll be able to squeeze in few more next weekend so don't give up and keep making your suggestions.

Here's one that's been suggested almost every week for quite awhile now and I thought it was time to tackle it. I vaguely recall Ultraman from way back when, but I don't recall watching many of the shows (movies?) This one's for you Little John.

And don't forget that my sketchbooks are still available - both of them. Just click on the link to the side for my 2nd sketchbook and if you want the first one instead of the second just mention that in the instructions for Paypal or e-mail me directly.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A new record...

Lately it seems like every week I'm apologizing or trying to justify why I'm so late to post the choice for Fan Request Friday. Well, this week I think I've outdone myself.  But I do have a good excuse. Sunday I went with the whole family to Disneyland and barely had time to do any work at all and with so little time being spent on the board it seemed a little frivolous to spend time doing the FRF drawing.

Anyway, enough with weak explanations...
This weeks choice is Firebreather. It was suggested by Andy Kuhn himself and when the creator of a character suggests I do their creation it's a little hard to refuse. I've admired Andy's work for some time and I really like the look of Firebreather. In fact, I'm a little disappointed that when they adapted it to a move on Cartoon Network they didn't use more of his style and make it a 2D film. But I've heard that the movie did really well and hope Andy and his co-creator, Phil Hester, benefit greatly from its success. My drawing isn't nearly as cool or graphic as what Andy does, but I had fun doing it...

Monday, December 06, 2010

All aglow...

Talk about running late, eh? A freelance job that I was wrapping up over the weekend took longer to finish than I expected (don't they all?) and so I didn't get to this till late yesterday.
Here is Tron and Yuri. Ever since seeing some of the trailers and teasers for the new film, Tron Legacy, and the teaser for the new TV series by Disney TV (best looking thing I've ever seen done for TV in animation!) I've been interested in doing something like this and when it was requested I seized the opportunity.
The subject demanded a little more color than I've done previously for these particular pieces.  As I'm sure the Tron fans and experts will agree I kind of faked the actual light patters, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Quite a bit is happening in my professional life (especially in regards to freelance work). I just finished (as previously mentioned) an IronMan Adventures book for Random House (in 3D!) and I'm working on another Superman book as well as another Batman book for HarperCollins Kids - use this link to navigate to Amazon if you're interested in buying any of them and then do a search for my name. I'm also working on some Green Lantern books (based on the upcoming movie) for GrossettDunlap. Pretty odd how in my dayjob I've been the Marvel animation guy (hardly ever working on any WB shows) and in my freelance life I've become a DC guy.

Speaking of my day job, I'm wrapping up the gig on The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes season 2 (which won't be on TV for about a year) in about a month and a half and I'm starting to look around for the next one. I'll let you know where I end up as soon as I know..

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The lost weekend...

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.  It was quite nice having a long weekend even though I had plenty of freelance to occupy the time I wasn't spending with family.
You'd think that in all that time I would've been able to draw more than just one Fan Request. I know I sure thought I would. In fact, I had planned on doing several drawings and had even started them, but realized I was running out of time and the freelance kept calling to me...if you know what I mean. I had even imagined that the weekend was so long that I'd have time to tackle a couple of personal projects. Silly me. Maybe next 4-day weekend, eh?

Anyway, I need to post this and get back to the freelance.
Someone suggested Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. My son introduced me to her books some time ago (maybe a dozen years ago?) and I read the first one, but I must admit that was as far as I got. Maybe I'll have to re-visit the series at a later date. In my free time, of course. With all the interest these days in vampires I'm kind of surprised these books still haven't made it to film though it is nice to see that the books have been translated into comics.

I'd also like to thank Jessica Steele Allen who's photo I borrowed for this particular drawing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


When Harry Potter was suggested for Fan Request Friday it seemed to be an obvious choice with HP7.1 opening to such a great opening weekend - especially considering the phenomenon that these books and movies have become. A whole generation seems to have grown up knowing these characters their entire life. I think what I like best about what JK Rowling did is how the stories aged and became more mature as the characters became more mature - as well as her audience. Or maybe she just continued to improve as a writer. Either way I thought I'd give Harry and his friends a shot. I didn't try too hard to achieve an exact likeness, but go for more of a nice setup (and that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

From the past to the future...

