Friday, November 15, 2013

Forest Level Backgrounds for a friend's upcoming release

Each slide is reversible and interlocks with every other screen to create a seamless moving background.  The colors are a little bland but it was intentional for this first draft.


     Myth collecting is a hobby of mine.  There is something so personal about mythology- even hundreds or thousands of years after the story itself was inspired, mythology (of every culture) still speaks to the most primal human problems.  Reading myths, to me, feels like studying cave paintings, or being at an archeological dig... it's a direct connection to someone, somewhere lost in history, who left their mark.
     Trolls are a funny little breed, am I right? Throughout mythology they come in all sizes, all shapes, and all temperaments.  There are flesh-eating cannibal trolls, tiny mischievous trolls, huge god-like trolls, house trolls, chimney trolls, tower trolls, cave trolls, hill trolls, mountain trolls, trolls with magic, trolls without magic... it goes on and on, you get the idea.  Lots of them - pretty much any location or medium sized animal was probably attributed with a troll at some point in history, humans cannot get enough of them. Every culture has at least one version of a "troll," for good or evil, we're stuck with them.
     On a side note, I really need to get some better paper.. my lines keep bleeding all over the page if I'm not careful with this stock.  I'll get into it more with part 2 of this blog post later, for now I'll just leave you with Troll Pictures Part 1!  I'm off to celebrate fireworks day!  I leave you in the company of this big hunter troll, the smaller rock troll, putting up with their little, neon-haired cousin.

     *Update* Woops a whole week went by!  Such is life in the summer time.  After a few weeks, I'm back in the swing of things, and finishing up my first, full interweb comic, Far From Home, while I doodle other things in my sketchbook.  These are those other things.
     Here's the rest of the gang- that I've been turning over in my head for a while... I mean there are always more, but these are the ones that bubbled to the surface first when I started drawing. The ugly one was semi-inspired by an old show called David the Gnome, which I used to love watching as a little kid. The lighter, sketchy-looking one of them is a Kappa, a funny little kind of Japanese troll that lives underwater, has a head full of water, and will die if that water happens to slosh out by accident.  That big one on the bottom looks a little like a Totoro (which is also the Japanese word for "Troll" f.y.i.), but I'm not sure why she would be hiding under a bridge... actually, looking at it now, I know exactly what she's doing under that bridge.
     Oh and fun fact, all three of those trolls are female!

     ... but not the two tiny ones.  Those are definitely dudes.

Spiderman Joins Instagram

Spider-Duck lips, because if Peter Parker was a teen today he'd be snapping' selfies all over the place.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Far From Home 1 - 6

A comic I was dabbling with several years ago, trying new techniques and tools along the way --> I'll post the rest soon :)

Far From Home 7 - 12

Far From Home 13 - 18

Old Kruslar Banner Art

Now defunct

Veggie Concepts : for my upcoming graphic novel

A few quick (and poorly colored) sketches, I was trying to suss out some potential shapes and faces of ... well, vegetables.

Sprite Concepts

 His name is Beardface

Nicholas Cage is hilarious, unintentionally.

I would even say he's one of the best unintentional comedic geniuses of our time.

- Cage Faces -

- Wicker Man Comics -

Disclaimer: These are actual scenes that happen in the movie, the dialogue and scripting is verbatim from the film and not written by me.

Concept Faces

Catface / Dogface

Day(s) at the Dentist

Cosmic Waves - Silver Surfer Warm up

Silver Surfer meets Epoc - Caption:  "Wheeeeeeeeeeeee"

Grendel Prime

Bear in mind...

The Rare and Elusive Gotham Penguin

Samurai pg.1 teaser

Raphael Hopes

     As you can see I went a little more on the serious side for this one.  This was actually a two-day warm up, I did some quick line art yesterday and finished up the blacks and grays today.  I was going to do color but ... anyone who really knows the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles doesn't need colors to tell who Raphael is.  He was always the most real, and most tragic turtle, if that's possible... he was also the most human.
     My man (turtle) desperately wanted to be part of human society, in fact he wanted nothing more in life than to just fit in, and disappear into a crowd.  But he never could.  His underlying story arch (in my mind at least) always centered around this... he was the ultimate outcast- much  more so than other super heroes who could simply take off their disguise, or suppress their powers.  He spend his entire life fighting to protect humanity, with the simple hope that they, in return, would not attack and dissect him on sight.
     The first time I read Sin City I was actually reminded of the feeling I got from TMNT comics early on.  Heavy, heavy blacks, dark plot lines, defending a city that might not be worth defending, quite literally living in the gutter.  It's not easy being a Turtle.

     TMNT holds a very close, very special place in my heart- tucked up in the left atrium somewhere, I believe.  I had a very tender relationship with those four turtles, that rat, and that red haired lady for all of my young life.  Through a lucky quirk of fate and relations, I met and was in the company of Peter Laird a few times when I was a budding young doodler, at my extended family's home, in western MA.
      At that age however (I was seven or eight I think), I was far too bashful to speak to such a god-like figure, so I kept a deliberate distance from him.  He was friends with a family member of mine through one of his friends or relations, you know how these things end up... so after a slack-jawed introduction on my part, I simply observed him from a petrified distance.
     Still, at 7 or 8 even "knowing" someone from a shy several yards away was like standing next to some kind of unbelievable, forbidden magic.  This was the creator of the TURTLES- the thing behind the toys I played with every day, the cartoons I watched every Saturday (and taped religiously on VHS), the comics I secretly hid under my bed- this was THAT GUY. To my child-brain, the fact that I (by proxy and proximity) KNEW this man, made everything Ninja Turtles specifically MY THING.
     I made it a point of pride to know everything a young child, and TMNT enthusiast COULD know about the Turtles, at that point in time.  We're talking right around 1990-1993, just when the Turtle craze was at it's height - just PRE- Secret of the Ooze, or possibly just after the second feature film was released.  Meeting this Creator Man had already blown my young mind, so now the void left in that wake needed to be filled with knowledge about the Turtles, their world, and their history.  In turn, this became a big part of who I was, and who I hoped to be.
     Pre-internet remember, at least for me.  I never even heard of an internet until I was at least in double digits, so this was info you had to hunt down in the source material.
     Of course the Turtles changed a lot, quickly, in the years to come.  Now there is almost no trace left of the original, black and white comics, full of violence, dark humor and suggested cross-species attractions.  I'm not sure what the TMNT are now, I can only judge them and draw them by what I remember know in my little kid heart.

     Raphael is the best, no question.  All snark and sarcasm to cover up the giant hole inside himself - all the while jump kicking things in the face and wrecking house with two pointy metal sticks. Leo may have been leader in name, but Raph was the leader in attitude.  Cowabunga Dudes! Turtle Power!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fune Kage Concept

The Lonely Samurai, an unfinished project with an old friend of mine.