Final Hours Of Dust and Blood!

Today is the final countdown for backing Of Dust and Blood by Jim Berry and Val Mayerik.  The original graphic novel is funded, so backers are guaranteed a book, but the Kickstarter has a stretchgoal for getting the book in full watercolor by Val!  I did the drawing below to support the cause and the original is currently available as one of the pledge goals.  India Ink on Bristol paper, 22″ x 13.5″.  Please consider contributing to the project.  Thank you!

ODAB_INKScanB_72dpi

Original art detail (click to enlarge):

ODAB_INKDetail_D_200dpi

Friday the 13th Age

Good thing I check in with the 13th Age twitter regularly.  Today, I see they are selling the PDF of the core book for $13.  A nice opportunity to get it for a steal!  I think it pleases this greedy imp…Imp_13TW

 

Stepping Out and Kicking In

Stepping Out: I left Portland a couple weekends ago to meet my dad in San Diego for the Reuben Award weekend, and the days have just been ticking away since then.  I think meeting and just sharing the room with so many legends in cartooning set my brain on fire and it’s still smoldering.  I “talked shop” with  Sergio Aragonés and Russ Heath, shook hands with Mel Lazarus and Rick Geary, just to name a few.  Here’s a picture of my dad with some of the cartoonists at our table during the award ceremony.  Can you spot a Dan Piraro or a Matthew Diffee?IMG_5614a I’d like to do a thorough report of my experience.  It really was a remarkable weekend, but I’m going to have to put that on the back burner for the time being.NCS_NewMember

Kicking In:   I would like to direct the attention of anyone in the industry to the National Cartoonists Society because they are looking to expand the roster of qualifying members. There are new perks for being a member that are in the works.  That’s right, “Perks in the Werks!”  You can find out everything you need to know about joining at the newly renovated website HERE.

Kicking In:  I recently contributed to a Kickstarter that my friend, photographer, comic book collector, and comic book writer Jim Berry is running to fund the production of a thrilling graphic novel about The Battle Of The Little Big Horn (Greasy Grass) featuring art by legendary illustrator, Val Mayerik.  Please take a look at the Of Dust and Blood Kickstarter and consider pitching in to make this book a reality. ODAB_Kickstarter

Stepping Out…to the comic shop, I encountered a number of excellent books coming out right now.  Probably at the top pf my list for entertainment is Starlight written by Mark Millar with art by Goran Parlov that is just riddled with nods and homages galore to the late, great Moebius.  I’ll sign off with this piece of Starlight fan art that was created in everyone’s favorite new graphic software, Manga Studio 5. Stepping out of my comfort zone to learn this new tool, after kicking in some cash to buy it;-)  Starlight_FanArt

First Look

13TrueWays01Pelgrane Press offered a tantalizing preview of the layout from 13 True Ways today.  Check it out HERE. (Don’t strain your eyes too hard…I’ll post larger images of those illustrations to my blog soon;-)

Great Bear Druid

Today I’m peeling back the process of creating the illustration of the Great Bear Druid found in the upcoming 13 True Ways book.  This piece almost got the cut because I think both Rob Heinsoo and myself may be a little overeager when it comes to the druid class.  There may have been a concern that the druids were overtaking the book, but evidently enough balance was restored to keep this piece.  This drawing came together rather quickly.  Below is my sketchbook page of the druid summoning his Spirit Bear and then a smattering of ungainly goblins.  The next stage was done in Photoshop.  I arranged the various sketch elements into a composition and added some digital paint. Lee Moyer swung his sorcerer’s wand around and brought contrast and clarity to the image.  One thing I’ve learned from working with Lee is the importance of creating a composition that can still read when reduced to the size of a postage stamp, a valuable “big picture” skill that he has keenly developed.
GreatBearDruid_ScanA GreatBearDruid_ThumbAGreatBearDruidRob wrote about the druid class at his blog.  Here’s an excerpt: As you’ll see, the druid class is a beast. The challenge of embracing elements of traditional druidic roles (wild healer, animal shifter, elemental magician, summoner, warrior of the wild) became huge fun as I took new approaches (talents defining spell lists and abilities, carefully calibrated summoning mechanics, spell lists tied to specific terrain). It’s definitely the biggest of all the class design jobs. I hope it turns out to be as much fun to play as it was to design.”

FREE Comics Guaranteed!

comicbookdayIt’s that time of year!  Comic creators crawl out from under their rocks to promote comic book literacy at comic shops, bookstores, and libraries!  I make a grand event out of the day by shaving most of the fuzz off my face.  Tomorrow I can be found at the West Linn Public Library.  That’s 1595 Burns Street, West Linn, OR 97068 from 12-5pm.  I will have a few freebies and might do some sketching, but when I say sketching I don’t really intend to draw something like this:Sketch_Spidey

I think Steve Ditko might be having a laugh this weekend as Spiderman 2 opens in theaters and all the kids rush to Free Comic Day hoping to get a quick sketch of Spiderman from a hunched over comic illustrator.   I don’t think Ditko had the word “quick” in mind when he designed that web pattern on Spidey’s uniform.  I hope the kid’s aren’t too disappointed when they get sketches from me that look more like this: QuickSketch_0102There is a  possibility they could have a mind altering experience with the likes of this: QuickSketch_0101If things really get out of hand, West Linn Security may be dragging me out of the library once they’ve discovered I’m handing out drawings like this: QuickSketch_0103But, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.  Personally, I look forward to leaving the house and hope to make the most of it.  Free Comics at the library!  That’s a guarantee, because even  if they run out of the free floppies, you can still check something out with your library card!  Win Win!

13 True Ways Commander

Behold, a dwarven commander whose troops carry the flag of the Emperor!  Read Rob Heinsoo’s notes on the commander at this post.BattleCaptDwarf

I’ll work backward on the process this time around, for some variety. Below is the original image that I sent Lee Moyer.  Lee added the Emperor’s flag to the final illustration, as you can see above, not to mention greater contrast and golden light illuminating the scene. (Could that light be reflecting from a guarded treasure trove, perhaps?  Or perchance they have encountered the fleeting essence of The Gold Wyrm?!)BattleCaptDwarf_ThumbA

The charcoal sketch:BattleCaptDwarf_Pencils

And a preliminary sketchbook drawing of the Commander in repose:BattleCaptDwarf_Sketch

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