Friday, March 18, 2011

Entry 112: Blast From The Past Part 9

I'm overdue for a new blast from the past post. So lets all step inside the time machine and take a little trip back to 1999... Or maybe it was 2000. I gotta be honest I don't know what year we're going back to. I thought that the first year that I went to the San Diego comic con with my portfolio was in 1999, but when I count backwards each year, it has to be in 2000. I'm missing a year!

You know, it doesn't really matter. At that time I was living by myself in Dallas TX, working at Blockbuster during the day and drawing all night. I was lonely, generally sad, and I had roaches. There was a period there when I listened to all of Anthony Robbins's tapes, and you know what, they helped and I felt better and was more motivated. But my point is that these years were NOT great and if I have somehow lost one of them I'm really not that sad about it.

So this must have been back when I was 20 or 21. I had gone to the San Diego Comic Con for the first time with a fully armed portfolio. I had a lot of stuff to show and I got a lot of really good reactions. I also made some contacts that would eventually lead to some major steps in my career.

Easily the most important contact I made that year was with Dark Horse Artist/writer/editor/rocker Chris Warner. Chris was doing the portfolio reviews for Dark Horse. He really liked my stuff, and was very encouraging. At the time I didn't know this but I had actually copied some of Chris's Predator art back when I was 13 years old. I might have acted a little more like a fan boy, had I known who he was. He gave me his card, which I believe I still have. This would lead to my first payed work almost a year later.

After the convention when I contacted Chris he told me to do some "Star Wars-y" pages and some Buffy the Vampire Slayer pages because Star Wars and Buffy editors were always looking for new guys. So I set to it.

I started by doing some "Star Wars-y" pages. I guess you can't do Straight up Star Wars pages because then the Editors can't even look at it for legal reasons. It has to do with them being accused of stealing your ideas.

At this time I was really into Jodorowsky and Gimenez's Saga of the Metabarons series. I was actively absorbing that into my influences and I feel like you can see that here. Posting these blast from the past pages is like a chance to revisit old stuff, and in the spirit of that I've gone in and added the stars and planets I always wanted there but until now have just been blank spaces that said, "black with stars."

After I did those pages and sent them off I did some Buffy pages.

There is some wonky weirdness with this stuff. That 2 page spread is crazy.

And last: I'm not really sure when I did this, but I believe it was around this time. It might have been before I did the Star Wars-y thing. Anyway, it's a couple Darkness pages. I believe the editor at Top Cow that I showed my stuff to gave me some sample script to try my hand at and send back to them. I think it was the first couple pages of a Darkness issue. I wanna say it was issue 34, but I have no idea. I've never read that series. Here's a 2 page spread from that batch.

That fish eye shot felt super ambitious to me and I struggled so much with it. Looking back on it now, I don't think I really got it, but I can tell you, I learned a lot on this.

Well that's it for now. I now return you to the year 2011. Till next time.

OH WAIT! I keep forgetting.



  1. Awesome art. Love the sexy Astronaut in panle one, and the BUFFY stuff- I am particularly in awe of your Xander likeness. Mmm... Xander :)

  2. Thanks for posting these...I always like to see where artists come from before they are really polished and professional.

  3. It's really cool to see the sort of stuff you got into the door with, and what they asked you to try your hand at to keep their interest.
    Out of curiosity, when you see an old piece do you remember what time of your life you were in and what you were feeling when you were working on it? Or are some of your years just lost completely?
    WHY IS YOU UGLY LIKE DOG? Beautiful. Moving, even.

  4. Thanks again. You're always so good with the commenting on things. Even if it is mostly about hot guys, I appreciate it.

  5. Thanks for liking these posts. I wish I could do them more often. They just require to much time. I have so much more stuff to get through. I think my time as a Wildstorm intern will be particularly interesting. I'm anxious to get to that.

  6. I definitely remember where I was and what I was feeling for almost everything. I think it's because I look back at my old work a lot. For pages that I haven't looked back at much, I can't really remember doing them as well.
    I actually have a pretty good long term memory. I was joking about loosing a year. Really, I had just miss calculated when things took place.
    Thanks for commenting on the Poetry Corner. Lauren likes poetry corner comments.

  7. You're a great artist. And you do draw men nicely, rather than the testosterone stereotypes a lot of other artists do...

  8. Ha! I got that same sample script that year from Top Cow. Renee Geerlings was handing it out. I want to say it was Darkness 32 (or 33) and yeah, I couldn't wrap my head around the descriptions at the time. My pages look awful.

    1. Hey, Phillip. Thanks for commenting on this old entry.
      Did you ever get any feedback on your samples? I'm pretty sure I sent them in but didn't hear anything. I wasn't to heart broken over it though. I did show those pages to a Top Cow editor the following year at Comic Con. They thought it was stiff. They actually said it was "heavy handed." And I thought to myself, "I don't think that means what you think it means." And I almost laughed. I think they meant that I was stiff and ridged and that I was literally pressing to hard on the paper. All of which were valid criticisms.
      It's fun seeing other people's takes on the same script. There should be a sight were artists just put all their sample script work. It would be really interesting.