Sunday, July 31, 2005
So it's about 4 am, whew! Gotta say I love my job! I've been drawing since about 1 in the afternoon and I'm still wanting to go! Also I just happened to crank out the first page of my new project! Yay! I know it seems as if I haven't said much about it but trust me, I'm just holdoin' off a bit. We plan on doing a formal announcement at next week's Wiz Chicago show. After that you my fans will get a definite behind the scenes peek at the process behind creating a new series! I plan to involve you guys alot!
Also I plan on involving my whole creative team! Writer Allen Warner, artist Rich Friend, and color genius Cris Walker! I'm hoping to get all these guys involved with the blog with this project! It's exciting for me mainly because for the first time Rich and I will combine forces! The result I'm sure will be nothing less than stellar! No worries, I'm excited about the other monkey's too but I've worked with them in the past, lol! Both are top notch talents no doubt!
So keep an eye up! Look for some exciting news in the next week or so! Aside from that here is a commision of Dark Phoenix. Completely off subject I know, but hey I'm holding off on the good stuff ;)
"be cautious" PSHOO!PSHOO!
... I don't know why I never thought about it, but thank you guys for pointing out 'comic art' sites (as a way of finding past 'con-drawings'). I did a little search the other day, and came across some pieces I had totally forgotten even doing, and some I JUST did at this San Diego show.
Jim (Lee) was the first guy I noticed asking fans for scans of sketches he had just given them, and NOW it totally makes sense. There have been some pieces I've done at shows that I really wish I had a scan of.
For me, when I do sketches, or commissions at shows, I tend to feel more relaxed, and because of that, whatever I draw tends to come out more 'spontaneous' maybe? it might just be the simple fact that you know this particular drawing is more personal, it's from you, to a fan, so there's less 'page-fright' (^_^)
There was one show if particular that I felt REALLY in the 'zone' :).
Jim, Cammo, Lee, Grazia, Michelle and I (same crew that was at the signing in Las Vegas this past weekend) were signing at a comic shop in Reggio, Italy, and we were just doing 'random' sketches, and 'auctioning' them instantly at the shop, and then the money would go to a "Tsunami victims" fund (if I am not mistaken).
I think we all stayed and did sketches for something like seven hours? ... that day, my sketches were just 'flowing', one after the other, and you get into a really cool rhythm that you wish you could keep for ever. Jim and I had very little ink, so we watered it down, and out of necessity, we did a bunch of ink-wash pieces, which always allow you for more 'subtlety' then a regular 'sharpie' sketch...
... anyway, there's a couple sketches from that day I wish I would have scans of.
This piece here was ALSO the first or second time I've ever drawn Supergirl. I don't know if I got her to look as 'innocent' as I wanted, but overall, I was happy with the way it came out. (^_^)
... oh yeah, and somebody asked me where I got my 'pencil-case'? I think I got it at TARGET a while back, but don't quote me on that! :)
Friday, July 29, 2005
So I was perusing the comicart fans site and I came across this Death sketch. At first I didn't even remember doing it, heh. Then it came back to me. I did it at Wondercon a couple years ago. It's funny looking back at it all I can think is I remember really being into Eduardo Risso at the time. Anyways, thought it might be a cool little flashback, peassssssssss.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
... I can't remember exactly what ComiCon I drew this at, it might have been from last year's, or maybe even a little older. The fan had asked me for a "Wonder Woman", and because this was probably my first time EVER drawing her, and I don't really consider myself all that good at the 'cheesecake' stuff, I felt I needed something else in there to 'spruce' up the piece, so why not having her beat the crap out of a giant robot?!? gives the piece a bit of a sense of scale as well, I just hope the fan I drew it for liked it. :)
... speaking of ComiCon pieces, like most artist out there, there have been times when you draw something at a show and you end up being pretty happy with, and really wish you had made a copy of it or whatever (lots' of happy accidents seem to happen at shows), so, if any of you BLOG readers have ever gotten a commission or a sketch from me (that doesn't suck.. heheh), please let me know, I'd love to get a scan of it if you guys are kind enough (^_^)
Wanted to go back a bit, retouch on San Diego and how great it was. See I've been in comics for quite awhile. I remember not too long ago the con seemed as if it was getting smaller, and it seemed as if less people were interested in going. With that it's amazing how big it's gotten! Sure most of it is because of hollywood's involvment, but who cares?! The show has became so large I almost wish I had one of those motorized scooter thingies just to get around.
I was a little bummed that I only got to sign at the DC booth on preview night. I tried to crank out as many freebies as possible. For some reason people keep asking me for Batman sketches? Good thing I enjoy drawing the guy. Here is one some guy requested asking if he could get a version of my DK interpretation he saw on the blog. Yay blog fans! To make up for my lack of time spent in SD I will be in Chicago next week. And most likely, spending a majority of my time at the DC booth. So if you get a chance come by and ask for a Batman sketch, or whoever else may be your fav character!
