Saturday, December 30, 2006

A LITTLE CLOSER

A little closer to what I wanted:

Thursday, December 28, 2006

WHO DOESN'T LIKE A QUICKIE?

A really quick drawing I did in-between day jorb and bruising my fingertips at Suave sexxions:



Still making business with #7s. Fizzy jizzums olde-time formula.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

VERSION 1.0

Here's a first stab at a Carl pinup for the Marcos.



Now it's time to drink and watch Looney Tunes on dvd.

ANOTHER

And here's a new version of another drawing. The last one was posted while I was drunk off both my asses. This one is posted the sobers. Also done fool 7s.

FOOL SIZE

Here's the fool-size snapshotto:

SCAN DETAIL

Here's the latest version of a long-promised drawing. At least, the part that fit on the scanner.



Done entirely in #7.

ANOTHER DRAWING

I can't load. Redid the other drawing I did last week. Workin' the #7s. I'm hoping to get so agile with the #7 that the #4 feels like a tiny detailing brush, the way the #2s feel right now.

Now I'll do another drawing.

THIS WASN'T LAUGHING WEEK

Holidays. Done. And it's about time. There was fun to had, but there was also the general annoyance of holidays. What better cure than buying new brushes? I beefed my #4 supply and then inhaled the whirlwind of #7s.

Redid that drawing from the other day. Would post it, but blogger is pissing me off again. Argh!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

AND THE FULLS

The image was too big to scan, so I took a quick snapshot of the full version.



It wasn't intentional, at all, but I still hope I can't be sued for crappy stylistic swiping. Either way, I need to fix that left boob. Or growth under her left armpit. Whatever that is. So, I'll attempt a version 3.

I was going to do more work today, but it turns out I'm starting Holidays this afternoon. Pain always seems more enjoyable when it lasts longer.

WHOO-HOO

You go to bed thinking, "It's Christmas, why should anything go right?" Then you get all up ons blogger and it works. Here's version 2.0 of that drawing from three posts down:

WHAT I WANT TO RIP IS NEW BLOGGER

So, the bloggo still isn't taking my new images. What the image is, is a reworking of that image two posts down. It's really getting on my nerves. I have this terrible fear that some unfortunate soul looking for insightful commentary on Hypatia Lee might stumble upon that previous image and think, "Oh, so this is as good as it gets here?"

The image I want to post isn't the final image, but it is the next stage, and it's light-years better. It looks like something someone with chops might do as their first go-around (the previous was my gazillionth, give-or-take).

While waiting for the blog-O-matic 3000 to wake up to my man-needs, I spent some time over at Eddie Campbell's blog. He's been going through the photos Alan Moore took of London for use in From Hell.

That in itself is fascinating, but Campbell takes the time to make it even more fascinating — the bastard.

It starts here, coninues here, keeps going, and has gotten to here, so far.

What's featured? Well, Campbell talks a bit about the work his assistants do (this is a bit of info I'd like to get nailed down some time). He talks about Jamie Delano's all-too-often-too-brief comics-writing gigs. You get to see Moore when he's not all dolled up and tarted out. And you get to compare Moore's photos with Campbell's art.

Anyway, it's just the sort of treasure I like to see get untroved.

Now, where's my pistures, biyatch?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

NEW BLOGGER!!!!!

Having trouble uploading images right now... grrrr

WAZED HOR'S

Well, this week turned into something of an accomplishment desert. I think I did some work on Monday. Tuesday was drinking into oblivion. Wednesday was Suave, but the actual recording was sour. Thursday... I think I might've wallowed. Or something. I don't remember Thursday. Friday... nothing. Today? Today, I tried getting back on the horse. I decided to do a little drawing I'd promised someone about a year ago. A year and a half ago.



I don't know if I'm happy with it or not, but I'm going to let it sit for a bit before I decide to redo it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

CAN SELL

I get home today and fiind out that Suave is cancelled. Today was Rob's last day at the office as well. It's all my friends desert me week.

I guess that's what I get for deserting all my friends...

Oh well, back to work. And wrapping. I need to wrap. I wonder if I still have wrapping paper. And I wonder if it will be enough. There are a lot of little boxes.

