Saturday, June 25, 2016

Entry 286: Bebop & Rocksteady ARE DESTROYING EVERYTHING




Issue 4 of Bebop and Rocksteady Destroy Everything! is out and we're down to less than a week until the last issue!

It's been really fun to have these issues out each week and see the response. As a creator, having a book out each week is satisfying. It's nice not having to wait and the readers seem to like it too. I think the schedule has made the experience more satisfying for everyone.

My concern with the weekly schedule has always been for retailers. I imagine a weekly book might not sell quickly enough and start taking up too much shelf space. Or that readers wouldn't want to buy this many comics in one month. I don't know if these have been problems for retailers. Retailers, let me know what your experience has been.

I'm currently putting together an "art-of" type section for the TPB. I did the image you see above as a pin-up to put in the book and here is a page from the "art-of" with two designs by Damian Couceiro, a design by Ben Bates, and one by me.



I'll be doing another post about B&R next week when the last issue is out.

Thanks to everyone buying this series. See you next week.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Entry 285: Blast from the Past Part- 22


Hi. How's it going?

I'm doing fine. I'm settling into working at home. We've almost got everything done on Bebop and Rocksteady Destroy Everything, which is weird. To be done with a 5 issue series before anyone has read any of it is a new experience. It's nice actually. And, as always, there is the ever present possibility that I could, at any moment, tell you that S.H.I.E.L.D. is coming... (sorry to say that I can't say that yet)

Oh, man! I just realized that by the time I write an entry about the last issues of Shield, it'll have to be considered a "Blast From The Past" entry. It's been well over a year since I wrapped up the final issue and years since I drew the second to last issue... They'll come out... It'll happen.

There are some other exciting developments on the horizon, but I'm not here today to talk about the future. Today, once again, I dig into my box of past works and old sketchbooks to share with you yet another chapter of my creative development.

In 2004 I made a sketchbook to give to people at the San Diego Comic Con. I didn't have a table and I had no intention of selling copies of the sketchbook. I made them just to give to other professionals. I think. It's hard to remember why I did it. I guess I'm telling you what I ended up doing.

What you see above was the cover to that sketchbook. And here are some pieces that were in it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Entry 284: Fan-Art


Hahaha I just started writing this blog entry and it went way off the rails. I wanted to simply talk about fan-art and I went down a path where I started philosophizing about art and shit. And I looked up, saw that I'm posting a picture of a Ninja Turtle, and thought, "what am I doing?"

So anyway, I deleted all that.

Hey look. I drawded a Ninja Turtle!!

Working on "Rocksteady and Bebop Destroy Everything" gave me the urge to draw a turtle. In fact, in B&R DE! I am drawing the turtles a little. So that puts this piece in almost a work/warm-up category rather than fan-art... but whatever. The last time I drew a Ninja Turtle for fun was probably in 2003. I think I would really like to do just one issue of the Turtles-- if I could write it, draw it and color it. I think that would be a blast.

Speaking of "Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything!" Ben Bates and I did a short interview about it you can find here:

Dynamic Forces Interview: Bebop & Rocksteady

 How bout some more fan-art?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Entry 283: The rise and fall of Studio Paklis



Back in Entry 269 I told you about my studio. It started with me, Ben Bates, and Jeremy Barlow. Then Jeremy left and it was just me and Ben. That was cool for like 4 months. Then Ben moved to L.A. as his animation career took off. Since then, it's been just me.

I worked on my own for many years. When I joined Periscope studio in 2009, it took me a while to get used to so many people. (I'm not sure I ever got used to it.) With just 3 people, the much smaller Studio Paklis was a great fit for me. But returning to being all alone was not so bad. Sure it get's lonely and weird, but I also enjoy the uninhibited feeling when it comes to singing to music, acting stuff out, talking to myself, and just generally being odd.

See those two pictures above. The first one is how the studio looked with just me in it, but for the past 3 weeks it's looked like the second image. I'm in the gradual process of moving my studio back home.

My home is small. I originally joined Periscope Studio when my wife moved in with me. There just wasn't the space in this apartment for her and me and my studio. We've staid in this small apartment as our daughter, Lucy, has gotten older. We like it here that much. But she's almost 7 now. So we've been thinking that we should be looking for a bigger place.

Given that we need to get a bigger space so that Lucy can have her own room and that I'm moving my studio back into the home, you might assume that we've found a new place with all the space we need but you'd be wrong. We're staying right where we're at and we're also taking the apartment next door! Two apartments! It's really exciting.

The second apartment needs some work. I've been over there cleaning and prepping for paint. Soon my new studio space will be up and running.

As far as Paklis. I'm not abandoning that name. Though the studio is no more, the name will live on as a comic.

Here is a little peek.



It's too soon for me to be officially announcing anything about this comic. Just know that I am working on a comic called Paklis... and you're going to love it without reservation. It'll be your new favorite thing in the world and it'll make you totally forget who Captain America (your current favorite thing, I assume) even is.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Entry 282: BEBOP & ROCKSTEADY: DESTROY EVERYTHING!