Ever since I saw my friend, Francesco Francavilla's drawing of an imaginary group he calls the First Avengers several weeks ago, I've been trying to put together this drawing. He did suggest for fan Request Friday, but it almost felt more like fan art to me and I wanted to do my best to get it just right.
If you're not familiar with Francesco's work you should be. He's finally starting to get some well deserved notice and some very high profile jobs. So go check out his web-site and his blog - as well as a blog that he and several other very talented artists contribute to called Comic Twart. That's where Francesco originally came up with the First Avengers and each week they fill it with wonderful new images.

This other image caught my imagination almost immediately, but it took me awhile to actually come up with a way to do it. I knew I wanted to try and do a straight version of these characters, but it wasn't as easy as I originally imagined. At one point I almost gave up and was about to select another choice, but I persevered and what I think I finally came up with seems to keep the attitudes of the characters despite the fact that I had to add chins to their faces.

Monday, November 08, 2010

A sad note...

This is running late even for me, but better late than never , eh?

Initially I wasn't going to do anything , but it seemed wrong not to note Michelle Nicastro's passing in some way. So I chose to do a request of my own.
Michelle Nicastro was the voice for Princess Odette in The Swan Princess, but oddly enough, even though she's known for her singing voice, she didn't do any of Odette's singing in the original film. The Swan Princessdidn't do very well in the theaters, but I know it meant quite a bit to a lot of people. In fact, while trying to refresh my memory as to what Odette looked like (you'd think after all the drawings I did of her I'd have her image ingrained forever in my memory) I came across quite a bit of fan art as well as several Cosplayers.  Once I started drawing Odette it all came back very quickly.

This suggestion was for the 1941 version of the Black Cat and since I've got kind of a thing for period superheroes and this one caught my attention.

Chun-Li is not character I know much about (other than the basics) since I'm not much into video games, but she'd been requested quite a few times and it seemed like it was time to do another video game character.

The Thundercats were actually a show that my oldest son used to like when he was very young and I kind of admired the animation in the opening credits. So this is my take on Lion-O though I'm sure it will upset a few purists, but hopefully not too much.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Season of the Witch...

...though Elvira says she's not a witch and I guess we'll just have to take her word for it. She seemed an appropriate suggestion considering what night this is...though Halloween is almost over. I have to really hand it to Cassandra Peterson for being able to take what was a silly little gig and make so much more of it and making it a lifelong career.

I also have to hand it to Neil Patrick Harris for not just ressurecting his career as an adult, but actually becoming a much bigger star now than he ever was when he was playing Doogie Howser, MD.

For those of you who don't recognize the Iron Maiden it would be well worth your time to do a little research into her history and the period when Wally Wood created the Thunder Agents. The Thunder Agents were some of the first comics I read as a young kid that I looked at in awe at such fantastic draftsmanship. Draftsmanship that I still look at in awe.
I find this odd, but this is the second time that PhotoBucket has decided that an image of mine was unsuitable for viewing. And the very strange thing is there is absolutely nothing racey about it that I can discern...or am I nuts? So I just uploaded it directly. The old fashoined way.

I hope you like this week's Fan Request Friday drawings. I have a couple of other cool projects that were suggested and will hopefully get through them before the week is out. So stay tuned...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catching up...still...

...I had planned on doing two of these last week, but ran out of time so I decided to finish them this weekend. It also helped that one of them was suggested again this week.
To be absolutely honest someone suggested I draw Stephen Colbert, but I decided to draw his comic/animated personna Tek Jansen. The Cobert suggestion seemed to make sense to honor his March to Keep Fear Alive rally (which has since combined with Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity. Consider it my little contribution to restore sanity - or keep fear alive.

Nightcrawler drawn as a pirate seems to be a popular suggestion and it appears to have some comic context though I must have missed that particular run of comics.

And I also missed the entire on and off comic career of Cloak and Dagger. I've seen some images of them, but have no knowledge of their history other than what I just read on Wikipedia.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The ticking clock...