PUT YOUR FINGER IN THE RECORD

if you feel a little lonely.

Suave reunited at last! The Suaveys got together tonight to listen to and work on the new album (two freakin' years in the makings). Mostly we worked on the freshest of beats. Normally, I wouldn't have much to do in this phase, but I plunked some ivories and tested some lyrics I penned a couple nights ago.

No other work was to be done.

We also listened to some of the new Nas... that Edward G. Robinson song is just wrong. On other tracks Nas declares that Hip Hop is dead and tries to prove it. He asks, "Who killed it?" You did, Nas. You did. He asks, "When's the last time you heard a real anthem?" And he responds, "Nas. The millionaire. The mansion." On Black Republicans, he and Jay-Z team up Heat-style. Two guys who shoulda stayed away from the shower, because they're both sounding washed up. Actually, it's not that bad a track. Imagine if it came out 10 years ago, though. "Standin on the rooftops of buildings. Whirlwind of beef, I inhale it." Wha hoppen?

Oh, and we listened to the Ol' Dirty mixtape. Some of it is pretty great. Some of it ain't.

We did not listen to More Fish. Fishscale was so good, but I'm afraid of an album's worth of tracks that didn't make the cut. Wait. We did listen to the Amy Winehouse song Ghostface raps over. That was pretty good.

Bed early tonight. I feel like I didn't get the proper rests tonight. I should've slept in the park like I almost did. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Seems like a good idea now, too.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

NOT TO

take away from my complete humiliation (see previous post), but the Floopie Spurge has an interview up with Jog. I'm drunk enough to barely get through the first question, but Spurge is already ahead of me than when I met the gentleman in question. DAMN YOU, FLOOPIE SPURGE!!!!!!!!!

(all appologies to Tom Spurgeon and Joe McCulloch)

Go read it. I'll read it tomorrow. I need to sleep. And do that thing with the ducts.

JEALOUSYANGERUNDERSANDINGDESPAIR

Followed by complete drunkeness. Utter drunkeness. Apparently, you can't drown your despair. Sorrow, maybe. But despair requires that you understand why it happened so much that no amount of drowning will do.

I'm sure I'll only regret this tomorrow, but here's a drawing that I did on Sunday. Apparently for no reason. I think it was supposed to be part of a Christmas gift:



I hope I get points for any words I might have spelled correctly, because I know I'm losing points everywhere else.

Really drunk, and sad. Both ways. When you see it coming and you can't bring yourself to dodge it, why complain when it hits you? I'm pretty sure I used to be cooler than this. One time.

Monday, December 18, 2006

ELEVENTEENTH AND LIBRARY

Like the rest of the world, I've been enjoying making stops to Paul Pope's blog. I was taking a break from drawing on Saturday and read a post that broke my heart. The post seems to be lost now, so I can pretend I just imagined it. I guess. There should be a Yes song about how imagining a broken heart is worse than owning one. Duece worse than a lonely heart.

Anyway, I was working on pages 7 and 8 and starting to get the back of my head ready for pages 9ups, thinking about revisiting my tiny photo library for set reference. I was still coming off that pride high I felt when I used the previous reference shots. I really felt like I had used them right. Like olde Eddie Campbell in From Hell. You get the stuff you need and discard the shit you don't. And you keep it loose. No one likes the slavish.

Well, Pope's post struck me in the chords. He wrote about using photo reference for things you've never seen (the Taj Mahal was the case that he gave us) and you evoke the atmosphere of everything else from memory. And he included a lovely image of a friend's apartment he evoked for a Spider-Man story. And, boy, did he evoke the shit out of that apartment. What hurt was that Pope wrote about the cartoonist's obligation to not depict the world as it is, but rather as he sees it. Slam. That's the gut shot. That's the shot that hits you where you live. That's the can of worms in the kitchen sink. Kaboodle.

So, here I am, drawing my own neighborhood from photos. Reading his post, it sucked the stomach right out of my bile.

After finishing that day's pages, I went over to Marcos' party and shared my existential dilemna with him amidst the fragrant scent of his studio. I wasn't sure what that smell was, but I realized it was something burning. Turned out to be sage.

