Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"FUN WITH ARCHITECTURE"

Last night, I found two great rubber stamp kits from my childhood;
"Fun with Hieroglyphics" and "Fun with Architecture."
I decided to break them out and play around with background designs pertaining to Project: Hendecalon. Above, you can see the pagoda inhabited by Captain X at the start of the graphic novel. It is a sort of monastery, where initiates learn KUNG-FU and Spirituality simultaneously.
The foreground of the drawing is a cemetery. All of the elements in the pagoda and its surrounding fence were stamped out with the architecture kit, and the hieroglyphic kit was used to decorate the gravestones.
While I hope to elaborate and improve upon the backgrounds stamped out with the kits, this exercise was a great reminder that "art" and "play" are not so far apart. Art is Play, and it is important never to lose sight of the enjoyment that art-making brings.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In a Jam.



Here's the result of a comics jam I did recently with Chris Schweizer, Mike Lowery, Rich Tommaso, Eleanor Davis, Drew Weing, Joey Weiser, Michele Chidester, and Patrick Dean when we were all gathering in Athens, Georgia. My panel is the last one. Can you match the other artists with their styles? All of these folks are super-talented, so be sure to check out their comics online or in your local comic book shoppe!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snapshots from Planet Hendecalon


Here are some "snapshots" of the architecture on Planet Hendecalon. I'm still trying to work out the purpose behind the various buildings and monuments, and the history of their construction. After all, the Hendecalons have no arms!!!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shannon Smith reviews Mini-Comics!

I would like to send out a big "THANK YOU" to Shannon Smith, maker of mini-comics and reviewer of MANY comics. He has posted mostly positive reviews of my zines and minis on his blog, "File Under Other." He even was generous enough to give me a category in his archive next to many of my comics friends and heroes. Shannon has a good eye for comics, and I found his reviews to be unbiased and fair. It is a really great feeling when someone cares enough about your work to give you a critique. I met Shannon Smith at FLUKE, a mini-comics gathering in Athens, GA. He was selling and trading coffee bags filled with his minis. Here's the cover of his best work, "The Small Bible," published in 2008.
The cryptic cover instantly pulls you in, and the interior, although text-heavy, has a great depiction of Samson offing Philistines with a donkey's jawbone! (See JUDGES 15: 14-16) I cannot thank Shannon enough for being the FIRST PERSON EVER to review my minis! So, thanks Shannon--I hope to see you again in Athens!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Backgrounds, Etc.

I've been delving into some research for backgrounds lately. The background is just as important as the characters themselves, and I have neglected developing strong landscapes for the characters of Project: Hendecalon to inhabit. Hopefully, I can discipline myself to eke out a few good landscapes that will ultimately help me when I start to actually draw my pages.


Here are some background designs for the pagoda that Captain X calls home in Project: Hendecalon. He is the runt of the Dojo, left always to do menial tasks and adhere to a strict disciplinary code. One day, he finds a ladder to the sky and quietly slips away.


Below, you can see some of the inhabitants of Planet Hendecalon, along with the buildings that pepper the landscape. The central figure was conceived as a sort of leader for the Hendecalons, but I think he is too humanoid to really fit that role.


Finally, here's a doodle of Captain X on the offensive!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Flying toward a Hendecalon Language


Lately, I've been working on a nonsensical language for the Hendecalons to communicate with. I am trying to take the English alphabet and abstract it to a point where the characters will no longer be recognizable. I particularly like the example above (discovered by scanning my sketchpad sideways) because it has a character resembling the Hendecalon eye at the top.


Above are some samples of my fumbling around, trying to make the letters more fluid. The word I chose to "translate" was the word ABSTRACT, a key adjective in describing the Hendecalons and their culture.


I got some positive feed back on my unnamed "flying eye" character, so the above is an effort on my part to push it further. I added a character from the Hendecalon alphabet to the sides of the body, possibly making the creature more cryptic. It kind of reminds me of the box from HELLRAISER. It might also make a great tattoo.

Monday, November 30, 2009

VOORT! A Close Encounter with the Hendecalons!


The Hendecalons are an alien race with one pyramidal eye, capable of turning people into abstractions with a single VOORT. Here are thumbnails from a scene in Project: Hendecalon where Captain X experiences the partial effects of the Hendecalons' heinous power.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Good vs. Evil

Although Project: Hendecalon is not a team book like a collection of Marvel's "X-Men," I thought it would be fun to sort out exactly who are the Good Guys and who are the Bad Guys. The story is basically a simple tale of good vs. evil, told in the genre of science-fiction. So, here's how the characters stack up . . .
THE GOOD GUYS (L to R): The Great Spirit, Agent Y, Captain X, and Franklin.
THE BAD GUYS (L to R): Supremalon, Hendecalon, Unknown (Winged Creature), Unknown (Pyramid on Pedestal), Hendecalon, Supremalon.

