Well, I've kept my peace for a couple of weeks now to make sure not to jinx it but my Padres have taken control of the National West. For you all folks not into baseball, you can go to yer next website of choice...for the rest of you into the national pastime, it's been a great season.
The Padres started off cold but lately they have literally MOWED down the competition and not all just fluffer teams like the American League East gets to get big on (Tampa Bay, Detroit). Teams like National League central leaders the St. Louis Cardinals and National League east contenders Atlanta and Florida. Sad to say but it makes my day when they pummel the likes of the hapless Giants and Dodgers--both of which I loathe.
The Swingin' Friars have been so hot lately (best franchise start EVER) that I fear the day when it all comes crashing down because anyone who follows baseball knows, it's all a game of peaks and valleys (unless yer the 1998 Yanks). But luckily the victories keep coming from different aspects of the team. Some days, it's different batters tearing it up. Other days, the bullpen saves the day. Others, the starting pitchers go all 9 to give the relievers extra rest.
Against all better judgement, I predict here and now a I-5 World Series. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs the San Diego Padres of San Diego. (BTW the I-5 is the highway that connects San Diego to Anaheim).
How I see the playoffs shaking out: White Sox takes on Rangers (wild card). Red Sox (sorry don't think the O's have enough in the tank to keep it up and the Yankees pitching is really horrible this year) against Anaheim.
Anaheim against the Rangers. Anaheim advances to WS.
The National League playoffs would go: STL vs Braves. Padres vs Marlins. Padres take down the fish to face the Cards.
Padres advance to the WS vs Anaheim. I do like the Rangers tho (always love the underdog teams) and think the Pads-Rangers would be awesome just to see how low the ratings could be for a World Series. But hell, aren't we just sick of the BoSox and all the east coast Baseball coverage on ESPN anyway?!
--cue sound of chirping crickets--
Let the flaming begin!
Monday, May 30, 2005
Sunday, May 29, 2005
SO here's another commision i di for a guy back at Wiz LA. I think the characters name is IVY? She's from a video game so I hear. She was a fun character to draw! No d-zout!
Also as a little Sunday news... It would seem that it's been discovered that I'm no longer drawing Batgirl. Mewwww, I know. But fear not for I have found a new job! I am giving my lifelong dream of working at Target a shot!!! I just love red shirts and khaki pants!
No, but seriously. I wasn't planning on saying anything for awhile but the new artist, Pop Mhan announced it on his website and kinda outed me, doh! As to the reason for leaving? Well, I just wanted to be fair with the title. My schedule over the past few months has become a little more crazy, no d-zout! And the rigors of a monthly title just became too much.
I do however have some new projects in the works. And with them, time! I'm really hoping to go fer all the marbles over the next couple years! Can't say much about it other than it will be wicked awesome! No d-zout! So keep you're eyes peeled kiddies, I really think you'll all dig the new digs! No d-zout!
"dance rummy!" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Friday, May 27, 2005
Hey guys sorry I haven't been around. Life's been hectic! I wanted to post this kick ayse little ink job done on this X-piece I did fer Jim awhile back. The job was done by a one Peter Guzman, rated PG is what I call him, lol. Pete's been an assistant to Scott Williams, Rich Friend, and Sandra Hope for quite some time. The guys got some good inking chops. I was quite pleased with the way this bad boy came out. Way to go PG!
"uhhh, he's in the bathroom" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Been struck by a stomach flu or a cold and food poisoning or something worse. Definitely had a cold and then the vomiting began. Back to nearly 100% now, thank God. Nothing like being curled up in bed with a bucket by your side.
Anyway, now that I got you all in the mood. Here is a link to several auctions to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
CBLDF ebay auctions
For those of who may not know, the CBLDF fights on behalf of first amendment protecting our right to freedom of speech. In the real world, that often translates into better protecting the rights of your local retailer to sell the broad range of comics they want to and more importantly, protecting all of us in our rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
Whether it is political dissent or drawing comics about socially sensitive topics, the CBLDF is our industry's only organization standing up for the collective whole. Like the title says, bid now, bid often. The money goes to the worthiest of causes.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Found this too...the reference I used for the backdrop of the sketch below. We walked across the stone bridge and then onto ledges which led into the various caves. One cave in particular was very dirty, very dark on a deep inside wall with what looked like soot. We walked closer to inspect and the entire wall moved...as the tiny bugs covering the entire wall were agitated by our movements and shimmered and moved like a real life Swarm. Wonder how many geekheads know which villain I am talking about...
Anyway, we hightailed it out of that one. Other grottos were used for various functions, some religious, over the centuries. At one point, one under a church was filled from floor to ceiling with skeletons.