Marcos said that what Pope was saying was fine, but you get yourself some reference and you let it collect in your head. Pretty soon, you've got yourself a mental library of so many doorways, window sills and fire hydrants. And drawing these things as they are, puts them a little deeper in your head than just observing them. Godot.

Finished page 11. here's the second panel:


And I can feel that library starting to build. Grab a fence from here, another one from there. This is where the roof is in relation to the top row of windows. This is how wide the sidewalks are. This is how the telephone lines cross. Don't forget the stop signs on the street signs. City.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

FIRST AND TEN

Pencils for page ten are done. I find myself getting looser and tighter at the same time. Write that down. Also write down "Golden showers of golden nog." While the abstraction flowed last night, we found a few lines that would seal it on a new Suave album. There might also some stuff about ferrets.



Instead of hitting page 11, I'm going to conclude biznaz and then move onto a couple other drawings for alterior purposes.

NEIN!

Well, some company this morning from the long-missed Carrie and then my own devout laziness put me off work for a bit this Sunday, but I finally put the page nine pencils to bed. Here's the bottom tier of panels:



I'm halfway done with the pencils.

Now onto Page 10.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

THE FRUIT THAT ATE ITSELF

Page 8 pencils done. Here's the bottom tier of panels:



I did the panel borders for page nine as well, so I can go right into drawing tomorrow morning.

It's going to be interesting to see all this inked. 10 pages to go.

Now, it's off to Marcos', where he's making a ham.

WE'LL SMOKE THEM ALL

With their intelect, and their savoir-faire.

Page seven pencils done. Entering the second chamber. Only built for cuban linx. Looking the goods. This is the nine-panel grid. The new density.

Hopefully, I can put page 8 down before the shin at Marcos' digs. Then it's pages 9 and ten tomorrow. Second half of the second chapter. The next episode.

Page 11 on Monday. Tuesday is holiday party. Drink for free and skip out before ugly. Wednesday is Page 12. 13 for Thursday. Squeeze a 14 on Friday. If I'm lucky, Saturday can be 15 & 16. If I'm REALLY REALLY lucky, I can knock 17 out on Sunday before X-Mas eve festivities. Monday is bust. Tuesday–Friday might be D.O.A. If I can get the inks started next weekend, then I'm on the track. Stax/Sun Volted for New Years.

I know there's going to be Suave and alcohol and reunitions in there as well. Fingers crossed, it's all tight between holidays.

Then I might have inks done by mid January and I release me.

Friday, December 15, 2006

junko the dancehall queen

This girl totally stole my moves. At the 1:50 mark, you'll see what made me famous back in the day.

OKAY

So, that went ridiculously fast. Page 6 pencils, mostly figures and shapes. Done Ditko.

12 more pages to go.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

DRAWINGIER

Just finished the pencils for the fifth page of Chapter 2. It's looking more and more like I'll be putting chapters 1&2 together in the same issue as I originally intended. With no store orders to look forward to for a few more weeks, and no conventions until June, there's little rush to get the next issue out.

Little outside rush. It's still today's tom sawyer on the inside. But I think I'd rather go with the thig chongk, deep-fried pork bottoms for issue 8. At least, that's what I'm thinking today. And I don't see any reason why I can't get all the pencils for chapter 2 done by end of year reconciliations. Hell, I feel like I could do its now.

Took some photo reference on Tuesday. What a difference that makes with the backgrounds. Wow. I basically converted the last few blighted areas of the downtown Jersey City landscape into greyscale, light tabled them and then freehanded the contours with the 8H. It's all Lou's Precision. I think it will make this section look drawingier, which is really where it's at.

Compositions come quick, half the thinking is done in camera. And I'm not spending half the day ruling crap out. I'm just the flying pencil death grip. And I'm thinking about choosing lines in the pencils instead of trying to figure out what the hell something looks like.

It works best for this chapter, because it's set in the architectural past, whereas the first chapter takes place in the story's present — our deep future.

And I've been revisiting the work in some of my favorite drawers, for the ladies. I cracked my beatup Campbells and Popes, dove into fresh Hernandez and got myself freakin' psyched for drawingness.

I'm now gonna hit page six so it tastes like a kiss. Drawing and quartering, tarring and feathering. Excited? I barely know him.