When I woke up this morning I had fully intended to do several pictures for Fan Request Friday. I even picked for out and roughed them out, but as the day wore on and other things came up. Time started to get away from me and I only had time for this one before I needed to dive back into the freelance. I'm hoping that throughout the week I'll be able to find time to finish the other three and post them.
The good news about one of the activities that I was involved with today is that I found an entire unopened box of my first sketchbook -Expressions & Attitudes 1. I thought I had virtually sold out of these and had even removed the link from the side of this page to purchase it. I'll have to add that later when I have a few minutes, but in the meantime if you want it just use the link for my second sketchbook and include on the PayPal instructions to let me know you want sketchbook 1.

Anyway, this weeks choice is Vampirella. It seemed appropriate with Halloween coming up...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Monkeying around...

When I was young the Planet of the Apes series was one of my favorite reasons to go to the movies (yes, I'm that old) and it wasn't until much later that I realized that only the first movie was really any good. I'm sure the fact that it was written by Rod Serling probably had something to do with that and Charlton Heston's over the top, stilted acting was actually acceptable (not something you could always say about his acting - Moses? Really?)
Taylor and Nova have been suggested every week since the time I started the Fan Request Fridays by a friend so I thought it was time to reward his persistence. I'm not sure I completely succeeded in capturing Heston or Linda Harrison but I damn well nailed the rifle.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Can you see the Thundarr...

Thundarr and Ookla have been suggested several times so it seemed like it was finally time. I thought I'd toss in Ariel just to make sure I was covering all the fan bases.
Thundarr the Barbarian was a show I was only sort of aware of and that was mainly due to Jack Kirby's involvement. In fact I don't think I ever saw a single episode. Maybe one of these days when I have some free time I'll give it a time? Who am I kidding...?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Step by Step, Slowly I Drew...

Awhile ago someone asked if I'd post a "step-by-step" on how I create the illustrations for the HarperCollins books that I draw. Since I haven't posted anything in awhile other than my Fan Request Friday selections I thought it was a good idea. Unfortunately due to my heavy schedule it's taken me a couple of weeks to actually get to it.

So here it goes.
Much like a comic, it all starts with the editors at HarperCollins sending me a script. They also send a pdf of the layout for the book that will usually include suggestions of what should appear on each page. Sometimes the suggestions are very specific and sometimes just ideas> I work witha  really good edito and his input is invaluable.

I then take a quick pass at some roughs. Being on model at this point is really necessary. I'm mnore concerned with layout and trying to get enough information onto the page as well as creating a good visual flow :

Then I get a set of notes based on that and sometimes a rough revision is necessary. In this case the revision was more of a PhotoShop fix than an actual re-draw:

Once that rough is approved I then put everything on model and go to final ink with any editorial corrections:

And once the inks are approved I then go to color  - or send it to my son for color (this partiucular book I did the color myself). First I lay down flat/base color. Unfortunately I no longer have the ffile where the BackGround was only flat color:

I then add shadows (and background details and texture):

and from there I had highlights and any effects and's finished (after final approval, of course);

I might post a couple more of these if I have time, but I hope this has answered a few questions - or raised some questions (like why do they give him the work and not me...)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Getting closer... having all my current deadlines met, that is. And that is, of course, my excuse for not posting the step by step for my DC/HarperCollins illustration that I've been promising. Don't worry though -  I should have some breathing room this week to do it. In theory.

In the meantime here are the two Fan Request Friday suggestions that I decided to go with this weekend.
I, unlike many artists I know, haven't drawn Mike Mignola's Hellboy too often. In fact, this might be only the second time in about 5 or 6 years I've drawn thsi character. The first was when they were looking for a designer for the DTVs - and we all know how that worked out - and this is the second. I think this one came out a lot better than that first one...

This second picture was done as sort of a gift to a nice couple of ladies that enjoy Cosplaying quite a bit for one of their birthdays. But since it was suggested as a FRF I thought they wouldn't mind if I posted it here...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bah ba bum bum...

I'm actually running a little bit earlier than usual this week (though that might have more to do with the fact that I started a couple of these last week and never finished them...). And by early I mean before midnight...

This week I present the finished Attack of the Flying Monkeys  - though all that was suggested was Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion. I decided to kick it up a little by including Dorothy, Toto and the flying's a little busy and if I had more time I'd rework it a bit, but overall I think it works.