Still digging through my various drives for sketches here and there. Here is one from last year which I did for the mother of a friend we were staying with in Gravina near the heel of southern Italy. The ancient town looks very similar to Matera which lies very close. That's the city where much of the Passion of Christ was filmed. Gravina looks very similar but hasn't done as well of a job of marketing and promoting itself and its treasures.
Gravina is famous for its many ancient grottos or caves lining its perimeter whose origins are not entirely known. They do date back to pre-Roman tribes. Like I said--very old.
Anyway, the joke of the sketch is that Batman is of course having trouble finding his own Batcave. Get it? Yeah, yeah, I plan on keeping my day job. The food in Puglia, the region where Gravina is located is awesome with some of the best green olives (and I rarely eat them otherwise), olive oils, herbs, cheese and wine you will find til...well, til you cross over into the next region of Italy! We would wake up late, get into our rental cars and hit either a lovely town like Matera or Altamura or Alberobello or just drive to the coast and swim in the blue Adriatic. I was on deadline during the trip so I would draw late into the night and even worked with shades on at the beach to make the deadline. We drove to Bari, the region's capital and largest city to fedex out the pages. Book came out on time too.
Here is a larger shot; it's not superclear as I shot it with my 2 megapixel camera.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Summer is practically upon us, and with that a ton of announcements from the various upcoming shows. What I'd like to see from you guys is what do you think will be the next big announcement? Next big artists/writer exclusive signing? What kind of sassy outfits will i wear to the shows? What events will deliver on their promises of big changes? Perhaps a breakout talent will show themselves, who do you suspect? I don't know just have fun taking some guesses!
As to the above piece? That was a commision sketch I did for some fella from Argentina at Wizworld LA, his own creation. Have fun!
"like basmati rice" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Man I am really excited about the future! I feel totally re-energized lately to get up every morning and just hit the drawing board. The next year or so I think is going to be really exciting for us Gelato-dudes. Of course Jim has Batman, Carlos and I have our regular projects, and hopefully we'll see that Rich Friend guy penciling some printed stuff! All in all, very cool times! Also with the Con coming up, we'll get to hang out with our overseas brethren! Above is a commission I did at Wiz LA, never drew Namor, but had fun doing it! Viva la Wildstorm!
"I just saved money on my car insurance!" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Thought I'd drop a quick note on you's peeps. Thanks in part to Lee Bermejo I recently decided to get some art representation. Mark Hay will be dishing out my madness from here on out. If you get the chance check out his website, www.splashpageart.com. He has a great roster of guys including the aforementioned Bermejo, Jock, Tim Bradstreet, Cliff Chiang, and a slew of other great artists. Up above is a little jam piece, me and Boymejo jammed on for some guy back at the Big Apple Con in 2003.
"talkin #^$***' Lee!" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Friday, May 13, 2005
Like nearly everyone, I doodle. Here are some I did during breaks between meetings. Cropped out are all the important notes and such. These go so fast I wonder how I could ever be late on a real assignment. Sad truth is that nearly every artist I know draws pretty fast when it comes to sketchy type material but when it comes to real work, everyone slows down--sometimes to a crawl.
Call it choking, call it nerves but there is something about knowing your work is for print that makes you pull back and the best work always comes when you break through this mental block. When it's going good, I can do 2 pages a day. When it's going cold, it can take 3-4 days for a page and you could never tell the difference between what pages took a short amount of time and which seemed to take an eternity to finish.
Here is a closer shot.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
... here's some more of Bill Watterson's 'Noir' in all it's glory ... doesn't this stuff ROCK?!? It's funny how so many of things come 'full circle'. I probably discovered "Calvin and Hobbes" back when I was in high school, and at the same time, I was totally an "Image Kid", but even back then, something about Watterson's art amazed me as much as a hyper-detailed WILDCATS or PITT page. Now that my 'eye' is a little more 'educated', this stuff is even more amazing, because you realize how much 'draftsmanship' and plain raw talent went into making these 'funny' strips, I just never thought I'd be looking at "Calvin and Hobbes' to study cool 'Noir' shots. :)
Since I am now having to deal with a monthly deadline, I am REALLY studying what makes books like 100 BULLETS work so well from a 'layout' and 'storytelling' standpoint, and it's pretty much what any good artist does (and this goes right back to how damn good "Calvin and Hobbes" is), and that boils down to "how clearly can the reader's eye move though the page and how clear the storytelling is".