RELATIVE TURKEY

My cousin Aubrey is finishing up her student teaching this semester. As part of her curriculum, she had to engage the kids in a community service project. So, she organised a a walkathon that delivered turkeys and food to less-fortunate families in the area for every lap around a track her students completed for Thanksgiving. It was a nice way of combining physical fitness with social resposibility and it gave the kids a sense of accomplishment. And it was apparently very successful.

So, she needs to include this project in her portfolio when she's scouring the countryside for a job and asked me to provide a cover image for her report. Just a quick drawing to spice the thing up.

So, here's a turkey getting its strut on:



I hope it's something she can use.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

TOLERANCE

Well, there's little doubt that I'm typing this just a little bit drunk. I'm just at that point past 'damn the torpedoes' when I'm actively making sure that robert frippin' 'tolerance' has just one L in it.

Clearly, I'm not going to get any comics work done tonight. What I will get done is another post that will invariably disapoint people coming here looking for information and pictures of obscure porn stars. I'll probably also disapoint that dude looking for pictures of sexual assault victimising Barbara Gordon. I don't say this as any sort of judgement on such persons, I say this only as someone who will disapoint you. In a way, you're like my parents, ex-girlfriends, friends, employers or anyone who has gotten to know me for more than five minutes.

Bla bla bla. Right. Tolerance. I've been told by many people that I'm rather intolerant. It's one of those declarations like "you'd be a terrible father" or "why do you always have to get drunk before we have sex" that stings a bit at first, like it's an insult, but then you realize there's truth in the sentiment and incorporate it into you're personality. You wear it as a badge — albeit, a badge you might where under an overcoat. "Can I take that, sir?" "No thanks, I'm not staying long enough to tolerate you, get drunk enough to have sex with you, and have children."

'Tolerance' is kind of a four-letter word around casa de Fox. I think tolerance is an abyssmal trait. It's the bad word 'liberal' is supposed to be (liberal being a good word here). Why should any of us be tolerant? Tolerance suggests accepting traits in others you find abhorent. Excuse me, if I don't find you're abhorent traints acceptable. It's become a word describing people who will let it slide that someone else has, say, a different skin color or sexual orientation than themselves. Fuck them. Fuck the tolerant. The tolerant hate just slightly less than the intolerant. And I've got just as much time for them.

What I do have time for is a different type of tolerance. I started writing this at about 11PM. I was out drinking with some old friends I hadn't seen for a long time and we called it a night just when I was getting into my social mode. One friend (who I actually see every day) used to be the king of alcoholic tolerance. But, tonight, he told me he that if we stopped, he was ready to call it a night. What's that about? If I'm going out to drink, I want to drink. I have nothing to look forward to. I can't get any comics work done. I'm just going to stay up and write some pointless blog entry.

I was ready to go the all-outs. Let's stay out, get properly drunk, stumble home, and forget our misdeeds. Let's treat this night like the last night of our day. Let's put off the death of sleep for just a few more hours. Let's say things we'll regret and do things we can never take back. Let's get drunk. We can't do it every night, but why should we jump off the path when we've got a running start? We're still young, aren't we? Don't wave your wife, fiance or child in my face. We are not dead. Let's act like we could be at any minute. Let's embrace all these destructive tendancies for one night.

It was not to be. I was a few drinks away from beautiful madness, but everyone else knew their limits. I wavered between staying out and calling it quits, and chose to quit when the staying looked good. I wanted to keep what we had going for as long as possible. I could only do that by leaving with them. I didn't get the chance to screw up or make mistakes.

Maybe everyone I know is past that point in their lives, but I still feel like I've got quite afew mistakes left to make. I might be an intolerant bastard, but I'm finding myself most intolerant of other people's intolerance.

Monday, December 11, 2006

BROOKLYN/JERSEY CITY DRAWING PARTNERSHIP

or Now That's What I Call Service! Vol. 7

I mentioned yesterday, somewhere in those ramblings, that Jude had all of our collaborative bar drawings. Well, this morning she gave me a couple (and then yelled at me). Here they are for your Eddy Vacations. I'm sure you can click to enbiggen:



This first one is a Jude solo piece she did while I was having a cigarette. She's like my private Eddie Campbell. It screams the guy. I love the line of his arm. That's a gorgeous line.