The Oz piece and this next piece were both suggested multiple weeks, but that doesn't always guarnatee I'll choose them, but it probably doesn't hurt. I wasn't familiar with Pietro's daughter Luna and didn't even have any idea that he'd hooked up with Crystal. Shows you how bad a fanboy I am...
Though it did give me an excuse to try something a little sweeter...

This last one was sort of a dare. I'd seen some Sketchcards drawn by J. Scott Cambell fom the Indy movies and was really impressed with how well he'd captured Harrison Ford in them. A friend suggested I give it a shot as well  - even after I admitted to being terrible at capturing likenesses (as you can see from some of the other FanRequestFridays I did), but I decided to try anyway and figured if it didn't turn out okay I just wouldn't show anyone. But, at this point, I think it did turn out decent  - though I might change my mind a little later..

And don't worry I haven't forgotten about last week's promise to post a step by step on how I do my HarperCollins illustrations. I found the materials I wanted to use I just have to get around to posting them. Soon I promise!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Darkness on the edge of the weekend...

With no serious deadlines pending (just wait till next week - oi vey) I spent a little more time than usual relaxing. In fact, I actually went to a movie. Not a very good one (Going the Distance), but, still, we went to a movie and that's something we don't do too often...

Anyway, this week I was doing a lot of reminiscing about my years on the Black Cauldron (since it's about to be re-released on DVD) and when someone suggested Darkness from Legend those horns were just too hard to resist.

There were several others that I started, but ran out of time on (I'm talking about you TinMan and Pietro) that I'll hopefully get to finish later, but I did decide to tackle my first ever Star Wars themed drawing. You'd think that after all these years I would've drawn even a Luke or a slave bikini Leia, but you'd be wrong.
So here is a female Tie fighter - not exactly canon (since she's female), but the uniform is pretty canon - I think....

And a special request GeekGirlDiva. She'll know what it means and maybe some of her friends will also...

I'm also planning a very special post that details (somewhat) how I create my DC heroes illustrations for HarperCollins so until then good-bye and L'shana Tovah to all the MOT!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Racing through Labor Day...

This week's choice for #FanRequestFriday is Race Bannon and Jezebel Jade from one of my favorite Hanna-Babara shows, Jonny Quest. That show was unique in so many ways especially those great designs by the late, great Doug Wildey - not to mention it also had that great title music. If I have time this long weekend, I might try to squeeze out another. Several freelance deadlines are coming up fast so they have to get my full attention for awhile. I'm also working on a group shot that will take some time - not sure how long.
Well, I hope you all enjoy the 3 day Labor Day weekend and especially those of you at Dragon-Con

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Liberty Post...or the Washington Meadows...?

This week for the Fan Request Friday someone suggested I draw the characters from Liberty Meadows in honor of the great article about its creator Frank Cho in the Washington Post magazine this week.
I've been a fan and have admired Frank for quite awhile and would love to be him when I grow up (except for the being really short thing - I don't think I could handle being any shorter than I already am at 5'8"). He's finally getting a lot of the recognition that he deserves (including a big art show in France) and it seemed like a good idea to finally take a swing at Brandy and some of her friends. If you want to see what they should really look like and see how funny they can be then click on the links attached to the names above and by some of the compilations.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

True Powers...

I know I've said this before, but the variety of suggestions I get every Friday always leaves me wishing I had enough time to do more of these. For the last few weeks I've been doing several of the suggestions, but I'm going to have to return to the original plan of doing one every weekend because my freelance workload is nearing some deadlines. Of course, if it looks like I can reach those deadlines easier than I think I could return to multiples again.

Anyway, this week a couple of these have been requested several weeks in a row and one of them is a suggestion I've never seen before.
That 'never seen suggestion' is Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim from Powers by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. I've only read a couple of the TPBs, but I like what I've read. If you haven't read any of them you should check the book out.

The lovely Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (formally Dr. Girlfriend) from The Venture Bros. has been suggested several weeks and by different people. I actually started this a couple of weeks ago, but ran out of time. So this week  here it is:

And since I've already drawn Buffy and Angel it seemed only fair to draw the current (mature) vampire hearththrobs. Sookie and Bill of True Blood.