"come over late night" PSHOO!PSHOO!
This past Saturday at 3pm, we all did a store signing at Alternate Reality Comics in Las Vegas. Though it's off the strip, it was only a short 20 minute ride there and we were warmly greeted by the owners Ralph and Kate and their incredibly hospitable crew. They had snacks, fruit salad and plenty of water and soda laid out for us and we signed for about 4 hours.
It was very well planned and organized and we barely made it through the line in the time we were there. Not as many sketches this time and oddly, nearly all of them were of Batman. Here is one I did for the man in charge of security at the event.
Tracking back a bit, here is another pic from the copter tour of the Grand Canyon (as requested by Elayne). I have mpeg footage of it too but the colors are all washed out, mostly because it was overcast. This shot of Giuseppe Bazzani, writer of an Italian comic called Road's End, is a better representation of the colors of the rock formations. We were on a cliff overlooking the muddy Colorado River.
Luckily the temperature was only 90 degrees F; normally it's 120 F down in it. It's amazing how small the Colorado river looks now. To think rushing waters created all this gives you a scale of how insignificant we all are in the big scheme of things. That said, we need to know we make a difference...otherwise, why create art, right?
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
So, like Ale, I can only recount the last two weeks in reverse. Although Ale and I hung out all weekend in Vegas, we did spend some quality time apart. Sunday morning at 8am, after 4 hours of sleep, tequila and cigar smoke still oozing out of my pores, I went on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. You can get there from Sin City in about 45 minutes. On the way, we flew over enormous Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam and then dropped down half a mile into the Canyon and touched down for some champagne and hors d'oeuvres.
The contrast between the serene, peaceful, stone cliffs of the Canyon and the noisy, crowded, cacophonous turbulence that is the Strip in Vegas was very moving emotionally. You really felt humbled and insignificant in the face of the majesty of Nature. I had seen the Grand Canyon several times before from the Southern end but never wandered much from usual tourist viewing sites. This time, I got to sit and stare and meditate at the base of the Canyon itself. I walked off from the group a bit and felt like I was the only person in the entire universe--that's how dwarfed you feel by the Canyon. The ride back was eventful as well as we checked out numerous colorful sand/rock formations and then zipped down the Vegas Strip. Here is a shot of the Bellagio where we ate the night before.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Anybody out there who is familiar with my work (or even purely through this blog) knows my 'fetish' with machinery, so this was me messin' around with this character. When it comes to re-designing 'classic' characters, you always stumble with the SAME problem, how can you change it 'just-enough' not to mess with it, but still have it look a little updated.
Re-designing doesn't always have to be a drastic thing, hardly ever actually, and more times than not, those re-designs just DON'T work (anybody remember that weird outfit BATMAN had in the early nineties? how 'bout that lame SpiderMan with the hoodie?!? ouch!!! ) ... so here, my 'attempt' was to keep the 'tech-pattern' the same, but the actual machinery to look a little more functional?
Mostly thanks to Anime and Manga, gone are the days of just putting 'rings' on a character (Colossus, Ultron, Cyborg, you name it) and call it "high-tech". Stuff now has to look a bit more believable, and 'armor platting' more functional ... so anyway, here was my attempt at Mr. Cyborg (^_^)
As per request here is a pic of me, John and lead singer of SOAD Serge. This was taken at the W hotel in downtown San Diego. We were celebrating John's Birthday, good times!
Also at the show were some celebrities. Those attending, besides our good friend John Dolmayan, were the famous "Uncle Jess" John Stamos, and the most popular pregnant girl in the country right now, Britney Spears! It was pretty funny actually, Britney was actually sitting at the same table as us, lol! I'm positive that even though she was there with K-Fed, that she was making eyes at me, lol, jk! Maybe she thought I was Wilmer too? No but seriously, she actually seemed pretty cool. She and my wife shared a short conversation, and took a little pic together.
Overall it was a great weekend! We as always had an amazing time! In fact we started planning our next trip before we even left, lol! We topped off the trip by having lunch with John D and his fiance'. Of course being the comic geeks we are, that's about all we talked about, heh! So till the next time I best get back to work, peasssss out yo!
"don't take that from some punk-ass crab!" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Sunday was spent mostly just lounging. We toured the strip. Got a Coke at the Coke store. Had a fantastic lunch at the Red 8 in the Wynn hotel, very nice by the way!
