crazy colored glasses

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Art Now

I'm placing these up a little out of order... I'll put up the piece I did last night then put up the piece I did last week.

I wanted to work on a piece that had a very graphic looking character. Something that had both really strong lights and darks. Or, I wanted to work on an independent character. That led me to do some research for a piece. I started out by looking for some Harley Quinn pieces. She's a strong graphic character who has been drawn a ton by one of my favorite artists... Terry Dodson. Dodson draws what I think is the best Harley. She looks strong, yet playful and confident. He also draws her like a woman, not as a cutesy little girl (how she's usually drawn). We all have to remember she was a psychiatrist at Arkham before she was the Joker's sidekick... she's not a kid. She may be playfull and cute, but she definitely is a woman. Dodson is one of the best artist at drawing woman today. Hence he landed the plum gig of relaunching Wonder Woman, DC's flagship woman.

The pencils on this piece took me a little under an hour. The inks took a little over an hour. I really enjoyed this piece. Haven't yet decided whether I want to sell it or keep it as a portfolio piece. I might also try to scan it and colorize it. Just as a little workout for myself. I enjoyed coloring the Flash redesign I did last weekend, so why not.

BTW... the independent character(s) I looked at were the Atomics. The brilliantly designed team by Mike Allred. He also truly is a great artist. One of my favorites in the field today. His book Madman has also been a very welcome surprise for me this summer. I've thoroughly enjoyed every page I've read of it. Its been my favorite read of the past 3 months. I think I'll give IT Girl and the crew a go next week.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

100th Post

As I put up my Flash post on Sunday night, I realized that it was post number 99. I started thinking about what I could possibly do to make my 100th post special. What could I possibly write about that would be interesting, that would be "me". Then as I was meeting my wife for softball last night and then talking with her about fantasy football this morning on the train, it hit me... I have to write about her.

How many wives get excited about suiting up to play softball... now I'm not talking about feigning excitement, but really truly excited and eager to play. It made me think about out humble beginnings as a couple. Me first watching her play (we met while playing on the Hustlers) and telling my assistant (who also played on the team) "She's pretty hot" and proclaiming to the rest of the team "She moves her hips really well... did you see the way she got to that inside pitch". Below is a picture from season 1 of me helping her cover homeplate (it's something all the guys did, cover homeplate because obviously the girl playing catcher can't fend for themselves... little did they know)...

So here we are on a hot Monday night in August, where my baby suits up ready to play some softball and gamely plays catcher. Making what I think is the play of the game by holding on to a foul tip back at her. She never needed any help covering the plate... its just what us macho guys did. We have to protect the weak girls at home. Yeah right. The captain of last nights game turns to me at some point and says "She's pretty hardcore" (after asking earlier in the game if there was a play at the plate if he could fire it in and she would catch it... of course she can) my reply "I know, isn't she" with a smile on my face.

Then we are riding the train in this morning and talking about fantasy football (she's a huge football fan as well, I love it). Again she doesn't feign excitement over this. She joined our league last year and ended up playing in the league championship against our resident Tinkerbell (this kid tinkers with his team every single day... hence the title Tinkerbell... sorry JP). We're getting ready for our draft tomorrow and she has to pre-rank her players. What other girl talks, even thinks like that. None that I know.

She is a star and I just want the world to know how madly and deeply I love her. It's rare in life to find someone this special. Someone you can truly share your passions with. If only everyone was this lucky...

"I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on."

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Flash Redesign

I've always written about wanting to submit a piece for review to one of my favorite websites, ProjectRooftop. I've also always come up with excuses about how slow I am, or how I'm not good enough. Last week I read a post on their site about how they wanted to honor a true comic great (Mike Wieringo) who had recently passed away by reviewing and posting Flash, Kid Flash and Impulse pieces. Once I read that I decided that I had to submit a piece for them to review. Even if it didn't make the site, at least I honored Mike in my own way.

Mike Wieringo was a great comic artist. He had a minimalist, cartoony style. One that I've always loved but could never really mimic. He had great runs on Superman, Spider-Man, his creator owned project Tellos, and the Fantastic Four. For me though, he will always be the artist on the Flash. When I think about the Flash I imediately think of Ringo's work. His Flash was that good.

