Baltimore Con is GO!!!

September 4, 2014

Baltimore Comic Con

Starting tomorrow, and until Sunday, you can find me at the Baltimore Convention Center, for Baltimore Comic Con! Comic greats like Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Dave Gibbons, Alan Davis, and Adam Hughes (good luck getting a sketch) will be there, plus Chewy himself… Peter Mayhew!

Don’t forget, Friday is my birthday– so I’ll gladly be accepting cash and booze!

Hope to see you there- whoever you are.

Previously on StarJoes—

April 23, 2012

Recently I had the pleasure of being a guest on the podcast “StarJoes“, talking to Ryan and Chuck. They were great fun, very kind to me, and gave me more than enough rope to hang myself. No one likes how their voice sounds, although some people love the sound of their own voice- a paradox, I know. Hopefully mine won’t drive people away screaming, and if you can put up with it, maybe you’ll sit thru the bits of me babbling on and on.

I would like to correct one thing in the podcast. At the time I couldn’t remember the crazy, comic creating, cowboy brothers I mentioned, but it’s supposed to be the Fillbach Bros. Oh man, my head still aches from that party.

Anyway, the podcast was great fun, so my thanks to the guys over at StarJoes and a shout out to the father-son team of Jon and Jacob Thurmond for putting us in touch.


More Christmas cheer-

January 17, 2011

One of my dearest, and oldest friends, asked me for one thing this Christmas- a Robin vs Kato sketch. He’s not a Bruce Lee fan or anything, but he loves the old shows. He wanted an image that reflected the episode where Kato and Robin fight, but he didn’t want there to appear to be any clear winner. I know a bunch of you will start screaming about Bruce Lee and how he could have busted ole Burt Ward a good one, but we’re not talking about them, we’re talking about the fictional personas of Robin and Kato. So deal.

Here are the pencils for the image.

Pencil pages, pencil pages...

And here are the inks. I left out the star burst because I wanted it to be screened back, so it only got a marker treatment and not a harsh outline.

Slap a little black in there!

I’m starting to finally see what it is that Adam Hughes does with his various gray washes that imply color. The cool grays, warm, neutral, etc… that I always known have certain properties of color, actually have enough of a tint to give the viewer the feel of a full color range without weighing down the image in a complete spectrum. Additionally, doing things this way, doesn’t require massive amounts of effort that a full color image would need. You can see how not giving the star burst a hard outline makes the figures pop a bit more. Here’s the final marker version.

Paint the mutha pink!

I thought I was being so clever with the tagline, partly talking about their roles on the series, but also because Kato is throwing a kick (granted it’s a reverse roundhouse).  It wasn’t until the last couple of days that I realized I accidentally stole the line from the upcoming Young Justice series on Cartoon Network. Since Robin is in that show anyway, I don’t feel so bad.

More Birthday wishes-

October 22, 2010

Two of my editors at Titan Books in the UK recently had birthdays, one is the inspiration for the comic strip/blog Punchface!!!

Punchface!!! doesn't take Birthdays sitting on his hands!

And one of my other fave editors was having her birthday as well, but she’s a big Batwoman fan, and where there’s a pretty girl and Batwoman… well.

Er, um... sorry bout that.

Lastly, for fun, here’s my best Adam Hughes imitation- I wonder why this one didn’t sell?

Well hello there- it's still Breast Cancer month isn't it?

Until next time!


Why? Not who.

February 5, 2010

So in my recent interview I had to answer the age old question of “Who/what are (my) influences?”. Everyone asks that, it’s a standard question, and in most cases, I want to know the same thing about every artist I admire. Maybe it’s some daydream that if they like the same artists I do, then one day we’ll meet, and become the best of friends. OK, that’s not realistic, but I think secretly it’s what we all want to belive. I’ve been considering this over-and-over, but it seems that the real question ought to be, “Why are they influences?” So I decided to explain one of them.

Adam Hughes– huge influence. Why? There are a ton of reasons, and most people would assume it’s his ability to draw beautiful women. I’d be fibbing if I didn’t admit I’ve swiped… er, been influenced by that. Hair, eyes, lips, hands, fingernails, legs, heels, necks… I’ve studied it all. Yet, that’s not the reason I really go back to him as an influence. It’s more subtle than that, and the best way to explain it- is to show it.

One of his earlier works, the Star Trek graphic novel “Debt of Honor“, is a prime example of when, and why, he became a huge influence. I think a lot of his ability to capture likenesses was lost in process from pencil to final art, but Adam made up for any problems in that area with body language. His subtle use of posturing, how figures distribute their weight, and the way they carry themselves as individuals, are the real reasons I go back to his work constantly. A great example of this can be seen in two panels, almost identical, from different points in the story, set years apart.

It’s simply Spock and Kirk talking on the bridge, this one is obviously classic Trek. That’s apparent from the details, green Captain shirt, the classic red doors, Beatle boots, etc… The true beauty of it comes from how the body postures alone tell us which one is Spock and which is Kirk, heck you don’t even need the heads! Look at Spock’s board straight back in comparison to Kirk’s relaxed, but  always in command, stance. Kirk’s hands hanging at his side, ready to throw a punch at a moment’s notice, but Spock’s are tight behind him, ever stoic.

Classic Trek

The second panel is set during the film era, which we know from the uniforms and sleek bridge design. Again, you can tell instantly who is who just by how they’re standing, but if that weren’t enough, now he’s aged them. It’s not exaggerated with gray hair or big guts, it’s tweaks to their overall form. They still look like Spock and Kirk, they’re just obviously older.

Years later...

It’s handled so well, and it was that point I became a huge fan. So it wasn’t the curvaceous bombshells, sultry eyes, or luscious lips, rather it was the subtle grace he gave Starfleet. That’s one reason why he’s a major influence on me.