Things got less life-drawingy when we doodled together though:



I should note that these were all done with a single ballpoint pen on lined notebook paper. Jude's cat is the standout, here. But I'm also fond of my nervous McGruff.


Here's a wild bar scene:



Olive Oyl is a sad ballerina, and Popeye is the artisic director oblivious to his suroundings. I love the Ruebensesque woman on the left. In the back, I'm not appologizing for the woman I drew so badly we made her Santa Claus.

Speaking of Santa Claus, I'm writing this just two weeks before his birthday, or something. Here's this year's Broughan family Christmas card:



I was a bit surprised to learn that our little doodle would be greeting folks in New Zealand this season, but I think it's pretty cool for yule.

Hopefully, I'll have more of these to share as we do more. I need to remember to get some pens and paper, so we don't keep wasting hers...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

DRINKING, DRAWING, DEDINI AND DITKO

Computer! I've been doing a lot of work on the computer end of Kaiju Jugoruma when I haven't been busting my ass at the day job. Some of the panels I did were so over-worked with pencil (from 8Hs to non-repro blue to non-repro violet) that no amounnt of scanning magics could hide the build up. There were also a couple other things that needed to be done in the computer like replacing handwritten signage with typesetting and dropping this advertisement:



into the action. The fellow on the left is Kaiju Jugoruma, the giant nuclear bullfrog. He's coming to a movie theatre in the comic soon. Or is he? I killed a brush making him. Then I killed it some more. By the end of the drawing, I was doing pointilism with a three-pronged #4.

Another thing I've been doing is reading a chapter a night of the first Dr. Strange Marvel Masterwork, given to me for my birthday. Ditko gets smoother with his brush line in later chapters, but it's a lot of fun looking at his earlier, slapped-on lines. It's a strange (eh-hem) mix of delicate thick-thin brushwork, rough textures, fat, broad lines and big, impressionistic, goopy blacks. It's fun stuff.

Bu the thing that strikes me the most is Ditko's compositions. Backgrounds are dropped out entirely or suggested with a minimum of details. In the foreground of one panel, the dash-mark-textured Ancient One is talking to a Baron Mordo dressed in a tunic seemingly cut from stone, while Dr. Strange looks on from deep in the backgound. An archway sits in the middle distance, placing Strange in a different room, but the archway is completely unanchored by anything resembling a wall or ceiling. The colorist accentuates the separation of space by coloring the negative space outside the arch differently than the negative space inside, and you have to consider the image for a moment longer to see that this is more of an Our Town production than a Lord of the Rings set design. When the backgrounds are more fully realised, they still maintain that impressionistic sensibility. And it's a reverse impressionism, not suggesting the dappled texture of light, but the soft edges of overlapping shadows.

Then there's his use of forced perspective to create compositional frames. It's not something unique to Ditko, especially from the time and in the genre he's working, but there is something that stands out about it. He's more likely to use figures to create these framing objects than he is to use architecture or props. It's big closeups of faces turned into frames for background figures to perform in. And their performaces are often so understated that they become secondary frames for Ditko's dynamic negative spaces. It's in these spaces where the excitement really lies. These bold, empty spaces filled with flat color. It's a focus on negative space that requires a way of seeing the world backwards from the way most people percieve it. When we look at something, we usually look AT something, and not at the space it occupies. It's a way of two-dimensionalizing perception that doesn't differentiate beween the details of something and the shape of something. That gives equal importance to what is there to what isn't there. And it's an artistic choice that works particularly well in the context of Dr. Strange, whose early battles often take place with people just standing around and whose later, more dynamic confrontations take place in realms other than the real.

Anyway, these things seeped into my subconcious bfore I really started thinking about them. The other night, I was doing a couple drawings with Jude (she's got me doing collaborative doodles with her) and she wanted to draw something nice and Christmasy. We wound up putting a fun little nativity scene together. The first thing I drew was a big camel head in the foreground and I continued populating the scene with silouetted wise men and suggestions of manger details, all framing Jude's Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. It's a nice doodle I can't show you (she has most of our drawings), that struck me as being awfully Ditko-esque. At least my portions. And, at least, compositionally. I refrained from throwing in any Ditko hands.