In redesigning Bart Allen, I didnt want to do an Impulse piece, because I felt like I truly couldn't match the costume that Mike initially designed. What I did was redesign Bart as Flash. As we all know Bart recently passed away as well, after a very short run as the Flash. I kept the primary Flash color scheme and lightning motif but just expanded it. I ran the lightning bolt down his right arm while also keeping a smaller bolt logo on his chest. I also extended the bolts which make the waistband on the traditional Flash costume and stretched them down to about mid-thigh. I then gave Bart a knee shield to protect against attack (ala Deathstroke in the Titans) and designed his shoes with reinforcements at the ankle while still keeping them lightweight and aerodynamic.

The piece was penciled and inked very quickly... then came the coloring. I spent hours in front of the computer coloring away. I'm such a slow and poor colorist, but I'm really happy with the way this piece turned out. Given more time I would have done a little more with photoshop to add some depth and shading. Digital colorist eternally have my respect... so much harder than I originally thought.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Another Artless Week

Zoinks... nearly another week has passed without a new art post. I've had an extremely busy month. I started to put together a Fantastic Four piece earlier this week that I really like (at least what I've done of it). I finished the pencils on Susan and Ben and most of Reed... still not quite sure what to do about Johnny. This piece will require lots of inking and shading once the pencils are finished.

I'm looking forward to completing this piece because the FF were always one of my favorite books. I mean they haven't been so great lately. I haven't liked JMS's or Dwayne McDuffie's runs. In fact the last time I really did like the FF were when Chris Claremont wrote and Sal Larrocca drew... look it up, it was a nice run. Not nearly as good as the Byrne run in the 80's which I grew up with and still remember fondly to this day. Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne proudly sits on my book shelf at home. Always has been and always will be one of my favorite comic runs of all-time.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The 2008 #1 Pick in the NFL Draft

As I was walking around at work with my main man JP I noticed someone had the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine on their desk which was the College Football Preview issue. The photo on the cover was of the Louisville Cardinals football team. I turned to JP and said "Check it out Brian Brohm... he'll be the number one pick in next years draft". I then explained that Bobby Petrino (the new Falcons coach) had recruited him, and with his star player now going to jail, I think they'll be the worst team in the league. Thus ensuring that they get the number one pick in next years draft. Brohm knows Petrino's system and is the type of accurate and efficient passer with a quick release that the systems needs. He also has the size everyone looks for in a franchise quarterback. After explaining that to JP he told me "Dude you need to blog that down... you're always making crazy predictions"

Anyone who knows me knows I'm always making crazy sports predictions. This prediction is two fold... the Falcons will be the worst team in football and Brian Brohm will be the overall number 1 pick in next years draft,


Monday, August 20, 2007

Finally... Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow/Cobra Commander

I finally got around to adding in some much needed blacks and grays to the piece. Snake Eyes looks worlds better. As do Storm Shadow and CC with their gray strokes. I'm much happier with this piece now.

I've been a bit slow (what with weddings, kittens and calendars taking up my time) lately, but I look to pick up the pace this week. Maybe even trying to do two or more pieces. I'm thinking a Fantastic Four and a Daredevil first. After spending a few weeks away from Marvel I think I'll go back and play with some of their characters. Plus if I'm feeling ambitious I can try for a full Justice League (zoinks... thats 11 members).

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Is it weird...

...that in a summer full of blockbuster's and big budget films the movie I've most anticipated and been most excited about seeing finally premieres tonight... High School Musical 2.

If I was a 6 and a half to 17 year old girl it wouldn't be a big deal to be so excited for this movie. But I'm a 30 year old married dad. Should i be this excited for a Disney Channel original movie?