We started up the evening by meeting up with good friend John Dolmayan, SOAD fame! He invited us to attend the Hard Rock's variety show Beachers Madhouse. It was pretty damn cool, we got the star treatment, and I had everyone wondering if I was Wilmer Valderama, lol! The show itself opened up with these girls prancing around in skimpy clothing, pretty insane, pandamonium!! It then opened up with a bunch of skits that had the audience interacting with the show. It was some pretty fun stuff, from a Karaoke sing off to a dance off that featured a ten yr old kid it was definitely entertaining. John provided some great entertainment for the evening...
Up next was a surprise for my lady! Jim and I had planned a vow renewal for she and I, and who better to conduct the ceremony other than Elvis! She was surely surprised! See, the thing with me is I'm terrible at keeping secrets, so for me it was difficult to keep it from her for so long. It was however surely worth it just to see the look on her face! 11 years strong, PSHOO! More to come....
So me, the lady, Jim, Carlos, and an assortment of the Italians spent this past weekend in vegas! As always it was a blast! We started off the trip by doing a signing at a great comic store called alternate reality. Great fans Vegas has!
We followed that up by what's become a tradition by dining at The Picasso resturant in The Bellagio. Great food, and some great art to boot! More info with next post!
Monday, July 25, 2005
...this little thang' here I did just for fun while I had a bit of free time during my stint on OUTSIDERS. I can't remember why I decided to try doing a CONAN piece...maybe I had seen the movie recently? (the first movie still holds up pretty damn well)...kinda' makes me want to try a THOR piece next! and NOT the Marvel THOR, just THOR!!!
...when I was a kid, I didn't really grow up on too much STAR WARS (although I did see all the movies), I was always more of a MAD MAX and CONAN kid ... I guess I always liked the whole 'apocalyptic' take on stories (being raised Catholic!), even CONAN's mythology had that 'feel' to it...you know, almost as if it were the end of the 'Hyperborean' age, and myths and magic where about to give way to the 'dark ages,' civilizations lost and all that.
I still remember my Mom reading to me from these GREAT books called "Heroes and Legends," and being exposed for the first time to THOR, ULYSSES, KING ARTHUR, BEOWULF, ROBIN HOOD, ATLANTIS, you name it, I guess after that, it was just a natural progression to find Spider-Man, Batman, and so many other 'new myths' in comics (^_^)
...in hindsight, I kinda' regret having sold this at the COMICON...then again, I can always draw myself a new one. :)
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Here's BONEREST/BATMAN EUROPA writer Matteo Casali in the Las Vegas airport getting frisky with a horny toad hours before our 3pm store signing at Alternate Reality Comics.
We just left San Francisco where we had blast hanging at the ultraplush Isotope Comics Store and Lounge. Big, big props as they say to James, Kirsten, Jared, Ian, Jay, and all the others for a kickass esperienza!
Also got to read Kirsten' Smoke and Guns which was a terrific, adrenaline-rush ride which brought to mind the fun and nilism of Gunsmith Cats and Sin City. More laters...time to check in.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
...it's still early for me, and I don't really have anything better to do, so before the deadlines start kicking my butt again, why not post one more (^_^)
...I just thought I'd post this up for the 'artheads' out there. This was my initial 'rendering' for my cover on the PH4 sketchbook, kinda' like an underpainting. Here I wasn't really concerned about colors, those would come later. Here, I just wanted to make sure that my 'forms' worked and hopefully reinforced the drawing's 'solidity'. I am of the mindset that if your 'values' work (how dark or light a surface gets), then the color should work just fine, regardless if you choose to go with a more subdued palette, or more 'bubblegummy' (like the final one ended up being).
...an easy way to do this, is by doing all your 'grays' (digitally, or by hand), the colorizing 'em on Photoshop. Try dragging this thing off to your desktop, open it on Photoshop, make a new layer and set it to 'color' in the 'layer options', then just start throwing colors on it as you wish, think of it as a coloring book, only that the black lines stay intact, the only thing that should be affected are the 'greys' (play with the 'opacity' of the layer to control the color 'saturation') ...there are a gazillion more ways to do this on Photoshop, but this one is straight forward enough to just mess with it and see 'instant' results. :)
...this here is a drawing I did in one of my personal sketchbooks just for sh*ts and giggles. It's kinda' sorta' based on J. Maynard from the band TOOL. Richie (Friend) saw it, and thought it'd be cool to throw it in the new PH4 sketchbook, so I did (^_^)
I am a HUUUGE fan of Gustav klimt and Egon Schiele, and this was me attempting to 'think' a bit more in that style. Naturally, I tend to think from the 'bones-out', and sometimes I think I tend to be more concerned with anatomy 'correctness', than an expressive 'outline'. I LOVE and envy Klimt and Schiele (and more recently, Phil Hale) because of their ability to 'tell' so much with just the outlines of their figures. If you see the 'sketches' of all these guys, they are very similar, it's just a few gesture lines, THEN everything else just seems to fall into place.