I had read an introduction to an Alex Toth book a while back, and it pretty much suggested for the artist to be 'lazy', and to 'edit-out' any unnecessary drawing from the page, but I am just now beginning to truly understand what that means, and let me tell you, nothing like deadlines to make you understand the concept of 'good editing' and making sure the every line you put down counts for something (^_^)
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
I know Rich had earlier mentioned the upcoming release of our second team effort. But I just wanted to touch on it once again. This years sketchbook looks to be quite a dandy. All of us are going all out to make sure this years is even better than last years! You just about have to, to compete with all the other sketchbooks being put out. Tons of new stuff will be featured! Art you've seen here, and some never seen before! This little EVE diddy will be there.
I wanted to revisit the character that kinda put my name on the map. I haven't really talked too much about this series, but at the time I was doing it it was like a dream come true! Liquid! at the time were the ultimate colorists in the biz, and it was just an amazing honor to be working alongside those guys. They def carried my sorry butt through that series, heh.
For mine in my section of the sketchbook you will see stuff like this, other pieces I've posted here, and some unseen sketchwork that I'm just to lazy to scan and post. So keep your eyes open, this years books gonna be da bomb yo!
"sniff sniff" PSHOO!PSHOO!
... whaddup y'alls? ... have you guys (and ladies (^_^)) had the chance to check out SIN CITY the movie? I really really dug it visually, and it hopefully paints a bright future for 'comic book movies' being more faithful to the source material, not only in the writing, but also in the visual style (imagine HELLBOY pushed to these extremes?) ... major Kudos to fellow 'Frijolero" Mr. Robert Rodriguez for taking that chance, and giving the "Hollywood system" the ‘proverbial finger’. :)
Anyway, right after the movie came out, I was 're-discovering' that first SIN CITY mini-series all over again, and it's even better than I remembered it, and then, today, I was checking out a "Calvin and Hobbes” book I have, and ALSO remembered how awesome these strips were.
I think this particular "noir" strip pre-dates the very first SIN CITY, then again, I remember Frank Miller giving Bill Watterson major 'props' in an interview, and you can TOTALLY see his influence on SIN CITY (along with Steranko and other dudes).
.... you know what sucks the most? "Calvin and Hobbes" (in my opinion) was, and still is, the best drawn and written strip out there by FAR, and now, since the strip stopped being published, all we have left in the ‘mass culture’ are those friggin' stickers of Calvin taking a piss on a FORD or CHEVY logo!
... aint' that some sad sh#t?!? to have created such a brilliant strip (and never sell the rights to anyone, so your creation doesn’t get ‘raped’ by over-commercializing it), and the main remainder of it today is Calvin peeing on something ?!? Can you imagine what it must feel like for Bill Watterson every time he sees one of those things?!?
It’d be one thing if those stickers were ‘rare’ but they are friggin’ EVERYWHERE!!!
Ok, now I’m done ranting, (^_^)
Señor “Soap Box” D’Anda.
Monday, May 09, 2005
So I thought I'd post the finished version. Not a whole lot different, just a little rendering, heh. I'm not sure I mentioned before how much I admire the work guys like George Perez were doing back in the day. I was totally familiar with the Byrne/X-men stuff, but it was exciting to find out later as an adult the stuff Perez was doing on Teen Titans. Like I said I wish I had knew, lol.
Anyway, so here it is finished. I hope the commision-nay enjoys it. I know I had a blast doing it!
"un uh, no way" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Taking some time this weekend to polish off my list of commisions. Thought I'd share this one before I put the rendering on. This loyal fan has waited for this one a little longer than I'd hoped to make him. The task was to recreate George Perez's classic cover image to Teen Titans issue 1. I can only hope he's not too offended. My only wish is that I wish I had been into these characters more growing up. Because as an adult I definitely have a blast drawing them!
Art was done on 11"17" bristol board, and done with cover quality pencil work.
"have areal good time"PSHOO!PSHOO!
Friday, May 06, 2005
So our house remodel is nearly done. One of the centerpieces is this new fangled pizza oven in the kitchen. So Fridays we stoke up a big fire and roll, toss and create our own pies and top them with marinara sauce, arugola, salami, basil, prosciutto, roasted peppers, mozzarella, tuna fish, eggs (not all together!) ...whatever moves you really.
We eat while standing up, checking both on the creations we have already put in the oven and preparing the next pizza. They cook in about 3-4 minutes (the oven being 600+ degrees fahrenheit) and it's a lot of fun and of course, they taste fantastic, especially with a nice, cold ale. What I've learned is that it all comes down to 3 things--the dough, the wood and the toss.
The thing you take away with you is that a deeper appreciation for those professionals who make it all look so easy and who do it so well in the real pizzerias. Of course you could apply this to any profession, say comics. I think most readers who attempt to write or draw or create their own comics can either walk away thinking how great they are (if they happen to have some degree of meglomania) or feeling a bit humbled as they see the process of creating is not always as easy as it seems.
