Friday, December 5, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Exercise 1.3 : Draw 100 doodles in 5 seconds a piece drawing images from your stream of consciousness. Don't stop to think about it. (This was very hard for me for some reason.)
Monday, November 3, 2008
Happy Halloween! Belated I'm afraid, but the holiday kicked my ass this year. Been really busy in the last couple of weeks with all sorts of projects. Top of the list had to be Van's Halloween costume! Emily and I have challenged ourselves to make Van's costumes from scratch each year. This year we weren't really sure what to pick for the costume seeing as he was old enough now to understand it better. So I thought about some of his favorite things, and since he's been absolutely obsessed with airplanes lately, and since one of his favorite DVD's is Duck Tales, (I'm so very proud of this fact) it was a natural to make him a costume of every ones favorite crash prone duck billed pilot, Launch Pad McQuack!
in other Halloween news I carved my pumpkin with the knife of my white sox love. Below is the result; a mix of the old 80's sox batsmen logo and a jack o lantern.
Also bumped into Elliot Serrano again, and did yet another interview with him! This time for the Red Eye. You can check that, and Elliot's other coverage of the con here. And don't forget about the signing!
One more thing! Phew, lots of crap to cover right now. The new bindledog cartoon is up! Adam, Jay and I have been working on this one for a while. It's a cartoon featuring the lovable logo character bindledog. I hope you find it sad and cute.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
It came along with a copy of Comic Art magazine. It's been out for a while and I didn't have the dough at the time to pick it up so I'm glad I came across it again. This book is basically a breakdown of the classes that Ivan Brunetti teaches here in town. I've always wanted to take a class with him, as he's such an influence on my style, and a tremendous cartoonist, but he didn't begin teaching art classes till years after I left college.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Anyway, the fine folks at Top Shelf have put up the third Issue of Burning Building #3 in FULL COLOR! Please go here to check it out. Also a while back The Chicago Tribune did a video piece of the Diane Tanios Gallery show and I've just found it posted recently. Plus since the completion of the series, I thought it appropriate to take some "book porn" shots of the completed building in all of it's glory. Hey, you can build your own!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
SO, for years now I've always been absorbing stories about how people became successful in their lives. Whether I was looking for inspiration or just good ideas, any time I heard an interview where it got into how a person got started, and when they got their big break, my ears would perk up. Now comics people have these stories as well, but I've never been to satisfied with the details that they divulge.
In that spirit, I'm going to start a series of blog posts called "Becoming Jeef" or "The Road to Jeef" I haven't decided yet. The idea here is to document the process of taking my comic and hopefully getting it published, and then out into stores and all that that entails. Along the way I'm sure, I'll have words of advice for other people trying to do the same thing. (I know I'm not accomplished enough to give advice, but I like too, and really it's gonna be mind set type stuff anyway) Basically it will be the important points in making my career, till one day when I'm rich, pretentious, and living in France.
In other news, I recorded another interview with good guy, Elliott Serrano today. Elliot invited me to record with him on his video podcast over in Schamburg at Dreamland Comics. We recorded two segments and they're gonna be posted in two different places. The first will be on Comics Waiting Room, that should be up for Monday. The other went long and is gonna have to be broken up into segments for Elliott's other video podcast Comic Culture Warrior. I had a great time talking with Elliott, and we seemed to hit on all sorts of topics. I apologize for going on too long. I'm kind of a quiet guy until you get me started.
In addition to dying a little bit every day with each White Sox loss, I've been in the process of coloring Issue #4 of Burning Building for Top Shelf's Website.
I'm also almost done reading Moby Dick. Recently saw this beautifully done piece of Moby Dick done by Tom Neely, of "The Blot" fame. Had I the ducets, t'would be mine. Plus I thought, I'd share another segment from the book that I thought was quite well written. It's at the end of Chapter 58 and I won't bother for context.
"Consider all this; and then turn to this green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all of the horrors of the half-known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou can'st never return!"
"One Insular Tahiti" is a wonderful turn of phrase I might have to steal for a title some day.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
So Sept 14th is the date of the panel I'll be a part of for the Exhibit above. I'll be on the panel with other comic artists, Matt Kindt of Super Spy fame, Ted May of Injury comics, and Mardou the artist of Stiro. I'm really looking forward to this and it should be a good time, so anybody in Missouri mid September should check it out. All the specific details are here.
Also, I just got back my work from the Gallery exhibit at the Diane Tanios Gallery. The show was great, and I'm so thankful to Diane for all the great exposure that the show afforded me. We even did a photo shoot for Lake Magazine last week that made me feel like some sort of important person! It was very strange. Not sure when that article is supposed to appear.