For any other comic artists out there who hasn't given this a shot, try it, it's fun and it teaches you A LOT (it sure as hell let's you know your weaknesses right away). Just draw what you would consider an interesting outline, totally from the 'gut', don't think too much about anatomy, folds, etc etc, this is ALL about gesture and movement, THEN render the form as accurately as you can...I'm tellin ya', it'll show you all your 'kinks' right away. All the best artist out there are GREAT at this (in fine arts, comics, whatever), and my theory is that if one can 'master' the use of the outline, along with composition (essentially, graphic design), then you can 'burn' images into peoples minds, and what's great art, if not that?!? ...in the mean time, all one can do is practice and try and understand these damn concepts. (^_^)
So looking back on the con I gotta say, whew, I did a lot of commissions, lol! On one hand it's great to be able to give the fans a glimpse of what I might do with their favorite characters, but on the other, it's quite draining. I'm actually going to rethink my strategy as far as commissions go for future cons, and may decide that this was my last go round. That or I may only do two or three really high end pieces. Not sure yet.
Either way here is another Supergirl. I have a blast drawing her! She's pretty much the epitome of the comic book good girl, and I've found that that may be my greatest strength. I'm thinking about doing a nice set of images of some good girl type stuff, and offer them at cons.
All in all those who got thier commissions done this year, enjoy them as they may be the last. It'd be great to actually walk around the con next year, lol!
"oh geez" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Better late than never--a lot of the Gelatometti crew and friends will be doing two store signings this week. The first is today (Wednesday, the 20th of July) at the Isotope located in San Francisco. The signing starts at 7pm and includes:
Jim Lee--artist of All Star Batman and Robin Lee Bermejo--artist of Lex Luthor, Man of Steel Michele Petrucci--writer, artist of Due (Slave Labor) Matteo Casali--writer of Bonerest (Image) and Silent Dance (Slave Labor) Grazia Lobaccaro--artist of Silent Dance
This Saturday, we will be at Alternate Reality Comics in Las Vegas. The store info is:
Alternate Reality Comics 4800 S Maryland Pkwy Ste D Las Vegas, NV 89119-6316 (702) 736-3673
The same crew will be there but joining us will be Carlos D'Anda (Outsiders) and Ale Garza (Batgirl). This signing runs 3-5pm.
Hope to see some of you there. Got lots to say about the con and a few interesting pics. Will load em up when a break presents itself. ONWARD!
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
...man, this Con. seemed LOOOOOOOONG!!! ...fun as always, but since they have officially added Wednesday to it's duration, it just seems never ending (specially under those fluorescent lights).
All in all though, a great show. As always, got to meet all kinds of cool people, and say 'Hi' to old friends as well. Didn't do too much walking, but I did see some pretty damn cool toys near "artist alley", and also got a couple of art books I'd been looking for (I never did find the 'die-cast' AKIRA bike though).
I remember my first couple of years at the show, I would buy sooooo much crap!!! ...now, half of the things I got are in boxes somewhere because I don't have the shelf space for it anymore, so I am forced to buy only "choice" stuff now. (^_^)
What really made this show special though was the fact that a bunch of our friends from Italy came down to visit (some for the first time), so it was really nice being able to hang out with 'em after the show and down a few brewskies at the Hyatt bar with them.
I was also very happy to see that people were really digging the "PH4 sketchbook". I am always weary of "when will the sketchbook 'fad' be over?" but in some way, a fan pointed out to me that that would be like getting tired of 'art books,' and I would have to agree. Would any of you say 'No' to a new Adam Hughes sketchbook? Or a Mignola one? If anything, the challenge is now up to us, the artist, to make sure that the sketchbooks we offer are worth putting out there.
...and now that the show is over and the 'Con shell-shock' gone, time to get back to the drawing table,
...oh yeah, and this here was my 'finished' piece for the "PH4" image (^_^)
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Hey guys, whatta weekend! I am beat fo sho! The past four days, or is it five? Were a whirlwind of happenings!
As always got to see some familiar faces, some not so familiar, heh! I'll post more info as my strength is regained. Cranked through twenty commissions. It was a chore, but well worth it once I saw the fans reactions. Above is one I did. Good ole' Bats!
I'll be posting info on my new title, a little update on the CBLDF auction of our Iron Chef battles, and all the other random stuff. Just need a little time to regain my head, peasssssssssssss.
"i am evil homer..." PSHOO!PSHOO!