I can't help it, I am. I grew up on musicals... everything from West Side Story, Singin' In the Rain to Meet Me In St. Louis. I enjoy a good family musical, and that's exactly what this is. A good family musical. I must admit to absolutely loving the first HSM (thats what us cool kids call it), so I have high hopes for the second. I couldn't think of a better way to spend a friday night than with my wife, my daughter and the kittens eating cafeteria food (hot dogs, chicken nuggets, mac & cheese, corn, apples and juice boxes) watching HSM2.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

No New Art... New Cats Instead

So last week I drew and inked the Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow/Cobra Commander piece. I blogged about how I wasn't happy with it and needed to dive back in and finish addding blacks to Snake Eyes and grey to Cobra Commander to help flesh this out. That still hasn't happened.

My week at work was crazy, I'm in the middle of the biggest project of the year. So with all the craziness happening here at the mag I was really tapped out creatively by the time I got home. So no new progress was made. I was sure I would get to it on the weekend.

On Saturday I picked Scrappy up and the decision was made that we would go to the local pet store. We had been talking about getting a kitten for a while now, so this seemed like a good idea. On the bus ride over my Love and Scrappy were talking about their love for kittens, and how we probably needed two cats so they could keep each other company.

I've never claimed to be a cat person (in fact I'm just the opposite) but it was hard to walk into the pet store and resist the charms of these 6 month old kittens that shared a cage. One seemed like a very refined Siamese the other a very fluffy, short Munchkin Maine Coon. Both ridiculously adoreable. I was done... we were getting two cats. Needless to say our days and nights have been very full of prepping the house for cats, and general oohing and ahhing at the cats.

These little fellas are named Streaky and Cupid. Scrappy named the Maine Coon Streaky after Superman's cat that was featured in the Krypto the Superdog cartoon. Cupid got his name because he was born on Valentine's Day. Both are sweethearts that make it hard to tell them no (or down or bad kitty) when they are knocking the plug out of the socket for the TV or knocking the comics that are on the coffee table on the floor. I've been sold, I'm in love with these little kitties.

Just so that there is some new art here I decided to post this picture Megan painted this weekend. She started out by painting a few of the shells we bought back from our honeymoon. After that was done she had a ton of paint still left, so my MS suggested that she paint a picture as well. The result was a house with Streaky putside and a bright sun with a plane in the sky. You can see a hint of the shells in the background as well.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

The New Homerun King

The same way I was all set to sngrily blog about the Scott Proctor trade, I was also all set to angrily blog about Barry Bonds eventual breaking of the career homerun mark. Then a crazy thing happened (on the same night as I changed my mind about the Proctor trade) Bonds hit the homerun that broke the record.

Now I don't want to sit here all preachy and talk about how large his head has gotten in recent season, or how he has physically changed in that time. I'll write about how he was the most feared hitter of this generation (if not all time), and how he had quite possibly the best eye in the history of baseball. Of course his career will always be sullied with the alleged steroid use, but until we all talk about how many pitchers and other hitters were using steroids we should celebrate the history we just witnessed.

The same way pitching stats were inflated in the Deadball Era this era will become known as the Steroid Era. Do we discount the brilliance of Bob Gibson or Sandy Koufax because they pitched from a higher mound or with not as lively a ball. Of course not. So we shouldn't discredit what Bonds has done either. I'm not saying I condone what he did. I'm just saying it was tremendously widespread, and in a lot more hands then what we really know. What I witnessed on Tuesday night was history be made. I got to see one of the most sacred records in all of sports broken (of course in about 7 years ARod will destroy that mark). I got to see a young man tear up when he spoke of his deceased father who taught him the game and meant so much to him. I also saw quite possibly the most stand up man in the history of sports, Hank Aaron, give a video tribute to Barry. It was a virtual passing of the torch that I don't think anyone expected. It caught me by surprise.

All in all it was a moment that moved me. I didn't expect to be moved, but I was.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Scott Proctor

While on my honeymoon last week I made a note to myself. It said "Complain about Scott Proctor trade"... now a week later, I've changed my mind. I still think the Wilson Betamit for Proctor trade was a poor one. I think Proctor is a closer in making. All he needs to do is workout the control problems that have plagued him this year. I like his makeup. He has great velocity and movement on his fastball, and a knee-bending curveball. He also have the very short memory that good closers have. He has everything thats needed to make a great closer.