There are still some prints left, and I think I'm going to make some available on the website at some point in the future. Anybody interested feel free to write.
I've also been working hard on finishing up another "Cast Of" mini, dedicated to one of my favorite things, The Olympics! I love the Olympics, both summer, and winter, and there are so many great faces involved in the game that I couldn't resist putting together a cast of the Olympics 2008 Beijing mini. I'm nearly done, and gonna try to get it up and available quick before everyone loses all interest completely. Here's a sneak peek at Mr. Gold himself.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
To anyone whom I didn't get a chance to speak to or meet, I'm new to the gallery environment and didn't know exactly how to behave, so excuse me if I didn't introduce myself.
I did get to talk to a couple of different reporters, who interviewed me for various publications. I spoke with super nice guy Elliot Serrano, who writes for The Chicago Tribune's sister publication Red Eye. He wrote up a nice article on the show and you can read it for yourself here.
I also talked to the Pioneer Press and expect to see an article in print August 14th. Plus there's some rumbling about a Chicago Tribune video web thing.
Jeez, does this all sound like bragging? I guess. I'm just very excited and with only a couple pages left to ink on the 5th and final issue of Burning Building, all the hard work feels like it's starting to pay off. And hey, it's presumptuous to even do a blog about yourself, so this is the only forum to go ahead and whore your work out right? I guess.
Thanks to Mike Sims and Jenny Seay who pimped out yours truly on their Podcast cast over at Earth-2.net. You can check out Mike's one stop comic culture news, message board, and podcasting hub here. One of my very earliest comics work was with Mike, doing a Twilight-Zone-esque comic about killer bunnies.
So the gallery show with the other uber talented artists, Alex Wald, Tony Akins, Gene Ha, and Elisabeth Belliveau, will be on display at the Diane Tanios Gallery all of August. Seriously, having now seen all the other artists work up close, man are these guys good, and technical geniuses! Plus, everyone has been super nice and cool to a wet behind the ears, social retard like me.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Those of you with keen eyes might recognize one of those characters from a previous Issue of Burning Building.
Saw Wall-E this weekend with my wife Emily, brother Adam, and my boy Van. It was Van's first movie outing and he did pretty well. He didn't sit the whole time, but he pretty much stayed out of trouble and we got to stay and watch the whole thing. I'm a big fan of Pixar and given how much positive buzz was coming out of Wall-E, I was pretty excited to see it. It didn't disappoint either. It may have been the most adorable Pixar movie, which is weird cause it was all robots, but they managed to cull as much damn charm out of some digital sound as possible. I could have heard those two stupid robots call each other by name for 4 hours! It was cute as hell.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
So, this has put the delay on getting the new comics posted on the website, but I've got that all taken care of now, and I just have to wait for my brother Adam to do the magical website stuff.
Hey now, there's a nice shot of man with his dog. Unfortunately It's not my dog. I'm allergic. However, I wish I could have a dog just so there would be more pictures like this. What a lovely picture.
So, I took the boy out for a walk to the park today and I must confess that I love being a dad. There are these moments when I'm with Van, and something happens that takes me back to that age. Today, I was pushing him home in his stroller after a nice time in the park. We were going down the sidewalk and it was a quiet summer afternoon. There was a nice warm breeze and as I pushed the stroller I became aware of a steady rhythm as the wheels bumped over the segments of cement. I looked down and saw Van lulling off to sleep, and the memory of falling asleep myself after an afternoon trip to the park was a real as yesterday. And so was that feeling of calm and simple happiness. As I finished pushing the stroller home with that regular rhythmic cadence off the sidewalk I couldn't help but think that this kind of serenity, with the warm tranquil stillness, must be what it feels like when Buddhists meditate.
Somewhat related to that, I'm reading Moby Dick right now. I've read a little of Melville before, and liked it, and I try to read classic literature to help me feel smarter than I am. Anyway, it's slow and very descriptive and I have to admit there have been moments where it's lulled me off to sleep. There was this passage I just finished though that I thought was so nicely written and original a thought, I wanted to share it somehow. So here it is:
"Whales are scarce as hen's teeth whenever thou art up here." Perhaps they were; or perhaps there might have been shoals of them in the far horizon; but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious reverie is this absentminded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and nature; and every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly discovered, uprising fin of some indiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it. In this enchanted mood, thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes diffused through time and space; like Cranmer's sprinkled Pantheistic ashes, forming at last a part of every shore the round globe over.