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Putting some last minute touches on my preparation for the con. Really looking forward to it! Seem's to look like a lot of fun! I signed tonight at the DC booth for preview night, cranking out quite a few sketches! Batgirl was the number one request, followed closely by Supergirl.
If you're attending be sure to stop by artist alley and say hi. I'll have all kinds of goodies for sale, hehe!
Attached is a pic I did for a friend as a birthday gift. I tried to go a little different from the way I usually approach WW. I gave her wavier hair, something I tend to shy away from. Anyways I hope he likes it, it was fun doing. Anyways, till my next post, peasssss!
Also look for what appears to be becoming one of our closest battles yet results. Voting closes tomorrow at 12:00 pst!
"sure I'm flattered, maybe even a little curious..." PSHOO!PSHOO!
Anyone have this issue handy? Am looking for a shot of Alpha Flight and a Supreme Court looking type building. Not sure it is in this ish but I do have a hunch. Please scan and post a link if you could, thanks! Unfortunately, my entire run is in storage...
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Today's challenge will be between two of Wildstorm's most talented young artists! Iron Gelato Carlos D'anda welcomes international artist extraordinaire Giuseppe Camuncoli with an art duel! Today's battle will take place at 5:00 pst, please place your suggestions under this post! The two artists will choose from your suggestions!
For those of you unfamiliar with our challenger's work, he is most currently known for his amazing work on Wildstorm's The Intimates, also his work has graced the pages of Robin, Hellblazer and soon Batman! His unique vision definitely promises to challenge our sketch master Carlos D'anda!
So without further ado, let the contest begin!
Hey guys, I know it seems as if we just had one but it looks like we have another battle for you today! Stay close to your computers for more info soon!
"I shouldnt've had all that watermelon, cofee, and beer," PSHOO!PSHOO!
Monday, July 11, 2005
This little ditty here is one of Scott's 'quick paintings' ...bastard!!! he's done a few more, just for sh#ts and giggles, and it would be a shame not to post 'em for y'alls to see.
we'll be postin' some more as we approach Comic-Con.
peace out' and enjoy :)
Carlos D'Anda (posting for Scott Iwa')
Alright guys here ya go! Today's winner will recieve a copy of All Star Batman and Robin signed by both creators, artist Jim Lee and writer Frank Miller!
Also being given away will be another Alé Garza 1 hour sketch! The winner can decide which he'll take, and the second place runner-up will recieve the other. So without further ado here we go...
1. Where was Alé Garza appearing this past holiday week?
2. How many hours a night does Rich spend drawing after eating dinner?
3. What role did Jim Lee play in the new Batman Begins movie?
The first one to answer all three questions is the winner! Have fun!
"place ad here" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Hey guy's I'm back in town and first thing I wanna say is, WOW! Our most recent Iron Chef challenge went off with a bang! I knew it would from the first time I approached these two monkeys. We actually broke 100 comments on one post! Pretty cool! The next challenge will be providing challengers as interesting as this one. Already have one in the works for Carlos, and myself. Heck we may even have a potential bigger challenger for Jim. Also Look for a all Iron Chef battle as us four Mettistas team up for an all out slugfest!!!
Once again I'd like to thank both Jim and Jeff! For mine I can't say who's I like more. I love Jim's for the sheer amount of stuff he was able to do, however working with Jim I know how he did it, and expected no less. I knew from the minute that it was going to be a scene with multiple characters that Jim would have the upper hand, not only on Jeff, but just about every other artist in comics. I have always been a fan of Jeff's ability to capture energy with so few lines, and pull off amazing gesturing and personality. He delivered here! His Wolvie looks so cool, I wish we could see more of it! Like I said earlier had this not been a multiple character thing, and it was just a single character? I don't know? I think the tables may have turned! Either way it was awesome to feel like a fan again! I enjoyed and anticipated this with every ounce of my being. It's cool to see these things come together, and honestly all for a good cause! I'm hoping that not only these, but all the past works of art, all created by todays top talents, can really help the CBLDF!
With that I leave you a picture of me buying some chinese food goodies from my fav place back home. If you ever find yourself in downtown Napa,there's a little hole in the wall place I grew up going to called Asia Cafe, I definitly suggest trying it out, it's delicioso!
"me lose brain?" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Well there are a couple of days left in the Iron Chef voting and I would hate to jinx it but it looks to be tracking pretty well for me. Couple things I wanted to share now though. First, major props to Jeff for being a great challenger and a good sport. Truth is, I harassed Jeff for weeks, not everyday but I would drop a mention of this here and there when we spoke--primarily because I wanted a challenger that could kick some ass, and really, Jeff did a fantastic job. I love his drawing and given another hour, it would have changed the tide of history whereas with my shot, another hour and it would just have looked even more busy. He played to his strength which is drawing really tight, but dynamic figures with a lot of personality. Jeff also is very talented in being able to compose complex shots with multiple figures and that's a skill often overlooked by fans and underappreciated even by fellow pros.