Wilson Betamit on the other hand is going to be nothing more than a bench bat and backup. Why give up a bullpen contributor for a backup. At least thats what I though before last night.

Now, I try not to get too excited about pitching prospects, but last night was the first appearance of Joba Chamberlain. This kid has been starting and tearing up the minors since he was drafted a year ago. So the Yanks are giving him a look in the bullpen for the remainder of the season before they work him into the rotation next year. In his first appearance last night he pitched 2 innings had a few strikeouts (he has a ridiculous hard slider... 88mph, thats faster than most fastballs), but most importantly he looked really composed for a 21 year old. He is the second youngest pitcher in the majors. The first is Phil Hughes, the Yanks fifth starter. Not only does the rest of the season look rosey for the hot Yanks (didnt I call this) but the future continues to look bright.


Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow/Cobra Commander

I started this piece on 7/24, put it down in wedding week craziness, so I decided to finish it up last night. It was back to being a typical Tuesday. Picking up Scrappy, making dinner (what a mess I made... zoinks!), eating dinner, giving her a bath, reading her a story, putting her to sleep. The Mrs. was out with friends for a going-away party. So, I was solo.

I finished the pencils and was really happy with the pencils. They took about an hour and a half. Then I started inking the piece and was storming through that when I saw a shaded piece on Snake Eyes that I inked in... in my eyes it was a big mistake. Here is the piece.

I think I'm gonna go back in tonight and black in some more of Snake Eyes costume, as well as grey in some detail to add some depth.

It was a wierd night for art. For the first time in a long time midway through inking, I just wasn't feeling it. I don't know. Hopefully next week feels better for me.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Team Scrub Revisited

Sat down last night and played a game with Team Scrub. They have been on a tremendous roll. Of course I havent played in a few weeks, so that whole 60 games in 30 nights went right out the window. I had other more important (wedding) things going on.

As I loaded up the game and checked the schedule I realized the date was June 23rd and the team had played 72 games, which leaves me with 90 games left to play in the season. 90 GAMES... zoinks. My plan of finishing this game before Madden 08 comes out is a thing of the past. As a professed Maddenite, I can't wait for that game. I must have it. Which means that I'll have to play lots of Madden on the PSP while I finish up my season with Team Scrub.

Team Scrub really just keeps chugging along. I remember when they struggled and limped through the first month at 13-13. They are 35-11 in their last 46 games. The bullpen has been key. Scott Proctor, Kerry Wood, Geoff Geary, Jimmy Gobble, JC Romero are names that would have most people scratching their heads. For Team Scrub... they are the saviors. They have pitched so well. If I could squeeze some more power out of the offense they would be practically unbeatable. Until I blog about them next, we should all chant "Let's Go Scrubbies".


Old Star Wars toys

In looking at images on my computer here at work (yes I should be working) I found this shot my wife (I love saying that) took. This shot was taken the same day I was joyously displaying my Joe's on the coffee table. She thought it was an interesting cluster of old school Star Wars toys... I don't disagree.

The toys are a bit beat up, but they really were my toys from the early 80's. I played with these practically daily. My faves were the Han Solo's from Episode IV and V (liked V better) that are in this picture but face down. Also loved the Snow Trooper and Gamorrean Guard figures. Little Scrappy loved the R2D2 and C3P0 figures, I then told her she could have them, but I packed them away and didn't give them to her... I guess a piece of me didn't really want to let them go. Anyway, I thought this pic was too good to go to waste on my harddrive.

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Back from the Honeymoon

So it's been like two weeks since I posted anything... no new art, no food, no video games, no comic or toy opinions, nothing... I did have a good excuse though, I got married to the love of my life.

I do have lots of opinions on things I read and saw (finally caught up on the older 6 weeks of comics, now I have to pick up the last 3 weeks) and the goings on in the sports world... but first I have to catch up on the week of work I missed.

My purpose for signing on was to say how incandescently happy I am. True we already lived together and I dont know how much having a piece of paper telling me that we're married changes things, but it was nice to proclaim our love and commitment to each other in front of friends and family. Later.