I think that passage is talking about young sailors being lousy at spotting whales. Come on, huh? That was three sentences! There's seven semi-colons! Seven! Now, that's writing!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
So, even though I'm not making super hero comics, and I'm supposed to hate fan boy cons, I do enjoy taking in a big show. Mostly I like looking around at all the new stuff, the toys, and comics, and I love seeing little kids dressed up as superheroes. And speaking of which, Van has some superman PJ's and he thinks he looks pretty darn snazzy when he's all dressed up.
Back to the Ipod three song random shuffle.
Cup of Coffee by Garbage
Lakini's Juice by Live
Fire starter by The Prodigy
I used Firestarter as a song on one of my video pieces for Burning Building Comix. I think The Prodigy is still around and kicking, and I'll have to get around to checking it out at some point to see if they still have the sound.
And Garbage again. Anyone that's ever read this blog before knows my love for that band. Cup of Coffee is a nice slow, sad, song, and for whatever reason, sometimes those make me feel best.
By the way, the Cubs - Sox series is killing me! These games are too intense, and I'd rather go without them. Even though the Sox go for the sweep tonight, with the potential to tie up the season series.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Doing this was pretty challenging for me, and fun, and I'm hoping to try and build a new illustration portfolio out of the style of these drawings, so we'll see how that goes.
As for other comics I've been reading, I just finished up the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Wow, what a great book. I've said before that I'm not really familiar with the Duck comics, and I've never read the Barks stuff, but this collection, by Don Rosa, was so much fun, and so well done, I wish I had started reading them as a young lad. This book was a good place to start, I think, as it gave me a breakdown on the Scrooge character's life, as he exists in comics, and outside of my beloved Duck Tales universe. I do ponder on how my comics development might have differed had I been reading these when my comics tastes were developing. But alas, I was reading Youngblood instead. (sigh)
By the way, I saw the new Hulk movie with Ed Norton. It was pretty damn good, and a might better than the Ang Lee version with the terrible Nick Nolte Absorbing Man crap. The new one has solid acting, pretty good story and really nice special effects. The skin tone of the hulk was creepily real with dark green blood pumping through the veins just under the surface. I've been told it's not as good as Iron Man, which apparently is the best movie ever made.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
And to finish it all up, the ipod three song shuffle.
Take Me Anywhere by Tegan and Sara
Don't Stop Me Now by Queen
Sweet Jane by Cowboy Junkies
Don't Stop Me Now is one of my favorite songs of all time, and you haven't lived till you've seen me karaoke this bad boy! Also, since it's Queen related and I make comics, I feel I'm required by comic blogging law to mention Mike Dawson's new book Freddie and Me. I always thought that the song Short Skirt/Long Jacket by Cake ripped off their guitar hook from Sweet Jane. Although I like the Velvet Underground original just fine, the Cowboy junkies version just sounds like you're on heroin. You know, for you cheapskates out there.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
I've been talking to the guys at Top Shelf, and we're gonna post all the issues of Burning Building on the new section of their web comics page, Top Shelf 2.0. Right now, Issue #1 is up, and I'm working on finishing up the coloring of Issue #2. Once they're all done, you'll be able to view them all online stacked on top of each other! I'll post here when the new issues are gonna be posted, or just keep checking Top Shelf, cause they're posting new comics every weekday! Holy Crap!
Okay, so here's where you can find the pictures on Flickr, and I'm trying to figure out how to have a slide show of that set of photos run on the side of the page here on the blog, but I'm not sure if that's gonna work.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Here's a picture of Van in a box. It illustrates well his obsession with cars, and anything with freakin' wheels.
And now the three song ipod shuffle.
South Side by Moby (with Gwen Stefani)
Turning Japanese by Liz Phair
Slide Away by Oasis
I love Liz Phair, a Chicago gal, and Turning Japanese is a good cover. It's true to the original, but it has enough of her own sound to be different and fresh. Moby I'm pretty luke warm on, but I do like South Side, especially being a White Sox fan. I got pretty F'd out on a lot of Oasis, cause I used to work with a guy at the Comix Revolution who would play them non-stop. I am a bit a of brit pop fanatic though, although Oasis got way too bloated and way too high on cocaine!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
So if you search for "kid falling asleep" on you tube, you get like 600 matches, and my pride and joy baby boy is among them. Here's Van during a late dinner with a White Sox game on in the background. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl2nUfqtcWg
Okay, so here's the ipod three song shuffle.
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers
Bittersweet Me, R.E.M.