I played to my strength which is that I can pencil and ink pretty damn fast when I have to and in the end, I can overwhelm your eye with a lot of artistic tricks. Plus I can draw a Sentinel in my sleep. Look closer and if you break down my anatomy and figurework, it's flatter and less 3-D than Jeff's which I always love to look at simply because I feel like I can reach into the page and actually pick one of his people up in my hand like a an action figure. In the end, I wanted to get a worthy opponent so that we could do some nice pieces for the CBLDF auction.
Second, Jeff and I both kind of knew it would be very tough for him to win, primarily because we were competing on my hometurf and I have just drawn a lot more characters than he has and have more years on him. But he was game and threw himself into the competition even tho the odds were long. The funny thing is that I have heard from Ale and Carlos who have already done this kind of thing several times about how juiced or ansty you get leading up to the event and during the drawing itself. It's like a sporting event and you are the athlete. Strangely, I felt completely normal and calm before and during the hour drawing. In fact, I started 5 minutes late because I realized I didn't have artboard so I had to run over to the editorial office. I felt most nervous immediately after I finished because like with every drawing I do, I assessed what I had drawn and mentally went over all the mistakes and what I could have done to make it better. And that's when I started worrying that I hadn't put enough time into the figurework, putting most of my energy in getting the overall shot as complete as possible.
Meanwhile, Scott Williams came over from his office and sat watching me and jokingly said, you should do a competition where you can't do splatter or smoke effects cause he knows I can get a lot of Ooh and Aaah mileage from the simple yet creative application of whiteout. I defied him and splattered away in the 55th minute! Then again, I was joking that I should have the editors call Jeff while he was working on his piece, harassing him for pages or pretending to be interviewers. And the games went on and we had a good laugh.
It was certainly the fastest hour I have ever experienced. The time just flew by but I was checking the clock quite a bit to pace myself. I loosely laid it all out in 15 minutes and went to ink from there. It's on a fullsize board so I used a brush for all the large black shapes and a whiteout stick pen for the white lines which is easier to handle than applying whiteout with a brush.
In the end, I think if we had stuck to one figure and kept it more open-ended--meaning no villain or action indicated--the results would have been startlingly different as Jeff's main strength is in the 'acting' he puts into his figures and that is what hooks people--not splatter or smoke effects or action lines. It's the immediacy of the piece and how strongly it affects the viewer emotionally that is the key to successful drawing and Jeff has that working for him in spades. If you are lucky to check out Wildsiderz, his newest book coming out very soon from WildStorm (#0 shipped weeks ago), you can see how great he is at giving each character a different personality through the drawing itself from different gestures to body language to body types. His pages look like animation to me and the solid storytelling just enhances that aspect of his work. And most incredible of all, it's all from his pencils. I have to say Jeff's pencil work is the tightest right now in comics--you can eat off those lines!
Anyway, thanks again, Jeff, from the Metti crew, the CBLDF and me: "Impressive, most impressive..."
Wow, well that was very difficult and hopefully only a little bit embarrassing for me.
When the guys at Gelatometti first asked me to participate in one of these "Iron Chef" challenges against Jim, I told them they were crazy and that there was "No Way" I was going to do that! I mean, Jim Lee is arguably the BIGGEST guy in comics. A legend! It's a suicide mission! And besides that, I've sat next to Jim numerous times at different conventions and appearances around the world where I have continuously been in awe of his ability to draw incredibly detailed finished pieces like this, one after another. I just don't know where the guy gets his energy from. But, when Jim asked me personally to compete with him in this, and then mentioned how we would be doing this to raise money for the CBLDF, well, how could I refuse.
What can I say, the second I saw Jim's piece and realized that not only was it fully inked (In an hour!? I mean seriously) but that he also managed to actually work in a recognizable Sentinel, in scale no less (you Bastard!), I knew I was finished. And I gotta say, a lot of guys in our business can draw fast, but Jim has the ability to conceptualize fast, and that's definitely evident here. I mean, to come up with a dazzling and functional layout for a piece like this, is half the battle, and you have to feel confident that you have one before you can really start your actual "drawing". Besides the Sentinel in Jim's piece, the followthrough with WW's lasso wrapped around the robot's head, that's is just a stroke of brilliance that put's this one over the top.