These drawings are a lot of fun to do, and they're a great way to keep you drawing while your doing something else (like drinking out at a bar, or sitting in a meeting). It's also fun to see her lovely cartoons integrated with my grotesqueries. But this last session has got my brain actively thinking about compostion instead of just letting the composition of a drawing determine itself. It's good to be forced into that way of thinking every once in a while, because it's easy to take these things for granted when you're knee deep into the next page.

Over the course of this drawing and Ditko week, I also decided to pop in the dvd included with the stunning An Orgy of Playboy's Eldon Dedini. Dedini has always been one of my favorite things in Playboy, even when I was sneaking them out of adults' hidden spaces as a kid. I was reminded of how much I enjoyed his painted gag cartoons when I got Playboy's 50 Years of the Cartoons for Christmas last year. When I heard about Fantagraphics releasing a big collection of his work, I couldn't wait for it. And it's a fabulous book.

In the dvd, Dedini talks a bit about the importance of creating a strong enough composition that can allow him to just be free and loose when he approaches the finished drawing. It's this confluence of compositional advice (some that can never be repeated enough), theory and practice that has me aching to get back to the drawing board.

I just don't give enough attention to composition when I'm drawing. I focus a lot on the direction of action and the theories of storytelling. I try to make sure all the compostional elements are there and in the right place, but I sometimes leave out the step in the thought process that holds these elements together. All too often, I look at an image of mine and revel in a line a might be fond of, but ignore the shape of the image. It's something I want to make a stronger component of my work. It's the next problem I want to have a sack of solutions for when a particular image stumps me. The sack of solutions is that place you reach into when you're confronted with a blank page and need to get certain things out of the way so you can get to the business of drawing.

So, it's back to school time. It's reinforcing the fundamentals time. It's activating the space with form, rather than mark-making, time. It's time to pump some tunes, crack a pad of bristol and think about the shape of things to come.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

NEW YORK IN JUNE

Will I like New York in June?

Saw this at the Beat:

The MoCCA problem: Too many exhibitors signing up.

"The solution that Art Festival organizers came up with was to convert the Puck Building’s elegant seventh-floor Skylight Ballroom from a lecture hall into exhibitor space. By shifting panel sessions to the museum itself (located just two short blocks west), festival organizers were able to instantly add another 60+ tables."

That's the top of the building. Accessable by elevator. Six floors above the main exhibition hall. Guess where I think Cliff Face Comics will be?

I'm trying to wrap my head around this one.

First of all, they're moving the panels out of the Puck Building to MoCCA proper. Meaning people have to leave the show if they want to catch a panel. So, aside from cutting panel attendance way down, this should also ensure that guests going to panels won't be rushing back to the show proper.

Second of all, this should effectively cut 60+ exhibitors off from most of the guests not wanting to wait on line or take the (I think two?) elevators up to the seventh floor. Certainly, most people won't want to take the stairs. This should create quite an exciting ghetto, especially since the big publishers will all be downstairs. In the same spots they're in every year.

Third of all, anyone upstairs can pretty much forget about running outside for a quick, five-minute cigarette if they just need to get away from their table for a moment.

Fourth, this should eliminate quite a few quick trips to other tables for trading or buying for exhibitors.

Fifth, this is an increased attendance supposedly with the table-price increase. Which is surprising. Especially since last year's show seemed, to me, a bit under-exhibited.

Sixth, who are all these new publishers??? Part of me is actually pretty excited to see that many new people.

Seventh, I wonder how much of this is a response to New York Comicon overflow. And, if so, I wonder what that means.

Eighth, I wonder if this will finally mean there are going to be more exhibitors than guests.

Ninth, I wonder if people who purchased tables the day of the show last year will be given downstairs tables. If so, then I'll only feel bad for the 60+ publishers upstairs. If not, then I'll wallow in a little self pity before feeling bad for anyone else.

Tenth, think about how much fun setting your table up and breaking it down will be if you're on the seventh floor.

Eleventh, I think it will be helpful to start getting drunk on Saturday morning.

How about you?
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