YEEEEEESSSSSS!!!

That's my first time actually drawing Bebop and Rocksteady. After having spent a lot of time and thought on them with the Bebop and Rocksteady Micro issue and now with this, it's great to actually draw them.

So yes, this is mine and Ben Bate's big return to Bebop and Rocksteady. A few years ago we got to establish their personalities and how they function in the IDW Turtles universe when we collaborated on the Bebop and Rocksteady Villains Micro Series. That issue was well received by fans and ever since then there's been a possibility of us returning to do a mini series. This is actually the third incarnation of the idea. We never got far with the first two ideas because nether Ben nor I could fit the project into our schedules. I guess the third time's the charm. Bobby told us that, with the new movie coming out in June, they wanted to have a Bebop and Rocksteady mini. He asked if we wanted to do it and it was good timing for us, plus we were into what he was looking for. Bobby put forth the idea of it being a time travel story, much like their Turtles in Time story, with a different artist each issue, and he said we could call it something like "Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything." I'm a big fan of time travel stories. I found the idea of sending these two idiots through time to be instantly appealling. And, though Bobby was just throwing it out, I thought it that title was great!

From the start, Ben and I knew that we didn't want to do the "Turtles in Time" structure of a different time period with a different artist each issue. I put forth the idea of having the story jumping around in time and having a consistent artist for each time period regardless of what issue it was in. I was inspired by my my experience working on the Infinity crossover for Marvel. On that I was one of 5 artists all working in tandem. We had an email chain that was constantly updating with art and I found it really inspiring and exciting. I wanted to reproduce that with this project. I also liked the idea of coordinating the and overseeing a larger project where I could work with artists. And it's been really fun seeing this thing come together. All the artists involved are doing great work.

Check out these covers.


Those are variant covers by me, Sophie Campbell, Damian Couceiro, Kevin Eastman, Ben Bates, Ryan Browne, and a super cool connecting covers image by Nick Pitarra!

For more info here's an article on the AV Club.

Also, if you haven't read our Bebop and Rocksteady Villains Micro issue check it out here.

More on this project to come.

I leave you with my original sketch for the logo.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Entry 281: Blast From the Past- Part 21


This blog hasn't become exclusively about my older work. I swear I'm working on new things. I've got like three projects that I'll be able to talk about real soon. There are exciting times for any fans of my work right around the corner. But while we wait, let's get another Blast from the Past entry done.

At the San Diego Comic Con in 2004 I was back to spending some amount of my time there trying to get work. I stopped by Lee Bermejo's table to say hi and he told me that there was a new editor named Jeremy Barlow at Dark Horse working on Star Wars Tales and that he was looking for artists. He suggested I show my work to him. So I did.

I soon wrapped up my work on The Tenth Circle. I had also moved out of my Grandparents house and was now living with a girlfriend. I was working on my Wildcats pitch and issue 4 Assassins Guild  pages. I was out of money. I started drawing pieces to sell (I'll show that stuff next time).

But just then Jeremy Barlow and Dark Horse came through for me. I'm not sure how much my connection to Chris Warner and my having done a little fill-in on Alien Vs. Predator played into my getting a job through Jeremy, but I think it must have a little.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Entry 280: Blast From The Past- Part 20


In my next Blast from the Past entry I'm going to finally talk about my first Star Wars comic. It'll be the start a of a whole new phase in my professional progress. But for now, I've got one last thing to talk about from my days at Wildstorm.

So, once again we go back to 2003 when I was interning at Wildstorm studios. I've done a bunch of entries about this time period so I wont rehash, but when I was there I learn that Wildcats Volume 3 was coming to an end. As a long time fan of Wildcats, I get it in my head that I should pitch a relaunch. That's right, I thought there was some possibility that they would let me write and draw a new Wildcats series. It's only their flagship title and I was the intern, but I thought, "why not try?" I figured if I present something that is good enough, my lack of experience and career status wouldn't get in my way. It just had to be real good.

I talked to my friend and collaborator on many ideas since 7th grade, DJ Bryant, about the idea of tackling this. DJ has a fantastically creative mind and I knew, I've always known, that having his creative powers in on a project is an advantage. Also, both DJ and I were fans of Wildcats when we were young and just getting into comics. This collaboration would be a lot of fun for us. So, I asked him to develop something with me and we both got pretty pumped on it.

(DJ is currently working on a book to be published by Fantagraphics. You can see his work here http://sequentialmonitor.blogspot.com/ )

The image I've posted above is from early on in this ambition. I did this while working on The Tenth Circle. It looks a lot like Tenth Circle stuff to me. So that means it was probably done in early 2004. I eventually used this image for the cover of our pitch. Most pitches don't come with covers but, then again, most pitches aren't nearly as long as what we ended up producing. We wen't way overboard.