All I can say is, that was the fastest hour of my life. I mean, anybody who's familiar with me, probably knows that 'speed' just "ain't my thang" baby. And let me tell you, I most definitely bit off more than I could chew with this one. Where as Jim's art here could be a finished trading card or something, mine's unfortunately, a bit of a "work in progress" I suppose. The "start" of something cool. And while reading so many of these posts, I wished so badly that I would have figured out a way to get a more recognizable Sentinel in the shot, since so many of you mentioned the lack of one as the main reason why the scales were tipped. I suppose, on my end, I'm just relieved that Wonder Woman ended up with a head and Wolvey ended up with two arms. Some of you might also notice a subtle 11th hour attempt to dazzle you with Wolvey's and WW's "glistening" sweaty skin shading. No, didn't help? Aw shoot! Next time Jim, how 'bout just a "Hot Chick" OK?
Anyways, it was a lot of fun, and my thanks to the Gelatometti guys for including me in on this. And thanks to all of you who out there who participated and commented, especially those of you who threw me a few votes so that I wouldn't be completely annihilated. I LOVE you guys! And finally, a BIG thanks to Jim, who already made me feel like a winner when he asked me to participate against him in his first 'Iron Chef'. Now, I'll go back to licking my wounds.
Oh yeah, I might as well get a few plugs in, right?:
- Be sure to check out Wildsiderz #0 in stores now and the 32 page debut issue Wildsiderz #1 on August 3rd!
- Be sure to look for me at the upcoming San Diego Comic Con and Wizard World Chicago.
- And please check out more of me and my artwork art www.jscottcampbell.com
Friday, July 08, 2005
OK I JUST got off the phone with Jeff and we agreed to go with a combination of a couple of suggestions. The theme is WONDER WOMAN AND WOLVERINE GUTTING A SENTINEL.
So we are free to interpret this in any fashion.
The time I have on my laptop here is 4:09 pm PST. I will be calling Jeff in an hour to tell him to lay down his pencil and to start scanning. Should have the sketches up by 5:20 pm PST if not a bit earlier so people can start voting. Please just vote once under the image which you think is better. The final tally will be Monday morning I imagine with running tallies through the weekend.
Good luck, Jeff, may your miticlorians be aligned.
Ale's having issues posting so I am going to make the announcement. The mystery challenger Ale set up for my first Iron Chef contest is none other than fan-fave artist Jeff Scott Campbell!
Many of you may know that Jeff was one of the first artists WildStorm (then called Homage Studios) brought into the biz years ago. Jeff's work was already very accomplished when he came to the studio at the tender age of 19 but we were all the more amazed at how quickly he learned and developed artistically.
Before you knew it, he was grabbing pebbles out of all the master's hands faster than you could say "Dated pop culture reference!" and soon he was taking the comic book world by storm with his very first series--Gen 13. Then he followed up that with his Cliffhanger sophomore smash--Danger Girl and now has a new title coming out this summer from WildStorm called Wildsiderz which he is working on with his frequent co-collaborator writer Andy Hartnell.
Hit your local comic book shop to grab a copy of Wildsiderz #0 and look out for his dynamite first issue shipping August 3rd--dazzling work! For an awesome, informative interview--scope out this link at Newsarama.
Here is a recap of the "rules." The contest will start at 4pm PST. We will each have an hour in real time to draw the same character. We will then scan in our pieces and post them to the blog (~5:30 pm PST) so you all can vote who had done a better job.
Winner gets a slap on the back and bragging rights. Loser has to deal with the realization that they have a job no one in the Real World really understands nor appreciates and that life is cruel and unfair and that we spent way too much time hanging out with Alex Garner without anything to show for it and that they really should have chosen to be a rock star or a professional athlete where you get your money for nothing and your chicks for free (dated pop culture reference two!).
The real winner tho is the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF.ORG) who gets both pieces of original art from Jeff and me to auction off in the future to supplement their warchest. In fact, ALL the art created in these lighthearted events has been donated to the CBLDF and I will post more info later as to how you all can try to acquire them. Trust me, the money that will be raised really is for a great and much needed cause.
As for what Jeff and I will be drawing...it's up to you guys. Post below suggestions but unlike past events, please, please make your ideas as mainstream and 'commercial' as possible. Jeff and I are really looking forward to raising as much money for the CBLDF as possible and while drawing Hellboy's daughter may be cute, the demand for that kind of thing will be a lot less than say a nice shot of Wonder Woman or Batman or Wolverine or Fairchild, etc. Both Jeff and I will talking on the phone before we start and picking the best suggestion posted below. So go to it!
Been swamped trying to wrap up work before the SDCC which looks to be the mother of all cons this year. So many meetings, panels and such already in the works...I am already exhausted. Anyway, here are some tidbits of news tho.
One, All-Star Batman and Robin: the Boy Wonder should be out next week for the con, so I am led to believe. The project is coming along swimmingly and it's been great to work with Frank. I really doubt we can wrap up the story in only 6 issues so I imagine you will have to deal with a longer run than initially announced.