Here are the kids who are central to the graphic novel:
Lastly, I would like to show you some of my attempts at thumbnailing and pacing. Below you can see about twelve of the first eighteen pages--how the panels will flow and which pages will face each other. It probably only makes total sense to me, but I can't give away the story just yet!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hendecalon Test Panels

First of all, I want to express a hearty "thank you" to everyone who is following this blog! I really appreciate your readership, and I hope to provide you with things that are interesting to read and view.
Here are some thumbnails and test panels for Project: Hendecalon. Hopefully, it will give an idea of what the finished product will look like. You can see how things change from the thumbnailing stage to finished piece.
Here is a thumbnailed strip:
Here is the more finished version:
Let me know what you like, and what I might improve upon.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spider-Man, Spider-Man!


Here's a quick cartoon of Spider-Man that I did when I was down at SCAD-Atlanta last Friday. It may show up on the Temple of Cartoon Mojo blog if I'm lucky.

Friday, April 3, 2009

THE EISENBART OMNIBUS

THE EISENBART OMNIBUS is set to debut tomorrow at FLUKE in Athens, Georgia! Those unacquainted with my previous mini-comics may not be familiar with the character and his arch-enemies, the Heinous Hendecalons! This is your chance to learn more by reading the collected adventures. The 32 page mini will be available for $2 starting tomorrow. If you are in the Athens area, please stop by and support small-press publishing!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A James Kochalka Tribute

I've recently become a fan of James Kochalka's comic "Superf*ckers." Although the comic above is more a spoof of his "American Elf" series and his book "The Cute Manifesto," it is nonetheless a piece of fan art.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The INCREDIBLE Adventures of Sherlock Box!!!

At last! Compiled for the first time on the internet! The INCREDIBLE and EXCITING adventures of that lovable detective, Sherlock Box!!! Read on as he solves his mysteries . . .

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sergio Aragones in Athens--a Reportage

"Once you become a cartoonist you become part of a universal fraternity . . . no matter where you go, you'll have a very good friend."
--Sergio Aragones


Sergio Aragones is a well-traveled man. Born in Spain, his family emigrated to Mexico during the Spanish Civil War. Aragones eventually moved to the United States to pursue a career in cartooning--a career which has taken him all over the world.
Last night, the lecture hall S151 at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia was filled with universal awe and laughter. Sergio was there drawing and lecturing. In the tradition of the great showman cartoonist Winsor McKay, Aragonnes was entertaining an audience with his drawing skill.
"Giraffe!" someone yelled. "A race-car!" shouted another. "Ninjas!" "Shadows!"
With each demand, Sergio calmly produced a masterful sixty-second cartoon, every gag more spontaneous and funny than the last. One could not help but be impressed by his speed--a gag that would take your average cartoonist a week to come up with shot instantly from Aragones's pen.
All this was the finale to a lecture from the acclaimed "MAD" Magazine cartoonist and creator of "Groo, the Wanderer." Aragones first made money from cartoooning in the third grade by charging his schoolmates a centavo for cartoons. Since his youngest days, he had been drawing behind the sofa and telling stories on the school bus. It was the moment when he discovered the existence of other cartoonists that opened his eyes to the possibility of cartooning as a profession.
While still in high school in Mexico, he would sell memeographed cartoons to the magazine "Ja-Ja" (pronounced "Ha-Ha") for one Peso each.
Local hotels were the only source of foreign magazines where he lived. Aragones began to pick up and emulate material he found in these periodicals from abroad. He found more enjoyment in the pantomime cartoons of the European magazines, simply because he could not understand the puns and punchlines of the American comics. This caused an important realization that it is more universal to tell stories without words. He tried to get his unwilling peers to translate "MAD" for him, and would literally chase down classmates more proficient in English to get them to explain the jokes to him.
Moving to New York City in 1962 with $20 and a portfolio of cartoons drawn on any scrap of paper he could find, Sergio attempted to sell his gags to the syndicates, which he misunderstood to be a type of worker's union. Everywhere he turned, he was told: "This is very weird--you should go to 'MAD Magazine'." Aragones was terrified to present his work to "MAD" because he knew they typically ran satirical storylines, not gags.
When he finally took his work to "MAD," he had a stroke of luck. He encountered cuban cartoonist Antonio Prohias, then cartoonist on "SPY vs. SPY." He spoke as little English as Sergio himself, and paraded Aragones around the office introducing him as his "brother."
Soon, Sergio had $100 and a published 2-page cartoon entitled "A Mad look at the United States Space Effort."
By 1976, Aragones had multiple 2-page features, one cover, and his singular margin cartoons under his belt at "MAD." Bill Gaines took the "MAD" staff on trips around the world--Switzerland, Russia, Tahiti, an African Safari, and a Mexico trip organized by Sergio himself. When Aragones "MAD" family met his real family in Mexico, he knew he had acheived success.
Watching Sergio receive the ceremonial "shoe" at the UGA Jack Davis Lecture last night was almost anti-climactic. The celebrated cartoonist had already been accepted into the "fraternity."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Phantom

After my previous post, I did some research on "Mandrake the Magician" and discovered that Lee Falk, the writer of the strip, also created "The Phantom!" I should have researched Mandrake before drawing him--it turns out he does not have a mask. As they say, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread!"