More envelopes-

July 24, 2012

Another piece of envelope art in the hopes of encouraging the USPS to get it there in one piece; luckily, I heard it worked. For those who can guess the recipient this was sent to, rest assured she enjoyed this image more than the one in the envelope! Ugh.


Here’s a preview of issue 164 hitting stands today- enjoy!

UPDATE: Apparently it’s shipping late, so look for it next week- D’oh!

Naw- I didn't do the cover

Rolling Snake Eyes

October 29, 2010

Long ago in galaxy far, far away… ok, not really, but a while back a reader of the GI Joe books contacted me about obtaining a page from the main series. On the page Scarlet confronts Snake Eyes in his quarters about going AWOL from Joe in search of proof about the existence of COBRA. It’s an emotional scene for Scarlet and there are a lot of Joe fans who put this relationship in the same category as Tasha Yar and Data on Star Trek:TNG.

You never tell me how you fe... well, anything actually.

I told them I only had the pencils because my inker Gary Erskine lives in Scotland, where he prints the pages on board and inks over blue lines to save IDW shipping costs- a standard practice for companies now-a-days. They said they wanted both and I contacted Gary to arrange this, I think that was around the end of April; I can’t be sure it was that long ago. We bounced emails, and we decided Gary would send me the inks (as I live in DC) to which I would add my art, then forward it all on to the collector who lives on the west coast. This sounded like a plan worthy of a rebel attack, but in execution we pulled it off like a clown parade. For one reason or another things kept getting in the way, from work loads and honest forgetfulness to the daily problems of life, something always made getting things organized darn near impossible. Until recently that is, when I got the package from Gary. Now it was on me to sprint for the finish line. I thought the fan had waited long enough and I didn’t want the delay to go on, but I felt I had to do two things –

A) Get it there in one piece

B) Pop in a little something extra for their patience in the matter

I decided to add a pencil drawing of Scarlet as a gift. I had done a sketch of her while playing around with my take on her costume, and decided to flesh it out completely and pass that along.

Seriously? Bring it. Have you SEEN the size of this gun?

I know the collector was all about the relationship between SE and Scarlet, so I threw in the little pic of SE on her shoulder. That was referencing back to how SE carried a picture of his kid sister with him for good luck while in Nam- at least that’s how it was in the classic series. So I had the sketch, but now how to get the package there in one piece?

You can stamp italian words like FRAGILE all over the place, but there’s no guarantee it’s going to help get something thru the mail in one piece. I think USPS workers only focus on one thing during their route- put mail in box- and however that’s accomplished is the only thing that matters. Antique china, glassware, Da Vinci’s lost paintings, the Holy Grail… doesn’t matter. If it’s physically possible to cram a 4′ box into a 6″ mail slot- it will be done. SO I decided to give them a reason not to do that.

In the old days of having more time on my hands, I’d always draw a little something on any package I was sending to family or friends. It was more for fun, but I noticed that the USPS guys seemed to take extra care with them. To the point the packages looked just as clean as when I sent them. Of course that was years ago, when people cared about stuff, but what the hell I decided it was worth a try. So out came the pencil, pens, and markers, and I went to town. It’s always the stuff you do on the fly that ends up being the “big” thing, so of course- this was the part of the package the fan got most excited about. :::sigh::: It’s like a baby or a cat, you buy a great toy, and all they want to play with is the box. As long as they’re happy.

You smell bacon?

GI Joe Lucky 7

July 24, 2009

Well this weekend is San Diego Comic Con, although there are those among us who say it’s time for them to drop the “comic” bit since the show is almost anything but comics. That’s a whole other discussion.

For me though this is the week that the first issue of my run on the regular Joe series hits the stands. With issue 07 I take over the drawing chores from Robert Atkins, but don’t worry, he’ll be back with issue 13.

One thing some of the fans have been asking for, is a more realistic approach to military equipment and environments. So I decided that would be my focus, as opposed to other artists who’ve worked a more sci-fi angle on their art. I tried to keep the technology more recognizable, being no more than 10 years ahead of its time, when I can. A lot of what you’ll see my issues will have a look and/or feel similar to that of concept cars at an auto show, the neat gadget designs you might find in “Wired” magazine, or on the “Future Weapons” TV show. I wanted it to feel grounded in reality, but still hi-tech. I don’t want the equipment to be so fantastic to the reader that it feels it’s happening on a parallel world or something. I always want there to be a hint of “it could exist”,  so I tried to set that tone early on. At the start Cover Girl is in transport to the Joe base, I took the opportunity to really set in motion the idea that these guys are part of our current military, top secret, but still part of it. To do that, the basic stuff had to be more realistic, so this page shows equipment most people can recognize. It includes things we see on the news from our war zones, with Hummer trucks, and Black Hawk copters, to basic uniforms and huts.

Gi Joe 07 pg 04

With that set up, I have a platform to establish more advanced technology for the Joes, but I didn’t want to take it too far. As in this scene with a slightly redesigned Shipwreck, we see his small transport submarine. My design for it is really an amalgam of several concept subs I found while doing research, with a bit of artistic license taken to give it a “shark” like appearance. I was so happy to find it wasn’t colored in yellow when it came back.

GI Joe 07 pg 10

Lastly, I wanted the characters to be individuals, not just while in costume, but also in their posture, manners, and physical traits. One thing I always related to about Snake Eyes was the “outsider” feelings he seemed to have. Never fitting in with the group, and never to be loved because of how he looks under the mask. When Mr. Dixon wrote this scene I really wanted the audience to feel what Snake Eyes was, especially how the last line of text hurt more than any of the scars on his body. To him it shouldn’t just be a simple sign off, but a slap in the face, which we can see in his eyes reflected in the polished glass of his phone. In that, we see he knows, what we know – it’ll never happen.

GI Joe 07_pg16

Hope everyone enjoys my take on the Joes, some have already pointed out that it’s a different feel than normally found on the book. Don’t know if that’s good or bad, but if you don’t like it, hang in there. Robert will be bringing his wicked art back to the show with issue 13. If you do like it, then hot damn!