Two, Chuck from KC, a Metti regular has prepped the Metti Comics Fantasy Publishing League. It's a spiffy bit of software which will allow us all to go head to head as comics publishers, picking writers, artists and other creators in a rotisserie league format. Being nothing gets done the week before and after SDCC, we will make the real announcement with all the details at the end of the month. We will have several leagues so you all can take on the Mettistas--winner take all!
Three, speaking of winners, we haven't had a Metti Trivia Contest for ages. Look for one on Monday at noon PST. Prize to be announced at the same time...should be a good one tho.
Four, attached is a jpeg of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman I did as a series of illustrations for the new DC logo promotion. This one is obviously unfinished but you can get a sense of how I layer the construction of a piece. This one was deemed too static so it was scrapped. A bigger shot can be had here.
Five, big news on the Iron Chef Gelatometti front. I will have my first superstar challenger TOMORROW at 4pm PST. Ale Garza who dreamt up this whole wacky idea is organizing it all so look for his post with the details real soon. The two finished pieces go (along will all the other Iron Chef illustrations) to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund so look for me and the challenger to go all out for this very worthy cause.
I'm sure there is more, but I will save it for a later post.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
...I'm just doodling some ideas for what might become my 'cover image.'
I originally wanted to do something 'weirder,' and a little more �experimental�, but when it's all said and done, the 'cover image' won't be all that big, so it's best to keep it simple and 'attractive' (I hope).
Sometimes it can be kinda' frustrating doing the 'sexy' image, it's so damn cliché�, but at the same time, you can't argue with the power a 'sexy girl' drawing (or photo) has on a cover, especially in the comics and 'fantasy' media, or everything else for that matter ('cause we all know MAXIM, and all those mags. sell because of their oh-so interesting articles :) ), so the question then becomes; what can I 'inject' into this "pretty girl" drawing that might make it more 'me?' ...heheh, it's like 'selling-out,' but only half-ways. :)
It might have been Lee (Bermejo) that had made the comment to me once about how 'tiring' it was having to try and draw attractive people in comics all the time, and I would have to agree, BUT at the same time, we both understand that we are dealing with 'archetypes', idealized figures, and not reality...still, it's nice to gripe about it once in a while. :)
...then again, that's why it's good to have Lee (Bermejo) with us, for every 'pretty' thing Alé, Rich and I might draw, he'll give you something totally grotesque (anybody a fan of Chris Cunningham?), it's like someone just gave you a backrub, followed by a kick to the nuts!
(just wait 'till you guys see the new sketchbook). (^_^)
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
...wheew, maaan!!! it feels like it's been forever since I've posted on here ...although it kinda ' has hasn't it? time moves waaaaay to quick!!! Honestly though, this is the first time I have had a 'solid' break in some time, and it feels GOOOOOD!!! :)
My duties with the OUTSIDERS are now over and it has given me some time to organize and design the "PH4 2005" sketchbook, and also work a little on some of my own ideas.
For a while there, during the monthly grind, I really wanted to post something, but by the time I was done penciling and inking a page, my brain was soooo fried I just wanted to sleep, or kill brain cells watching TV (I don't know how Alé and Jim do it), but I am back, and I have found some new stuff that I can post on here (^_^)
I gotta' say, the PH4 sketchbook came out much better than last years' ...don't get me wrong, I am still proud of last years, but we all had a much better idea (and a little more experience) with what to do on this one. Everybody's sections are longer, and more thought out, so there's a pretty good variety of stuff in there...can't wait to see it printed :)
...and this here are some doodles I decided not to use in my section. I did these a while back. I was still designing the way I wanted BRASS to look in my series, so it's been about four or five years? crap...see what I mean about time ?!?
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Btw, for anyone in the Napa Valley/Vallejo area I will be appearing at a local 4th of July celebration at the American Canyon community park. If you're near try to stop by! Peace!
"hello little gummy gums" PSHOO!PSHOO!
Friday, July 01, 2005
So we all check out newsarama.com and the Pulse and Heidi MacDonald's the Beat everyday (and if you don't, then you must be a wannabe fan) but I suspect many of you must have other sites you frequent each day. List some in the comments (all worksafe please) and let me know some of your more esoteric ones.
Me? I drop by www.gizmodo.com and even tho it seems to have an Eurocentric view techwise, it still lists a bevy of interesting tech devices and technologies each day. I also go to http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/padres/index.html for my daily Padres news and articles and I lurk in their forums. If you think fans on dccomics.com messageboards are crabby, you haven't read baseball message boards. OMG are they notoriously fickle, but entertaining to read. Makes you feel healthy being a comic book nut.