Words to eat by.
... what the hell, the night is young and I haven't posted in a while, so here's one more 'cause I'm taking a break from the drawing table. There's nothing good on cableTV, so I might as well do something semi-productive. (^_^)
This here is another little sketchie I did while Jim, Lee (Bermejo) and I were signing at the album store in Paris. I think this was the very last one I did. I LOVE drawing Two-Face (are you reading this Judd?!? Throw him in THE OUTSIDERS!!! :) )
...It gets pretty damn boring trying to draw 'pretty super-heroes' all the damn time, and one of the most fun things for me (when drawing) is to play with proportions and actual anatomy, and the majority of Batman's villains are very, very fun to draw for that very reason. They are all disfigured or scarred, and their proportions are very different than your 'stock' superhero figure.
...it's very easy and fun to "dork-out" and REALLY think about what a person's face would really look like if their mouth was as stretched out as "the Joker," or 'exactly' half your face disfigured like Dent's etc, etc... although I gotta' say, after seeing how far Lee (Bermejo) took his design idea for the Joker and Two-Face, mine seems very very pretty...you are one sick little bastard Lee (^_^) . If you guys want to check Lee's doodles out, I think they are posted in an interview with him in the "batman to film" site...very grotesque, yet, so pretty :)
Thursday, May 05, 2005
...waddup y'alls?!? apologies for taking so long to post anything on the old 'Metti, but I was having a hard time getting stuff to actually post for a while (using the wrong 'address' or something), but then I'll admit it, I just got plain lazy, then I saw how hard Richie was working and felt guilty, so here I am again. (^_^)
...hopefully this one works, I want to do some "Mars Volta" drawings and post them too...heheheh, just kidding Richie, you know I love you and the "Volta." :) ('sides, I have to support fellow former-El Pasoans!!!)
...anyway, here's a little somethin' I did back at the NYC show some weeks ago. This was the first sketch/commission I did at the show, so I felt pretty damn rusty and the drawing seemed a bit stiff when I was putting it down on paper, and when I was done, I HATED IT!!! but now that I see it again, It doesn't suck too bad. :) ...then again, that's how it usually is with the 'first' of almost anything; a page, a pinup, whatever, it takes a little 'warming up' the old noggin' and loosen up the drawing hand...and to whomever it was that got this from me at the "Big Apple" show, if you are the SD Comic-Con, please swing my way at the artist alley and I will gladly do a bit of 'touch-up' on that piece, it doesn't quite feel finished to me. :)
peace out y'alls,
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Here is a scan of a Gambit sketch I did for a fan at the recent Big Apple Con. There is a matching one which is similar but different...which is a side story all onto itself.
Been very busy recently and am on the road. Back in New York for a series of meetings and a video interview planned for an upcoming DVD. In fact, it's one of two lined up for upcoming superhero movies.
My big question is...does anyone watch these extras?
I occasionally rewatch films with the director's commentary on but it's a real luxury to find that time. There is so much else to do...
BTW here is a larger scan of the sketch.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Got all the colors to the Fathom one shot i did today! Beth Sotelo did an amazing job! They're so vibrant, and full of life! Thumbs up to you Beth! After seeing them I gotta say I'm quite excited for this book released (later this month). 2 books for me this month! Be sure to check it out. I actually got to draw faces, yay!!! It really was a fit as to what I'm comfortable drawing.
"I'm gonna walk away" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Monday, May 02, 2005
This past weekend Carlos treated I and WS staffer Trevor Hill to a Coachella weekend. It was a blast yo! Of course I enjoyed a snifter of barley juice, and Carlos was looking sexy, angry. Trevor and Carlos endulged their sweet tooths with some delicious churros. Then it was on to the music! Tried to see as much as possible.
We got to see Kasabian who was a lot better than I expected, they was a rockin! Next up was New Order who brought it with some classic tunes, along with some Joy Divison hits, it was amazing! Carlos and Trev stayed for NIN, but I was all about The Faint so I headed over there early! Sat through British Sea Power, a band I had never heard but found them to be very entertaining. But it didn't really matter as I was there for one reason, to see The Faint!
They are absolutely my favorite band right now, and they came through guns blazing! I strongly suggest if you get the chance to see them play live to do so. A friend told me they were a next level live band, and that was an understatement! I was in the very front against the gate, and my nearly broken ribs were well worth it, heh!
All in all one helluva day! Coachella is a blast, and I must say if you ever get the chance to attend, jump at it!!!
"I still got it!" PSHOO!PSHOO!