Hmmm, well, "I'm Gonna Be" is one of those songs I really liked when I was 12, and thought I would still like it now, so I downloaded it, and I think I skip it every time it comes up. Somebody ought to coin a term for that. ipod remorse. And the Proclaimers were the guys who sang with those really think accents, and I usually do love to hear an accent in a singer's voice, especially a Celtic type sound.
Bittersweet Me is a great R.E.M. Monster song, that came close to being completely F'd out. You know, it's strange, cause I didn't really get into R.E.M until Monster, and then I got their older stuff later, but it was one of those albums that I listened to, to death in the crucial years of my youth when objectivity is lost. As a result, I can't critically talk about it, but I think I've heard that Monster isn't regarded very well for R.E.M. and I just can't see that. I suppose it's possible that it's just me, and I'm unable to judge it outside of the emotional place it dwells inside of me next to the memories and feelings of those years.
Hooligans by Rancid is a fun song by a fun band, and for me Rancid is at it's best when they're doing more of the Ska/Reggae influence type thing. Plus, on a personal note, Rancid was my first official concert with my wife. Lots of making out.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
In addition to a smattering of the free alternative type comics available, I finally got the new Jeffrey Brown book, Little Things. I haven't read it yet, but I think it's a comic adaptation of that BUSH song. Jeff's a great guy, draws great comics, and has been cool enough to give me some much needed advice from time to time. I also picked up The Klassic Komix Klub by Johnny Ryan, published by the fine folks at Buenaventura press. This book contains Johnny's sick take on classic literature. Finally, I picked up The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, by Don Rosa. I've never actually gotten into the duck comics, and am only familiar with Scrooge McDuck through the cartoon Duck Tales. I do consider Duck Tales to be one of the finest children's cartoon shows produced, and I still love it to this day, so I hope the comics can provide just as much entertainment. Some day, when I have more money, I'll get to the Carl Barks stuff. After I make my millions from selling my own comics, of course, (sigh). So, thanks to Rudy, Mason, and the rest of the CR crew. As you can tell from the picture below, Van was just as excited as I was for the trip to Mt. Prospect.
OK! Time for a little whoring! I just recently got some stuff back into print. All of the Black Stars are available again, including the long out-of-print, issue #1. The cover for issue #4 is different, cause the stock I got for the first printing was kind of a pain in the ass to get, and I wanted to try something else. You can see pictures of it on the main page. Also, Burning Building #1 has been out-of-print, but I'm expecting to finish up my third printing any time now, so it's pretty much available, along with issue #2. Issue #3 is finished, but not printed yet - more about that next week - and I just finished up all the inking on issue #4 earlier this week. The story for issue #5 is written out (the first draft, at least) and I'm gonna try and get that started ASAP! Issue #5 is the last issue and the last story for the building, so I'm super excited to get it done and out there for people to be able to read the building as a whole. Here's a peek at the character sketches for #5.
As I'm writing this, the episode of Sound Stage on Chicago public TV is playing the Garbage performance. This is notable, not only because I love the band Garbage and they've only played this episode once before as far as I know, but also because my lovely wife and I were in attendance at the taping of the show. If you watch really closely when Shirley jumps down to walk through the crowd during Stupid Girl, she very quickly passes me, and you can see me excitedly ogle her. Creepy! (You can see me all the way on the right of the screen at 3:36 of the youtube clip.)
And finally the ipod three song shuffle.
Emily was sick of me making fun of her songs, so we purged most of hers from itunes and moved 'em to her computer. This might prove to be less interesting, and more embarrassing.
Denise by Fountains of Wayne
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness
Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead.
Good mix this time! Denise by FOW is one of my favorite songs by them. It's really quick and distorted, and the lyrics, as always by those guys, are awesome! (ding) Some might consider I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a one hit wonder, movie soundtrack hit, which I guess is true, but it's so right on, feel good, Queen-style anthem rock, that I think it will hold up for years. I'm glad Radiohead came up in the shuffle, cause the storyboard for the music video we made for that aniboom contest is done. http://www.aniboom.com/Player.aspx?v=210852 The drawings are all mine, but the versatile Jay Gish put it together in Flash and made it move. You can also see my brother, Adam's entry which is a sweet, multi-layered cliff hanger. http://www.aniboom.com/Player.aspx?v=211870 No word yet that we lost the contest. Back to Street Spirit though, cause that is one of my favorite Radiohead songs of all time, if not one of my favorite songs of all time, and it's got one of the best videos ever! Watch it, and note that the switching from slow motion to quick motion in those liquidy transitions, was done years before the film 300. If you watch that video, or listen to that song, and aren't moved by it, YOU HAVE NO HEART!
Your Pal, Jeff